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The state of U.S. women's 800 running

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  • #16
    It was clear at the Trials that none of those gals would make the final...have to be able to break two minutes to even have a chance...
    "Long may you run"- Neil Young

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Trackfan310
      We don't have the athletes right now to compete in the 800m. Currently, our 800m runners are for the most part, Mediocre quartermilers. (USA TF doesnt even list a 400m personal best for the 3 women who made the team). I know Miles-Clark was a 49.xx quartermiler. Not that our 800m runners should all have that level of footspeed, but it would definitely help. What we need is some of the women who are currently very good 400m runners, but just short of reaching the ELITE level to consider moving up to the 800m. I think it could make a world of difference.
      The 400 and the 800 are completely different events!!!
      Sprint vs. distance.
      You can faster 400 runners to move up to the 8, and they will probably do less well that the current 800 runners.
      This comes up constantly on this board.
      Why doesn't anybody get this?!

      Comment


      • #18
        ok, price got gallaghers high school federation record...

        stil, price is a promising talent...she's still 17...

        oddly the soph from south dakota is 17 too, so there's a couple of decent young talents to watch...

        price needs to become far more tactically aware, but she intends to do 4 years in college, wants her degree, and start a womens sports magazine..

        as to gallagher's medals, there exist some disturbing questions over how they were claimed...what ends were pursued, and we'll leave it at that...

        her high school days...those ends were claerly NOT pursued..

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by EPelle
          Originally posted by gh
          Paging Jeremy Wariner...... :-)
          ... or Ruth Wysocki, who hit this one square-on following the Trials.
          I've been trying to come up with something profound to contribute here, but I don't really have anything. A few years back, it looked like we were going to have a breakthrough in the 800, and it seems to have fizzled. I remember back in the early 80's when some really fast 400 gals were moving up to the 800 and I thought my goose was cooked. I didn't think I could compete with 50-51 second 400 speed. However, I found out that my strength out-trumped their speed most of the time. Running the 800 takes a lot of guts - it's a tough race! Obviously you have to have some amount of leg speed, but you need the strength to go with it. Kim Gallagher (and others) had the ability and strength to run a good 1500. It takes a lot more than 400 meter speed. I'm jealous of anyone who can talk about tactics for an 800 meter race. It was a 2-lap sprint for me.

          The other issue is the difference between being able to run a fast 800 as a single effort, and being able to handle the heats and semis in championship racing. If you can't come back and do it in the final, you won't be going anywhere. We have a number of women capable of running sub-2:00, but what about sub-2:00 as the 3rd race in 4 days? With all of the training groups and awesome coaches out there, why is there such a weakness here? Same thing in the 1500. There were quite a few who ran sub-4:05 in the mid-80's, and most didn't have the advantages of today's athletes with therapists, nutritionists, testing, etc. Maybe some should go back to basic running and training and quit analyzing all of the peripheral "stuff." I (and others of my era) had no idea what our max VO2 was, or our lactate threshold, or even blood tests (unless we were sick). We didn't seek out altitude training, or zero gravity treadmills, or sleep in altitude tents. We just went out the door and ran. We didn't bounce from coach to coach, or city to city, seeking the "ideal" situation. I had been working with Vince O'Boyle for 8-9 years before the Olympics in 1984, some good, and some not so good.

          Okay, just venting a bit. I'm thrilled to see my times hold up all these years later, but there is something that is not right about that. We should definitely be seeing more progress. This is just my opinion, and I certainly don't claim to know it all, just what worked for me.

          Comment


          • #20
            See, this is why I like to read this message board. Real Olympians from our sport offering their pov. Thanks for the input Ruth. Maybe you should start coaching some of these women. Whip 'em into shape!

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            • #21
              Thanx for posting Ruth and please post more. There is some real progress in the 800 in the form of a 18 year old Kenyan running 1:54.1 in something like her 8th 800! :shock: Maybe Lagat can convince her of the joys of becoming an American.
              phsstt!

              Comment


              • #22
                Imagine the fall-out in Kenya and the full mandatory waiting period if she did.

                Ruth, thank you for shedding more light on the already wonderfully crafted picture you painted of the reality of the state of affairs as they were back in Eugene (and have been for some time), and for providing insight which helped carve your niche in the sport.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by SQUACKEE
                  Thanx for posting Ruth and please post more. There is some real progress in the 800 in the form of a 18 year old Kenyan running 1:54.1 in something like her 8th 800! :shock: Maybe Lagat can convince her of the joys of becoming an American.
                  she presumably wants a college education - maybe an american one will offer her a scholarship & citizenship concerns can arise then ?

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                  • #24
                    Ruth, thanks for the post. Great to get these informative posts, and away from some of the personal squabbles, which are becoming so common.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Jacksf

                      The 400 and the 800 are completely different events!!!
                      Sprint vs. distance.
                      You can faster 400 runners to move up to the 8, and they will probably do less well that the current 800 runners.
                      This comes up constantly on this board.
                      Why doesn't anybody get this?!
                      You're right. I was a fair 800 guy (under 1:48, I'm not putting my real name out there ; )) and I ran with a couple of guys who were 45 out of the blocks and an outstanding 400H guy who's name I won't mention either. One of the 400 guys tried to move up and just couldn't compete, I knew this would be the case just from working out with him. The hurdler ran the 800 a few times, he was seriously considering giving the event a go full time. His times weren't good enough to win most district HS races. When I ran some speedwork with these guys, breakdowns for example, I'd have a very tough time hanging on to them at all to run 200's, 300's, but when we'd have to run 500's I'd be gaining fast at 430 and then running by, no matter how much strength work they did. I also realized that no matter how much speedwork I did, I wasn't going to be a mid or low 45 guy in the one lapper. Just because you're a fast 400 guy doesn't mean you can run the 800 and the 400H is not like the 800. Wariner is a 400 guy just like so many other pure 400 guys out there. He's not bad at the 200 either as noted above. I suspect if he focused purely on that, he'd probably be able to just nick 20 seconds, but these days 19.95 will have you looking at the backs of the guys plowing through the finish at 19.6 and faster. A lot of people who haven't run on a track with guys who who can chug a 45 something or a 20 plus 200 don't realize how fast these guys are moving. To put it in simple fashion, I think that so many things are "just right" in their physiology to make them fast that there have to be "sacrifices" in other areas. That's why so few are capable of moving up. I'm not slow, I could churn out 46 +, 47's on relays and so on, but guys under 45.5 are at a different level.

                      For some reason a lot more people find it easier to believe that just because a runner is good at the 800 it doesn't mean he will kick tail in the 1500.

                      Btw, didn't Coe start out as a 3k runner and move down? Ovett was a great 400 prospect who was so freakishly strong he moved up, but I was under the impression it was the opposite for Coe.

                      The US's main problem is a lack of interest and participation, followed by a general disbelief among some segments of our talent pool that they can't get it done. With our population base, we no doubt have individuals capable of competing at the highest levels in every event. We need some people with vision in charge of the sport in this country to make it work in the women's 800 and everything else. Too much is left to accident, and then too many jackalopes take credit when those happy accidents occur.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Madd Marine
                        Originally posted by Jacksf

                        The 400 and the 800 are completely different events!!!
                        Sprint vs. distance.
                        You can faster 400 runners to move up to the 8, and they will probably do less well that the current 800 runners.
                        This comes up constantly on this board.
                        Why doesn't anybody get this?!
                        You're right. I was a fair 800 guy (under 1:48, I'm not putting my real name out there ; )) and I ran with a couple of guys who were 45 out of the blocks and an outstanding 400H guy who's name I won't mention either. One of the 400 guys tried to move up and just couldn't compete, I knew this would be the case just from working out with him. The hurdler ran the 800 a few times, he was seriously considering giving the event a go full time. His times weren't good enough to win most district HS races. When I ran some speedwork with these guys, breakdowns for example, I'd have a very tough time hanging on to them at all to run 200's, 300's, but when we'd have to run 500's I'd be gaining fast at 430 and then running by, no matter how much strength work they did. I also realized that no matter how much speedwork I did, I wasn't going to be a mid or low 45 guy in the one lapper. Just because you're a fast 400 guy doesn't mean you can run the 800 and the 400H is not like the 800. Wariner is a 400 guy just like so many other pure 400 guys out there. He's not bad at the 200 either as noted above. I suspect if he focused purely on that, he'd probably be able to just nick 20 seconds, but these days 19.95 will have you looking at the backs of the guys plowing through the finish at 19.6 and faster. A lot of people who haven't run on a track with guys who who can chug a 45 something or a 20 plus 200 don't realize how fast these guys are moving. To put it in simple fashion, I think that so many things are "just right" in their physiology to make them fast that there have to be "sacrifices" in other areas. That's why so few are capable of moving up. I'm not slow, I could churn out 46 +, 47's on relays and so on, but guys under 45.5 are at a different level.

                        For some reason a lot more people find it easier to believe that just because a runner is good at the 800 it doesn't mean he will kick tail in the 1500.

                        Btw, didn't Coe start out as a 3k runner and move down? Ovett was a great 400 prospect who was so freakishly strong he moved up, but I was under the impression it was the opposite for Coe.

                        The US's main problem is a lack of interest and participation, followed by a general disbelief among some segments of our talent pool that they can't get it done. With our population base, we no doubt have individuals capable of competing at the highest levels in every event. We need some people with vision in charge of the sport in this country to make it work in the women's 800 and everything else. Too much is left to accident, and then too many jackalopes take credit when those happy accidents occur.
                        Yes, the 400 and 800 seem to be different animals. Going back ~70 years, we see Ben Eastman, Rudolf Harbig, Arthur Wint, Mal Whitfield and Alberto Juantorena, as being superior at both events within the space of a year or two. (Perhaps should add Tom Courtney to the list). Of these, Wint and Whitfield ran in the post WWII years, with perhaps less serious competition than the others (though McKinley and Rhoden were stalwarts at the 400). Eastman ran his half mile record after being turned back by Bill Carr at the 32 Oly in the 400. Harbig and Juantorena were running record timings at both distances in the same year. And following Madd Marine, there is a long list of top 400 runners, who could not move up successfully to the 800.

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                        • #27
                          Since this thread is (or was) about women, you might have mentioned Kratochvilova.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by tandfman
                            Since this thread is (or was) about women, you might have mentioned Kratochvilova.
                            Why?
                            There are no strings on me

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by guru
                              Originally posted by tandfman
                              Since this thread is (or was) about women, you might have mentioned Kratochvilova.
                              Why?
                              Exactly - that is quite a juxtaposition.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by tandfman
                                Since this thread is (or was) about women, you might have mentioned Kratochvilova.
                                You have a point. However, as a monday morning quarterback, I can think of one good reason that K's name may not be included!

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