Uncommon is common at Hayward Field,
where stars mingle readily with the night,
and night gives the stars all the space they need.
Link to Steve Prefontaine tribute: “Steve”
“Pre”View: Field Events
for Distance Night in Eugene
Much attention is rightly focused on the magnificent fields assembled for the men’s 5k and 10k for Friday’s Distance Night in Eugene. Links to distance events previews are posted, below.
Not to be lost in the distance drama are superb Friday fields in the men’s discus, women’s long jump, and men’s shot put.
Men’s Discus - 20:03
A remarkably deep field is missing its king. Robert Harting, World and Olympic Champion, continues to recover from a knee injury suffered in a training accident last fall. Three-time World and Olympic silver medalist Piotr Malachowski (Pol) is one of two favorites in the absence of his nemesis. Gerd Kanter (Est) has a dazzling competitive record in this event with World and Olympic gold and three podium finishes to boot; while his golds seem to be behind him (2007 and 2008), he has a remarkable run of 2-3-3 in the last three World-Olympic-World championships – and he is now 36 years old. Best of the outstanding rest is Iran’s Ehsan Hadadi, with two major meet medals to his credit. Some terrific young talent in this meet… not so much a changing of the guard as adding to it. Should be a dazzling display between Kanter and Malachowski - especially if that evening breeze comes in sideways at Hayward Field.
Women’s Long Jump – 20:06
Brittney Reese is to the long jump as Robert Harting is to the discus: each has consecutive World titles and Olympic championships in the last four opportunities: ’09, ’11, ‘12, and ’13. Reese has the longest PR in this field by almost 8”. Sure to challenge her is the resurgent Tianna Bartoletta, who as Tianna Madison shocked the athletics world with her 2005 World Championship win in Helsinki. Russia’s Darya Khristina has the distance (23’ 1 ¾”) but not yet the titles, while Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic won here last year but has a personal best over a foot behind that of Reese. Eager to break 7 metres and join the 23’ club is Canada’s young Christabel Nettey.
Men’s Shot Put – 20:28
The shot put entry list reads like a royal family tree. Tomasz Majewski – 2x Olympic champion; David Storl – 2x World champion; Reese Hoffa - world indoor and outdoor champion, and last year’s world #1; Christian Cantwell – 3 indoor world titles, one outdoors; Ryan Whiting – 2 x world indoor champion.
My pick? David Storl, highly accomplished for so young a thrower. He is the putter and the present as well as the future. He and Majewski are great big-meet throwers; their PBs are 1’ to almost 2’ behind their famous brethren.
Here are links to a couple of the distance previews from the runnerspace.com meet headquarters page:
I am intrigued most of all by Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor in the 10K… he made the Kenyan 5k Olympic team when he was 19. Three years later, this past March, he won the World XC title; he turned a close race with teammate Bedan Karoki into an 8-second margin of victory in just the last 300m. Watch out.