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  • Musing/Ritz & the good old days

    This weekend reminded me that when Americans were among the best in the world, conference meets truly were (important) stepping stone events for the likes of Ryun, Liquori Pre, Scott, etc.
    Perhaps what Ritz (and Wetmore) did is the first true harbinger of good times ahead for the USA distances.

  • #2
    Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

    The good ole days were before the boom in Africa.

    We've gone through the reasons for the dearth in American distance running ad naseum...

    People like Torres and Ritz and Webb can be viewed as upcoming talents....

    America needs 10 more for each of them to really get competitive, that is, reaching Oly/World finals.

    And I don't know how this will happen, it's all about dempographic power in numbers of real talent.

    And having a culture which fosters it...

    To me, this environment does not exist.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

      >The good ole days were before the boom in Africa.
      America needs
      >10 more for each of them to really get competitive, that is, reaching Oly/World
      >finals.
      And I don't know how this will happen, it's all about dempographic
      >power in numbers of real talent.
      And having a culture which fosters
      >it...
      As long as this culture exists in the mind of the athlete, it can happen. To think their competition is spread worldwide and not just nationally can be enough to get out of bed in the morning ready to go to work on being competitive.
      The thing that worries me is that 66 last 400- but I suppose by 2008 he can be running sub 27, and the 56 400 won't always be necessary. Sort of like Ms. Radcliffe had to do.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

        >The thing that worries me is that 66 last 400- but I
        >suppose by 2008 he can be running sub 27, and the 56 400 won't always be
        >necessary. Sort of like Ms. Radcliffe had to do.

        He'll obviously need to close faster for a championship race but his average 400 was 66.3 with the fastest 64.9 and the slowest 67.7. It wasn't like he slowed down at the end, he just couldn't pick it up.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

          > It wasn't like he slowed down at the end, he just couldn't pick
          >it up.

          Look at the splits recorded by Geb and Co. when they set a world record. Very little change from one lap to the next, even the last lap. Championship racing, though, is another matter.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

            Let:s not forget this was his first-ever 10,000m track race. He will learn what works and in what areas he will need improvement.

            <<"I was hurting," Ritzenhein said in a telephone interview after the race. "I had talked to people, and they told me the last mile was easy, but I found it to be just the opposite. I hurt the whole last mile.">>

            http://www.dailycamera.com/bdc/cu_track ... 97,00.html

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

              That even pacing tells me that Ritz ran the perfect race for what he was trying to accomplish. His inability to come up with a big finish meant he "maxed" himself. This is what he was trying to do. He must have really known where his fitness was and executed perfectly.

              It is completely unreasonable to expect him to be able to run 56 of off that kind of effort. Making the US team would be a great step for a kid as young as he is. If he can knock another 15 seconds off this year that would be fantastic. He is setting himself up the lead the US in the near future.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

                >be a great step for a kid as young as he is. If he can knock another 15 seconds
                >off this year that would be fantastic. He is setting himself up the lead the US
                >in the near future.

                The kid is just now rounding into shape. When he gets there, even this year, he can go much faster than that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

                  The kid is just now rounding into shape.
                  >When he gets there, even this year, he can go much faster than that.

                  Malmo-

                  Do you really think so? This year? That would be remarkable! Heck, I think what he did is phenomenal. How much faster do you think he could go? "Much faster"? I said about 15 second faster (27:23) so "much faster" than that would be...Sub 27!!! Wow! That would be great.

                  I think you are being overly optimistic, but I do hope you're right. But I'm not betting on it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

                    No matter how much we speculate, I think the cool part about working with and being an athlete is that anticip..............ation that precedes what you know is going to be a great effort.
                    We'll just have to wait!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

                      Apparently, Ritz has a high tolerance for pain.
                      He must have tremendous discipline. There are very few runners able to push themselves that hard.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

                        Interesting how Stanford reporter put it:

                        <<"And 21-year-old Dathan Ritzenhein of the U.S., who had to beg to be released from a university competition with his Colorado team this weekend, moved quickly into the big time in his first-ever 10K with a sixth-place 27:38.50.">>

                        http://gostanford.collegesports.com/spo ... 04aaa.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

                          Look at the splits recorded by Geb and Co. when they set a world record.
                          >Very little change from one lap to the next, even the last lap. Championship
                          >racing, though, is another matter.


                          Geb ran 26:22 with a last 800m of 1:56 and a last lap of 56.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

                            >Do you really think so?
                            >This year? That would be remarkable! Heck, I think what he did is phenomenal.
                            >How much faster do you think he could go? "Much faster"? I said about 15
                            >second faster (27:23) so "much faster" than that would be...Sub 27!!! Wow!
                            >That would be great.

                            Absolutely. He's just getting into shape. Is there anyone who follows the sport who doesn't know where he's come from this year?

                            IF he were to run a major European 10k in early July instead of the Trials I'd put him on for 27:20. IF he were to run a European 10k in August (not running the Trial or Olympics) I'd put him on for 27:10 OR BETTER.

                            This one IS, and has always been, "the one". When Ritz was 17 he looked 13. He's grown into his body and it's a runner's body. Make no mistake, puberty didn't destroy Ritz's career the way it destroyed Anthony Michael Hall's acting career!

                            Physically, Ritz, now age 21, looks like, and is running like a 17 year old Kenyan. I see nothing but blue skies in his future.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Musing/Ritz & the good old days

                              Physically, Ritz, now age 21, looks like, and is running
                              >like a 17 year old Kenyan. I see nothing but blue skies in his future.

                              Malley-Mo, most of those "17" year old Kenyans usually are 21 - 23 years old, you know that.

                              Let's hope that his developing more strength leads to his developing more "speed" over the finish, whether going for time or titles.

                              There'd be more guys like this in every event from the 800 on up if track were truly popular. But it is a fringe sport for most, and too many Americans - and Europeans these days - think it's "...sooo hard" to run any race over 400 meters.

                              Comment

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