Emily Sisson Is Probably America's Next Great Road Runner

Three American women have ever run a faster half marathon than the 68:21 that Emily Sisson ran on Sunday. They're Deena Kastor, Molly Huddle, and Kara Goucher, and all three got rich and famous by being very good at racing long distances. Kastor has an Olympic bronze medal. Goucher has a world bronze, and Huddle has set an armful of U.S. records on the track and roads. And the four women directly below her on the American half-marathon list are Amy Cragg, Shalane Flanagan, Joan Benoit Samuelson, and Jordan Hasay. Cragg was ninth in the Olympic marathon. Flanagan has an Olympic bronze medal, and Samuelson has an Olympic gold.

If you tried to make the case that Kastor, Flanagan, Huddle, Goucher, and Samuelson are the five best American long distance (5K and up) runners ever, you would not be wrong. Sisson would have the fourth-fastest half-marathon PR in that room.

There will be, justifiably, tremendous hype around Hasay's marathon debut in Boston a month from now. Hasay is three weeks older than Sisson and was 0-4 against her on the roads last year.

The point here is, any American woman who has even run within a minute of what Sisson did in New York on Sunday is a superstar. But Sisson has been overshadowed for a few reasons.

First, she's never made a U.S. senior team on the track or in cross country--something Hasay did when she was just 21. Second, she is thriving right behind her training partner, Huddle, who has finished right in front of her in two all-time great performances this winter. In addition to beating Sisson by 1.81 seconds at the NYC Half, Huddle beat Sisson by 0.46 seconds in a 5K in Boston. Sisson's time there also makes her the No. 4 American ever in the indoor 5K.

Kastor and Samuelson are still racing unbelievably well for their ages, but Kastor is 44 and Samuelson is 59. Goucher is 38 and hasn't raced since the Olympic Trials last February; Flanagan is 35 and just pulled out of the Boston Marathon with a fractured back. Huddle has already taken up the mantle, finishing third in her marathon debut in New York last fall.

According to Providence coach Ray Treacy, who has coached Huddle for the last 10 years and Sisson for the last five, Sisson isn't quite ready to join Huddle in the marathoning ranks. Her main goal this year to make the U.S. outdoor 10K team this summer on the track. But when she does run her first marathon--maybe in the spring of 2018--it will be the biggest debut since at least Huddle's. 

Huddle's time on top of the game might only last a few more years; she'll be 33 by the time of the 2018 Boston and London Marathons when Sisson may debut at 26. For a brief period, though, it seems likely that two women who train together in Rhode Island will be the two best road runners in the country. The bar for achievement by training partners is high, as Cragg and Flanagan went 1-3 in the Olympic Trials marathon last year. But Huddle and Sisson are well positioned to match them.

The Best Track And Field Athlete From Every NCAA Tournament School

The 2019 NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Tournament begins this week, and in honor of March Madness we’ve selected the best track and field athlete— past or present— from each of the tournament’s 68 schools (minus Old Dominion, who does not have a track team; get a track team Old Dominion). Some of the names below are NCAA track and field legends from major programs. Others on this list never even qualified for the NCAA Championships. The 68 here ran the gamut, from Olympic heroes to mere school record holders.

Why LetsRun Is Wrong & USATF Is Right About Olympic Qualifying

Last week, the IAAF announced its new qualification process for the 2020 Olympic Games, which included tougher entry standards and new computerized world rankings. The reaction was intense as some media outlets painted an apocalyptic worldview for U.S. athletics. In reality, it’s not that dramatic.

Cal Coach Tony Sandoval To Retire

Tony Sandoval, the director of track and field and cross country at Cal, will retire at the conclusion of the outdoor season. Sandoval spent 37 years at the university, beginning as the head women’s coach in 1982. 

Six Reasons We're Looking Forward To The NCAA Outdoor Track Season

As exciting as 200-meter ovals and banked curves are, we’re ready for the unpredictable weather, sprint relays and 10K races of spring track season. Here’s a few reasons to get excited for NCAA outdoor track and field.

FloTrack To Stream 2019 Boston Marathon In Europe

AUSTIN, Texas — March 18, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, and the Boston Athletic Association, announced a partnership to provide live and on-demand coverage of the 2019 Boston Marathon on FloTrack.com exclusively in over 40 European countries. 

Ethiopia's Belay Tilahun, Not Included In Elite Field, Wins NYC Half

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Linden, Chelimo Ready for United Airlines NYC Half On Sunday

The United Airlines NYC Half is often considered a springboard to future goals for elite runners, but that's doesn't mean they take the event lightly. American Olympians Des Linden and Paul Chelimo are approaching next Sunday's race as a critical competition, even as they use their trip to New York as an important test for upcoming targets.

Grant Holloway Is Very Close To Being The Best Hurdler In The World

Holloway After 60mH AR & 60m Title

It’s tempting to view what Grant Holloway did over the weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championships-- 7.35 American record in the 60m hurdles and a 6.50 60m victory, plus third place finishes in the long jump and 4x400m-- as a man at the peak of his powers. But for an athlete with medal potential at October’s World Championships, the Florida superstar may only be scratching the surface of his ceiling in 2019.

House Of Run: Which Diamond League Events Are Getting Dropped?

Jason and Kevin discuss the exploits of Grant Holloway and Morgan McDonald at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the revamped 2020 Olympic qualifying standards, the Diamond League cutting events and losing to people wearing costumes.

The Challenge Of Doubling, Irrelevant Seed Times & Other NCAA Takeaways


Grant Holloway stole the show, while Florida and Arkansas walked away with team titles. But what were some of the other takeaways from Birmingham?