Recently, there have been some posts about track and building excitement around winning races instead of just focusing on records. This match race of 600m between Symmonds and Scherer was an awesome idea and if you haven’t seen it elsewhere, check it out HERE.
wow tight race- i think symmonds would of had it if he had attacked the start more- he seemed to have a fair bit left at the end. Im from australia and never heard of either of these 2 before but im asuming scherer is a 400m runner and symmonds is an 800m runner, it would of been nice to see the 800m runner win :P.. great race tho
Track and field notebook With the ‘heart of a lion,’ Scherer may roar at trials
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The Oregonian Staff
EUGENE — There was a time, early in Matt Scherer’s conversion from the 400 to the 800 meters, that he wasn’t sure he could do it — at least not at the level he aspired to reach.
His best time last season was 1 minute, 47.08 seconds. At the 2007 USA Championships, Scherer didn’t get out of the first round.
“It crossed my mind a few times, of going and doing something else,” Scherer said.
But he didn’t, and sometimes perseverance has its rewards.
Now, after clocking a time of 1:46.11 earlier this month at the Prefontaine Classic, Scherer has a good shot at qualifying for the Olympics at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field.
It took patience, hard work and some encouragement from Oregon Track Club Elite coach Frank Gagliano.
“It was a two-year process,” Scherer said. “It hasn’t been just this year. It started when I changed events. I knew the first year was going to be rough. It was probably more rough than I thought it would be.
“At the beginning of this year, I didn’t feel like I was quite getting it yet. But in the middle of the outdoor season, everything just started to click. I started running 1:46 fairly easily. So it’s definitely coming together now. I’m exactly where I wanted to be, and exactly where Gags said I would be.”
Scherer wound up his collegiate career in 2006 ranked second on Oregon’s all-time 400 list with a best of 45.19, behind only 1960 Olympic gold medalist Otis Davis.
At that point, Scherer had to decide whether he wanted to pursue a career as a professional runner. If so, he probably needed to move up to a longer distance because he lacked the top-end speed of an elite sprinter.
Fortunately for him, Gagliano had arrived in Eugene to put together OTC Elite, a group of professionals in the mid-distances and distances. And when Gagliano got a look at Scherer, he liked what he saw.
“He has the heart of a lion,” Gagliano said. “I knew he wanted to work hard.”
He also knew Scherer’s 400 experience would serve him well.
“I told him you should be able to go through in 50.5, 51 (seconds),” Gagliano said, referring to the first lap of the 800’s two laps. “And you should be strong enough to come back in 53. If you run 51, 53, that’s 1:44 flat. He has the speed and the strength in the very near future to run 1:44.”
That would put him in contention for a berth on the U.S. team. The trials start Friday, and the first rounds of the 800 are that evening.
Last weekend at Hayward Field, Scherer nipped Nick Symmonds in a 600 that was run during a last-chance qualifying meet.
“That was a confidence booster,” Scherer said. “But I’m glad it wasn’t 200 more, because I might have lost by 80 meters.”
Gearing up: Oregon sophomore Ashton Eaton has put his NCAA decathlon championship behind him, and is preparing for the Olympic Trials.
There has been precious little time to recover. The decathlon competition at the trials starts Sunday, 17 days after he wrapped up the NCAA title.
“I’ve never done two in such a short span of time,” Eaton said. “I should be all right. I might as well do it while I’m young.”
Eaton said he had no nagging injuries, and he didn’t expect to feel any extra pressure beforehand from knowing he would be competing against Olympians Bryan Clay and Tom Pappas.
“There isn’t a lot of mental strain on me,” he said. “I don’t stay up at night or get nervous. I don’t pace around the house.”
Teter healthy: OTC Elite’s Nicole Teter, the 2008 USA Indoor 800 champion, said she has put behind her a nagging Achilles’ tendon problem that cost her parts of 10 weeks of training, and will be ready for the trials.
“Training has really come around these last couple weeks,” she said. “It’s been about six weeks that I’ve been training solidly. I’ve been able to get in my workouts and see progress. My first outdoor race was 2:04. Then at Pre, I ran 2:01, and I felt really good about that. I felt I had a little bit more if I had raced a little differently.”
Oregon associate head coach Dan Steele has been chosen Pacific-10 Conference coach of the year. . . . Stuart Eagon, the former Beaverton High distance runner who is now at Wisconsin, has a provisional qualifying mark in the 5,000 for the trials, but is questionable to run because of injuries. Eagon suffered a badly sprained right ankle last August. It developed into a stress fracture. “I’ve spent the last three or four months trying to take care of that,” he said. . . . The New York Times reported that a car being used by Bernard Lagat, world champion in the 1,500 and 5,000, was broken into while Lagat was on a training run in Portland last week. Lagat’s wallet and cell phone were taken.
The infamous sit and kick you say? It is so crazy it just might work.
Maybe others have followed his races more closely, but I know little of his race strategy. I imagine with a 400 background, the sit and kick would be tough to implement.
IMO, Even though he will hit a wall, he is probably better off taking it out and hold on as long as he can. Maybe he can get enough of a lead and hold of some people.
I would hope he and his coach(es) have talked about pacing strategies. It’s just in every race he goes out really fast for his ability and then trails off badly. Maybe that is just the nature of him as an 800m runner, but looking at some of the other guys with great 400m speed, it seems he is still taking it out a bit faster than needed.
I am sure they have talked with him. He probably has still has trouble with pacing himself (especially with the adrenaline pumping in a race situation) because that does take some time to learn. The couple races I have seen, he usually comes through just under 50 which is faster than the article talks about. Once he hits the 51 range, he will have some more gas at the end.
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