Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kicks: adidas Super Kegler

The OG version of the adidas Super Kegler will be released in January. The looks is the original 80;s look and feel while adding a perfortated upper sole. The re-issue maintains the shoe while adding a modern splash to the classic kick.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Willie Gault Tapped As New CEO

You may recall when he a part of the world record 4x100-meter relay, or when he qualified for the 1980 Moscow Games, or when caught for over 100 yards as a part of the Superbowl Chicago Bears. Willie Gault achieved a lot during his athletic career.

It was recently announced that legend Willie Gault has agreed to become co-CEO of SignaLife. Signalife, Inc. announced that Willie Gault - whose passion has led to the formation of Athletes for Life - the non-profit charity who sponsored heart screenings at which the lives of patients across the country have been saved, including 16-year old high school athlete Josh Nails - has been appointed co-CEO of the Company to handle all operations.

On behalf of investors as well as individually, Mr. Gault has achieved numerous large mergers and acquisitions in various industries throughout the 50-United States, and manages these investment interests for a vast array of clients nationally and internationally.

Mr. Gault's initial salary shall be $1.00 per annum, until the Company is profitable.
Mr. Gault also commented: "I am honored to take on this position. Every person deserves not to die suddenly. In no other disease state can it be said that "this disease can kill instantly." The exception is stroke, however, even that can be prevented by good comprehensive physician-screenings.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kicks: Nike's Innovation to Innovation Pack

The Nike Innovation to Innovation pack includes the cortez Flywire . This is the same innovative lightweight technology used in the latest Nike track spikes includes the Aerofly spikes which are also known as the Asafa Powells. The have been 72 pairs made for the MTV European Music Awards on November 6th in Liverpool. Via [Kicksaholic]

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Runnerspace Live

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rupp and Oregon Win XC Titles

This season he picked where he left off last season in terms of success and winning. Olympian Galen Rupp managed his first individual NCAA Div I Cross Country Championship title. The 2008 Olympian covered the 10k course in 29:04, leading the University of Oregon to a second consecutive title. Liberty Universities' Samuel Chelanga led the race from the gun up until the 400-meters mark when Rupp pulled ahead to put away the victory.

"My coaches told me to sit back, be smart and stay focused," Rupp said. "It was going to come down to a sprint and I relaxed until I was ready to go. I was more patient than last year, and when I made my move it was decisive. With about 800m to go I heard someone say 'Remember last year,' and that helped me win."

The Red Raider football team isn't the only of the schools sports to discover winning ways this season. Sally Kipyego solidified her three consecutive women's title. In flying over the 6 km course in 19:29, Kipyego became the winningest women's cross country runner in Division I history.

Susan Kuijen of Florida State managed to stay within striking distance through half-way, but Kipyego easily pulled away for a six-second win. The University of Washington won the women's team title over Oregon with 79 points.

"It was cold and windy and the hardest of my three wins," Kipyego said. "I tried to stay positive and run my best race. It's an amazing feeling and a wonderful opportunity."

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Unstoppable Bolt and Isinbayeva Snag Top Award

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica and Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva won the IAAF World Athlete of the Year awards on Sunday.

Bolt set world records in the 100 and 200 metres at the Beijing Games in August. His third gold medal came in Jamaica's 400 relay, also a world record.

Isinbayeva successfully defended her Olympic title and remained undefeated in outdoor competitions in 2008. The Russian pole vault queen cleared 5.05 metres in Beijing to set her 24th career world record and retain the Olympic title.

Both athletes take home $100,000 for winning award.

The entire field were Olympic champions and achieved incredible feats. Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles and Ethiopian long-distance runner Kenenisa Bekele were the other contenders in the men's category. Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia and Kenyan Pamela Jelimo were in the running on the women's side.

By Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Kicks: Nike Air Max LTD - Magnificent Seven

They just keep coming. Nike oozes shoes inspired by the Olympics. These kicks are inspired by Olympic flag colors and architecture visible in the Bird's Nest in Beijing. Footlocker and Nike colloborated [Via SneakerFreaker]

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Friday, November 21, 2008

NCAA XC Moving Forward

Progress is being made in college cross country. The sport needs to be broadcast live and as frequently as possible.

CSTV will air the Division Cross Country National Championship meet live on CBS College Sports Network from Terre Haute, Indiana at Indiana State University.

The NCAA is also streaming the video live on the internet. This marks the second year in which the race will be aired live on Monday, November 24th at 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST.

The women’s race is schedule to begin at 12:08 p.m. EST, followed by the men’s race scheduled for 12:48 p.m. EST.

Thirty-one teams made up of 18 automatic bids and 13 at-large bids and 38 individuals for each championship were selected to participate in this year’s national championships.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Jesse Owens Award Given To Clay and Trafton

Not only have they won Olympic gold medals, now they hauled in the highest distinction given each year by USA Track & Field.

Olympic gold medalists Bryan Clay and Stephanie Brown Trafton have been named winners of the 2008 Jesse Owens Award by USA Track & Fiel

Clay's season was capped with two massive score performances during season while winning at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, and the Olympic Games in Beijing.

With that, the 27-year-old Clay did not need much prodding to share his feelings.

"I have always regarded Jesse Owens with the highest respect for his accomplishments in the 1936 Olympics," said Clay. "To be selected to receive this award and having my name associated with the legendary Jesse Owens is a great honor and a humbling experience. I am grateful, appreciative and truly humbled to have been chosen for such an esteemed award."

Coming into the season, Stephanie Brown Trafton was an unlikely athlete that you could find to win the award, due in part because she who has never won a national title in the women's discus throw.

Her first throw of 212 feet, 5 inches in Beijing put her into a lead that the world's top throwers could not get within three feet of her mark. Brown Trafton is the first ever women's thrower to be presented with the Jesse Owens Award.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

David Oliver Does Miami!

Beijing an Olympic medalist has it's privileges.

David Oliver, Joel Brown and company set out to bring the heat to Miami. The weekend included fine dining, VIP treatment by the Miami Dolphins, court side seats at the Miami Heat, and world class entertainment on South Beach.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Kicks: Kanye West Loves These

Hip hop artist Kanye West endorsed the Nike Air Max / Air Structure Triax / Air Max BW sneakers on his personal blog. Always on the cutting edge of of fashion, Kanye is known to have the latest great thing.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

X Factor In Women's Debate

Looking back at the 20007-08 season, the MVP race is heating up as there are a number of worthy candidates which makes the debate both difficult and exciting.

Typically people compare times, wins, and overrall performances like clutch races or relative ability to deliver for their respective countries at the Beijing Games. The measuring stick this time around may be who made the largest impact on track and field.

In the running for the 2008 World Athletes of the Year are Ethopia's Tirunesh Dibaba, Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, and Kenya's Pamela Jelimo. The winners will be announced live, on stage, during the 2008 World Athletics Gala, which will take place in Monaco, on 23 November 2008.

Isinbayeva raised the bar during the season. While also raising questions about whether she is the great female competitor of a generation as she again increased her world record in winning her second Olympic gold medal. At season's end the Russian pole vault record stands at 16 feet, 6.8 inches.

In the process of putting up the fastest time the event has seen in 10 years, Olympic champion (1:54.01) Pamela Jelimo completed one of the best season an 800-meter has ever seen. The 18 year-old is the first Kenyan woman to win an Olympic gold medal and also the first Kenyan to win the Golden League Jackpot. Jelimo collected a $1 million jackpot by winning all her event in all six of the IAAF Golden League meets.

Who has accomplished more in a season? Ethopia's Tirunesh Dibaba trademark is a hammering last lap in the 5,000 and 10,000-meters. She broke the 5,000-meter world record by over five minutes in June and swept the 5,000 and 10,000-meters in Beijing.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Kicks: New Balance 420 x DDCLAB

New Balance has collaborated with design house DDCLAB to create a new pair of kicks just in time for the holidays. The sneaker is based on a 1970s vintage New Balance 420 running sneaker.

It's the first time the 420 has been co-branded. If you want a pair, then don't waste any time purchasing one of the 60 pairs to be made. The kicks material are made out of crushed glass to make for a high reflective finish.Via [Freshnessmag]

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tim Montgomery Runs To Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel

Chasing the big money after track career ends.

Tim Montgomery has fallen far from the days when he was once riding high as the 100-meter world record holder (9.78). Things quickly began to unravel after that race. The world record was erased from the record book in light of doping charges.

It will quickly go one way or the other. Either Montgomery will share some real honesty or he will be there singing the same song of lies and deception as he sits down with HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.

Although he never tested positive for a banned substance, Montgomery was implicated in the U.S. investigation into Bay-Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), near San Francisco.

He later testified about taking performance enhancing drugs during the BALCO trial.

Montgomery, was convicted in a U.S. District Court in Norfolk, VA., of conspiracy to possess, with intent to distribute, and distribution of more than 100 grams of heroin. He received the minimum sentence for the crimes.

"I was blind. I never had a job in my life," Montgomery told U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Friedman. "I did the wrong thing."

The sentence will not run concurrent to the 46 months he was given in a New York federal court after pleading guilty in 2007 to conspiracy in a bank fraud and money laundering plot.

The interview will air when Real Sports returns on November 25, 2008 at 10pm ET/PT.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Kerron Clement Steps Into Music Video

This 400-meter hurdle Olympian is expanding his game outside of track and field with an appearance in "The Greatest" video by Michelle Williams - formerly of Destiny's Child.

Kerron Clement makes a cameo in the video donning his Olympic medal and uniform while hurdling on the street. This is not his first modeling gig, as he has done several European photo shoots.

Michelle Williams is stunning in what appears to be her best solo yet and Clement does nothing to take away from that fact.

Clement told the press:
“It takes my mind off athletics,” said Clement. “I’m a person who doesn’t like to focus myself on track and field, it tires me out. Modelling is the avenue that I take to relax myself. It’s like a relaxation for me.”
No worry track fans. He won' be quitting his day job anytime soon as track and field is paying his bills these days.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kicks: adidas Stan Smith Out!

Are They Hot Enough?

Named after the ’70s tennis star, the Stan Smith Adidas has the rare ability in a sports shoe to look both hip and sophisticated.

The term "classic" is thrown around way too often. But in the case of the adidas Stan Smith it is adequate.

Jay Hicks for Prerace

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Runnerspace Live

Reminiscing: Kevin Young Blows Up 400 Hurdle Record

Let's looks back as Kevin "Spiderman" Young mastered nine steps between the hurdles in route to celebrity status in the sport. At the 1992 Barcelona Games, he dropped 46.78, establishing a new world record at 400-meter hurdles, while throwing his hands in the air. The previous record 47.02 was held by hurdle legend Edwin Moses

“I’m an Olympic superhero,” Mr. Young says. “I didn’t just break Edwin Moses’ record for the 400-meter hurdles — I shattered it.”

Which athlete can make a serious run at this record?

Jay Hicks for Prerace

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Run Away Track MVP?

Does a scenario exist that does not involve Usain Bolt as track and field's most valuable athlete? The Jamaican star is running this time for the prestigious IAAF World Athlete of the Year Award to be named during the 2008 World Athletics Gala, which takes place in Monaco, on 23 November 2008.

How do you top three world records and three gold medals?

Bolt finished a magical season that saw him set the 100-meter world record on two occassions and the 200-meter world record fall at feet. Oh, and then there is the business of Bolt's pivotal third leg on Jamaica's world record setting 4x100-meter relay in Beijing.

Don't forget about Dayron Robles of Cuba - he can't be denied either. He rolled 12.87 over the 110-hurdles in Ostrava, Czech Republic on June 12, immediately establishing himself as the man to beat. Robles dizzing place delivered gold in Beijing.

Ethopia's Kenenisa Bekele has taken distance running to another level. His gold medal performance in the 10,000-meters finals was a new Olympic Record (27:01.17) - bettering the time he ran in 2004.

Bekele let it rip over the final 400-meters, unleashing a lethal pace that competitors found too much to match, solidifying his place in history among the all-time greats.

Bolt's career is far from finished. He has proven himself to be a brilliant performer and the next test of his young career is longevity. Meaning can he reign on top of the game for a decade, dominating a generation of sprinters - like Michael Johnson and Carl Lewis?

Stay tuned.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

DWTS: Greene Runs Out of Time

Maurice Greene's run on ABC's Dancing With the Star came to end on Tuesday night. Former Olympic champion Greene and partner Cheryl Burke were the most recent celebrities voted off of the popular dancing show.

The dancing duo received 48 out of a possible 60 for their quickstep and paso doble routines Monday. But it was not enough to keep them on the show, as the competition heated up in the last couple weeks of the show.

The four remaining celebrity contestants — model-actress Brooke Burke, singer Lance Bass, former NFL star Warren Sapp and Hannah Montana actor Cody Linley — will compete in the semifinals.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Kicks: New Balance M574

New Balance gives the runner exactly what they want in the New Balance M574. A good looking running shoe. The 574 was originally introduced in 1988 and has been reintroduced to the New Balance line.

These kicks feature the ENCAP system which gives runners the added support and comfort needed to hit that extra mile. This M574 TKB is shown in a navy blue and beige colorway. To top it all off, this colorway also includes polka-dot laces and reflective Microlite material. Now available at Overkill.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reminscing: Cathy Freeman Does It Big

Don't get it wrong. Cathy Freeman is one of the greatest sports performers this generation will ever witness.

Beijing failed to deliver a Cathy Freeman moment. She lit the cauldron and then set the track on fire during the 400-meters at the Sydney Games carrying the combined weight of her Australia and her Aboriginal heritage. Freeman put down a 49.11 in the clutch.

Things were crazy. You may recall the mysterious move by competitor Maria Jose-Perec of France fleeing the country in the days leading up the final. Coming down the stretch, Freeman put her finishing touches on her Olympic championship, slamming the door on her competitors.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Kicks: Chris Paul Supports Obama

On Tuesday night Barack Obama won in part by a support by the youth in America. New Orleans point guard Chris Paul and Jordan team member sharpied his kicks in support of the nation's first African American president. Shown above is a player exclusive Jordan Six rings. Via [Sneakerflies].

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama Could Bring Olympics To Chicago?

With Barack Obama about to occupy the White House, officials in Chicago feel pretty good about their chances of landing the 2016 Games.

Obama's victory provided more visibility for Chicago-his hometown. It would mark the first time the Summer Games return back to the United States since the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

The boost may already be at work. The world got a view of Chicago during Obama's Grant Park victory speech, the area is a centerpiece of the Chicago Olympic bid. The world's journalist saw a spectacular city and well-behaved crowds on Tuesday.

This is the fears of Tokyo, Madrid, and Rio de Janeiro. The President-elect is popular not just in the U.S. but around the world and is good at giving speeches.

"I wonder how IOC members will react when Mr. Obama appears in a presentation for Chicago," Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda told Japanese media Wednesday.

The IOC will name the 2016 host at its general assembly in October next year. Before that Obama may appear in Copenhagen next year to lobby the IOC members directly, similiar to the effort of Tony Blair in landing London 2012.

It would be a sight. If Chicago gets the Olympics and Obama wins another term, he could open the games in home town.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Liu's Return Date In Doubt

The last news on the Liu Xiang injury is not quite encouraging. According to Reuters, the recovery for Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, faces another set back. Upon consultation in the U.S., the former 110-hurdle world record holder was informed by medical advisers in the U.S. that surgery is necessary on his Achille's injury.
"Also, the three calcifications between his bone and tendon could not be removed in any other way but through surgery," said Xiang's coach showing scans of Xiang's foot.
This of course, is the same injury that forced Xiang to withdraw from the Beijing Games. The 2008 indoor season is definately out of the question and now the 2009 season is tenous at best because of his Achilles injury.
Previously his coach said that surgery was last case option to remedy the injury and now it appears to be the best solution at hand.
Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

"Mighty Burner" Dies At 61

Track lost a great one on Thursday, and will be sorely missed. Larry James is most remembered for earning gold and silver medals at the 1968 Mexico City Games.

He placed second in the 400-meters (43.97) and followed the performance with a gold medal performance as a member of the 1,600-meter relay that set the new world record of 2 minutes, 56.16 seconds.

Many recall the ridiculous 43.8 third James ran on third leg. The relay time was equalled at the 1988 Olympics and stood until the 1992 Team USA broke the time.

James died at his home in Galloway, N.J. - he was 61.

Nicknamed "The Mighty Burner," James was a 1970 graduate of Villanova. He served the athletic director at Richard Stockton College for 28 years.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Is Track & Field Ready For Change?

Change is the new vogue?

Change now. Change today. Doug Logan promised change and improvement when he was hired. The newly hired CEO of USA Track & Field has wasted no time in taking initial steps to make improvement to raise the sport back from the doldrums.

Nothing endures but change was written by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus over some 2,000 years ago.

Logan has taken a few months to access the situation and talk to stakeholders in the sport. In Beijing, Team USA experienced dropped batons in the men's and women's 4x100-meter relays and he wasted no time in assembling a panel of experts led by Carl Lewis to investigate the matter and report back recommendations.

The efforts of change do not stop there. Here is what Logan said about his latest move to build a bigger and better sport.

"USA Track & Field's Board of Directors has approved several proposed changes to USATF Bylaws aimed at restructuring how we govern ourselves and how we do business. These proposed changes are the results of countless hours and days of analyzing ourselves as an organization and working together to come up with a blueprint that will put USATF in the best possible position moving forward."

In effect, Logan's proposal will reduce the board size from 32 to 15. Why does this matter you ask? The sports chief is building an efficient organization, capable of moving nimbly to adapt to change as time goes on.

To say that the next phase of change for the sport is an uphill battle is an understatement, and the environment could not be more difficult.

The U.S. sports fan is cash strapped. The current economic environment has forced the NBA to slash 9% of its force or about 80 jobs, and the Charlotte Bobcats were forced to lay off 35 non-basketball positions.

In every cloud, lies a silver lining

The key is marketing. Logan is well-advised in taking to his blog "Shin Splints," bypassing barriers in order to communicate his message directly with fans, athletes, parents, and the media.

Today the average NBA tickets is $55.95, making a night out cost nearly $400 for a family of four, while track remains affordable. Logan could market track and field could as an "entertainment stimulus package" in relationship to the NBA, NFL, and MBL. Fans can bring the family to night of track and field without having to gett an second mortgage on their homes.

Finally, Logan needs to identify and then develop a superstar athlete that excites fans, becoming a figure with drawing power. Sometimes the best way to deliver change is by working with what you already have.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Kicks: Playstation AFI Inspired, Nike Shoe Monster

To add to the collection of upcoming Playstation-inspired sneakers. Nike will release these Shox Monster sneakers. The upper features black metallic patent leather with mesh and a gradient that goes from white to blue to purple.

There are also a pair of purple shoelaces included to finish up the use of the Playstation colors. Limited numbers of the Nike Shox Monster inspired by the Playstation Air Force One will be released early November at select FootLocker retailers. Via [Sneaker Obsession]

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Howard University Celebrates David Oliver

It is good to go back home.

Howard University, a historically black college, recently honored Olympian David Oliver, Class of 2004, for his bronze medal in Beijing.

The 110-meter hurdler joins the likes of Thurgood Marshall, Roberta Flack, and Debbie Allen as a distinguished alumni of the historically black university located in Washington, D.C.

Click here to watch the video.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

2008 USATF Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Former 800-meter Olympian Johnny Gray leads the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame Class of 2008.

The new class was announced on Tuesday and also includes Don Bowden, Bill Carr and Bernie Wefers, are joined by contributor Jimmy Carnes.

There are four categories in which individuals may be voted into the Hall of Fame.

The Class of 2008 will be inducted Saturday evening, December 6, at the Jesse Owens Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, held in conjunction with USATF's 2008 Annual Meeting in Reno Nevada.

Those categories are: Modern athletes, retired less than 25 years; Veteran athletes, retired more than 25 years or more; Coaches; and Contributors. Each category has its own selection committee that chooses the finalists from the list of nominations.

Johnny Gray: Is the American recordholder in the indoor (1:45.0) and outdoor (1:42.60), and won a bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Games. During his prolific career he made four Olympic teams, a three-time U.S. World Outdoor team member, and twice, he was ranked No. 1 in the world in the 800.

DON BOWDEN: A 1956 Olympian at 1,500 meters, Don Bowden ran 3:58.7 and is best known for being the first American ever to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile.

BILL CARR: The 1932 Olympic 400m gold medalist, Bill Carr also captured gold at the '32 Los Angeles Olympics as anchor of the 4x400m relay USA team that finished in the world record time of 3:08.2.

BERNIE WEFERS: A three-time USA 100y and 220y champion and two-time IC4A 100y champion, Bernie Wefers is considered one of the most dominant sprinters of his era.

JIMMY CARNES: One of the leading figures in the formation of The Athletics Congress/USA, as USATF was known when it began operations.

For more information on the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, visit:

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Guns, Violence, and Sports

Here we go again with an all-too-familiar story in collegiate athletics. This time gun violence has touched the life of an up-and-coming sprinter from University of Southern California.

Bryshon Nellum was shot in the leg three times at 2 a.m. after attending a Halloween party. According to the Associated Press:

"He was walking out to his car and group of guys in a car pulled up next to him and yelled some sort of gang-affiliated name and shot him," said police officer Sam Park. Nellum was shot three times in the left thigh and hamstring.” Park said, “No arrests had been made by Saturday and it was unclear whether Nellum knew his attackers.”

At this time, it is unclear whether Nellum will be able to resume his track career. In shooting Nellum, the assailants not only disrupted a life, but may have robbed track and field of one of its rising superstars. Nellum’s high school career was noted by experts in the sport, many of whom predicted that he had a good shot at a professional 400-meter career on par with LaShawn Merritt and Jeremy Wariner.

The words are always the same in this kind of situation: Unfortunate, upsetting, maddening.

Athletes at all levels – high school, college and the professional ranks – are perpetuating or finding themselves victims of violence at an increasingly alarming rate. What makes this even more upsetting is that when most people hear that an athlete was shot in the wee hours after a party they don’t wonder about his race . Most don’t want to admit that, for the most part, we are talking about African American athletes.

Here is a brief roll call of athletes involved in violence or that have been a victim of violence: Joey Porter, Jason Williams, Adam “Pacman” Jones, Sean Taylor, Darrent Williams. There are more – and new names are being added to the list with depressing regularity.

As an African-American and former athlete myself, I find it sickening to read about the seemingly endless violence and murders affecting young African-American athletes.

The logical question is why this continues at such a startling rate – and what can be done to curtail it. The next question is why African-American athletes find themselves disproportionately involved in violence. I’m not looking to blame the victim, I just think that this issue needs to be explored, discussed and addressed head on.

Well, athletes of all ethnicities at some point in their careers go out and have a good time. On the face of things, there’s nothing wrong with this. Should it be that different from an accountant out to blow off some steam on a Friday night?

Unfortunately, under the surface, there exists a culture that glorifies violence and danger in many of the venues that these athletes choose. “Kickin it” with homies from the block that might have ties to the street game is alluring and dangerous -- and may seem to help these athletes maintain their “street cred” off the field.

Athletes often quickly find themselves in a tense environment – competing for women and becoming a potential target for others trying to prove something. After a few drinks, tempers may flare, punches get thrown and weapons are brought into the mix.

Adding to the situation is that African Americans typically socialize in environments that blur economic or class lines. A decent number of African-Americas are the first members of their families to graduate from college or land an attractive career. By leaving the neighborhood, they may return to face a certain stigma or may feel to overcompensate to “fit in” with their old friends.

What are the choices? To run the risk of having their ethnicity challenged because they went off to school. This accomplishment may make them perceived as being “too good” to hang out with very people they grew up with – some of whom have taken markedly different directions with their lives.

Unfortunately, the athletes and scholars that we send off to school often find themselves without a support system when they return home – or even on some college campuses. This is one of the first places that we, as a society, fall down. Millions of words have been written about the challenges African-Americans face when they excel at something, but it’s time to do more than write about it. When we don’t support these people, an atmosphere ripe for violence grows. Athletes bear the brunt of this because they are more exposed and often celebrated.

While the questions around why this violence continues are simple, the answers are not. It’s a complex issue that will not go away without some serious dialogue. I don’t have the answers, but it’s time to start asking the questions more loudly, forcing our communities to ensure that more African-American athletes are given room to succeed without the threat of violence, murder and destruction.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.
Seed Runnerspace

Monday, November 3, 2008

Kicks: Nike Air Max 90 iD Liu Xiang

The new Nike iD Studio options for Fall 2008 and the models available. Shown above is the outcome of a pair iD-ed and received.

The kicks feature distressed metallic gold, metallic silver and the Liu Xiang graphic on the toebox. Other availale options include premium leathers with up to twelve colors to choose from, including the three hot colors of the Olymics, gold, silver and bronze distressed metallics.

For fabrics, three options are available, mesh in black, white and grey. The second option is a floral jaquard in two colors. The third is a “hero” option, which is a graphic inspired by Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang (only on the Air Max 90) available for use on the toebox, upper heel, tongue and lining.

Liu Xiang pulled out of the Olympics due to an injury, but is arguably remains one of the track biggest stars in the world.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Radcliffe Repeat NYC Marathon Champion

Paula Radcliffe defended her title at the New York City Marathon on Saturday to become the second woman to win the race three times.

Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil won the men's race for the second time in three years. With about one mile to go, he passing Abderrahim Goumri.

Unlike Radcliffe's tight victories in 2004 and '07, the world record holder from Britain pulled away from Ludmila Petrova of Russia at about the 22nd mile mark to win comfortably in 2 hours, 23 minutes, 56 seconds.

"The last two times it's been a really close finish at the end," Radcliffe said. "It was nice to make it a little easier on the husband."

Kara Goucher, in her marathon debut, took third. She became the first American to claim victory since Anne Marie Letko was third in 1994. Goucher posted the fastest time in a marathon debut by an American woman, breaking Deena Kastor's record established back in 2001.

Radcliffe said afterwards,"It was tough out there this year because of the wind. ... Everybody wanted to run behind me," Radcliffe said. "This year I was determined to feel comfortable at the halfway point."

Top-ten finishers (unofficial times):

1. Marilson Gomes Dos Santos, BRA 2:08:43
2. Abderrahim Goumri, MAR 2:09:07
3. Daniel Rono, KEN 2:11:22
4. Paul Tergat, KEN 2:13:10
5. Abderrahime Bouramdane, MAR 2:13:33
6. Abdi Abdirahman, USA 2:14:17
7. Josh Rohatinsky, USA 2:14:23
8. Jason Lehmkuhle, USA 2:14:30
9. Hosea Rotich, KEN 2:15:26
10. Bolota Asmerom, USA 2:16:37

1. Paula Radcliffe, GBR 2:23:56
2. Ludmila Petrova, RUS 2:25:43
3. Kara Goucher, USA 2:25:53
4. Rita Jeptoo, KEN 2:27:49
5. Catherine Ndereba, KEN 2:29:14
6. Gete Wami, ETH 2:29:25
7. Dire Tune, ETH 2:29:28
8. Lidia Simon, ROU 2:30:04
9. Lyubov Morgunova, RUS 2:30:38
10. Katie Mcgregor,USA 2:31:14

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters

Saturday, November 1, 2008

USC Standout Runner Shot On Halloween

Violence visits the sports community, although this time it involves ones of track's own.

University of Southern California sprinter, Bryshon Nellum is recovering after being shot in the leg three times on Saturday after leaving a Halloween party.

The nineteen-year-old sophomore, was hospitalized in stable condition following the shooting at 2 a.m. Friday.

It is unclear at this point, whether the former standout high school runner considered by many as a prospect with the talent to eventually become a professional track athlete.

As a senior at Long Beach Poly, he set the California record at 200-meters in 20.43. Bryshon also dropped 45.54, a personal best, in winning the 400 state title.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

Why Marion Jones Is No Longer Relevant

Marion Jones did track and field a favor on Wednesday, when she appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Her interview shed light on a selfish individual, who for whatever reason is still holding back on the details related to her fall in the sport.

It seems as though there is much more to the story, but at this point, who really cares?

Her actions have had far reaching impact that she did not foresee. Marion participated in doping and as a result her 400 and 1,600-meter relay teammates from Sydney were stripped of their medals, even though they played by the rules.

The blow back of her selfish actions hit the sport, which was left with a diminished reputation and bank account. Simply put, Jones cost the sport money while at the same time effectively reducing the career earning potential of countless athletes that had nothing to do with her.

At every chance, the media takes aim at Marion Jones, as an example of all that is wrong with track and field.

With that, there is also some good. Despite her best attempts, Jones did not succeed at bringing down the sport. Last year the grand prix meets were still held, and the U.S. Olympic Trials and Beijing Games were run despite her actions. Marion Jones is not and will never be larger than the sport.

The time to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth has passed. Jones is probably still lying albeit maybe only to herself these days. She will never run in the sport again-it's over. It is time that everyone acknowledges this fact.

We hope this is the last time that we have to talk about Jones. The sport has moved on past the Marion Jones era because she is no longer relevent to the todays events in track and field.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.