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Dave Hunter

Dave HunterDave Hunter is a track & field journalist, announcer, and broadcaster.  Dave reports on the premier track & field gatherings around the globe, frequently serves as an arena or stadium announcer for championship events, and has undertaken foreign and domestic broadcast assignments in the sport.

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September 12, 2018

Warsaw, Poland

Track & field should not be afraid to experiment with new ideas. As an athletic pursuit – like other “Olympic” sports such as golf, swimming, wrestling, tennis, to name a few – track & field primarily spotlights the spectacular, yet often lonely, performances of individuals. Missing from our sport is an event that can effectively deliver a worldwide team competition as a refreshing change of pace to the individualism that dominates the sport’s current formats.

As part of its end-of-summer swing through some major European meets, the Track & Field News Tour took in the new-format Continental Cup, an event that offers a bona fide world-wide competition in a bold and different format Reaction to the affair among Tour members was mixed. While no one found the meet to be the perfect change of pace gathering to track & field’s customary presentation, a good number liked many of the aspects of the team-oriented event while a few old-schoolers found little to embrace. Here is a sampling of opinions:

Fans will no longer be entertained by the post-race celebrations of retiring hurdler Dawn Harper Nelson.

(KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

September 4th, 2018

In early September Dawn Harper Nelson ran the final race of her decorated career at the intimate venue in Zagreb. Though she was loudly cheered by the partisan Croatian crowd, few in attendance likely fully appreciated that they were witnessing the finale of one of the most successful women’s hurdlers of all time.

 

Ryan Crouser stayed in his groove, topping 72-feet for the 9th time in 11 meets this year. (GIANCARLO COLOMBO/PHOTO RUN)

Zagreb, Croatia, September 04—With the end of a long season approaching, the the year’s final IAAF World Challenge meet produced a mixed bag of performances. While the efforts of some athletes reflected the fatigue of an extended outdoor grind, others were able to dig down deep and produce some impressive late-season showings.

 

Holloway_GrantQ-USAout18.jpG

Grant Holloway, 110m hurdles, USATF Outdoors, June 23, 2018, photo by PhotoRun.net

June 24th, 2018

Des Moines, Iowa

In track & field - like other sports - there is a never-ending flow of young talented athletes who are first identified, then groomed, and then come streaming into the elite echelon of the sport. Some like to label this phenomenon as the periodic "changing of the guard." But let's be honest: the "guard" is always changing. One of the more prominent young sentinels who is currently showing he is ready to join the guard is University of Florida multi-event collegiate superstar Grant Holloway.

 

 

Murphy_ClaytonQ-USAo18.JPGClayton Murphy, June 21, 2018, photo by PhotoRun.net

 

June 23rd, 2018

Des Moines, Iowa

 

Olympic 800 meter bronze medalist Clayton Murphy is an even-tempered athlete with a stoic demeanor. Never too high, never to low, the Nike athlete always stays on an even keel. Murphy has seen the very good times. But he has also faced unexpected, calamitous times as well. Through it all he has stayed rock steady.

 

Houlihan_ShelbyQ-USAo18.JPGShelby Houlihan, 1,500m heats, USATF Outdoors 2018, photo by PhotoRun.net

In virtually every walk of life, self-confidence is a sensational personal attribute. Not cockiness, mind you. But simply pure, unadulterated confidence: that inner knowledge that you have prepared properly, have cultivated your talent, and are ready to perform. Rising distance star Shelby Houlihan, bolstered by her burgeoning success on the track over the past several years, has that confidence.

 

 

Coburn_Emma1-PreC17.jpgEmma Coburn, photo by PhotoRun.net

Steeple Star Emma Coburn Looks Ready For 7th Title 

Emma Coburn is an American track & field specialist in the 3000 meter steeplechase. The 6-time USATF national steeplechase champion has posted 8 of the top 10 fastest all-time American clockings in the barriered event, including her American record mark of 9:02.58. Twice the NCAA steeplechase champion while at the University of Colorado, Coburn has been a 2-time Olympic finalist in the steeple and captured the bronze in Rio in 2016. Decorated, experienced, and in the prime of her career, the 27-year-old Coburn is accustomed to the attention and the pressure that accompanies being the greatest American steeplechaser of all time. But Coburn's notoriety ratcheted up a couple of levels last August when she accomplished something no other American had ever done before: she captured gold to become the world champion in the 3000 meter steeplechase.

Jordan_TomPC-Pre18.JPGTom Jordan, Meet Director, addressing the media, May 25, 2018, photo by PhotoRun.net

 Tom Jordan Makes Pre Go!

May 26th, 2018

Eugene, Oregon

At the end of every May, a capacity crowd fills Eugene's Hayward field - and legions more tune in to NBC or online - to witness the Prefontaine Classic, year in and year out what many consider to be the greatest one-day track & field gathering in the world. One of only 14 stops on the international Diamond League tour - and now the only DL meet held in the U.S. - the Pre meet always features starting lists containing a plethora of international Olympic and World Championship caliber competitors, many of whom are Oly and WC finalists and medalists. Perhaps due in large measure to the apparent ease and efficiency by which the gathering is unfurled every year, very few of the sport's stalwarts really stop to reflect upon the year-round challenges that must be met to ensure this track & field jewel sparkles every year.

 

Loxsom_CasimirQ-USOut17.jpgCasmir Loxsom, photo by PhotoRun.net

 Despite U.S. Best 600 meters, Middle Distance Star Still Seeks Stability

Middle distance star Casimir Loxsom possesses all of the ingredients for track & field success: natural talent, a competitive instinct, and a well-honed work ethic. At Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, Connecticut, the young athlete combined soccer with track & field and as a senior he was the New England champion at 600 meters. While at Penn State, Loxsom was a multiple-time Big Ten champion and in his final year he was NCAA runner-up - both indoors and outdoors - at 800 meters. Since college, Loxsom has tasted considerable success as a professional athlete, making the 2015 USA world championship team in the 800 meters, often exhibiting domination over 600 meters, and winning his first U.S. title at that distance in Boston in 2015 when he broke his own American record with a 1:15.33 clocking. During the 2017 indoor season, he lowered his own American record and set a world best over 600 meters by outdueling fellow Nittany Lion star Isaiah Harris down the homestretch to finish in 1:14.91.

With those track successes, one would expect Loxsom to be ensconced in a top-flight training group, surrounded by a skillful support team, and engaged in a sophisticated and undistracted training regimen calculated to take him to an even higher performance level. Instead, the young talent finds himself alone, with neither a team affiliation nor a sponsor, and struggling to gain the solid footing all athletes need to succeed in a sport where the difference between success and mediocrity is often measured in mere centimeters or hundredths of a second.

Why would such an accomplished collegiate middle-distance talent be facing such struggles in competing as a professional at 800 meters? It might well be the combination of several factors.

Kawauchi_YukiA-Boston18.JPGYuki Kawauchi, photo by PhotoRun.net

April 16th, 2018

Patriots' Day

On a day fit for neither man nor beast, Japan's Yuki Kawauchi was able to turn back the challenges of several fellow competitors and to endure the cruelest of Mother Nature's meteorological conditions to win the wind-swept and rain-soaked 2018 Boston Marathon.

When the elite men's start commenced amidst driving rain, a formidable headwind, and sub-freezing wind-chill temperatures, marathon aficionados scoffed when lightly-touted Kawauchi bolted to the front from the start and forged a sizeable early lead as he free-wheeled out of Hopkinton on the downhill to Ashland. After the Japanese marathoner split 5K in 15:01 under miserable conditions, the prevailing thinking was that the smarter, authentic competitors would let this early rabbit go and wait until deep into the second half of the race to begin the serious racing.

RunBlogRun Some photographs on this site have been reproduced with permission from runblogrun.com.