The CHill Zone of T&F: Conway's View From the Finish Line

Welcome 2016

Jan 3rd, 2016
8:53 am PDT

Me for Blog pic2015 was a crazy year. I started it in the hospital at the end of January having had an aneurism and losing my speech – literally unable to talk. I ended it a few days ago in the hospital having my thyroid removed.

In between, to the chagrin of many, I’ve taught myself how to speak again; rebooted myself professionally and personally; and watched one of the most interesting track seasons in recent memory. Track, like me, seemed to be getting rid of its illnesses in 2015 – or at least they most certainly came to the surface and begged to be dealt with!

Drugs, corruption, misperceptions, finger pointing, name calling, accusations all seemed to be as common as meets, competition, records, excellence and titles. The season ended with another championship meet in the books; a new leader at the helm; a slew of awards; and more questions than answers. Questions about what’s really been happening all these many years, as well as questions about what lies ahead.

My personal silence these past several months has not been for lack of opinion, but more from a path of health. This sport needs to HEAL. It needs to FIX it’s issues and move forward! Fixation on complaining about what’s happened in the past will not change it. Implementing policies, procedures and inserting individuals in places to oversee that the sport is run with INTEGRITY is the ONLY thing necessary at this point!

I am going to trust/pretend that that is the goal and comment accordingly as 2016 proceeds on the Road to Rio. Hopefully Lord Coe and others will do what’s right and the ONLY thing I’ll get to talk about in 2016 is the excitement on the track! That would be a wonderful thing!

What did I think of the end of 2015? I thought that Christian Taylor was the top male athlete of the year. Yes, Bolt held off the challenge of Gatlin – twice. And yes, Eaton broke the WR – his own WR. Taylor, however was outstanding ALL SEASON. He had to fight the challenge all season of another man competing at a awesome level. Had to maintain that level himself to constantly rebuff the challenge, then shine and become champion while performing what would have been a WR under almost any other circumstance in history. His SEASON of excellence, punctuated by his championship performance was simply the best in my opinion – no disregard to the others. Everyone got the accolades they deserved at Worlds for their performances. Taylor should have received the award for his "season’s" work. Just my opinion.

As for the women, bow down to Ginzebe! All season, dominant. A breath away from 3:49 – and watching that race I just knew she was going to do it. I’ve waited decades to see Ma’s Army challenged and she took ’em down.

My three most replayed races on YouTube from the World Championships – Men’s 100 final, Men’s 400 final, Women’s 200 final. Bolt and Schippers ran through the line like champions – Gatlin smh. The 400 FINALLY gave us the race Lee Evans and Ron Freeman showed us was possible in 1968. I’ve waited 40 years for that race!

My biggest disappointment – the IAAF allowing its live stream of Worlds to be blocked here in the United States! It’s STILL blocked. Ridiculous. My biggest fear for 2016 – that NBC is going to continue to deny Americans the access to the Olympics that members of every other country in the world will openly have! Knowledge flows around the world, stop pretending that because you present us from streaming that we know nothing. All you do is piss us off. And someday we’ll figure out how to get back at you. How about you just give us the best product you’re capable of instead of focusing on what you think you can deny us! You’ve become a network of negativity and we despise you – we watch only because we have no choice, THAT is not marketing!

On that note, welcome to 2016. It’s going to be a year of transition for this sport in many ways. I think there will be much changing of the guard. I’m looking forward to it. My personal goal is to do this once a week. The rebuilding of the sport and the build up to Rio should be epic – and intend to watch and give my two cents on both.

P.S. – My first two cents, let me coach the relays for Rio, I’m tired of watching the embarrassment…..

Beijing Review

Sep 2nd, 2015
7:05 pm PDT

The Beijing World Championships are over and if you're a fan of the sport you were pleased with the competition. When Worlds first began back in 1983 it was all about a handful of nations - Britain, Germany, Soviet Union, and United States, with everyone else as filler. Now we see gold medal performances from Kenya, Ethiopia, China, Jamaica, Netherlands, South Africa, and Eritrea among others winning medals all over the globe! That's great for the global brand of track and field Read More...

Bolt v Gatlin – Who Will Win Beijing?

Aug 17th, 2015
7:50 am PDT

Beijing is going to bear witness to one of the greatest sprinting showdowns in history when Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin take to the track - first in the 100, then hopefully again in the 200. It's the thing that makes this sport great when it happens - a great head to head matchup of two of the best of all time Read More...

It’s Beijing Time

Aug 14th, 2015
8:33 pm PDT

How times flies when you're having fun! One minute I'm watching Prefontaine, NCAA's and US Nationals and suddenly it's almost time for the World Championships. In between there have been a slew of meets streamed online. So many that I've literally had little time to just sit and absorb and comment. Youth Championships, Jr Championships, Pan Ams, European Championships (Jr & Sr) Read More...

US International Team is Changing

Jul 3rd, 2015
3:51 pm PDT

In today's society age has become relative. Someone 60, used to be considered "old" - and 70 year olds were ready for the "old folks" home. Now of course, thanks to advances in medicine it's not uncommon to have 80 year olds still driving cars and running marathons. Similarly athletics is undergoing an aging population Read More...

NCAA Championships – All About the Format

Jun 14th, 2015
8:19 pm PDT

This year there were two things to talk about when looking at the NCAA Championships. One was the competition - and this year's competition was as stellar as ever! The other was the format as the powers that be thought it was a good idea to split the meet into TWO separate meets - a men's meet and a woman's meet Read More...

NCAA Regionals?

Jun 2nd, 2015
6:54 am PDT

The NCAA Regional "meets" were held this past weekend in Austin TX (West) and Jacksonville FL (East). Did anyone notice? They were overshadowed by what was an AWESOME Prefontaine Classic. Hard to gain attention when there's a mini world championships going on! But I have to feel that they also suffered from their own format Read More...

Prefontaine was HOT!

Jun 1st, 2015
6:34 am PDT

Once again Pre was as good a meet as any on the planet. Which begs the question, why can't we do this more often? It's a rhetorical question of course, because the simple answer is MONEY! It takes a boat load of money to put on a quality meet these days, and who has that kind of money laying around? Yes, Eugene touts itself as "Track Town USA", but let's be real - it's in Nike's back yard! Nuff said Read More...

Better Track Reporting

May 24th, 2015
10:04 pm PDT

2014 was an off season in the world of track and field. There was no major championship of any kind at the elite level, and that translated into rest and time off for many of the sports major stars. It also translated into time off from writing for me, as I focused more on coaching my high school athletes (state runner up in the 300H); watching the sport and keeping my opinions to myself; and dealing with a major health issue (had an aneurysm in January) Read More...

US Sprint Future on Display in Eugene

Jul 29th, 2014
1:04 pm PDT

The World Junior Championships closed out a near week long run Sunday in oft rainy Eugene - yes rain struck yet another big meet here. And while I continue to have my own thoughts about making this remote northwest corner of the country the focus of the sport here in the US, one thing that did become clear is that US sprint fortunes look better than they have for a couple of decades! First my two biggest beefs of the meet Read More...