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Olympic Flashback

Relive exciting track & field moments from last year’s USA Olympic Trials and the Tokyo Games – from Ryan Crouser’s world record shot put at the Trials to Eliud Kipchoge’s dominating marathon victory near the conclusion of the Games.  Daily articles of the Trials will be posted on Tuesdays commencing January 11th and daily articles of the Olympic Games will be posted on Fridays starting January 14th.    

 

Thompson-Herah Successfully Defends

 

 7 31 21 Jackson and Herah

July 31st, 2021

The beauty of track & field is its simplicity and its clarity. There is no "judging". There are no "style points." Our sport is not "subjective." It's all about who jumps the highest, throws the farthest, and runs the fastest. Period. And today - the day of the women's 100m final - we witnessed one of the most stunning global 100m championship races ever as Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah set a new Olympic Record of 10.61 to earn the title of "World's Fastest Woman."

 

 

 6 19 21 allman valarie


Allman_Valarie-Q1-OlyTrials21w.jpgValarie Allman sends a message out to the discus world! June 19, 2021, photo by Kevin Morris / Kevmofoto

 

6 19 21 richardson shecarri

Richardson_She'Carri-R-OlyTrials21w.jpgSha'Carrie Richardson: 10.84, 10.64wa, 10.87, she's an Olympian! June 21, 2021, photo by Kevin Morris /Kevmofoto

 

Trials / Day Two: 

June 19th / Juneteenth, 2021

It is obvious to all that success in track & field requires talent, dedication, and consistent hard work. But rising to the highest levels of achievement in the sport also demands attention to the details - the little things that if left unattended can in a moment lead to disaster. Valarie Allman and Sha'Carri Richardson - winners in the discus and the 100m dash respectively - faced such critical moments in Day Two, addressed them properly, and now are Tokyo-bound.

 

 7 31 21 Barega 10K

IMG_7629.jpgSelemon Barega catching Steven Kissa, Men's 10,000m, photo via TV by Kathy Camara

July 30th, 2021

The wait for the start of the Olympic track & field ended today as "Athletics" was more than ready to take center stage at the 32nd Olympiad. While Tokyo's 68,000-seat stadium would only accommodate approximately one thousand people due to the surging pandemic, excitement could still be assured for those seasoned fans who could remember way back to 1964: the last time an Olympic 10,000 meter championship race was held on Japanese soil. In that stirring 25 lap battle, a late-race bolt by Mohamed Gammoudi led to a backstretch jostle involving the Tunisian, the heavily-favored Australian Ron Clarke, and lightly-touted American Billy Mills. The bumping staggered Mills, momentarily sending him out into the firmer footing of Lanes 2 and 3 of the cinder track. The collision awakened, and perhaps angered, the adrenaline-charged Native American who dashed on for the victory, the first - and only - time an American has been victorious in an Olympic 10,000-meter final. Could today's 10K final produce yet another electrifying Tokyo 10,000 meter moment?

Under sweltering, steam-bath conditions, 25 international athletes launched off on a 25 lap odyssey. Unexpectedly, Ugandan athlete Steven Kissa bolted into the lead and began building his advantage. Was Kissa unfurling a carefully crafted Ugandan team race plan to aid his compatriots, Joshua Cheptegei and Jacob Kiplimo? After 800 meters covered in 2:10, Kissa had constructed a 45+ meter lead with none of his competitors interested in giving chase. Settled in the bunched chase pack were the pre-race favorites Kenya's Rhonex Kipruto, Ethiopia's Selemon Barega, Uganda's Kiplimo, and Kenya's Yomif Keljelcha. Americans Grant Fisher and Woody Kincaid were also near the front of the tightly-grouped finalists. Over the ensuing laps, the trailing mob chipped away at Kissa's lead. With less than 4000m remaining and shortly after the pack had rejoined Kissa, the early leader stepped off the track, his unofficial pacing chores apparently completed.

June 18, 2021

Trials / Day One

 6 18 21 crouser ryan


Crouser_Ryan-W1b-OlyTrials21w.jpgRyan Crouser, new World record holder, 23.37m/ 76'8.25", photo by Kevmofoto

June 18, 2021

Trials / Day One

After the men's shot put final in the 2019 World Championship in Doha - where Joe Kovacs 6th round heave clinched the title and the top three athletes were separated by only .01 meter - many proclaimed that thrilling and highly-contested competition to be "the greatest shot put competition of all time." Those who witnessed the men's shot put final during Day One of the 2021 USA Olympic Trials may wish to differ.

Pre-event expectations were high for a spirited and impressive competition in the men's shot put. Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs, and Darrell Hill came in as the top three shot-put performers respectively on the world list. And in Friday morning's qualifying round Crouser's opening throw of 75' 2 1⁄2 [then #5 on the all-time world list] not only showed the reigning Olympic champion was ready. It suggested that something special may be brewing.

 

.7 21 21 Paul Doyle

Paul Doyle .jpgPaul Doyle, photo by USATF.tv

"Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
-Mark Twain-

July 21st, 2021

Over the past 20+ years, Paul Doyle, fueled by his love for track & field, has built a successful sports management enterprise focusing on track & field athletes. Yet his early involvement with track & field was rather ordinary, providing no hint that he would go on to become both a highly successful track & field agent and a visionary driven to revitalize the sport. "I was a decathlete. I started off as a hurdler and then I started messing around with the pole vault," explains Doyle in recalling his high school days. "And then, when I went to college the first day we had practice, I signed up on the sprinters and hurdlers list. And my coach came over and said, 'No, no. You put your name on the wrong list. You're a decathlete so you sign up on the multis and field events list.'" Doyle's collegiate experience turned out to be nothing special. "I could have been really, really good," explains Paul with care. "But, I suffered from a severe lack of talent."

After earning his bachelor's and master's degrees in exercise physiology from UMass, Doyle, seeking a coaching position, began his climb up the ladder. "I was hired by Emory University to serve as head strength and conditioning coach for the whole university and as an assistant track coach. Emory was paying me $13,000 a year to do all that. Yet it just fueled my passion even more for the sport."

 

 

 Get Away, Let The Big Cat Eat!

6 11 21 Harrison HJ

Day 3 / NCAA Div I Outdoor Track & Field Championships

June 11th, 2021

The Tigers of Louisiana State University, relying on their plentiful, incredible talent and drawing on their culture of accountability and support, are the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Men's Team Champions. But as is often the case in the NCAA championship meet, the team title journey to the top step of the podium had its roller coaster moments.

 

6 10 21 Athing Mu

Texas A&M Freshman Is Rewriting Many Record Books

 

2021 NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships

Hayward Field, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon

June 10, 2021

Every year freshman track & field athletes who start off performing better than expected - punching above their weight, if you will - inevitably are placed in the spotlight, often touted as the next dominant, record-breaking athlete. A good many live up to those lofty expectations. Perhaps an even larger number does not. This annual ritual has caused many cynical track & field followers to view talented rising freshmen with a jaundiced eye.

Rest assured, there is no need to be skeptical about Texas A&M's phenomenal freshman and 400m/800m specialist Athing Mu. The Trenton, New Jersey native has been on the collective radar screen since 2019 when at age 16 she raced 1:23.67 to set a new U20 world record at 600 meters. Earlier this year, the Aggie sprinter moved up to set two additional U20 indoor world records: 50.52 for 400m and 1:58.40 for 800m.

6 9 21NCAA Day 1

Jumpin' JuVaughn, Ignores Rain, Chases Triple-Double In Gleaming New Venue

 

June 9, 2021

Three years ago venerable Hayward Field hosted the NCAA Div. I Outdoor Track & Field Championships - a track meet we all knew would be the final gathering in the beloved facility. The old Hayward, originally constructed in 1921, would soon be completely restructured. Back then, sadness - even melancholy - was in the air as a good number of died-in-the-wool fans had their concerns that track & field in Eugene, Oregon would never be the same again.

In a way, the doubters were right: Hayward Field will never be the same again. But in a good way. Wait until you see it, feel it, enjoy it, and you note the special touches that have been added to make this futuristic, European-flavored venue a fully-appointed 21ts century cathedral for the sport we all love. Yet at the same time - with amenities such as museum-like Hayward Hall - the rich history of Hayward and U of O has been thoughtfully preserved in ways that are, frankly, more prominent than was the case with the older, replaced version of Hayward Field.

 

6 8 21 Noah Williams

LSU Star Noah Williams' Impressive Progression Shows Trajectory

May 31, 2021

There is a well-worn, anonymous expression: "Envision the life you want to live, then live it." Highly-talented and sharply-focused LSU sprint star Noah Williams - the reigning NCAA indoor 400 meter champion and #2 on the world leader board in the outdoor 400 meters - didn't coin that phrase. But he certainly lives by it.

 

 

 

1221 Sandi Morris

 

February 21st, 2021

There is an enduring expression that goes something like this: "If you want something done, ask a busy person." That saying may be a tad simplistic. Better stated: If that busy person is also talented and inspired, then you may well get that something done. World class pole vaulter Sandi Morris - with a bushel of global medals, her eye on the world vault record, yet frequently finds the time and the desire to embrace other intriguing ventures - just might be that person you need to ask.

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TAFWA Award

Dunaway AwardAt the 2019 annual meeting of the Track and Field Writers of America, Dave was presented with the James Dunaway Memorial Award “for track & field journalism excellence.”

2020 Mid-American Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships

Dave HunterOn February 28-29, Dave served as the Color Analyst on the live ESPN3 broadcast of this championship gathering. Coverage of this 2-day conference championship can be viewed on the ESPN app.

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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