6 Races to Watch at adidas BOOST Athletics Meeting

By Dennis Young

From May 13-14, FloTrack will provide live-streamed, all-access coverage of the inaugural adidas BOOST Athletics Meeting from Herzogenaurach, Germany. Here’s what to watch while you pretend to work on Friday afternoon and are definitely not working Saturday morning.

All races listed are in U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

Women’s 10K

​UPDATE 5/12: Defar is out with a minor injury. Teferi may switch from the 5000 to the 10000 on Friday evening.

Potentially 2016's biggest story in women’s distance running is the return of the bone-deep rivalry between Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar--the latter of whom is making her return to outdoor track in Herzogenaurach. Both took off 2015 to have children, but Tirunesh and Meseret are back for the crown this year. The elder Dibaba is the two-time defending Olympic champion in the 10,000m, while Defar is the 2004 and 2012 Olympic 5000m champion. They own the two fastest 5K times ever, and are two of the three (if you don’t count doper Elvan Abeylegesse and the questionable Junxia Wang) women to ever break 30 minutes in the 10K.

On Friday, a pacer will take Defar out at sub-30:00 pace in what are forecasted to becool and rainy conditions. It will be her first outdoor track race since a 14:32 5K at the Zurich Diamond League meet in 2013, but she ran 8:30 for 3K in February. If Defar dips under 30:00, she’s in range of what many consider the world record: Meselech Melkamu’s 29:53 from 2008. Defar is the only woman who's broken 30:10 twice—we’ll see if she can do it again on Friday.

The women's 10K is really two races within one: Meseret's time trial, and everyone else. The latter includes Boston Athletic Association teammates Juliet Bottorff and Elaina Balouris—third and fifth, respectively, in 2014's NCAA 10K. Bottorff also won the NCAA 10K in 2011. Bottorff’s 32:25 and Balouris’ 32:32 (from Payton Jordan two weeks ago) PBs are just shy of the 32:15 Olympic-qualifying mark.

Watch live: 1:35 PM Friday


Women’s 100m

Fresh off a world-leading 10.80 at last weekend's Doha Diamond League meet, Tori Bowie will face formidable opponents in Octavious Freeman and Michelle-Lee Ahye, who have both broken 10.90. Bowie is building an early case for herself as one of the favorites for Olympic gold in the 100m, and a win here will add to her momentum.

Watch live: 10:45 AM Saturday


Men’s 800m/1500m

In the 800m, Chris O’Hare of Great Britain will look to improve his PR against a trio of stellar Kenyans. O’Hare—a 3:34 runner who recently took eighth at World Indoors in the 1500m—has a 800m PR of 1:48.28 from his senior indoor season at Tulsa. His plate will be more than full with Kenyans Nicholas Kipkoech, Jonathan Kitilit, and Willy Tarbei in the field. At the Kenyan Defense Championships in Nairobi in April, Kipkoech and Kitilit ran 1:43.37 and 1:43.48—the two fastest times in the world this year. Last year, Tarbei ran 1:44 before becoming the world youth champ.

In the 1500, the American to watch is Cristian Soratos. "The Man Who Almost Beat Ches At His Best in 2015" will look to expand his professional résumé in what we believe will be his first race on foreign soil. The favorite, Collins Cheboi, was the 11th-fastest 1500 runner in the world last year at 3:30.34—one spot ahead of Matt Centrowitz in the 2015 world rankings.

Watch live: 11:15 AM Saturday (800m), 11:40 AM Saturday (1500m)


Women’s 5K

After outkicking Genzebe Dibaba—the fourth-fastest 5K runner and fastest 1500m runner of all time—at the world championships last year for a silver medal, Senbere Teferi only raced once. Teferi will make her eagerly anticipated season debut this weekend and attempt to lower her 14:36 PR.

41-year-old BAA athlete Jen Rhines smoked the American masters 5K record and became the first American over 40 years old to break 16 minutes when she recently ran 15:45 at the Payton Jordan Invitational. This weekend, she'll have her eyes on the Olympic Trials qualifying mark of 15:25. Rhines will be joined by BAA teammate Emma Bates, who ran 15:32 last year and won the NCAA 10K the year before.

Watch live: 12:30 PM Saturday


Men’s 100m

Yohan “Don’t Call Me the Beast” Blake ran 9.69 for 100m in 2012 and 19.26 for 200m in 2011. Only Usain Bolt has gone faster in either event. But in the three years since, Blake failed to break 10 seconds in the 100m. 

Now, things seem to be turning around for Blake. Last month, he finally cracked the 10-second barrier with a 9.95 in Jamaica. He’ll face countryman Warren Weir and American Marvin Bracy this weekend.

Watch live: 10:30 AM Saturday


Men’s 400m

FloTrack's Team USA projections slotted David Verburg fourth and Tony McQuay sixth in the 400m. The two Americans will look to break 45 seconds for the first time this season after going fourth and fifth in Doha last week.

Watch live: 12:00 PM Friday

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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Schneider, Praught-Leer Notch 5k Olympic Standards At Oxy

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