Workout of the Year - Best of 2009
Its not everyday that you get a behind the scenes look at one of the best athletes AND coaches in the world. However Alberto Salazar opened his group's doors to Flotrack for an inside look at one of the world's best marathoners, Kara Goucher, before one of the biggest races of her career in the Boston Marathon. The 20-Mile PreBoston workout took place at the campus of Nike HQ in Beaverton, OR. Kara went on to place third at Boston, getting outkicked in the final stages in one of the most exciting races of the year. Thanks to Alberto and Kara and all the best in 2010!
Jaw Dropping Performance - Best of 2009
For the second consecutive year, German Fernandez wins the year's biggest Jaw Dropping performance. At the Big 12 Indoor Championships Fernandez took the lead from the gun in the finals of the mile. The Bowerman Award Finalist not only won the Big 12 title as a freshman, but he also set a PR, won by over 10 seconds, set the NCAA and WORLD Junior Indoor Mile records!! An amazing performance by an 18 year old. Can he become the first 3-time Jaw Dropping winner in 2010?? Its safe to say he'll be in the running for it!
Record-Breaker of the Year - Best of 2009
Its would be hard to argue that any collegiate athlete has ever had a better season than Jenny Barringer did during the 2009 track season. Over a span of 6 months Barringer produced 7 collegiate records over 5 different events, 2 NCAA championships, 1 US championship, 1 American record, and a 5th place finish at the World Championships. It seemed as though any time Jenny stepped to the track there was something special that was about to happen. She, along with the others honored during the Best of 2009, have helped make women's distance/mid-distance running strong and exciting here in the US. As Jenny is in the midst of becoming a professional athlete we have a lot to look forward to in 2010. We hope to see her continue in her record setting ways as her career continues. Thanks for a memorable year Jenny!
Jet Horns "Crayon"
Funniest Athlete of the Year - Best of 2009
Here's a guy who many warned us about, and once we got to him we saw why. Thomas Chamney's crazy, spontaneous personality is a bit overwhelming at first glance, but once you get to know this guy he's one you wouldn't mind traveling the world with. Never a dull moment and always able to crack a joke, Thomas Chamney has become a Flotrack interviewing favorite among the cameras and fans world-wide. Don't get mistaken either, although he's alway good for a laugh he's also a talented athlete. Chamney ran two events for Ireland at the Berlin World Championships and set PBs of 1:45 and 3:37 (first year running the 1500) in 2009.
Although Chamney spends much of his time in Ireland, we hope he makes time for some trips to the states for some more entertainment and laughs in 2010!
Kick of the Year - Best of 2009
The King of Kick was at it again at the 2009 PAC-10 Outdoor Championships in Eugene. It would be tough to say that anyone closes the last 30 meters of a race better than Andy Wheating and this video is more than enough proof for evidence to that claim!
Breakthrough of the Year - Best of 2009
If you were like me and grew up Ritz fan since our high school days, it was hard to think that you wouldn't see Ritz kick ass on the track anymore. With his switch to the marathon it was hard to find Ritz running on the oval. But this spring many people got what that had been waiting for....a revived Ritz! Dathan appeared at the US Champs and battled with Galen and Tim Nelson to show us he still had the pop. At the World Championships he surprised some by being the top American finisher and placing 6th in the World! But that wasn't the end of it. After the World Champs he made one last stop on the track in Zurich. Sitting in the back of the pack for a majority of the race, it looked like many American performances we've seen in the past with someone just "hanging on" to a blistering pace. However this time it was different, not only was Ritz running a great time, he was also blasting through the field over the last thousand meters!! As he moved into second and crept closer and closer to Bekele, I remember not believing what I was seeing. Dathan Ritzenhein made a statement to many that said we are not just here to run, but to compete! He set an impressive American Record at 12:56 and went on to finish 3rd at the World Half Marathon Championships (set another PR of 1:00:00). Breakthrough of the year may be an understatement but either way, Dathan is back!
Tastiest Race of the Year - Best of 2009
1 Training Group
3 World Champs Qualifiers
The Men's 5k at the US Championships in Eugene brought some excitement to the stands with names like Tegenkamp, Solinsky, Jager, Riley, Fam, Fernandez, Asmerom, Quigley, and more all fighting for only three spots on the US World Championship Team. With Fam throwing spontaneous surges throughout the race it came down to a final 400 that finished in something crazy, around 53 seconds, and we saw Jerry Schumacher send three guys to Berlin! Throw in Bolota who finished fourth in the US Champs AGAIN and a new American Junior Record by German Fernandez (13:25), this was a race that many anticipated all season.
Athlete of the Year - Best of 2009
In 2009 Galen Rupp gave us one of the most dominating years collegiate track and field has seen. After winning his last xc race and first xc title in the Fall of '08, Rupp continued his winning ways by making breakthroughs, setting records, and winning championships. Through the indoor season Rupp had a goal of working on his speed and he did just that. Competing out of his normal distances Galen set PRs in the 800 of 1:49 and 3:57 for the mile. In the process he also set a new Indoor American Record at 5000 meters with his 13:18 at Tyson, a race where he just finished ahead of collegiate rival Sam Chelanga. Arguably Galen's greatest feat of season though was his performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Galen once again raced Chelanga where he won his first NCAA track title. About an hour or so later he stepped on the track again to anchor the Oregon DMR. He battled Arkansas's Dorian Ulrey and Cal's Michael Coe through the first 7 laps of the leg and then surprised everyone when he unleashed a kick that dusted the field to give him his second of three title on the weekend (he destroyed the field in the 3k the next day). Galen led Oregon to the Indoor Team Title. Galen went on to win exciting 5k and 10k titles at the NCAA Outdoor Championship later that spring. In his last appearance at Hayward Field with his Duck's jersey Rupp put on a show for the crowd to win the USA 10k Championship, his first US title. After a long year and many races, Galen made the World Championship final where he placed 8th among the world's best. We really enjoyed the epic battles and new levels that Galen reached this past year, there is a lot in this guy and we'll be seeing some great things from him in 2010.
Track Shack of the Year - Best of 2009
Let's run down through some of the things the Track Shack of 2009 showed us.... - Conference Banners
- NCAA Banners
- Race Bib Numbers (even spelling out the school name)
- Team Posters
- Most importantly.....A TRACK!!!
Sound like a runners dream right? Throw in Rick James, Joe Paterno, white sport coats, and Credit Report jams the boys from Penn State did it right and really showed what a Track Shack is all about!
There were a bunch of great ones out there and we hope to get more in 2010. If you think you have a Track Shack the world should see, let us know and we'll see what we can do. The standard has been set, but can the bar be raised???
Check out more of the 2009 Track Shacks
Youth Runner of the Year- Best of 2009
After making a last minute trip to the LA Indoor State Championship, we found a possible up and coming start in 10 year old Gabrielle Jennings. Gabi was the talk of Flotrack after capturing her 3200 meter victory and giving one of the most well-spoken youth interviews we've ever seen. We hope to see more of Gabi as she goes first through middle school, then through high school! Thanks for putting on a show and for a great memory in 2009!
Newcomer of the Year - Best of 2009
Other than Hazel Clark, it would have been hard to name an American 800 meter running that could compete on the world stage at the beginning of 2009 but that all changed after the Pre Classic. A new runner burst on the scene, a bright spot in American women's middle distance running and we said "Welcome Maggie Vessey!" The 2004 Cal Poly Grad, who had battle injury after college, shocked many after taking down the field in Eugene. She showed potential after finishing 5th at the US Olympic Trials in 2008, but no one took notice. The 2009 US Champs wasn't much different as Vessey ended up fourth, with the top three qualifying for the World Championships. There was a small window of opportunity to make the team based on the time standards and we were fortunate enough to follow Maggie through her European journey and watch a new world class runner be born. Vessey shocked the world again winning Rome and then again at Monaco running what would be the #2 time in the World in 2009 at 1:57! Its safe to say that Maggie Vessey will be on everyone's radar in 2010....
Athlete to Look For in 2010 - Best of 2009
Not many collegiate athletes look for races in the summer, usually because of xc, but with only a track season left in college this year Brenda Martinez took advantage of the summer season and ended her year in a big way. Brenda ran four races in Belgium, won all four, and set three PRs! Before her trip she had run 2:02 and 4:13, now she'll be coming into her final season at UC Riverside as the NCAA mid-distance favorite with marks of 2:00 and 4:09. Look out for this one in 2010....
Check out the great profile on Brenda that gives her honors and time progressions over the last four years. UC Riverside Bio
Inspirational Performance of the Year - Best of 2009
Some wondered when we'd see an American win a major marathon. Some wondered if they'd ever see the Meb that got silver in Athens. On November 1, 2009, Meb Keflezighi answered all questions when he took down one of the strongest fields ever assembled at the NYC Marathon. Wear the USA red, white and blue, Meb outkicked Robert Cheruiyot in the final stages of the 26.2 mile race to PR in front of a wild US crowd and bring some flare back to US distance running. Thanks to Meb for inspiring us all and giving us something special to look forward to in Marathons to come!
(Highlights from NBC Coverage)
More coverage from the 2009 NYC Marathon
3-Minute Tour of the Year - Best of 2009
The girls from Arizona State were some of the few that really got it, a 3-Minute Tour is....only 3 minutes. There only so much you can show on video in a tour so the key is fun and personality. Whether it was waiting for trains to honk, meeting aspiring actors, finding the secret garden, getting free hugs, or counting the amount of palm trees on campus, the viewers got to feel some personality of ASU. We'll be starting up some more 3-Minute Tours after the new year so to all you schools out there.....lets have some fun tours planned for 2010!
Relay Team of the Year - Best of 2009
After setting a world record its hard to imagine doing much better, but the Tennessee women did just that. Similar to the 2008 Flotrack Relay Squad, the Texas Men, Tennessee women the NCAA Indoor DMR title in a world record time of 10:50.98 With stars on their team like Sarah Bowman (NCAA mile champ), Phoebe Wright (3rd in USA at 800), and Chanelle Price (the Frosh phenom), Tennessee went into the Penn Relays trying to accomplish something that only 2 other women's programs (Villanova and UNC) have ever done- sweep the distance relays. Not only did the ladies sweep but they also set Penn Relays and collegiate records in the 4x800 and 4x1500. Their 4x1500 time of 17:08 crushed the old record by 7 seconds and their time of 8:17 in the 4x800 was also an American record by almost a full second. Sarah Bowman ran the second fastest 1500 split in Penn Relays history at 4:10. An impressive season for the Lady Vols to say the least....
The Penn Relays Splits:*DMR, 11:02.11 (full video) --> Phoebe Wright 3:22.2, Kimarra McDonald 54.7, Chanelle Price 2:04.5, Sarah Bowman 4:40.7 *4x1500, 11:08.34 (full video) --> Channelle Price 4:19.5, Phoebe Wright 4:19.0, Rolanda Bell 4:19.6, Sarah Bowman 4:10.2. BowmanÂs split is the second fastest ever at Penn, behind only Suzy FavorÂs 4:07.4 from 1990.
*4x800, 8:17.91 (full video) --> Kimarra McDonald 2:09.14, Chanelle Price 2:02.45, Sarah Bowman 2:03.70, Phoebe Wright 2:02.62
Redefining Performer of the Year - Best of 2009
Its been a while since there has been middle distance runners from the US that challenged to be the best in the world.....2009 was a different story. We were bombarded with outstanding performances all year with athletes like Rowbury, Wurth-Thomas, Barringer and Vessey. However, one athlete was not only producing times but also winning international races! Anna Willard posted 5 major victories between the 800 and 1500 meter distances and helped redefine US middle distance running on the World scene. Outside of a 6th place finish at the World Championships (her highest to date), Anna placed within the top four of every race she ran. Her second place finish in the Zurich 1500 made her the third fastest American All-Time (and #1 US in '09) with her mark of 3:59.38. She set a major PR in the 800 at 1:58.80 and was just off her steeple best with a 9:26 early in May at Carson. Anna showed the world that the American women are no joke. When joined by her US teammates named above, it looks like we're going to have a lot to look forward to in years to come...
(Highlights from Universal Sports)
Flotrack's Best of 2009
Check out some of the Best Flotrack moments from 2009! We'll recap some of the best moments, videos, races, and fun that the community experienced right here on Flotrack!
From all of us at Flotrack, enjoy the holidays, happy new year and we'll see you in 2010!!
State Meet Performer of the Year- Best of 2009
The freshman phenom from Miami Jackson, Robin Reynolds, wins 4 individual state titles and helps her team to the state championship team title. This has to rank as one of the best freshman performances around. Check out these marks from Robin:
LJ - 1st (19'4.75", wins by 10.5 inches)
100 - 1st (PR of 11.56 +1.4w; 11.88 in semis into -0.6w)
400 - 1st (54.95, also ran 54.95)
200 - 1st (23.67 +0.7w; 24.42 in semis)
Over a 4 hour span, with semis and finals, Robin ran 6 races (then throw in two rounds of long jumping so 6 jumps total). Watch out for Robin over the next couple of years.
Team of the Year - Best of 2009
(Some of the video may be a little jumpy so our apologies as the interview was done via internet from FL. Special thanks for Villanova Coach Gina Procaccio for making time on her vacation to speak with us!)
The thing that this year's team had in common with the 2008 Flotrack Team of the Year was dominance! Similar to Washington a year ago, this year's Villanova team showed us a storybook season. From surprising the Ducks at their home meet in September to winning their second consecutive Big East title to placing 7 in the top 15 at the regional......oh yeah, they even had 5 All-American with all scoring members finishing in the top 30 at the NCAA Championships! Despite coming into the national meet ranked #2, the Wildcats brought home their 8th NCAA trophy this fall and the first title in 11 years. Nova was led by Amanda Marino (6th) and Sheila Reid (13th) as the team scored a low 86 points for the victory. With the squad returning 4 of their top 5 and 5 of the top 7, this is a team to look out for in 2010.
Coverage of the Year - Best of 2009
Flotrack has never had more access, more viewers, more interviews, more LIVE shows, and more excitement on one coverage as we saw in Berlin at the 2009 IAAF World Championships! After some struggles to bring the community great coverage in Osaka and Beijing, things went smooth and we able to experience one of the greatest track meets in the world. We hope everyone was really able to follow and feel the excitement that we felt in Berlin because it was electric and being able to follow the athletes all summer with World Champs as the central point, everything was brought together in such a great way. We look forward to more Euro Coverage in 2010 and another great World Champs in 2011!
Check out more from the 2009 IAAF World Championships
Coach of the Year - Best of 2009
Many coaches dream of guiding a program to becoming a national powerhouse, but in reality many will never reach that level. Pat Henry is a coach that has now accomplished this multiple times in his career. While at LSU Coach Henry led his men's and women's squads to a total of 27 national titles and now as Henry enters his 6th year at Texas A&M, he already has two championships with the Aggies. In 2009 at the Outdoor Championships Henry led the Texas A&M men's and women's team to a sweep of the national titles, an accomplishment that he earned twice at LSU. Pat Henry has taken on the challenge of doing things different to raise the status of track & field and in doing so we've seen a new state-of-the-art indoor facility that seats 5000 spectators (and also sells season tickets!), they are creating some great meets including duals/conference challenges, and they are now expanding their upgrades to their outdoor facilities. I think Sam Seemes said it best when he spoke about the roles of collegiate track and field coach's changing and evolving, this is something Pat Henry has embraced. This past year the indoor facility hosted the NCAA Indoor Championships, which was the first time in a long time that the meet was held outside of Fayetteville. Coach Henry and his staff were recently ranked with the #1 recruiting classes for both the men and the women (3rd consecutive year for the women) so it looks like we'll be seeing great things from this group in 2010 as the Aggies look to defend their titles in Eugene. Congrats on a great year to Pat Henry and his staff and thanks for all your contributions to our sport!
Sweetest Victory of the Year - Best of 2009
After being the number one ranked 400 meter sprinter in the World since about 2005, Sanya Richards had never won a major 400 meter title (i.e. Worlds, Olympics). Dominating the world scene again in 2009, many wondered if this would be the year that the curse was broken. Sanya ran cool and confident in Berlin and coming of the curve she blasted the field! Richards, running 49.00, won her first major international crown as a weight was lifted. Following Sanya over the years, we were pumped for her and her family and look forward to more domination from her in the coming years!
(Highlights from Universal Sports)