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Please take a couple of minutes to view Dave's demo-reel for samples of his announcing and interviewing work.

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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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Crouser_RyanWide-Rio16.jpgRyan Crouser, photo by PhotoRun.net

Olympic Shot Put Gold Medalist Has Upside Potential

A favorite, accurate, and often-used sports saying declares, "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." So true. Ah, but when talent does work hard you have, well, Ryan Crouser - a young, gifted, and dedicated athlete who is the reigning Olympic gold medalist and Olympic record-holder in the shot put.

2016 NCAA Div. I Women’s Cross Country Championships

Terre Haute, Indiana

With only 1 kilometer remaining in the NCAA women’s cross country championship race, an icy wind whipped across the Terre Haute race course, and Missouri junior Karissa Schweizer – 20 meters behind race leader Anna Rohrer and working hard to hold her 5th place position – faced a moment of truth as she reflected on her progressive race day goals. "Honestly, I really just wanted to be in the top 10. But I knew if I was there, I could be in the top 5. And I knew if I was in the top 5, I would have a kick,” explained the Urbandale, Iowa native. “And I trust my kick."

At that moment, Schweizer went all in. Tearing into the final kilo, Schweizer soon dropped Sharon Lokedi and passed Brenna Peloquin to move into 3rd. "I knew I had a kick,” she explained. “3rd is nice, but I wanted to win." With third-year Mizzou coach Marc Burns exhorting her onward – "You can win this thing!" – Schweizer dug down deep. "I just knew I had another gear. So I just went for it. It was unbelievable. It was just crazy. I was catching them. Coming up the final straight, I just kicked into another gear." And in doing so, she sailed past highly-touted Anna Rohrer and Erin Finn on her way to a most improbable national championship victory.

"I thought she could be in the top 5,” a beaming Marc Burns explained afterwards. “Our goal was to be top 10, give ourselves a chance to be in the top 10 somewhere. We just talked about being in position to beat somebody who – on paper – you're not supposed to beat. I don't think she even thought she had a chance to win, honestly. I wanted her to know that she could do it.” The Mizzou coach analyzed the keys to Karissa’s victorious championship run. “She was really smart early. She was relaxed, fought the wind. The big early pack, suggesting a modest pace, may have helped her a little bit,” noted Burns. “As the race whittled down, she looked good and gave herself a chance.

With Schweizer – who finished 3rd in last spring’s NCAA outdoor championship 5000m – breaking through with a stunning upset win in Terre Haute, Burns is looking forward to cultivating further progression with his new champion. “She's obviously got wheels. We're going to keep plugging, focus on the process, and keep her healthy," offered the Missouri coach. Following a pause, Burns added, "After today, it is going to incredible to see what she can do on the track.” Those who witnessed Schweizer’s national championship upset win can’t help but share those same sentiments.

2016 NCAA Div. I Women’s Cross Country Championships


Schweizer, Oregon Are Upset Victors


Terre Haute, Indiana

The 2016 women's NCAA cross country championship competition kicked off a race day that was full of surprises and underscored the often-overlooked importance of total team performance.

With temperatures in the mid 30's and stubborn, powerful gusting driving wind chills into the teens, some 250 finalists answered the gun at Terre Haute's Lavern Gibson Championship Course. Leading a tightly-bunched field, Michigan senior Erin Finn and Notre Dame sophomore Anna Rohrer hit 1K in 3:10. At 2K, Rohrer – always striving to push the race pace – was up front, with Finn a half step back, and the New Mexico duo of Alice Wright and Calli Thackery rounding out the top four. After racing past 3K in 9:50 and stringing out the field, Rohrer – who placed 6th in last year's championship race – soon signaled the start of earnest racing as she tossed in a downhill surge just before 5K [passed in 16:20] in an effort to break away, leaving Finn and Boise State sophomore Brenna Peloquin 10 meters back with another duo – Kansas sophomore Sharon Lokedi and Missouri junior Karissa Schweizer – back yet another 10 meters. After the leaders turned into a biting headwind for the long final drive to the finish, Midwest Regional Champion Schweizer – who had moved into 3rd yet still down 20 meters with 300m to go – began her drive. Witnessing Rohrer and Finn beginning to falter against the gale energized Schweizer as she caught and promptly passed the struggling duo with just 100 meters remaining. Neither could respond to the Tiger’s finishing sprint. The exuberant surprise winner crossed the line in 19:41.6 – #9 on the course’s all-time list. The new champion was followed by her spent competitors – Finn [19:44.2] and Rohrer [19:44.6].

Meanwhile, the women's team race created its own surprising drama – ultimately affirming that a fully-performing squad is the key to a national team title. Favored Colorado – which had handily won the Mountain Regional with a cruise-control tight-pack strategy – came up short when Erin Clark, 11th in last year's championship, had a bad day at the office, struggling home 105th as the Buffaloes' final finisher. Simply an expected performance in the top 24 by its senior leader would have secured the team title for the Colorado women who totaled 134 points – 9 behind team champion Oregon.

An analysis of the team victory by Oregon [4-9-16-47-49=125] – a 1 point win over runner-up Michigan [2-13-24-37-50=126] – reveals not only how close the team battle was, but also the importance of every one of each team's scoring members. After a 6000 meter battle and buried in a covey of finishing athletes, Maggie Schmaedick – the Ducks fifth finisher – capped a maniacal race-ending sprint by crossing the finish line to just edge the Wolverines' final scorer by only 1/10th of second. Had that 1½ foot blanket finish been reversed, Michigan takes the team title by a point.

"I thought we could break 200 points and get a trophy,” proclaimed an ecstatic Maurica Powell. “Going into the race we had three really good front runners. I hoped we'd be top 4, but 125 points blows my mind," said the Oregon women’s assistant coach. “I saw them at 2K and told them, 'Guys, we're winning. Just stay where you are. We're in great position. Just stay calm.' At 4K, I think I yelled, "Guys, we're winning. Don't do anything stupid,'" laughed Powell.

"We were 5-for-5. I mean every kid we lined up today had an incredible race,” explained Powell who relished the win by her 12th ranked Ducks – the lowest-ranking team in NCAA history to win a national title. “I couldn't be prouder of these kids." Before turning to join her celebrating athletes, the Duck coach added, “We were only 4th in the PAC-12 and 4th in our region, but if you have three front-runners at this meet, it gets you something.” And on a championship day full of surprises, that something proved to be an unexpected NCAA cross country team championship for the women of Oregon.

WC_FEA_RALLY_008_r600x400.jpgUniversity of Arkansas T&F team, with Coach Lance Harter, photo by Andy Shape for WholeHogSports.com

Back in the late-70's when Lance Harter began his collegiate coaching career, he was wise enough to observe and listen to older, more experienced track & field coaches knowing he could pick up valuable pointers from them. "When I was getting started, I was the young buck at the Cal Poly SLO. And everybody would call me "kid' or 'son'", laughs Harter. "I'm very blessed that I've had the opportunities that I've had. And I attribute a lot of it to the mentors that I've had. I was very fortunate to have mentors that said, 'You're the young buck. But let's do it the right way.' And I'm very appreciative of that." Now the roles are reversed as Harter - one of the most respected and decorated college track& field coaches in the game - is the one from whom advice is sought.

 

usainbolt.jpgUsain Bolt, adidas GP 2015, photo by Kevin Morris

Sprint Legend Makes Unmatched Greatness Appear Commonplace

Having earlier stepped up with my evaluation of the elite women and unveiled my selection of the 2016 Track & Field Female Athlete of the Year [Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk], it is high time I followed up with my analysis of this past season's exceptional track & field men and declare my pick for this year's Track & Field Male Athlete of the Year.

Using the subjective metrics of progression of marks, head-to-head competition, and honors won, here is how I see the top track and field men for 2016:

Anita Wlodarczyk goes airborne, Rio 2016, photo by PhotoRun.net

Polish Hammer Thrower Did It All

Now that the 2016 track & field season has concluded and while memories of the many electrifying performances of this Olympic year still linger, it is the perfect time to look back on a terrific year for our sport on the track and in the field and determine who is worthy to be named the Track & Field Female Athlete of the Year.

And before we begin to assess the credentials of the best candidates, we would do well to remind ourselves of the generally-accepted evaluation criteria: (i) Progression Of Marks: How fast an athlete ran, how far an athlete threw, and how high an athlete jumped - and the progression achieved throughout the season - are given influential, but not overwhelming weight; (ii) Head-To-Head Competition: More important than mere marks, did the candidate compete against the world's best? And how well did the athlete compete against world class peers?; and (iii) Honors Won: Most importantly, how did the athlete perform in the year's most celebrated and important competitions? Did the athlete perform best on the world's biggest stages when it counted the most?

Ghebreslassie_Ghirmay-Rio16.JPGGhirmay Ghebrselassie, Rio Olympics to New York, photo by PhotoRun.net

USA's Huddle, Abdi on the Podium

Marathon legend Frank Shorter has a phrase to describe a marathon competition day that dawns with bright, crisp, windless conditions. Race day for the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon was the '72 Olympic marathon champion's "no excuses day" - perfect road racing weather in which to celebrate the 40th anniversary of New York's first 5-borough race and the first of 4 NYC Marathon victories for Bill Rodgers.

 20161026 gerardvandeveen

gerrit-van-der-veen-and-wilson-kipsang-addressing-press-in-eldoret.jpg

Gerard van de Veen with Wilson Kipsang


Dutch Manager Handles The Greats

The spectacle of international road racing at the elite level is so grand as to sometimes be overwhelming: picture several dozen exquisite and exactingly prepared thoroughbred men and women, positioned on starting lines in front of huge teeming fields of tens of thousands and prepared to race for life-changing prize money over the streets of some of the world's greatest global capitals. Against this backdrop, it is often easy to overlook a key player in all of this: the elite athlete's agent or manager, the person who toils alone in anonymity to ensure that all non-racing aspects of the athlete's life run smoothly, that the annual race calendar is wisely assembled to include the proper progression of races against the appropriate opponents, and that the overall trajectory of an athlete's career is arcing properly to pinnacle, career-capping - even world record - performances. It is a daunting task which requires superior multi-tasking skills, an engrained knowledge of how to select and develop road racing talent, a nuanced yet important relationship with the athlete, and a keen sense of mother wit. Many aspire to become managers on the road racing circuit, but only a select few truly excel.

One of the more successful managers who presides over a stable of world-class road racers is Amsterdam-based Gerard van de Veen.

 

Morris_160213_6919.jpgMeb Keflezighi, photo by Kevin Morris

Legendary Marathoner Is Also An Exceptional Person

October 2nd, 2016

In surveying the spectrum of sport, it is not unusual to observe certain world-class athletes who, frankly, are unpleasant human beings. Inwardly focused on perfecting their craft, these often-impatient, self-absorbed performers are frequently oblivious to the world around them, with little time for or interest in others. In contrast to that selfish group, there is Meb Keflezighi - a world class marathoner who is quite the opposite of that narrow pack of athletes who project that loathsome personality that says it's all about them.

No part of the life of Mebrahtom Keflezighi is ordinary. In 1987, his father, Russom Keflezighi, fled war-torn Eritrea in a move that would eventually bring his entire family to the United States. One of the Keflezighi children was 12 year old Meb. No one could envision that one day he would grow up to be perhaps the greatest American distance runner ever.

 

Kenyan Athletes Capture Half Marathon Victories In Usti nad Labem

Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic

When an incessant, day-long rain – which threatened to spoil the 6th annual Mattoni Usti nad Labem Half Marathon – magically subsided just prior to the race start, several dozen of the world‘s top professional road racers, along with another 3600 intrepid runners, suddenly knew the emerging weather – damp, windless conditions and a cooling temperature of 16 degrees Celsius [62 degrees Fahrenheit] could permit some special performances in the finale of the 2016 RunCzech Running League. Several such performances – including a clocking under the mythical one hour barrier – did occur.

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