Saturday, May 31, 2008

Instant Analysis!

Check out PreraceJitters.com for instant analysis right after the Reebook Grand Prix and IAAF Golden league meets.

This weekend the Reebok Grand Prix is airing on May 31, 8:00-10:00 p.m. ET, on ESPN2 and June 1, 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET, CBS.

You can watch ÅF IAAF Golden League meet from (DKB-ISTAF)Berlin, Germany live on the webcast on Sunday, June 1st 9 a.m., EST at Trackshark.com or on ESPN taped delayed at 2 p.m., EST.

By Jay Hicks.

Can Great Britain Win the 4 x 100 Relay in Beijing?

Jimson Lee at Speedendurace.com wrote an great article asking can the UK 4x100 relay team repeat with Olympic gold from the '04 Games in 08/08/08? Heck no! Maybe the Brits' 4x100 meter relay should take Michael Johnson’s advice and trip their competitors. That looks to be the UK’s best chances to win gold.

This summer is a big one for the UK 4x100-meter relay talent pool, and some of its biggest guns will be locked in a drawer. It looks more like the nation’s top sprinter, Dwain Chambers will be not be allowed to run in Beijing. Darren Campbell has hung up his spikes for retirement, and Mark Lewis-Francis is out this summer with an achilles injury.

Jamaica will make some kind of run. The Jamaican national team has two legit stars plus, a bunch of guys with international experience. After what we saw at the Penn Relays in April, the Jamaicans can be that much better in Beijing, right? Marvin Anderson, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter and Dwight Thomas ran 39.04 seconds without world record holder Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt, who as of this publication is the second fastest man ever at 100-meters.

Who knows which Americans out of the talent pool will make the team for Beijing. We’re not going to jump the gun and say that Tyson Gay is a lock for the team. So far Darvis Patton, Wallace Spearman, Xavier Carter, Mike Rodgers, Leroy Dixon, John Capel, and Shawn Crawford are in the mix. As long as Team USA doesn’t drop the stick, the relay team is almost guaranteed to run well below 38 seconds.

The Nigerians dropped the stick at the world championships in Osaka last year. If the ’08 relay squad led by Olusoj Fasuba, the fastest guy on the continent, holds on to the stick in Beijing, the Nigerians may surprise some in the Olympic finals.

The 4x100-meter relay results are so difficult to predict because there are so many moving parts, no pun intended. Many of the national teams do not necessarily run or practice together that much before the Olympics because track is an individual sport. No one wants to be remembered for medaling on the relay. But, this Olympics is shaping up to be an epic battle on the track in Beijing. We will have to tune in to see how it all plays out.

By Jay Hicks.

2008 ÅF IAAF Golden League Brings New Age of Sport

Many of the sport’s biggest names are heading to the IAAF Golden League meets in Europe. Jeremy Wariner, LaShawn Merritt, Lolo Jones, and Bershawn “Batman” Jackson are running at the first stop on Sunday, June 1st at the DKB-ISA meet in Berlin, Germany.

What is surprising is that many big name stars have opted for the meets in the United States. This is a major coup for fans in this country but the decision to not run in Europe by some top athletes has left me scratching my head.

The IAAF meets in Europe have a $1 Million AF Golden League Jackpot. Both women and men athletes are competing for all or a portion of the winnings. On top of that, the bigger name stars get appearances fees and travel costs to run in Europe. Meets held in the U.S. offer performance money and travel costs--which is significantly less money.

The Adidas Track classic was fabulous and matchups at the 2008 Prefontaine Classic are ridiculous. Fans have complained about track & field in North America but the adidas Track Classic and Prefontaine Classic are now putting together meets that are normally reserved for the European circuit. But running in these U.S. meets means runners are walking away from potentially $40,000 to $1 million.

The improvements have come about because Adidas and Nike have put a great amount of resources into getting a superior product on the track at their U.S. track meets. The rival shoe giants have gone so far as to include the participation in U.S meets as a stipulation in athlete’s contracts.

More high profile meets in the U.S. means that low to mid-range athletes are getting pushed out of U.S. meets. Meet officials say athletes must be top 50 in the world at their respective events but there are eight lanes on the track. Real talk--it’s tougher than that. Athletes have to be top 10 to get in the Pre Classic depending on the event. Some of the low to mid-range athletes are getting pushed out of the U.S. races and struggle to get in good races in the weeks approaching the Olympic Trials.

Which means that some pros are sitting home this weekend during the Reebok Grand Prix, or running in a last chance meet. Moreover they certainly are not running in the IAAF Golden League meets because the European meets require even faster times.

By Jay Hicks.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Price Dominates & Shatters National 800 Record!

We wouldn't be going overboard by saying this is the best high school victory you’ll ever see.

Chanelle Price took out what looked to be a 60 meter lead during the first lap as she delivered a thunderous 800 (2:02.90) at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association (PIAA) last Saturday at the Track and Field Championships in Shippensburg.

She won the race 10 seconds ahead of the second place finisher Shaniel Chambers of Chester (2:12.18).

The 17-year-old’s time broke Joetta Clark-Digg’s four-time Olympian Joetta Clark-Diggs’ National Federation of High Schools record (2:04.50) and two-time Olympic medalist Kim Gallagher’s 28-year-old PIAA meet record (2:05.47).

She will run next at the Prefontaine Classic. Price’s performance might signal a changing of the guard. Former Olympic champion Maria Mutola of Mozambique returns for her 16th and final appearance in the PreClassic 800 at the Prefontaine Classic on Sunday, June 8, 2008.

The young phenom, Price will attempt to make the Olympic team at the USA Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Ore., which begin on June 27.

Click here to see the Chanelle Price video.

By Jay Hicks.

2008 Reebok Grand Prix Preview

Saturday, May 31st – Sunday, June 1.

The 2008 Reebok Grand Prix is shaping up to be an extraordinary night and day. Meet organizers have landed some of the hottest races. The meet is run at the Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, a 480-acre park anchoring Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens in New York City.

The meet airs on May 31st from 8:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on ESPN and June 1 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on CBS.

Second year pro 400-meter runner Natasha Hasting plays hosts this week. Hastings ran high school at A. Philip Randolph Campus in New York City. With a field consisting of top ranked athletes, in its fourth year meet should provide great drama this week.

Tyson Gay is the defending 100-meter World Champion and has his work cut out for him. Gay is undefeated this season but Usain Bolt has already run an amazing 9.76! The favorite coming in is Tyson Gay, who is on a roll and is gearing up for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Is there anyone hotter than Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown? She is coming off a photo finish victory at the adidas Track Classic (ATC). If you factor in that Allyson Felix will be seeking revenge after a fourth place finish at the ATC—this race will be scorching. Add in a field of Mershevet Hooker, Lauryn Williams, Carmelita Jeter, Bianca Knight, Torri Edwards, and Muna Lee—this field is out of sight. So many talented runners, but it will be interesting to see if anyone has a break out meet to break Veronica’s winning streak.

If you don’t succeed, try, try again. Terrence Trammell has a stellar track record in the 110-hurdles, and his season opener at the ATC was fantastic. A victory against Chinese megastar Liu Xiang is the only thing missing.

After breaking her own American record at the ATC, it would be hard not to pick Jenn Stuczynski this week. She is getting better with each meet and when she is on, she is unbeatable. Jillian Schwartz, Stacy Dragila, and April Steiner will have something to say about that. You have to love competition.

Don’t call it a come back, she’s been here for years. Sanya Richards is back to focusing on her bread and butter race—the 400 meters after running the 100 at ATC. The fierce some force of Natasha Hastings, Dee Dee Trotter, and Jamaica’s Shareefa Lloyd will make this a race to watch.

The men’s 400 is up for grabs. Jeremy Wariner is not running. Derrick Brew and Xavier Carter are the odds on favor to win, but don’t count out Andrew Rock and and David Neville.

Kerron Clement is facing a field with Bayano Kamani in the 400 hurdles.

Khadevis Robinson debuts for the 2008 outdoor season. The eight time national champion at 800-meters will face up to Nick Willis of New Zealand.

Check PreraceJitters.com for instant analysis after the meet.

For more information, visit www.reebokgrandprix.com or www.visachampionshipsseries.com. Tickets are on sale now by phone at 1-877-TIX-TRAC or on-line at www.ReebokGrandPrix.com.

By Jay Hicks.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What Is Going On In The 200?

It is utterly shocking that not one runner has cracked 20 flat this season. This after last season saw five runners broke the 20 second barrier almost at will. Last season Tyson Gay (19.62), Xavier Carter (19.63), Wallace Spearmon (19.65), Walter Dix (19.69), and Usain Bolt (19.75) all made a major impression on the 200’s all-time list.

Tyson Gay holds the world leading time this season at 20 flat from his performance at the Jamaican Invitational. The 20.08 that Gay ran at the Adidas Track Classic was run into a -1.2 headwind. Which means he could have possibly dipped under 20 seconds had it not been for the twister blowing during the race.

Usain Bolt has not run a 200 this year and who can you blame him? Meet directors have been showing him the money to run the 100 ever since running the impressive 9.76. The 21-year-old Jamaican is set to run his first 200m at the Golden League Meet in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on June 12. You can look for Bolt to be in the mix this season when it counts.

The most surprising name not on this list is that of Walter Dix, the reigning NCAA 200-meter champion. He has been sidelined most of the indoors and outdoors with injuries. So far this season Dix’s fastest time has been 20.90, which he ran in Atlanta on May 18.

This time has to be a disappointment to Dix after last season when he burned up the track with a 19.69. That time set the new NCAA outdoor record at 200-meters. But don’t count him out. Dix is a tremendous talent and has the ability to summon his entire being to beat a talented NCAA 200-meter field led by Brendan Christian of LSU, who has already run a 20.21 this season.

Top 10 World Performance List Courtesy IAAF

20.00 Tyson Gay, 5/3/2008
20.08 LaShawn Merritt, 5/09/08
20.08 Tyson Gay, 5/18/08
20.12 Brendan Christian 5/08/08
20.17 Churandy Martina 4/12/08
20.21 Brendan Christian 5/17/08
20.25 Xavier Carter 4/12/08
20.29 Gerald Phiri 5/18/08
20.30 Xavier Carter 5/18/2008

By Jay Hicks.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When athletes blog - Sanya Richards


Sanya Richards took to her blog to share something of hers and of others pro athletes. She is fortunate to have a lot of Nike gear and she’s sharing it with fans.

Click here to read Sanya’s blog.

"Well today I want to help you make your dream a reality.

Every great athlete needs tons of things to get to the next level like an inspiring coach, a supportive family, a decent track and workout facility, and sufficient gear.

I can’t do much about the first three, but I can definitely help with gear!

I’ve been going through my closet and I’ve noticed that I have acquired so much NIKE gear over the past three years! I feel so fortunate to have such a great sponsor and I’d like to share some of my lightly worn gear with some deserving athletes. I’ve also asked Lauryn Williams, Nichole Denby, Marshevet Hooker, Me’Lisa Barber, and Carmelita Jeter and they’re excited to help.

I don’t want to limit this opportunity to just girls so I have also asked some of my male friends Bershawn Jackson, Wallace Spearmon, Tyson Gay, Jeremy Wariner, Darold Williamson, Sanjay Ayre, and Walter Davis to help as well."

To be eligible:

-You must be a student
-You must be a part of an organized track team
-You must also write an essay of at least 100 words explaining why you are most deserving of the gear.
send essays to runwithsanya@sanyarichards.net
or mail them to

PO Box 988
Round Rock TX 78680
Deadline June 25th
Thanks and look forward to hearing from you soon
Sanya Richards

By Jay Hicks.

Photo courtesy AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

When Athletes Blog – Lauryn Williams

Lauryn Williams took her blog to discuss the hot 100-meter race at the Adidas Track Classic. What’s funny is the pro sprinter takes pride in another Lauren Williams, the daughter to Trackmom.com winning L.A.'s Fastest Kid race.

Read what Lauren had to say.

"Wheww! I survived it!! The toughtest field ever…well as far as I am concerned.

Track should have far better following than it does! After all in other sports u spend all year building up for 1 big event then once it is over you have to wait a whole year for it 2 bulid up again and then your team might not be in the championship!! Not in track! You get GREAT races with all the hot names and constant excitement with surprises in the plot on a regular basis. This weekend was a perfect example. 8 of the hottest women in the sprints ALL capable of running sub11 times on the line at the same time!! I can guarantee it was a better line up than any final you can put on the line in Beijing because u can only have 3 people per country and America and Jamaica have far more qualified depth than that! There was a B race where the winning time would have been 4th place in the A heat! Then there are those who chose to either run another event or just weren’t present that you must also watch out for. ( ie. Muna Lee, Miki Barber, Sharone Simpson and Simone Facey just to name a few.) It wasn’t just our event either I could write a book about how much talent was at the adidas track classic. Hopefully you tuned in so you know just exactly what I am talking about.

Although my 9 race winning streak came to an end there was a Lauren Williams that was not only lighting fast but victorious! I believe she’s 8 but had the composure of an adult as she raced down the track to a first place finish from lane 1. She showed that lanes don’t decifer who wins races heart, training and talent does. I wish her the best in her budding career and hope she continues to represent the Williams name well!"

By Jay Hicks.

Photo courtesy Matthias Clamer.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Matt Scherer Runs 1:46.61 PR!

Just 32 days before the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon the 800 is wide open. Matt Scherer of the Oregon Track Club Elite has officially thrown his hat in the ring for the Olympic team by running 1:46.61, a major personal best time. Scherer is roughly the third-ranked American at 800-meters.

The PR marks a progression in his performance that puts him in the mix at this stage of the season. That time met the “B” standard of 1:47.00 for the Beijing Olympics and just barely missed the “A” standard of 1:46.00. The Illinois native will most definitely need to run 1:45ish to make the Olympic squad, but this race is encouragement that he is headed in the right direction.

Scherer told PreraceJitters.com that “I was pretty comfortable the entire race, there is a lot more there. My goal was to stay relaxed down the homestretch. This race set me up for my next couple of race and then the Olympic Trials.”

What is unique about Scherer is that he moved up to the 800 last season from the 400 after graduating the University of Oregon. His personal best time stood at 45.19 in the 400, but he knew that time was not nearly fast enough to compete on the very crowded U.S. 400-meter scene. Fans can see Matt next run on Sunday, June 8 at the Prefontaine Classic.

By Jay Hicks.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Track & Field Really Needs Oscar Pistorius

You can’t take one more story about the doping scandals in track and field.

You’ve heard it all: the current Trevor Graham trial fingering some of the sport's biggest names in Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin, and Tim Montgomery. Or, the once great coach being charged for lying to federal officials about Balco. Or, Dwain Chambers battling with UK officials to run in the Olympics.

But try to sit still for just one more report. This one is an especially important piece. It explores the bigger picture of track and field which as a sport is embattled for its survival and its integrity because it has lost the public trust. A dark cloud hangs over the sport which blocks the public’s attention from arguably one of the most talented group of athletes at one time in this country’s history.

The sport is hurting. Track and field needs Oscar Pistorius and should welcome the sight of him, considering the sport's current gloomy state.

The sport’s federation did what it had to do when the organization ruled that Pistorious could not run in Beijing. The Blade Runner clearly gets a physical advantage from the carbon fiber legs when his competitors run on foot.

But Pistorius is not a threat to make the 400 in Beijing. The Olympic qualifying standard is 45.55, and his personal record stands at 46.55. Which means that he has to drop a second off his time in less than 60 days. In other words, his best chance is four years from now at the London Games.

He’s a hero. A pioneer with the drive to be the best, like every other champion. The pursuit to defy obstacles stacked sky high by the double amputee born without fibulas is inspiring.

In fact, the sport’s history is steeped in such inspirational figures—Jesse Owens defeating Hitler, Joan Benoit shattering glass ceilings, or Cathy Freeman representing the Aboriginal people of Australia. Pistorius may be remembered later for changing perception. Disability may now become ability.

Maybe the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) has given the sport a gift in overturning the ban against Pistorious. Maybe, it’s an opportunity to right a wrong.

I am ecstatic,” Pistorius told reporters in Milan, Italy. “When I found out, I cried. It is a battle that has been going on for far too long. It’s a great day for the sport. I think this day is going to go down in history for the equality of disabled people.”

I hope South Africa decides to include him on the 4x400-meter relay, if it qualifies one. Track needs an inspirational figure to overshadow the depressing drug stories.

By Jay Hicks.

Olympic Hopeful “Hey There” Delilah PRs Again!

Delilah DiCrescenzo, the steeplechaser and muse of the Grammy Award winning song “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s, ran under the Olympic Games “A” standard for the second time this season in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Rio IAAF Wat Meet. She also ran a personal record of 9:43.57.

Keep your eyes peeled. If DiCrescenzo continues to drop her times, she will contend for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Delilah is currently the third ranked American at this point in the season, and her time in Rio also gave her the #9 all-time spot for U.S runners.

By Jay Hicks.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

IAAF Golden League to be broadcast on ESPN

INDIANAPOLIS - American fans can catch all six 2008 AF Golden League meets on ESPN2, the IAAF has announced. Repeat coverage will also appear on a combination of ESPN Classic and ESPN2. In addition to the ESPN coverage, the action also will be webcast on the Sportnet family of websites.

Golden League coverage is part of a domestic broadcast schedule that includes USATF's Visa Championship Series and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials programs. The Reebok Grand Prix will be broadcast Live on May 31 at 8:00 pm ET on ESPN2 and will also have a show on June 1 at 1:30 pm ET on CBS. The Prefontaine Classic will be Live on NBC at 4:00 pm ET. In addition, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials will have multiple shows on NBC and USA between June 28 and July 6.

The IAAF Golden League offers a $1 Million Jackpot, which represents international athletics' biggest annual payday. In 2008, there will be ten Golden League event disciplines designated to the Jackpot including the men's 100 meters, 400m, 1,500m, 400m hurdles, long jump and javelin throw and the women's 200m, 800m, 100m hurdles and high jump. Athletes are required to win at all six meetings in the series to acquire at least a share of the $1 million payday. American athletes star in the chase for the Golden League Jackpot with Sanya Richards having shared the last two jackpots and Jeremy Wariner earning a share in 2006.

Cities and Dates for 2008 - Golden League

Sunday, June 1 - Berlin, GER

Friday, June 6 - Oslo, NOR

Friday, July 11 - Rome, ITA

Friday, July 18 - Paris, FRA

Friday, August 29 - Zurich, SUI

Friday, September 5 - Brussels, BEL

For more information and a full TV schedule, visit www.usatf.org.

Reebok Grand Prix Update!

NEW YORK—Allyson Felix and four other top female athletes have been added to the field for the fourth annual Reebok Grand Prix on May 31.

Felix, who won three gold medals at the 2007 World Championships, will be joined by Sanya Richards, Maryam Yusuf Jamal, Jenn Stuczynski and Lisa Barber.

Richards is ranked No. 1 in the world at 400 meters; Jamal, of Bahrain, is the reigning 1500-meter champion; Stuczynski is the American record holder in the pole vault; and Barber won the gold medal in the 60 meters at the 2006 World Championships.

The field also includes Tyson Gay, Usain Bolt, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Lauryn Williams.

Felix, ranked No. 1 in the world at 200 meters, will run the 100 meters.

At last year’s Reebok Grand Prix, Stuczynski became the first American woman to jump 16 feet. She broke that American record last week at the Adidas Track Classic, cleared 16 feet, 0 3/4 inches.

The Reebok Grand Prix will begin at 5 p.m. on May 31, at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. On the heels of a sell-out last year, 1500 bleacher seats have been added on the backstretch to accommodate the expected demand in this Olympic year.

Grandstand tickets range from $50-$24. Tickets are on sale now by phone at 1-877-TIX-TRAC or on-line at www.ReebokGrandPrix.com, where information about special buses to Icahn Stadium is also available.

We Have Major News!

I am going with media credentials to the U.S. Olympics Trials in Eugene, Oregon with from June 27 to July 6!!!

In a deal with TheFinalsprint.com, I will provide live event coverage from Eugene on the TFS Media Network. The coverage provided on PreraceJitters.com will be news and opinions about goings on during the meet.

If that isn't enough news, I have been invited to participate in the first ever Running Film Festival taking place in Eugene. It's a huge honor and it would not be possible without our readers.

Thank you to all the faithful readers that make PreraceJitters.com part of your daily life.

YES!
YES!
YES!
YES!
YES!
YES!

By Jay Hicks.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Running Film Festival Comes to Olympic Trials!

Hollywood is coming to Eugene, as the city hosts the first film festival ever devoted to the subject of running: the Running Film Festival (RFF), scheduled for July 3 – 5 on the University of Oregon campus.

The project is being presented by TheFinalsprint.com and Running Times. “Everyone knows ‘Pre’, ‘Without Limits’, and ‘Chariots of Fire,’ but there are dozens of other movies and documentaries that runners will enjoy. We created an event that brings together great films, talented directors, elite athletes, and people who simply love the sport. Movie makers have the chance to screen their films for appreciative audiences with entertainment that fits seamlessly with the spirit of Eugene 08,” says Adam Jacobs, Editor-in-Chief of TheFinalSprint.com, a presenting sponsor.

A portion of the proceeds from the RFF will be donated to the Ryan Shay Memorial Fund, an organization established in memory of distance runner and Olympic hopeful Ryan Shay, who died suddenly during the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City in 2007.

For more information, visit the festival website at runningfilmfestival.com.

By Jay Hicks.

Ponce Grand Prix in Puerto Rico!

Hazel Clark is getting back into fine shape, running 1:59.82 to get her first sub 2:00 minute at 800-meters this outdoor season at the Ponce Grand Prix in Puerto Rico.

Former University of Houston sprinter Eboni Floyd placed third in the 100 and came back hard to win the deuce in 22.8. That will help get the up and coming sprinter get into the big races coming up.

Danny McFarland ran an impressive 48.77 in the 400 hurdles and former Baylor standout Bayano Kamani of Panama took fourth in 49.64.

World indoor 60m champion Angela Williams on the U.S. brought her success outdoors winning in 11.32 at 100-meters. Olympic champion Dwight Phillips was upset by Brian Johnson in a great long jump battle.

David Payne made a successful season's debut over the barriers with a 13.49-second victory in the 110m Hurdles, ahead of Aubrey Herring in 13.52 and Jamaica's Richard Phillips ran 13.56.

Kellie Wells of the U.S. ran 12.71 over the women’s 100m hurdles to equal that time for the second time this season.

Click here for the full meet results.

By Jay Hicks.

Trevor Graham Trial!

Everyone knew going in the Trevor Graham trial that it was going to be a public relations train wreck and a major distraction at the very least. And so far the trial has lived up to those expectations.

At the Adidas Track Classic press conference last Thursday, the reporters asked what seemed like an endless number of questions on doping in the sports. So far, there have not been any courtroom theatrics, and let’s hope it stays that way.

Marion Jones' husband injecting her with banned drugs. Tim Montgomery going into Mexico with an admitted steroids dealer to test his blood for drugs. Antonio Pettigrew routinely receiving overnight packages stuffed with the oxygen-boosting drug EPO.

Graham is charged with three counts of lying to federal authorities investigating a massive sports doping ring centered at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, in Burlingame, California.

Yeah, yeah. We know all of these sordid details already. Oh—and the government’s witnesses have accused the former coach of many great sprinters from the 90s and early 2000s of lying about knowledge of the drug game. While this is all shocking, for now track fans can hope for a speedy trial.

Is there a smoking gun? With just three months before the Olympic Games, let’s hope not. But the honest answer is that we will have to wait and see.

By Jay Hicks.

Adidas – ZX800s Jesse Owens Shoes!

Adidas has dropped these sick ZX800s in commemoration of famed Olympic runner Jesse Owens. The kicks are in a patriotic red, white, and blue striped colorway. Owens had a historic 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin by winning four gold medals. He is one of the most famous American athletes of all time.

These shoes pay respectful homage to him. The ZX800s feature a portrait of Jesse Owens on the inside, while maintaining the earlier mentioned red, white, and blue colorway on the outside to celebrate his triumphs for America. Look for these now at select Adidas retailers near you.

By Jay Hicks.

Photos courtesy Sneakernews.com.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Last Lap: On The Fast Track!

  • Is the 100 world record in jeopardy of being broken by a Jamaican sprinter not named Asafa Powell? Word is that he got out slow and shut it down early. And Usain Bolt still rolled a 9.92 in Trinidad. Read IAAF

  • A college runner put down 9.93? Yes, Richard Thompson of LSU dips under 10-seconds—nearing Ato's Bolden's collegiate record of 9.92. We’ll keep our eyes on him. Read More

  • The 400 gets more crowded. Junior Lionel Larry of USC drops 44.77. Read More

  • Like other Trevor Graham athletes such as Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin, and Tim Montgomery--she too was banned for doping. At 37-years-old Michelle Collins is now back in the blocks after cooperating with the government. Read NBC

By Jay Hicks.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

LIVE Coverage at the 2008 adidas Track Classic: Bershawn Jackson Runs Strong!

The men’s 110 hurdles was beset with false starts. A second false start was charged to Eric Mitchum, who was disqualified from the race. Anwar Moore ran well over the hurdles to win in 13.39. Terrence Trammell hit the sixth hurdle and narrowly placed second in 13.40.

Bershawn “Batman” Jackson led from the first hurdle, and the 400m field never caught up to his victorious time of 48.94. Brandon Johnson was the nearest runner in 49.62, and Michael Tinsley was third in 49.68.

The adidas Track Classic also featured the top junior runners from the L.A. area which in the past has produced the likes of Allyson Felix. Lauren Williams won the 8-9 year old fastest kid in LA competition in 11.27 at 80 meters, over Cheyanne Brady who placed second in 11.59, and Amanda VanBuren was third in 11.60.

Allyson Felix did not run the 200 as planned coming into the meet. Coach Bob Kersee thought it best to forgo running a second race for the day. Felix had been dealing with the lost of her boyfriend’s father who passed this week. Muna Lee took the race in 22.30 over Carmelita Jeter in 22.47. Marshevet Hooker who ran 22.49 was a close third. Rookie Bianca Knight took sixth in 22.79.

The women’s 400-meter was up for grabs. Natasha Hastings took the early lead before Novlene Williams of Jamaica eventually won the race in 50.38. Mary Winberg ran strong in 50.41 to place second. Hastings took third in 51.09.

Click here for the full meet results.

By Jay Hicks

LIVE Coverage at the 2008 adidas Track Classic: Wariner is Fantastic!

Jeremy Wariner has a history of running exceptional times at the adidas Track Classic. This year was no different. Wariner ran an impressive 44.42, the second fastest time in the world, with a sore hamstring. Due to his hamstring issues, Wariner got easily out of the blocks and cruised easily down the backstretch. Coming off the final turn Wariner was easily in the lead, followed by Tyler Christopher in 44.71. Chris Brown of the Bahamas placed third, followed by Kerron Clement in 45.10.

Jenn Stuczynski soared to 16 feet, ¾ inches in the pole vault to break the American record for the second year in a row at this meet.

A successful day was had by Tyson Gay. In a come-from-behind 100-meters victory, the reigning world champion beat the field in 10.05. Davis Patton was a close second in 10.06, and Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas placed third in 10.16.

Gay followed up his 100 victory with a successful double in winning the 200-meters in 20.08. Xavier “X Man” Carter was just behind the lead in 20.30. Rodney Martin ran 20.55 to place third.

By Jay Hicks

LIVE Coverage at the 2008 adidas Track Classic: Rupp Wins!

The men's 100-meter dash B-Race was taken by Rodney Martin in 10.13, followed by Steve Mullings in 10.20. Decathlete Bryan Clay placed sixth in a solid time of 10.46.

It was a near photo finish win in 7:51.17 by Galen Rupp in the 3000 meters over Jonathan Riley in 7:51.40.

Last night the men's 800-meter was won in 1:47.51 by Brandon Shaw. Shaw was closely followed by Sam Burley in 1:47.91 and Ralphael Asafo-Agyei in 1:48.05

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

LIVE Coverage at the 2008 adidas Track Classic: Women's 100 Is Hot!

Fans in Carson, CA were treated to a prime time race. Although the women’s 100-meters did not dip below 11 seconds, there was intense drama on the track.

The race has major implications on the Olympic Trials and Beijing. The race survived two false starts, the first by Allyson Felix and the second by Marshevet Hooker, which resulted in her disqualification from the race. On top of those issues, the field faced a head wind of -.9.

Veronica Campbell of Jamaica won the star-studded race in 11.14, just narrowly edging out Lauryn Williams in 11.15. Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart was barely third in 11.16. Just behind Stewart was Allyson Felix in 11.21. Felix seemed to be unable to find the top gear that fans are accustomed to seeing in her races.

Carmelita Jeter took fifth in 11.26 – the same time as sixth place finisher Sanya Richards. Seventh place was taken by Torri Edwards in 11.31, and Lisa Barber rounded out the race in 11.30. Marshshevet Hooker was disqualified due to a false start.

By Jay Hicks.

When Athletes Blog – Sanya Richards

Sanya Richards has taken to her official blog to discuss the big upcoming race at the adidas Track Classic.

Says the 400 meter dynamo.

"MAAAANNNN!!!!

This is what track and field is all about! Its about the best in the world lining up and going at it. I can’t express how excited I am to be in such a star studded 100m field. I always hoped to be one of the world’s elite 100m sprinters but I never thought it would happen so soon. To be in a race with Veronica Campbell, Lauryn Williams, Carmelita Jeter, Me’Lisa Barber, Torri Edwards, Allyson Felix, Marshavet Hooker, and Kerron Stewart is like jumping head first into the fire…BUT I LOVE IT!!!

My teammates at Baylor were joking that someone could run 11.0 and finish ninth! I know lots of times races like these don’t live up to the hype but I really believe that this one will! All the ladies in the field are young and hungry and in an Olympic year everyone wants to be remembered as the best! Although I am extremely competitive, I am keeping things in persprective and only trying to accomplish my goals. At the end of the day I want to improve my speed and hopefully secure a spot on the hardest relay to make, the US Women’s 4×1!
Keep your fingers crossed! This is going to be one amazing race!!!
Until next time. Sanya”

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Adidas Track Classic – Track and Field on TV

Sunday watch the adidas Track Classic on ESPN from ESPN from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. PDT (4 p.m.-6 p.m. EDT)..

The U.S. pro circuit gets kicked off with the first outdoor major meet of the season at the adidas Track Classic in Carson, CA. The marquee events are the men’s 400-meters, where Jeremy Wariner and Kerron Clement face off. The other hot event of the day will be the women’s 100 meters, where seven of the world’s top ten are slated to compete.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Track and Field’s Watergate Unfolds!

After years of rumors and allegations, the last great secrets of illegal sports doping may be revealed at the upcoming trial of former professional track coach Trevor Graham.

In the current doping environment this is an enormous development. There are no precedents remotely resembling these allegations of sports doping. Athletes have been cleaned out of titles and medals. But the stench of doping kept growing like a malignancy on the sport.

Track and field’s watergate is chronicled in a recent London Times piece. The case and the circumstances have the makings to be the mother of all track and field scandals.

Angela Heredia of Laredo, Texas is prepared to admit that he was a primetime player and source of the illegal sports doping game. He also shares his motivations to “tell all” against the coach for whom he previously worked.

Based on what is eluded to in this article, a lot of critical information may be forth coming in the Graham trial. There is a very real possibility that careers may be ruined, other people may face criminal charges and go to jail.

“Though he appreciates the investigators have done a good job, Heredia doesn’t see much changing in the sports world. “At one time, between Victor Conte and me, you could say we had the whole of US track and field in our pocket. Conte was sent to jail, I don’t know what is going to happen to me but I could go to jail too. But I can tell you, nothing is going to stop. Athletes are still going to South Africa to train, they’re still doping.”

Still, there were misgivings. “Even at the last moment, I felt I was betraying my oath, the underground oath among athletes. What hurt me was that, deep down, I didn’t want to put all this stuff on the table. I truly felt sad about it, but Trevor sent that syringe and in the end, I had no choice.”

Click here to read the full Angela Heredia article.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

2008 adidas Track Classic Preview

The top American runners are heading to Carson, California to compete in the adidas Track Classic scheduled for May 18.

The women’s 100-meters, headlined by world champion Veronica Campbell of Jamaica is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested races on the road to Beijing. The event brings together the world’s top ten ranked competitors with a field that also features Carmelita Jeter, Sanya Richards, and Allyson Felix.

The men’s 100-meters features world champion Tyson Gay along with Derrick Atkins, Wallace Spearmon, and Mike Rodgers.

Rookie Bianca Knight will try out her stuff against the world champion Allyson Felix in the 200-meters.

The 400-meters is a compelling race. Jeremy Wariner is putting his winning streak on the line. The world and Olympic champion has not lost a race since September 2005. Wariner pulled out of the 200-meter in Doha, Qatar after he felt a cramp in his hamstring during warm-ups. Wariner will face stiff competition from Kerron Clement.

Terrence Trammell is making his outdoor debut in the 110-meter hurdles. The race includes Allen Johnson and Eric Mitchum.

Tyson Gay and Allyson Felix will compete in the 100 and 200-meters and are the only athletes to double in Carson. Allyson Felix plans to compete in both events at the U.S Olympic Trials and would like to run the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 meter relay teams in Beijing.

The adidas track classic is the second outdoor meet of the USA Track and Field Visa Championships Series. The meet will be televised on ESPN from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. EST.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Last Lap: Track and Field News

  • Crime doesn’t pay. Tim Montgomery sentenced to 46 months. Read Sports Illustrated

  • Have a Coke and a smile. Guess what sprinter inked a deal with the beverage maker.
    Read More

  • It’s on. The Blade Runner wins his appeal for Beijing.
    Read IHT

  • Tyson Gay lands a new sponsor. Read Forbes

  • Hurdler Ron Bramlett retires! Read More

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jenn Stuczynski Nutrilite Commercial!

It’s not often we get to see Jenn Stuczynski show off her stuff. These shots are for a Nutrilite ad that will also air during the adidas Track Classic. The ad was a day and night time shoot that took place in Miami.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Sanya Richards’ Nutrilite Shoot!

Sanya Richards took photos in March that will air in 30 second ads on May 18, during the adidas Track Classic on ESPN2 from from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. ET. Print ads will appear in the Sports Section of the LA Times—Sports Section.

This shoot is part of the endorsement deal that Sanya signed with Nutrilite last year. These behind-the-scenes photos are from her Nutrilite photo and video shoot that took place in Dallas.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

When athletes blog - Lauryn Williams

There are 85 days until the Beijing Olympics. In the last week, Lauryn Williams has started to run some open 100-meter races. The Olympic hopeful explains on her WCSN blog.

“Penn Relays was great!! I love being back in my home state! The crowd is great the atmosphere is wonderful! It is also nice to be on the track with all the big names in US sprinting and not be against them but operating as a unit and we were unstoppable!! USA read and USA Blue finishing in 1st and 2nd and there was even a USA white team that although they didn’t compete was composed of premiere sprinters as well. This just goes to show the depth that US sprinting has and how hard it is going to be to be one of the three that makes the cut at the trials. I am up to the challenge and making sure I am as prepared as possible.

Well I am off to the races! My Theme for the year is DO NOT wish me luck! Luck is for those who have not prepared. All I need is hard work and GOD so if your up to it please pray for me I have definitely worked hard so that part is done! I will report back so with the results until then…GODSPEED!!”

Click here to read the full blog.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tyson Foods Searches for Gold Medal Mom

One of America’s darlings is helping to choose America’s favorite mom.

Tyson Foods, Inc. has teamed up with Olympic gymnastic champion Mary Lou Retton in a national search for the mom most deserving of the title “Gold Medal Mom.”

Dr. Lorraine Williams, editor of Trackmom.com, featured a Tyson Food contest in which mothers of Olympic Hopefuls can win an all-expense paid trip to the Beijing Olympics.

The mom can be someone who volunteers or works full time and raises a family. She must go above and beyond the call of duty. The contest is part of Tyson’s “Thank You, Mom” marketing campaign, which reminder families to thank their mother for the simple things she does every day.

The top winner will receive a trip for two to Beijing, China to the 2008 Olympic Games. The grand-prize also includes $6,000 spending money, and the winner’s face will appear on U.S. Olympic Team packaging. Finalists will receive a $300 gift card to SpaFinder.com.

Click here to cast your vote for the Gold Medal Mom.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

6 Biggest Track and Field Disappointments

  • Carl Lewis - “Never Underestimate Greatness”
  • The U.S. missed an opportunity to win the 4x100 relay at the 1996 Atlanta Games when they left Carl Lewis off the race. Love him or hate him, Carl Lewis is arguably the greatest 4x100 anchor ever—even at 35 with gray hair and ancient legs. A victory could have been accomplished by moving Dennis Mitchell – one of the best third legs in the game, to his natural leg instead of the anchor leg. Instead, TEAM USA was run off the track by Canada in the finals. There is little doubt that the addition of Lewis to the team would have made a difference in the race results.

    The lesson? Faced with do or die—always give greatness a try.

  • Mary Decker Slaney - “Tripped Up”
  • Going into the 1984 Los Angeles Games, Mary Decker Slaney – who held seven American records at the time – was widely considered a shoe-in to medal in the 3,000 meters. Halfway through the race, Slaney tripped when her legs got tangled with those of her main rival, Zola Budd of South Africa. While Budd recovered to come in seventh, Decker sat in the infield in pain and disbelief.

  • Pro Track & Field in the United States - “Lost In Translation”
  • The highly anticipated start of the 1997 professional track and field season did not bring any answers, or even a new, improved professional product to United States fans. Instead, there were actually fewer meets and reduced media coverage for the season’s meets. Somehow, some way, track had failed to capitalize on the golden opportunity to grow professional track in this country after hosting two Olympic Games on U.S. soil in a twelve-year period.

  • Dan O’Brien - “Height of Expectation”
  • Before the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Reebok pumped some $25 million into an advertising campaign involving decathletes Dan O'Brien and Dave Johnson. Dan promptly missed the opening pole vault height and failed to qualify for Barcelona. Dave made it to Barcelona, but only managed a third-place finish. What a let down for so many viewers.

  • Michael Johnson vs. Donovan Bailey - 150-Meter “Showdown”
  • Michael Johnson, the Olympic champ in the 200m and 400m from the 1996 Games, and Donovan Bailey, the 100-meter champion, had to settle the world’s fastest man controversy. After months of hype for the showdown at 150-meters in Toronto's Skydome, the payoff never came. Seconds after it started, the race was over. Michael Johnson pulled up hurt after coming out of the turn. It’s a terrible way to end a race. It was arguably the biggest disappointment since Dan vs. Dave.

  • Dave Bedford - “Failure to Launch”
  • At the 1972 Munich Games, Dave Bedford of Great Britain was one of the most feared long distance runners. He ran a disappointing 5000-meter race, but had a chance to redeem himself in the 10,000. Bedford seemed to have the race set up for him when it settled into a slow, tactical contest. After four laps, when he was due to move ahead, Bedford seemed weighed down by expectation. He lost heart and finished at the back in the pack.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Just Press Play - Dan vs Dave

Who could forget this Reebok Ad?

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Allyson Felix Dominates Qatar!

The women’s 100-meter was completely lit up by Allyson Felix. She won the race in 10.93, setting a new personal best. A half and an hour and a half later she ran a world leading time of 49.83 in the 400. All in a days work for one of track’s brightest stars.

American David Oliver set a new personal best time in winning the 110-meter hurdles in 12.95. He was 0.07 off the world record held by China's Liu Xiang. Oliver's previous personal best was 13.08.

Norway's Jaysuma Saidy Ndure won the men's 100 in 10.01, edging Darrell Brown of Trinidad and Tobago by 0.01. Jamaica's Michael Frater was third with 10.08.

The most concerning news of the day is about reigning 400 champ Jeremy Wariner. He pulled out of the 200 because he felt a cramp in his right thigh during warmups. Wariner had entered the 200 to sharpen his finishing speed in preparation for the upcoming Beijing Games.

"It was bad enough not to run and this being the Olympic year and all that," said manager Deon Minor. Wariner, watching the race in the stands, declined to comment.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Usain Bolt 9.76 Video!

The video of Usain Bolt dropping the second fastest 100-meter time ever popped on up youtube fast—about as fast as the 6 foot, 5 inch Jamaican sprinter hit the finish line. The impressive aspect of Bolt’s race is that it came after two false starts.

Click here to watch the Usain Bolt video.

By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

The Last Lap: A Week of Shock and Surprises!


  • Even Michael Johnson was "shocked" by 9.76. Usain Bolt should get a bonus for that feat alone. Read Telegraph

  • Pay me! Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards running for real gold after the Olympics. Read Austin American-Statesman

  • Jeremy Wariner tells it like it is. The Texas sensation is running his own race. Read Gulf Times

  • PreraceJitters.com told you months ago this little known sprinter may be a threat in Beijing? Michael Johnson even says so! Read IAAF

  • Did rookie Bianca Knight catch vet Veronica Campbell by surprise? Yes, she did. Read Jamaican Gleaner

  • Allyson Felix knows what’s important to her. Read Sports Illustrated


  • By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    When Athletes Blog: Olympic Hopeful Brianna Glenn

    It’s not easy being a pro track runner. Just ask Brianna Glenn.

    She has taken to her blog to share the trials and tribulations of being a professional athlete. Fans love her blog because she shares the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    This time she opened up with fans about missing the Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix because of physical pains and the struggles of running and jumping.

    Brianna had this to say:

    “I usually really like blogging. I get a little excited when I experience something and then immediately think to myself, I’ll blog that later. But right now…not so much. You see, I was really looking forward to having some interesting and exciting news during this time, what with all my travels and competitions that I had on the schedule, but now I find myself back in Tucson an entire week earlier than was planned and I’m quite frustrated. And to be honest, I really don’t want to blog about any of it because I know that I’m a little too emotional right now and a tad bit angry. And scared. And upset. And discouraged. And depressed. And nervous. And shoot, I really could go on and on about all the different emotions I’m feeling but the point is, I really don’t have a handle on any of them. I kind of feel like just screaming into a pillow and eating a whole pint of ice cream. But I’m lactose intolerant so that’s really not a good idea.”

    Click here to read her full blog.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Brianna Glenn Models Olympic Uniforms

    Track’s resident model, Brianna Glenn, was selected to show off Ralph Lauren’s latest winning look in the U.S. Olympic uniforms.

    Brianna is shown wearing a Ralph Lauren designed ‘Olympic Village Wear’ uniform with U.S. Olympic team boxer Deontay Wilder. She is also seen getting a touch-up from makeup artist Johnny Caruso as U.S. Olympic team rower Giuseppe Lanzone stands in the background. These photos are from a New York City photo shoot.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    WCSN.com to Provide Live Webcast from Doha, Qatar on May 9

    WCSN.com to Provide Live Webcast of First 2008 IAAF Super Grand Prix.

    World Championship Sports Network (WCSN) will provide LIVE coverage of the 2008 IAAF Super Grand Prix being held in Doha, Qatar, at the Qatar Sports Club on May 9, at 12:00 p.m. ET. Fans can logon to watch more than 100 of the world's top athletes compete live on www.wcsn.com

    Kicking off this Friday on WCSN, track and field fans will be able to catch the first IAAF Super Grand Prix competition launching the anticipated 2008 IAAF outdoor season. Athletes to look out for at Friday's Doha showdown include 100m world record holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica and world indoor and outdoor high jump champion Blanka Vlasic of Croatia. Both are predicted to start the season on a high note.

    Representing Team USA will be Olympic 400m champion Jeremy Wariner, women's 200m champion Allyson Felix and women's 60m hurdles champion Lolo Jones. The competition is expected to be intense with performances by reigning Olympic champion in the men's javelin, Andreas Thorkildsen, Blanca Vlasic (Croatia) in the high jump and Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) in the 10,000m race.

    Please visit WCSN.com for updated schedules, news, results, photo galleries and more information.

    The LIVE Webcast of IAAF Super Grand Prix will be shown at 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 9th at: WCSN.com.

    About WCSN:

    World Championship Sports Network (WCSN) is the premier destination for fans of Olympic and lifestyle sports, delivering an immersive experience via exclusive live and on demand coverage of world class competitions, interaction with top athletes and in depth access to sports news and information year round.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Wednesday, May 7, 2008

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Sums Up Beijing Boycott Best!

    In Monday’s LA Times, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    wrote a must-read piece about the history of Olympic boycotting comparing the 1968 Olympics to today’s boycott talks of the 2008 Beijing Olympics some 40 years later.

    Kareem says best what PreraceJitters.com has been trying to express for months now on this website. The games are in Beijing at this point, and it is best to engage China rather than isolate them. The United States should use this opportunity to build a bridge to improve life for Chinese citizens and the lives of those whom Chinese policies affect.

    The Basketball Hall of Fame member best writes about the struggle of African Americans at the time of 1968 Olympics in Mexico City—which coincided with the height of the Vietnam War. Instead of a total boycott of the Mexico City Games, a compromise was made that resulted in the salute for black poverty at the medal ceremony by Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

    Abdul-Jabbar writes, “The more we talk with each other, the more we understand each other and can reach compromises that will benefit the lives of those we are trying to help. Jackie Robinson once said that the great thing about athletics is that ‘you learn to act democracy, not just talk it.’ That's what our athletes will demonstrate to the 1 billion Chinese who may be watching.”

    Kareem also went on to say that “a second means of influencing the Chinese is through globalization, in which we share products, entertainment, and culture with others—and they share theirs with us—in order to break down the barriers that make us fear each other's differences.”

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Tuesday, May 6, 2008

    Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix 2008 Preview

    Dohar, Qatar will host some of the track and field's biggest stars at the Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix 2008.

    The meet in Qatar takes place Friday, May 9, featuring American Jeremy Wariner, Natasha Hastings, Lolo Jones, Allyson Felix, Jamaican sprinter Sheri-Ann Brooks, outdoor High Jump champion Blanka Vlasic of Croatia.

    Wariner will bypass his specialty event and focus on his speed in the 200-meters. Felix is scheduled to take on Brooks in the 100-meters. Look for a good match up in the 400 between Allyson Felix and upcoming star Natasha Hastings. who has been running quite well.

    World record holder Asafa Powell had previously committed to the meet before announcing he would be sidelined for two months with a pectoral injury.

    The meet can be seen on WCSN.com. For more information go to http://www.wcsn.com/.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Jeremy Wariner Picks Up Endorsement Deals!

    Jeremy Wariner’s success on the track is paying off. Literally. 24 Hour Fitness has tapped the 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner to promote the California-based fitness chain.

    Wariner will appear in advertising, make personal appearances, and develop signature workouts for members that will be available in-club and at 24hourfitness.com. In April, the Texas native shot a commercial in San Francisco that will hit the airwaves this summer.

    "It's fun getting to do stuff like that," Wariner said afterwards. "I never thought I'd be doing that in my life. This will be my first commercial besides adidas, so I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a fun experience, and hopefully I'll get to do more in the years to come."

    Wariner has also recently signed an endorsement with AT&T.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Sunday, May 4, 2008

    Campbell-Brown, Clement, Hayes join lineup of champions at adidas Track Classic

    Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Clement of the U.S., the 2007 World Champions in the women's 100-meter dash and the men's 400-meter hurdles, respectively, will compete at the adidas Track Classic on May 18 at The Home Depot Center on the campus of Cal State-Dominguez Hills. Five other 2007 World Champions - Tyson Gay, Jeremy Wariner, Allyson Felix, Bernard Lagat, and Jana Rawlinson are also in the Classic.

    The other new additions to the lineup are Joanna Hayes, the 2004 Olympic 100-meter hurdles gold medalist, and Xavier Carter, who won four events at the 2006 NCAA Championships and is the third fastest 200-meter runner in history. The adidas track classic will be broadcast live on ESPN from 1 to 3 p.m. Pacific Time. Tickets (from $10 to $40) are available by calling Ticketmaster at 213-480-3232 or visiting www.Ticketmaster.com. For group sales, call 1-877-AEG-TICKETS. Visit the event website at www.adidasTrackClassic.com for updates and more information.

    Usain Bolt Nears World Record in Jamaica!

    The times coming of the Jamaican Invitational are jaw dropping. Incredible. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt redefined this seasons outlook for the 100-meters. He won in 9.76 with 1.8 wind, nearly breaking his countrymen Asafa Powell’s world record of 9.74. The time is stunning. The performance is sure to get Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell, and the world’s attention.

    Second in the race was America’s Wallace Spearmon in 10.08 and Antiguan Daniel Bailey placed third in 10.12.

    Sanya Richards crossed the line first at the 400-meters in 50.60. The top three finishers ran personal best times in the women’s 100. Kerron Stewart wons the women's 100m in 10.96, Marshavett Hooker ran second in 11.01, 18-year-old Bianca Knight took third in 11.11. The wind measured +.9 during the women’s 100 making it a legal race.

    Kerron Clement won the men’s 400 hurdles in 47.79. In another amazing race, newcomer
    Bianca Knight won the women’s 200 in 22.62 in her first professional meet. Knight beat veteran Veronica Campbell on her home turf. Campbell placed second in 22.9.

    American champ Tyson Gay continued his winning steak taking the men’s 200-meters in 20.00.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Saturday, May 3, 2008

    The Final Lap: Oh My, This is Beyond Embarrassing!


  • Track stars are dropping faster than rap stars. In a New York Times article Anthony Pettigrew fingered in the doping game. Dennis Mitchell to testify about his involved. Read New York Times

  • It’s getting nasty. Guess what coach got dropped for their past involvement in drug infractions. Read Foxsports

  • Powell is out two months with a pectoral injury. For real. No kidding. Read Sports Illustrated

  • Don’t sleep on Derrick Atkins. The Bahamian dropped 10.07 last week. Read IAAF

  • Trying to keep up the good life. Tim Montgomery pinched on heroin distribution charges. Maybe a 9 to 5 isn’t so bad. Read ESPN

  • By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    What Is He Thinking?

    I understand getting caught up in the moment, but let’s not get crazy. In an interview leading up to the Penn Relays, 100-meter champ Tyson Gay said he wants to run the 4x400 meter relay in Beijing.

    Say what?

    Can he break the top eight? The U.S. is deep, deep, deeper than Atlantis in the quarter. Just think Jeremy Wariner (43.45), Darold Williamson (44.27), Angelo Taylor (44.05) , LaShawn Merritt (43.96), Xavier Carter (44.53), Kerron Clement (44.48), Andrew Rock (44.35), Bershawn Jackson, to name just a few.

    Ummm..Tyson split 45.2 at the Texas Relays a month ago. What he really meant to say is that he would love to make history by winning four gold medals. He currently has a shot at three gold medals (100, 200, 4x100 relay) and the mile relay is the only option to get another gold medal. Unfortunately it’s out the question.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    LaShawn Merritt On Top of the World

    At the Guadeloupe meet in the Caribbean, LaShawn blistered the track in the 400-meter with 44.34. He was followed by Angela Taylor in 45.06 and David Neville in 45.08.

    LaShawn’s world-leading time continues to seesaw with the times of Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner. Before this race Wariner held the top time this season, and prior to that Merritt held the honor. For now at least, Merritt lays claim to the leading time in the world.

    If you are looking for a runner that can break Wariner’s current winning streak, just look to LaShawn Merritt. He has proven to have razor sharp speed, posting 19.80 in the 200, and the ability to execute a precise one lap race. This topic may be revisited very soon. Jeremy is set to run the 400-meter at the Adidas Classic on May 18, and he is sure to want to send a message to Merritt.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    Thursday, May 1, 2008

    Breaux Greer, Track's Wildest Man!

    Track athletes had better get to entertaining folks or run the risk a living a life of anonymity buried deep in the bowels of cable tv—oh wait that’s happening now. They better dance, sing, do something. The stakes are too high. Running fast times is not enough to cut the mustard in a society dominated by Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears. Track should tap it’s resources such as Breaux Greer.

    Eight time American javelin champion Breaux Greer, is an entertaining guy who should get more media spotlight. The girls like him, and guys like to hang with him. He demands your attention and could easily steal the show at the Olympic trials.

    The joke cracking, outspoken warrior wears all black gear and hopes to be the first American to medal in javelin since the 1972 Olympics. That’s a long time.

    You have got to check out Breaux’s recent ESPN The Magazine interview. This guy is no joke. He is only the best American in the sport for the last eight years and is one of the country’s most seasoned pro track athletes.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    New Balance LOVE / Hate Commercials

    Women will LOVE this commercial!

    This is new territory for the Boston-based cult running shoe company. New Balance is the runner’s shoe. Traditionally, New Balance has left big ads and big name athletes to Nike and Adidas and focused on low-key marketing. But that was then, and this is now. New Balance is embarking on a big ad campaign to expand their brand. Way to go New Balance!

    Click here to watch the New Balance Commercial.

    Click here to watch the New Balance Commercial.

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.

    When Athletes Blog - Sanya Richards

    Sanya Richards has taken to her WCSN blog to talk about what is on her mind- The University of Texas.

    She said:

    "How lucky am I to have gone to the University of
    Texas! We have some of the
    best resources in the world and I am so fortunate
    to still have access to all of
    them. It is amazing to be able to workout in
    the same place as Chicago Bear’s
    Cedric Benson, Tennessee Titans’ Michael
    Griffin, athletes like Jamal Charles,
    Limas Sweed, Brandon Foster, and
    Marcus Griffin all entering this years draft.
    The guy in the back of the
    picture behind Cedric and I, is Bruce Johnson, our
    strength coach. He is an
    amazing coach and part of the reason that I have had so
    much success over
    the past few years. Missing from this picture is my honey New
    York Giants’
    Aaron Ross, Minnesota Vikings’ Cedric Griffin, and Tennessee
    Titans’ Vince
    Yo ung. They are usually there with us but are currently with
    their teams
    for some early season training.


    Texas is becoming a mecca for world class
    athletes and I am so happy to be a
    part of it. It is extremely inspirational
    to be able to workout with athletes of
    this caliber and we push each other
    all the time. Just the other day Cedric
    Griffin, Ross and I did speed work
    together and I am almost positive there are
    very few women in the world that
    get to train with guys like that!

    Well, until next time…… keep reading!"

    By Jay Hicks, a.k.a. Track Evangelist.