Saturday, June 25, 2016

Kara Winger opens 2016 with second longest throw by an American this season...

At the Ironwood TC Throws Classic contested at the Concordia Throw Center in Portland Saturday, reigning USA national champion and two-time US Olympian Kara Winger (above/photo by Howard Lao) began her 2016 season by winning the javelin.

The Skyview HS/Vancouver graduate threw a best of 202-6 (61.72m), which would make it the second furthest throw in the country so far this season, behind only Maggie Malone of Texas A&M, who threw 204-0 (62.19m) at the NCAA championships in Eugene a few weeks ago.

Winger elected to open her 2016 season late partly due to a heavy work load, as she was taking classes towards obtaining her masters in business administration.

She had two other throws past the 61 meter mark.

In a text to paulmerca.blogspot.com after the competition, she said, “Wanted a bit more but I’m excited about my potential this season!”.

Entering the US Olympic Trials, Winger, Malone, and Brittany Borman are the only three who own the Olympic qualifying standard of 203-5 (62.00m).

As of this writing, complete results from the Ironwood TC Throws Classic were not posted yet on the directathletics.com site.

At the USATF Junior Championships (under 20) in Clovis, California, Shorecrest HS grad Wurrie Njadoe finished third in her heat of the women’s 200, running 24.05 to qualify for Sunday’s finals.  Bothell HS grad Maya Harewood, who will attend Wisconsin this fall, was fourth in her heat in 24.09 to get the last spot to advance to the finals.

Harewood did not fare as well in the 400, running 55.27 to finish fifth in her heat.

Ruby Watson of Sehome HS did not finish in the women’s 3000m finals.

Sunday, Alexa Efraimson of Camas (1500), Harewood, and Njadoe will contest the finals in their respective events



At the French national championships in Angers, Justine Fedronic, who trains in Seattle with the Beasts TC, finished second in a time of 2:02.79, as Renelle Lamote won their national title on Saturday.

Jordin Andrade takes fifth at African Championships 400 hurdles final...

In Durban, South Africa, Boise State alum Jordin Andrade (above/photo courtesy Mt. SAC Relays), a graduate of Bonney Lake HS, who will represent Cape Verde at this summer’s Olympics in Rio, finished fifth in Friday night’s finals of the 400 hurdles at the African Championships.

Andrade ran 49.62, as Kenya’s Boniface Mucheru took the victory in 49.20.

According to a tweet from his representatives at World Express Management, Andrade hit hurdle #9, stumbled but did not fall, but that mishap was enough to throw off his timing approaching the final hurdle.



The Seattle-based Brooks Beasts announced the signing of recent collegians Shaquille Walker from BYU and Brannon Kidder from Penn State Friday.

Walker, who is a familiar face to track fans attending meets at the Dempsey Indoor, was third in the 800 at the recent NCAA track & field championships in Eugene.  Walker, who comes to the Beasts with a 1:44.99 personal best, was also third at this year’s NCAA indoor champs.

Kidder is a versatile runner with personal bests of 1:45.58 in the 800, 2:18.26 at 1000m, and 3:57.13 in the mile. He won the Big Ten title indoors in the mile, and outdoors in the 1500, and finished seventh indoors at 800 meters at the NCAAs, and was fourth in the 1500 outdoors in Eugene a few weeks ago.

Both will make their debuts as members of the Beasts at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene.

At the USA junior championships in Clovis, California, Camas native Alexa Efraimson, the current American junior record holder in the 1500 meters, easily qualified for the finals in that event, running 4:31.49.

Efraimson expressed confidence after her race, telling USA Track & Field media relations, “No U.S. girl has ever medaled in the 1500 at World Juniors, so I think I have a good opportunity.”  

Efraimson finished just out of the podium at the world juniors in Eugene two years ago.

Shorecrest HS grad Wurrie Njadoe, who will attend Kansas State this fall, was seventh in the 100 meters in 11.63.

In the finals of the men’s pole vault, University of Washington rising sophomore Chase Smith finished eighth with a clearance of 16-2.75 (4.95m), while incoming Husky freshman Zach Shugart, who recently graduated from Blanchet HS, was 11th, also clearing 16-2.75.

The men’s javelin saw Idaho freshman Austin Beyer from Kennewick finish 14th with a best throw of 171-3 (52.20m).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wet weather derails locals from last chance qualifiers at Stumptown Twilight...

With only a few days left until the qualifying period for the US Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene closes on Sunday, a slew of middle distance runners with Washington ties headed to Mt. Hood Community College for the Stumptown Twilight meet to try and punch their tickets to Eugene.

In wet conditions, Megan Malasarte (above, third from right/photo by Howard Lao) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts came oh-so-close to the 2:03.00 Olympic trials standard, as she finished third in the top section of the women’s 800, running 2:03.20.  In the same heat, WSU volunteer assistant coach Liga Velvere, a Latvian citizen who was aiming for the Olympic Games standard of 2:01.50, finished fourth in 2:03.23.

The women’s steeple saw Club Northwest’s Amber Schultz finish fourth in 9:55.61, 2.61 seconds short of the 9:53.00 standard.  WSU alum and SeattleU assistant coach Caroline Austin was sixth in 10:05.04.

Tacoma native Brie Felnagle was second in the women’s 1500 in 4:12.85, short of the 4:09.50 Trials standard.

In the second heat of the men’s 1500, Travis Burkstrand was third in 3:41.38, short of the 3:38.00 standard. 

Huskies and Cougars announce 2016 cross country schedules...

Action from the 2015 Sundodger Invitational, won by
Washington State (Paul Merca photo)
Both the University of Washington and Washington State University posted their 2016 cross country schedules this week.

The Huskies open the season on September 2nd with the annual open race with Seattle University on Friday September 2nd at Magnuson Park in Seattle, while the Cougars open the day before with the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet in Moscow, Idaho, hosted by the University of Idaho.

The Huskies host the Sundodger Invitational at Lincoln Park in West Seattle on September 17th, where they will see the Cougars, whose men’s team upset the Dawgs in the last two Sundodger races.

The Dawgs host the Washington Invitational on October 1st at Jefferson Park Golf Course on Beacon Hill, with the Cougs making a return trip to Seattle for that meet.

Both the Huskies and Cougars travel to Madison, Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Invitational on October 14th to end the regular season.

The championship season starts on Friday October 28th in Tucson, Arizona, where the Pac-12 cross country championships will be contested at Randolph North Golf Course.

On November 11th, the NCAA West Regionals will be held in Sacramento, with berths to the NCAA championships on the line on November 19th in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, and SeattleU have not posted their complete 2016 schedules as of yet.

Jeshua Anderson pressed, but gets the win in Madrid, plus other news and notes...

Washington State University alum Jeshua Anderson (above/photo by Howard Lao), who is tuning up for the US Olympic Trials, won the 400 hurdles Thursday at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Madrid, Spain.

Anderson held off the charge of Eric Cray of the Philippines, winning in a time of 48.96 to 48.98, which was a national record for Cray.



In Durbin, South Africa, Jordin Andrade of the Seattle Speed TC won his qualifying heat of the 400 hurdles at the African Championships, running 51.22, to advance to Friday’s finals.

The Boise State alum, who will represent Cape Verde at the Olympics, will compete in the finals against a field that includes LJ van Zyl and Comel Fredericks of South Africa, Amadou Ndiaye of Senegal, and Boniface Mucheru of Kenya.


The USA Junior Track & Field championships get underway Friday in Clovis, California, and the following athletes with Washington ties are entered, headlined by 1500m American junior record holder Alexa Efraimson of Camas:

w 200/400—Maya Harewood (Bothell HS/High Voltage)

w 1500—Alexa Efraimson (Nike)

w 3000—Ruby Watson (Sehome HS/Whatcom Tesseract)

m PV—Chase Smith (UW)

w TJ—Chinne Okoronkwo (Mountlake Terrrace HS/Flying AJs)

m JT--Austin Beyer (Idaho/Southridge HS, Kennewick)

These athletes are competing for spots on the USA world junior championships team that will travel to Bydgoszcz, Poland for the IAAF World Under-20 championship meet, with the top two finishers who hold the qualifying standard moving on.

USATF announced earlier on Thursday that the time schedule for the meet would be modified as a precaution to heat advisories in the area.


Finally, a slew of athletes with Washington ties are in Gresham for Thursday night’s Stumptown Twilight meet at Mt. Hood Community College, in a last chance attempt to qualify for the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, and get a Olympic qualifying mark.  For those who already have one and/or both, this meet serves as a tuneup for the trials.

The meet offers the following events:  800, 1500, 3000 steeple, and 5000

Olympians Galen Rupp and Matthew Centrowitz of the Nike Oregon Project are the headliners. 

Flotrack ($) will offer live streaming of the meet.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

List #6--Washington affiliated athletes qualified for the US Olympic Trials...

Baylee Mires poses next to the scoreboard indicating that
she qualified for the US Olympic Trials in the 800m
at the Brooks PR meet (Paul Merca photo)
Below is a list of Washington affiliated athletes who have achieved qualifying marks for the 2016 US Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon starting July 1-10, 2016.

Washington affiliated athletes are those who attended high school, college or graduate school in the state of Washington, while professionals are those currently training in the state.

This will be the next-to-last list published before the Trials.  This list does not include the walks.

All qualifiers achieved their marks after May 1, 2015. Athletes have until June 26th to qualify for the US Olympic Track & Field Trials.  


Any new additions since the last list was published on June 5th are indicated in red. Athletes added and/or have improved marks since the last list was published include Drew Windle (800 meters), Baylee Mires (800 meters), Mel Lawrence (3000 steeple), Andrea Geubelle (triple jump), Katie Reichert (javelin), and Jordin Andrade (400 hurdles).

For complete details on the US Olympic Track & Field Trials qualifying procedures, please visit usatf.org.

For those of you reading this on a mobile device, we are aware of an issue with Scribd cutting off parts of the document, which is 4 pages long.  We apologize in advance; however, there are no issues reading from a computer.


Two additions to this list are the addition of foreign athletes with Washington ties achieving the Olympic A standard. Depending on their country’s qualification process, they may be selected by their federation to compete at the Olympics, or may have to compete in qualifying trials selection meets.

The other addition is a set of numbers to the right of each event name, which indicates the approximate field size (not the minimum), and the number of rounds in each event. 

For the purposes of this list, I have not added any athletes who are just short of the automatic standards, but are likely to be added, per USATF rule 11.3 (b) concerning adding athletes to make a competitive field.

As always, corrections, additions, etc., are welcome.

Andrea Geubelle hits the Olympic standard on the nose in Chula Vista...

CHULA VISTA, California—Add Andrea Geubelle (left/photo by Paul Merca) to the short list of Americans who have hit the Olympic qualifying standard in the triple jump.

Competing at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center High Performance Last Chance Olympic Qualifier meet, the University Place resident and Curtis HS grad jumped the exact distance needed for the Olympic standard—14 meters 15 centimeters (46-5.25) on her fourth jump of the day to win the competition.

Geubelle started with a mark of 44-5.75 (13.56m), then followed up with a wind-aided mark of 46-0 (14.02m).

In round 3, she jumped 45-1.25 (13.75m), then followed it up with the Olympic standard in round 4, with a negligible +0.1 meter per second wind.

Courtesy of Omar Craddock, here is video of the jump:



Round 5 saw her jump 44-10.25 (13.67m), and finished the day with a leap of 45-6.5 (13.88m).

WSU alum Blessing Ufodiama was eighth with a jump of 44-0.25 (13.42m).

Geubelle’s mark is just short of her all-time personal best of 46-6.25 (14.18m) set three years ago.  

Currently only Geubelle, and new American record holder and NCAA champion Keturah Orji of the University of Georgia have the Olympic standard.  Orji jumped 47-8 (14.53m) at the NCAA championships in Eugene to claim the American record.

Spokane native Britney Henry won the women’s hammer with a toss of 228-5 (69.62m).


In Victoria, WSU assistant coach Angela Whyte finished third in the 100 hurdles at the Victoria International Track Classic as she prepares for the Canadian Olympic Trials.

Whyte, who is under the Olympic standard  of 13.00, with a mark of 12.95 in April, ran 13.28, as Bridgette Owens of the USA won in 13.22.

Former Husky Kyle Nielsen finished second in the men’s javelin with a toss of 216-10 (66.11m), as Riley Dolezal of the USA won with a throw of 249-0 (75.90m).

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Washington grad Baylee Mires gets Olympic Trials qualifier at Brooks PR meet...

RENTON—For the first time in the short history of the Brooks PR meet featuring many of the country’s top high school runners, the Seattle-based running shoe company added four professional races to the meet, with the intent of highlighting its Brooks Beasts squad, which has its home base in the city.

In addition, three of the four pro races held with the PR meet at Renton Stadium in suburban Seattle were staged with the intent of giving athletes the opportunity to chase either the US Olympic Trials standard and/or the Olympic standard.

On an overcast day that had tricky winds come into play during the meet, one athlete who made the most of that opportunity was new University of Washington alum Baylee Mires (left/photo by Paul Merca), who in her first professional race, finished third in a personal best 2:02.97 and ducked under the US Olympic trials standard of 2:03.00.

With former Husky 400 meter hurdler Gianna Woodruff as the designated pace setter, the field went through the first 400 just over 58 seconds, about a half-second slower than what several of the runners asked for.

After Woodruff dropped out at the 500 meter mark, Seattle’s Phoebe Wright, who trains with the Beasts group, along with Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker took command up front.

Meanwhile, Mires, who was eighth at the NCAA championships last week, began moving up, passing several runners, and positioned herself into third as they exited the final turn.

Mires could not quite close the gap on Wright and Fricker, as Wright took the win in 2:02.35, and Fricker second at 2:02.47.

Megan Malasarte of the Beasts was fourth in 2:03.62, just short of the Trials qualifier.

In the women’s 1500, Washington alum Katie Mackey dominated the field, winning easily in a time of 4:09.83, 4.23 seconds up on runner-up Lianne Farber.

Jessica Tonn of the Beasts, who is qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 5000, was fifth in 4:16.21, and Tacoma native Brie Felnagle was seventh in 4:18.29. Angela Bizzari of the Beasts was ninth in 4:19.48.

In his first professional race, Washington grad Izaic Yorks, who finished second at last week’s NCAA championship meet at 1500 meters, took the lead with 350 meters to go, but could not hang on as Oklahoma State’s Josh Thompson won the 1500 meters in 3:39.61, with Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano second in 3:39.70, and Yorks third at 3:39.83.

Clayton Murphy, who defeated Yorks at last week’s NCAA championships in the 1500, was fourth in 3:41.02, just ahead of two-time US Olympian Andrew Wheating’s 3:41.38.

Garrett Heath of the Beasts was eighth in 3:43.51, just ahead of teammate Riley Masters’ 3:43.91.  Dorian Ulrey of the Beasts was 11th in 3:46.88.

The men’s 600, which was set up for two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds of the Beasts, never materialized as originally projected, as Symmonds withdrew, and became a match race between Cas Loxsom and Stephan Bullard, with Loxsom winning in 1:17.18 to Bullard’s 1:18.06.

In the high school section, Andrew Jordan of Watkins HS in Pataskala, Ohio had the top mark of the day, winning the two-mile in 8:50.12, crossing 3000 meters in 8:19.69.


At the Harry Jerome Track Classic in Burnaby, British Columbia Friday night, Auburn/Riverside HS alum Jordan McNamara won the men’s 1500 in 3:39.42.

Western Washington grad Katie Reichert qualified for the US Olympic Trials in the javelin, as she finished third with a best throw of 180-4 (54.97m), comfortably over the standard of 177-2 (54.00).  Teammate Bethany Drake was sixth with a best of 164-5 (50.13m), as Krista Woodward of the USA won with a toss of 187-0 (57.01m).

In other events, WSU assistant coach Angela Whyte, who is preparing for the Canadian Olympic trials, was fourth in the 100 hurdles in 13.59, as Bridgette Owens of the USA won in 13.30.

In the women’s steeple, Amber Schultz of Club Northwest was sixth in 9:56.88, and teammate Katelyn Steen was ninth in 10:02.98, short of the Trials qualifying mark of 9:53.00, as 2012 US Olympian Bridget Franek won in 9:49.37.

Many of these same athletes will move on to Victoria for Sunday's Victoria International meet, which is the second stop of Canada's National Track League series.


At the Club Northwest all-comers meet on Wednesday June 15th at Husky Track, Club Northwest pole vaulter Levi Keller may have punched his ticket to the Olympic Trials, clearing a personal best 18-4.75 (5.61m), just short of the automatic qualifying mark of 18-6.5 (5.65m). 

However, with 14 athletes as of this weekend over the standard and a recommended field of 24, the jump will most likely get Keller into the field.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pro fields announced for Brooks PR Invitational...

paulmerca.blogspot.com received an email from Brooks Running media relations guru Derek Lactaoen announcing the tentative fields for the four pro races at the Brooks PR Invitational meet Saturday at Renton Stadium in the Seattle suburb of Renton.

As mentioned in Monday’s post, University of Washington’s Izaic Yorks, who finished second in last week’s NCAA 1500 meter finals in Eugene, will make his pro debut in a field that includes NCAA champ Clayton Murphy of Akron, along with past US Olympians Andrew Wheating and Leo Manzano, along with Garrett Heath and Dorian Ulrey of the Brooks Beasts.  Irish Olympian and 2011 world championships 1500m finalist Ciaran O’Lionaird is also in the field as they go for the Olympic standard of 3:36.20 and the US Olympic trials standard of 3:38.00.

The women’s 1500 has University of Washington alum Katie Mackey (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the host Brooks Beasts and training partner Brie Felnagle from Tacoma as the headliners.  Angela Bizzarri and Jessica Tonn of the Beasts drop down in distance, while collegians Ashley Maton of Oregon and Anna Maxwell from the University of Washington add some spice to the field, which is aiming for the Olympic standard of 4:07.00 and the US trials standard of 4:09.50.

In the women’s 800, 2012 US Olympian Geena Gall is the headliner, along with Megan Malasarte and Natalja Piliusina of the Brooks Beasts.  Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker, along with Lea Wallace and Shannon Leinert are also in the field as they aim for the Olympic standard of 2:01.50 and the Trials standard of 2:03.00

Finally, two time US Olympian and 2013 world championship silver medalist Nick Symmonds of the Brooks Beasts headlines the rarely contested men’s 600m run, along with teammate and 2015 world championship competitor Cas Loxsom, and fellow Beast Drew Windle, who punched his Olympic Trials ticket Sunday when he won the fast section of the men’s 800 at the Portland Track Festival.


The women's 800 will be held at 2:05pm, while the men's 600 will commence at 2:45pm.  The women's 1500 starts at 3:05, while the men's 1500 closes the meet at 3:50.  The complete time schedule is available here.  Media partner Flotrack will provide live streaming of the meet.

The complete fields for the pro section of the Brooks PR Invitational are listed below:


Elite Women's 800m


McKayla Fricker
2:00.81
Brooks ID - High Performance West
Geena Gall
1:59.24
Brooks ID
Shannon Leinert
2:01.62
Brooks ID
Megan Malasarte
2:02.06
Brooks Beasts
Brigitte Mania
2:04.40
Atlanta Track Club
Natalija Piliušina
2:01.59
Brooks Beasts
Lea Wallace
2:00.30
unattached






Elite Women's 1500m


Angela Bizzarri
4:11.26
Brooks Beasts
Alli Cash
4:16.56
Oregon
Christy Cazzola
4:14.20
Atlanta Track Club
Lianne Farber
4:13.16
New Balance - NorCal Distance Project
Brie Felnagle
4:05.64
adidas
Katie Mackey
4:03.81
Brooks Beasts
Ashley Maton
4:18.38
Oregon
Anna Maxwell
4:12.62
Washington
Yolanda Ngarambe
4:16.15
Atlanta Track Club
Jess Tonn
4:18.28
Brooks Beasts
Tara Welling
4:24.54
Skechers - High Performance West
Phoebe Wright
Pacer
Nike
McKayla Fricker
Pacer
Brooks ID - High Performance West



Elite Men's 600m


Cas Loxsom
01:44.9
Brooks Beasts
Stephan Bullard
01:49.1
Team Run Eugene
Nathan Fleck
01:47.7
High Performance West
Drew Windle
01:45.6
Brooks Beasts
Nick Symmonds
01:42.9
Brooks Beasts



Elite Men's 1500m


Eric Avila
3:40.20
Hoka One One
Josh Thompson
3:41.88
Oklahoma State
Travis Burkstrand
3:40.60
Brooks ID
Kirubel Erassa
3:39.05
Atlanta Track Club
Garrett Heath
3:34.12
Brooks Beasts
Brandon Lasater
3:42.91
Atlanta Track Club
Frezer Legesse
3:36.93
Under Armour
Leo Manzano
3:30.98
Hoka One One
Riley Masters
3:36.49
Brooks Beasts
Clayton Murphy
3:36.23
Akron
Ciaran O'Lionaird
3:34.46
Nike OTC
Duncan Phillips
3:38.28
Brooks ID
Dorian Ulrey
3:35.23
Brooks Beasts
Andrew Wheating
3:30.90
Nike OTC
Izaic Yorks
3:37.74
Washington
Mark Wieczorek
Pacer
Team Wizzo
Daniel Herrera
Pacer
High Performance West

Monday, June 13, 2016

Izaic Yorks signs with KIMbia agency & scheduled to make pro debut Saturday at Brooks PR meet...

According to a news release, University of Washington middle distance runner Izaic Yorks (left/photo by Paul Merca) signed with KIMbia Athletics Monday, just days after competing in the NCAA track & field championships.

Yorks joins an agency that includes 2016 US Olympians Shalane Flanagan & Amy Cragg, along with several other members of the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club.  


The agency also represents a a pair of athletes who currently compete for the Brooks Beasts in Jessica Tonn and Natalja Piliusina.

Yorks will make his professional debut Saturday at the Brooks PR meet in the 1500, where he’ll face a field that includes Olympians Leo Manzano and Andrew Wheating, as well as Clayton Murphy from Akron, who defeated Yorks last Friday in the NCAA 1500 final (he announced that he was turning pro), and the Brooks Beasts duo of Riley Masters and Garrett Heath.

Brooks announced that they will contest three other pro races between the high school all star races—a women’s 800, a men’s 600, and a women’s 1500, with fields to be announced throughout the week.

ANDRADE SETS CAPE VERDE NATIONAL RECORD SATURDAY IN 400 HURDLES

Boise State alum Jordin Andrade, who currently competes for the Seattle Speed TC, set a Cape Verde national record and a 2016 season best in the 400 hurdles Saturday June 11th in Kingston, Jamaica.

Andrade ran 49.26 to finish fourth at the Racers Grand Prix meet at the National Stadium in Kingston, as Johnny Dutch won in 48.10.

The mark is 2/100ths off of his personal best set at last year’s NCAA championships, but isn't considered a national record, as Andrade was an American citizen when he ran that mark.

Andrade is currently coached by Seattle Speed founder Mike Cunliffe, and is represented by Mark Pryor’s World Express management firm, which has Olympic long jump champ Brittney Reese as its most notable client.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Drew Windle of the Brooks Beasts punches Olympic Trials ticket to win 800m at Portland Track Festival...

PORTLAND—With two weeks left in the qualifying window, Drew Windle (left/photo by Mike Scott) of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts punched his ticket to the US Olympic Track & Field Trials and in the process, dipped under the Olympic qualifying standard in the 800 meters, as he won the top section at the Portland Track Festival Sunday night at Griswold Stadium on the campus of Lewis & Clark College.

Windle, who attended Division II Ashland University where he was a six-time NCAA champ indoors and outdoors, & was second in the Adrian Martinez meet almost two weeks ago, ran 1:45.65 to comfortably dip under the Olympic and Olympic Trials standard of 1:46.00, and was the only runner to edge under the qualifying mark in the fast section.

Windle was fourth exiting the final turn, and bypassed three runners to take home the victory, after opening with a 52.36 400.

In the women’s steeplechase, Washington alum Mel Lawrence (above/photo by Howard Lao) dipped under 9:40 for the first time in her career, running 9:36.55 to finish second behind Lennie Waite’s 9:35.91.

Auburn/Riverside alum Jordan McNamara (3:38.07) finished second behind newly minted NCAA champ Clayton Murphy (3:36.23) in the 1500.  Dorian Ulrey of the Brooks Beasts was third in 3:38.34.

Montesano native Tera Novy finishes seventh in NCAA discus...

EUGENE—Montesano native Tera Novy (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the University of Southern California finished seventh in the discus on the final day of competition Saturday at the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Novy, competing in flight 2, threw 188-7 (57.49m) in the first round of competition in the 24-woman field. She then fouled in round 2, then followed it up with her best of 189-4 (57.70m) in round three.

The USC senior, who is already qualified for the US Olympic Trials next month, could not get it going in the finals, fouling in rounds 4 and 5, before throwing 181-11 (55.44m) in the final round.

Wisconsin’s Kelsey Card won the event with a toss of 208-5 (63.52m).

Washington’s Baylee Mires finished eighth in the 800 meters, running a time of 2:03.92, just 1/100th short of her school record set last month at the Pac-12s in Seattle, and an agonizing .92 short of the US Olympic trials standard. Oregon’s Raevyn Rogers won her second straight national title in that event in a time of 2:00.75.

Boise State’s Brenna Peloquin matched her eighth place finish in the 10000 two days ago, as she finished eighth in the 5000 meters, running a time of 16:07.32, as Dominique Scott of Arkansas followed in the footsteps of Oregon’s Edward Cheserek Friday by winning the race in 15;57.07 and capturing both the 5000 and 10000 crowns.

Husky freshman Charlotte Prouse was ninth in the 3000 steeplechase, running10:00.82, as New Mexico’s Courtney Frerichs won in a collegiate record 9:24.41.

Amy-Eloise Neale of the Huskies was tenth in the finals of the 1500 meters, running 4:16.19, as Mississippi State senior Marta Freitas won in a time of 4:09.53.

Washington State’s Liz Harper finished 16th in the heptathlon with a final two-day total of 5446 points in her third career heptathlon, just short of her best of 5564 points set last month at the Pac-12 championships in Seattle.

Harper started day 2 with a best in the long jump of 17-9.5 (5.42m), then threw a personal best of 105-9 (32.24m).

Before the start of the final event, the 800, she also competed in the high jump finals, but did not clear the opening height of 5-8 (1.73m), as Kimberly Williamson of Kansas State won that event with a jump of 

Harper finished her day by running 2:17.94 to finish second in the first section of the 800 meters.

Georgia's Kendell Williams won the two-day competition with a final score of 6225 points.


NOTE:  The University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of Oregon, the University of Southern California and the NCAA contributed to this report.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Izaic Yorks finishes second in NCAA 1500m finals...

EUGENE—Izaic Yorks’ (left/photo by Mike Scott) bid for the first national title by a University of Washington runner at 1500 meters or a mile since Rufus Kizer turned the trick in 1928 came up just a little bit short on a slightly overcast and windy late spring afternoon at Historic Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus, as the Lakewood native finished second in a time of 3:38.06 on the penultimate day of competition at the NCAA track & field championships.

Yorks went to the front with Virginia’s Henry Wynne and stayed towards the front, but when the racing started on the last lap, Wynne charged ahead with 250 to go and appeared to break away from Yorks as they exited the Bowerman Curve for the final 100 meters.

However, as they came off the turn, Clayton Murphy of Akron charged past both of them and opened up a gap.  Yorks reacted and tried to counter Murphy’s move, but was late.  He did manage to pass Wynne to take second, as Murphy’s winning time was 3:36.38.

Murphy’s winning time was the fastest at the NCAA Championships since 1987 and third-fastest ever since the event switched to the 1,500-meters from the mile in 1976. Last year, the winning time was just 3:54.96 in a tactical battle.

Yorks expected that Murphy, best known in national circles as the runner who replaced Nick Symmonds of the Brooks Beasts at last year’s world championships in the 800 meters when Symmonds refused to sign the contract with USATF, would make a late charge, but thought that he and Wynne had established a big gap over the Akron Zip.

“I was expecting him to come,” said the Lakewood, Wash. product, “but I wasn’t expecting his kick to be as effective as it was. For me and Henry we were just sucking a good bit of wind up front, and that was effecting us slowly so that we couldn’t cover the move in the end. Really good on Clayton for running to his strengths and kind of staying out of harm’s way so he can better utilize his kick.”

In the men’s 400, Tacoma native Marcus Chambers of the University of Oregon made a late charge down the stretch, but came up short, finishing fourth in a time of 45.27.

“I just didn’t have it at the end,” Chambers said. “So I know I’ve got some work to do before the Trials. We’ll get back to the drawing board on Monday, get to it and I’ll be ready for that.”

Washington’s Colby Gilbert finished 13th in the men’s 5000, running 13:54.45, as Edward Cheserek of Oregon completed yet another 5000/10000 double victory, winning in 13:25.59, and putting him in rarified company in collegiate history, with the likes of Texas-El Paso’s Suleiman Nyambui as one of the greatest distance runners in NCAA history after picking up his 15th NCAA title, a feat matched only by Nyambui.

Gilbert, who broke the Washington school record this season in a victory at the Pac-12 Championships, settled around 14th for the first half of the race, but just a second or two behind the leaders. With two miles to go, Gilbert looked good and picked up a couple spots, getting up to a high of 10th with two laps to go. But when the top group of runners made one more big push, Gilbert was unable to go with them. He hung on to finish 13th overall in a time of 13:54.45.

“I think I was a little tired. Around eight laps I felt like I was finishing, when I needed to be more up front with the guys and feeling a little better than I was,” Gilbert said. “This was the first full year for me competing at all three national championships, and I had a great season but I think I was just a little burned out for today, so I’ve just got to take a rest and move on.”

After four events in the heptathlon, Washington State’s Liz Harper stands 14th with a first day total of 3398 points.

She started off by running 13.74 in the 100 hurdles, then followed up with a jump of 5-8.75 (1.75m). In the shot put, she threw 35-0.5 (10.68m) and ran the 200 meters in a time of 24.93.

Akela Jones of Kansas State leads at the break with 3951 points.

Harper resumes competition in the heptathlon Saturday at 11:30 am.  She’s also entered in the high jump competition which starts at 3 pm, but before the final event of the heptathlon, the 800 at 5:13 pm.  She will have completed both the long jump and the javelin before the start of the high jump.

Among other athletes with Washington ties competing on the final day include Montesano’s Tera Novy of USC in the discus, and the University of Washington trio of Amy-Eloise Neale (1500), Charlotte Prouse (3000 steeple), & Baylee Mires (800).  Gig Harbor’s Brenna Peloquin of Boise State, who was eighth in the 10000, doubles back in the 5000.

One of the biggest questions is whether Federal Way’s Hannah Cunliffe will be on the third leg of Oregon’s 4 x 100 relay after apparently aggravating an injury in Thursday’s 100 meter semis.

Below are the competition times for those athletes with Washington ties.

Saturday

W Heptathlon (11:30 am)—Harper
W High Jump finals (3:00 pm)—Harper
W Discus finals (3:05 pm)—Tera Novy
W 4 x 100 relay (3:32 pm)—Hannah Cunliffe (?)
W 1500 finals (3:41 pm)—Amy-Eloise Neale
W 3000 steeple finals (3:52 pm)—Charlotte Prouse
W 800 finals (4:47 pm)—Baylee Mires
W 5000 finals (5:25 pm)—Brenna Peloquin


The NCAA track & field championships will be shown live Saturday on ESPN2 starting at 3:30pm Pacific. 

NOTE:  The University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of Oregon, and the NCAA contributed to this report.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Three Huskies qualify for Saturday's finals at NCAA championships...

EUGENE—The University of Washington qualified three athletes for Saturday’s finals on a cool and occasionally rainy day at the second day of the NCAA track & field championships at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Freshman steeplechaser Charlotte Prouse (above/photo by Mike Scott) looked strong as she finished second in her semi, running a personal best of 9:59.15, and in the process, broke ten minutes for the first time in her career.

In the women’s 1500, the Huskies’ Amy-Eloise Neale, who has had an injury-riddled career at the UW so far, made her first NCAA final, also running a personal best of 4:13.93, as she finished fifth in the first semi-final.  In the same semi, teammate Anna Maxwell never was in the mix with the leaders and finished ninth in 4:16.41, running the second fastest time of her career.

Husky senior Baylee Mires, competing in her penultimate race in the purple and gold, was the final time qualifier in the 800, running 2:04.35 in finishing third in the first semi-final.  Her time came at the expense of Olympia’s Brooke Feldmeier of Oregon, who finished third in semi-final two in 2:04.56.

In finals contested Thursday, Gig Harbor’s Brenna Peloquin of Boise State, ran with the lead group for most of the race before finishing eighth in a personal best 32:58.78.  Washington’s Katie Knight finished 15th in 33:36.90, just off of her personal best of 33:20.02, set in winning the Pac-12 title.

Pac-12 pole vault champion Liz Quick of Washington finished in a 4-way tie for 11th with a best clearance of 13-3.5 (4.05m).

One of the biggest surprises of the day was Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of Oregon, who pulled up in the semis of the 100.  According to Ken Goe of the Oregonian, she apparently was injured two weeks ago at the NCAA West Regionals in Lawrence.  Oregon does not discuss injuries, but some believe she strained a hamstring.

Earlier in the meet, the Ducks, with Cunliffe running the third leg, ran 43.01 to easily qualify for the finals on Saturday, but with Cunliffe’s apparent injury, Oregon will have to substitute her.  Cunliffe’s apparent injury may put the Ducks’ national title hopes in jeopardy.

Other athletes with Washington ties who competed Thursday included Shelby Mills of Gonzaga, who ran in the lead group early in the same steeple heat that Prouse of UW qualified out of, before fading to 9th in 10:12.81.  The Huskies’ Kennadi Bouyer was seventh in the third semi-final of the 100, running 11.60.

Friday’s finals include the Huskies’ Izaic Yorks’ bid for a national title in the 1500, while Tacoma native Marcus Chambers looks to contend for the 400 title.  The Huskies’ Colby Gilbert will contest the finals of the 5000 meters.

Additionally, Washington State’s Liz Harper begins competition in the first four events of the heptathlon.

Here's the complete schedule of athletes with Washington ties competing at the NCAA championships the next two days:

Friday

W heptathlon (12:30 pm)—Liz Harper
M 1500 finals (5:42 pm)—Izaic Yorks
M 400 finals (6:32 pm)—Marcus Chambers 
M 5000 finals (7:25 pm)—Colby Gilbert

Saturday

W Heptathlon (11:30 am)—Harper
W High Jump finals (3:00 pm)—Harper
W Discus finals (3:05 pm)—Tera Novy
W 4 x 100 relay (3:32 pm)—Hannah Cunliffe (?)
W 1500 finals (3:41 pm)—Amy-Eloise Neale
W 3000 steeple finals (3:52 pm)—Charlotte Prouse
W 800 finals (4:47 pm)—Baylee Mires
W 5000 finals (5:25 pm)—Brenna Peloquin


The NCAA track & field championships are being carried live each day on the ESPN family of networks. The link to the time schedule is available here.

MÅKESTAD BOVIN TENTH IN BISLETT GAMES MILE

In Oslo, former University of Washington standout Ingvill Måkestad Bovin finished tenth in the Dream Mile at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games Thursday night.

Måkestad Bovin, making a comeback from an injury, ran 4:31.57, as Kenya's Faith Kipyegon won in a world leading time of 4:18.60.


NOTE:  The University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of Oregon, and the NCAA contributed to this report.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Huskies' Jax Thoirs finishes fifth in pole vault to end UW career...

EUGENE—The University of Washington’s Jax Thoirs (left/photo by Mike Scott), competing in his final meet in the purple and gold, finished his Husky career with a fifth place finish in the pole vault, as the NCAA track & field championships started its four day run at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

The Scottish native cleared a best of 17-10.5 (5.45m) on his third attempt to stay alive in the competition.  He then went to the next height of 18-2.5 (5.55m), and though he had a solid jump on his second attempt, Thoirs caught too much of the bar.

Tennessee’s Jake Blankenship won the title with a best of 18-4.5 (5.60m).

In other finals contested, the Huskies’ Tyler King was 23rd in the 10000 in 32:13.48.  In the javelin, Washington’s Carson Fuller was 15th at 230-4 (70.22m), while teammate Quinn Hale was 18th at 228-2 (69.55m).

In semi-final action, the Huskies’ Izaic Yorks had the third fastest time of the day in finishing second in his heat of the 1500, running 3:40.87.  It was a tough go for Puyallup’s David Elliott of Boise State (3:49.93) and Washington’s Blake Nelson (3:52.15).

Tacoma’s Marcus Chambers, the Pac-12 400 champ from the University of Oregon, had the fourth fastest time of the day in that event, running 45.28. Earlier in the day, the junior ran the anchor leg on the Ducks’ 4 x 100m relay, as they ran 39.41, but did not advance to the finals on Friday.

Two-time Pac-12 steeplechase champion Aaron Nelson struggled today after consecutive outstanding efforts at Pac-12s and West Prelims. He finished 12th in his semifinal heat in 9:03.33, while sophomore Andrew Gardner finished ninth in the same heat and 17th overall in 8:48.79 in his NCAA debut.

Washington State’s 400 meter hurdle champ CJ Allen ran strongly through eight hurdles, but it was the last two that did him in, as he got caught between steps over the final barriers, costing him a spot in the finals.  Allen ran 50.94, which was the 12th fastest time of the day, well off his personal best of 50.16 from earlier in the season, but not good enough to advance to Friday’s finals.

Thursday is women’s semis day, as the Huskies have seven competitors competing, while Federal Way’s Hannah Cunliffe of Oregon, who is one of the favorites, runs in the semis of the 100 dash, and the third leg of the Ducks’ 4 x 100 relay.

Other notables with Washington ties competing include Snohomish native Shelby Mills of Gonzaga in the steeple semis, Olympia’s Brooke Feldmeier of Oregon in the 800, and Gig Harbor’s Brenna Peloquin of Boise State in the 10000 finals.

Here is the updated list of athletes competing the next three days, along with their start times:

Thursday

W 4 x 100 semis (4:32 pm)—Hannah Cunliffe
W 1500 semis (4:46 pm)—Amy-Eloise Neale, Anna Maxwell
W Pole Vault finals (5:00 pm)—Liz Quick
W 3000 steeple semis (5:02 pm)—Charlotte Prouse, Shelby Mills
W 100 semis (5:46 pm)—Cunliffe, Kennadi Bouyer
W 800 semis (6:14 pm)—Baylee Mires, Brooke Feldmeier
W 10000 finals (7:08 pm)—Katie Knight, Brenna Peloquin

Friday

W heptathlon (12:30 pm)—Liz Harper
M 1500 finals (5:42 pm)—Izaic Yorks
M 400 finals (6:32 pm)—Marcus Chambers 
M 5000 finals (7:25 pm)—Colby Gilbert

Saturday

W Heptathlon (11:30 am)—Harper
W High Jump finals (3:00 pm)—Harper
W Discus finals (3:05 pm)—Tera Novy
W 5000 finals (5:25 pm)—Peloquin


The NCAA track & field championships are being carried live each day on the ESPN family of networks. The link to the time schedule is available here.

NOTE:  The University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of Oregon, and the NCAA contributed to this report.

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