Paul Chelimo Leads Slew Of Kicks And Comebacks At TrackTown Summer Series

Paul Chelimo

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STANFORD, CA -- Led by Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo, track athletes gave fans reason to celebrate under the lights Thursday night with a slew of personal bests and comebacks at the TrackTown Summer Series San Francisco.

With a dominant last lap that was timed in 56 seconds, Chelimo continued his winning ways with a victory in the men's 3,000m race. The U.S. Army standout represented the Portland Pulse when he crossed the finish line in 7:48.58, comfortably ahead of a hard-charging Graham Crawford, who finished second in 7:49.93. 

Chelimo's performance took place less than a week after he executed aggressive tactics to win the 5K at the USATF Outdoor Championships. Chelimo shocked the crowd when he took the lead from the gun and held it through the finish to win in 13:08, the second-fastest time of his career. His career best of 13:03 was run when he earned a silver medal behind Olympic champion Mo Farah at the Olympic Games last summer. When asked about his gold medal prospects at the IAAF World Championships in London, Chelimo told FloTrack that he is working on his mental toughness and doesn't put any focus on the other competitors in his way. 



After missing the USATF Outdoor final last weekend, Queen Harrison returned with a vengeance to win the women's 100m hurdles. With the disappointment fresh in her mind, Harrison said she wanted to put forth a comeback effort. She accomplished the feat with a victory in 12.73. 



Hannah Fields had arguably one of the biggest career improvements at the meet when she ran a six-second personal best to win the 1500m. The Brooks Beast middle distance runner out-leaned Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Amanda Eccleston to win the race in 4:05.30, just 0.14 seconds ahead of Eccleston. After the race, Fields shared that she was inspired by teammate Drew Windle, who finished third in the 800m at the USATF Outdoor Championships and earned a spot on the world championship team. 



Cooper Teare coined himself the "fastest to not break four" minutes in the mile after coming excruciating close to the barrier once again. The Oregon-bound runner ran 4:01.92 to win the boys mile and edge out Luis Grijalva, who ran a huge personal best of 4:02.64 for second. 

Teare has run 4:02 or faster four times in 2017. His closest attempt came in a solo effort at the Mt. SAC Relays, when he ran 4:00.16. Although he was disappointed to come so close to the mark once again, Teare told FloTrack that he is looking forward to competing for Team USA at the Pan American Junior Championships in July. 



Former Iowa All-American Aaron Mallett also put forth a solid comeback effort when he posted a personal best of 13.37 to win the 110m hurdles. The performance improved on his previous personal best of 13.44 set while competing in the semifinals of the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Mallett recently finished sixth in the final of the USATF Outdoor Championships. 

The San Francisco meet was the first of the three-part series set to continue in Portland, OR, and New York City. Athletes represented teams selected through a draft process. After the first competition, the San Francisco Surge leads the team race with 90 points. The Portland Pulse holds 86 points. The New York Empire has 84 points, and Philadelphia Force earned 69 points.

Michigan State Coach Walt Drenth Retires

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November 22, 2014, was a magical day for Michigan State director of cross country and track and field, Walt Drenth.  His Spartan women, six of whom came from Michigan high schools, showed their superior depth and dominated the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., despite putting only one athlete --sophomore Rachele Schulist-- in the top-10.  They scored 85 points to Iowa State's 147, giving Michigan State their first and only women's national cross country title.

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