It was a big weekend for US distance running fans, with Chris Solinsky breaking Meb's American Record for 10,000 meters at Stanford on Saturday. As usual, I missed the best distance meet in the country because I was in L.A. for the UCLA - USC dual meet. Not only did the Trojans defeat both the men and women, but Meb lost his record. Not the best Saturday for the Bruins.
My latest article at Runner's Tribe looks at Chris Solinsky and wonders how we could forget about such an amazingly successful runner when we discuss the best distance runners. Here's a snippet:
Maybe it's because he came after the Class of 2001, which had the amazing trio of Ritz, Alan Webb and Ryan Hall. Few athletes were as dynamic as Webb, who broke Jim Ryun's mile record, and Ritz set the standard for high school cross country runners with his two Foot Locker victories and his 3rd at World Junior Cross Country. You could forgive fans for paying most of their attention to those three.
Chris Solinsky will always be remembered as the first non-African to go sub-27.
And it didn't help that Galen Rupp, the high school record breaker with the famous coach, came right after him, either. Rupp would go on to set five high school and junior American Records, and seemed to create controversy and strong opinions due to his training situation. More recently, and despite Solinsky's amazing performances, we've been enamored with German Fernandez, Chris Derrick, Evan Jager, Andrew Wheating and now Robby Andrews, our 'phenoms du jour', if you will.
One person has done more to keep Chris Solinsky out of the spotlight than any other, however, and that's his training partner and former college teammate, Matt Tegenkamp. For the past two and a half years Chris Solinsky has trained and raced against Teg, and Teg has simply had his number. Like many fans, I got sucked into thinking of Chris Solinsky as being "not quite as good as Teg" and not "on an upward path and gaining on Teg".
Something tells me nobody will be making that mistake again.
Click here to read the full article!