Sunday, May 24, 2015

Nick Symmonds runs season best in Ponce...

PONCE, Puerto Rico—Nick Symmonds of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts (above/photo courtesy Brooks Running) finished fifth at the Ponce Grand Prix meeting at 800 meters Saturday night at Paquito Montaner Stadium.

Symmonds ran a season best 1:46.37, as Charles Jock of the Nike Oregon TC Elite took the victory in 1:45.40.

Beast teammates Mark Wieczorek (1:46.45) and Cas Loxsom (1:47.52) were sixth and seventh.

Symmonds won a silver medal at the 2013 IAAF world championships at 800m in Moscow and did not compete outdoors in 2014.

In the men’s 400 hurdles, Washington State alum Jeshua Anderson was eighth overall in 50.53.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Geubelle sets season best in placing second at Chula Vista...

CHULA VISTA, California--University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished second in the long jump at the OTC-CV Elite #2 meet at the Olympic Training Center Saturday.

The former NCAA champ from the University of Kansas jumped a wind aided personal best (2.5 mps) 21-11.75 (6.70m), and had a legal best on the day of 21-7.5 (6.59m).  Had Geubelle’s best been wind-legal, it would have given her the world championships and Olympics qualifying standard.

Tori Polk won the competition, also with a best of 21-11.75 (6.70m) that was wind-legal (2.0 mps), but had a better second jump than Geubelle, with a mark of 21-7.5 (6.60m).

In the men’s pole vault, both Levi Keller of Club Northwest and Washington alum Brad Walker failed to clear a height.

UW alum Jeremy Taiwo, who is a resident athlete at the US Olympic Training Center, tuned up for next week’s Gotzis decathlon meet by competing in a few select decathlon events Friday and Saturday.

He fouled on all three long jump attempts Friday, threw 141-3 (43.06m) in the discus, and pole vaulted 14-11.25 (4.55m) Saturday, as Curtis Beach won the decathlon competition with a final score of 8081.


Western's Slater Hirst finishes second in men's javelin at D2 nationals...

ALLENDALE, Michigan—Western Washington senior Slater Hirst (above/photo courtesy WWU Athletics) led the Vikings on the final day of the NCAA Division II track & field championships on the campus of Grand Valley State University with a runner-up finish in the men’s javelin.

Hirst launched the spear a school record and personal best 230-5 (70.23m) to move up from fifth place in the sixth and final round into the lead, which did not last long, as TAMU-Kingsville’s Javan Gray followed it up with the meet winner, throwing 233-7 (71.21m).

"Making Slater's throw even more amazing was that his calf had cramped up a bit earlier in the competition," WWU head coach Pee Wee Halsell said. Hirst was fourth nationally last year with a mark of 216-7, then the school standard.

Katelyn Steen of the Vikings earned her second All-America honor of the meet, finishing third in the 5000 in 16:46.36, while 100 meter runner Alex Donigian also took a bronze medal in the 100, as he ran 10.38.

In the women’s javelin, Katie Reichert finished fifth with a mark of 161-8 (49.28m) after being stuck in seventh for most of the competition.

Saint Martin’s high jumper Mikel Smith finished third with a outdoor personal best of 6-11.75 (2.13m).

Seattle Pacific 800 meter runner Lynette Decker finished seventh in 2:08.42 to earn her first career All-America honor.


In Canton, New York, Whitworth’s Kerry Wright won the women’s javelin at the NCAA Division III championships with a toss of 155-4 (47.35m).  Wright becomes Whitworth’s first female D3 national champ since 2004 when Kristin Shields won the 100m dash crown.

Roosevelt HS graduate Lucy Cheadle successfully defended her national title in the steeplechase, as the Washington University/St. Louis senior ran 10:25.32 to finish her career at WashU with three national D3 crowns—two in the steeple and one indoors this season in the 5000m.

Cheadle finished her career as a nine-time indoor and outdoor track & field All-American, and a four-time cross country All-American, making her the most decorated runner in school history.


NOTE:  The NCAA, USTFCCCA, and the sports information offices at Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Whitworth, Central Washington, and Washington University/St. Louis contributed to this report.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Steen of Western & Eggleston of Central both earn All-America honors in steeple...

ALLENDALE, Michigan—Western Washington senior Katelyn Steen (above/photo by Kyle Terwilliger, USTFCCCA) finished second Friday in the women’s steeplechase finals at the NCAA Division II track & field championships on the campus of Grand Valley State University.

Steen was clocked in 10:13.93, less than a second off her school and Great Northwest Athletic Conference record time established five weeks ago.

Winning the race was Hillsdale's Emily Oren in 9:54.43. She led the entire way, extending her lead throughout. Oren's younger sister, Molly, was third in 10:16.93. Placing eighth in 10:28.79 was Central Washington's Dani Eggleston, who also earned All-America honors.

"She (Steen) went right out with the leader and ran pretty close to her personal best, so I was very pleased," said WWU head coach Pee Wee Halsell "She had a little trouble with the second barrier and that's where Oren gained two or three strides and began to gradually pull away."

Steen, who will run in the 5,000 final on Saturday at 2 p.m. PT, placed fourth at nationals in the steeplechase last year.

"It felt pretty good to become an all-American," Eggleston said. "I have been waiting a long time for this and now that it is her it is very surreal."

In other action Friday, WWU’s Ryan Macdonald was tenth in the men’s discus with a toss of 176-6 (53.81m), and Travis Millbrandt did not qualify for the finals in the 110 hurdles, finishing fifth in his heat in 14.36.

Seattle Pacific’s Lynelle Decker qualified for Saturday’s finals in the 800, finishing third in her heat in 2:09.36.

The NCAA Division II championships conclude Saturday,with all four Washington D2 schools having athletes competing.


At the NCAA Division III championships in Canton, New York, Whitworth’s Dakota Kliamovich finished fifth in the women’s hammer with a toss of 178-10 (54.50m).

Day 2 results from the Division III championships are available here.  Like the Division II meet, it also concludes Saturday with numerous finals.

On the professional circuit, University Place resident Andrea Geubelle is expected to compete Saturday in the long jump at the Olympic Training Center Elite Meet in Chula Vista, California. Washington alum Brad Walker is also expected to compete in the pole vault.

Washington alum Jeremy Taiwo will compete in next weekend's Gotzis Combined Events competition in Gotzis, Austria, according to a post from meet organizers.  Taiwo will be in a field that includes reigning world and Olympic champion Ashton Eaton.  Taiwo, the reigning US indoor heptathlon champion, will compete in his first decathlon since the 2013 world championships in Moscow, where he failed to finish after aggravating an injury in the long jump.

The start list for the Gotzis Combined Events meet is available here.

NOTE:  The NCAA, USTFCCCA, and the sports information offices at Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Whitworth, and Central Washington contributed to this report.

NCAA announces entries for next weekend's West Preliminary Championships...

The NCAA announced the field for next week’s West Preliminary championships in Austin, Texas May 28-30 at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

In Austin, the West Region athletes will go through one or two rounds of qualifying to cut the field of 48 athletes and 24 relay teams down to a final 12 that will advance to Eugene, Oregon June 10-13th. The same process will play out simultaneously in the East Region, which will be hosted by North Florida in Jacksonville, resulting in fields of 24 athletes and relays in each event advancing to Eugene, where some events will have one more semifinal round before the finals.

The University of Washington will send its largest contingent of athletes to Austin, as the Dawgs have a record 20 men and 17 women selected, led by Pac-12 champions Kristina Owsinski in the pole vault, Jax Thoirs (pole vault), and Izaic Yorks (1500m).

Washington State has 11 men and 18 women entered led by Pac-12 champs Jesse Jorgensen (800m) and Alissa Brooks-Johnson (heptathlon), who will compete in the 400 hurdles and javelin, as she’s punched her ticket to the national finals in Eugene in the heptathlon.

Eastern Washington has four men and eight women in the field led by Big Sky champs Jordan Arakawa (hammer), Emma Murillo (javelin), and Morena Mannucci (triple jump).

Gonzaga sends a squad of three men and women, led by Jessica Mildes (10000m) and Willie Milam (5000m), while Seattle University’s lone qualifier is Shaddye Melu in the high jump.

Women seeded 12th or higher entering the West Prelims include: Abby Regan of WSU (1500m), Maddie Meyers of Washington (5000m), Jessica Mildes of Gonzaga (10000m), Liz Harper of WSU and Gianna Woodruff of Washington (400H), Washington’s 4 x 100 relay, Washington State’s 4 x 400 relay, Kristina Owsinski and Diamara Planell Cruz of Washington (pole vault), and Emma Murillo of Eastern Washington (javelin).

On the men’s side, athletes seeded 12th or higher entering the West Prelims include: Tacoma native Marcus Chambers of Oregon (400), Jesse Jorgensen of WSU (800), Izaic Yorks of Washington (1500), Jax Thoirs of Washington (pole vault), Seattle native Darian Brooks of Stanford (triple jump), Jordan Arakawa of Eastern Washington (hammer), and Tahoma HS grad Derek Eager of UCLA & Washington State’s Brad Stevens (javelin).


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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Porter and Emmert both earn ninth place finishes as the NCAA Division II champs get under way...

ALLENDALE, Michigan—Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter (above/photo courtesy Saint Martin's University) and Central Washington’s McKenna Emmert both finished ninth in their respective events Thursday as the NCAA Division II track & field championships got underway on the campus of Grand Valley State University.

Porter became the sixth female in school history to compete at the NCAA championships and the first runner to do so.

The native of Vancouver finished with a personal best time of 35:01.04 to top her previous school record set earlier this season at the Mt. SAC Relays.

SMU coach Jim Brewer said, "From the get go it was obvious that this was going to be a tactical race. Shannon kept her head on her shoulders and did not panic even though the first three laps she was in the very back and running PR pace. She continued to run smart throughout the race making some strategic and decisive moves."

Afterwards, Porter said, "I could not have asked for better conditions with the other female competitors. I was mentally counting where I was at. I am really happy with how the race played out and it gives me confidence for the 5,000 meters."

Emmett cleared a best of 12-5.5 (3.80m), a mark only the top three including winner Brittany Kallenberger (13-1.5/4.00m) topped, but two misses at 12-1.5 (3.70m) and a first attempt miss at 12-5.5 (3.80m) bumped her down to ninth.

The only other Washington athlete involved in a final Thursday was Central Washington’s Kevin Stanley in the discus, but he had three consecutive fouls and did not obtain a mark.

In qualifying action, Western Washington’s Katelyn Steen was the top qualifier in the women’s 3000 steeple, winning her heat in 10:25.32 to advance to Friday’s finals at 4:15 pm Pacific time.

Also advancing to the finals was Central Washington’s Dani Eggleston, who ran 10:35.21 to finish fifth in her heat.  Teammate Erin Chinchar was ninth in her heat in 11:02.31 and did not advance.

In the men’s 100, Western’s Alex Donigian won his heat in 10.50 to advance to Saturday’s finals.

Friday, Western will have two other athletes competing in Travis Milbrandt in the 110 hurdles qualifying, and Ryan MacDonald in the men’s discus finals.

Seattle Pacific will run Lynelle Decker in the 800 qualifying at 3pm, Pacific.


At the NCAA Division III championships in Canton, New York, Whitworth’s Joseph Green finished fifth in the finals of the men’s pole vault, clearing 16-4.5 (4.99m).  

Teammate Courtney Fairhart was seventh in the discus finals, throwing a school record 157-3 (47.93m).

On Friday, Dakota Kliamovich of the Pirates competes in the women’s hammer, while Kayla Leland and Katie McKay run in the semis of the women’s 800m.


Allanah Whitehall of Puget Sound earned the last qualifying spot in the women’s 200, running 24.93 to advance to Saturday’s finals.

Roosevelt HS grad Lucy Cheadle of Washington University/St. Louis finished third in her heat of the steeple, running 10:43.08 to advance to Saturday’s finals.


NOTE:  The sports information offices of Central Washington, Western Washington, St. Martin’s, and Whitworth contributed to this report.

NCAA Division II championships begin today for SPU, WWU, CWU & SMU...

ALLENDALE, Michigan—The NCAA Division II track & field championships get underway Thursday on the campus of Grand Valley State University, with several athletes looking for top three finishes.

Western Washington will send the largest contingent of the four Washington D2 schools with eight, led by Katelyn Steen (left/photo by Paul Merca) in the steeple and 5000, and Katie Reichert in the javelin.

Steen is ranked #2 nationally in the steeple at 10:13.01, while Reichert is ranked #3 in the javelin at 165-7 (50.48m).  Reichert finished second last year to teammate Bethany Drake, who is redshirting this season due to an injury.

Western will also send Alex Donigian (100m), John Haskin and Slater Hirst (javelin), Travis Milbrandt (110HH), Ryan Macdonald (discus), and Haley O’Connor (5000m).

Saint Martin’s sends four athletes in Shannon Porter (5000/10000), Kalli Walker (w javelin), Brian Chalkey (m javelin), and Mikel Smith (high jump).

Central Washington will have Dani Eggleston and Erin Chinchar in the steeplechase, McKenna Emmert in the pole vault, and Kevin Stanley in the hammer.

Seattle Pacific will be represented by Lynette Decker in the 800, and Anna Patti in the 5000.

Fans will be able to keep up with the 752 athletes in Michigan this week. The NCAA will provide a free live webcast. Live results will be available through Prime Time Timing. Appropriate links can be found on this paragraph.

Vancouver’s Kara Winger finished seventh at the Shanghai Diamond League meet on Sunday May 17th in China.  Winger threw 202-7 (61.76m) as Huihui Lu on China won with a toss of 210-3 (64.08m).


The IAAF Diamond League circuit resumes a week from Saturday (May 30) with the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Central Washington, and Saint Martin’s contributed to this report.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Washington men's squad records best team finish in Pac-12 since 1997...

LOS ANGELES—The University of Washington’s men’s team finished a surprising third place in the team competition at the Pac-12 track and field championships at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA Sunday, as they scored 84.5 to nose out the host school by 1.5 points.

Oregon won the men’s team title with 152, followed by USC’s 121.  Washington State was tenth with 31.5 points.

This was Washington's highest finish in the conference championships since 1997, when they finished third.

The Dawgs got a victory from Isaic Yorks (left/photo by Paul Merca) in the men’s 1500, who was up front for most of the race, then held off a late charge by Cal’s Thomas Joyce to win in a time of 3:46.42.

Washington got some unexpected top three finishes from its sprint corps and triple jumper Casey Burns.

Burns finished second with a leap of 51-8.5 (15.76m), to finish behind Seattle native Darian Brooks of Stanford, who repeated as conference champion with a jump of 52-0.5 (15.86m).

Both Washington relay teams finished third, as the 4 x 100m team of Lucas Strong, Quadelle Satterwhite, Jacopo Spano and Chris Williams ran 40.11, while the 4 x 400 team of Satterwhite, Spano, Drew Schreiber, and Andrew Brown ran 3:10.96.

Washington State’s Jesse Jorgensen found a crack between UCLA’s Nick Hartle and Arizona’s Collins Kibet in the final 50 meters to slip past both and win the 800 meters in a personal best 1:46.49.

Tacoma native Marcus Chambers won the men’s 400 in a personal best 45.21, and also had a hand in both relays for the Oregon Ducks, as he contributed 14.5 points of their winning 152 points.

Washington’s vaunted vault crew flexed its muscle on the women’s side, as Kristina Owsinski added the Pac-12 title to the indoor crown that she won earlier this season, clearing 14-2 (4.32m) to unseat teammate and defending champion Diamara Planell Cruz, who jumped 13-8.25 (4.17m).

The Huskies’ Liz Quick finished third at 13-6.25 (4.12m) to give the Dawgs a sweep of the podium, edging out Washington State’s 2012 champ Kristine Felix, who cleared 13-0.25 (3.97m).

Maddie Meyers of Washington earned a pair of third place finishes in the 1500 and 5000, running a personal best 4:14.03, and 16:09.58 in the longer race, after leading it for the first half.

The Washington women's 4 x 100 relay team of Haley Jacobson, Kennadi Bouyer, Gianna Woodruff, and Sierra Peterson broke a 30-year old school record, running 44.57 in finishing third behind USC's meet record 43.10, and Oregon's 43.65.

Oregon won the women’s team title by a 185-182 count over USC. Washington State was fifth with 64 points, while the Huskies was seventh with 63 points.

Thoirs repeats as Pac-12 pole vault champ with new Scottish national record...

LOS ANGELES—University of Washington junior Jax Thoirs (left/photo by Paul Merca) scored a personal best 18-6.5 (5.65m) Saturday as he successfully defended his Pac-12 title in the pole vault at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA.

The native of Glasgow, Scotland was clean through his first four heights, winning the competition at 17-6.5 (5.35m), before clearing 18-6.5 (5.65m) and getting yet another Scottish national record.

“It was a great day,” said Thoirs. “I could tell right from the start that all my teammates were jumping well so I knew the Huskies were going to have a great day. We went 1-2-4 so that was great. Obviously I’m really happy to win and the PR’s been a long time coming as well so that was a relief to get over that bar.”

Teammates Chris Williams, Lev Marcus and JJ Juilfs, went 2-4-7 in the competition, with Williams clearing 17-4.5 (5.30m), Marcus at 17-2.5 (5.25m), and former conference champ Juilfs at 16-2.75 (4.95m).

Washington got a top-3 finish in the men’s javelin, as Curtis Clauson took third with a personal best toss of 225-3 (68.67m).  Washington State’s Kyle Stevens (215-11/65.81m), Sam Ferenchak (206-0/62.79m) and Brad Stevens (205-8/62.69m) placed fifth, seventh and eighth.

In the women’s javelin, Kelsie Taylor of WSU took fifth place with her season-best toss of 149-10 (45.67m), and teammate Celena Ward placed sixth with her throw of 145-2 (44.24m).

In the women’s high jump, WSU’s Charlotte Muschamp was not able to successfully defend her 2014 championship in the women’s high jump but finished fourth with a season-best height of 5-10 1/2 (1.79m). Lateah Holmes and Audrey Ketcham  tied for sixth place with a clearance at 5-7 3/4 (1.72m), a PR height for Holmes. 

Brock Eager of the Cougars scored with his eighth-place finish in the hammer with only one measured throw among six on the day, a distance of 186-4 (56.79m).

Meron Simon of the Huskies finished fifth in the 3000 steeple in 8:52.63, while WSU’s Forrest Shaffer was seventh in 8:55.09. Defending champ Aaron Nelson of the UW, who has battled injuries this outdoor campaign, was tenth in 9:00.33, while Andrew Gardner was one spot back in 9:04.33.

Washington’s top women’s scorer was long jumper Kennadi Bouyer, who finished fifth with a leap of 19-11.75 (6.09m).  They also got points from Eleanor Fulton (8th, 10:29.30) in the steeple, and Gina Flint in the shot put (8th, 48-5.5/14.77m).

The link to live results is available here.

paulmerca.blogspot.com will be on site for the final day of competition at Drake Stadium.

NOTE:  The University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mannucci Wins Big Sky Triple Jump Title; Curatilo & Melu win WAC crowns...

CHENEY—Eastern Washington senior Morena Mannucci (left/photo by Paul Merca) won the triple jump title on the final day of competition at the Big Sky Championships at Roos Field on the campus of Eastern Washington University.

The Italian senior, competing at home for the final time in her injury-filled career at Eastern Washington, set a new school record of 41-1.75 (12.54m) in the first round and force the field to chase her.

"What a great way to end Morena's last Big Sky Conference Championship," said EWU women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "Nobody even came close to her in that event, it was a storybook ending."

The Eagles’ 4 x 100 relay squad of Paige Hammock, Erika Lombardo, Brooke Monson, and Rebecca Tarbert finished third in a photo finish in a time of 46.15 (46.143).

Kelsie Forcier was third for EWU in the discus, throwing 156-3 (47.62m).

On the men’s side, EWU got a third place finish from Phil Puccino in the triple jump, leaping 48-3.5 (14.72m).

Sacramento State and Northern Arizona tied for the men’s team title with 157 points in one of the most improbable finishes to a conference meet, while Eastern finished fifth with 72 points.

The Eastern women finished the meet in fifth place, scoring 80 points, as Sacramento State too the women’s title.


In Orem, Utah, Sophie Curatilo of Seattle University won the women’s 1500 at the Western Athletic Conference championship meet, running 4:40.81.

After winning the 5000, she finished second in the 5000, running 17:43.25.

Shaddye Melu of the Redhawks followed up his high jump win with a victory in the 400, as he ran 47.39.

Joe Charbonneau was second in the 800, running 1:54.95.

In the women’s high jump, Mandie Maddux was second with a clearance of 5-3.75 (1.62m).

Madison Davis (2;13.52) and Alisa Poplawski (2:13.82) were second and third in the women’s 800.

In the men’s 1500, Collin Overbay was third in a time of 3:56.84.

SeattleU finished fifth in the men’s competition with 71.5 points, as Utah Valley took the team title.  The Redhawks were sixth in the women’s competition with 79 points, as the University of Missouri-Kansas City won with 199 points.


NOTE:  The sports information office of Seattle University and Eastern Washington University contributed to this report.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Eagles get two winners Friday; Melu wins high jump title at WAC...

CHENEY—Eastern Washington senior Jordan Arakawa (center/ohoto by Paul Merca) was one of two winners for Eastern Washington as the Big Sky Conference track and field championship got fully underway Friday at Roos Field on the campus of Eastern Washington University.

Arakawa, an NCAA qualifier for the Eagles in the hammer last year, had never tasted victory in this event, but did so with a fifth round throw of 218-1 (66.47m) to take the victory over Sean Ferriter of Montana State, who took the lead in round four with a toss of 211-8 (64.51m).

In the women’s javelin, Emma Murillo’s clutch sixth round throw gave her the conference crown, with a toss of 168-0 (51.20m), to overtake North Dakota’s Jayd Eggert, who threw 164-5 (50.12m) in round 1.

Phil Puccino took second in the men’s high jump with a clearance of 6-11 (2.11m), as Weber State’s Anthony Gregory won with a leap of 7-1 (2.16m).

Puccino was fifth in the long jump with a mark of 23-6.75 (7.18m). Teammate Trenton Osborn was second at 24-3 (7.39m).

Cody Humphrey was fifth in the discus with a toss of 164-7 (50.16m), and Kaytlyn Coleman was eighth in the shot put.

On the track, Paula Gil-Echevarria was third in the steeplechase, as she ran 10:28.17, while defending champ Catie Arrigoni was 13th in 11:20.26.

Aaron Brenton was seventh in the men’s steeple in 9:35.54.

In the only other track final contested, Big Sky cross country champ Sarah Reiter was second in the 10000, running 36:16.55, while teammate Berenice Penaloza was sixth in 36:45.11.

Vince Hamilton was sixth in the men’s 10000 in 31:34.11.

After seven events, Eastern Washington sits in second with 39 points, behind Sacramento State’s 54 in the men’s competition, while the Eagle women’s squad is third with 32 points, with Montana State leading with 48.2  points.


In Orem, Utah, Seattle University’s Shaddye Melu won the WAC outdoor title in the high jump to match his indoor title, clearing 6-11.5 (2.12m).

Both the Seattle U men’s and women’s track and field teams are in fifth place after three days of the conference championships, with the men collecting 31.5 points and the women earning 20 points. Utah Valley holds a one-point lead over UMKC in the women’s team standings and a 10.5-point advantage over Grand Canyon in the men’s team standings.


NOTE:  The sports information office of Seattle University and Eastern Washington University contributed to this report.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dawgs and Cougs head to Los Angeles for this weekend's Pac-12 championships...

LOS ANGELES—While Eastern Washington and Seattle University get things fully underway with their conference championship meet, the University of Washington and Washington State University head south to Los Angeles for the Pacific-12 Conference title meet at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA.

The Cougars will be led by high jump champ Charlotte Muschamp, while the Huskies will be led by defending pole vault champs Jax Thoirs (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Diamara Planell Cruz, and steeple champ Aaron Nelson.

WSU announced that 400 hurdles champ CJ Allen is injured and will not defend his title in Los Angeles.

Other athletes with Washington ties returning to defend titles include Seattle native Darian Brooks of Stanford in the triple jump, and Tacoma native Marcus Chambers of Oregon (4 x 100 relay).

While it may be tough sailing for the Cougars in the conference championship meet, the Huskies should finish in the middle of the pack.  Oregon and USC enter the meet as the pre-meet favorites to win the conference crown.

The schedule for Saturday starts at 10 a.m. with the men’s hammer throw. The first running events will be the prelims for the 4x100m relays, at 1 p.m. Finals on Saturday in the field events include the men’s hammer, both long jumps, both shot puts, both javelins, the men’s pole vault, and women’s high jump. All track events on Saturday will be prelims, with the exception of finals in the men’s and women’s steeplechases and 10,000-meters.

Sunday starts with the women’s hammer at 9 a.m. and then the women’s triple jump is the next to start at 11:30 a.m. Both tripe jumps, both discus throws, the women’s pole vault, and the men’s high jump will be held in the field, with all remaining running events crowning champions on Sunday. The first track event will be the women’s 4x100m final at 1 p.m., with the final event being the men’s 4x400m relay at 5 p.m.

Pac-12 Networks will be televising a three-hour overview of the championships on a tape-delayed basis. The first national broadcast will be on Sunday, May 24 at 9 a.m. PT. Paul Sunderland, Tom Feuer and Allyson Felix will be calling all the action, with Jill Savage reporting from the track.


paulmerca.blogspot.com will be on site for Sunday’s final day of competition.

NOTE:  The Pac-12, the University of Washington, and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Torrential downpour scraps HokaOneOne Middle Distance Classic...

LOS ANGELES—Before the rains came, there was supposed to be some high caliber racing at the HokaOneOne Middle Distance Classic at Jack Kemp Stadium on the campus of Occidental College.

The meet was hit with a torrential downpour with only the remainder of the men’s 1500 and the 5000s left to contest, and after waiting it out, the decision was made to scrap the rest of the meet.

Washington alum Katie Mackey (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Brooks Beasts, who won this meet two years ago in a stadium record 4:04.60, won the women’s 1500 in a time of 4:07.51 over Gabiele Grunewald (4:07.67) but was short of the IAAF world championship standard of 4:06.50.

Teammate Cas Loxsom, fresh off a gold-medal winning performance at the World Relays meet two weeks ago, won the men’s 800 in 1:46.23.  Mark Wieczorek was sixth in 1:46.58, while Nick Symmonds of the Beasts was 12th in 1:49.81.

In other events:

—Club Northwest’s Jamie Cheever was 10th in the women’s steeple in 9:57.82.  WSU alum Collier Lawrence of Oiselle was 11th in 9:57.82, while UW alum and sister Mel Lawrence was 15th in 10:14.95;

—The women’s 800 saw Seattle’s Phoebe Wright finish 8th in 2:02.18.  Camas HS senior Alexa Efraimson was 13th in 2:03.21, as she won her heat, with training partner and SPU grad McKayla Fricker second (15th overall) in 2:03.50.  Megan Malasarte of the Beasts was 7th in her heat (26th overall) in 2:06.54; 

—Only one heat of the men’s 1500 was completed before the rains came and cancelled the rest of the meet.  Riley Masters of the Brooks Beasts was sixth in 3:40.34, while Auburn/Riverside alum Jordan McNamara was seventh in 3:40.45.

The remaining heats of the 1500 were cancelled, along with the men’s and women’s 5000.

Results of the HokaOneOne Middle Distance Classic are available here.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

Elena Smith wins WAC 10000m title for Redhawks...

OREM, Utah—Seattle University’s Elena Smith (above/photo courtesy Seattle University) won the women’s 10000 title at the Western Athletic Conference championships in a time of 38:03.67, 18 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.

Teammate Taylor de Laveaga was eighth in 39:25.46.

In the men’s 10000, Tyler Flannery finished fourth in a time of 32:52.11.

Multi-event specialist Mandie Maddux finished fifth in the heptathlon, with a final score of 4472 points.

Maddux started Thursday with a personal-best mark in the long jump of 4.94 meters (16’ 2.5”), remaining in fifth place with two events remaining. She posted a mark of 31.41 meters (103’ 1”) in the javelin throw to stay in fifth place, where she finished after a personal-best time of 2:30.76 in the 800 meter run.

The meet continues Friday and Saturday.


In Cheney, Eastern Washington’s Jozie Kimes moved up one place from her day 1 position to finish tenth in the Big Sky Conference heptathlon that concluded Thursday at Roos Field on the Eastern Washington campus.

Kimes accumulated a total of 4,448 points over two days in the heptathlon – with 1,829 of those points scored Thursday in the long jump, javelin, and 800. Her highest point total from today's competition of 737 came in the 800 where she ran a time of 2:26.5. She leaped 17-0 /5.18m (609) in the long jump and threw 99-6/30.33m (483) in the javelin.

Montana State's Carley McCutchen and Danielle Muri finished first and second, respectively, in the heptathlon with point totals of 5,273 and 5,052. Kassandra Corrigan from Sacramento State finished third (4,995). 


paulmerca.blogspot.com will be on site in Cheney Friday and Saturday.

NOTE:  Eastern Washington and Seattle University’s sports information offices contributed to this report

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kimes in 11th place at break of Big Sky heptathlon; SeattleU's Maddux fifth after day 1 of WAC heptathlon...

CHENEY—Eastern Washington junior Jozie Kimes (above/photo courtesy EWU Athletics) sits in eleventh place as day one of the Big Sky Conference multi-events competition concluded under wet skies at Roos Field.

The junior accumulated a total of 2,619 points after one day of competition, 712 of which came from her season-best in the high jump of 5-2 1/4 (1.58m). Her highest point total of 753 came in the 100 hurdles, where she ran 15.69. Kimes also recorded a season-best of 27.53 in the 200 for 668 points and had a mark of 30-7 3/4 (9.34m) in the shot put to score 486 points.

The personal best in heptathlon for the Cashmere, Wash., native is 4,825 to rank second all-time at Eastern. Kimes achieved her personal best at the 2014 outdoor championships where she placed sixth overall.

Carley McCutchen from Montana State is the leader in the women's heptathlon with a total of 3,038 points. She placed first in the 100-meter hurdles (14.95, 848) and the 200 (25.30, 859).  Montana State's Danielle Muri is in second place with a total of 2,965 points, followed by Sacramento State's Kassandra Corrigan with 2,922 points.

A steady rain forced the men's and women's high jump competitions to move inside to the Thorpe Fieldhouse. The forecast calls for better weather for the next two days of the four day meet.


paulmerca.blogspot.com will be on site for the Big Sky championships.

In Orem, Utah, Seattle University’s Mandie Maddux is in fifth place at the break of the heptathlon at the WAC championships, hosted by Utah Valley.

Maddux has a first day score of 2743 points, as she ran 15.46 in the 100 hurdles (782 points), high jumped 5-1/1.55m (678), threw the shot 36-4.25/11.08m (600) and ran 27.35 in the 200 (683).

Gately Garnett of Utah Valley leads at the break with 2850 points.


NOTE:  The sports information office at Eastern Washington University and the Western Athletic Conference contributed to this report.

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