The track & field portion of the Olympics begins two weeks from today.
Actually, if you're an American, it begins two weeks from yesterday. Though the first day of competition is July 30, because of the time difference, American audiences will see that first morning session -- which includes heats in the men's steeplechase, women's 100, and women's 800 -- on the night of July 29.
As a result, we've entered a mini dead period on the calendar, with most Olympians using the final two weeks to prep and travel to Japan (though Matthew Centrowitzwill be going for a fast mile next week).
For younger athletes, it's a period of transition, between the 2020-21 season that was and the 2021-22 season that will be. Most are well into their base phase, logging summer miles ahead of the cross country season. For Hobbs Kessler, there won't be a cross country season (he bypassed running for NAU when he signed his adidas deal), but he's in a period of transition himself, something he discussed with LetsRun when we had him on the LRC Track Talk Podcast on Wednesday.
Kessler spoke to LetsRun after he was named Gatorade National Boys' Track and Field Player of the Year on Wednesday, just the third distance runner to receive the honor in the last 20 years. He tells us what the first thing he bought with his money was and talks about whether he can run XC for NAU.
Willis, a rising senior at Stevens Point Area Senior High School in Wisconsin (Chris Solinsky & Suzy Favor Hamilton's alma mater), ran 2:00.78 (#4 all-time HS) this year for 800 and was named 2020-21 Gatorade National Girls' Track and Field Player of the Year.
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