By David Yon
The hottest news of the week is the poll on Florida Runners.com that asks, “Who will be the top dawgette in the Florida high school scene next cross country season?” The web site lists four candidates – Our very own Kara Newell, Kara Scanlin, Jil Gerber and Jessica Zabel. Guess who leads the voting as of Wednesday night? Kara Newell has 63 votes to Kara Scanlin’s 47! Ms. Newell was the state 1600 and 3200 meter champion this year. Kara Scanlin was last year’s runner up in cross country and the 3200 meter state champ, so they are worthy candidates. If you want to vote go to http://flrunners.com.
If you really want to see some hot track and field check out this weekend’s Prefontaine meet. You can find a ton of information at http://www.preclassic.com/. The Fox Sports network is showing it from 3-4 on Sunday. I don’t know if any of the local stations will pick it up, but if they do there will be some great races. If not, you might try to web cast at http://www2.foxsports.com/video/pre/. First on the list of outstanding events is the Bowerman Mile. The world record holder, HICHAM EL GUERROUJ, will be there along with a host of other greats. But all eyes will be on high school sensation Alan Webb. Webb will attempt to become the first high school student to break 4:00 minutes outdoors since the Marty Liquori did it in 1967 and may make a run at Jim Ryun’s record of 3:55.3. Alan broke 4:00 minutes indoors (3:59.86) earlier this year, so he seems primed to do it. The web site reports a total of eight reigning Olympic or World Champions competing. On the women’s side, Suzy Favor-Hamilton will be making her return from injury in the women’s 1500. The men’s 5000 meter race is loaded with talent, including the new American 10K record holder Meb Keflezighi and 5,000 meter record holder Bob Kennedy.
Congratulations to Humanatee winners Tim Unger and Angela Dempsey. This was the second race this spring that Joe Dexter, Patti Sudduth and Joe Beckham teamed up again as race directors and it sounded like a big success. The race, started at the St. Marks fort again, but had a new course that was even faster than the previous one. Phil Yon busted the 20:00 minute mark for a PR of 19:12 in his wheel chair.
The GWTC racing team goes back into action on Memorial Day at the Gate to Gate race on Eglin Air Force base. Watch out for that dehydration, summer has made it!