Posts tagged Leonel Manzano

‘Preparing for the Best’ with Leonel Manzano

 

Photo Courtesy of Phil Johnson

The marquee event at many track meets has traditionally been the infamous men’s mile. Within this domain, Leonel Manzano has become a household name. Known for his tenacity and fight despite his small stature, he exploded onto the national scene as a freshman for the University of Texas by winning the 1500 NCAA Outdoor title in 2005.  Since then, his accolades have continued to rack up, with numerous records and titles in individual as well as relay events. He finished his collegiate experience as a nine-time All-American and four time NCAA Champion. His international experience started while still a college junior, when he made the USA National team and traveled to Osaka, Japan to compete in the IAAF World Championships. This would give him valuable experience for the following year in which he represented his country at the 2008 Olympic Games. He has placed in the top three at USA National Championships the past five years.

What is your best track memory from past meets at Hayward Field and Eugene?
LM: My first track memory in Eugene was when I was a freshman at the University of Texas. I had never really been out of the state and when I came to compete in Eugene I was blown away on how great the fans were!

Highest finish here?
LM: I won my race as a freshman, I believe it was one of the Oregon invites.

What most impressed you about the Trials in 2008?
LM: What impressed me the most about the Trials in 2008 was the amount of participation from the Fans and the International TV coverage.

Are there any changes from previous meets at Hayward that you hope to see for the Trials?
LM: I think it would be great if they could have live music while we ran. Other than that I think it would be hard to make the meet better.

As an athlete, what do you foresee to be the biggest hassle/challenge in your experience in Eugene this summer?
LM: I think the biggest hassle would be the travel. Eugene is great but sometimes the flights into and out of Eugene are very limited.

Aside from your competition, what are you looking forward to most about the Trials this summer?
LM: The one thing I really look forward to is the excitement of the fans inside Hayward Field. There is a lot of energy and the fans are very knowledgeable.

Are you planning on getting here early or staying after your event?
LM: I am arriving about two days before my event. I am trying to be as focused as possible. At the end of the day it is a job and I have to do it to the best of my ability. Hopefully no distractions for me this time around. But maybe things will change afterward.

Do you have anything specific you like to do when you come to Eugene for meets (favorite restaurants/bars, etc you always eat at, places you like to stay)
LM: I like to go to Dutch Brothers Coffee in the morning and there is an organic burrito place I really love. The name escapes me.

To find out more about Leo and to follow his racing schedule this spring, go to his links on the web:

Website:  http://runleo.com/

Twitter: @leomanzano

Facebook: Leo Manzano Fan Page

 

Monday Matters | The Athlete Experience hits the Road

As mentioned in last Thursday’s Blog, “Getting Closer to TrackTown12 – 120 days to go“, the athlete experience is a very important aspect to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials – Track and Field.  It is when our country’s national team is selected to compete against the world at the Olympics, and even if there weren’t any fans or a festival, the athletes would still be vying for a spot on Team USA.  That is why the TrackTown12 LOC, USATF and the USOC treat the athlete experience with great detail.  From the moment the athlete enters the meet until they are departing from Eugene, we want to make sure they have as few worries as possible (outside of making it to London).

In order to ease their Trials’ preparation process, reps from TrackTown12 traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 2012 USA Indoor Championships this past weekend to answer questions and take photos, which will be used for credentials.

Many athletes came with questions regarding tickets, the schedule, housing and Hammer Time. They were also pleasantly surprised to get their photos out of the way, though some elected to return later, after they’d cleaned up and done their hair. In all, close to 300 athletes, coaches and agents got their credential photos out of the way and will not have to worry about that come their arrival into TrackTown USA.

There also happened to be some awesome performances on the track during the two days of competition inside the Albuquerque Convention Center.  Saturday’s highlights included a third straight indoor title by Oregon Track Club Elite’s Jesse Williams.  Although it took a couple third-attempt clearances, Williams was able to in solidify his ticket to the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Turkey with a mark of 2.29 meters (7-5). Watch his 2.29m jump here.

OTC Elite’s Ashton Eaton also competed Saturday in the qualifying rounds of the 60-meter hurdles and on Sunday in the long jump. Though he qualified to move on in the hurdles after the first round, Eaton selected to only long jump on Sunday, which proved to be a good choice. On his third jump, Eaton soared to a lifetime best and winning mark of 8.06 meters (26-5 1/2), beating out Will Claye (8.02m, 26-3 3/4).

 

Watch more videos on Flotrack

 

Click to watch other highlights.

Bernard Lagat was able to use his kick to win the men’s 3000m – 7:4.54.

Sanya Richards-Ross broke a meet record in the women’s 400m – 50.71.

Leo Manzano kicked past Matthew Centrowitz and Galen Rupp to claim the men’s 1500m – 3:48.05.

Jennifer Simpson won the women’s 1500m after holding off Brenda Martinez. – 4:15.04.

Chaunte Lowe broke the American Indoor record in the women’s high jump. – 2.02m.