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Vincent Zhou changes coaches, to return at U.S. Figure Skating Championships

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Olympian and world bronze medalist Vincent Zhou announced a coaching change, a gap year from Brown University and a return to competition at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in three weeks.

Zhou will now be coached by Lee Barkell and Lori Nichol in Toronto, and continue to work with Mie Hamada, after previously being coached in Colorado Springs by Tammy Gambill, Christy Krall and Tom Zakrajsek, according to U.S. Figure Skating.

Zhou trained with Gambill for the first part of his career, then moved to Colorado Springs in May 2015 to work with Zakrajsek. He still consulted with Gambill leading up to his Olympic appearance in 2018, then went back to a more formal role with Gambill and Hamada after last season.

Barkell’s students have included Canadian Olympians Jeffrey Buttle and Gabrielle Daleman. Nichol previously helped choreograph Zhou’s programs.

“I can’t thank Tammy, Christy and Tom enough for all they have done for me and my career,” Zhou said in a press release, adding on social media that the last few months were “very difficult.” “I’m excited to begin training with Lee, and also work more regularly with Lori, in Toronto, and continue to work with Mie.”

Zhou, 19, skipped the fall Grand Prix Series to focus on freshman year studies at Brown after competing at a lower-level event in September.

Zhou has been the closest American to Nathan Chen in recent years, taking a distant silver at nationals in 2017 and 2019 and bronze in 2018. The 2017 World junior champion broke through on the senior international level last season, taking bronze at worlds behind Chen and Yuzuru Hanyu.

The U.S. can send three men to senior worlds in March in Montreal.

Other contenders include 2014 Olympian Jason Brown and would-be world championships rookies Camden Pulkinen, Tomoki Hiwatashi and Alex Krasnozhon.

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Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

MORE: Seb Coe: Track and field needs more U.S. meets

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