Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 1 at Husker Invite

The Jacks had some bright spots on day one of the Frank Sevigne Husker Invite.  Chris Curry ran Personal Bests in the 60 at 7.13 and the 200 at 22.35.  Gina Fritz nearly performed the same feat, missing her 60 PR by one-hundreth.  She ran a big PR in the 200 with a 25.68.  I ran ok in the 5k, it could have been much better.  Tomorrow's action is going to be very exciting.

Matchups I am looking forward to:
Mike Krsnak vs Alex Muntefering in the Mile
SDSU Alum Ben Jasinski in the TJ
Ben in the HJ against Jared Vlastuin
Mary Wirth against NDSU's Toni Tollefson in the HJ
Alec Espeland, NDSU vs Casey Shade, USD, vs Jake Schneller vs Travis Fitzke, NDSU and 6 other great runners including Pro Christian Smith
Emma Ladwig (Erickson) of USD vs Brittany Schanandore (Gigstead) of NDSU
The Whole Special 3k
Oral Roberts in the Special 4x4

Day 1 Results

Day 2 Heat Sheets

Live Results

Friday, February 3, 2012

Jacks at USD and Nebraska.

The Jackrabbit Track and Field teams have a big weekend.  They competed at the USD Bill Hillenbrand Invitational on Thursday and will compete at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

At USD the women were led by an impressive double by Laura Lawton in the Mile and 800m runs with 5:14 and 2:26. Leah Bolon also ran well in her first shot at the 3k distance with a time of 10:48.  Brooke garner topped the field as usual by over a meter with a throw of 17.28m in the weight throw.

The Men were led by Calvin Cammack's 2nd place finish in the Pole Vault.  He only lost to Derek Miles, USD's Nike sponsored coach.  Ryan Ackman repeated Brooke's achievement by winning the Men's weight throw.  Brandon Priebe has been consistent in the 60m hurdles all year and that continued at USD, winning by three tenths of a second.  Mike Bredeson set a personal-best in the event by .01s.

USD Results

Summit League Performance List

The Jacks are also set to compete at the Frank Sevigne Husker Inviational today and tomorrow in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Here are the Jacks competing:
Brandon Priebe, Lora Shearer- 60m Hurdles
Chris Curry, Megan Bren, Ashley Odegaard, Gina Fritz- 60
Kyle Schmidt, Greg Beesley- 5k
Jared Foote, Evan Bunkers, Brandon Priebe, Justin Carson, Jessica McDonald, Ashley Gruenwald- 400
Chris Curry, Jared Foote, Megan Bren, Ashley Odegaard, Gina Fritz- 200
Ryan Ackman, Jake Brinkman, Brooke Garner- Weight Throw
Calvin Cammack- Pole Vault
Lora Shearer, Ashley Odegaard, Jared Vlastuin- Long Jump
Erin Hargens, Danielle McCann, Mike Krsnak, Dom Thielen- Mile
Greg Vollmer, Trent Lusignan- 3k
Men's + Women's 4x4
Brooke Garner, McKenzie Johnson- Shot Put
Mary Wirth, Kali Olson, Lora Shearer, Jared Vlastuin- High Jump
Jake Schneller- 800

There should be many opportunities for school records at Nebraska's fine facilities.  Watch out for possible records in the Men's Mile, Men's 800, Men's Long Jump, and both High Jumps.

Go Big! Go Blue! Go Jacks!

Today's Heat Sheets

Saturday's Heat Sheets


Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's Friday, Friday!

This weekend, tomorrow actually, I will be running my first 5k of the year.  It is an event that both excites and scares me a little bit.  This year, I am leaning more towards the excites part.  Two years ago, in Missouri, I ran a PR of 15:09 in this event outdoors.  My indoor best is earlier in that same year of 15:20.  This year, I am going to break 15 minutes.  Physically, I can do it no problem.  It is the mental part that usually hinders me.  I have been doing great in workouts and have healed up from my ailments of last week.  It is just so easy to lose focus and run a few 37s instead of the prescribed 36 seconds per lap that it takes to run 15:00.  My plan is the same as usual, start out at a pace that may seem and feel slow but is really just about right.  After that I continue to move through the pack, passing confidently but not too quickly.  The race is 25 laps after all.  I will move up until I find a place that is fast yet comfortable and where I know the pace isn't too slow to get me to 15-flat.  I will sit there until the time comes.  That time is when I sense the finish line.  If I get to that point on pace there is nothing stopping me from my goal.  I am like most people and I can start and finish a race.  The hard part is the middle.  Especially that infamous third-quarter.  But I am going to push through it and continue to run 36s.  The best part of all, is that I am going to be doing this with my teammate, Gregory Beesley!

Look at those Beards!

Bring Back the Mile!

Recently there has been a campaign among collegiate track coaches to "Bring Back the Mile".  These coaches want American High Schoolers to run the Mile instead of the 1600, it's only 9 meters different.  And if they're doing that, they might was well run the two-mile instead of the 3200 meters.  The coaches also want the NCAA runners to run the mile instead of the 1500 during the outdoor season.  Their main reason is that they want an increased exposure for the sport of track and field among the American public.  What sounds better to you, a 4:00 mile or its approximate equivalent, a 3:43 1500?  The mile is steeped in American tradition and the 1500, well, who wants to run 3 and 3/4 laps.  4 whole laps is way cooler.  Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I support the "Bring Back the Mile" movement and so should you.  Thanks for reading and clicking!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Jackrabbits Sign Great Class

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits announce their 2012 Cross Country recruiting class.  These boys signed on National Signing Day, February, 1st.  More will sign as they make their decisions in the next couple of weeks.  It's another great day to be a Jackrabbit!

Stephen Bruha- Prior Lake, MN- Stephen is a mid-distance specialist who placed 5th at the 2011 Minnesota State Meet in the 800.  He also led his team to a 7:57 4x800 and carried 1600 PRs of 4:25 and routinely split sub 50 in the 4x400.

Kipp Kinsley- Yankton, SD- Kipp is a longer distance oriented runner.  He holds 4th place finishes in state cross country and the 3200m.  Kipp also ran 4:28 in the 1600m to place 10th.

Jensen Orlow- Holy Family Catholic, Victoria, MN- Jensen was All-State in track his Junior year with a 7th place finish in the 3200m.  He was also the Section 2AA champion in cross country, running under 16 minutes for 5k.  His track PRs are 4:26 for 1600m and 9:34 for 3200m.

Joel Reichow- White Bear Lake, MN- Joel is a two time All-State cross country runner from White Bear Lake, Minnesota with a high finish of 9th place in 2010.

Joel Reichow

Dylan Slaba- Sioux Falls Roosevelt, MN- Dylan narrowly edged Kipp to place 8th at the state meet in the 1600 with a time of 4:27. Dylan was also on the runner-up 4x800m relay team.  In the fall, Dylan placed 8th in Cross Country.

Grant VanKeulen- Marshall, MN- Grant is a talented all around runner.  His main event in track is the 800 in which he holds a PR of 1:58.  Grant is also a successful cross country runner, qualifying for the state meet 3 times.

Phillip LaVallee- Monticello, MN- Phillip is a solid all around performer with personal bests of 1:58.05, 4:32 and 9:47.  Phillip was also the top finisher of the Jacks recruits at the MN State Meet earning an All-State award with a 16th place finish and a time of 16:06 for 5k.

LaVallee at center
Austin Hamm- Bloomfield, NE- Austin ran 16:27 at his state meet to win by nearly 20 seconds.  He also won the 3200 meters last spring with a time of 9:57 and finished 3rd in the 1600 with a time of 4:37.

Austin Hamm

Connor Branick- Sioux Falls O'Gorman- Connor was 11th at the state cross country meet last fall with a time of 16:28.

Patriots vs. Giants... In Cross Country!

It is Super Bowl week and I have decided to make my prediction based on Cross Country running.  I am only going to grade each time by position and then give them an overall team score.  Since these guys all play football and don't run Cross Country this is all very objective and meant to be slightly humorous.  However, if you disagree with my analysis I encourage you to comment.  Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Quarterbacks: The Pats have the edge in this one.  Although both quarterbacks are rather large men at 6'4" and around 225 lbs I just don't think Eli has what it takes to be a runner.  Similar to his older brother Peyton.  I think that Tom also is more competitive and would put more effort in even if it were something trivial to them like running cross country.

Running Backs: I think this one also goes to the Patriots.  Both teams have bruisers for running backs but the patriots seem to be less so.  Giants RB Brandon Jacobs is listed at 264.  That's huge!

Receivers: The Patriots also get the nod in the recievers category.  Wes Welker and Deion Branch would take down Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.  They are lighter which is huge in the world of running.


Kickers: Lawrence Tynes of the Giants would beat Gostkowski.  He is lighter and has been clutch in the playoffs so far.  Coming up big matters in all sports, not just Football.

Defensive Backs: The Giants D-Backs never have long returns after interceptions.  The Pats are better at returning so they will get the W in this category.

Total Scores
1. Patriots QB
2. Giants QB
3. Patriots RB
4. Giants RB
5. Patriots WR
6. Giants WR
7. Giants K
8. Patriots K
9. Patriots DB
10. Giants DB

Overall Team Scores
1. Patriots 22
2. Giants 29

Now, being a good cross country running team isn't going to translate into being a good football team.  Therefore, I change my official predictions to the Giants winning 28 to 21.  I know the above score said 22 to 29 but those scores never happen in football.  Thanks for reading!

National Signing Day

Today is the day when all of the high school athletes around the nation hold mini-press conferences in their school libraries to announce where they are going to school.  They will unveil a cap or sweatshirt of their school of choice, some keep it a secret and some have known for months where they will be going.  All the parents are crying tears of joy and the high school coaches are proud yet sad that they have to lose another track athlete.  Anyway, the Jackrabbits will be signing their biggest, and best class in recent history.  It will be possibly even bigger and better than my class- the high school graduating class of 2008.  We had 7 cross country guys- Brad Anderson, Mike Krsnak, Eddie Stenger, Ronnie Kyllo, Lars Mattison, Greg Beesley, and myself.  Later, Dom Thielen as added to that mix as well.  We also added a great recruiting class on the track side as well.  Multiple conference champion Jared Vlastuin, Mike Bredeson, Javelin star, Arran Davis and our 400 stable of Luke Leischner, Jared Foote, Evan Bunkers, and Dustin Gibbons.  SDSU's signing class this year is going to be very good.  I won't give any more details until after it's all official but it is going to be another special era of SDSU Cross and Track!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cam Levins

I am a big Cam Levins fan.  Now, that may seem counter-intuitive seeing as he attends the Jackrabbits biggest rivals in Cross Country, Southern Utah University.  However, you can't not like the guy.  The only reason I ever felt any dislike for him is when Jason Bigelow was trying to run him down in the 2010 Summit League Indoor Mile and Cam moved out a couple lanes to ensure his victory.  Other than that, here are a few reasons why I like Cam Levins:

1. He runs BIG miles.  I like to run lots of miles and I think that generally more miles are better.  Many athletes that run as many miles as Cam end up hurt or burnt out.  That hasn't happened to Cam yet, and I don't think it will.  Cam has had a nice progression up to his average of 155 this past fall.

2. He is a good, humble interviewer.  It is obvious that Cam has a lot of confidence, you need to to run at his level, but he doesn't necessarily show it in his interviews.

3. He is a very smart racer.  Many people are really fast but when you put them in a less than ideal situation they don't know how to react.  I have watched Cam run fairly low-key (for him) meets like the Summit League all the way up to the Regional and National levels and he seems to never have a bad race.

4. He has a rockin' Jew Fro. (I've had many people search: Cam Levins Jewish, and find my site so to clarify, he isn't Jewish)

5. He hails from my conference, and even if he didn't, he's still from a small school.  He also didn't run crazy fast high school times as the video below shows.  He was a talented kid but didn't run fast enough for many to think he would ever approach this level.

6. He races with balls.  He was the only one to go with Lawi at NCAA XC.  It may have cost him a place or two at the end and it may not have at all.  Cam went for the win and came up short.  However, Lawi may be one of the most talented runners in NCAA history.  Obviously there's no way of proving that Cam could have won NCAAs in past years but I like to think he would have had a shot.

7. He gives it everything he's got, every race. Some may see this as a negative or may think he could race faster if he didn't run this hard often.  But it might be the same as his miles, it seems to be working for him.

8. He's Canadian, and from BC even.  I am fascinated with the Pacific Northwest.  Anyway, he's the two-time Canadian National Cross Country champion.  The second of which came right after his 4th place at NCAA XC.

9. He has a monster kick.  This was evident at last year's NCAA West region 5k when he battled Elliott Heath and his kick in the UW 3k last weekend wasn't bad.

10. He just set meet records at the Dempsey.  13:42 on Friday followed by 7:48 on Saturday.  He beat some legit runners along the way.  And again, this was back to back days!

11. He hasn't left Southern Utah for say... Oklahoma.

12. He isn't afraid to race a lot.  Including 5 times (4 events) at the Summit League winning all events and setting two conference records!  People who race too infrequently are bad for the sport of track and field.

Cam's Flotrack Vids

Runner's Feed Interview- High Mileage

Confirmation of High Mileage

5k Video

3k Video

My Recent Training

Today was an interesting day.  Actually, I will start with last night.  I finally got around to checking my e-mail at 11:30 P.M.  My coach, Rod, had sent a workout e-mail detailing the times and contents of today's workouts.  Until then, I had not thought about how my 2-4:50 GIS 3 class might affect my workout schedule.  Especially if we were going outside.  I quickly e-mailed Rod about my predicament and awaited a response this morning.  My class schedule this morning essentially requires me to run in the morning as I have Fitness Through Walking and Jogging in the morning.  Now, I am not a walker.  I don't know what it is about walking but it is not fun.  I go to great lengths to make sure that I don't have to walk all the way from my house to class and walking when you have the option to run sounds so much worse than that!  Especially if the goal is fitness as the class title states.  Yes walking is good for you.  But running is great for you.  Anyway... back to the workout...

I finished my morning run at 9:36, approximately 5 miles after my class which started at 9.  When I was coming up the steps to the HPER I saw Rod.  He had just e-mailed me and was wondering how my daily schedule looked.  My only break was from noon until 2.   It was decided, I would workout at 2.  Just over 2 hours after my morning run.  I was concerned.  My left hamstring was tight during my morning run, presumably from running in less than ideal slushy conditions the previous day.  Also, due to my morning run, I hadn't eaten breakfast.  I didn't like the idea of running a morning run and a workout on an empty stomach.  I quickly went home and downed some enchilada soup and dried fruit.  Not much, but hopefully enough to get me through the workout without getting sick.  I went to my next class, Coaching Track and Field/Cross Country, and listened to a brilliant lecture on the 400 meters. After that, I walked up to Rod's office, awaiting the punishing workout under unusual circumstances.  We got into his car, examined the blowing trees and grasses and began the journey out of town.  The trip seemed like an eternity and I was given a brief rundown of the workout and left to fend for myself.  At first, I thought we had done a poor job on guessing the wind direction, I was cold.  I soon warmed up and was into the workout.  It was a number of timed, effort based intervals that would span over 12 miles.  I cruised through the workout, feeling surprisingly good, finishing in under 69 minutes.

After the workout, I quickly changed and walked to the union.  I ordered my food and to this moment, I'm not sure if I paid for it or not.  I was in such a haze after that long and hard of an effort that I was nearly sleep-walking.  I also had to make it to class, which I was late for.  I eventually got to class and completed my work.  Now I sit in the library, typing this story for you, thinking of my next step.  I think I will go for another run.  My calves are a little tight as I had literally no time to stretch them after the workout.  My run will be slow, just a jog, and it probably won't be very long either.  5 miles at most.  Unlike most running, which breaks you down, this run will build me up and help me recover.  I am a big believer in active recovery.  Running increases the blood flow to your legs allowing them to recover from long and hard efforts faster.  I am no physiologist, but I am a runner and I do like to experiment.  I have found that this type of training is effective for me.  Like always, I stress that you find what works for you as a runner.  What works for me may or may not work for you.  Thanks for reading and clicking to support my blogging habits!

Gear Review: Nike Element Shield Tights

Nike Element Thermal Men's Running Tights

I picked up a pair of Nike Element Shield Tights at the beginning of winter thinking that I would be able to run in all conditions!  However, at the time it was a very nice and mild winter and I needed a real winter day or two to remind me how much I hate winter no matter how warm my legs might be. Anyway, I wanted to give these tights a review.  They retail at $90 which is kind of spendy for tights.  However, these aren't any ordinary tights.  They are wind and water resistant and triple layered in key areas to keep you warm.  I was really excited to wear these tights when I got them so I tried them out the next day.  It was about 25 degrees and not overly windy.  It was a big mistake!  I was sweating about a mile or two in and it only got worse.  These tights are designed for much colder temperatures or running in windy conditions.  I will let you know that the water-resistant feature is useless because if the temperature is anywhere near high enough for water to be, you know, not frozen, then these tights are way too hot!  The next time I tried these tights out it was colder, around 0 F with a few mile per hour wind.  I enjoyed the warmth of the tights but after a time, they got too warm.  I haven't really tried these tights on a day that it would be cold enough.  The main reason is I am a wimp and like to not be frozen.  If it reaches a temperature that these tights become useful then you should worry about other things, like losing your nose, or having your eye-lids frozen together, or having your lungs scarred by cold air (that doesn't actually happen).  Anyway, what I am trying to say is... These tights go overboard.  They are just too warm.  Stick with the Nike Element Thermal tights.  They are only 75 dollars, are still plenty warm, and don't have the windproof lining which is quite limiting in my opinion.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Super Bowl Fun

This Sunday is the Superbowl!  Therefore, this week I have decided to do a few blogs dealing with the most popular sport in American society.  Football and track are intrinsically linked.  Track events display the base skills that football players need; speed, strength, throwing and jumping ability, and speed endurance.  Football players have long been known also as track stars.  Did you know that Heisman Winner RG3 has a third place finish at NCAA Track and Field?  He graduated from high school half way through his senior year and enrolled in Baylor early.  He wasn't scheduled to play football until the fall so he ran track.  He was the Big-12 champion and a sub-50 second 400 meter hurdler.  Below is a link to Track Superfan's list of the Best NFL Players at Track.  He compiled PRs from college and high school competitions.  It is quite interesting.  Many of these guys could compete at the professional level.  Recently, Florida Gators running back, Jeff Demps, declared that he would run track instead of play football professionally.  Jeff has run under 10 in the 100 and would be an average football player at the pro level.

Track Superfan's Lists

TFRRS Altitude Conversions

TFRRS altitude conversions are crap.  Diego Estrada ran 4:04 for the Mile, not 3:55.  Last year, Patrick Casey ran 3:59 at home and they gave him a 3:54.  What was his best time in the Mile or 1500 that whole year?  It was 3:59.  A guy who was born at altitude, lives at altitude, trains at altitude, works out at altitude is going to handle altitude just fine.  Altitude is his life!  I could see if they were to give a guy like me an altitude conversion if I were to run at Flagstaff (6800 ft).  Because I was born at 1200 feet, lived at 1100 feet for a long time and currently train and workout at 1600 feet.  I think it is stupid that those guys can run at altitude and get crazy conversions.  Diego Estrada is a 3:59 guy, not a solo 3:55 guy.  Lawi Lalang is a solo 3:55 guy.  Their altitude conversions are like saying that Diego = Lawi at the Mile.  Diego doesn't equal Lawi at any distance!  If those altitude guys want to get to nationals make them come to sea level and run the same altitude as everybody else. Altitude conversions are overrated.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jacks at Mankato

Along with competing at Iowa State, the Jacks also sent many athletes to Mankato State for the MSU Open.  Jared Ailts placed second in the Men's Mile to All-American Travis Beniak of Augustana.  Also in the Mile, Andrew Thies cut more time off his season best for a time of 4:32.  Freshmen Leah Bolon ran well in the Women's Mile with a season best of 5:29.  In the 60m Hurdles, Mike Bredeson tied a personal best with a 8.82 second run.  In the Women's 600, Erica Meyer and Bobbie McLaury competed well.  It was Bobbie's first race as a Jack.  In the Men's 600, Luke Leischner ran unattached and won with ease in a time of 1:23.  Laura Bauer, Katie Boote, and Bobbie Sedlmajer all tackled the 25 lap tango that is the 5k.

On the field event side, Jared Vlastuin was again the big point scorer.  He broke his own Long Jump record again with a jump of 7.54m or 24 feet 9 inches.  He was also the champion in the high jump.  Calvin Cammack brought another title to SDSU in the Pole Vault.  Jake Sanderson recorded a 4th place finish in the Triple Jump with nearly 43 feet.


I am an easily inspired person.  Sometimes, all it takes is a good movie or book, a quote or a speech.  Or maybe even a good race.  The reason I mention inspiration is because I came back from Ames inspired.  I was unable to run due to a few health reasons and I really wished I had been out there.  That feeling grew stronger over the day as I saw all of my teammates running mentally and physically strong.  I was impressed by the efforts for the second weekend in a row!

In the first heat of the mile, Lars ran a strong race, leading for awhile and still finishing very strong. He was rewarded with a 1 second PR.  In the next heat, Trent and Drew also collected PRs with 4:17 and 4:23.  I expect both Drew and Lars under 4:20 their next time out.  In heat three of the mile it was a bro-challenge with Jake coming out on top in a PR of 4:08.  He now ranks 4th in the Summit League in that event.

The 200 saw a PR for Brandon Priebe and near-PRs for Evan Bunkers and Jared Foote.  All men were easily under 23 seconds.  Foote and Priebe also had strong performances in the 400.  They nearly tied with times of 49.17 and 49.18, respectively.  They also beat NDSU's Jason Duscherer who placed in the event last year, indoors and out.

Dom Thielen earned himself a top-8 ranking in the Summit League with his 1:53.96 800.  That is his best indoor time ever and only a second off his overall PR.  In another distance event, the 3000 meters, Brian Brochman kicked his way to another PR.  And another victory of rival Marty Joyce.  In the fast heat of the same event, Mike Krsnak made a massive move with 500 meters to go.  He faded a bit but was able to mount a comeback and finish 3rd in a near-school record of 8:09.  He lost to NDSU's Travis Fitzke by a small margin again.  Krsnak is now ranked third in the event in the Summit League.

In the weight throw, Ryan Ackman and Jake Brinkman both threw over 50 feet.  They look to keep improving as the season goes on.

In the women's 60, Ashley Odegaard recoverd from drilling a Badger as he walked across the track, to place in the 60 with a near PR.

In the women's 200, Gina Fritz wins her heat and Megan Bren records an Indoor PR of 25.67.  Bren also ran well in the 400 with a 57.85.  That time ranks her 5th in the Summit.  Jessica McDonald also ran well with a 58.38, ranking 8th.

In the women's 800, Laura Lawton cut 5 more seconds off her season best with a 2:21 to win her heat.   In the Mile Run, roommates Tera Potts and Krista Creager each achieved PRs of 5:03 and 5:11.  Tera also came back in the 3000 to take down her rival, Jordan Krahn of NDSU, and record another PR.  Danielle McCann and Courtney Neubert also recorded PRs.

In the women's 60 hurdles, Laura Shearer was very excited to qualify for the finals.

The women's shot put saw McKenzie Johnson winning the second flight with a new PR of 13.54 meters.  Shelby Assmus and Amy Paulzine also both PRd in the Weight Throw.

Overall, it was a great weekend to be a Jackrabbit!  Thanks for all the inspiration!  Thanks for reading and clicking!  Mankato recap to be up soon!