Friday, May 9, 2008

Märt Israel finishes second in Salinas; four former Huskies to compete in Osaka Grand Prix meet...

Märt Israel (left, competing in the 2007 World Championships/photo by Paul Merca), a former University of Washington discus thrower from Estonia, finished second behind fellow countryman, training partner, and reigning world champion Gerd Kanter in the Hartnell College throwers' meet in Salinas, Califonia on Thursday May 8th, throwing 213-4.

Kanter, like Israel, visiting the States for a month of training and competition, threw a big 235-10 (71.88) on his final throw.

"I expected more," Kanter said. "I'm in my best shape ever. I expected to get closer to the record," referring to Germany's Jurgen Schult's world record of 243-0. Only Schult and Virgilijus Alekna have thrown farther than Kanter's throw here. Kanter himself has a best of 240-9, and a year ago at Hartnell he threw 5 inches further, 236-3, the longest throw ever on American soil.

Only each competitor's best throw was measured, according to Track & Field News correspondent Jack Pfeifer, in the magazine's web site.

Israel's toss in the wind-friendly confines of Salinas' Hartnell College, is currently the eighth longest throw in the world this year.

Israel competed for the UW during the 2007 season.

Jarred Rome, a 2004 US Olympian and Marysville-Pilchuck HS graduate, finished ninth with a mark of 208-2.

Recent UW grad Will Conwell was 20th in the competition with a toss of 197-10.

In the women's competition, former UW thrower Cecelia Barnes, a member of last year's world championship team, finished fourth with a throw of 194-8.

Saturday, former Huskies Ryan Brown, Brad Walker, Carly Dockendorf, and Aretha Thurmond will compete in the Osaka Grand Prix track meet at Nagai Stadium in Osaka, Japan.

Walker returns to the scene of his world championship victory in September to open his outdoor season. Thurmond, a two-time US Olympian, who competed in the US nationals after giving birth to son Theo, is back training full-time, and is commuting between Seattle and Auburn, Alabama, in what's believed to be her final year of competing full-time.

Thurmond tossed the platter 201-10 at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, California last month to earn both the Olympic Games and Olympic Trials 'A' standard, which she didn't have.

Results of the Osaka Grand Prix will be posted on the IAAF web site...

The start list for the Osaka Grand Prix is posted here...

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