Saturday, May 29, 2010

Six Cats Headed to Nationals in Oregon

At each of the two NCAA regionals this weekend, 48 athletes competed to earn one of the 12 spots per event at the National Championship meet at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. Six Villanova athletes successfully came through the competition in Greensboro, NC to earn a trip to Nationals:

Shericka Ward
110 meter hurdles

Carl Mackenzie
1500 meters

Sheila Reid
1500 meters

Ellen Dougherty
1500 meters

Amanda Marino
5000 meters

Bogdana Mimic
5000 meters

Friday, May 28, 2010

Irish Phenom: Will Ciara Mageean Pick Nova?

Ciara Mageean is the most promising Irish schoolgirl distance runner in two decades, since Sonia O'Sullivan left County Cork to attend Villanova. Indeed, many in Ireland have already dubbed the County Down (NI) prodigee as "the next Sonia," especially after Ciara broke O'Sullivan's junior records at 800 and 1500 meters. The 18-year old has gaudy PRs of 2:03.07 (800 meters) and 4:15.46 (1500 meters), which would rank #4 and #10 in the NCAA this year. Internationally, she won the 1500 gold at the 2009 European Youth Olympic in 4:15.46, and took silver in the 800 at the 2009 World Youth Championships. Ciara won the U-20 Irish 1500 championship as a 17-year old and amazingly won the Irish Senior indoor 1500 title in 4:24.07 when she was only 15 years old.

As might be expected, Ciara is being recruited heavily by US-based schools. She has made campus visits to Villanova and Providence (both with strong Irish traditions) and most observers see the two East Coast Catholic schools as the leaders in the recruiting wars. According to The Irish Times, she often cites Sonia O'Sullivan as her sporting idol and "perhaps the biggest giveaway is that there is more than a small resemblance in the way she runs, the way she looks, and even the way she smiles. She is, in other words, a complete and undeniable natural." Whether this connection to Sonia O'Sullivan helps guide Ciara to Villanova only time will tell. Expect the key decision to come down soon.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

NCAA East Regional Line-Up: Women

Here are the details for the NCAA East Regional being held this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Greensboro, North Carolina. Forty-eight athletes compete in each event, with the top 12 advancing to the Nationals in Eugene, Oregon.

1500 meters
Two rounds:
4 heats (top 5 from each + next 4 by time advance to round 2)
2 heats (top 5 from each + next 2 by time advance to Nationals)

Heat 1: Sheila Reid 4:20.68 (4th best time in heat)
Heat 2: Ellen Dougherty 4:18.91 (2nd best time in heat)
Heat 4: Brooke Simpson 4:26.01 (9th best time in heat)
Heat 4: Nicole Schappert 4:22.16 (5th best time in heat)

1 Round
3 heats (top 3 from each + next 3 by time advance to Nationals)

Heat 1: Ali Smith 10:26.29 (5th best time in heat)

5000 meters
1 Round
2 Heats (top 5 in each + next 2 by time advance to Nationals)

Heat 1: Kaitlyn Tallman 16:35.49 (16th best time in heat)
Heat 1: Bogdana Mimic 16:22.81 (8th best time in heat)
Heat 1: Amanda Marino 16:10.66 (3rd best time in heat)

100 meter hurdles
2 Rounds
6 Heats (top 3 in each + next 6 by time advance)
3 Heats (top 3 in each + next 3 by time advance to Nationals)

Heat 3: Shericka Ward 13.26 (2nd best time in heat)

High Jump
2 Flights

Flight 2: Audrey Gariepy-Bogui 1.75 meters (19th best in flight)

Pole Vault
2 Flights; 5 alive

Flight 1: Ashlyn Llerandi 4.00 meters (6th best in flight)

NCAA East Regional Line-Up: Men

Here are the details for the NCAA East Regional being held this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Greensboro, North Carolina. Forty-eight athletes compete in each event, with the top 12 advancing to the Nationals in Eugene, Oregon.

1500 meters
Two rounds:
4 heats (top 5 from each + next 4 by time advance to round 2)
2 heats (top 5 from each + next 2 by time advance to Nationals)

Heat 1: Mathew Mildenhall 3:44.56 (5th best time in heat)
Heat 2: Carl Mackenzie 3:41.99 (best time in heat)

1 Round
3 heats (top 3 from each + next 3 by time advance to Nationals)

Heat 1: Dan Lewis 8:48.28 (4th best time in heat)

5000 meters
1 Round
2 Heats (top 5 in each + next 2 by time advance to Nationals)

Heat 1: Brian Long 14:07.94 (17th best in heat)
Heat 1: Hugo Beamish 14:05.25 (15th best in heat)

400 meter hurdles
2 Rounds
6 Heats (top 3 in each + next 6 by time advance)
3 Heats (top 3 in each + next 3 by time advance to Nationals)

Heat 4: Stefan Goodridge 51.49 (4th best time in heat)
Heat 4: Nicoy Hines 51.89 (5th best in heat)

Triple Jump
4 Flights (top 16 overall advance to 3-jump jump-off)

Flight 4: Robert Sanvil 15.23 meters (27th best overall)

'Cats Lose Recruit Cotton to Virginia

Not for the first time in the past few years, Villanova has lost a track recruit to the University of Virginia. Villanova was in the running for top 800/1500 runners Robby Andrews and Anthony Kostelac the past two years, but lost out in the end to the University of Virginia program. Andrews won the NCAA indoor 800 meter title this year as a frosh and led UVA to the 4 x 800 title at the Penn Relays. One more name can be added to the list: Dave Cotton of Daniel Hand High School in Madison, CT had verballed to Villanova earlier this spring, but decided recently to attend Virginia, where his father ran in the 1980s. Dave has run 9:35 for 3200 meter, 9:45 for 2 miles, and 16:30 for 5000 meters.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Villanova Mystique under Marcus & Gina

The Villanova Mystique

O'Sullivan and Procaccio continue the school's legacy

By John A. Kissane
As featured in the May 2010 issue of Running Times Magazine

A bit of prophetic advice was passed along to Marcus O'Sullivan in the summer of 1980 as he prepared to leave Ireland to attend Villanova University. It came from his high school coach, Donald Walsh, a Villanova alumnus and runner-up to Steve Prefontaine at the 1970 NCAA cross country championships. "He told me, 'Don't be discouraged, but they have nothing ... and everything you need,'" recalls O'Sullivan, a former world-class miler who's been Villanova's head men's track and cross country coach since 1998. "What he really meant was that this place has exactly what you need to get to the next level. And when I arrived here, my sense was that I'd come to the right place."

For a full century now Villanova has been the "right place" for hundreds of outstanding athletes. The private institution, located in the western Philadelphia suburbs on the Pennsylvania Railroad's historic Main Line, may have lacked first-rate facilities during the 1970s, but that's certainly not true today. And Villanova's legacy of excellence is world class -- underlined by the fact that at least one Villanova track athlete has participated in every Olympic Games since 1948.

Though he developed into a middle-distance specialist at Villanova and went on to run in four Olympics and 101 sub-4:00 miles (third all-time behind John Walker and Steve Scott), O'Sullivan was no schoolboy track prodigy in his native Cork, Ireland. "I was a 4:25 miler coming out of high school and wasn't recruited anywhere," he explains. "I went off and worked for a year as a sail maker and trained at night through the winter, then popped out a 4:05 the next year and came to Villanova."

Sadly, O'Sullivan had less than a year 's running under legendary Villanova coach Jimbo Elliott, who died suddenly in March 1981. A trackman himself, Elliott graduated from Villanova in 1935 and served as part-time assistant until assuming head coaching duties in 1949. His athletes won eight NCAA team championships, amassed scores of conference titles, and set an astounding 66 world records. The list of Villanova Olympians coached by Elliott includes familiar names such as Ron Delany, Marty Liquori, Dick Buerkle, Eamonn Coughlan, Don Paige, Sydney Maree and, of course, O'Sullivan.

After graduating in 1984 and progressing to that summer's L.A. Olympics, O'Sullivan embarked on a brilliant 15-year international career that included three world indoor 1500m titles, a world record at that distance indoors (3:35.4) and five Wanamaker Mile wins at the Millrose Games. An accounting major, O'Sullivan earned his MBA from Villanova in 1989 and fully intended to make an impression on Wall Street when his running career came to a close. But something else was in store.

"After 15 years of athletic success," he says, "I felt like someone was tapping me on the shoulder on the way out after a big meal, saying, 'And by the way, the check is on you.'" That was the Villanova head coaching job, offered to O'Sullivan in 1998. He said yes -- and then hated it from the start. "I'd never realized how selfish athletes can be, and I suddenly understood what my coaches had done for me over the years." Undaunted, O'Sullivan stuck with it, "learning to finally give a lot after taking a lot," as he puts it. "After three years I started to fall in love with the job, and it became far more rewarding than any career I'd had in front of me."

Women's coach Gina Procaccio transferred to Villanova in the mid-1980s with only a year of eligibility remaining. But the 1987 graduate made her mark nonetheless, including running lead-off for the 4 x 800m relay team that won an NCAA championship in world-record time. Procaccio eventually ran in three world championships, regularly ranked in the U.S. top five in the 1500m/mile, and finished as high as third at the U.S. cross country championships. But an unfortunate injury cut her career short following the 1995 track season, after winning a U.S. title at 5,000m.

Coaching never entered Procaccio's mind while she ran as a collegian. "All my coaches had been men; I never thought it was something a woman could do," she says. And like O'Sullivan, Procaccio initially found working with collegiate athletes less than enjoyable during brief graduate assistantships at Tennessee and Georgetown. Nevertheless, when she stepped out of competitive running in 1995, Procaccio accepted O'Sullivan's offer that she assist with the women's programs, and in 2000 she became head women's track and cross country coach.

Given the school's impressive legacy, coaching at Villanova is no walk in the park. High expectations are raised with every new season, and each Penn Relays prompts Olympic-like excitement in Villanova athletes and their followers.

But O'Sullivan, 48, and Procaccio, 46, stop short of using the past to push teams toward success. "I'm very sensitive of my athletes, and I don't compare them to other Villanova athletes from the past," O'Sullivan says. "But I do impart messages I learned from those people. For example, Jumbo Elliott always said you can do two of three things well in college, but if you try to do all three you'll be only average at everything. He was alluding to running, studying and socializing. He'd put his fingers up and say, 'Now, pick two of the three.' It took me until my junior year to truly figure out what he was saying. When I finally did I made the Olympic team."

Current senior Dan Lewis began to grasp the Villanova legacy during his recruiting visit. "You walk down a hallway lined with endless Penn Relays wheels, it really opens your eyes to what goes on here," he says. "You want to be part of that, and the coaches do a great job of nurturing that desire and showing you how to reach the next level."

Recent Villanova NCAA champions Adrian Blincoe (now one of O'Sullivan's assistants), Bobby Curtis and Carmen Douma are the most accomplished athletes of the past decade. The 3,000m, 5,000m and cross country successes of Blincoe and Curtis helped belay Villanova's reputation as a middle-distance school with little interest in anything longer than the 1500m.

The benefits of being coached by former elite internationalists are many. Not least is the fact that O'Sullivan and Procaccio want their athletes to enjoy long, productive careers extending beyond college days. "That's always been a concern here," notes O'Sullivan. "Villanova was a very, very intricate part of why I went on professionally." And Procaccio recognizes that her elite experience enhances her credibility. "I think it gives me an edge, in terms of the kids buying into what I'm saying. They know I've been there."

Villanova has struggled through a few down years recently, but the current crop of Wildcat runners has changed that. Last fall the women's cross country team etched their names into their program's storied history by picking up Villanova's eighth NCAA championship and first since 1998. "We didn't even make nationals two years ago," Procaccio says, "but I knew these kids were going to be great."

An 11th-place finish by the men's team was unexpected by the pundits but in line with expectations of the team.

"I was just so ecstatic with that placing," O'Sullivan says. "It was a bunch of guys that had worked very hard, who were engaged in what they were trying to do all fall."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Koons 2nd at Healthy Kidney 10K

Frances Koons came second at last weekend's Healthy Kidney 10K race in New York's Central Park. Koons was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2007 and had successful surgery to remove the tumor. Frances donated her $500 prize to the National Kidney Foundation.

Top 20 Results

1. DEBA BUZUNESH F22 238 WSX BRONX NY 33:09 5:20
5. ALIYU AZIZA F24 109 WSX BRONX NY 34:29 5:33
8. CHANG HANNAH F28 3085 36:02 5:48
10. UHLER LAUREN F30 630 MANH NEW YORK NY 36:23 5:52
13. HIGGINS LESLEY F29 356 NYAC NEW YORK NY 37:23 6:01
15. SWENSON MIA F25 612 NYAC NEW YORK NY 37:43 6:05
16. GUINEY MEGAN E F29 328 NYAC NEW YORK NY 38:05 6:08

Interview with Carl Mackenzie after his 3:41

Here is a lengthy Aussie-to-Kiwi skype interview with Carl Mackenzie, from the folks at Runner's Tribe

Visit for more Videos

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Run with Sonia in Cork

Those of you who know your Irish geography already know that the ancestral home of the O'Sullivan clan is County Cork. Both of Villanova's famous O'Sullivans hail from Cork -- Marcus from Cork City and Sonia from the coastal city of Cobh (with the "bh" in Irish pronounced as "v", making Sonia's hometown sound like "Cove" -- an apt name if you've ever been there). If you're in Cork this month, you'll have a chance to run alongside Sonia O'Sullivan in the Cork City Marathon. Here the promo for the race:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sonia O’Sullivan sounds the final rallying call for entries to the Bord Gáis Energy Cork City Marathon

Bord Gáis Energy Cork City Marathon

Closing date for registrations to the Bord Gáis Energy Cork City Marathon is next Monday, 10th May 2010 and Irish athletics legend Sonia O’Sullivan has called on people to join her on the start line.

Sonia will be lining up with a high-profile celebrity team to run the Team Relay event on Bank holiday Monday 7th June and says that whether you’re a part-time jogger, an occasional walker or a total marathon novice, the Bord Gáis Energy Cork City Marathon has something for everyone.

“It’s such a fantastic experience and a real thrill to take part in a marathon, whether you’re running the whole 26.2 miles or taking a leg in the team relay event. There’s an incredible atmosphere on the streets of Cork City and right around the marathon route on marathon day and the atmosphere is electric. It’s not too late to take part - grab your friends, your family, your work colleagues and register before Monday 10th of May - you won’t regret it and it’ll be one of the best experiences of your life, I promise you.”

About the marathon Team Relay Event
Teams of up to five people can run, walk or jog the race which takes place on Bank Holiday Monday June 7th . The ‘marathon for everyone’ encourages individuals of all levels to get involved – from first timers to professional athletes, with the option of running the marathon as an individual or as part of a relay team made up of up to five people.

The relay provides a great way for people to enjoy the marathon with friends, family or colleagues while raising money for a charity of their choice. Up to 10,000 people are expected to take part this year and organisers hope to raise €3million for over 150 charities, including this year’s designated charity the Irish Cancer Society.

You can email or post your entry form - to register online or request an application form go to

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Add Carl Mackenzie to the List

At yesterday's Tuppeny Twilight / Last Chance meet at Swarthmore, Carl Mackenzie won the 1500 meters in 3:41.99. That time dips below the metric equivalent of the 4:00 mile (which is 3:42.22). Mackenzie earns his way onto the list of now 34 Villanova runners who have achieved either the sub-4:00 mile or its metric equivalent. Three years ago at this same meet Bobby Curtis and Michael Kerrigan both ran their first sub-4:00 miles.

Here is the complete Villanova list:

The Villanova Sub-Four Minute Milers
(initial sub-4:00 effort -- eventual PR)

Ron Delany (1956: 3:59.0 -- 3:57.5) WRi
Dave Patrick (1967: 3:59.3 -- 3:56.8)
Marty Liquori (1967: 3:59.8 -- 3:52.2)
Pat Traynor (1968: 3:59.6)
Frank Murphy (1968: 3:58.6 -- 3:58.1)
Chris Mason (1970: 3:59.9)
John Hartnett (1973: 3:58.3 -- 3:54.7)
Dick Buerkle (1973: 3:58.0 -- 3:54.9) WRi
Eamonn Coghlan (1975: 3:56.2 -- 3:49.78) WRi
Sydney Maree (1976: 3:57.9 -- 3:48.83) WR 1500
Don Paige (1978: 3:58.10 -- 3:54.19)
Phil "Tiny" Kane (1978: 3:59.37 -- 3:55.77)
Amos Korir (1979: 3:59.3)
Mark Belger (1979: 3:58.4 -- 3:57.37)
Ross Donoghue (1979: 3:58.0 -- 3:55.26)
Marcus O'Sullivan (1983: 3:58:84 -- 3:50.94) WRi
John Keyworth (1984: 3:59.43)
Gerry O'Reilly (1986: 3:54.63)
Sean O'Neill (1987: 3:58.42)
Ken Nason (1995: 3:58.91 -- 3:58.09)
Brad Sumner (1995: 3:59.11)
Stephen Howard (1997: 3:58.8)
Adrian Blincoe (2002: 3:58.19 -- 3:54.4)
Ryan Hayden (2002: 3:58.27)
Jason Jabaut (2006: 3:59.07 -- 3:57.26)
Bobby Curtis (2007: 3:57.20)
Mike Kerrigan (2007: 3:59:60)

Sub-3:42.22 for 1500 meters = metric equivalent of a sub-4:00 Mile

Ken Shappert (1976: 3:42.0)
Dean Childs (1978: 3:42.1)
Jan Friedli (1988: 3:42.08)
Louie Quintana (1993: 3:41.24)
Tom Parlapiano (2004: 3:41.51)
Matt Gibney (2009: 3:40.58)
Carl Mackenzie (2010: 3:41.99)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jen Rhines on "Finishing Chelsea's Run"

Feature Story: Finishing Chelsea's Run
May 6, 2010
By Jen Rhines

I am a professional long distance runner and have been so for 14 years now. I have made three U.S. Olympic teams and it is my goal to make my fourth team in 2012. I run most every day and often twice a day. It is what one does when working to be one of the best in the world in my running events. Most often, I take my running for granted as just another part of who I am and what I do. I know that it shouldn’t always be that way, but it is what happens when I get into a daily routine of things. I run, I stretch, I lift, I run again - that is a normal day for me.

It is when a day like that doesn’t happen or when there is a certain outside shock going on in the world that I stop and think about what I do and how lucky I am to be doing it. It happens when a girl like Chelsea King comes into my life, albeit in an abstract way as I was watching television. I never had the opportunity to meet Chelsea and never will, but what has happened in her life has certainly changed mine and probably many just like me. As a member of the Mammoth Track Club, I spend most of my time training at altitude in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mammoth Lakes, California is about as pristine a place as there can be for a distance runner. The trails are endless, the air is clear, the water is clean and there is never too much to worry about in this small town.

However, to catch a break from the heavy snow and oftentimes just to breathe a little easier, I do some sea level training over the course of the year. I usually go down with our team to San Diego and train at the ARCO U.S. Olympic Training Center. I spent some time there this February and again in April to get in some quicker training on the track before some of my summer track races start. While down there, I became acquainted with the murder and sexual assault of local high school student Chelsea King. It is a story that I have followed non-stop since I felt that it related so closely to what I and so many take for granted on a daily basis.

For those of you who haven’t heard of her, Chelsea King was a 17-year-old high school student who disappeared while running in Rancho Bernardo Park, a suburban park in San Diego County, on February 25. Her body was found five days later in a shallow grave nearby. Although I have not personally run in that park, it is one very similar to the many parks that my fellow runners and I train in on a daily basis. What happened to Chelsea created one of those moments where I realize that it could have easily happened to me, or to one of my friends, or to one of the thousands of women runners that hit the trails for their daily jog - without a thought in the world that this may be the last run they ever do.

It is an incredible shock and in the San Diego area it has not gone unnoticed. The local authorities have arrested a suspect in the Chelsea case. It was 31-year-old John Albert Gardner III, who lived nearby. He was arrested because he had a past criminal record and was a person of interest in a case like this one. Subsequently, Gardner has now confessed to Chelsea’s murder and to that of another San Diego teen, Amber Dubois, who was murdered back in 2009. John Albert Gardner III was already a convicted sex offender prior to these two murders! He was a listed “red dot” on the family watchdog map.

I didn’t know about these watchdog websites that listed convicted sex offenders until late last year. It was last fall when I was selected for jury duty back in Mammoth Lakes. Upon reporting, I realized that it was a big trial as there had to have been a couple hundred potential jurors present at the first day. I was one of the first 12 called into the jury box for questioning. We were soon informed that it was a pedophile case – the defendant was charged with several counts of sexual assault against three minors. After three days of sitting in the jury box, I was dismissed by the defense so I didn’t serve on the jury.

It did, however, pique my interest into this whole world of sex offenders. How often does this happen? How many convicted sex offenders are living nearby? I found some answers on one of the watchdog websites. I typed in Mammoth Lakes into the map and only one dot popped up - that didn’t seem too bad, just one. Next, I entered Bishop, California; it is the valley floor town that’s about 40 miles south of Mammoth. There were several red dots there – a little creepier. Then I entered our address in San Diego and WHOA! The screen was filled with red dots! I zoomed in and saw that some were just up the street from us.

If you click on the “red dot” on the screen it will show you the offender’s picture and which crimes they were convicted of. A few of the faces looked vaguely familiar; they may even be people I passed on the street at some point or on a run. Naively, I had no idea how often sexual crimes against minors are committed. John Albert Gardner is a registered sex offender who served five years in prison after pleading guilty to attacking a 13-year-old neighborhood girl in 2000. Gardner served only five years despite a psychiatrist’s report that he showed no remorse and should get the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Next, once paroled, he was cited for seven violations between 2005 and 2008.

This man simply should not have had the opportunity to prey on more young women. With a little more research into all of this I have found that California Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher has proposed “Chelsea’s Law,” which the King family is adamantly supporting. The key components of this measure are a “one-strike” provision, parole reform and better GPS tracking of registered sex offenders. It would also prohibit a convicted offender from entering a public park without prior approval of a parole agent.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need theses provisions; but unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world. As a professional runner it is part of my job to be out on the trails everyday. And I will be out there! I took up running as a teenager in rural upstate New York. The only thing I had to worry about running alone there were unleashed dogs - I sometimes even carried pepper spray with me for the sole purpose of warding off a nasty dog. Excelling at a sport as a young girl was very empowering for me and I want all young women to have the same opportunity.

When I am winding through the trails of Mammoth Lakes, the only thing on my mind is potentially running into some wildlife. I encounter the occasional local bear or coyote, and fortunately to date no mountain lions have crossed my path. However, it is a little different in an urban area such as San Diego. In these more metropolitan areas, I believe we need to be vigilant and aware of our surroundings yet not be not afraid to enjoy running in our local parks and trails.

Whether it is in the mountains of northern California or Balboa Park in downtown San Diego - nature needs to remain a safe place to run and play. We, as women cannot be afraid to take to the trails. Remembering back in March, I saw an event covered on the local news called “Finish Chelsea’s Run.” It was on a Saturday morning where people gathered to finish the three-mile run at Lake Hodges that Chelsea started that fateful February day. The organizers only expected about 250 people to show up whereas 3500 women, men and children arrived to run or walk Chelsea’s route.

It was great to see all of these people literally and symbolically “taking back the park.” In these times of unjustifiable violence that often leave me with the feeling that I should just stay indoors, I know that I need to be strong. I know that I, like many of my fellow women runners, need to express the importance of what it means to run free. Just as we cannot be afraid to fly on a commercial airline or ride public transportation after an act of terrorism, we can’t be afraid to take to the trails after these acts of violence. It is in this way we can all Finish Chelsea’s Run and the terrible death of a young runner will not go forgotten

Koons Looking for 1500 "A" Standard at Swarthmore Last Chance Meet

Frances Koons already owns a qualifying "A" standard for 5000 meters, but she is intent on qualifying as well for the USATF outdoor championships in the 1500 meters. To guarantee her place in the competion, she needs to reach the "A" standard of 4:12. She'll be seeking to hit that time today at the Swarthmore Last Chance meet.
Koons is shown above winning the April 2010 Ryan Shay road mile in Michigan.

Curtis to Compete in NYRR Healthy Kidney 10K in NYC

Abdirahman, Khannouchi make up 10k field in NYC

Top Americans Curtis, Smyth, Trafeh to race in UAE Healthy Kidney 10K on May 15
By New York Road Runners

New York -- Rising American stars Bobby Curtis, Patrick Smyth, and Mo Trafeh will join three-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman and four-time Chicago Marathon winner Khalid Khannouchi, who is looking to make his running comeback, at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K on Saturday, May 15, in Central Park, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.

The top Americans will face a tough international contingent, which includes 2010 NYC Half-Marathon champion Peter Kamais of Kenya, Australian 10,000-meter record-holder (27:29.73) Collis Birmingham, and seven-time NCAA Champion Alistair Cragg of Ireland. Also toeing the line on May 15 will be 2009 World Cross Country Champion Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia, who boasts the fastest 10,000-meter time in the field (26:52.73).

Khannouchi, 38, of Ossining, NY, will return to New York City for the first time since he finished fourth at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. His last competitive race was in 2008 at the Steamboat Classic 4-mile in Peoria, IL, where he finished ninth. Khannouchi became the American marathon record-holder in 2002 at the London Marathon, where he finished in 2:05:38.

"I am very happy to be back running the Healthy Kidney 10K and am excited that I am going to be racing very soon, especially in my backyard-Central Park," said Khannouchi. "After a painful and slow recovery from foot surgery last year, I decided Central Park is the best place for a new beginning in my running career."

Abdirahman, 33, of Tucson, AZ, will make his second appearance at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in 2010, after an 11th-place finish last year. Abdirahman won the 2009 U.S. 10K road championship in 28:11.

Curtis, 25, of Ardmore, PA, is a two-time member of the U.S. team at the World Cross Country Championships. He became the second-fastest 5000-meter runner in Villanova University history when he won the 2009 NCAA championship at that distance in 13:33.93. [Last week Curtis ran became the 11th fastest 10,000 runner in US history by running a 27:33.36 PR at Stanford]

Smyth, 23, of Minneapolis, MN, is off to a fast start in 2010. The Team USA Minnesota member won his first race of the year at the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run 4-mile in Central Park in 18:35 and finished second at the USA Half-Marathon Championships in January.

Trafeh, 24, of Duarte, CA, is looking to improve upon his finish at the 2010 NYC Half Marathon on March 21. After a duel for second with Kenya's Moses Kigen Kipkosgei, Trafeh finished third, one second behind Kigen, in 1:00:39. He won the USA 15K Championships in Jacksonville, FL, on March 13 in 42:58.

"Our American men are on a roll in New York City and we can't wait to have them back," said Wittenberg. "With Khalid making his racing comeback, and Abdi, Bobby, Patrick, Mo, and others racing tough, we know red, white, and blue will be in the mix for an exciting race."

The athletes will be taking aim at the course record of 27 minutes, 48 seconds, set in 2009 by Tadese Tola. Tola broke the previous record, set by Dathan Ritzenheim at the UAE Healthy Kidney 10K in 2007, by 20 seconds and earned a $20,000 bonus for running the fastest-ever 10K in Central Park.

The Healthy Kidney 10K is an open race led by a select field of professional male runners and offers $25,000 in prize money to the top finishers, with $7,500 for the male winner.

The race is sponsored by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates to benefit the National Kidney Foundation, in appreciation of American medical excellence in the kidney transplant field. The late UAE president Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan benefited from American expertise, knowledge, and research when he received a kidney transplant in 2000. Among his many honors and accomplishments, he was most proud of being a kidney transplant survivor.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Jon Fasulo Heads Villanova Alums at Philly Broad Street Run

Former Big East cross country champion Jonathan Fasulo finished 6th at last weekend's Broad Street Run, a 10-mile race in center city Philadelphia. Fasulo covered the distance in 51:35, a shade under 5:10 per mile pace. In January of this year Fasulo, the 2009 USATF Mid-Atlantic Runner of the Year, was 23rd at the US Half-Marathon Championship in Houston, in a PR of 1:06:13. Also on the men's side of the Broad Street Run, Marc Pelerin (fighting blisters) was 70th in 57:27, Cory Smith was 147th in 1:01:13 and Tom Parlapiano was 183rd in 1:02:40. On the women's side, Jon's sister Jenna was 19th (225th overall) in 1:03.46. Jenna -- a 2:58 marathoner -- ran collegiately for The College of New Jersey. Also noteworthy was the 1:09.29 performamce of Vicki Rudawsky (better known as Vicki Huber). She won 9 individual NCAA championships while at Villanova in the late 1980s and represented the USA in the 1988 and 1996 Olympics.
Pictured above are Cory Smith, Jenna Fasulo, Jon Fasulo, Tom Parlapiano, and Michelle Ezzie, the winning team at the 2009 Broad Street Run.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ward Wins Big East 100 Hurdles Title

Shericka Ward won the 100 meter hurdles at the Big East conference championship meet in Cincinnati, improving from 5th a year ago at this meet. She was one of only two individual winners for the Villanova squad at the meet.

1 Shericka Ward SO VILLANOVA 13.55E -2.2 10
2 Yvana Hepburn SR SOUTH FLORIDA 13.78E -2.2 8
3 Theresa Lewis SR LOUISVILLE 13.95E -2.2 6
4 Nevada Sorenson FR NOTRE DAME 14.04E -2.2 5
5 Brianna Broyles SR PITTSBURGH 14.16E -2.2 4
6 Kali Watkins JR NOTRE DAME 14.38 -2.2 3
7 Brittany Carroll FR PITTSBURGH 14.50 -2.2 2

Sheila Reid is Big East 800 meter Champion

Sheila Reid won the Big East championship at 800 meters, in 2:06.38, in a new stadium record. Here are the results from the final:

1 Sheila Reid SO VILLANOVA 2:06.38S 10
2 Keri Bland JR WEST VIRGINIA 2:06.79S 8
3 Christine Whalen SR GEORGETOWN 2:07.82S 6
4 Mary Cate Quiett JR DEPAUL 2:07.95S 5
5 Kathy Klump SO CINCINNATI 2:10.14E 4
6 Natalie Johnson JR NOTRE DAME 2:10.68E 3
7 Jenna Heaton SO CINCINNATI 2:11.86 2
8 KeAira Dickerson JR SETON HALL 2:13.79 1

Monday, May 3, 2010

Curtis #11 on USA All-Time 10,000 List

Bobby Curtis ran 27:33.38 on Saturday night in Palo Alto. His time places him as the 11st fastest American 10,000 meter runner of all time. Here is the 12-deep list:

1. Chris Solinsky 26:59.60 (2010)
2. Galen Rupp 27:10.74 (2010)
3. Meb Keflezighi 27:13.98 (2001)
4. Abdi Abdirahman 27:16.99 (2008)
5. Mark Nenow 27:20.56 (1986)
6. Dathan Ritzenhein 27:22.28 (2009)
7. Alberto Salazar 27:25.61 (1982)
8. Craig Virgin 27:29.16 (1980)
9. Todd Williams 27:31.34 (1995)
10. Tim Nelson 27:31.56 (2010)
11. Bobby Curtis 27:33.38 (2010)
12. Alan Culpepper 27:33.93 (2001)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Curtis Interview after 27:33.38 PR

Big PR for Curtis at Stanford 10,000

In a race where Chris Solinsky became the first American to break 27:00 for 10,000 meters, Bobby Curtis set a 33 second PR, running 27:33. Solinksy (2007) and Curtis (2008) were back-to-back NCAA champions at 5000 meters. Race video is beloq.

Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational - 5/1/2010
Stanford University --Stanford, California

Men 10000 Meter Run Kim McDonald


1 Chris Solinsky Nike/Kimbia 26:59.60 American Record
2 Daniel Salel Kenya 27:07.85
3 Sam Chelanga Liberty 27:08.39
4 Galen Rupp Nike 27:10.74
5 Simon Bairu Nike/Kimbia 27:23.63
6 Chris Thompson Otc 27:29.61
7 Tim Nelson Nike/Kimbia 27:31.56
8 Robert Curtis Melbourne Tr 27:33.38
9 Kensuke Takezawa S&B 27:55.02
10 Carlos Romero Mexico 27:57.52
11 Takeshi Makabe Kanebo 27:57.53
12 Scott Bauhs Adidas 28:03.99
13 Brent Vaughn Nike/Kimbia 28:05.33
14 Boaz Cheboiywo Kimbia 28:06.60
15 Brett Gotcher Adidas 28:09.21
16 Chris Barnicle New Mexico 28:10.59
17 Andy Vernon Adidas 28:11.43
18 Shawn Forrest Melbourne Tr 28:12.48
19 Jason Hartmann Nike/Kimbia 28:25.99
20 Patrick Smyth Nike 28:33.14
21 David Jankowski Zap Fitness 28:34.27
22 Jeremy Johnson Brooks Team 28:37.84
23 Brian Medigovich Unattached 28:40.54
24 Josh Moen Team Usa Mn/Strands 28:43.27
-- Simon Ndarangu Kenya DNF
-- Anthony Famiglietti Saucony DNF
-- Mathew Kisorio Kenya DNF
-- Alistair Cragg adidas DNF
-- Sean Quigley Puma/Kimbia DNF
-- Mark Kenneally Unattached DNF

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack