Saturday, January 21, 2012

Revelations of a Hotel Treadmill

As I had previously blogged, I plan on keeping my routine as normal as possible for race day.  That includes doubling.  So I awoke and checked the weather online.  It said -3 with some wind and I said no.  So I adventured a little and found the Hampton Inn's Exercise Room.

When I arrived in the exercise room it was hot.  I went to the window mounted heating/cooling system and found that the last person to use the room had turned the heater to "Max Heat" settings.  They must have really wanted to lose some weight.  Anyway, after turning the system off entirely, I examined the equipment.  All the machines looked fairly new and in good working order.  Except the treadmill.  I mean, it worked, but barely.  It worked enough that I was able to get 5 miles in no problem.  The main problem was that strange noises came from within the treadmill as it rotated.  If I had to guess what was creating the noise it would have been a garden gnome and a small kitten stuck inside of the treadmill, bouncing around, and occasionally being stepped on by me.

It took me a good 7:47 mile to get over said sounds.  After that, my attention turned to the TV.  I was fascinated by the fact that the temperature was a consistent -0 F.  Is -0 colder than 0?  It is an intimidating figure that negative symbol.  I quickly became glad that I chose the strange, creaky treadmill over the frigid upper Mid-West temperatures.  It was so cold, in fact, that Mike Krsnak came back crying from his outdoors excursion.  Even though he only ran around the hotel.  I guess some people just aren't man enough to handle the Minnesota winter.

Another thing that interested me was the coverage of the T-Wolves game.  The first 3 shots they showed were of my least favorite player, Darko, making shot after shot.  The last score I see is 13-23 then it skips all the way to the end of the game and in quick sequence Rubio and Kevin Love hit 3-pointers to win the game.  It was just interesting how they skipped most of the game.

As I arrived at 5.000 miles on the treadmill (yes, it recorded to the thousandths) I proceeded to push the stop button.  Unlike modern treadmills this one meant business.  Usually they try to put you through a cool-down routine before it lets you step off.  This treadmill stopped instantly and I ran into the control panel, hard.  I was sure I had broken the machine but alas, it was fine!

Thanks for reading and supporting!  Remember to click for me!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Top MN Runners of All-Time

Top Minnesota Distance Runners of All Time

This is my compiled list of the top Minnesota Distance Runners of All-Time.  I admit there is a bias towards more current athletes but then again, those athletes are very good too.  Enjoy reading and make sure to leave any comments if you disagree with my order or think I forgot somebody!  Remember to click an add to support my blog!

1. Rob Finnerty (’08) Burnsville- 9th at FLN and ran a then 7th best all-time High School mile of 4:01.09 at the Midwest Distance Gala.  Rob finished 2nd, 4th and 1st in Cross Country while sitting out his sophomore year with a femoral stress fracture.  Rob was the 1600m and 3200m state champion his Freshman and Senior seasons and placed 2nd 3 times and 3rd once in between. HS PRs of 4:01.09 (mile), 8:47, 1:54.5

2. Elliott Heath (’07) Winona- Elliott’s greatest high school achievement was winning the US Junior Cross Country Championships.  He also had great success on the local stage.  Elliott placed in the top-10 three times in the state cross country meet highlighted by a win in his junior year of 2005.  During his senior year he placed a respectable third behind Hassan Mead and Jon Stublaski, Mead holds the Course record at the St. Olaf state course.  After suffering from heat exhaustion at the state qualifying meet his sophomore year, Elliott went on to great success on the track as well.  He is the AA state meet record holder in the 3200m with a time of 9:02.65 having won the event twice. HS PRs of 4:10.29, 8:46.09 (2-Mile), and 14:34 (5k track)

3. Garrett Heath (’04) Winona- Elliott’s older brother Garrett also had success on the national cross country stage with two top-ten finishes at FLN.  Garrett also had four All-State performances in Cross Country including two wins.  His time as a senior ranks second all-time on the state course.  On the track, Garrett finished 6th and 2nd in the distance events in his sophomore year at the state meet before winning them both the next two years.  He also made his range known during a conference battle in the 800, narrowly losing to the future state champion while running 1:52.4.  HS PRs of 1:52.4 800, 4:09, 9:06

4. Hassan Mead (’07) Minneapolis South- The only reason Hassan Mead is not higher on this list is that he only competed for one season of Cross Country and two seasons of track.  That cross country season may be the best one ever in the state of Minnesota.  Hassan went undefeated and his exploits include running 14:58 at the Faribault Invitational, 15:10 to win the state meet in the fastest time ever on the course, a victory at FLMW, and a 4th place finish at FLN.  Hassan never won a state title on the track, being beaten by either the first or second people on this list.  HS PRs of 4:14.2, 8:51.23 (2-Mile)

5. Nick Schneider (’01) Benilde-St. Margaret’s- Nick was in a league of his own in the early 21st century.  He breezed to victory in the 1600 and 3200 meters during his junior and senior seasons.  At the state meet his junior year he set the state meet record in the 1600m with a 4:08.51.  After his junior year he ran 8:53.18 in the 3200m to set the all-time state record that had stood for nearly thirty years.  On the Cross Country course Nick was unstoppable.  He won twice and was four-tenths of a second away from being the only individual to win three titles.  He was also 4th overall as a freshman.  HS PRs: 1:54.7, 4:06.7, 8:53.18 

6. Mike Torchia (’06) Rochester Lourdes-  Mike finished 4th his sophomore year in the class A cross country meet and proceeded to win the next two years.  His senior year victory was by almost 40 seconds.  On the track Torchia won three titles including running sub 9 minutes in the 3200m in 2006 and winning by 38 seconds in a time of 8:59.  In post season competition he lowered his PR to 8:47.  HS PRs: 4:15.6, 8:47.5.


7. Nic Matack (’97) Duluth East- Nic was well known as a cross country specialist.  He defeated the formidable opponent of Luke Watson by 37 seconds at state cross country and even more impressively ran 15:12 for 5k on the prestigious Griak course.  Later in the year Nic placed 14th at FLN.  Due to a variety of reasons Nic didn’t excel on the track.  The highlight of his track career was a 9:18.9 3200m as a sophomore.


8. Garry Bjorklund (’69) Proctor-  Broke the state 1600m record by nearly ten seconds and set a mark that stood for 39 years until Rob Finnerty broke it.  Bjorklund won one state meet in cross country and placed 6th two other times.  He also is not recorded to have run faster than 1:54.85 or 9:19.57.

9. Zach Mellon (’09) Buffalo- Zach is the honorary Middle-distance runner out of the group.  Aside from running 1:48.6 to place second at US Jr Nationals he was a solid cross country runner.  Zach was ranked among the favorites to win the state meet after his 3rd place finish at the Griak. His state performance didn’t live up to standards but who cares when you run 1:48?  He also had a 4:16 1600m to his name from one of the few times he ran the event.

10. Dennis Fee (’72) White Bear Lake- Fee, like Bjorklund, crushed a state record.  Fee’s 8:59.3 was more than 15 seconds faster than Bob Wagner’s previous state record.  Fee’s record also stood the test of time.  His record wasn’t broken until 2000 when Nick Schneider ran faster.  Fee’s 4:14.6 might not seem that fast either, but he was 5th best all-time in MN at the time.

Honorable Mention: Ben Blankenship (‘07) Stillwater, Jordan Carlson (’08) Rosemount, Jeff Taylor (’85) Mounds View, Steve Holman (’88) Richfield, Steve Leuer (‘96) Osseo, Jay Schoenfelder (’95) Duluth East, Donovan Bergstrom (’88) Elgin-Millville

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Summit League Indoors- Women's Track!

Here is the Indoor Women's Preview!  This post will include track events with field and team scores to follow! Enjoy and don't take these too seriously.  I am probably going to forget a stellar athlete or two so don't be afraid to remind me.  If you don't like where you ended up on here go out and prove why you deserve to be higher, don't whine about it!  Thanks, enjoy and don't forget to click to support my blog!

1. Deborah John, NDSU
2. Antoinette Goodman, NDSU
3. Analisa Huschle, USD
4. Shaye Maurer, SUU
5. Gabriel Williams, USD
6. Cornisha Wilkerson, ORU
7. Brittany Page, NDSU
8. Michelle Momo, UMKC

1. Antoinette Goodman, NDSU
2. Cornisha Wilkerson, ORU
3. Brittany Page, NDSU
4. Viola Kleiser, UMKC
5. TK Whitfield, ORU
6. Megan Bren, SDSU
7. Michelle Momo, UMKC
8. Desiree Pettiford, OU

1. Paige Stratioti, NDSU
2. TK Whitfield, ORU
3. Ashley Tinglestad, NDSU
4. Sakia Taylor, UMKC
5. Melissa Kitching, NDSU
6. Amber Ewers, USD
7. Briana Carter, UMKC
8. Ashley Sveum, USD

1. Emma Ladwig (Erickson), USD
2. Brittany Schanandore, NDSU
3. Faith Kruchowski, NDSU
4. Diana Medina, SUU
5. Ashlynn Simon, NDSU
6. Marrisa Thomas, ORU
7. Chelsea Lynes, WIU
8. Kaylee Coates, SUU

1. Brittany Schanandore, NDSU
2. Chelsea Lynes, WIU
3. Amy Jo Thorne, NDSU
4. Kirsten Bradford, SUU
5. Jamie Smith, SUU
6. Maddie McClellan, NDSU
7. Aubrey Frederking, UMKC
8. Sarah Hutchings, IPFW

1. Amy Jo Thorne, NDSU
2. Kirsten Bradford, SUU
3. Sylvia Bedford, SUU
4. Lia Jones, OU
5. Jamie Smith, SUU
6. Brittany Hutton, OU
7. Kelsey Carmean, OU
8. Abby Aspengren, NDSU

1. Amy Jo Thorne, NDSU
2. Sylvia Bedford, SUU
3. Heidi Peterson, NDSU
4. Lia Jones, OU
5. Jamie Smith, SUU
6. Brittni Hutton, OU
7. Sheilah Ndaysm, ORU
8. Jordan Krahn, NDSU

60m Hurdles
1. Deborah John, NDSU
2. Shaye Maurer, SUU
3. Lora Shearer, SDSU
4. Jasmine Paicely, SUU
5. Alexa Duling, USD
6. Shakira Thomas, UMKC
7. Breanna Peabody, OU
8. Haley Juhnke, USD

1. ORU
3. USD
6. WIU
7. SUU
8. OU

2. SUU
3. USD
6. OU
8. WIU

SD Athletes to Run Brooks PR Meet

Tony Smorgiewicz of Rapid City Central and Alex Waddell of Sioux Falls Washington look to represent South Dakota well at the Brooks PR Elite Meet.  The meet is held February 26th at the wonderful Dempsey Fieldhouse on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.  The track is 307m and among the finest in America.  Both Tony and Alex competed last year at this meet and while running solid times, would both like to place higher.  Residents of the upper Mid-West are at a disadvantage to their Eastern and Western neighbors.  Indoor track is a popular sport in the East and the temperatures are buoyed by Pacific Ocean currents in the West.  Tony, a Michigan commit, looks to establish an All-Time State record in the 3200m distance sometime this season.  Alex, still undecided, most likely wants to put his name high on the record books as well.  Good Luck, guys!

Entry List

2011 Results

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Interesting Training Methods

I was working recently and it was during one of those slow periods when nobody comes in and the only sound is of the heating system roaring in our poorly insulated shop.  I was alone and tired of organizing thousands of pairs of shoes in the back room.  As you may know, there are thousands of running magazines, books, and articles in the Prairie Striders library.  I picked up an issue of Running Times from last year sometime and was paging through it.  There were a few interesting articles but there was one that really caught my eye.  I don't remember the exact title or really any of the reasoning behind it but I do remember the key point.  The key point was that running a second run on the same day as your long run can help you recover faster from the abuse that long runs can take.  A few weeks ago I had run long in the morning and either of boredom or some other crazy reason I decided to run again.  Most of the time, after long runs, my legs feel slightly achy and I am generally tired.  Going into this run I was mentally ready to call it quits after a mile if I wasn't feeling it.  But I kept going, and before I knew it I had gone 5 miles.  I had only jogged along at 8 minutes per mile but oh did it feel good.

Today, I again tested the theory.  Except, this time, I ran another awesome workout at 1 in the afternoon and proceeded to go home, eat a whole pizza, browse the internet for running news for awhile, and go to class for a few hours.  I threw my shoes, shorts, and a t-shirt into my backpack just in case I got that urge to run again.  I had a little bit of an urge but, like the first time, I was tired and didn't think it would amount to much.  Well I started up, again around 8 minutes a mile, and felt better and better.  By the end of my 40 minutes jog I was elated.  My legs felt great and I didn't want to stop.  I am pretty sure I was experiencing the fabled "Runner's High".  Usually I only feel something of that magnitude while running in a scenic area like the Black Hills, or the Seattle area or if I am running fast and feeling comfortable.  But today I was running slow, on a D shaped indoor track, and I still felt the sensation!

Anyway, I'm not sure what to make of these two cases of anecdotal evidence but I really like doubling on a long day or a workout day.  To me it simply feels awesome.  I will stress again, and again, that running is a very individualized sport.  What works for me might work for you, and it might not.  I would recommend trying this but you're going to have to see for yourself the effect that it will have on you.

Thanks for reading and supporting!  Enjoy!


Learning From Past Experiences

Last year at this time I thought I was in great shape.  And I might have been too but a series of mistakes promptly took me out of the race in which I was going to prove my shape.  Today's blog is going to be about learning from your past mistakes and not committing the same ones again.  I might find new mistakes to make this time around but at least I'm not dumb enough to do the same ones over again.  I'm going to talk about my experiences before, and during a 3000 meter indoor track race but the same principles can be applied to any race from a sprint race to an ultramarathon.

Mistake #1
Half the time I race, I always get the bright idea that some odd combination of day before running/stretching/striding is going to help me perform at my best on race day.  I discount all previous experience and knowledge that I have built up.  I forget that earlier in the week I ran 16 miles one day and worked out the next day and felt awesome.  So I run about 5 miles and do some fast strides and assume I'm going to be feeling awesome the next day.

Lesson #1 Learned
Stick with what works in training.  Trying something new isn't for the day before a race.  I run well off high mileage so running 5 miles the day before might leave me sluggish.  Friday I am going to run 10-12 miles at an easy pace and do my usual post run stretching/myrtle routine.

Mistake #2
Eating too much of the wrong things.  When I am nervous I eat.  When I am nervous I don't think much about eating.  When running, and especially racing, you need to be extremely conscious of what you eat and drink.  Last year I had an interesting sandwich a few hours before the race.  I had never had it before but I wanted to try it.  I should have known from workouts that I run well when I haven't eaten much in about 4-5 hours.  I don't need food.

Lesson #2 Learned
Don't eat much.  You don't need it.  It's only a 3k!  Find out what food works for you on race and workout days and eat that.

Mistake #3
Standing around on my feet for too long all day.  The 3k is one of the last races and I enjoy track so I was wondering around, cheering on teammates and all that.  Sometimes I just have to be selfish and just shut myself off from the crowd and track until after the race.

Lesson #3 Learned
I am going to find a coffee shop, or library, or something of that sort where I can sit and read and relax, take my mind off the race for awhile.

Mistake #4
The warm-up.  For workouts I run 15 minutes, put my flats/spikes on, stretch a little and do a few strides.  Then I am ready to go. The whole-routine takes only about 30 minutes.  Why am I warming up for 50 minutes before a race again?

Lesson #4 Learned
Plan your warm-up according to what works for you.  Like eating, pre-race day running, and other factors this is trial and error.

Mistake #5
Taking the lead early, and with a big move.  I had already learned from earlier years that patience is key for me in track races.  Surges tire me out and other runners are likely to fall off pace if I wait for them to do it.

Lesson #5 Learned
I am going to be patient in this race.  I am going to let somebody else lead for at least 10 laps and I am going to stay relaxed and enjoy the race.  When I feel the time is right I am going to make a gradual move and increase the pace.

Overall, racing and running are about finding out what works best for you.  You can try my techniques for race preparation but I'm not sure if they would work for you.  I know many people who race well with 5 miles the day before but I don't.  Running and racing is trial and error.  However, races are not supposed to be experiments.  You are supposed to have already performed the experiments and the race is supposed to be the accumulation of your positive results.

The Video of My Bad Race Last Year

 As you can tell, I am bitter at myself for this race.  Last year I had a poor race and ran 9:11. This year I plan to run at least 8:45.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Summit League Men's Team Title

Here are the Summit League predicted team scores.  Perennial power NDSU takes the crown once again.  Oral Roberts gives them a scare with their sprinting talents and SUU and SDSU battle for 3rd place.  It will be interesting to see how the conferences shakes out next season when both ORU and SUU are gone.  SDSU will need to step it up to close that gap to the Bison.

1. NDSU 146
2. ORU 120
3. SUU 98
4. SDSU 97
5. UMKC 71
6. USD 64
7. WIU 52
8. OU 12
9. IUPUI 3

Summit League Indoor Preview- Men's Field

This is installment 2 of my Summit League Indoor Preview.  Today's events will be the Men's Field events and possibly the overall team scores.  Again, I hope these to be as unbiased and accurate as possible.  I did mess up one of the men's track events and I forgot the DMR so if you think I forgot a serious contender or something, let me know.  Again, I'm going to add the disclaimer; if you think you are better than I put you then prove it, don't whine about it!  Enjoy!

High Jump
1. Jamario Taylor, WIU
2. Daney Nelson, SUU
3. Jared Vlastuin, SDSU
4. Michael Crabtree, WIU
5. Wade Nielson, SUU
6. Drew Iddings, USD
7. Weston Leutz, NDSU
8. Adam Mikkelson, USD

 Pole Vault
1. Jack Whitt, ORU
2. Jesse Morrow, NDSU
3. Joe Bredahl, NDSU
4. Dustin Gehrke, ORU
5. Andy Lillejord, NDSU
6. Kyle Ballew, USD
7. Calvin Cammack, SDSU
8. Nolan Berg, NDSU

 Long Jump
1. Clive Chafausipo, ORU
2. Jared Vlastuin, SDSU
3. Kyle Kopp, SUU
4. Andy Lillejord, NDSU
5. Dontay Taylor, UMKC
6. Lee Dhein, NDSU
7. DC Okonta, UMKC
8. Davin Dollison, WIU

Triple Jump
1. DC Okonta, UMKC
2. Tim Jones II, ORU
3. Davin Dollison, WIU
4. Gavin Cordell, SDSU
5. Jared Vlastuin, SDSU
6. Dontay Taylor, UMKC
7. Nick Williams, NDSU
8. Jeff O'Connell, USD

Shot Put
1. Kyle McKelvey, USD
2. Jason Crisman, WIU
3. Chris Johnson, SUU
4. Cody Snyder, USD
5. Ramon Nelson, UMKC
6. Andrew Stebbins, OU
7. Casey Orgon, NDSU
8. Paul Hames, WIU

Weight Throw
1. Nathaniel Marshall, WIU
2. Paul Hames, WIU
3. Casey Orgon, NDSU
4. Ramon Nelson, UMKC
5. Jake Brinkmann, SDSU
6. Ryan Ackman, SDSU
7. Jason Crisman, WIU
8. Kris Levrette, UMKC

1. Andy Lillejord, NDSU
2. Weston Leutz, NDSU
3. Brett Springall, SUU
4. Beau Gagnon, NDSU
5. Ryan Jenson, NDSU
6. Mike Bredeson, SDSU
7. Ryan Balzer, OU
8. Bennett Mercil, SDSU

Monday, January 16, 2012


Today we had a workout which could have been rather difficult.  It involved running around our funny shaped track at high speeds twice, then stopping, jogging around a little, and repeating.  I was very impressed with the group of guys that I had the pleasure of working out with today.  We rotated who was pacing the interval.  We helped each other through the workout instead of racing each other and beating each other down.  We gave words of encouragement and high fives after pretty much every single interval.  We hit our times, or better, and best of all; we felt good and confident doing so.  I was quite surprised at how well-oiled and efficient our team seemed today.  Our group was varied and included a new transfer, a freshmen who is new to the "D", an alumnus, as well as other more established members of the team.  It was fun to see what my teammates hard work has resulted in last weekend at USD and it will be fun to see this weekend at the U of M and beyond.  I am excited to see what we can accomplish together this track and field season.  Team, that's what it's all about.

Also, I want to do a shout-out after every track meet we have this season.  The shout-out will go out to a person who achieved a PR, showed strength, integrity, or sportsmanship, or did something unbelievable.  Anyway, this shout-out, after the USD meet goes out to Drew Kraft.  Drew had never ran a 3k before this past weekend, unless it was over barriers, and he was very successful.  Drew ran 8:54 and was only beaten by 3 great runners.  The runner immediately ahead of him was a DII All-American this past fall.  He also beat runners who had been far ahead of him just months ago.  Great job Drew!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Summit League Indoors

Over the next few days I will be making predictions for the Summit League Indoor Conference Championship to be held February 23rd-25th in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  It is my intent to make these as accurate and unbiased as possible.  In some situations runners may appear to be equal but there are no ties in track and field!  It will also be hard to tell where freshmen will fall.  If you think you will place higher prove me wrong in February, don't whine or hold a grudge now!  Enjoy!

To begin I will start with the Men's Running events.  Men's Field, Women's Running, and Women's Field are to follow.  At the end I will compile team scores.

Men's 60m Dash
1. Donte Smart, NDSU
2. Michael Burrus, USD
3. Jeremy Blount, USD
4. Dontay Taylor, UMKC
5. Boyea Lockett, ORU
6. Preston Myers, SUU
7. Andy Lillejord, NDSU
8. Nathan Mattson, NDSU

Newcomer South Dakota brings some great sprinters into the mix.  As far as I can tell, Kevin Jackson won't be competing for the Bison this spring.

Men's 200m Dash
1. Brandon Williams, ORU
2. Boyea Lockett, ORU
3. Jeffrey Gibson, ORU
4. Donte Smart, NDSU
5. Zuva Bvekerwa, ORU
6. Clive Chaufausipo, ORU
7. Preston Myers, SUU
8. Jeramy Roberts, ORU

ORU extends their dominance in the sprints with the additions of Boyea Lockett and Zuva.

Men's 400m Dash
1. Jeffrey Gibson, ORU
2. Brandon Williams, ORU
3. Michael Roberts, ORU
4. Jeramy Roberts, ORU
5. Redell Frazier, UMKC
6. John Bradford, ORU
7. Douglass Parker, ORU
8. Kyle Wilson, OU

You may be able to predict the 4x4 favorite as well.

Men's 800m Run
1. Jake Schneller, SDSU
2. Casey Shade, USD
3. Cam Levins, SUU
4. Moses Heppner, NDSU
5. Dom Thielen, SDSU
6. Alec Espeland, NDSU
7. Tyler Banks, ORU
8.Michael Roberts, ORU

Cam has run an adjusted 1:50 already but he should be tired by this race.

Men's Mile Run
1. Cam Levins, SUU
2. Travis Fitzke, NDSU
3. Mike Krsnak, SDSU
4. Austin West, SUU
5. Moses Heppner, NDSU
6. Alec Espeland, NDSU
7. Greg Vollmer, SDSU
8. Dave Magnotte, OU

Cam has run sub-4.  It should be a great race for the rest of the places in a tactical setting.

Men's 3000m Run
1. Cam Levins, SUU
2. Cosmas Ayabei, UMKC
3. Mike Krsnak, SDSU
4. Travis Fitzke, NDSU
5. Jeffrey Mettler, USD
6. Austin West, SUU
7. Nate Jewkes, SUU
8. Trent Lusignan, SDSU

Similar to the mile.  Last year's race was one of the best I've seen and adding USD, Cam, and Freshmen into the mix will make it more interesting!

Men's 5000
1. Cosmas Ayabei, UMKC
2. Mike Krsnak, SDSU
3. Nate Jewkes, SUU
4. Jeffrey Mettler, USD
5. Zack Mathias, UMKC
6. Clinton Rhoton, SUU
7. Trent Lusignan, SDSU
8. Austin West, SUU

The last of the distance races where everyone is tired and tactics come into play as much as ever!

Men's 60m Hurdles
1. Matt Tetzlaff, NDSU
2. Brandon Priebe, SDSU
3. Weston Leutz, NDSU
4. Kodai Kusano, SUU
5. Kristen Hepburn, UMKC
6. Jonathan Reed, ORU
7. Matt Dunbar, SDSU
8. Niklas Rippon, OU

An unpredictable race where anything can happen!

Men's 4x4
1. ORU
4. USD
5. SUU
7. OU
8. WIU

Men's DMR
2. SUU
4. USD
7. OU
8. ORU
9. WIU