Youth movement taking over trials
Hello from Eugene, Ore. Track Town, USA.The youth movement is on here at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials, and Jeremy Wariner and Carrie Messner-Vickers probably wish that these kids were spending their summer being lazy like so many of Americas youth.Just two years ago, Messner-Vickers, a Carbondale resident, was the No. 1 ranked female steeplechaser in America. However, due to the fact that this event will be making its Olympic debut for women in Beijing, many top collegiate distance runners have turned their attention to the barrier race.The top three finishers in Thursday nights final were Anna Willard (24), Lindsey Anderson (23) and Jennifer Barringer (22). Not a bad showing for these young ladies that were all born about the time that I graduated from high school.From my perspective in the stands, the youngsters seemed to be a source of motivation for the local participant in this race. Carrie Messner-Vickers, 31, ran with obvious determination. After an initial half mile that had the former Colorado Buffalo in sixth position, she decided that it was time to try to run for an Olympic berth.Messner-Vickers made a vigorous move into the fourth position, obviously trying to maintain contact with the lead pack. And maintain she did. Carrie looked very strong until the Hayward Field announcer mentioned that the leaders were not far off of American Record pace. At that point, eventual champion Willard dropped the lap pace from 73 seconds to about 71 seconds and many of the runners that had saved some energy began to pass near the finish line.Even defending Olympic champions who are by no means considered old, can be beaten by the up-and-coming youth in the United States. Case in point is the mens 400-meter dash final where Jeremy Wariner, 24, was out-sprinted to the finish by LaShawn Merritt, 22. Merritt, the young phenom from Virginia, is capable of becoming the next Olympic champion. Well see what Wariner has to say about that in Beijing.The teenagers have also shown well at the trials. Thursday night in the womens 1,500 qualifying round, high school runners, Jordan Hasay, 16, and Christine Babcock, 18, ran well enough to move on to the semi finals. Good luck girls.For complete results and information on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials, log on to http://www.eugene08.com.Happy Fourth of July to Bryce and Bailey.Blake RisnerGlenwood Springs High School track and field coach
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