Dan Libon: New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Re-Cap
Boston, MA – Wait a second, there is a professional track and field event that happened in Boston this past weekend?
For those of you who may have not been paying attention to the world of track and field, (that would be most of you), then pay attention to this particular article.
Saturday’s Visa Championship Series made their yearly stop in Boston for the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix at The Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center. The meet itself has become one of the most elite indoor track meets in the nation and has attracted elite talent from all over the world.
This years event included some great track and field stars, such as a British distance runner, Mo Farah, American Distance runner, Jenny Simpson, former Olympic silver medalist Lauryn Williams and even American miler, Alan Webb.
These names may not be your typical athletes that are often found in local newspapers or discussed every day during the casual sports talk conversation with friends or colleagues. Although, it is normal forget that track and field does exist outside of that wonderful 2-week period every year known as the Olympics, which is quite unfortunate for The United States Track and Field Association.
Ask anyone who knew something about Track and Field in American and chances are that they will likely tell you the same thing, “Track and Field is and has been a dying sport for a very long time and its not getting better.”
This year alone the Tyson Invitational was canceled and the Millrose Games, which drew less than 10,000 fans to Madison Square Garden. While these facts are discouraging, it is also true that good things are happening in track and field and people should start paying attention.
The Boston indoor track meet has always been one of the more anticipated events during the indoor season. The meet also takes advantage of a short season, which means that the meet can build itself up as a big pre-USATF championship meet. The small track area allows an intimacy that puts fans up close to the various events, unlike Madison Square Garden, where the action seems far away. It has also built up a reputation for being a good early test and allowing for athletes to get a good time on arguably the best track in America.
Watching the mile was quite exciting, but see New Hampshire native Russell Brown earn a win in the event, as well as record a time of 3:54.81 was quiet impressive. In fact, his time is now is considered the best in the world currently for an indoor event.
Another event that caught the eye of many spectators was the men’s 3000-run, which featured Mo Farah from England, Nixon Chepseba from Kenya and Dejen Gebremeskel from Ethiopia. Despite some early shoe troubles for Gebremeskel, he would eventually take the lead halfway through the race and win the event. Farah would finish in 2nd with a time of 7:35.73 and Cheoseba’s ended in 3rd place with a time of 7:37.64.
In the Women’s 400-meter dash, Natasha Hastings set the meet record by finishing with a time of 51.88. It was an event worth watching, especially because Hastings competed against a usual foe, Dee Dee Hastings, who finished second during the race with a time of 52.37 seconds.
Lastly, the Women’s 3,000, Kenyan Sally Kipyego came from behind to win a race that was primarily dominated by American Jenny Simpson and Ethiopian Kalkidan Gezahegne with a time of 8:49.74.
For more information on this event or track meet, please visit the following website: http://www.letsrun.com/2011/bostonresults0205.php