Today was another good day at the Cal all-comers meet was pretty well-attended and today we saved the best for last.
Gene Burinsky ran a decent season-opening race in the 1500, with a 4:19.5, about four seconds off his PR. He spent a fair part of race in lane two and it looked like a few elbows were thrown in a rough-and tumble morning race. Steve Sodaro won the top heat in 3:49.9.
In the men’s 400 Niko Conner took a crack at a rust-buster after essentially a year-long hiatus from being able to really train with intensity until the past couple of months. His 54.52 didn’t satisfy him by any means, but it gives him an early season set-point and a time I thnk he can bring down considerably before all is said and done.
Master’s 400-meter ace Chris Dodge may have claimed the masters 400-meter record in a great time of 55.09, eclipsing his mid-55 mark set at the World Championships last spring.
In the 3200-meter event, for the first time it was divided into a boys and girls race. Hence, Christine Bowlus’s plans to pace off of Josh Seeherman and the high school boys were foiled. Leading the Strawberries in the men’s race was Rory Runser in 9:53. He was followed by Jack Wallace, who narrowly missed his PR with a strong mark of 9:55. Irtaza gamely led the other two berries and another high school runner for 6-and-a-half laps before fading. Still, Irtaza had an amazing breakthrough with a strong time of 10:05, which represents a 20-second PR for the Cal freshman. Joshua Seeherman finished in 10:47 or a tad under, and this is roughly equivalent to his 10:00-flat 3K PR.
In the women’s heat of the 3200, Christine was mixed in with some Stanford redshirt gals who were doing a tempo, after taking one of their teammates out hard who wanted to break 10:30. Christine came through in 80 seconds for the first lap and 2:41 at the 800, a very fast opening half for her, and yet she still trailed three other runners. After two laps a pair of the Stanford girls fell off the pace leaving their teammate out in front, aiming for a lofty mark. Christine surged past the other two Stanford women who were instructed to tempo the remaining portion of the race. The Stanford gal appeared to have an insurmountable lead on Christine, but Christine kep charging and charging along, hitting 81-82 second splits. The crows (and … well … me) started going nuts at that point as even the Cal kids were pulling for the underdog. Christine came through the 800-meter mark still about 100-meters behind the leader from Stanford but she was inexorably closing the gap on her during this rather breezy race. With a lap to go Christine had closed to within five seconds and kept battling all the way around the track. Christine couldn’t quite catch the Stanford girl at the line, but when the clock flashed, the Stanford girl had run 10:51 and Strawberry Canyon Track Club’s Christine Bowlus just destroyed her own 3200-meter PR and club record set two weeks ago by 11 seconds in 10:52.87!!!
For anyone who missed it the first time, this may bear repeating:
Strawberry Canyon Track Club’s Christine Bowlus just destroyed her own 3200-meter PR and club record set two weeks ago by 11 seconds in 10:52.87!!!
This was an incredible run for Christine, who all but assured herself of a walk-on spot with the Cal cross country and track team next fall with that remarkable performance,
What a joy that race was to watch–the crowd was going pretty crazy for her, myself included. Congratulations to Christine and Irtaza and Chris and the rest of the gang who showed up today. This was a pretty sweet performance, no doubt.
Best to all,