Portland Track Weekly (5.05.14)

Just when you think you have it figured all out, the Payton Jordan Invitational comes and blows up whatever knowledge you had. Sunday’s annual distance running showcase provided terrific theatrics, new personal bests and shook up the U.S. distance pecking order just a bit. Here’s our weekly breakdown.

Pro

So what were the highlights at Payton Jordan? Here’s our short list:

Ben True and Hassan Mead Run 13:02 – We knew the pace would be hot, but this is unreal. True ran 13:02.74 for the win, while becoming the eighth fastest American ever, while Mead shocked the distance running world with a 13:02.80 clocking, US#9 all-time. Not only that, but BTC teammates Lopez Lomong, Chris Derrick and Evan Jager went 13:07.95, 13:08.18 and 13:08.63. Five Americans under 13:09!

Molly Huddle became the second fastest American ever, trailing only Shalane Flanagan, with her 30:47.59 runner-up effort. While Huddle lost to Olympic silver medalist Sally Kipyego, who finished in 30:42.26, the Providence-based runner showed why she could very well be a legit medal threat in Rio come 2016 with a little more experience in the longer distance and some good luck staying healthy. Fingers crossed!

PTF alumni William Nelson and Shalaya Kipp won their respective top flights of the steeplechase. Nelson beat defending NCAA champion Anthony Rotich with an 8:28.49 winning time, while Kipp edged defending PTF champion Aisha Praught by nearly three seconds in 9:39.12.

The Brooks Beasts at Stanford, too. The squad saw Cas Loxsom win the men’s top flight of the 800m, while Riley Masters won the top flight of the 1,500m event. Even better, Katie Mackey placed third in the women’s 5,000m with an outstanding time of 15:04.74. Mackey’s performance was a big PR and shows the 5k distance could very well be her current and future best event. Laura Thweatt surprised as well, finished a step behind Mackey in 15:04.98, while Stanford’s Aisling Cuffe placed sixth in a 40+ second PR of 15:11.13. Wow!

While Payton Jordan stole most of the weekend headlines, the Jamaica International Invitational was hands down the best all-around track and field meet of the weekend. With many of the top sprinters/hurdlers from the U.S. and Jamaica squaring off, the results were of course incredibly exciting.

Justin Gatlin won the men’s 100m dash over Nesta Carter, while Hansle Parchment (Jamaica) continued to show why he may just be the best 110m hurdler in the world this season. LaShawn Merritt surprisingly lost in the 400m dash to Luguelin Santos (Dominic Republic), while Francena McCorory showed up big in winning the women’s 400m. Here’s the IAAF breakdown >>

Prep

Where to start, where to start? How about in our own backyard at the Jesuit Twilight Relays. Junior Matthew Maton won the 1,500m in a US#1 3:49.38. Not only did Maton win by 5+ seconds, but his time equates to a 4:07.66 mile. Not bad for a junior in high school. Fellow junior superstar Alexa Efraimson ran a US#1 mark of 4:21.10 for 1,500m. While she’s split faster this season in the mile, it was nice seeing her compete in Oregon.

Lets move over to Georgia, where standout freshman sprinter Candace Hill ran the fastest 100m time in the country with her winning mark of 11.44, while running a US#2 time of 23.21 for 200m. That’s some serious speed!

Of course in Florida, which always hosts a bevy of sprint talent, Kaylin Whitney edged Krystal Sparling for the state title in the girls 100m dash, 11.48-11.64. Kendall Ellis ran a girls US#1 400m time of 52.95, while Kendal Williams won the boys 100/200 double in amazing times of 10.33/20.96. To top it all off, Sukhi Khosla ran the fastest 1,600m time in the country with a 4:05.96 performance.

What’s New at PTF14

We’re pleased to announce the 32x50 @HouseofRun Relay. That’s right, 32 individuals will run 50 meters each, with the goal of breaking the four-minute mile barrier. Get pumped!

In addition, all of our 1,500m events on Sunday will be mile races this year. We offer men’s and women’s mile races, along with a high school boys mile. Lets see how many runners we can get to go sub-4.

The Portland Track Festival entry standards, registration and schedule are all now available at PortlandTrack.com

Articles Worth Reading

Tyson Gay Given One-Year Doping Ban (USADA Release)

Kara Goucher Signs with Skechers (Runner’s World)