Great announcing can truly take a race to the next level. It brings an element of electricity, a level of unbridled joy for competition, that can make you even more invested. Here are my top 3 announcing moments in track and field.
3. 2016 Dogwood Track Classic 800
I really was trying to find a different race. I really was. You’ve most likely already seen it. But no can deny it: Coach Lorenzoni made this showdown EXHILARATING. Brandon McGorty, Drew Hunter, Alex Lomong. Nolan Jez desperately trying to keep his composure after McGorty takes it out HARD. And Adrian EATING IT UP. I still get on the edge of my seat watching this, and it’s all because of announcing.
2. 2015 New Balance Indoor Boy’s 400 Meter Finals
Ever wondered where the phrase “WHAMSAUCED” came from? No? Welp, here’s where. Honestly, the race really wasn’t anything special. But the ending… you’ll see.
1. Billy Mills - 1964 10,000 Meter Olympic Finals
This race has to go down as the most iconic announcing moments and perhaps the most inspiring American Olympic story. Billy Mills, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe, was a complete unknown coming into the Olympic 10k in Tokyo. But, thanks to a crazy, come-from-behind kick, he walked away a gold medalist. He beat the world record holder at the time, Ron Clarke, and PRed by almost 50 seconds! He remains the only male athlete from the Americas to win the gold medal in the 10k.
Given the grainy quality of the video, and the fact that they didn’t have a ton of different camera angles, you don’t see the real drama heating up with 100 meters to go. But, Dick Bank, one of the announcers for the race, let’s you know EXACTLY what’s happening. He actually got fired afterwards because he brought too much “drama” to the race. But his announcing was just the jolt of adrenaline this race experience needed. It matched the craziness of what Mills accomplished. Incredible!
Ty and Austin dressed up for Oatlands last fall
Top 3...Marathon Races
by Coach Lorenzoni
This might be a controversial list because it doesn't have any Eluid Kipchoge races on it or any world record performances, but that's for a reason. For me, nothing is better than 26 miles of straight racing and that's what these 3 races are. They include surges, big moves, and runners who are digging down to levels they never thought possible. It's really what marathoning is all about and why I love watching it so much!
3. 2010 Men's Chicago Marathon
This race is a duel between Sammy Wanjiru of Kenya and Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia. Sammy was the world record holder in the half marathon, the reigning Olympic Champion, and quickly becoming one of the best marathoner's of all time in many people's eyes. At the young age of 23, he had run 5 marathons and 3 half marathons and only lost once. His win in the sweltering conditions at the 2008 Beijing Olympics is still considered one of the best marathon performances of all time as he went out hard from the gun and dared the competition to go with him, a tactic rarely seen in a championship race like the Olympics. Kebede was no slouch himself, as he had earned bronze at the 2008 Olympics and
was coming off a huge London Marathon victory.
After experiencing a high level of success at a young age, Sammy began to drink a lot and train a lot less. After the Olympics he started going into races "out of shape", at least in terms of what he was normally accustomed to. This was especially true for the 2010 Chicago Marathon. The duel over the last few miles of this race is second to none as each runner threw everything they had at each other.
Sadly, less than a year later Sammy died in his home in Kenya after following off his balcony. Though, Sammy had issues off of the road, he will always be remembered for his incredible toughness and fearless racing!
This race literally has all the drama. It's perfect. The Boston Marathon is unique in that it falls on a Monday every year instead of the normal Sunday for most other marathons. I remember having the marathon on in the background of my class, and by the end of the race I had the whole class watching the last bit with me. It was that exciting!
So what made it so exciting? Well, first it was miserable weather conditions. Cold, windy, and driving rain. It couldn't have been much worse. It had all the best US runners, who were trying to win their first Boston Marathon. For each of these runners, the idea of winning the Boston Marathon was
career changing. It also featured some of the best marathoners in the world. Well, all of these runners had their aspirations turned upside down by the conditions and Yuki Kawauchi, also known by his cult following as the People's Champion.
I was in that following. Back in 2011, my bro had sent me this video of Yuki, an unheralded Japanese marathoner, finishing 3rd at the Tokyo Marathon. On that day he was the top Japanese runner, which is a huge deal in Japan. All my bro had to say was, "This has to be the toughest runner of all time!" (Link below). After the race, Yuki was quoted saying "Every time I run, it's with the mindset that if I die at this race it's OK." What made Yuki so endearing was that he was not a professional runner. He had a full time government desk job and was not apart of any of the famous Japanese marathon clubs. He was a true amateur, hence his nickname, The Peoples Champions.
Over the next 7 years, he following grew. He was known to race an unimaginable amount of marathoners in a year. The top professionals usually run 2 marathons in a year and never more than 3. In 2017, Yuki ran sub 2:16 12 times! He holds the world record for most sub 2:11 marathoners (21) and my sub 2:20 marathons (96). Just a few months before Boston he had won the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in Massachusetts. The weather that day was 1 degree and he was the only participant that finished. To say he was a legend before the Boston Marathon, is an understatement.
Though he had been incredibly consistent, no one that followed the sport believed Yuki had a chance of winning a major marathon like Boston. Well no one, except Yuki. He took the lead from the start and made several big moves through out the 26 miles. The announcers obviously did not know who he was and repeatedly questioned whether these were the right tactics for Yuki.
I heard about this race my entire life. My parents seemed to bring it up up over and over again, usually with an emphasis on caution and amazement. Also, my mom had raced the '82 Boston Marathon and had witnessed and experienced some of it herself. The race is so popular that there's even an entire book written around it. I never personally understood how special the race was until I stumbled upon grainy footage of the last few miles with some dramatic U2 playing in the background. It quickly became my favorite my favorite race on YouTube and 10 years later it still is.
The race is called the Duel in the Sun for obvious reasons. It was hot and sunny and it was a "duel" between the great Alberto Salazar and the lesser known Dick Beardsley. Back in '82, hydration for marathoning was not what it is today and there were definitely no energy gels. The two runners ended up payng a big price for their efforts that day.
Going into the race, Salazar held the current marathon world record and he had run the 10k world record just a few weeks before. He was the best runner in the world and Nike's star. Beardsley was considered to be nowhere near his level. Salazar had grown up near Boston and Beardsley was living and training in Boston at the time.
They both ended up breaking the Boston Marathon record, running the 4th and 5th fastest times in history. Sadly, each runner was never the same after this race and most feel like it's due to how far they pushed themselves physically and mentally that day. My mom always talks about how she was walking through the finish chute after her race and seeing Salazar completely wrapped in ice. They truly pushed themselves to the edge!
Austin and Ty wearing spirit before the Oatlands Invitational
Ty and Austin dressed up for Oatlands last fall
Top 3...NCAA Championship Races
3. 2016 Men's Outdoor 1500m
This race includes the likes of Clayton Murphy, Henry Wynne, Sam Prakel, Robert Domanic, Craig Engels, and Josh Kerr, all of which are household names if you follow NCAA or even professional running. From the gun this race takes off, with Izaic Yorks (UW) and Henry Wynne (UVA) leading the pack to 400m in 56.8. This pace is unusual for the championship calibre, but due to the packed field, runners like Wynne and Yorks knew they needed to make it blistering from the start. Going into 400m left in the race there was no pack left, with the race stringing out almost 50m. Wynne, Yorks, Prakel (UO), and Murphy (Akron) were leading the race and it all came down to the fumes left in their tanks for the last lap. The race
by Brett Harris
almost looks completely in the hands of Wynne and Yorks until 200m is left when Murphy puts on the afterburners. From the on its a battle between the three to take the national championship.
Cross country races are always fun to watch because with the courses and weather bringing different elements into factor you never know how they might turn out. This race involved cold temperatures, heavy rain, and a fairly flat course. The key story going into the race was if Northern Arizona University could win their 4th consecutive NCAA XC Championship off of a 23 meet win streak, or if BYU, Colorado, or another team would come in to swipe it up. The individual championship only got really interesting in the race with Peter Seufer (VT) taking the race into his own hands and leading out completely alone after about 2.5k. Seufer then leads most of the race on his own, slipping on corners and trying to find grip while being
chased hard by the pack. The team race comes down to the wire with everyone wondering what the outcome will be after the race finishes.
My favorite NCAA race I have seen, this one is fun to watch mainly because it's a relay featuring some of the best NCAA runners that year. My favorite part of relays is the ability for teams to come back from anything due to the depth of their athletes. the DMR, consisting of 4 legs, 1200m, 400m, 800m, and 1600m. The 1200m and 400m legs leave Iowa State with a demanding lead and Notre Dame in last and Iowa State holds that lead to 50m going into the last leg of 1600m. The last leg of this DMR is what everyone was looking forward to because it features Grant
Fisher (Stanford) and Yared Nuguse (ND). Yared Nuguse decides that he has to slowly but surely dig into the lead that Iowa State held. Nuguse catches him and sits behind with about 1000m left in the race. Fisher has been following Nuguse the entire time. With 400m left Nuguse and Fisher finally decide to pass the Iowa State runner and now the excitement ramps up even more. Fisher decides to take over Nuguse and try to run him out for 300m, but we have started to notice this past year especially, you should never count Nuguse out. Looking at the faces and gap of Fisher and Nuguse with 50-100m left we are on the edge of our seats wondering if Nuguse can pull through or Fisher can stay strong and composed to take gold.
Top 3...Meets that Austin Drumheller and Ty Herring look forward to
This week we have more current athletes sharing their top 3 races. Austin Drumheller and Ty Herring share the cross country meets they look forward to the most. Austin and Ty are both rising juniors and give a great overview and perspective of a lot of the meets we go to. I loved hearing what they thought!
Top 3...With Austin and TyArtist Name
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The leaders of the 2019 Albemarle Invite at the 2k mark
Ty and Austin dressed up for Oatlands last fall
Top 3...Sprint Finishes in Long Distance Races
3. 1993 10,000 World Championship Final
This video shows the showdown between two elite athletes in the last 4 laps of the 1993, 10,000m IAAF world championships. 20 year old Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia with a personal best of 27:30.17 in the 10,000m at the time of this race, and 28 year old Moses Tanui of Kenya with a personal best of 27:35.89 at the time of this race. Both runners were heavy favourites to win the race, with Gebrselassie winning the 5k, and 10k at the World Junior Championships the year prior, and Tanui being the defending champion at the 10k distance, in the 1991 Tokyo World Championships. Both runners broke away from everyone else
by Daniel Cuenca
in the race at the 7,800m mark, (19 and a half laps, with 5 laps to go). This is in my top three not only because of the great sprint finish, but also because of the tactics, and drama that happened during the race and after. The youngster Gebrselassie let Tanui do all the groundwork for him, and stuck behind him like glue, and made Tanui lead the last 5 laps. This really got into Tanui’s head because he clearly is frustrated and wants Gebrselassie to lead as well, but Gebrselassie stayed patient and waited. Adding onto Tanui’s frustration coming into the final lap, Gebrselassie stepped on Tanui’s shoe, and Tanui now physically showed how frustrated he is, as any person would be when losing his shoe at the biggest stage, he kicked his loose shoe off, and maddog sprinted with 400m to go. With a controversial, heartracing ending, both runners ended up being .5 seconds apart, as they crossed the finish line.
Not only was this an amazing sprint finish, it was also an amazing 5000m race in general. I HIGHLY recommend watching part one and two on youtube, but I am only going to link the second part, due to this being only about the sprint finish. Coming into this race John Ngugi who was the reigning olympic 5k champion, Moses Tanui who claimed the silver medal in the 10k a few days earlier, and Yobes Ondieki who, at the time, ran the worlds fastest time, 13:04.24, in the 5k the year prior. These three were major favorites to win, and all of them were from Kenya. To most fans this race seemed to indicate a Kenyan sweep, with either of them taking 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, but at the 820 meter mark John Ngugi tripped and fell, and he went straight from being in the middle of the pack, to
being 50m behind the main pack. But amazingly within 400 meters he went from 50m back, to the front of the pack, and even running away from the main pack of runners. 800 meters after Ngugi fell, not only did he make up a 50m gap, he put on a 50m gap on everyone else. No one went with him, and he seemed to be running away with it. When it seems as though people are making contact with John Ngugi, he sprints away, and gaps them even more. As for the other Kenyan favorites, they seemed to be struggling throughout the whole race, and nowhere near being in contention of getting top three. With Yobes Ondieki, and Moses Tanui struggling, it opened up a lot of questions as to who will medal this race. Coming into the final lap John Ngugi was around 40 meters ahead of the front group of 6 runners. With the pack of 6 runners, there were a lot of question marks as to them even contending with the favorites, but all of them came to win. With a confident and strong Ngugi being out in front, the pack of patient runners, that contains the likes of Andy Lloyd, Ian Hamer, Moses Tanui, Paul Williams, Mark Rowland, and Kerry Rodger, are in hot pursuit.
Three legends battle it out in a half marathon, and it’s no surprise that this led to a great sprint finish. It’s hard to imagine after running, 13.1 miles, you would have a very fast kick, but the professionals show how it’s done. Mo Farah a world-wide known running legend, who won countless world championships, and olympic medals, Kenenisa Bekele world record holder of the 5000m, and 10000m, and Haile Gebrselassie two olympic golds, 9 world titles, and won numerous marathons on the road too. Bekele started picking up the pace with 1 mile to go, and he gaped both Farah, and Gebrselassie. Bekele’s final mile was so straining, Gebrselassie was dropped out of contention. Farah was still in contention, but he was around 20 meters back, and looked very tired, while
Bekele looked really relaxed pushing the pace out front. In the last 400 meters of the race, Farah was still around 20 meters back, and Bekele looked more than relaxed, it seemed as though Bekele would come first, and beat Farah, and Gebrselassie. But in the last minute of the race Farah started closing meter, by meter, and the effort you can see from Farah, and the cheers from the crowd, and the hype from the commentators gets your heart racing. Farah time and time again won big races with his tremendous speed, but so has Bekele. Both runners in the end were less than a second apart.
This race features American 800m record holder Donavan Brazier, an NCAA and World Champion. From the gun, Brazier doesn’t take the bait from frontrunner Nijel Amos, the 3rd fastest man in the distance’s history, who drops a 48 high on the first lap (which is world record pace). After the first lap, Brazier is a solid 30 meters back of Amos and the lead, way out of the picture. With only 200m to go, Brazier is still a good 25m back, with his chance of victory looking slim. However, in classic Amos fashion, lactic acid sets in, coupled with Brazier cashing in on the fact that he hadn’t taken the breakneck pace from the beginning. In the last 50 or so, you can just see Amos clawing his way towards the line, his legs like lead, and then Brazier zooming by him on the way to first place. There’s a great shot of him rounding the curve into the home stretch when he starts to really get moving that demonstrates how he has an extra gear that he’s able to shift into.
A UVA mid-distance legend, Robby Andrews is known to rely on his deadly kick, as it has brought him US high school records and national championships on every level. However, the time when it delivered the most was in the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. A good two seconds back of the lead by the halfway point, it appears that a more realistic goal for Andrews is to not get last, rather than win. With a little more than 150 to go, however, his engine starts to rev. He swings all the way out into Lane 3 to get a clear path to the line, and then he puts his foot on the gas, holding it down until he captures a sub-1:45 time and an NCAA trophy. I’m a fan of this race not only because of Andrews’s connection with Charlottesville, but also because it shows a gutsy performance, one that comes down to his 12-and-change speed for the last 100.
Simply put, this is the original “stay back and kick” race. Long before Brazier and Andrews were using this strategy, the US’s Dave Wottle brought it to the mainstream in Munich. From the moment the starter’s pistol goes off, Wottle drops behind the pack, so much so that the announcers bring up the possibility that he’s injured. This race is made in the last 100 meters, when Wottle gets within the lead pack. Driven by the roar of the crowd, he improbably outlasts his Kenyan and Soviet rivals, winning by .03 seconds. What draws me and so many others to this race is the idea that a guy like Dave Wottle, running in his trademark golf cap, can win Olympic gold. From the looks of it, I’d peg him as the mailman as opposed to someone who can run 1:45. Nevertheless, his kick is a classic that will is unmatched in 800m history.
This was supposed to be released yesterday but we have had about 24 hours of technical difficulties. We are still having some but thought we would at least get this link out for now.
This week we decided to discuss our favorite Drew Hunter races with our own video. We got kinda carried away as our video ended up being 45 minutes long and we did much more than 3 races. We are obviously big fans of Drew! If you don't know who Drew is, he is one of Virginia and our countries best high school runners of all time. He went to Loudoun Valley High School and he went pro with Adidas immediately following high school. He is one of the founding members of Tinman Elite, which is based in Boulder, Colorado.
by Coach Resnick and Coach Lorenzoni
Sorry for the poor production value! I think I need some headphones with a mic or maybe it's better you can't hear me during the races.
Every week we are going to try and give you a list of top three races. For me, races are the most exciting part of our sport. Some weeks we will feature races with American records. Some lists will include Albemarle athlete top finishes. Some may even see our own personal bests and experiences. To kick everything off, I wanted to start with my top three favorite local races. Hopefully you can picture running in these places and I’ve attached links to current race maps so you can check out the courses yourself!
by Coach Resnick
1. Charlottesville Ten Miler
One of the oldest races in town run along a challenging but great course. Trust me, this is a LOOOONG race. It is also the race I have run the most times in town. It’s also one of the first memories I have of Adrian. But if you can believe this, he was probably your age if I’m right. Think back a little more, I think it was 2007 and I was a second year in college. Adrian was simply on a long training run with this high school team through town. He was practically jogging and I was giving 110-115% to the race. Well I ran 1:03:40 that year, many thanks to Adrian and his teammates. The Charlottesville community turns out for this race and it is cool to have so many friends cheering you on along the way. Although I haven’t quite broken an hour in this race, that is a lifetime goal of mine, for sure. Some other fun experiences with this race are having run the race with my older brother, close friends, and a handful of Albemarle athletes over the years, including alumni Sam Forney. COURSE MAP
Photo from the 2013 Charlottesville Ten Miler, Adrian was just ahead of me at this point, but he ended up beating me by more than 2 minutes!
2. The Bill Steer’s Men’s 4-Miler
This is an amazing race, with an amazing cause and one that is special to me and my family. The Men’s 4-Miler donates its proceeds to Prostate cancer research. The race has had several different course variations, located both in the city and county, and I have run on a few. For a couple years, the race finished on the 50 yard line at Scott Stadium the home of the Cavaliers! Once the race was out at White Hall. Another time it finished right in front of the Amphitheater at UVA. My most recent finish was 25:54, just under 6:30 pace. But I have gone as fast as 23:06 with a helpful downhill finish. When the race is in town, it is pretty much an out and back on Rugby Road, with a turnaround near Grady Ave near. My favorite memory of this race was in 2011, ran on very similar courses which both ended in Scott Stadium. That summer, my dad, brothers and I won the family division of the race, with a family average under 7 mins a mile. It was the perfect Father’s Day gift! Plus it's always fun getting an award and some prizes. COURSE MAP (Hand drawn map, please ask if you need help understanding the course)
Photo from the 2014 Men's 4-Miler, you do not see Adrian in this photo because this is one of the few races I’ve bested him (but I think he was running with an Alemarle High School athlete)
3. Kiwanis Independence Day 5K
On July 4th, 2017 at approximately 7:30 in the morning, Will Mack and I took off from Hollymead Elementary School with one goal… to win the race. Eh, quite quickly we realized the need to change our goal, seeing the eventual race champion Ann Dunn take off and run way more than 30 seconds faster than us in the first mile. New goal was to lock-in, work together, break 20 mins, and last, but certainly not least, beat one another. The course is a simple loop that works its way around the Hollymead neighborhood of Albemarle County. Mostly on asphalt roads, but with a few segments on cement walking paths, there are no big hills that tested us, rather the heat, humidity and the fact that we were both wayyy out of shape. But having a teammate to work through the hard stuff we played off each other and kept a pace of around 6:20 per mile throughout the race. There is a little uphill in the last 500 meters or so of the race, heading back to the school. It was in that moment that this race will always paint my memory. Will unleashed a kick so nasty, that as a rising sophomore, I knew he would go onto big things. For the life of me there, no matter what I tried, there was NO way I could hold on. He took 8th place overall and I kept close enough to crack the top 10, watching him sprint in the whole way. We both broke 20 minutes that day, but it was the last time I was ever within 10 seconds of Will Mack in a race. He ran 19:39, I clocked 19:47. COURSE MAP (scroll to bottom of page)