Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WSU's Andre McBride named Pac-12 men's track athlete of the week, plus the hot links...

Washington State's Andre McBride (left/photo by Paul Merca) was named the Pac-12's male track athlete of the week for the week ending April 13th.

The sophomore ran wind-aided marks of 10.42 and 21.03 to help the Cougars take the team title at the Jim Click Shootout in Tuscon last Saturday, and also ran the second leg of the 4 x 100 relay, as they clocked 40.64.

Speaking of the Cougs, Washington State's men's team is ranked #6 in Track & Field News' Collegiate Dual Meet Rankings, compiled for the magazine by Jesse Squire.

Cal, which demolished Stanford in the Big Meet in Berkeley over the weekend, is ranked #1, with Texas A&M and Oregon ranked 2 and 3.

The Washington Huskies are ranked #18 by Squire, even though they have not run a dual meet this season.

The USTFCCCA revealed its Division I and II national computer rankings Tuesday, and the University of Washington women's squad has moved up three spots to #13.

Most of their computer points came from performances from distance runners Katie Flood, Katie Knight, and Lindsay Flanagan, all of whom had solid performances almost two weeks ago at the Stanford Invitational.

The national top five women's squads are Texas A&M, Florida, Texas, Oregon, and Georgia.

Pac-12 teams in the top 25 include USC (9), Arizona (10), UCLA (14), Stanford (17) and Arizona State (21).

On the men's side, no Washington schools are in the top 25 in this week's computer rankings.

The top five nationally are Florida, Oregon, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Florida State.

Pac-12 teams in the top 25 include USC (14), UCLA (15), Arizona (19), and Cal (23).

In Division II, no Washington schools are among the top 25 men's squads, as Saint Augustine's, Adams State, and Texas A&M-Kingsville are the nation's top 3.

Alaska Anchorage is the lone GNAC school in the top 25 at #11.

On the women's side, Western Washington is ranked #16, down one spot, while Seattle Pacific drops two spots to #22 in the computer rankings.

Grand Valley State, Johnson C. Smith, and Lincoln (MO.) are the top three schools in Division II.  

Alaska Anchorage is the only other team in GNAC ranked in the women's top 25 at #17.

As posted earlier on Tuesday, the IAAF confirmed that Eugene is one of three cities that have submitted letters of intent to host the 2019 IAAF world track & field championships, along with Doha, Qatar, and Barcelona, Spain.

The IAAF Council will decide who will host at its next meeting in Monaco in November.

Two cities have expressed interest in the 2017 world cross country championships--Manama, Bahrain, and Kampala, Uganda.

Ostrava, Czech Republic and Bydgoszcz, Poland are candidates for the 2018 Continental Cup, while Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nairobi, Kenya, and Greensboro, North Carolina are candidates for the 2017 world youth championships.

Washington Open subject of Cameron's 'Take Flight' video series; Barrett headlines Pre HJ, & Eugene news...

University of Washington middle distance runner James Cameron has put together another  highlight package of video clips from last weekend's Washington Open at Husky Track.

While the video primarily features Husky athletes at last week's meet,  2012 US Olympian Kibwe Johnson (left/photo by Paul Merca) is prominent in the piece, as Cameron captures the intricate spinning motion of Johnson throwing the hammer.

One of the most dramatic shots of the video is of Husky vaulter Tori Franzen's pole snapping, which he captured using a GoPro camera mounted on a pole.

The Nike Prefontaine Classic, which will be held May 30-31at Hayward Field in Eugene, announced Monday its field for the women's high jump, featuring Arizona alum and silver medalist at both last year's world championships and the 2012 Olympics, Brigetta Barrett.

She'll face off against 2012 Olympic champ Anna Chicherova and 2013 world champ Svetlana Shkolina.

The 31-year old Chicherova has the highest PB in the field at 6-9 1/2 (2.07m), and holds the stadium and meet record of 6-7 1/2 (2.02m) set in winning the 2012 Pre title.

Additionally, all three medalists from the world indoors in Sopot: co-champions Maria Kuchina of Russia and Kamila Licwinko of Poland, along with Spain's Ruth Beitia.

Eugene will present paperwork to the IAAF Council, which is concluding its two-day meeting Tuesday in Dakar, Senegal, along with Barcelona, Spain, and Doha, Qatar.

Keep in mind that this is only a preliminary step (Eugene must submit a formal bid packet to the IAAF), but it does indicate to the casual observer that both the city of Eugene and USA Track & Field, which as the national governing body must back the bid of any US city wishing to hold the event, are serious.  

Given that Eugene is hosting this summer's world junior championship, as well as organizing the 2016 world indoor championships in Portland, don't think that Vin Lananna and the TrackTown USA folks aren't satisfied with having both events--they're looking to hit a home run, despite the fact that the two strikes against Eugene are the size of Hayward Field, and the lack of hotel space in the Eugene/Springfield area.

Doha and Barcelona are expected to be the early favorites, but there may be pressure from within the council to take the meet to the USA, which has never hosted the IAAF's flagship event.  In fact, the closest the meet's been to the United States was in 2001, when Edmonton hosted the world championships.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Washington State track & field alums invited to Pullman for reunion weekend in conjunction with Pac-12s...

Washington State University is holding a reunion for all former track and field student-athletes in conjunction with WSU hosting the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships at the Mooberry Track Complex, May 16-18, 2014.

The reunion will also honor Rick Sloan (above, with Bernard Lagat/photo courtesy WSU Sports Information), who is retiring after 40 years of service to the university as an assistant and head coach of the Cougar track and field squad.

Events on the docket besides two days of competition at Mooberry Track include a dinner at the CUB Senior Ballroom on campus after day one, and the opportunity to play golf at a discounted rate at the Palouse Ridge Golf Course.  Track & field alums will also have the opportunity to book a room for the weekend near the track.

For more information on WSU track & field reunion weekend, please contact Christina Webster at christina.webster@wsu.edu or 509.335.7156.  Interested parties can also visit this link.

NOTE:  The sports information office at Washington State University contributed to this report.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wazzu sweeps Jim Click Shootout in Tuscon; Stueckle sisters prevail over hurdles, plus Pelluer & WAR 7...

Josiah Sims (right) and Daniel Zmuda (left) of Washington
State went 1-2 in the 110 hurdles at the Jim Click
Shootout in Tuscon (photo by Paul Merca)
TUSCON, Arizona--In his final season as head coach of the Washington State track & field team, Rick Sloan has found the magic that made the Cougs one of the best scoring meet teams in the country, an area that his predecessor, John Chaplin made famous when he was steering the ship.

The Cougars swept the men's and women's competition in the five-team Jim Click Shootout hosted by the University of Arizona at Drachman Stadium.

The WSU men scored 193 points, easily surpassing No. 17 Arizona’s 133 points and well-beyond Air Force with 99 points, Kansas State with 98 points, and New Mexico’s 76 points. The Cougar women won with 158 points with No.11 Arizona third with 142 points, followed by Kansas State’s 134 points, and both Air Force and New Mexico scored 67 points.

“It was a great job by the Cougs on both sides today,” Sloan said. “It was a nice, warm day with some wind which helped us in some areas but hurt us in some areas like the hurdles races where are kids were blown into the hurdles. With six places scoring we kept battling through the events. In our two scoring meets this season the kids have really come up and competed well.”

Lifetime-best throws led Sam Ferenchak and Kyle Stevens to a one-two finish in the men’s javelin. Ferenchak won with a toss of 222-feet 1 inch (67.70m) and Stevens was second with a throw of 215-5 (65.65m).

On the track, the Cougs benefited from three 1-2 finishes--Josiah Sims (14.26) and Daniel Zmuda (14.34) in the 110 hurdles; Andrew Kimpel (8:32.10) and John Whelan (8:37.47) in the 3000; and Andrew Gonzales (9:14.04) and Forrest Shaffer (9:34.44) in the 3000 steeple.

On the women's side, the Cougars' Courtney Zalud (2:09.01) and Abby Regan (2:09.06) went 1-2 in the 800.

The host Wildcats, who competed in a dual meet with Oregon in Eugene last weekend, sat most of their top distance runners out of the meet, including Lawi Lalang.

In Seattle, Washington's Kimberly and Kayla Stueckle had outstanding performances, with Kimberly winning the 100 hurdles in a personal best 13.87, and older sister Kayla taking the 400 hurdles in 59.85 at the Washington Open at Husky Track on the University of Washington campus Saturday.

The Dawgs' Travis Marshall scored two personal bests in the short sprints, running 10.59, and 21.70 to finish second in both races.

In the women's 100 and 200, Washington State alum Princess Joy Griffey took both races, winning the short sprint in 11.89, and setting a new facility record in the 200, running 23.93.

Western Washington's Frank Catelli took a shot/discus double victory, winning the shot with a best of 56-0 1/2 (17.08m) and the discus at 173-11 (53.00m).

The wind played tricks with the pole vaulters, but that did not keep the Huskies' Jax Thoirs (16-9.25/5.11m) and Diamara Planell Cruz (13-1.75/4.61m) from winning the men's and women's competition.

In Cheney, the University of Montana swept Eastern Washington in the Pelluer Invitational dual meet, winning the men's competition 97-88, and the women prevailing 94.5-84.5.

The best mark of the meet was set by Eastern's Jordan Arakawa, who won the hammer with a throw of 216-8 (66.04m).

On the women's side, the hammer also provided the meet's best mark, as the Eagles' Olivia Midles won with a toss of 195-10 (59.70m).

In Spokane, Seattle University's Dylan Burnett had the top mark of the meet at WAR VII, hosted by Spokane Community College.

Burnett threw the javelin 218-8 (66.66m) to win the event, scoring a season best.  The mark was the second best of his career, a throw eclipsed only by his personal best of 231-10 (70.66m) set in 2011 in winning the Great West Conference title.

Central Washington swept both the men's and women's team titles, with their men scoring 108, and their women scoring 104.1.

NOTE:  The sports information departments of Washington State, the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific, Eastern Washington, and Seattle University contributed to this report.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Canadian based throwers win two of three events as Washington Open begins...

SEATTLE--Canadian-based throwers won two of Friday's three events to start the two-day Washington Open at Husky Track on the campus of the University of Washington.

In the meet's opening event, 2012 US Olympian Kibwe Johnson (left/photo by Paul Merca), who resides in Kamloops, British Columbia, where he is coached by Anatoly Bondarchuck, won the hammer with a toss of 219-10 (67.02m) on his third round attempt.

That toss was the two-time US champ and Olympic finalist's only fair throw of the day, as he easily turned back the challenge of Washington's Jack Scheiderman (177-0/53.94m) and Pacific Lutheran's Kyle Peart (173-11/53.02m).

The men's javelin was won by former Husky Kyle Nielsen, as the Langley, British Columbia native returned to his alma mater and won handily, throwing a best of 224-1 (68.30m) to beat Western Washington's Slater Hirst (204-7/62.37m) and WWU teammate John Haskin (186-5/56.82m).

In the women's javelin, Monika Gruszecki, a former two-time NCAA D2 champ out of Western Washington, easily won with a toss of 154-10 (47.20m) over the Washington duo of Ashley Alexander (137-0/41.76m) and Koryn Andrus (136-10/41.70m).

The Washington Open continues Saturday with the first field events underway at 9 am, and the first running event at noon.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Washington schools in action in Seattle, Tuscon, Spokane, and Cheney this weekend...

Washington's NCAA Division I and II schools are in action this weekend, with meets in Seattle, Tuscon, Spokane and Cheney on the docket.

The University of Washington will host the Washington Open Friday and Saturday at Husky Track, which opened for business last year.  

This is the third meet on the school's new track, following the UW/WSU dual and the Ken Shannon meet last year.  The field will consist of local schools such as Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, plus Division III Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran, and Evergreen State.

One of the meet's headliners is 2012 US Olympian Kibwe Johnson (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport), who is scheduled to compete in the men's hammer, which is the meet's opening event at 2pm on Friday.

Two other events will occur on Friday--the women's javelin at 4:30pm, followed by the men's javelin upon the conclusion of the women's event.

Washington's middle distance and distance crew will either move up or down in distance, after coming off a big meet at last week's Stanford Invitational.

The Husky vertical jumpers, led by pole vaulters Jax Thoirs, Diamara Planell Cruz, and Kristina Owsinski, along with high jumper AJ Maricich, are back in action after taking the week off last weekend.

The Saturday portion of the meet gets underway at 9am with a series of field events, with the first running event starting at noon.

Washington State heads to Tuscon for the Jim Click Shootout, a five-way scoring meet hosted by the University of Arizona.

The Cougs will face squads from the Air Force Academy, Kansas State, and New Mexico, in addition to the host Wildcats.

Those Cougars who don't make the trip to Tuscon will head to Spokane for Friday & Saturday's WAR VII meet hosted by Spokane Community College.

In this unique meet, the scoring will be based on a Washington State versus the field, with all Washington schools scored as one team, and all other schools scored as another team.

In addition to host Spokane CC, Seattle University, Gonzaga, Central Washington, and Saint Martin's will have athletes entered.

One of the schools that won't be at WAR is Eastern Washington, as they host the Pelluer Invitational at Roos Field in Cheney.

The Pelluer is the lone outdoor home meet and one of just two home meets the entire season for Eastern. The meet returned to the schedule this season after taking a one-year hiatus last year, and will be scored as a dual between the Eagles and Montana. Eastern has gotten quite familiar with the Grizzlies, as they have competed against them the past two weekends at the Al Manuel Invite (March 28-29) and MSU Open (April 5).

According to Eastern head coach Stan Kerr, this year’s Pelluer will also give Eastern’s staff and administration another chance to get acclimated hosting a meet. That preparation will be vital as EWU will host the 2015 Big Sky Outdoor Championships, a meet that will feature 12 Big Sky Conference schools with Idaho set to join next season.

Field events will start at 10 a.m. Saturday with the women’s hammer and the men’s javelin. The hammer, javelin, discus and shot put will be contested in the throwing complex next to the intramural fields. All other events will be held at Roos Field. Running events will kick off at noon with the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific, Seattle University, Washington State University, Eastern Washington, and Spokane CC contributed to this report.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

"Take Flight" by James Cameron chronicles Husky track & field team at Stanford...

One of the most impressive performances of last weekend's Stanford Invitational was by a young man who did not run a step in any of the races, but was as much a part of the meet as all of the athletes running, jumping, and throwing at Cobb Track & Angell Field.

James Cameron (above/photo by Paul Merca), who is one of five men in University of Washington history to have broken four minutes in the mile, and is an aspiring filmmaker, documented the team's competition last weekend in this video, called "Take Flight".

What I found most impressive about this is the fact that this was put together with the use of a GoPro camera, which according to the company's web site, is one of the world's most versatile cameras.

Some of Cameron's shots were done remotely, particularly of the Husky steeplechasers and javelin throwers.  Cameron set up his GoPro next to the water pit or on the runway, and controlled the camera on his iPhone.

Here is part one of "Take Flight"…enjoy!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

WWU's Bethany Drake named USTFCCCA Division II athlete of the week, plus links...

NEW ORLEANS--Western Washington's Bethany Drake (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University) was selected by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association as its Division II national track & field athlete of the week for the week ending April 5th.

Drake, the sophomore from Sandy, Oregon, threw the javelin 169-6 (51.66m) at the Shotwell Invitational last Saturday in Tacoma, a mark that was a personal best by more than 12 feet, and was the best throw in Division II since 2009, and the fourth best in D2 history.  

The mark is also the #10 throw by a collegian in all divisions this season.  

The USTFCCCA also released its national Division I rankings, and the University of Washington women's team has moved up three spots in the computer rankings to #16.

Texas A&M, Florida, Texas, Oregon, and Kentucky are the country's top five women's teams.

Other Pac-12 teams in the top 25 include USC at #7, Arizona at #11, UCLA at #12, Stanford at #18. and Arizona State at #21.

Florida, Oregon, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Florida State are the nation's top five men's squads in the latest rankings.

Other Pac-12 teams in the top 25 include USC at #12, UCLA at #15, Arizona at #17. and Cal at #23.

On the pro circuit, the Nike Prefontaine Classic announced the field for the 110 hurdles at the IAAF Diamond League meet on May 31st at Hayward Field in Eugene.

The hurdles will feature a matchup between David Oliver, the reigning world champion against Aries Merritt, the defending Olympic champion and world record holder, with Olympic and world decathlon champ Ashton Eaton, 2011 world champ Jason Richardson, current US champ Ryan Wilson, and current world and US indoor champ Omoghan Osaghae thrown in for good measure.

In previous releases, the Pre Classic has announced several headliners, including world and Olympic champ Brittney Reese in the long jump, and Ethiopian distance sensation Kenenisa Bekele in the 10000.

Here's a link to 800 meter runner Phoebe Wright's latest blog post, called "Is That Code for 'Unemployed'?", where she explains what she does for a living to those who don't understand what professional track & field athletes do.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: WWU's Bethany Drake takes national NCAA D2 lead in javelin...

Here is a roundup of what happened over the weekend besides the Stanford Invitational:

In San Francisco at the San Francisco State University Distance Carnival on Friday, Sarah Reiter and Berenice Penaloza of Eastern Washington ran times of 35:56.49 and 36:43.57 in the 10,000 to place second and seventh, respectively. Each of those times cross-qualify Reiter and Penaloza for the 10,000 and 5,000 at the Big Sky Championships.

In that same race, Seattle University's Taylor de Laveaga broke their school record, running 37:17.52.

The men's 10000 saw Turner Wiley of Seattle Pacific set a personal best of 31:39.47.

On Friday, Jayson Brocklesby of Olympic College and Britney Hearn of the University of British Columbia won the competition at the Western Washington University multi-events meet in Bellingham.

Brocklesby scored 5801 points to win the decathlon, while Hearn won the heptathlon with a score of 3547 points.

In Tacoma, Western Washington's Bethany Drake (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University) threw a school record 169-6 (51.66m) to take the NCAA Division II lead in the javelin at the J.D. Shotwell Invitational hosted by the University of Puget Sound on Saturday.

Complete results from the Shotwell meet are available here.

In Spokane, the javelin competitions were the highlight of the Sam Adams Classic hosted by Whitworth, as Washington State's Kyle Stevens won with a toss of 208-7 (63.58m), and former Western Washington standout Monika Gruszecki won with a throw of 154-7 (47.11m).

Complete results of the Sam Adams Invitational are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Puget Sound, Seattle University, Seattle Pacific, Western Washington, Eastern Washington, Washington State University, and Whitworth University contributed to this report.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Daigre misses outdoor PR at Stanford; Arakawa strong second in hammer...

PALO ALTO, California--The University of Washington's Derrick Daigre (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished a solid fourth in the top section of the men's 800 meters as the two-day Stanford Invitational concluded at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the campus of Stanford University.

On a beautiful sunny Bay Area day, Daigre ran 1:49.55, just off of his outdoor personal best of 1:49.52, and his all time best of 1:49.00 in a hotly contested race won by Long Beach State's Chris Low in 1:48.30 on the final straightaway.

In one of the most surprising performances of the day, Washington State's Abby Regan won her heat of the women's 800, as the junior from Australia set a personal best of 2:07.07, which ended up being the sixth fastest time of the day, and the eighth-fastest in school history.

Seattle Pacific's McKayla Fricker won her heat of the 800, running 2:08.80.

On the field, one of the best performances was set by Eastern Washington's Jordan Arakawa, who finished second in the invitational men's hammer throw, with a toss of 212-01(64.65m), with Canadian James Steacy the winner at 232-08 (70.93m).

In the men's invitational triple jump, reigning Pac-12 champ Kasen Covington was fourth with a leap of 50-4 3/4 (15.36m).

Eastern Washington's Jon Buchanan was fifth in the invitational shot put with a toss of 55-5 3/4 (16.91m).  Washington's Jack Scheiderman won the collegiate section of the men's shot put with a toss of 53-2 1/4 (16.21m).

Goethals has strong performance to highlight distance events at Stanford Invite...

PALO ALTO, California--University of Washington senior Megan Goethals finished fifth in the women's 10000 at the Stanford Invitational to highlight the distance races Friday night at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the Stanford campus.

Goethals, who had not been a factor for the Huskies during the indoor season, finished in a time of 33:05.77, just off of her school record and personal best time of 32:52.78, set last year.

Goethals, who was in fourth for most of the race, was passed on the final lap by Sequim native Stephanie Dinius, who finished in 32:59.10.

In the same race, Washington senior Lindsay Flanagan was ninth in 33:15.12, and Redmond HS graduate Devin McMahon, competing for Cornell, was 22nd in 34:05.46.

The men's 10000 saw UW cross country All-American Aaron Nelson finish 12th in 28:44.65, good for the second fastest time in school history.

Former NCAA 1500m champ Katie Flood of the Huskies made her debut at 5000 meters, as she finished 11th in 15:45.60.

In another section of the 5000, Husky freshman Katie Knight finished third in 15:58.42, while Washington State senior Ruby Roberts was tenth in 16:09.02, a new school record.

On the field, Washington's Quinn Hale finished second in the invitational men's javelin, throwing 226-3 (68.97m), as Franz Burghagen of Division II Alaska Anchorage took the win at 229-3 (69.87m).

NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State University and Stanford University contributed to this report.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Washington schools head to Bay Area for Stanford Invitational and SF State Distance Carnival...

The Bay Area will be the destination of choice for seven of Washington's nine NCAA Division I and II schools, as Seattle Pacific, Central Washington, SeattleU, University of Washington, Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, and Washington State head south for meets at Stanford University and San Francisco State this weekend.

Six of the seven schools will be represented at the Stanford Invitational on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto on April 4-5, with most of the collegiate events happening on Friday, starting at 9 am, and lasting until 11 pm with the final section of the 10000 meter run (it's gonna be a long day at the track!).

3300 athletes from 114 four-year college programs, plus a bevy of high school athletes will converge on Cobb Track and Angell Field (above/photo courtesy Stanford University) for one of the West Coast's biggest invitational meets.

For athletes in the longer distance races, the Stanford Invitational has consistently been one of the best early season meets to run in, as historically, the meet has had calm weather conditions for distance runners in the late evening.

A few miles north of Palo Alto, a few select runners from SeattleU, Seattle Pacific, and Gonzaga will run in the San Francisco State Distance Classic at Cox Stadium on the SFSU campus, which gets underway at 8:30 am with the 10000 meter runs.

For those athletes from Washington State, Gonzaga, and Eastern Washington not making the trip to the Bay Area, they will compete at the Sam Adams Classic on Saturday April 5th, hosted by Whitworth University in Spokane.

In other action involving the state's NCAA Division I and II schools, Western Washington will host the WWU Multi-Events meet in Bellingham beginning on Thursday, and on Saturday, most of the Division II schools will be in Tacoma for the Shotwell Invitational meet hosted by the University of Puget Sound.

paulmerca.blogspot.com will be on site in Palo Alto for the Stanford Invitational.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Stanford University, San Francisco State University, Whitworth University, Western Washington University, and the GNAC contributed to this report.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bernard Lagat adds American road record in 5k to his resume...

CARLSBAD, California--He already owns American track records outdoors at 1500, 3000 and 5000, along with indoor records at 1500, mile, and the 2000 in his career, not to mention two Olympic medals and a slew of world indoor and outdoor titles in his career.

What else can Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) add?

The Washington State University alum,  running in his first competitive 5000 road race, broke the American record at that distance in finishing second in the elite men's race at the Carlsbad 5000 Sunday.

Lagat was aiming for the American road 5k record of 13:24, set by Marc Davis in 1996, and the pace was well under that when he, along with three time defending Carlsbad 5000 champ Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia, took off at the gun, with Northern Arizona alum and Mexican Olympian Diego Estrada.

In the final half mile, Gebremeskel used his course experience to trump Lagat, pulling away to a 13:13 win to give him the four-peat.

The Tuscon resident took home $11000--$3500 for second, $2500 for top American, and $5000 for the American record.

Augustine Choge (13:22) and Edwin Kipyego (13:26) went 3-4, while Estrada finished fifth in 13:31.

“It’s a big advantage [for him],” Lagat said of Gebremeskel’s course experience. “I knew from history that this course would be a challenge. It’s not that easy even though it looks flat. I went in with the mindset to have fun, stay relaxed as much as possible. Dejen was right there pushing the first mile, and at halfway I couldn’t even see him, but he was right behind us. He was basically taking a breather at the back—he was waiting. And when he took the turn, he just unleashed it, so experience matters a lot on this course.”

In the women's elite race, Julia Bleadsdale won in 15:06, well clear of Iowa State alum Betsy Saina (15:22).  

Ethiopia's Etalemhu Habtewold was third in 15:23, while Brenda Martinez was fourth in 15:25 as the top American, and USA cross country champ Amy Van Alstine was fifth in 15:30.

NOTE:  The Competitor Group contributed to this report.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Throws highlight Club Northwest Spring Break meet...

SEATTLE--Despite rainy conditions at West Seattle Stadium, the throws were the highlight of the Club Northwest Spring Break meet Saturday.

Western Washington senior Lindsay Wells (left/photo courtesy Western Washington University) broke the school record she set last year in the hammer, flinging the ball and chain 171-1 (52.15m), improving upon her NCAA Division II provisional qualifying mark.

Wells' toss is currently the eighth best throw in NCAA Division II so far this season.

The Vikings' Emily Stralser won the javelin, as she threw an NCAA D2 PQ mark of 140-2 (42.72m), making it the ninth best mark in Division II, but only the third best on her team.  

Seattle Pacific's Michaela Farner got the NCAA D2 PQ mark as well with her second place finish, throwing 133-7 (40.72m).

Stralser, a multi-event specialist, won the 100 hurdles in a time of 15.9h.

Western's Frank Catelli was a double winner in the shot put, throwing 54-2 3/4 (16.53m), and the discus 153-3 (46.72m).  He's currently ranked #3 in NCAA D2 this season in the discus with his mark of 165-4 (50.40m) set last week in Eugene.

In Tacoma, Whitworth University swept both the men's and women's competition at the Joe Peyton Scoring meet hosted by the University of Puget Sound Saturday.

Washington State University alum Princess Joy Griffey had the best marks of the meet, winning the 100 and 200 in 11.98, and 24.59w.

Whitworth's Dakota Kilamovich threw a NCAA D3 national leading mark in the hammer, with a toss of 174-11 (53.31m).

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Western Washington University and Seattle Pacific University contributed to this report.

EWU alum Mattie Suver finishes 36th at IAAF world half marathon championships...

COPENHAGEN, Denmark--Eastern Washington University alum Mattie Suver (left/photo by Mike Scott) finished 36th at the IAAF world half-marathon championships Saturday through the streets of the Danish capital.

Suver  ran a  season best time of 1:12:41 and was the fourth runner across the line for Team USA, which was led by Annie Bersagel's 13th place finish in 1:10:09.

Other Americans included Lauren Kleppin in 14th (1:10:15), Clara Santucci in 34th (1:12:21), and Wendy Thomas in 1:14:06.

The USA earned a fifth place team finish

Kenya's Gladys Cherono won the world title with a time of 1:07:28, leading the Kenyan squad to an unprecedented 1-5 finish and the world title.  Ethiopia and Japan took the other two podium spots, followed by Italy in fourth.

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