ON YOUR MARKS — June

Steeple champ Obsa Ali was the NCAA meet’s “Me? Really?!” award winner. (MIKE SCOTT)

The Host With The Most

There have now been 97 editions of the NCAA Championships, hosted by 29 different schools. Not surprisingly, Oregon leads the way with 16 hostings. Chicago is next at 13 (but the last coming way back in ’36), followed by Texas (6) & Minnesota (5)…

Brooks Johnson has been recognized by USATF as its ’18 choice for “Legend Coach”…

After Blake Leeper’s 44.44 for 400 in Prague, the IAAF concluded that the double amputee’s marks would not be included in the main body of its performance lists for the year, on the grounds that he “competed with blades which did not comply with IPC regulations… resulting in unauthorized assistance.”…

A police pursuit caused the San Diego Marathon to be stopped and rerouted—after the lead runners had finished…

Illinois head Mike Turk says that David Kendziera’s impressive hurdle double at the NCAA was not necessarily always in the cards: “Going back to when he was in high school, we weren’t really sure of what he was. At one point we thought he was a 400 hurdler, and at one point we thought he’d be a high hurdler, and at one point we didn’t think he was going to be a high hurdler.”

Keeping Olympic Marathoners Honest

Tokyo 2020 organizers are making sure that their 26-mile course will favor the strong. The newly unveiled route features an uphill climb over the last three kilometers…

Former Middle Tennessee steeplechaser Geoffrey Cheruiyot was killed May 30 in a car crash in Knoxville…

Gabby Thomas wanted more than a runner-up finish in the NCAA 200, but said, “I think the last 100 for me today wasn’t as strong as usual, just technique-wise. I think that’s why I ended up losing. But I did go out and run that first 100 aggressively, which was my goal for the race, so I’m not mad about that.”…

Three-time Olympic medalist Gete Wami, now 43, has been the subject of media reports in Ethiopia saying that she has been “possessed by demons.” Former manager Jos Hermens, while not ruling out that her problems are significant, opined that the cause is probably more mundane…


Worth a watch: an inspirational short film on Sandi Morris is now available via YouTube….

In a similar vein, Canadian vaulter Alysha Newman has released a video of her own:


From The Front Row

Arkansas’s Nikki Hiltz, 2nd in the NCAA 1500 after a season of struggles with a knee injury, quipped, “A month ago, if you would have asked me about NCAAs, I would have said, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna go watch.’ ”…

A $2.5 million grant is allowing Florida to resurface its track, as well as its tennis facilities…

With a big PR 48.12 that moved him to a tie for No. 6 on the collegiate all-time list, Kenny Selmon was at peace with his race. “It would have been nice to have brought home the gold, but to run a 48.12 and get second—that would have won a lot of years. I’m honored and I’m very happy. I’m not mad at all about how it ended. I’m very happy to end it on my own terms like that.”

The popular Racers GP meet in Kingston, now 3 years old, will not be seeking Diamond League status, says director Glen Mills…

Joining new recruit Josh Kerr on the Brooks Beasts will be Div. II 1500 champ David Ribich from Western Oregon, as well as the NCAA 5000 runner-up, Allie Buchalski of Furman.

Police Outrun Man With Spikes

British police have apprehended a burglary suspect who broke into a collector’s home and absconded with a signed pair of Usain Bolt spikes that had been worn in the ’12 Olympic 100 heats…

Gamers are thrilled—at least those that are track fans—that game maker Konami is coming out with “Hyper Sports R,” a game that will allow aficionados to participate in track & field events without breaking a sweat. This is a remake of Nintendo’s classic “Track & Field” game…

A Florida judge has dropped all charges against prep sprinter Tyrese Cooper after his arrest on a variety of charges…

That ’16 drug bust on coach Jama Aden’s training camp in Sabadell, Spain, may finally yield some penalties. The Spanish paper El Pais is reporting the prosecutor is seeking the maximum penalty of 4½ years in prison for Aden and physio Ouarid Mounir. Aden is currently based in Qatar…

Some 17 national anti-doping agencies—including USADA—have gone on record that Russia be not declared compliant with testing rules until they have met all of their conditions for reinstatement…

New Jersey prep officials are unraveling a coach’s admission that he fabricated the results of the Brick City Invitational in Newark in order to give some of his athletes qualifying times to New Balance Nationals…

A tactical 1500 saw Virginia Tech’s Vincent Ciattei finish 2nd as unlooked-for Oliver Hoare grabbed the win for Wisconsin. Said Tech distance coach Ben Thomas: “It was a beautiful run by Vince. He really couldn’t have played it any better. You know, that’s just the nature of the NCAA Championships sometimes. You beat the Collegiate Record holder at the line but then someone comes from outside and steals the national title from you.” □

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