Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stop Making Sense

Rarely does USATF, this country's governing body for track and field, make decisions that make sense.  So when USATF released its roster for the upcoming World Championships in Daegu I just about fell over.  One of my personal favorites Lauren Fleshman ran her way onto the team.

USATF, much to my surprise, decided that Fleshman deserved the spot over Desiree Davila who had beaten her at nationals.  Davila's had a great season but lacks Lauren's credentials when it comes to championship racing.

A rough spring left Fleshman short on conditioning when she ran nationals in July.  She finished only 8th.  But Fleshman headed to Europe for six weeks of stellar training and it paid off with her best race on Saturday in London where she won the 5000 where she handily beat Davila.

Last year Fleshman surprised just about everybody when she won nationals at 5000 meters.  She was coming off a two year injury grind that nearly forced her out of the sport.  Her memorable post-race interview was unvarnished and refreshing when she proudly proclaimed her bold move at the end to take the race was just balls.

Even more shocking was Fleshman's announcement today that she will run this fall's New York City Marathon.  She's hoping preparing for New York will make her even stronger as a 5000 runner going into the 2012 Olympic Trials.  Given her fragility over the last three years it's a big gamble but if she can survive NYC she could put herself in a position to make it to the Olympic finals in London.

So when August 30th rolls around Lauren and another personal favorite Amy Hastings who trained in high school under the watchful eye of one of my best buddies Mike Bloemker will toe the line in Daegu for the 5000 meter heats.  It all goes to show that good things do happen to good people who put in the work and persevere.  Lauren and Amy are both shining examples of that.

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