American distance running has suffered on the world stage for the last 30 years. A championship medal here and an Olympic medal there by the odd Steve Spence or Shalane Flanaghan has been all the U.S.A. has had to show for all of its athletic prowess. Distance running is owned by the East Africans by and large with the North Africans doing well in the middle distances.
We're seeing a change at this world championships. The last 48 hours gave solid evidence of it. Three American men made it to the finals of the 1500. Galen Rupp and the resurgent Dathan Ritzenheim made respectable showings in the 10000. Ritz ran a PR to place 6th and given the length of Rupp's season his 8th place finish shows promise.
Jenny Barringer ran a monster PR and an American record in the women's steeplechase. She finished 5th and her charge at the end leaves one wondering what would have happened if she had made more of an effort to stay with the front pack. I believe she could have medaled.
Now none of the three American women advanced to the finals of the 800, but Maggie Vescey has had a dream season, winning a Golden League meet and running a sub 1:58 800. She's the real deal.
So far we haven't seen any medals but I believe we may see one in the men's 1500 and the women's 1500. Did I mention all three American women advanced to the finals in that event as well. Plus, Kara Goucher could sneak in for a medal in the marathon. We could be in for a memorable next five days.
Oh... and as for the revenge part. Check this out. The Sons of Maxwell are not taking their beef with United Airlines lying down. They want justice. Be sure to watch the entire video!