...Giving it a little bit more!
Yup, that seems to sum up what McMillan Elite has been doing lately both on and off the track. This past weekend was a blow out.
One place to escape the snow...the NAU Skydome.
The roundy-round inside the dome.
Let's start with Saturday which saw some excellent action at the Lumberjack Invitational held at the Northern Arizona University's Skydome. This was McMillan Elite's indoor track seasonal opener, if you will. Ian Burrell, Matt Clark, Jordan Horn and Jaime Canterbury would line up for the mile race to see what kind of fitness they had developed over the lengthening cold and snowy Flagstaff winter.
Jaime Canterbury leads in the mile.
In the women's mile, Jaime would lead for much of the race only to be out-kicked in the last quarter mile. She'd finish third in 5:24.60 and returned a few hours later to run the 800 meter race in 2:30.79.
Ian Burrell leads Jordan Horn in the mile.
Matt Clark digs in the final lap.
In the men's race McMillan Elite would go one, two, three. Ian led the way in 4:10.36, Jordan followed closely in 4:11.37 and Matt finished third in 4:24.26. Keeping in mind that these times were run on a 300 meter track at 7,000' one could say that things look promising for the rest of the season.
Alvina Begay, as seen five days before her Rock and Roll Phoenix Marathon. The smile says it all.
Down the street, Alvina Begay stepped it up a notch and tore into the Rock and Roll Phoenix Marathon. She crossed the finish line in fifth place with a time of 2:37:14; good enough for an Olympic Trials "A" qualifying time. We shouldn't forget that it was more than a five minute PR as well. Alvina had help from her friend, team mate and pacer Emily Harrison for part of the distance.
Further south big things were brewing at the Houston Marathon.
Paige Higgins at Houston.
Paige Higgins announced she was back in a big way with a suburb showing. After some tough, trying times with a serious knee injury, she calmly and confidently returned in top form. She blazed a 2:33:22, mere seconds off her fastest marathon time ever, and solidly finishing in fourth place. Sean Wade, the men's masters champion, worked along side Paige the entire distance to keep her honest. Paige has several other marathons lined up for 2010...watch her as she builds off this excellent performance.
Brett Gotcher at Houston.
The biggest news catcher of the weekend was Brett Gotcher's run at Houston. Splashing onto the marathon scene for the first time, Brett ran the fourth fastest debut marathon ever for an American. His 2:10:35 netted seventh overall, and set a new American course record on the way. He was paced by good friend and team mate Andrew Lemoncello. Brett looks very hungry for a re-match at the distance.
Brett and his coach, Greg McMillan, share the spot light.
Congratulations all! Clearly, these folks have climbed aboard and are giving it a little bit more...