ZAP-Reebok athletes Joe Stilin and Brandon Doughty competed last Thursday night at the USATF Middle Distance Classic in Los Angeles. This meet is a USA Track and Field high performance meet set up for runners that run the 800m up to the 5000m, and it always attracts some of the country’s best talent. Doughty kicked things off in the men’s 3000m steeplechase with a new personal best time of 8:33, 4 seconds faster than his best from last summer. Doughty sat near the back of the pack early as the pace dawdled over the first 2 laps of the 7 1/2 lap race. Once the pace picked up and the field began to string out Doughty patiently worked his way up into the top 5. By the final kilometer of the race there were only 5 athletes remaining in contention, including Doughty in 4th place. The pace continued to increase over the final 2 laps, and coming over the final water barrier Doughty made a strong push into the top 3 finishing less than a second behind the winner in 3rd place.
In the final race of the evening Joe Stilin made his 2018 debut at 5000m having previously contested two 10k’s on the track. The pace went out hard up front and the race quickly separated into two packs. Stilin planted himself firmly near the front of the chase pack as the top 2 athletes had about 10 seconds on the field at halfway. As the pace slowed over the middle of the race Stilin remained tucked in the chase pack which by two miles was down to 5 athletes. The pace picked up in the final kilometer and Stilin remained in 6th position, a place he had occupied most of the race. On the bell lap Stilin swung wide and passed two of the athletes he had been trailing and ran a blistering final 200m to finish in 4th overall and complete a successful night of racing for the ZAP team. Click here for results for the USATF Middle Distance Classic.
Sunday morning in Boston ZAP’s Matt McClintock and ZAP training partner Pardon Ndhlovu raced the Harpoon 5 Miler presented by Reebok. Pardon took out the race assertively over the opening 3 miles which were passed in just over 14 minutes, and the lead pack was quickly reduced to 4 runners. The pack remained that way until just before mile 4 when McClintock went to the front and made a strong push for the finish. He covered his final mile in 4:30 which was enough to earn himself a comfortable victory, 16 seconds ahead of 2nd place, in23:11. Ndhlovu finished 4th in a new personal best of 23:55.
Up next for Stilin and Doughty will be the St. Louis Festival of Miles on May 31st where they will both be racing the mile. McClintock will next be in action at the Portland Track Festival 5000m in Portland, Oregon on June 10th.