Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pro spotlight--adidas Track Classic

Thanks to a last minute ticket switch, courtesy of Alaska Airlines, I was able to make a stop in Los Angeles and attend the adidas Track Classic in suburban Carson, after working the Pac-10 track championships for Fox Sports Net Friday and Saturday.

Jenn Stucyznski broke her own American record today in the women’s pole vault, clearing 16-0 3/4, making her the athlete of the meet.

Bernard Lagat (speaking to media in the mixed zone/photo by Paul Merca) overcame a recalled start after several runners went down at the start of the race to win the men’s 1500 in a time of 3:35.14, the seventh fastest time in the world this year, and the fastest by an American.

In a race that played out in a very similar fashion to last year’s World Championship finals, the former Cougar stayed off the pace and away from traffic, content to let others do the work.

Coming off the final turn, Lagat swung wide and cleared himself away from his pursuers to claim the win. Nick Willis of New Zealand claimed second, running 3:35.75, with Kevin Sullivan of Canada third in 3:35.78,

“My intention today was to come here and win the race,” Lagat said.

On the fall by Lopez Lamong that caused the recall, he said he didn’t remember seeing what happened. Lagat was ahead of the group that got tangled up when he heard the recall gun. When asked when the last time he’d been involved in a start like that, he cited the Olympics.

In other events including athletes from the Pacific Northwest, former Marysville-Pilchuck discus thrower Jarred Rome threw a nation-leading mark of 213-6. Training partner and former Cougar Ian Waltz finished second with a toss of 208-0.

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