The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Moving to a New Website!

I have a new website for the blog:

So update your bookmarks.  Call the neighbors.  Wake the kids.

Don't worry, the blog will still be there will all the same stuff you've come to tolerate love.  But there's more.  Lots more.  Tons more.  And more added every day.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

College Power Rankings

Not much has changed at the top since last week. Powerful performances by LSU and Texas A&M at the Penn Relays prove why they're at the top of the rankings for both men and women.

The Superfan’s Men’s Power Rankings for May 4, 2011
(last week's ranking in parenthesis)
1. Texas A&M (1)
2. LSU (2)
3. Florida (4)
4. Florida State (3)
5. BYU (9)
6. Texas (5)
7. Arkansas (6)
8. Stanford (20)
9. Minnesota (7)
10. Nebraska (12)
11. Oregon (11)
12. Wisconsin (14)
13. Texas Tech (13)
14. Virginia Tech (10)
15. UCLA (15) - beat Southern Cal
16. Southern Cal (8) - lost to UCLA
17. Arizona State (16) - beat Arizona and Northern Arizona
18. Georgia (17)
19. Arizona (22) - lost to Arizona State, beat Northern Arizona
20. Indiana (18)
21. Ohio State (21)
22. Oklahoma (24)
23. Washington (19) - beat Washington State
24. Iowa (23)
25. Penn State (NR)
Close, but not quite: Air Force, Akron, Baylor, Cornell, Houston, Mississippi St., New Mexico, North Carolina, Princeton, Washington St.

The big movement upward was made by Stanford. This is partly due to me still tinkering with the formula, but also because they ran some pretty good times at the Cardinal Invitational.

The big movement downward was made by Southern Cal, who lost at home to UCLA.

The Superfan’s Women’s Power Rankings for May 4, 2011
(last week's ranking in parenthesis)
1. Texas A&M (1)
2. LSU (2)
3. Oregon (3)
4. Arkansas (5)
5. Nebraska (7)
6. Clemson (4)
7. Texas (6)
8. Oklahoma (9)
9. Arizona State (11) - beat Arizona and Northern Arizona
10. Arizona (8) - lost to Arizona State, beat Northern Arizona
11. Stanford (14)
12. Florida State (10)
13. Southern Cal (15) - beat UCLA
14. Texas Tech (12)
15. BYU (13)
16. Tennessee (17)
17. Penn State (20)
18. Georgia (18)
19. North Carolina (16)
20. Ohio State (19)
21. California (22)
22. Auburn (24)
23. Florida (NR)
24. Indiana (25)
25. Central Florida (21)
Close, but not quite: Baylor, Duke, Kansas State, Louisville, Michigan, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Sacramento St., South Carolina, Southern Illinois

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

More to the story

Lots of time to kill at this meet. Plus I'm learning how to blog efficiently on an iPhone.

You may have heard the naked marathoner tased by police story. It even made it onto NPR today.

The guy, Brett Henderson, evaded police and refused to stop when ordered. Yeah, he was racing, but it's not like he could have been wearing a race number. I don't think there's a police officer in the country who would have let it go.

His story doesn't pass the smell test.
Both Henderson and his mother (!) said Monday that he had borrowed a pair of running shorts from his father, but they kept slipping down as he ran. “I looked but couldn’t find a drawstring … I kept fighting and pulling on them, and then the elastic gave way so I let them drop,” said Henderson.
That sounds fishy. But this is the kicker:
“This is something that happens and is tolerated in the running culture, along with runners who sometimes (urinate) or defecate during a race. Shouldn’t that be considered indecent exposure, too, if what I did was indecent? In fact, running naked was encouraged in a marathon I ran in San Francisco, so I don’t know why this was such a big deal.”
That's just weird.

Who is Brett Henderson? I got the following in an e-mail. Now, let me say that I haven't been able to check out the story yet. But this is what was sent to me.
This guy was a 2 time state wrestling champion at Graham HS. He was a former student of mine in elem. His mom was a teacher and his dad and mom now are bigtime realtors here. He was at West Point for 3 yrs and a varsity wrestler and letter winner there; kicked out for some unknown reason. He just moved back here from LA, where he was arrested a few yrs. ago by FBI for insider trading......

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Major track facility expanding

A quick note as I sit in the pressbox working a truly dull high school tri-meet...

There is major expansion going on at an already major facility for track (and all kinds of other sports too). The GaREAT Sports Center in Geneva, Ohio, is changing its name to the Spire Academy.

The place already has a 300 meter 8-lane indoor facility which has fantastic spectator amenities and hosted this year's NAIA Championships. It already has a top-quality outdoor track.

So how is it being expanded? A second outdoor track. A throws stadium. Yeah, stadium. Michael Johnson will be training athletes on-site, and there will be dormitory space.

The facilities for other sports are similarly off-the-charts excellent. Read on. It's amazing..

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Who Did What: College Track Weekend Roundup

This is the Penn / Drake Relays edition of the roundup.  Penn takes and publishes splits, Drake does not.  Get with it, Iowans!

Rankings within each event reflect the latest Track and Field News formcharts.


100 meters
1. Jeff Demps (Florida) - ran 4x100 and 4x200 at Penn
2. Ngoni Makusha’ (Florida State) - idle
3. Mookie Salaam (Oklahoma) - won Drake Relays (10.20)
4. Maurice Mitchell (Florida State) - idle
5. Gerald Phiri' (Texas A&M) - ran 4x100 and 4x200 at Penn
6. Prezel Hardy (Texas A&M) - idle
7. Charles Silmon (TCU) - 2nd at Penn Relays (10.41) behind Mvumvure (LSU)
8. Michael Granger (Mississippi) - 2nd at Drake Relays (10.24), ran 4x100
9. Woodrow Randall (Baylor) - did not qualify to Drake finals (10.96), ran 4x100 and 4x200
10. D'Angelo Cherry (Mississippi State) - idle

200 meters
1. Mookie Salaam (Oklahoma) - see 100 meters
2. Maurice Mitchell (Florida State) - idle
3. Brandon Byram (Florida State) - idle
4. Horatio Williams (LSU) - did not qualify to Penn 100m finals, ran 4x100 and 4x200
5. Antonio Sales (South Carolina) - ran 4x100 and 4x200, split 47.22 at Penn
6. Terrell Wilks (Florida) - ran 4x100, 4x200 and sprint medley at Penn
7. Gerald Phiri' (Texas A&M) - see 100 meters
8. Charles Clark (Florida State) - idle
9. Whitney Prevost (Baylor) - ran 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 at Drake
10. Dentarius Locke (Tennessee) - ran 4x100 at Penn Relays

Monday, May 02, 2011

Monday Morning Decathlete: Special Penn Relays Edition

What I learned in my first-ever trip to the Penn Relays, and lessons from its astounding success for the broader world of track and field...

It's a party.
They call it a carnival. Circus might do too.

Both the spectators and the participants take the Penn Relays seriously as a competitive event. They also see it as more than that. It's three days of tremendous fun. Not only is there stuff going in inside the stadium, but outside the stadium in the "festival" area.

The festival area had all kinds of sponsor tents set up with sales and giveaways and promotions. The sales tent set up by Nike included free haircuts and braiding, and the kids lined up and waited an hour or more to get them. Runnerspace was doing live broadcasts. During a storm delay on Thursday, an impromptu break dance competition broke out in the stands.

This is how college football and basketball operates. Tailgating is nothing but partying which is sometimes only nominally associated with a football game. When you go to a college basketball game, part of what you get out of it is the atmosphere: the crazy student section, the band, the cheerleaders, the announcer.

We need to work on keeping track meets fun. We can't sacrifice competitiveness for it, and we need to make sure it's actual fun, not what some fuddy-duddy thinks is fun (like head-splitting music during races). Fun is subjective, and what's appropriate is dependent on many things like place and time. What works at a massive meet like Penn is different than what works at, for example, a college dual meet. But if people start to think going to a track meet is fun, then everything else takes care of itself.