Watch Matthew Centrowitz outkick Mo Farah for 1500m win

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Matthew Centrowitz notched his first win over Mo Farah on Thursday night, then looked ahead to an American record attempt this summer.

Centrowitz, who in Rio became the first U.S. Olympic 1500m champion in 108 years, ran away from his training partner Farah in the final 200 meters of a 1500m heat at the USA Track and Field Distance Classic in Los Angeles.

Centrowitz clocked 3 minutes, 33.41 seconds, his best time since July 2015, in his first 1500m since Rio. Farah crossed in second in 3:34.19 in the opener for the final outdoor track season before he converts to marathon running.

“I just asked [Farah before the race] if you’re going for the win, or are you going for a fast time,” Centrowitz told media afterward. “He said, I’m going for a fast time. That’s all I needed to hear. I was like, I’m just going to sit on him.”

Farah, who swept the Olympic 5000m and 10,000m in 2012 and 2016, still owns a faster 1500m personal best than Centrowitz — 3:28.81 to 3:30.40. Farah beat Centrowitz in their two previous head-to-heads, both 1500m, in 2013 and 2015.

Centrowitz has stated his eyes are on the American record in the 1500m — 3:29.30 held by Bernard Lagat. Centrowitz currently ranks third behind Lagat and 1980s runner Sydney Maree (3:29.77).

The U.S. record in the mile is a bit more ambitious, given nobody has come within three and a half seconds of Alan Webb‘s 3:46.91 since he set it in 2007.

“I’m probably focused and eyeing more the 15 because we have more opportunities at it,” Centrowitz said Thursday, according to the Orange County Register, which added that he specifically listed a Diamond League meet in Monaco on July 21. “I think that 3:46, there’s a reason no one’s run faster in the last 10 years. It’s a hard time to beat and, there’s not really many opportunities.”

Centrowitz headlines the field for the Bowerman Mile at next weekend’s Pre Classic, which will air live on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.

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Teri McKeever fired by Cal as women’s swimming coach after investigation

Teri McKeever
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Teri McKeever, the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach, was fired by the University of California at Berkeley after an investigation into alleged verbal and emotional abuse of swimmers that she denied.

McKeever was put on paid administrative leave from her job as head women’s swimming coach in May after an Orange County Register report that 20 current or former Cal swimmers said McKeever verbally and emotionally bullied her swimmers.

Cal athletics director Jim Knowlton wrote in a letter to the Cal team and staff that a resulting independent law firm report detailed “verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.”

“I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole,” Knowlton said of McKeever’s firing in a press release. “The report details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit race, national origin and disability discrimination.”

The Orange County Register first published what it says is the full independent report here.

“I deny and unequivocally refute all conclusions that I abused or bullied any athlete and deny any suggestion I discriminated against any athlete on the basis of race, disability or sexual orientation,” McKeever said in a statement Tuesday confirming her firing and expressing disappointment in how the investigation was conducted. “While I am disappointed in the way my CAL Career will conclude, I wish to thank and celebrate the many student-athletes and staff that made my time in Berkeley a true blessing and gift.”

McKeever’s lawyer wrote that McKeever “will be filing suit to expose the manner in which gender has affected not only the evaluation of her coaching but harmed and continues to harm both female and male athletes.”

McKeever led Cal women’s swimming and diving for nearly 30 years, winning four NCAA team titles and coaching Olympic champions including Missy FranklinNatalie Coughlin and Dana Vollmer.

In 2004, she became the first woman to be on a U.S. Olympic swim team coaching staff, as an assistant. In 2012, she became the first woman to be head coach of a U.S. Olympic swim team. She was an assistant again for the Tokyo Games.

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Diana Taurasi returns to U.S. national basketball team

Diana Taurasi
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Diana Taurasi is set to return to the U.S. national basketball team next week for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics, signaling a possible bid for a record-breaking sixth Olympic appearance in 2024 at age 42.

Taurasi is on the 15-player roster for next week’s training camp in Minnesota announced Tuesday.

Brittney Griner is not on the list but is expected to return to competitive basketball later this year with her WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury (also Taurasi’s longtime team, though she is currently a free agent), after being detained in Russia for 10 months in 2022.

Taurasi said as far back as the 2016 Rio Games that her Olympic career was likely over, but returned to the national team after Dawn Staley succeeded Geno Auriemma as head coach in 2017.

In Tokyo, Taurasi and longtime backcourt partner Sue Bird became the first basketball players to win five Olympic gold medals. Bird has since retired.

After beating Japan in the final, Taurasi said “see you in Paris,” smiling, as she left an NBC interview. That’s now looking less like a joke and more like a prediction.

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve succeeded Staley as head coach last year. In early fall, she guided the U.S. to arguably the best FIBA World Cup performance ever, despite not having stalwarts Bird, Griner, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles.

Taurasi was not in contention for the team after suffering a WNBA season-ending quad injury in the summer. Taurasi, who is 38-0 in Olympic games and started every game at the last four Olympics, wasn’t on a U.S. team for an Olympics or worlds for the first time since 2002.

Next year, Taurasi can become the oldest Olympic basketball player in history and the first to play in six Games, according to Olympedia.org. Spain’s Rudy Fernandez could also play in a sixth Olympics in 2024.

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