Charles Jock Named Alternate After Arriving In Bahamas, Leaves World Relays

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports USATSI_9370020_168383134_lowres.jpg

Charles Jock, a 2016 U.S. Olympian in the 800 meters, has elected to leave the IAAF World Relays after USATF informed him that he would be an alternate for the men's 4x800 meter relay.

The official roster decisions were announced at Friday's technical meeting here in Nassau, the Bahamian capital, though Jock's camp says he found out that he was an alternate on Thursday evening.

Clayton Murphy, Erik Sowinski, Brannon Kidder and Casimir Loxsom were selected to run instead of Jock, who took third place in the 800m at the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer, then biked home. As Murphy, who earned bronze in Rio, is the only other Olympian in the group, Jock's camp was extremely displeased with the decision. Oregon Track Club Elite head coach Mark Rowland said that "we are disappointed and feel forced into making this decision" and that Jock left "due to the lack of transparency, communication and respect shown to him." Rowland also wanted to "stress that this has no reflection on any of the [other] athletes."

Update: In a text message, Jock said that "I'm already back in the states... Once I arrived in the Bahamas and was informed I was an alternate, I was told three different and unsatisfactory reasons of why/how the decision was made. As honored as I am to be a part of any Team USA, I didn't fly to the Bahamas to watch the World Relays. I thought it best I shift focus to my next race. Wishing the guys competing the best and hoping they bring home the gold."

USATF representative Amanda Brooks said via email that final roster decisions are made by head coach Orin Richburg, in conjunction with the event group coach--in this case Gary Morgan, a race walker who won 17 national titles during the 1980s and 1990s.

The USATF selection process for the IAAF World Relays is fairly strict. The three Olympians from the previous year for that event are invited first. For the 800m specifically, the next invitees are the 600m and 1K champions and runners-up from the U.S. Indoor Championships. Murphy is the U.S. Olympic Trials champion; Trials runner-up Boris Berian declined the position, and Jock accepted. Sowinski won the 600m at U.S. Indoors; Loxsom was runner-up for 600m and set the world record in the event earlier in the year; Kidder was runner-up in the 1K behind Murphy.

Jock, Kidder, and Loxsom have not raced yet this outdoor season. Sowinski ran 1:45.95 behind Murphy's 1:43.60 at Mt. SAC last weekend. Jock raced just once this indoor season: a 2:21.51 1K, his debut in the distance.

Below is a statement from Nike Oregon Track Club Elite head coach Mark Rowland, provided by Jock's agents.

2016 Rio Olympian Charles Jock has decided to leave the USATF World Relay Camp due to the lack of transparency, communication and respect shown to him in being left off the 4x800m starting line-up. We are disappointed and feel forced into making this decision.

Charles informed USATF well in advance of the invitation going out of his intent to be selected and at no point did we believe he would not be racing based on his performance from last year over 800m and being 1 of 2 Olympians who accepted the invitation.

The selection criteria states:

For the men's & women's 4x800m relay pools at the World Relays, invitations will be issued to those athletes who were the three (3) U.S. Team members in the 800 meter competitions at the 2016 Olympic Games, and to the 1st and 2nd place finishers in the 600 meters and the 1000 meters at the 2017 USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, NM. There will be a maximum of five (5) athletes, each gender, for both the men's & women's 4x800 pools -- to be selected from among the invitees who accept the invitation.

It is virtually impossible to select athletes on current form at such an early stage of the season otherwise we would have fully accepted other athletes coming into the equation.

It also appears that an indoor [non championship outdoor event] 600/1k supersedes Olympic representation in this instance and I have difficulty in understanding the logic behind this call.

I believe it's important to make a stand to protect the integrity of the sport so athletes/coaches in the future will not be placed in the same situation and accountability will surface.

Lastly, I fully understand and I am aware of the difficulties in team selection having been part of a federation in the past hence the need for bullet-proof selection criteria or at least open communication/notification.

Brian Herron Plans To Skip HS Outdoor Season And Run Unattached

USATSI_10553179_168383134_lowres.jpg

Brian Herron is quickly becoming one of the nation's top sprint talents, but he may soon join a very rare list of athletes with great potential who never won a state championship. 

Christian Coleman, Natoya Goule Highlight Professional Weekend

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Coleman

Last Friday, Christian Coleman jump-started the professional indoor season with his 6.37 performance in the 60m. While there’s still uncertainty about whether or not the time will be ratified as an American and world record — there are different requirements for each — it signals that Coleman’s 2017 wasn’t an aberration. 

Norway's Sondre Nordstad Moen To Race Napoli Half Marathon

unnamed.jpg

Sondre Nordstad Moen will begin his 2018 racing season in the Napoli City Half Marathon (February 4th) after a sensational final few months in 2017.  In September he began with a personal best 27:55 for 10K in the Birell Prague Grand Prix and concluded with a December victory in the prestigious Fukuoka Marathon in a European Record 2:05:48.  In the interim he improved to number three on the European half marathon list with 59:48, in Valencia.

Matthew Centrowitz Moving To D.C., Still With Nike Oregon Project

CentroOlympics.jpg

Matthew Centrowitz announced on Instagram that he is still with the Nike Oregon Project, but has relocated back to the Washington, D.C. area. The 2016 Olympic champion in the 1500m attended Broadneck High School in Annapolis, Maryland. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Oregon and remained in Oregon for his professional career. 

All The Best Things That Happened In The NCAA This Weekend

Cheryl Treworgy Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 9.17.42 AM.png

Three collegiate records highlighted NCAA action this weekend, as UTEP sophomore Michael Saruni, Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp, and Georgia senior Keturah Orji set standards in their respective events.

Keturah Orji Breaks American, Collegiate Indoor Record For Triple Jump

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 2.05.26 PM.png

Georgia's Keturah Orji broke her own American and NCAA indoor records in the triple jump on Saturday with a leap of 14.53m/47-8 at the Clemson Invitational.

Katelyn Tuohy Shatters Mary Cain's National High School Record For 5K

a.jpg

North Rockland High School, New York, sophomore Katelyn Tuohy ran the fastest 5K ever for a high school girl — indoors or outdoors — today with her winning time of 15:37.12 at the VA Showcase in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Christian Coleman Crushes 60m World Record In His Season Opener

DT8ZhghXkAY1zsK-1.jpg

Today, in his first meet of the year, Christian Coleman set the bar for his season incredibly high and put the world on notice. 

Vincent Crisp Runs Fastest Collegiate Time Ever For 600 Yards

Kirby Lee VincentCrisp.jpg

Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp posted the fastest indoor collegiate mark of all time over 600 yards on Friday. Competing at the Texas Tech Red Raider Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, Crisp ran 1:08.16 and held off TCU’s Derrick Mokaleng, who ran 1:08.18.

Michael Saruni Runs World-Best In Indoor 600m

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 8.12.01 AM.png

On Friday night, Michael Saruni continued his hot start to 2018. The UTEP sophomore ran a world-best time of 1:14.79 in the 600m at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational in Albuquerque.