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Semenya_CasterFV-London17.jpGCaster Semenya wins the 800 meters, Francine Niyonsaba, silver and Ajée Wilson, photo by PhotoRun.net

USA's Ajée Wilson Grabs Bronze

 August 13th, 2017

London, England

Prior the final of the women's 800 meters, a good number of track & field aficionados reflected on the near-perfect form-chart progression from the initial field of 45 to the 8 finalists still standing. True, Belarus's defending champion Marina Arzamasova failed to advance beyond the first round. But an analysis of the 37 who failed to make it this far revealed very few other unexpected casualties. For many, the final field had shaped up just as they had hoped: the 3 polished Rio finalists versus the rapidly-improving American training partners: Ajée Wilson and Charlene Lipsey.



 The race is on! Chelimo, Farah, Edris, Kejelcha, photo by PhotoRun.net


Ethiopian Out Kicks Briton for 5000m Crown

August 12th, 2017

London, England

Even with the 66,000+ fans who packed London's Olympic Stadium setting new decibel records in exhorting on their beloved countryman, Muktar Edris was not to be denied as the Ethiopian did something no man has been able to do in 6 years: unleash a finishing kick strong enough to defeat the incomparable Mohammed Farah in a global championship track final. The capacity crowd - which came in droves to witness what Farah has repeatedly stated will be his final big track competition - roared during Farah's introduction and then settled back to watch what they hoped who be yet another global championship for the Brit they call Sir Mo.

DSC_9124-2.jpgKeni Harrison, photo by Brian Eder for RunBlogRun

The US hurdle team, USATF Outdoors, photo by Mike Deering, The Shoe Addicts 

  All Four Yankees Gain 100m Hurdle Final

August 11th, 2017

London, England

How outstanding are the American women 100 meter hurdlers? American Briana Rollins - the reigning Olympic champion who is ineligible this season as a consequence of missing several drug testing appointments - is not even here. And the reigning Olympic bronze medalist Kristi Castlin is also missing, unable to make the U.S. World team. But no worries, the US of A, by virtue of the Diamond League bye earned by world record-holder Kendra Harrison, has 4 other women - Harrison, Nia Ali, Dawn Harper Nelson, and Christina Manning - here. And they are doing very well, thank you very much. After they all performed admirably in the first two rounds of the 100H, the American quartet will comprise half the field for Saturday's final.


Ajee Wilson

IMG_8744.jpgAjée Wilson taking USATF title, June 2017, photo by PhotoRun.net

Wilson's Monaco AR Suggests She's Ready

August 10th, 2017

London, England

Over the years we have observed 800 meter specialist Ajée Wilson as she has won important races, developed as an athlete, and matured into an accomplished and confident young woman. We've watched her win national titles. We've seen her deliver poised performances on the world's biggest stages. And recently - in Monaco's Diamond League gathering - we witnessed her battle Olympic medalists down to the wire as she clocked 1:55.61 to break Jearl Miles Clark's nearly 18 year old American record. The stars and planets seem to be aligning perfectly. Might this be the moment when Ajée Wilson wins an outdoor world championship medal?

Coburn_EmmaQ-London17.jpGEmma Coburn, photo by PhotoRun.net

August 9th, 2017

London, England

In the development and progression of world class track & field talent, some performers [e.g. an Allyson Felix; perhaps a Christian Coleman] can step right onto the world stage and quickly experience success. For others, that evolution from national winner to influential global athlete occurs - if at all - on a different timetable. Think about it: it is not uncommon for an American athlete [e.g. a Galen Rupp; a Nick Symmonds; and may we now add a Phyllis Francis] to be a dominating performer in his or her own country, yet must further develop, build confidence, and sometimes even learn how to race and compete in the rarefied air of a global championship to achieve success on a worldwide level. It has ever been so.


August 8, 2017
London, England

On a raw London night, 12 finalists in the men’s pole vault got underway with an opening height of 5.50m/18’½”. Major casualties came early as ’13 world champion Raphael Holzdeppe no-heighted on the opening bar. U.S high school phenom Armand Duplantis – competing for Sweden – went 3 and out at the next height of 5.65m/18’6½.

Four perfect jumpers – Sam Kendricks, Renaud Lavillenie, Changrui Xue, and Pawel Wojchiechowski – were knotted at the top as the bar went to 5.75m/18’10¼”. Defending champion Shawn Barber was among those who failed there while the American, French, and Chinese jumpers plus Piotr Lisek – another Pole – made first attempt clearances.

Kendricks and Xue kept their cards clean with first attempt clearances at 5.82m/19’1” But after failing on their initial vaults, Lavillenie – who won his Olympic title in this stadium – and the two Poles all passed to the next height.

Lisek’s pass at the earlier height looked particularly brilliant at the next bar – 5.87m/19’3” – as he moved into second behind Kendricks as those two were the only first attempt successes. Lavillenie cleared on his second attempt while Wojchiecheowski went out. Following 3 misses – his first of the evening – Xue was transformed him from co-leader to spectator.
Only three competitors remained as the officials set the bar at 5.95m/19’6¼. Kendricks, Lisek, and Lavillenie were all guaranteed a medal, but what color? None could clear in their first two attempts. On the 3rd round of jumps – after Lisek missed and went out – the American, technically sound all night, unfurled a majestic clearance as the crowd roared. What would the London Olympic champion do? Lavillenie could take his third attempt which, if cleared, would move him into 2nd place, but still trailing Kendricks. Or he could pass and take one final crack at possible gold at 6.01m/19’8½. Without hesitation, the Frenchman passed.

After a first round miss by Kendrick, Lavillenie fidgeted alone in the darkness before his only jump at 6.01m. His last valiant effort was unsuccessful and set the medals: gold for Kendricks; silver for Lisek; with Lavillenie taking the bronze.
"I am very happy to be able to fight until the end,” offered a relieved Lavillenie, recovering from a string of injuries. Lisek revealed his competitiveness. "When I saw the conditions here, I told myself I must fight for gold. I wanted to beat Sam today but he was stronger and deserves the victory,” said the Pole. And Kendricks – who earlier this season became only the 22nd man to clear 6.00 meters – was gracious and articulate as ever. “It is all part of a mission for me. I make a goal and chop it down to make it attainable. I've finally got that world title and I could not be happier. It was another fantastic competition today and I had to jump high to take the gold."



Kendricks_Sam1c-Pre17.JPGSam Kendricks, (from Pre Classic), photo by PhotoRun.net

Kendricks Tense Vault Chess Match!


August 8, 2017

London, England

The current confederation of the world's elite men pole vaulters is a highly-competitive, yet strangely collegial group. The legion is an assemblage of ambitious, focused, and talented athletes to be sure. But almost to a man, the top performers also possess an authentic and refreshing team spirit: occasionally engaging in friendly banter and encouraging each other onward to clear higher and higher heights. And on a raw and blustery London night, USA's Sam Kendricks - the fraternity's head cheerleader - strung together a magnificent series of jumps to win the world championship.

Clement_KerronSF-London17.jpGKerron Clement, 400 m hurdle rounds, London 2017, photo by PhotoRun.net

Olympic Champion Seeking Unprecedented 3rd 400m Hurdles Gold!


August 7th, 2017

London, England

Once accomplished world class athletes have tasted great success, how do they find new, fresh motivation to press on? If you are Kerron Clement - highly-decorated 400 meter hurdler - you find a way to create goals, preferably goals as yet unachieved by anyone else in the sport. "It would be amazing," declares an animated Clement as he shares his 2017 world championship gold medal dream. The reigning Olympic 400H champion already has two WC golds that date back to '07 and '09. "I would be the only hurdler in history to have three. I'm going for history," states the former University of Florida star who has never been coy about outlining his goals. "I'm really excited to have the opportunity just to get it. I'll try everything I have in my bones and in my body to get that third gold medal."

Merritt_AriesQ-London17.jpGAries Merritt, London WC, 110m hurdles, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Incredible Journey Of Oly Champ, WR Holder Continues

August 6th, 2017

London, England

It is difficult to believe that just two years ago, Aires Merritt - the then-reigning Olympic champion and world record holder in the 110 meter hurdles - was, in essence, fighting for his life. Arriving in Beijing to compete in the 2015 IAAF world championships, the American hurdler at last went public with the news release that he had been battling chronic kidney dysfunction and would be speeding back to the States after the Worlds competition to receive a kidney transplant from his sister Latoya Hubbard. Somehow, someway, Merritt - suffering from collapsing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis and competing with a dangerously low level of kidney function - found a way to string together 3 consecutive seasonal bests, including a clean 13.03 in the final, to capture the bronze. After the final, a beaming and somewhat incredulous Merritt proclaimed to the media, "This medal will shine brighter than my Olympic gold medal."

Since then, the American hurdler has undergone the successful transplant and recovery, resumed rigorous training, and recaptured the ability to compete in the 110 meter hurdles at the sport's highest levels.


Huddle_Molly-WC17.JPGMolly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net

Infeld_Emily-WC17.JPGEmily Infeld, photo by PhotoRun.net

Sisson_Emily-WC17.JPGEmily Sisson, photo by PhotoRun.net

: USA 10,000m Threesome Performs Honorably, Gains Top 10 Finishes


August 5th, 2017

London, England

Let's be honest: Americans love their winners. While this can be said of all sports, it seems to ring especially true in track & field. Consider last year's Olympic Games when the women's sweep of the medals in the 100m hurdles final ignited coverage that was extensive and deep. But like all countries, the United States also participates in some events here in these world championships where its athletes, while most skilled and prepared to be sure, only have diminished chances to make the podium. This is not to denigrate these talented athletes. But sometimes the cold reality is a fair number of their global competitors are frankly, well, better.

This dichotomy - terrific American performances that don't translate into medal stand glory - is perhaps best evidenced by Molly Huddle and her outstanding race in last year's Olympic 10,000 meter final. The focus was on the battle that raged up front with Almaz Ayana grabbing the gold with her world record time of 29:17.45. But back up the track, running her own disciplined race, Huddle stuck with her race plan to clock a sparkling 30:13.17 to take down Shalane Flanagan's 8 year old American record - to finish 6th.

But that was then and this is now. And while no noise had been expected in tonight's women's 10,000 meter final from the talented American trio of Huddle, Emily Infeld, and Emily Sisson, one of them just might have been able to scrap and claw her way onto the podium. Impossible you say? The "impossible" happened 2 years ago in Beijing when the then lightly-touted Infeld closed with a vengeance to capture the world championship 10,000 meter bronze. Everything's impossible until it isn't. That's why they run the races.

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Dunaway AwardAt the 2019 annual meeting of the Track and Field Writers of America, Dave was presented with the James Dunaway Memorial Award “for track & field journalism excellence.”

2020 Mid-American Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships

Dave HunterOn February 28-29, Dave served as the Color Analyst on the live ESPN3 broadcast of this championship gathering. Coverage of this 2-day conference championship can be viewed on the ESPN app.

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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