FloTrack's 2018 Upsets Of The Year

The “Best Of 2018” continues today. This time, we look at the biggest surprises of the year. 

5. Dani Jones: NCAA Cross Country Championships

Jones is not new to running fast. She’s also not new to national titles. So how is her victory last month in Madison considered an upset? 

For starters, she did it at a distance that’s at the tail end of her range (or at least what we previously thought was her range). And second, she had to beat an impressive field of women including last year’s champion Edna Kurgat, pre-race favorite Weini Kelati and hometown favorite Alicia Monson. 

When Jones began reeling Kelati in with 400 meters to go the result seemed inevitable. There wasn’t much doubt that the 4:07 1500m runner would kick past Kelati. But the ease with which she closed the race didn’t make the overall outcome any less surprising.  


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4. Courtney Frerichs: Monaco 3000m Steeplechase

It may be hard to classify a world championship silver medalist getting second in a Diamond League race as an upset, so allow me to explain. 

Prior to the race in Monaco, Frerichs was 0-11 all-time against fellow American Emma Coburn. The two had finished relatively close to one another in the past, but Coburn was the undisputed top steepler in the United States. And any time someone has that level of success it’s a surprise when they lose, even if it is to someone as accomplished as Frerichs. 

In this race, Frerichs broke Coburn’s American record, running 9:00.85. She finished 16 seconds behind Beatrice Chepkoech, but five seconds ahead of Coburn. At the end of the season, Coburn edged Frerichs in the Diamond League final setting up an interesting 2019 steeplechase season. 

3. Ben Flanagan: NCAA Outdoor Championships 10,000m

The late start to his season and his lack of championship hardware made Flanagan a long shot in his final NCAA race. Add in the presence of Matthew Baxter, Tyler Day and Vincent Kiprop, and it was inconceivable that a man with a 29:17 personal best could win the race. But with a powerful final 100 meters, Flanagan kicked past Kiprop to get the victory. 

2. Desiree Linden: Boston Marathon

Linden is in the mix in virtually every marathon she runs. That consistency has put her on two Olympic teams and keeps her around late into the race against women with much faster personal bests. It’s also what was rewarded the most in the awful weather at April’s Boston Marathon. Through the rain, wind and freezing cold, Linden kept going when the mere feat of staying in the race was an accomplishment in and of itself that day. 

Her victory was the first by an American woman in the race since 1985 and gave her the biggest win of her career.

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1. Yuki Kawauchi: Boston Marathon

Before the race, Kawauchi’s manager, Brent Larner, told him “This is the day you were born for.” 

Indeed it was. Kawauchi, a volume marathoner with a day job, who was known for his ridiculous racing schedule and racing in panda suits, relished the bad weather. 

He made several surges throughout the races, hoping to thin out the field. In the end, he only had one man to pass, Geoffrey Kirui. When Kawauchi went past him with just over a mile remaining, Kirui had no response. 


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

(c) 2019 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

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

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