I've been doing some research on a new topic and haven't been spending much time writing. And I know the World Cross Country Championships were last weekend, but I don't have much to say yet as I haven't watched the videos. Hopefully soon.
I did take the chance to go out to the Stanford Invitational this weekend, however. I went to the distance carnival on Friday night and most of the Saturday session. Below are my top five performances from the meet:
1. The weather. As usual, the weather at Stanford stole the show, particularly on Friday night. It was cool, calm, and absolutely beautiful. At no point did the runners experience any wind faster than 13-14 mph, save for a few athletes during their kicks. A perfect night for distance running. So good, in fact, that Shawn Forrest just got Mebbed by the weather.
2. Shawn Forrest 13:28 5000m. I usually stick to the Americans on these lists, because it's just a bit hard to follow all the goings-on around the world. With that said, Forrest's performance at Stanford was incredible. He passed the pacemaker at the mile mark, and then just hammered his way to a big PR. He beat Olympian Jonathan Riley and a very strong group of runners easily. The best part was that he looked like the pace had caught up with him at the 3400m mark, but he just kept grinding and grinding. What a performance.
3. Laurynne Chetelat 15:43 5000m. She only finished 4th, and a full second behind Nicole Blood of Oregon, but here's why she gets the nod. It was her first time running the 5k; she ran the 2nd fastest junior time ever (behind only Molly Huddle's 15:36.95, I believe); and ran an amazingly controlled race. By the end of this year, Stanford may have the two junior American record holders at 5000m.
4. Dan Nunn 28:24 10000m. I don't think I even realized he was in the lead pack until the last 600m, when he exploded to the front and hammered it all the way home. I don't know how old he is, but Girma Mecheso, a freshman at Auburn, also ran in the lead pack the entire way, finishing in 28:26. For me, that gave an indication of what we could expect from Fernandez or Derrick right about now, as I don't think Mecheso has anything on them.
5. Diego Estrada 13:47 5000m. I admit I'm biased towards youth. But you have to admit that Estrada's time, despite it coming in a race where he finished 11th, is amazing. It's tough to imagine him knocking ten seconds off of it this year, but there is potential for four freshman to run as fast as Galen Rupp's junior American record this year. That's ridiculous.
Some other random musings...
Jen Rhines is tiny! Sarah Bowman is not a smooth runner...powerful yes, but not smooth. Christine Babcock looks like she should be slower. Kyle Perry (BYU steeplechaser) reminds me a bit of a giraffe. Josh McAdams just doesn't look like an elite distance runner. I'm regretting putting Chanelle Price so high in my Trade Values column after her stinker this weekend...seriously, she's just too big. Lacey Cramer is legit...she's going to be very good. Bolota Asmerom drops out of more races than anyone in the history of the sport. My wife thought Galen Rupp looked like a high schooler...but to his credit she still knew who he is. Speaking of little kids, the little kids race at Stanford was absolutely adorable...pure entertainment. The blanket finish in the men's 10k was the best of the meet, though. The Heaths won the battle of the brothers...1) Heath's (low 13:40s); 2) Mercado's (28:40s); 3) Ghebrays (28:29 and DNF). Solinsky and Dobson both looked flat in their 1500m race. Austin Abbott didn't. The Shackletons at UCLA officially knocked me off the all-time 10k top ten list...kudos to them. I think Hall will be alright in the steeple...but never good enough to make a US team. And seriously, the weather was AMAZING.