I have a secret that I rarely speak about and not many people even know I have it. I'm not ashamed about this but it almost never comes up in conversation so I don't really offer it up to anyone. Until now. (Deep breath)
I love track and field.
Not as a participant, but as an observer. My favorite thing about it is that there is nothing subjective to it, you are at the mercy of the clock or tape measure. Unlike gymnastics, figure skating, and other sports where the winners are decided by a click of judges who predetermine the winners based on how they performed over the past months, track and field doesn't care that you ended up sixth in your last five races, it is all about what you do that day.
This year the World Championships were held in Eugene, Oregon, thanks to Phil Knight and Nike, so we could watch many of the events in real time and not tape delay. Of course you still had to get past the usual roadblocks supplied by NBC who continue to go out of their way to make it impossible to watch sporting events on their family of stations.
There also was the meet organizers putting many of the high interest events in the evening so that they were held in prime time out West, and way past bedtime back East. They also moved many of these to the evening because of the unusual heat wave scorching the Pacific Northwest this past week.
In any case the United States had its best showing in some time. They led with 13 gold medals and 33 total medals. Ethiopia, Jamaica, and Kenya tied for second with 10 medals each. Total domination by the US track team.
The breakout stars on the track were Sydney McLaughlin, Michael Norman, and Noah Lyles for the US team, individually. McLaughlin set a new world record in the 400 meter hurdles with a victory that was reminiscent of Secretariat blowing away the field in the Belmont Stakes. She absolutely killed the field as you can see here.
She is only 23 and not even in her prime yet. Watching her race makes you cry at her talent. I can't wait for the 2024 Olympics to see how she does.
To further improve her legend she left the hurdles behind and teamed up to anchor the USA 4 x 400 relay team race. It was another mind blowing experience as you can see here. These ladies are all still very young. I think the oldest runner here is 26 and the youngest is only 19 or 20 so they will be a force for some time to come.
Not to be overlooked, the US women's 4 x 100 relay team also won gold in a gigantic surprise win over Jamaica by 4/100ths of a second. This is another young group of speedsters who should continue to improve heading into the Olympics.
Fred Kerley, Marvin Bracy, and Trayvon Bromell finished 1, 2, 3 in the Men's 100 meter race that was nearly a dead heat. https://youtu.be/su8KT3u_u74?t=194 Just crazy good running from Team USA.
The men also won gold in the 4 x 400 relay and the aforementioned Noah Lyles and Michael Norman won individual gold in the 200 meter and 400 meter races respectively. It was a strong showing for Team USA track this year.
The field side of the meet was just as impressive for Team USA as Katie Nageotte won Gold and Sandi Morris won Silver in the women's pole vault, while the men took all three medals in the shot put. Ryan Crowser - Gold, Joe Kavacs - Silver, and John Awotonde - Bronze. USA's Chase Ealey won gold in the women's shot put too.
One of the top athletes in the world right now is the Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis who is doing things that seem otherworldly. He continues to smash his own world records with each meet and these World Championships were no different.
Another secret revealed in my blog and I hope it doesn't make you think any different of me. As a finely tuned athlete myself, I know how hard these kids work to get into the shape needed to be world champions and I appreciate them for their efforts. It also makes me wish I was 50 years younger so that I could watch them from the comfort of my dorm room as I wasted another year in school.