In its third year, the rabbit track classic hosted by rabbit and presented by Running Warehouse, provided the perfect mid-summer last opportunity for elite athletes to obtain a USATF Outdoor Championship qualifying time, while also bringing together the local Santa Barbara community for an incredible evening.
This year's event grew from last year with the addition of a few new races in the schedule, including a juniors 1,000 meter race as well as the elite men's & women’s 1500 meter races. As the summer coastal fog drifted away around 5pm and the gentle breeze quieted down, by the time the races went down there was ideal conditions, and the evening was set-up perfectly for some fast races at Santa Barbara City College’s beautiful La Playa Field.
The junior 1,000 meter race was the first to hit the track and it certainly got things off to a great start. Isaac Wood (rabbit co-founder Jill's cousin!) took an early lead and never looked back, winning in a time of 3:59.78. Not too far behind was rabbit co-founder Monica’s son, Levi DeVreese finishing in a time of 4:12.25.
All of the junior finishers seemed to have a great time, and they were rewarded with a sweet medal for their efforts. Plus, the juniors' race was certainly the fans' favorite!
Next-up on the track was a full field in the community 3,000 meters with many familiar faces, including several members of our RADrabbit team and rabbitELITE team.
The momentum certainly carried over from the junior 1,000 as Brendan Jones-Morrow & Scott Chow got out to a hot start! They battled it out the entire race with Brendan taking home the win in 9:26.87 over Scott’s 9:30.14.
Our top women was rabbit’s very own, RADrabbit Sara Beyers in 10:46.18. Way to go Sara! And rabbitELITE athlete Todd Booth came in 5th overall also!
As the community 3k came to a close, it was incredibly awesome to see many members of our RADrabbit team cheer and help each other out, even some members running the last lap with another teammate to help her get to the finish. The comradery of the RADrabbit team is just incredible to see!
And then, it was time for the elite races to take to the track!
The elite women’s 1500 had quite the elite presence highlighted by multiple time US Champion, who has a killer PR of 4:04, Heather Kampf. The women had a tough task in mind of achieving the USATF Outdoor Championship standard of 4:09.5. The field was taken out in the first quarter by our pacer in just under 66 seconds (that's a smoking fast 4:24 mile pace!). Right on her, was Heather Kampf followed closely by Hoka One One Aggies' athlete, Jenna Hinkle. The two women stayed at the front of the race with Jenna overtaking Heather for the lead with 400 meters to go. The two battled it out down the homestretch with Jenna Hinkle taking the win in 4:15.48 over Heather Kampfs' 4:16.87. Rounding out the top three was The Mission Athletic Club's, Raquel Lambdin in 4:20.69.
It was then the men’s turn to get after it in the elite men's 1500. The men were targeting the US standard of 3:39 and showed no hesitations in chasing down that standard as the pacer came through the 400 meter mark in a blistering 57 second pace (i.e. 3:48 per mile pace!). Mammoth Track Club and University of Oregon graduate, Tim Gorman was fearless as he took over the lead and never looked back. Battling the clock, Tim came through the 800 meters in 1:58 and showed no signs of slowing down. With a lap to go, Tim was still at the lead but closing quickly was a pack of three with Tinman Elite’s Kyle Medina, Jacuzzi Boy’s Matthew Palmer, and Valor Track Club's Riley Martin. The three were working together and closing down the gap quickly. With 100 meters left, the race was an exciting one as Kyle Medina made a big push for the win. However, Tim Gorman’s early lead had proved to be too much ground for anyone to make up as Tim was the first to the finish line in 3:46.62. Kyle Medina was second in 3:47.49 followed by Matthew Palmer in 3:48.35.
As the sun started to set, the stadiums lights illuminated the track and it was time for some fast 5,000 meter races. The elite women were up first, and assembled was an impressive field. Team USA Minnesota’s, Breanna Sierackifollowed right on the pacer's heels through the first 1,000 meters in just under 5 minute per mile pace.
Breanna took over the first place position from there on out and only continued to extend her lead on the rest of the field. Coming through the mile right around 5 minutes, Breanna looked smooth and controlled. Breanna took home the win in a stellar time of 16:09, followed by Valor Track Club’s, Makenna Myler in 16:39.68 and Cal Coast Track Club’s Chelsey Albertson in 16:53.59.
Last, but certainly not least, was the elite men’s 5,000 meters. Despite just running an incredible 1500m, Kyle Medina lined up in the 5,000 as the rabbit to set the pace for the rest of the field.
The men came through in 65 second pace through the first quarter (4:20 per mile) with the whole field right behind the pacer. As Kyle stepped off after 1,000 meters, Tesfu Tewelde from Eritrea took the lead with Hoka One One Aggies' Darius Terry & Bryan Guijarro not too far behind. As the race went on Tesfu continued to maintain his lead and keep the pace honest. CJ Albertson entered the top 3 for the first time with a few laps to go closing down the leaders. With a lap to go it Tesfu was the clear winner and he broke the tape in an impressive 13:59.52. Not too far behind was a C.J Albertson in 14:13.15.
We would like to thank all of the athletes, fans, supporters, volunteers, host families and rabbit staff who made this event a success. We would also like to thank Running Warehouse for its generosity in being the presenting sponsor. We would also like to thank rabbitPRO Seth Totten for providing awesome livestream commentary throughout the night. And, of course, thank you to the Santa Barbara running community for its support and enthusiasm.
Full results can be found here: liveresults
Photos are available here: http://rabbittrackclassic.com/
Also, thank you to Event Pro, Leone timing, and Blake Bronstad photography for making this event the best year yet! We look forward to seeing everyone again next year as we continue to build and make the rabbit track classic better than ever!
All photos in the blog are courtesy of Blake Bronstad photography.