Saturday, June 9, 2007

Tom Jordan Blows a Big Chance at History

I should have dug a little deeper before I posted a few minutes ago. Dave Clingan posted a comment over on blog revealing that Tom Jordan has made his decision to NOT invite Jim Sorensen to race in the Prefontaine Classic Bowerman Mile. He's reasoning is that inviting Sorensen:

"...doesn't fit in with the Bowerman Mile. We've assembled a full field of sub-3:50 milers, and there really isn't anyone else in the 4-minute category. No HS athletes trying to break 4, for example. Jim would be by himself, running 50-60 meters behind the pack. Not only would that make it very tough to break 4, but it wouldn't be a good show. In my opinion, Jim needs to organize a mile race in the next few weeks that is specifically aimed at his breaking 4-minutes. That will be his best shot."

I don't buy Jordan's reasoning. The ExxonMobil Bislett Games Dream Mile on June 15th will have a field of 18 runners, five more than the start list at Pre. Jordan hasn't "assembled a full field" as he claims.

I put together a chart showing all of the times (in seconds) of the past 10 Bowerman Miles. A 3:59.9 finish (in bold), which is what Sorensen hopes to accomplish, would have finished as high as 8th place and never would have finished last in comparison to actual historical times. Not only that, but there have been as many as 17 contestants in the past. None of Jordan's reasons for declining to invite Sorensen seem to hold any water:

Let's hope that the entire field can rise to the occasion and not prove Jordan wrong. If the history of the Bowerman mile is any indication, quite a few runners will run in the 3:58 to 4:10 range. If that's the case, as it probably will be, then he'll need to explain why he doesn't seem to support the masters track and field community, which – I might add – is a HUGE part of the track and field fan base in the United States. Jordan just might be shooting himself – and U.S. track and field – in the foot.

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