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The Just Athletics Podcast
65 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
Episode 60 - Craig Engels
We have one cool cat on the show today and one of the best middle distance runners in the United States and the World. Craig Engels is only 26 years old, but already has an impressive resume as a world-class middle distance runner. He is the 2019 USATF 1500m National Champion in a race where battled the reigning Olympic Gold Medalist, Matt Centrowitz, to the line winning by .04 seconds. He went on to make the IAAF World Championship final that year in the 1500m, where he finished 10th, just .20 seconds off his personal best of 3:34.04. Craig started off 2019 with another USATF title in the mile at the USATF Indoor Championships. Another major highlight of his professional career includes a 7th place finish at the World Indoor Championships in the 1500m in 2018. He also has a personal best of 1:44.68 in the 800m. Craig is coached by Pete Julian and runs for Nike. Mr. Engels attended Ole Miss for a majority of his collegiate career after transferring from North Carolina State University. At Ole Miss, he was a multiple-time NCAA All-American, the first SEC Champion in the 1500m from Ole Miss, and the school-record holder in the 1500m. His senior season he finished 7th at the NCAA Championships in the 1500m, but just a few weeks later at the 2016 Olympic Trials he burst onto the national scene placing 4th in the 800m and 5th in the 1500m, nearly making the Olympic team. He was born and raised in North Carolina and attended Ronald W. Reagan High School in Pfafftown. He set school records in the 800m, mile, and 3200m and also won the best hair award at his high school. Craig's reputation as being cooler than the other side of the pillow held up in this pod. We hope you all enjoy it as much as we did recording it. Thanks Craig! Subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify or really where ever you get your podcasts to get future episodes and please follow us on Twitter @just_athletics and like us on the Facebook or our Instagram page.
72 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
Episode 59 - Don Kardong
Oh boy, do we have a good episode for you this week on The Just Athletics podcast. Our guest, Don Kardong, has his fingerprints all over the American distance running scene the last 50 years. Don had a remarkable career at Stanford University, where he held school records in the 2 mile, 3 mile, and the 6 mile, graduating in 1971. Some of the big achievements of Don's running career after Stanford include finishing fourth place the 1976 Olympics in the marathon, just three seconds from the bronze medal, in a sensational 2:11:16, running 12:57.6 in the three-mile race behind these guys named Prefontaine and Shorter at Hayward Field in 1974, and winning both the 1976 Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta and the 1978 Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii. Don's impact goes far beyond his athletic achievements. He has been a prominent journalist in the sport of running since the early 1980s, he served as a contributing editor at Running magazine from 1980 to 1983, and a contributing editor (1983–1985) and senior writer (1985–1987) for The Runner magazine as well. Since 1987, he has been a contributing writer for Runner's World magazine also. He has also been one of the top road race directors in the country and served in a leadership role as the President of the Road Runners Club of America from 1996-2000. He founded one of the best road races in the country in 1977 when he started the Bloomsday Run in Spokane, WA, and has served as the race director at times and been heavily involved in that amazing event. This man also has a bridge named after him and an ice cream flavor. Who else can say that?We can't thank Don enough, this was an amazing episode, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Thanks Don! Subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify or really where ever you get your podcasts to get future episodes and please follow us on Twitter @just_athletics and like us on the Facebook or our Instagram page.
68 minutes | Mar 4, 2021
Episode 58 - American Distance Running Mt. Rushmore
Who is on your Mt. Rushmore in terms of distance runners in the history of the United States? Chris, Dave, and Josh all give you their Mt. Rushmore on the men's side, the women's side, and overall in terms of American distance running. These guys bring it like Stephen A. Smith on ESPN. Disagree with them? Get on the social media and let us know. We hope you enjoy another episode of The Just Athletics podcast. Subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify or really where ever you get your podcasts to get future episodes and please follow us on Twitter @just_athletics and like us on the Facebook or our Instagram page.
55 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
Episode 57 - Joan Benoit Samuelson
We are fortunate to have running royalty as this week's guest of The Just Athletics podcast. A true hero in Joan Benoit Samuelson. Joan, of course, is the 1984 Olympic Champion in the marathon, the first time the distance was ever contested for women at the Olympic Games. She was also a two-time winner of the Boston Marathon and a winner of the Chicago Marathon in 1985 in an American Record time of 2:21:21, which stood for 18 years. Certainly one of the greatest runners of all-time and an amazing talent, another remarkable aspect of Joan's runner career is her longevity and ability to continue to run fast. She has continued to run very fast into the 21st century, most notably running 2:49:08 at the 2008 Olympic Trials at the age of 50. Joan has also made it a big goal to give back in many ways to the sport. She founded the Beach to Beacon 10k road race in 1998, which has become one of the premier road races in the United States. She has authored two books, "Running Tide" and "Running for Women". She continues to inspire generation after generation of runners, women and men alike. This is an amazing pod and Joan is certainly an amazing person on a lot of levels. Thanks so much Joan!!Subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify or really where ever you get your podcasts to get future episodes and please follow us on Twitter @just_athletics and like us on the Facebook or our Instagram page.
68 minutes | Feb 18, 2021
Episode 56 - Amy Flora
On a very special episode of The Just Athletics podcast we bring on Amy Flora to dive into her background as a five-time Oregon State Champion and state record-holder at the High School level for Myrtle Point in Coos County or legendary coach Pat Towne, her time at the University of Washington as a student-athlete, and her time as a middle school and high school coach. She also happens to be the better half or really the better 3/4 of host Chris Johnson, which means she's a saint in many ways. Amy is a successful and dynamic administrator, she currently is the Principal at Lincoln School of Early Learning in Coquille, OR. Amy has a unique background and a lot of wisdom to share. You'll recognize her voice quickly, as she is the voice of the JA podcast. Thank you Amy for your appearance and all you do to keep Chris Johnson's life together. Subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify or really where ever you get your podcasts to get future episodes and please follow us on Twitter @just_athletics and like us on the Facebook or our Instagram page.
70 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
Episode 55 - 2008 Olympic Trials Men's 800m Flashback w/ Christian Smith & Andrew Wheating
The Men's 800m final at the 2008 Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR was nothing short of epic and we have an epic podcast to reflect on that amazing race for our millions of listeners. A race that people often cite as one of their favorite races of all-time. Christian Smith and Andrew Wheating join us to look back on the race, you know two of the guys who made the team and realized their dreams that day. Christian Smith is a native of Kansas decided to stay in state and attend Kansas State, where he was an NCAA Champion in the mile, four-time All-American, and NCAA record holder in the indoor 1000m. Christian ran professionally for the Oregon Track Club Elite team in Eugene directly after college, where he was part of the Oregon sweep in the race we discuss to become a 2008 Olympian in the 800m. He has a personal best of 1:44.86 in that event. He now lives back in Kansas where is a restaurant entrepreneur, including a couple Fat Shacks, and family man with three young children who keep him busy. Andrew Wheating's story we partially broke down in episode 53 with Jeff Johnson. An atmospheric breaking talent, Andy went from playing high school soccer to trying out cross country to a recruit joining the University of Oregon track & field team to earning a spot on an Olympic team in just over two years. An insane story. Besides making this Olympic team in 2008, Andy went on to become a multiple-time NCAA Champion and All-American for the Ducks. He again made the Olympic team in 2012, this time in the 1500m. He has personal bests of 1:44.56 in the 800m and 3:30.90 in the 1500m. Andy is now playing a major role for the up and coming ON Running shoe company which is signing and supporting professional athletes across the U.S. and the world. We had an unbelievable time with Christian and Andy reflecting and breaking down this very big moment in both of their lives. Check out the race before and after the pod here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeIY_M7YJxkThank you Christian and Andy! One of the most fun and entertaining episodes we have ever recorded. We hope you enjoy the show! Subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify or really where ever you get your podcast to get future episodes and please follow us on Twitter @just_athletics and like us on the Facebook or our Instagram page.
82 minutes | Feb 4, 2021
Episode 54 - Scott Christensen
We are rocking 2021 so far with amazing guests. This week we bring on one of the best coaches in the country in Scott Christensen of Stillwater High School in Minnesota. Scott is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, where he majored inBiology for for his undergrad and went on to study Physiology and earn his masters degree at the University of Nebraska. Scott wears many hats in the running world. As a coach at Stillwater HS in Minnesota his teams have won with 10 State team titles in track & field and cross country and have had many individual champs, including seven in the “almost a mile” race, the 1600m. His 1997 team was ranked number one in the Harrier's national rankings. He has had three of his athletes go on to become sub-four minute milers. He is also very involved in coaches education as one of the foremost instructors for USATF, USTFCCCA, and the IAAF. Scott has also served at the international level as a coach for TEAM USA for the 2003 Junior World Cross Country Champions and for the 2008 Senior team at the World Cross Country Championships. To continue stacking on to the many achievements, he is also a published author having written numerous numerous articles , online training courses, and two books. He is one of the most sought out clinicians in the sports of cross country and track & field. Scott as an athlete was the captain of both his high school and college teams and has a lifetime PR of 2:30:24 in the marathon. We will have to have Scott back, as we just barely scratched the knowledge that this amazing coach has. Thanks so much Scott! Subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify to get future episodes and please follow us on Twitter @just_athletics and like us on the Facebook or our Instagram page.
67 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
Episode 53 – Jeff Johnson + Surprise Guest
We have an all-timer for our millions of listeners. We bring on an incredibly influential and successful personality in our great sport. Jeff Johnson is famously known as Nike’s first employee and is a big player in the company’s rise to the giant brand it is today. He went to Los Altos HS in California … Continue reading Episode 53 – Jeff Johnson + Surprise Guest
87 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
Episode 52 – “Prefontaine”/”Without Limits” Movie Breakdown
We decided to kick off our 2021 campaign with something a little different. We bring on two guests who were involved in the 1998 dueling biopics about Steve Prefontaine to discuss and compare the two films. Jeff Atkinson joins us. Jeff both had a part, a speaking line no less, in the movie “Without Limits” … Continue reading Episode 52 – “Prefontaine”/”Without Limits” Movie Breakdown
67 minutes | Nov 19, 2020
Episode 51 – Courtney Frerichs
After last week’s glitch in the Matrix, Chris and Dave return for one of the best shows ever with an incredible guest. Want to be inspired? Check out this episode with American Record Holder Courtney Frerichs. We delve into Courtney’s incredible rise from being a 2:24 800m runner in high school to one of the … Continue reading Episode 51 – Courtney Frerichs
96 minutes | Nov 12, 2020
Episode 50 – Multiverse Episode
We jump to another dimension with two mystery guests and dive into their backgrounds as athletes and coaches. We won’t ruin the surprise, so check out this long and fun episode. Subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher or Spotify to get future episodes and please follow us on Twitter @just_athletics and like us … Continue reading Episode 50 – Multiverse Episode
82 minutes | Nov 5, 2020
Episode 49 – Eric Dettman
This week’s episode of the Just Athletics podcast we bring on one of the best young High School coaches in the country and a coach who has a little bit of experience being part of a successful program at arguably the greatest high school program of all-time at York High School. Eric Dettman is the … Continue reading Episode 49 – Eric Dettman
98 minutes | Oct 30, 2020
Episode 48 – Daniel Caulfield
We got a big episode here, both in length and impact. We bring it back to having an active coach on and someone who we heard speak a week ago and just had to get on the pod. Daniel Caulfield blew us away on the Portland Coaches Social and he repeated that again on this … Continue reading Episode 48 – Daniel Caulfield
60 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
Episode 47 – Ben Blankenship
The guest this week is an athlete known for his fierce competitiveness on the track, but the pod allows us to see another side of Mr. Ben Blankenship. Ben competes for the Oregon Track Club Elite team in Eugene, OR, where he is coached by Mark Rowland. He grew up in Minnesota and ran at … Continue reading Episode 47 – Ben Blankenship
58 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
Episode 46 – Kinsey Middleton
We have another amazing guest this week, another athlete currently focusing on the longer stuff, this time the marathon. Kinsey Middleton, formerly Gomez, was born and raised in Coeur d’Alene, ID. She was a seven-time State Champion at Coeur d’Alene High School, coached by Cathy Compton. Actually missed Foot Locker Nationals by just one place … Continue reading Episode 46 – Kinsey Middleton
62 minutes | Oct 8, 2020
Episode 45 – David Laney
After a week off, we are back with an exciting guest who gives us some insight into the Ultra/Trail world and beyond. David Laney had humble beginnings in the sport of running at Central Catholic High School, where co-host of the show Dave Frank was his coach. David never made his high school’s varsity team … Continue reading Episode 45 – David Laney
73 minutes | Sep 24, 2020
Episode 44 – Pete Julian
We just keep rolling! This week we have one of the best coaches in the world in Pete Julian of Nike. Chris and Dave dive into Pete’s family history in the sport and his journey from growing up in Ashland in a track family to becoming a successful collegiate and professional athlete to becoming the … Continue reading Episode 44 – Pete Julian
87 minutes | Sep 17, 2020
Episode 43 – The Josh Rowe
He returns! Our former co-host and co-founder, Josh Rowe, returns to the show to chat with Chris and Dave about a wide range of topics, but mostly about Josh’s involvement with the National High School Track & Field Hall of Fame and his work with the Nationals Scholastic Athletics Foundation. Josh, who was high school … Continue reading Episode 43 – The Josh Rowe
72 minutes | Sep 10, 2020
Episode 42 – Albert Caruana
If Bill Simmons is the pod father, then our guest for episode 42 should be referred to as the lord of the zoom call. We are thrilled to have Albert Caruana as our guest, who also happens to be an amazing high school coach and influential blogger and journalist in the sport. Albert, who is … Continue reading Episode 42 – Albert Caruana
71 minutes | Sep 3, 2020
Episode 41 – Thor Esbensen
We decided to follow an American Record Holder, Olympian, and one of the best athletes in the world with Thor Esbensen, who is renowned in his own right. Coach Thor Esbensen is the Head Cross Country and Co-Head Track & Field Coach at Wilson High School in Portland, OR, where he has was named to … Continue reading Episode 41 – Thor Esbensen
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