1) I'll have one less rooting interest in the Olympics this year, as well for the coming years. My childhood friend Alan Culpepper did not compete in the US marathon trial due to injury. Alan ran the 10,000 meters in Sydney in 2000, and ran the marathon in Athens in 2004, where he placed 12th. His best ever finish in a major marthon was at the 2005 Boston Marathon, where he placed fourth. This was his last shot at the Olympics, so it's heartbreaking. Hopefully, he still has a couple of competitive major marathons left in his legs.
Alan lived down the street from me through about the first grade, and we ran in the same birthday party circles until third or fourth, when my family moved into a different school attendance zone. We remained friendly through high school.
And the answer is, yes, he was fast.
2) El Paso lost out on its other best shot at an Olympian today, as Lara Jackson finished third in the 50 freestyle at the Olympic Trials for swimming. She missed it by six hundredths of a second. Of course, that makes her an alternate. Which means maybe not all hope is lost. Why? Because the winner was Dara Torres, the 41-year-old mother with the mistifyingly age-defying Schwarzenegger-esque build. Natural? You tell me.