USATF Indoor Nationals Report

by kevbalance Comments (0) Articles, Racing

Stories in Stills

by Joe Navas

Editor’s Note: Joe Navas recently attended the USATF Indoor National Meet held at The Reg in Boston, MA. Below is his report. On one hand, it’s a piece of artwork, each event receiving it’s on montage of still images. On the other hand, it’s a race recap, a corresponding caption that sums up the images in each plate. 

Women’s 1 mile: Shannon Rowbury continued to build on what may be her most successful indoor campaign to date with a win in a “ho-hum”-turned-“hey ho!” women’s mile.

The race had no shortage of experienced, speedy competitors, with Morgan Uceny and Jordan Hasay in the mix, but after a 2:26 opening 800, Rowbury picked it up and outkicked a tenacious Katherine Mackey to win by less than half a second in 4:34.40.

Men’s 600: Casimir Loxsom, already in possession of the American record (as well as the coolest name) in the 600 meters, came within a hair of taking down the 16 year old world’s best mark, settling for a new AR by winning the race in 1:15.33, just shy of the 1:15.12 set by Nico Motchebon in 1999. It is Loxsom’s first American title.

Men’s Masters 1500: John Trautmann came to race, knowing he’d likely be going for a record alone, but running as if he had someone on his heels the whole way. The effect was short of the 3:57 world record Trautmann was aiming for, but still nabbed him the American Record of 3:59.47.

Chris Blondin of the Greater Boston Track Club, who’d raced Trautmann at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Masters Mile 3 weeks prior, in that race hanging with the speedster and even leading through the first 800 only to have a downturn in the final 4 laps, ran a more even effort this time out and came in at a very solid 4:06.

Also in the race was 56 year old Anselm Lebourne, who wrecked the 55-59 World Record by running an incredible 4:13.77.

Women’s 2 mile: Having knocked down some imposing American talent the day before to win the mile in a solid 4:34, Shannon Rowbury was feeling it, but not enough to stop her from running smart and still fast enough to take her second title of the weekend in the form of a 2 mile win.

Rowbury again found herself in a race with her teammate Jordan Hasay, who, after coming in 4th the day before, wasn’t about to let her get away so easily this time.

But again, when the time came for the final 200, it was Rowbury who had just a little more. Hasay went for it at the bell and began to move ahead of Rowbury, as the rest of the field (which included the BAA’s Katie Matthews, who, it should be noted, stayed in the mix for the better part of the race and finished 10th out of 17 in 9:56,) dropped back to battle for 3rd.

But Rowbury found that other gear once again and tore away from Hasay on the final turn, borrowing a page from the Book of Lagat, taking the tape in 9:43.94 to Hasay’s 9:44.69

Women’s 600: What can be said about Alysia Montano that could even do justice to what this woman is to women’s sports and sport in general?

Less than a year ago, the 2012 Olympian in the 800 meters and current 600 meter American Record holder ran the 2014 USATF Outdoor Track & Field Championships 800 meters in 2:32. This time might seem a bit slow, until one considers that she did this while 8 months pregnant.

The iconic flower in her hair, which she wears as a symbol of her pride in her femininity that she sees (and rightly so) as perfectly congruous with tenacious competitiveness and drive, was back on the track at the Reg, with the child that was along for the ride last June now on the sidelines in the arms of her husband/coach.

The owner of a 1:57 800 PR showed no lack of confidence and no loss of speed as she utterly dominated a very talented field that included Phoebe Wright and Ajee Wilson, winning going away in 1:26.59 to Wright’s 2nd place 1:28 flat.

After both her Saturday heat and the Sunday finals win, Montano immediately went trackside and was handed her daughter, Linnea, who she proudly hoisted and hugged; the best prize any championship runner could ever get.

Men’s Mile: Coming into the meet, there was talk of records being broken on the springy new surface of the recently installed track at the Reg.

At the New Balance meet 3 weeks  prior, Nick Willis had laid down a blistering 3:51 to set the New Zealand indoor mark.

With names like Centrowitz, Lomong, Blankenship, Masters and Manzano on track, something fast was bound go down, or so some would think.

Instead, the race went out evenly, neither slow nor fast, and with a large field with fast runners remaining tight, the biggest concern was gaining and maintaining position. Finally with 600 to go, Centrowitz began to move, but by 400, he risked being boxed in again. Breaking to the outside, he took a few people with him at last and Blankenship, as well as Pat Casey and Matthew Elliot, tried to hang as Centro dug in and dug down, ripping off the pent up energy of the measured racing by dropping the chasers to win in about as smart a 4:01.40 gets.

Other Notes… The BAA’s recently formed High Performance team sent a healthy number of athletes to the national stage for this event, with it’s representatives including:

Dan Lowry - 12th in the mile (4:06.69), 6th in 2 Mile (8:34.2)
Steve Mangan - 13th in the mile (4:07.05)
Emily Lipari - 9th in 1000 (2:48.16)
Katie Matthews - 10th in 2 Mile (9:56.85)
Ethan Shaw - 11th in 2 mile (8:46.16)
Julian Saad - 13th in 2 mile (8:55.39)

New Balance Boston also made their presence known in the form of Joanna Murphy and Sydney Fitzpatrick in the 2 Mile race. Joanna finished 15th and Sydney finished 16th, with the two running 10:18.54 and 10:26.55, respectively.

Finally, GBTC’s own Nate Hunter took third in the shot put on Saturday with a throw of 19.07m in what was perhaps the most impressive performance of all the local competitors. Although we can’t overlook Riley Masters and his 4:03.82, 5th place finish in the mile.

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