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News of the Year Awards - RunnerSpace Awards 2011

Published by
Matt   Dec 27th 2011, 11:34pm
2011 Awards
(Past Awards: 2010 2009 2008)
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Athletics is a soap opera not just on the track but off it as well. Everywhere you turned 2011 was filled with exciting times, unforgettable finishes, heartbreak and drama. With every corner of the sport touched with record setting performances as well as drama both on and off the track it was difficult to pick just an elite few for our Best of 2011 and not leave out big headlines.

Here is our top news stories of 2011:

US Milers Hit The Big Time

There were lots of big stories outside of competition in 2011 but this sport has always been about what you do on race day. Ten years after Alan Webb destroyed Jim Ryun's high school mile record American milers finally took the world by storm. Morgan Uceny began the year better known for her colorful necklace & not quite her performances but finished with the IAAF Diamond League 1500m title & World #1 time of 4:00.06. Matthew Centrowitz emerged out of the shadow of his former teammate Andrew Wheating to capture the NCAA & USATF 1500m titles followed up with a bronze medal at the World Championships. 2011 would have been a banner year with those performances but Jenny Simpson (née Barringer) put the exclamation on the season by capturing the IAAF World Championship at 1500m with a dramatic kick in Daegu. 

Sammy Wanjiru Dies

The world learned on May 15th of the death of 2008 Olympic Marathon Champion Sammy Wanjiru. His death was shrouded in mystery as all that is known for certain is that he fell from his bedroom balcony. The beloved Wanjiru was just 24.


USATF/IAAF Logo Issues

Athletes called upon the sport's governing bodies to relax the rules limiting the number of sponsor logos on their competition gear. Athletes took to social media to support their cause and the USATF Annual Meeting became a hotbed of discussion. 


IAAF Changes Women's Road Records Criteria

In August the IAAF Congress voted to change the criteria for women's road records so as to only allow women-only races to count for record purposes. Fair enough. Then word got out that records would be retroactively changed too, elimating Paula Radcliffe's 2:15:25 as the world record. That decision was reversed in December.

University of Maryland Cutting Men's XC & Track

The University of Maryland needed to trim some fat off its athletic department budget so it was told to cut eight teams including its once proud men's track and field program. Facing the daunting task of raising $9 million, Maryland will become the first BCS school to cut track.

Florida Team Gives Up State Medals

The ulimate display of sportsmanship was seen at the state cross country meet in Florida this fall. Two American Heritage athletes mixed up their timing chips causing them to be DQ'd and their team finish fell from 2nd to 5th. The Bolles School girls were awarded 2nd but handed over their medals to the rightful team, American Heritage.

Meb Signs with Skechers

2011 was the year everyone learned how to correctly spell Skechers thanks to the brand's shocking signing of Meb Keflezighi. The brand better known for it's Shape-Up toning shoe made a big splash in its entry into the running market.

Verzbicas Leaves Oregon Mid-Season

The future for Oregon XC/Track looked bright with its 2011 signing classe topped off by high school record setter Lukas Verzbicas. He arrived on campus shortly after winning a world triathlon title vowing that he was 100% committed to running. After a rough start to his university career and days before NCAA XC regionals he departed Oregon to become a professional triathlete.


Rupp Smashes American Records 

Galen Rupp finally got the American 10,000m record that slipped away from him in 2010. His 26:48 in Brussels carved 11 seconds off Chris Solinsky's time from just last year. He also ran an American record 13:11.44 indoor 5000m in February at Birmingham, England.
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History for American Heritage Track & Field and Cross Country - Plantation, Florida
2015 77 31    
2014 3 5    
2013 26 12    
2012 36 16 2  
2011 38 8    
2010 5 6