Q&A: Dana Mecke and Kendra Chambers Ready to Take on Mt. SAC Relays

Days before the Brooks Mt. SAC Relays, FloTrack traveled to San Antonio to visit Coach Rose Monday’s training group.

The renowned 800m specialist coaches middle-distance athletes Dana Mecke, Kendra Chambers and Laura Roesler, who recently took fourth at this year's IAAF World Indoor Championship. Mecke, 28, and Chambers, 25, come from different backgrounds--strength and speed, respectively--but have run their fastest marks across all events since hopping on board with Monday.

Get to know these athletes a bit better before they compete in the 1500m (Mecke) and 800m (Chambers) this Saturday at the Brooks Mt. SAC Relays!

And stay tuned for a Workout Wednesday with the group, coming soon!

​DANA MECKE

FloTrack: Last year was so great for you; what are some of your goals this year?

I know I’m ready to run a really good 1500m, and I’m hoping to break down under 2:00 in the 800m. I think every year is a progression off the previous one, so I just continue to train hard and listen to my coach. So far, everything has fallen into place. I’ve had to learn to trust the process, which has been really hard, but now I have faith in my training.



What’s it like training with such a diverse group?

It’s awesome. We all come from different backgrounds, so we help each other out. I help them with their strength, and they help me with their speed -- it's a really cool dynamic. I’m so glad they came, because it’s made a huge difference on all of our performances.

You won the 1500m at the Texas Relays and said it felt easy. What will you take from that race heading into Mt. SAC?

I’m really excited that it felt so easy running a 4:15, so I have a lot of confidence in myself. And I know the field is going to go out a lot faster than it did at Texas Relays. I’m ready to see what I can do.

​KENDRA CHAMBERS

You were a 400m-turned-800m runner at Texas; when did you link up with Rose?

I met Rose in 2014. I struggled to find a coach after the Texas coaching change, then the program just didn’t fit. There weren't many sprint-background 800m runners there at the time. I was training with Courtney Okolo, Brianna Nelson and Ashley Spencer, but I still needed that endurance part of training. Tonja [Buford-Bailey] introduced me to Rose, and it just kind of went from there.



What was the biggest difference-maker last season?

Definitely having that endurance background. She had to build it from the ground up. I was always doing some 600s and 400s, but when she said ‘We’re doing 1K repeats,’ I was like, ‘What is that?’ Stuff like that, that I’ve never done before. Adding that to my speed background just made it an awesome 800m season for me. But at the same time, I think it’s just the beginning for me. I’m still a baby, I’m still learning how to run the race with people.

What are you hoping to do on the track at Mt. SAC this weekend?

I love Mt. SAC. Last year, I went there and just stuck my eyes on Brenda Martinez. I ran 2:02 last year, so anywhere between 2:02-2:01 would be good just to know that I’m in shape and ready to run 2:00 soon.

NCAA DII Recap: Pringle Leads Ashland To Another 1-Point Victory

While NCAA DI athletes were booking trips to the big dance over the weekend at the East and West preliminary rounds, their Division II counterparts competed at their national championships in Kingsville, Texas, with a dramatic team race on the men’s side and distance dominance across the board punctuating the 2019 edition.

House Of Run: Sprinters Have Stolen The Show In 2019

Jason and Kevin discuss the reaction to Noah Lyles’ close victory over Christian Coleman in the 100m, the budding rivalry between the two, Kenny Bednarek’s coming out party at JUCOs, Michael Norman’s smooth 19.84, Caster Semenya’s 3000m future and Matthew Boling’s superb Twitter skills.

Kelati, Oduduru & The 10 Biggest Stars At NCAA West Prelims

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Yesterday, Lincoln took a look at the top athletes to watch in the NCAA East Preliminary Round. Today, I’ll do the same with the West Prelim, which begins this Thursday, May 23, in Sacramento.

FloTrack's NCAA Prelim Predictions

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FloTrack predicts the mid-distance/distance qualifiers for NCAAs.

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Roberts, Holloway & The 10 Brightest Stars At NCAA East Prelims

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The 2019 DI NCAA East Preliminary Round is this Thursday through Saturday, May 23-25, in Jacksonville, Florida, and it will be LIVE on FloTrack. 

Kenny Bednarek Makes History With 19.82/44.73 Double At JUCOs

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One day after riding a blustering tailwind to the fastest wind-aided 200m in history, Indian Hills freshman Kenny Bednarek decided to give wind legal a try on the final day of the 2019 NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The result? Still damn fast.

Shanghai Diamond League: Lyles Stuns Coleman, Samba Tops Benjamin

The second leg of the 2019 Diamond League season made its stop in Shanghai, China, on Saturday, and it was jam-packed with marquee matchups and tight finishes.

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Kenny Bednarek Runs Fastest Wind-Aided 200m In History

If you’ve ever wondered how fast a world-class sprinter could run with a comically strong tailwind, Indian Hills Community College freshman Kenny Bednarek had your answer on Friday with his 19.49 200m (+6.1 m/s) in the 2019 NJCAA Track and Field prelims.

What Did It Take To Qualify For NCAA Prelims Over The Years?

Since the NCAA moved to a two-regional system in 2010, the qualification process for the NCAA Championships has consisted of the top 48 individuals and top 24 relays in the West and East regions competing for 12 qualifying spots during the last weekend of May.

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Samba/Benjamin Pt. I, McLaughlin Debut Headline Shanghai DL

The first six-ish weeks of the professional track season have offered one clear lesson: the late World Championships aren’t going to tamp down fast times. From Michael Norman’s 43.45 to Shaunae Miller-Uibo’s 49.05, it’s feeling like mid-August already. Perhaps the non-championship year in 2018 caused some energy and emotion to be bottled up, only being released in a year with a clear championship target. 

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