STATUS QUO — February

THE LATEST in the aches, pains & eligibility departments (see “Where They Are Going” for details on collegiate-athlete movements):

Three-time Olympian Jenny Simpson succumbed to cramps in her bold marathon debut at the OT. (MIKE SCOTT)

Four big-name collegians have turned pro early (see sidebar).

Devon Allen tore his left ACL during football practice and had surgery to repair the tendon and a frayed meniscus in January (see “Last Lap”).

The prep sensation last year until he was provisionally banned after a positive drug test, Issam Asinga is still on the Texas A&M roster. He is apparently unable to compete unless his ban is overturned.

One of the top prep sprinters last year, Gatlin Bair (10.15/20.41) is going on a 2-year Mormon mission, then looking to play football at either Oregon or Michigan.

No Emma Bates in the OT Marathon; she injured a plantar fascia in the Chicago Marathon and says she didn’t have time to be ready to race.

Donavan Brazier had a fourth surgery last July to correct the Haglund’s deformity in his heel. He has left the Nike Union Athletics Club and is no longer working with coach Pete Julian.

Jessie Cardin had to drop from the Trials Marathon around 21M; she was later hospitalized as doctors sorted out what happened.

Skipping the indoor season as she continues her recovery from the hamstring she tore last summer, Emma Coburn says she is ahead of progress, “but just taking my time to be ready for outdoors.”

Decathlete Kyle Garland had his indoor season end due to “a slight hamstring injury.”

Anna Hall (see “Last Lap”) had minor knee surgery in early January that will keep her from trying to compete in the multi at the World Indoors.

Marielle Hall is still working on recovering from what an MRI shows is a high-grade hamstring tear.

Jordan Hogan (the former Ms. Hasay) shut down her attempts to qualify for the OT race, and told Carrie Tollefson, “I’m not going to retire, I’m still 32. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I think that, for whatever reason, my body just maybe needs a reset.”

Arkansas alum Katie Izzo struggled with a stomach virus and a cold during the USATF XC, then she broke a foot jumping over the hay bales. It’s a wonder she finished 8th.

Nebraska’s reigning outdoor NCAA champion Axelina Johansson will be redshirting indoors, the result of a hamstring problem that cropped up before the World Championships. Says coach Justin St. Clair, “After Worlds, there was just a long window of training that we really missed.” She is planning to compete for Sweden at the World Indoor.

Ednah Kurgat missed the USATF Cross Country Champs with a minor unspecified injury.

Makena Morley could not run the Trials because of a tendinitis issue in her shin.

Orlando winner Fiona O’Keeffe explained the stain on her bib at the finish of the race: “To those asking, yes, the red stuff on my bib was blood — made the rookie move of stashing a gel in my sports bra and proceeding to drench myself with water on the course, resulting in a little chafing situation.”

Shannon Osika, the OT 1500 4th-placer in ’21, is dealing with Achilles issues. She has not been able to race since last April.

’15 Boston winner Caroline Rotich, eligible to represent the U.S. since last October, was able to run in the Trials Marathon despite not having a qualifier since then (though she ran 2:30:59 in the ’22 NYC Marathon as a Kenyan).

Tokyo bronze medalist Molly Seidel had to withdraw from the Trials race when an MRI revealed a broken patella and partially torn patellar tendon. ““I’ve had just the most incredible physios and doctors doing everything in their power to help me. I’ve been cross-training my ass off, but ultimately I got to this week, and my knee had not healed up enough, and I knew that I could not race a marathon hard on it in its current state without really, really injuring myself.”

Former world 1500 champion Jenny Simpson was among those who dropped out in Orlando: “I expected my reach into the unknown would be the suffering and fighting beyond mile 20. Instead, for the first time as a pro, I had to make the difficult call to not finish the race. Somewhere before the halfway point I started getting cramps. First, in my side and then in my feet, calf, and hips. What I initially thought might just be a fleeting discomfort quickly became a bigger problem.”

Susanna Sullivan (2:24:27 PR) was also unable to run in Orlando: “Getting pretty sick this week made it clear that this race wasn’t meant to be.”

Kellyn Taylor was hampered by persistent pain in her left leg in her buildup to the Trials Marathon.

Another who had to miss the Trials race was Lexie Thompson, who explained: “I broke my pelvis again back in November. I somehow have managed 2 fractures in my pelvis in different spots 7 months apart. First one was on my sacrum and my second one is on my inferior pubic ramus.”

Laura Thweatt collapsed after stopping before the 20M mark of the OT; tests at the hospital revealed she had COVID.

“I’ve struggled with high hamstring pain for many weeks,” said Jared Ward in explaining his withdrawal from the OT.

On The International Front…

Olympic marathon bronze medalist Bashir Abdi has a pelvic stress fracture. He says, “I don’t see it as a disadvantage that I am injured now. Better now than in a few weeks. I think I have enough time. There is no panic.”

Canada’s Moh Ahmed pulled out of the Houston Half, saying, “In my final tuneup workout Wednesday, I tweaked my hamstring/hip flexor a bit, such that my coach and I felt it would be unwise to line up.”

Germany’s Sara Benfarès (15:20.94 PR) has been provisionally suspended following a positive test.

World 800 champion in ’17, Pierre-Ambroise Bosse has retired at 31, saying, “I wanted to go to the Games but I realized my body won’t let me.”

Hamid Ben Daoud, a Spanish marathoner who recently received a 4-year ban for biological passport irregularities, has had the ban suspended by CAS.

Portuguese putter Auriol Dongmo fractured an ankle and is now considered doubtful for the Olympics.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen will be missing the World Indoor with a “nagging” Achilles injury. He posted, “I know my body, and it sometimes happens that it needs a little extra time to heal before I start with hard loads. I run my own scheme and I know that works. For me, it’s European Championships and Olympic medals that matter.”

German vaulter Bo Kanda Lita Baehre, 4th at the ’19 WC, has returned to competition 6 months after suffering a meniscus injury.

Spain’s Mohamed Katir, the silver medalist in the Budapest 5000, has been provisionally suspended after 3 whereabouts failures.

World vault co-champ Nina Kennedy says she is currently recovering from a stress fracture in her back, but “I’ve started building back up slowly and things are going well.”

LetsRun has reported that Josh Kerr will not be racing the World Indoors even though he’s from Scotland. Explains coach Danny Mackey, “For him to go add on two more races doesn’t mean anything to somebody else. ‘It’s only a mile, go run it.’ But the amount of media and stress that he has to handle to do that adds up. If anybody doesn’t think there’s any cost to that, then they’re stupid.”

Poland’s Anna Kiełbasińska will miss the indoor season after foot surgery. She hopes to compete in the Paris 400.

The ’12 Olympic marathon bronze medalist, Wilson Kipsang, has now returned from his 4-year doping ban and is back in training. He and his family were recently involved in a car crash but he was not injured.

Britain’s Eilish McColgan lost much of the ’23 campaign to hamstring and knee problems. Now she says, “Right now it feels quite far away, because I am really starting from scratch again, but if you’ve been there and done it once then it does give you that belief that you can do it again.”

Swedish long jumper Thomas Montler missed some February meets due to back problems.

Double world champ walker María Pérez has mostly recovered from a stress fracture in her sacrum and will resume training soon.

A recently-completed 4-year doping ban did not keep France’s Ophélie Claude-Boxberger from training for the Olympics, but pregnancy will. She is expecting her second child.

Lynsey Sharp has announced her retirement at 33. She was 6th in the Rio 800.

The world champion in the vault in ‘19, Russia’s Anzhelika Sidorova, has retired at 32. “For the whole year, from the moment I found out that I was pregnant, I tried to persuade myself not to rush, I left myself a chance to change my mind, but it didn’t work out,” she says. “Unfortunately, over the past few years, I have completely stopped enjoying athletics.”

Nafi Thiam will skip indoors to concentrate on the outdoor season; the defending Olympic heptathlon champion does not yet have a qualifier for Paris.

Karel Tilga, 4th in the WC decathlon, has passed on the World Indoor because of Achilles issues.

Euro Indoor 400 runner-up Julien Watrin has been diagnosed with testicular cancer for the second time and his chemotherapy regimen will not allow him to train or compete in Paris. Otherwise, he says, “the prognosis is good.”

Doping Suspensions…
8 years — James Mwangi (Kenya, distance);
6 years — Samir Jouhar (Morocco, marathon);
4 years — Ahmed Abdelwahed (Italy, steeple), Hamid Ben Daoud (Spain, marathon), Abdelaziz Merzougui (Spain, steeple), Michael Saruni (Kenya, 800);
3 years — Maurine Chepkemoi (Kenya, marathon), Thomas Kibet (Kenya, marathon), Ayub Kiptum (Kenya, distance), Hosea Kisorio (Kenya, distance);
2 years — Prisca Chesang (Uganda, distance), Rebecca Jepchirchir (Kenya, marathon);
18 months — Nick Ponzio (Italy, shot). □

Subscription Options

Digital Only Subscription

  • Access to Current Articles
  • Access to Current Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$88 per year (recurring)

Digital Only Premium Archive

  • Unlimited Articles
  • Access to Archived Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach

$138 per year (recurring)

Print + Digital Subscription

  • Access to Current Articles
  • Access to Current Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach
  • 12 Monthly Print Issues

$125.00 USA per year (recurring)
$173.00 Canada per year (recurring)
$223.00 Foreign per year (recurring)

Print + Digital Premium Archive

  • Unlimited Articles
  • Access to Archived Issues
  • eTrack Results Newsletter
  • Unlimited Content from our Technique Journal, Track Coach
  • 12 Monthly Print Issues

$175.00 USA per year (recurring)
$223.00 Canada per year (recurring)
$273.00 Foreign per year (recurring)

Print Only Subscription

  • 12 Monthly Print Issues
  • Does not include online access or eTrack Results Newsletter

$89.00 USA per year (recurring)
$137.00 Canada per year (recurring)
$187.00 Foreign per year (recurring)

Track Coach
(Digital Only)

  • Track Coach Quarterly Technique Journal
  • Access to Track Coach Archived Issues

Note: Track Coach is included with all Track & Field News digital subscriptions. If you are a current T&FN subscriber, purchase of a Track Coach subscription will terminate your existing T&FN subscription and change your access level to Track Coach content only. Track & Field News print only subscribers will need to upgrade to a T&FN subscription level that includes digital access to read Track Coach issues and articles online.

$19.95 every 1 year (recurring)

*Every 30 days