STATUS QUO — November

Dani Jones sees a minor spike wound picked up winning NCAA Cross as a badge of honor.

The latest in the aches, pains & eligibility departments:

BYU’s Daniel Carney, 42nd in last year’s NCAA harrier race, missed most of this cross country season with a stress fracture.

Matthew Centrowitz is no longer part of the Nike Oregon Project.

Paul Chelimo (see interview) has left the Army’s World Class Athlete Program but will continue to be coached by Scott Simmons.

A hamstring strain that she incurred when she stumbled down a hill in training caused Amy Cragg withdraw from the Chicago Marathon. She recovered well enough to place 3rd in the USATF 5K 3 weeks later. “I took a step back and started to do some shorter stuff and things have been going good,” she explained.

Michigan’s Erin Finn has been granted a 6th year of eligibility by the NCAA and will return for indoor and outdoor track. The indoor season was granted because of the multiple seasons that she has lost to injury. The outdoor season was granted on the basis of an Athletics Activity Waiver, sometimes called an “Olympic Redshirt.” She qualified for the Trials in ’16 with a 31:51.84 PR at 10K, but ended her season early with injury. “I’ve had my fair share of bad luck,” Finn says, “but I’ve also had my fair share of mistakes that I’ve made, so I feel very fortunate to have one more chance.”

A peroneal tendon that got strained during strength training caused the foot pain that led Sara Hall to drop out of the Frankfurt Marathon.

After winning the NCAA Cross title, Colorado’s Dani Jones was proud of a bloody gash on her shin: “I hope it scars because I want to remember this,” she told Trackster.

Hurdler Lolo Jones has reportedly returned to training at the age of 36. Her last major international final came in ’12, when she placed 4th in the London Olympics.

Cas Loxsom, who at one point held the indoor 600 WR with his 1:14.91, has retired. He won silver in the ’10 World Junior 800, and was runner-up for Penn State at the ’13 NCAA meet. In ’15, he made the World Champs squad after running a PR 1:44.92 in the semis at the USATF Championships. He posted on Instagram, “When I graduated college and signed a professional contract, I wrote myself a letter. I decided that I’d never take a set amount of time off after a season. I told myself I’d start training each year when I felt motivated to. I knew the fall it didn’t come back would be when I’d decide to hang up the spikes… It’s been a wild ride and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Former prep distance phenom Kate Murphy has been forced to bow out of NCAA competition before she even got a chance to wear an Oregon uniform. She had surgery last fall to relieve popliteal artery entrapment syndrome. Now she says, “It’s in my best health interest to take a step back from competitive training & running during this time in my life, and just allow my body to heal after two rare leg surgeries and other injuries.”

Cole Rockhold, Colorado State’s lead runner, developed a longitudinal stress fracture in his tibia after the Mountain West Conference meet and had to miss Regionals and Nationals.

Prep star Katelyn Tuohy (North Rockland, NY), off to a recordsetting cross country start this fall, was sidelined briefly in early November with tendinitis in her knee. She returned to win her Sectional, but then snow conditions caused the cancellation of the State Championships.


World high jump champ Mutaz Barshim plans to return to training at the end of the year. The Qatari, recently married, had surgery on his left ankle in July.

Barshim’s great rival, ’13 world high jump champion Bohdan Bondarenko of Ukraine, has returned to training after missing this year following knee surgery.

Jamaican discus star Fedrick Dacres says he is already back to training after his October knee surgery, explaining, “I am confident entering next year because I think I have matured enough in my sport to say I can be a very deadly force to be reckoned with next year. My knee is coming on good.”

Though he finished 3rd in the NYC Marathon, Kenya Geoffrey Kamworor apparently has a back problem. His manager, Jos Hermens, says he still wants to win a third straight World XC title in March: “These things happen, but he will be back in cross country and from there we shall see.”

Artur Kuciapski, the Euro 800 runner-up in ’14, the year he PRed at 1:44.89, has retired at age 24. The Pole cited health issues.

Deca WR holder Kevin Mayer won’t compete in the heptathlon at the Euro Indoors, but he’s looking at competing in the vault. In ’19 he plans to concentrate on the hurdles and the vault.

Belgian discus world medalist Philip Milanov is back to training now that the foot injury that ruined his ’18 campaign is 90% healed.

Germany’s Katharina Molitor, the ’15 world champion in the javelin, has announced her retirement at age 34. She plans to concentrate on her studies to become an elementary school teacher.

Euro vault silver medalist Timur Morgunov is in doubt for the indoor season because of a slow recovery from injury. Russian federation coach Yuriy Borzakovskiy said, “Morgunov is still missing training camps, as he deals with the treatment of the injured tendon.”

Russian hammer thrower Valeriy Pronkin will probably skip indoors. The World silver medalist has not recovered from a leg sprain and foot troubles.

French discus recordholder Mélina Robert-Michon, 39, is training again, 5 months after giving birth.

Euro Junior 400 champ Jonathan Sacoor of Belgium, a 45.03 performer this year at age 18, will train in Knoxville starting in January, working with Ken Harnden.

Javelin WR holder Barbora Špotáková has returned to training after giving birth in July. The 37-year-old Czech intends to defend her world title in Doha. “I want to follow up on my successful results in Beijing, London and Rio,” she says.

Italy’s Elena Vallortigara, who jumped 6-7½ (2.02) last July, is aiming at the Euro Indoors despite a recent training injury: “I expect to make it through the qualifying round, arriving in Glasgow in good physical and mental shape which will allow me to manage the context positively, foreseeing and reacting to potential difficulties. The second goal is to win a medal, and it is the consequence of achieving the first one.” Last summer she failed to make the Euro final.

German javelin thrower Julian Weber, a ’16 Olympic finalist, had ankle surgery in November to correct an impingement.

Doping Bans

30 years (!)—Simone da Silva (Brazil, 10K);
4 years—Edwin Kipyego (Kenya, 10K), Elena Panaet (Romania, steeple);
2 years—Hélio Gomes (Portugal, 1500), Lazarus Too (Kenya, marathon). □

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