The Buzzard has had a wild last couple of weeks; and, that's made it tough to keep on top of the posts. It started with a trip to Scottsdale, AZ at the end of January. Headed down to see my son and meet his fiance's parents. Got home on a Sunday afternoon; then, on Monday morning, headed to Billings for a week of work. My days there went from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 or 8:00 at night.
Got back on Friday then headed to Arlee for Divisional wrestling tournament all day Saturday. Sunday was filled with getting caught up on chores. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been working hard on a couple of projects at work; and, that's meant being in Missoula on multiple occasions. And, had a trip to Hamilton for State wrestling. Finally, started voluntary pre-season track workouts with the H.S. kids this last week and that has eaten into my days.
Finally, we have a full weekend where we don't have to travel - so, that's allowing me to get caught up on a few things: including getting The Muddy Buzzard off the roost.
There have been some big things that have happened in these last couple of weeks.................................................so, here we go on catching up.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you should have heard by now that Patrick Casey cracked the 4:00 barrier. Last year, the Laurel native and MSU Bobcat came oh so close. On Friday, February 4th at the MSU Dual Invitationals, he ran a solo time of 3:59.76. Straight up haulin' butt by Casey!!!!!!!! The first ever sub-4:00 on Montana soil and the second native Montanan to break the barrier (the first being UM alum and Poplar native Scotty McGowan in 2004). That time will get him a ticket to the big show of the NCAA indoor championships. Here's a video of the race: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRMXMz5RB30&feature=player_embedded
But, as if that wasn't enough, Patrick had another big run the following week at the Bozeman Running Company Invitational. This time he dropped down to half the distance and ran a solo 1:47.67. With the win by 6.5 seconds, he garnered himself another NCAA qualifier and has begun to build up a bit of a reputation and following on the national scene. In fact, he's been getting some regular mention on the Let's Run message boards.
Some big runs also came the weekend of February 11th for members of the Lady Grizzly track team. On Friday night at the University of Washington Husky Invitational, the distance medley relay team set a new school record of 11:36.27, breaking the old record by some 10 seconds. The next morning, Senior Katrina Drennan shattered the old school record for the mile. The old record was set by Vonda Harmon in 1990 at 4:45.69. Running in the elite heat, Drennan cranked out the first sub-4:40 in school history with her 4:39.82.
But, my personal favorite action of the last 2 weeks was the fantabulistic rock show known as the 7th Annual Montana Men's Master's Mile (aka M4). Held as part of the Bozeman Running Company Invitational at MSU - the field was made up of a dozen of the best 40+ runners in Montana. The Buzzard wasn't able to make the trip to compete or spectate; and, what a shame ------ this race was perhaps the best race in the short history of the event.
As may have been expected, Scott Creel of Bozeman and Peter Dan Sullivan of Helena took the race out hard. Creel and Sullivan are the only 2 men to have won the event - Creel winning the first 3 editions, PDS #'s 4-6. Creel (also the course record holder of the Ridge Run) has been away from the racing scene for a bit; but, if he's toeing the start line, you know it's going to be a battle.
Mid race, Creel took the lead from Sullivan; and, it stayed that way until the last couple of laps of the 200 meter track. Sullivan took the lead; and, it looked like PDS had his 4th consecutive win. But, in the last 200, Chad Coley of Bozeman put on a Ray Hunt like flames shooting out his ass type of kick. At 150 to go he blew past Creel. At 50 to go he passed Sullivan and it looked like the race was his. But, alas, the gorilla jumped on Chad's back with about 10 meters to go and he faltered and stumbled to the track. Peter Dan cruised past to get the win at 4:38.7. Coley got up and lumbered across the line, just holding off Creel for 2nd - 4:41.5 to 4:42.0. What a thrilling finish to a spectacular race.
The field was rounded out with:
Pat Judge - 4:42.3
Rob Walker - 4:43.6
Kyle Strode - 4:45.6
Shaun Marshall-Pryde - 4:55.1
Steve Bruner - 4:58.8
Jeff Braun - 5:01.6
Tim Dumas - 5:04.7
Mark Slater - 5:06.3
Steve Gideon - 5:12.3
For a video of this event, check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTvV8Vf627U
So, that's some of the highlights of the last couple of weeks and the early part of the 2011 season.
Next up on the Buzzard - time to wrap up the 2010 season review and name the Female Runner's of the year.
See you on the roads, tracks and trails
The Muddy Buzzard