Saturday, April 25, 2009

Early Weekend News

Relay running takes center stage at Drake and Penn, but distance runners made some noise on Friday at a couple of meets here on the West Coast.

In Oregon, Colorado steeplechaser Jenny Barringer opened up her season in the 1500 meters and won in a world leading time of 4:08.38. The 1500 seemed to be a good race to run in Oregon as half miler Andrew Weating moved up in distance and won in 3:40.92.

In Berkeley, miler Shannon Rowbury moved up in distance to the 5000 meters and set a stadium record and world leading time of 15:12.95! At twice the distance, Sam Chelanga of little Liberty College set a Collegiate Record and world leader with his 27:28.48 victory! An outstanding early season mark. Anthony Famiglietti ran a nice 27:39.68 in 4th. Nice to see our middle and long distance runners running some off distance races early and doing well!

Today should be highlighted by action at Drake and Penn. The highlight at Drake should be the open 400 where Jeremy Wariner takes to the track. He could get a push from former World Championships medalist Andrew Rock who will also be competing in the race.

Penn will be highlighted by USA vs the World Relays, though one of the featured events, the men's 4x1, lost some luster when Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell pulled out of the event due to injury. Though reports say he may run in the open 100. Apparently ankle pain keeps him off the relay turn but allows him to run the 100 meters!

Several top Americans will be at Penn and will be taking part in relay duty, including Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards, Lauryn Williams, Wallace Spearmon, Lashawn Merritt, and Walter Dix among others. Meanwhile 2007 double World Champion Tyson Gay looks to be opening his season today at the Sun Devil Invitational in Arizona taking a turn at the 400 meters.

Should be a hot day of track and field. Penn Relays will be televised today on ESPN2 starting at 1pm PST. Drake will be televised tomorrow on ESPN2 starting at 11am PST. Gonna be a good weekend.

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