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Dave Hunter

Dave HunterDave Hunter is a track & field journalist, announcer, and broadcaster.  Dave reports on the premier track & field gatherings around the globe, frequently serves as an arena or stadium announcer for championship events, and has undertaken foreign and domestic broadcast assignments in the sport.

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Gatlin_JustinFH1b-USOut17.jpGJustin Gatlin wins 100 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ageless Gatlin Fends Off Coleman And Father Time For Century Title

June 22nd, 2017

Sacramento, California

With all due respect to every other event on the track and in the field, isn't there just something special - almost magical - about the 100 meters?

The heritage of the 100 meters - the "Century" as it is often referred to by the old-schoolers - is deeply rooted. Our fascination with speed, running speed, goes way back. It is engrained in our culture. From schoolyard squabbles to see who can run the fastest to the quadrennial Olympic finals in the dash, the 100 meters is the battlefield where the argument is finally settled: Who really is the fastest?

There is a certain notoriety that accompanies the "Fastest" title. With apologies to the mile, the 100 meters is probably the best known and most embraced track & field event for the expanded population that extends beyond track & field's hardcore fan base. Jesse Owens, Carl Lewis, Usain Bolt - all household names borne from, among other things, 100 meter success.

Murphy_ClaytonQ-USAout17 copy.jpgClayton Murphy in the 800 meters, June 22, 2017, photo by PhotoRun.net

 

Brutal Weather Punishes All Athletes

June 22nd, 2017

Sacramento, California

In building a carefully-assembled, detail-oriented plan that would see Olympic bronze medalist Clayton Murphy compete in both the 800m and 1500m in the USATF outdoor championships, both Murphy and his coach Lee Labadie knew that the reigning Olympic 800m bronze medalist - hoping to battle competitors in 5 races over 4 days - would be facing many worthy opponents. But prior to this week, they did not know that perhaps Murphy's most formidable opponent may well be the Weather Gods who have transformed Sacramento into a broiling hell hole fit for neither man nor beast.

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IMG_0881.JPGL to R: Tianna Bartoletta, Clayton Murphy, Emma Coburn, and Ronnie Baker, photo by David Hunter

Triple Digit Temperatures To Add New Challenge

June 21st, 2017

Sacramento, California

On the eve of the 2017 USATF outdoor championships, a pre-meet press conference was held at the Sacramento Grand Hotel. It was an opportunity for 4 of the nation's most accomplished track & field athletes to offer insights on their upcoming competitions and to field questions from a packed conference room of journalists. Here is what each had to say:

 

Morris_Sandi-Doha16.jpgSandi Morris, photo by PhotoRun.net

 

When Sandi Morris sailed over 5.00 meters / 16'5" in last year's Diamond League pole vault final in Brussels, she became only the third woman in history to conquer that mythical height. It was a clearance that clinched for Morris Track & Field News' #1 world pole vault ranking and was the perfect capper for Morris' 2016 breakout year. It was quite a year indeed for the young South Carolina native who just 4 years earlier was a bundle of unharnessed potential utilizing unrefined technique to clear 4.15 meters / 13'7¼".

Murphy_ClaytonFH1b-USOlyTr16.jpgClayton Murphy, 2016 US Olympic Trials 800 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net

Murphy To Race 800m/1500m Double At USATF Championships

June 11th, 2017

Portland, Oregon

Clayton Murphy's proven middle distance range combined with his unparalleled progression over the past 4 years has sparked much speculation over which event he would elect to race in this month's upcoming USATF outdoor track and field championships. Would he run the 800 meters where his 1:43.60 clocking earlier this April is the #1 world-ranked performance this year? Or might he step up to the 1500 meters where he has demonstrated great potential and his 3:51.99 in the Bowerman mile two weeks ago is the American leader and is tied for #5 on the world leader board? Murphy - never one to back away from a challenge - found a way to sidestep that tough decision: He's planning to compete in both events. "Coach [Lee] Labadie and I kind of made the decision about the possibility to double toward the end of the indoor season," stated the Nike athlete in an exclusive interview. "We looked at the schedule for both and reviewed them. And we thought there was a possibility based on the schedule. So it was just going depend on training and how I felt leading up to it. Everything we've done and every decision we've made has been based around the double. All the races we've selected, the patterns of workouts, the patterns of races we did select, when they were, what they were have all been based around doubling."

 

 

Ducks Survive Scare, Taylor Upset 10,000m Victor

June 8th, 2017

Eugene, Oregon

After yesterday's invigorating opening day of men's track & field competition, it was the women's turn on Thursday to show what they could do under overcast, cool, and breezy conditions at Hayward Field.

Action kicked off with the hammer throw. And it didn't take long for the ladies to get their first day of competition off with a bang. Coming to Eugene with an impressive collegiate leader of 72.81m//238'10," Arizona State junior Maggie Ewen - an imposing athlete - stepped into the ring as the strong favorite. After a shaky start on her opening throw, the Sun Devil got it rolling with a beautifully rhythmic heave on her third attempt; a high arching shot that splashed down at 73.32m/240'7" to set a new NCAA championship and collegiate record. "I had been feeling really comfortable about my entry and my coach told me when I get that feeling to really go after it," the champion shared afterwards. Later in the day, Ewen would score 3 more points for the Sun Devils by finishing 6th in the shot put. 6th round scrambling is often the case in these championship field contests and today's hammer was no different. With exceptional final attempts, Northern Arizona's Brooke Andersen [68.62m/225'1"] and Georgia frosh Beatrice Llano [67.42m/221'2"] clawed their way past several competitors to finish 2nd and 3rd respectively.

HaywardFieldFE-USOlyTr16.jpgHayward Field, July 2016, photo by PhotoRun.net

Tennessee's Coleman Sprints Scintillating 9.82 Century

June 7th, 2017

Eugene, Oregon

As dusk began to fall over Hayward Field, 24 competitors bounced in anticipation behind the start line just before commencement of the only running event final of the day: the men's 10,000 meters. It was a nervous moment. But all 24 knew one thing: this night they would not be beaten by 17-time NCAA champion Edward Cheserek. When the Oregon star sustained a pesky injury in winning the PAC-12 10,000 which precluded the defense of his 10K national title, speculation was rampant as to how the 10,000 meter final would unfold and who would step up and grab the crown.

Lananna_Vin-USind17.jpgVin Lananna, photo by PhotoRun.net

TrackTown USA's Lananna Upbeat About Domestic Track & Field

June 6th, 2017

Eugene, Oregon

On the eve of the 2017 NCAA Div. I outdoor track & field championships, Vin Lananna - President of TrackTown USA and Associate Athletic Director at the University of Oregon - was relaxed and smiling as he watched scores of hopeful athletes get their final warmups in at Hayward Field. Fueling his upbeat spirits is Lananna's optimism about the present state and likely trajectory of American track & field.

Clement_KerronFL1-Rio16.jpgKerron Clement, Rio 2016 Olympic champion, photo by PhotoRun.net

Reigning Olympic Hurdle Champion Unafraid of Candor

April 9th, 2017

As is the case in virtually every undertaking in life, goal-setting is an essential ingredient for track & field success. The better athletes in our sport reflect upon past accomplishments, assess their fitness level, target their goals, and map out a strategy to achieve them. Yet without the athlete's commitment, the prospects for goal achievement are slim indeed. Studies show that when an athlete does commit, but then also verbalizes and shares the targeted goals with others, it serves to strengthen the resolve of the athlete who has gone public with the dream. Some athletes - who see risk in sharing their goals with others - are coy about their annual or long-range objectives and are reluctant to share their goals with others. Other bolder and more confident track & field performers do not fear publication of what they hope to accomplish and see it as technique to inspire them to employ their best efforts to succeed. Kerron Clement is one such athlete.

 

April 29th, 2017

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In 2000, Penn mastermind Dave Johnson concocted a novel plan to incorporate track & field professionals into the Penn Relay Carnival. The idea was grounded upon the concept of a global team relay competition. The United States - the "home country" - would take on teams assembled by other nations comprised of pros looking for an appropriate season opener for their extended outdoor seasons. When the approach was embraced by both USATF and NBC, the threads of both professional track & field and international team competition were weaved into the Penn Relays tapestry.

18 years later, USA vs. The World is a beloved fixture and a critical element of Penn's concluding day. Yellow, black, and green are predominant throughout Franklin Field as roving throngs of Jamaican fans - armed with air horns - help fill Franklin Field on Day Three. With a new pact recently inked among USATF, NBC, and Penn, the USA vs. The World concept - borne at the turn of the century - will march on for at least another 4 years.

RunBlogRun Some photographs on this site have been reproduced with permission from runblogrun.com.