The 2019 Millrose Games did not disappoint the pre-meet hype.
Welcome back to my 5 thoughts series where I recap a race or weekend in running and give you my general musings on what the greater impact may be overall. Check out some of my last thoughts here.
1. Keep Kemoy Campbell in your hearts this week.
There was a scary scene for Kemoy — the former Arkansas standout, and Jamaican Olympian — who had pacing duties in Saturday’s 3000m. After taking the field through 1k he slowed to stop and stumbled off the track around the turn. It was an upsetting scene as Campbell wasn’t moving but luckily the Armory is well positioned and the medical staff were able to get to him pretty quickly. As of this writing, Kemoy is in a medically induced coma for the next 48 hours and we won’t know much about his condition until after that.
In the meantime, we all need to keep Kemoy in our hearts and in our thoughts… truly a scary day for us Track fans.
2. Kejelcha missed the WR by .01 seconds!
Kejelcha lived up to the hype in the Wannamaker Mile as he launched his full-on assault of the indoor Mile World record. Coming into the day Letsrun had some great analysis on what it would take for Kejelcha to take down the mile record — and while the record is incredibly soft compared to the outdoor 1500 record, this is still early in the year considering it is a championship year. However, many great runners have competed in the Wannamaker mile and none of them had been able to run 3:48.46 and none of them have come this close to breaking the World Record.
Breaking down the game tape — fast forward to 26 seconds into the twitter video above — Kejelcha swings real wide coming off the final turn. I want you to think about what .01 seconds feels like…. not even enough time to lift your foot off the ground. Consider this and notice Kejelcha’s form as he makes his way down the home-stretch, those slight slip-ups would easily account for .01 seconds and if he can keep hugging the lane as he enters the final 50m he has the record. Now, as someone who has experienced what the final 100m of a PR mile race — asking someone to be cognizant of where they are in their lane is a HUGE ask!
I only say this as a Monday morning running coach, besides that last 100m or so, he looked impeccable.
3. Morgan McDonald vs Grant Fisher will be something to watch this year.
The Wisconson and Stanford standouts were able to outclass the pro field Saturday. Grant Fisher’s 7:42.62 picks up his PR in the win while McDonald’s 7:42.76 was enough to set an Australian National record. I love seeing races like this go down to the wire, races where we are bound to see them match up against each other all year long. The next wave of Olympians that will come out of the NCAA ahead of 2020 have me pumped to cover the next year and a half of running.
4. PRs all around in the Women’s Wanamaker Mile
With a somewhat surprising win from Konstanze Klosterhalfen — who set the German record with a 5 second PR — this race wasn’t as much of a foregone conclusion. With the likes of Colleen Quigley, Kate Grace, Katie Mackey, and Cory McGee it was anyone’s race and after the dust settled it made Klosterhalfen’s race much more impressive. Coming in behind her was Quigley in a PR time of 4:22.86 and Kate Grace in 4:24.27.
All said, there were 7 runners who ran personal bests which is a testament to the pacing and how ready everyone was to get after it.
5. 2 American records go down at 800 meters
Saturday saw Ajee Wilson win her race handily in a AR 1:58.60, while Donavan Brazier was out-leaned by Michael Saruni who ran a national record 1:43.98.
Brazier’s American Record of 1:44.41 breaks Johnny Gray’s long-standing 800m record and shows again that Brazier is the future of American middle distance running. I hate to give NOP credit but they really had an outstanding meet and it should be a really good year for them.
In the mean-time, Ajee Wilson shows that her stranglehold on American distance is still in effect. Will she improve on her 2016 Bronze medal?
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