Monday, June 30, 2008

Giving the love to my hometown newspapers...

In an era of budget cutbacks in the newspaper industry, it would be easy for my hometown papers, the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer to mail in the coverage of the Olympic Track & Field Trials and either use free-lance correspondents and photographers, or use the wire services.

However, both Seattle papers have their columnists, Steve Kelley (Times), and Art Thiel (P-I) in attendance here in Eugene. Both have said that being here is a welcome break from covering the ongoing court battle between the city of Seattle and the Clay Bennett-led Professional Basketball Club, LLC, aka the Seattle Supersonics, over their desire to break the lease on KeyArena and move the franchise to Oklahoma City.

Additionally, the Times sent down here photographer Rod Mar, whom I've known from his days shooting for the University of Washington Daily.

Here are links to Steve's columns on Diana Pickler and Aretha Thurmond...

Here's a link to Art's column on Aretha Thurmond...

Finally, here's a link to Rod's blog on the Times from the Trials, which I think is great for those who want to gain a perspective on being a photojournalist...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Olympic Trials Monday (day 4) preview...

EUGENE--Reigning world champion Bernard Lagat begins his quest for his first Olympic team as an American citizen, as the former Washington State Cougar runs in the finals of the 5000 meters Monday night at 9:40 pm to highlight day four of the US Olympic Trials.

In other action, former Skyview of Vancouver thrower Kara Patterson, only one of two women holding the all-important Olympic Games A standard, looks to cement her spot on the plane to Beijing. She will be in a field that included her former Purdue teammate Lindsey Blaine, the 2007 NCAA champion, who attended Lyle High School, east and across the Columbia River from Hood River, Oregon.

Day two of the decathlon gets under way at 11:30 am, as Rickey Moody and Chris Randolph are in sixth and 13th place respectively.

In the hammer, Shelton High School grad Nick Owens, Eastern Washington grad David Paul, and Capital High grad Adam Midles look to qualify for Friday night’s finals.

400 meter runner Jordan Boase finished third in Sunday’s first round of the men’s 400, running 46.31, and looks to advance to the finals on Thursday night.

University of Washington assistant coach Kelly Strong runs in the semifinals of the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase at 7:40 pm.

Here’s the complete schedule of athletes competing on Monday with their Washington connection, and the link to Monday’s start lists:

Monday, June 30, 2008

11:30 a.m. Day 2 men decathlon
Chris Randolph (Seattle Pacific/Club Northwest)
Rickey Moody (Washington State University/Puyallup)

7:00 Hammer Throw men qualifying
Nick Owens (Shelton HS)
David Paul (Eastern Washington)
Adam Midles (Capital HS/Olympia)

7:25 400m men semifinal
JORDAN BOASE (University of Washington/Bothell HS)

7:40 3000m Steeplechase women semifinal
Kelly Strong (UW assistant coach)

8:20 Javelin Throw women final
KARA PATTERSON (Skyview HS/Vancouver)
Lindsey Blaine (Lyle High School)

9:40 5000m men final
BERNARD LAGAT (Washington State)

Olympic Trials day 3 recap...

EUGENE--In perhaps her final attempt at making an Olympic team, former Renton High and University of Washington discus thrower Aretha Thurmond threw 213-11 to win her second straight Olympic Trials title.

Under warm sunny skies before yet another sellout crowd of 16,500 at Hayward Field, the Renton High graduate earned her third Olympic team berth as she unwound her winning toss in round two.

Thurmond will be joined on the plane to Beijing by Suzy Powell-Roos (206-5), and Stephanie Brown Trafton (205-6).

Another ex-Husky, Cecelia Barnes, finished fifth with a throw of 186-8.

"It's been an exciting comeback and I am just enjoying motherhood. I think today was just momma-power out there," Thurmond said at the post-event press conference.

"I think the biggest thing for me was getting the rhythm and timing back in the event” she said in response to a question regarding the adjustments made on coming back from maternity leave last year.

"Everything happens for a reason and it just kept me motivated. None of this would be possible without family support."

"It felt good, but I thought there was a lot more in there today, so it was kind of a mix of excitement."

In talking about her Beijing teammates, she said, "The one thing that I have learned with this group was that it is never over, so I had to keep myself on my toes to respond and stay ready."

"I have been training really hard all year. I knew with this group of women it takes a big throw to win. I feel good to get a season's best today."

"After losing so much all year, you just have to keep plugging and working hard and you will get the reward."

Pole vaulter Brad Walker (on right, with Jeff Hartwig left & Derek Miles, center/photo by Paul Merca) earned his first trip to the Olympics, as the American record holder and reigning world champion finished third with a mark of 18-6 1/2, as winner Derek Miles jumped 19-0 1/4, with the ageless 40-year old Jeff Hartwig second with a leap of 18-8 1/4.

In contrast to the last time Walker jumped on the Hayward Field pit, the cross winds played havoc with all of the vaulters.

“In this meet, first, second and third is all first,” Walker said of the cut-throat do-or-die nature of the Trials. The job is done, and I get to move forward.

Talking about the wind conditions, he said that the later in the competition you waited, the harder the winds started to switch. He felt that opening at 18-6 1/2, which is lower than what he normally enters the competition at paid off. “If I had opened at 5.80 (19-0 1/4), I would’ve no-heighted.

He jumped today with the same pole that he used to clear 19-8 1/4 last week in Chula Vista, California. With a large pole, the margin of error is significantly higher than using a softer or smaller pole. ‘It’s kind of hard to jump high with a pole in your hands and your body going sideways with the wind.”

University of Washington junior Jordan Boase (left/photo by Paul Merca) made his Olympic Trials debut today, running in the fourth heat of the men’s 400 meters.

Running in the outside lane, Boase ran 46.31 to finish third.

As the runners entered the homestretch, it appeared the Bothell High grad was in danger of not advancing to Monday’s semi finals, as he was in a battle for fourth, but he made a late push in the last 70 meters to get the final automatic qualifier.

In the first heat of the 400, former Tacoma prep standout Craig Everhart finished sixth in 48.08.

In day one of the two-day decathlon, Washington State senior Rickey Moody from Puyallup and former Seattle Pacific standout Chris Randolph of Club Northwest and are in sixth and 13th with scores of 4111 and 3896 points, respectively.

Results of Sunday’s competition is available by clicking here, following the date, then clicking on the event title.

Seattle Times Olympic column by Meri-Jo Borzilleri...

Here's a link to a Seattle Times column by Meri-Jo Borzilleri on the cut-throat nature of the US Olympic Track & Field trials, published Sunday.

It talks about some of the more memorable miscues in recent Trials history, including the double hammy whammy suffered by both Maurice Greene & Michael Johnson in the 200 meter finals at the 2000 Olympic Trials in Sacramento.

For your viewing pleasure, here it is (it's about 6 minutes into the clip)...

The most infamous blow-up that Meri-Jo writes about was decathlon star Dan O'Brien's infamous no-height in the pole vault at the 1992 Olympic Trials in New Orleans. His no-height literally destroyed a Reebok Dan & Dave advertising campaign, though Reebok was able to save some face on it, and O'Brien would win the Olympic gold medal four years later (wearing Nike).

Here's the YouTube clip of those Reebok commercials:

Oops, I missed another one...

In my recap of Saturday's action, I completely missed former Lyle High School and Purdue University standout Lindsey Blaine (left/photo courtesy Purdue University), who qualified for the finals of the women's javelin.

Blaine, who competes for Nike, threw 165-9, the ninth furthest throw in qualifying Saturday.

She was the 2007 NCAA javelin champ for the Boilermakers, throwing 182-9 in Sacramento.

She joins current Boilermaker Kara Patterson from Vancouver in the finals Monday night.

Here is a link to her bio from the Purdue University web site...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 1 column on Diana Pickler...

Quick link to a column by Seattle Times sports columnist Steve Kelley on Diana Pickler after day 1 which I forgot to put up.

Check it out here...

Olympic Trials day 3 preview...

EUGENE--For athletes with connections to the state of Washington, day 3 at the Olympic Trials is relatively light, with former Seattle Pacific standout Chris Randolph of Club Northwest and Washington State senior Rickey Moody from Puyallup starting day one of the decathlon at 10 am.

The man with perhaps the biggest target on his back, pole vaulter, new American record holder, and reigning world champion Brad Walker goes into the finals Sunday as one of the biggest favorites of this meet at 2:40 pm. Given his status as current world champ and the unpredictability of this event, anything is possible.

Two former Huskies, Aretha Thurmond, and Cecelia Barnes, go head to head in the women’s discus finals at 3:15 pm.

Finally, America (or at least the part that doesn’t follow collegiate track) will get to witness for the first time the surprise of the 400 meters, as former Bothell High School and current UW junior Jordan Boase steps onto the historic Hayward Field track for the first time in the men’s 400 meter quarterfinals at 4:24 pm.

Click here to see the start list for Sunday’s competition.

Olympic Trials day 2 recap...

EUGENE—Under a warm sunny afternoon in the Willamette Valley, Diana Pickler (left/photo by Paul Merca) punched her ticket to Beijing by finishing third in the heptathlon, scoring a personal best of 6257 points.

With a sellout crowd of 16500 at historic Hayward Field witnessing the day's activities entering the 800 meter run, the final event of the seven-event, two-day ordeal, Pickler was in an epic struggle with Gi Gi Johnson for the third and final spot on the plane to China.

The situation was simple; Pickler needed to stay within 1 1/2 seconds of Johnson to earn the last spot.

And stick to Johnson she did.

Johnson won the final section of the 800, running 2:15.88, worth 880 points, while Pickler ran a personal best of 2:16.59, worth 870 points, earning Pickler the final score of 6257, with Johnson fourth with 6247 points.

“Racing the 800 hasn’t been my forte”, said Pickler. “My coach (Rick Sloan) told me, ‘I know you can do it’. I had to convince myself of that, so I had to stick to her like glue. I just kept my eyes on her back.”

“I couldn’t let her break away from me, so I had to go with her every time she went.”

Hyleas Fountain won the heptathlon with a score of 6667 points, with Pickler’s former Pac-10 rival, Jacqueline Johnson second with 6347 points.

Diana’s sister Julie dropped out of the competition after six events.

In other events, Purdue’s Kara Patterson was very relaxed as the Skyview/Vancouver grad easily advanced to the finals, by throwing 175-9, the fourth longest throw of the day.

“I’m totally excited about qualifying today. I was so much more relaxed than I was at the NCAA championships. I’ve never thrown here at Hayward Field before. It’s so cool to be able to throw in front of friends and family.”

When asked about her thoughts on being one of two women that hold the Olympic Games A standard, she said that it makes her feel more relaxed and that she can rely on the training that she’s done to get her through the competition.

Jeshua Anderson’s amazing run ended with a non-qualifying fifth place finish in the semifinals of the 400 hurdles, running a time of 48.92, the fastest non-qualifier.

Former WSU standout Eric Dudley from Bellingham, who now resides in North Carolina, finished sixth in Anderson’s heat, running 49.37.

In the only other event involving an athlete with Washington connection, Ryan Brown ran 1:47.95 to finish seventh in the first semi-final.

Olympic Trials Saturday (day 2) preview...

Diana Pickler, who currently stands in second, is the Washingtonian to watch as day two of the US Olympic Track & Field Trials gets underway in a few hours.

Her chances of making the Olympic team in the heptathlon are pretty strong, thanks to a big personal best in the opening event, the 100 hurdles, where she ran 13.13, then matched her high jump PR, clearing 6-0 1/2.

In talking to reporters Friday night, she said that, “I just need to focus on the long jump and stay strong. I don't have any concerns, and am ready for all of the things (Saturday)."

Meanwhile, sister Julie will have to string together some big personal bests in the long jump, javelin, and 800 if she hopes to finish in the top six. In contrast to Diana, Julie dug herself into a hole with a poor outing in the hurdles, running 14.09, and only high jumping 5-6 1/2.

Before the Pickler sisters take center stage, qualifying in the women’s javelin kicks off day two at 12:45 pm, with Purdue’s Kara Patterson from Skyview HS in Vancouver.

In one of the country’s weakest events, Patterson (left/photo courtesy Purdue University), who finished fifth in the NCAA championships, is one of two Americans (Kim Kreiner the other American) that hold the all-important Olympic Games qualifying standard, as she threw 202-0 at the Big Ten championships in May.

Recalling that throw in Champaign, Illinois, Patterson said, " 'Oh, my gosh, my hand is in the right spot, my legs are going fast ... this is great,' " the redshirt junior on the Purdue women's track and field team remembers saying to herself at the Big Ten Conference Championships.

The amazing super-frosh Jeshua Anderson continues his run in the 400 hurdles, buoyed by running the fastest time of the four quarterfinal heats and beating 2000 Olympic champ Angelo Taylor, and last year’s world champion Kerron Clement.

Anderson was very humble about his accomplishment Friday, stating, "It doesn't mean anything right now; I just need to make it to the finals, that's all I'm worried about."

Also look for former Cougar Eric Dudley from Bellingham, who’s now a resident of North Carolina, as he advanced to the semi-final, running 49.39 in the same heat as Anderson Friday night.

Ryan Brown hopes to advance to the finals of the men’s 800 Saturday, and prove that he belongs in the elite in this event.

A late note—former Eastern Washington javelin thrower Carolee Gutierrez is not on the start list for the women’s javelin qualifying.

Also, apologies for the late post of Friday's recap, as I am also working the Trials for NBC Sports.

Here’s the link to Saturday’s start lists…

12:45 p.m. Javelin Throw women qualifying (24)

2-00 p.m. Day 2 heptathlon
Julie Pickler

3:55 400m Hurdles men semifinal
Eric Dudley

4:40 800m men semifinal
Ryan Brown

Trials poll results...

In our informal polling of the readership, the question was asked, "Next to Bernard Lagat and Brad Walker, which state of Washington affiliated athlete do you think is the surest bet to make the US Olympic track & field team?

The readers have spoken--Diana Pickler was selected by 31.5% of you out there, followed by Ginnie Powell and Jeshua Anderson at 15.7%.

Chris Lukezic and Ian Waltz garnered 10.6% each, followed by Jarred Rome, Aretha Thurmond, and "someone else" at 5.3% each.

Not receiving votes were Cecelia Barnes and Dominique Arnold.

Thanks for voting! We'll have another poll soon!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Olympic Trials day 1 recap...

EUGENE--Pole vaulter Brad Walker was one and done, as the reigning world outdoor pole vault champion took one jump at 18-4 1/2 to easily advance to Sunday’s finals in his specialty.

“I wanted to jump tonight and take as few jumps as possible,” the former University of Washington standout said to a group of reporters in the mixed zone.

Other impressive performances tonight included 400 meter hurdler Jeshua Anderson from Washington State University, as the freshman won his heat, beating 2000 Olympic gold medalist Angelo Taylor, and last year’s world champion, Kerron Clement. Anderson won his heat in a time of 49.05, the fastest time of the night.

Former Washington State standout Diana Pickler stands in second place in the seven-event heptathlon with a score of 3750, behind current leader Hyleas Fountain’s score of 3989 points.

Reigning world champ Bernard Lagat easily advanced to Monday’s final in the 5000, placing third in a time of 13:54.93.

Two former Huskies, Aretha Thurmond, and Cecelia Barnes advanced in discus qualifying, throwing 201-1, and 176-8, respectively.

Another former Husky, Ryan Brown, ran 1:49.20 for a second place finish in heat two of the men’s 800 to advance to the next round.

In the men’s long jump, Norris Frederick of the University of Washington ended his collegiate career by missing the final by two places, only jumping 25-2. Elvie Williams of the University of Idaho, by way of Spanaway Lake HS, jumped 24-4 1/2.

Results of today’s competition is available by clicking here, then clicking on the event title.

How to travel with a vaulting pole...

Here's a quick link to a story on the US Olympic Committee's web site on how to travel with vaulting poles, javelins, and other specialized equipment.

Click here to see the story

Day 1 of the Olympic Trials: Who to watch...

EUGENE—The great drama that is the US Olympic Track & Field Trials commences at 1 pm local time at historic Hayward Field.

Right off the bat, former Washington State University standouts Diana & Julie Pickler get things underway in the seven-event heptathlon. Diana, the top American at last year’s World Championships, goes into the Trials as America’s #1 multi-event specialist.

Others to watch include the freight train known as pole vaulter Brad Walker, who’s fresh off his third career 6 meter (19-8 1/4) jump on Sunday in Chula Vista; the reigning US junior champ and NCAA 400 hurdles champ, super-frosh Jeshua Anderson from WSU; world champ Bernard Lagat in the first round of the men’s 5000; and, discus thrower Aretha Thurmond, attempting to make her third Olympic team.

One interesting side note in the women’s discus is former Husky thrower Cecelia Barnes, who attended the UW after Thurmund graduated. Thurmond, who helped recruit Barnes, was a teammate of Cecelia’s mother, Lacy, on the 1996 Olympic team in Atlanta.

Here’s the complete schedule of athletes competing on Friday with their Washington connection, and the link to Friday’s start lists:

1:00 p.m. Day1 women heptathlon
DIANA PICKLER (formerly from WSU)
Julie Pickler (formerly from WSU)

5:40 Triple Jump women qualifying
Tiombe Hurd (former Seattle resident)

5:50 Pole Vault men qualifying
BRAD WALKER (former UW from Mountlake Terrace)

7:05 400m Hurdles men quarterfinal
Eric Dudley (former WSU from Bellingham)

7:30 Long Jump men qualifying
Norris Frederick (UW)
Elvie Williams (Spanaway Lake HS/Spokane CC)

7:50 Discus Throw women qualifying

8:20 800m men quarterfinal
Ryan Brown (former UW/Renton HS)

8:40 5000m men semifinal

9:00 Shot Put men qualifying
Jesse Roberge (former Yelm HS)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We are here!

EUGENE--Just a quick note to the readership that we arrived here in Eugene a little before noon, and promptly went into a meeting here at Hayward Field.

After our meeting concluded (I am also working for NBC Sports), I went out onto the field just to check out various athletes going through their workouts on the facility. In the photo posted above, sprinter Lauryn Williams gets in some block work as she prepares for the rounds of the 100 meters which start Friday.

I had to drop off a case of Northwest Runner magazines to the guys at the Brooks house, and to the gang at the Villard Street Pub, where the Running Network folks are set up.

Oh yeah, while at the Brooks house, the Flotrack "White Pearl" van pulled in...if any of you have been watching their video blogs, the "White Pearl" ran into some trouble in New Mexico en route to Eugene from Austin, Texas.

The Olympic Trials are like a class reunion--everyone wants to talk to everyone, and if you're not careful, you may be stuck talking or listening to various stories for a LOOONG while!

Had dinner tonight with Track & Field News' editor Garry Hill and Kevin Saylors, who is Garry's long-time designated spotter whenever Garry plays announcer. I asked Garry tips on how I can be a better announcer at Husky home meets, and traded battle stories.

Looking forward to getting the coverage started here!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Jeshua Anderson named Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year

Jeshua Anderson (left/photo courtesy WSU Sports Information) was named the Pacific-10 Conference Track & Field Men's Newcomer of the Year by a vote of the conference track and field coaches, the conference office announced Monday.

Anderson, from Woodland Hills, Calif., became just the second Cougar to capture the men's 400m hurdles title at the Pac-10 Championships, running a time of 49.55 seconds. He went on to win both the NCAA West Regional title and the NCAA Championship crown in a school-record time of 48.69, the seventh-best time in Pac-10 history. It's the fifth-best time by an American this season and met the U.S. Olympic Trials "A" standard. Anderson won the USA Junior Championships intermediate hurdles title last Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, and will compete this weekend at the US Olympic Team Trials-Track & Field in Eugene, Ore., running the quarterfinals Friday night.

NOTE: WSU Sports Information contributed to this report.

Quick note from Brooks Sports...

Jesse Williams, a reader of the blog, and sports marketing guru for Bothell-based Brooks Sports, asked me to plug a few things that Brooks is doing in Eugene:

***July 1st--Track coaches' social at Brooks hospitality house, located at 1960 Emerald Street, near Hayward Field.

***July 3rd--Brooks day at Eugene Running Company, 116 Oakway Center in Eugene. Their phone number is 541-344-6399

***Daily group runs starting at 9 am. Meet in front of the Brooks house if you're interested in running with them.

If you're nice to him, he might show you the shoes that Brian Sell will wear in Beijing in the marathon!

Olympic Trials television schedule...

In case you can't make it to Eugene, here's the Olympic Trials television schedule, courtesy of

Click here to see the schedule (note all times listed are Eastern time).

As we scramble to get ready for the Trials...

We'd like to thank those of you visiting this site for the first time, especially those of you clicking the links from the Seattle Times, and Track & Field News!

In doing my daily skim of the local papers' sports pages, I noticed the link that Olympic writer Ron Judd gave us...

Super-reader Martin Bingisser also tipped me off about the link from Track & Field News!

Thanks, and I hope this helps all of you in cyberland follow your favorite athletes!

Please don't hesitate to post comments, good or bad (just keep it clean!)...

She's technically not a Washington affiliated athlete (yet)...

One athlete we purposely omitted in any of our posts on the Trials is Christine Babcock, the new national high school federation record holder in both the 1500 and 1600 meter runs.

Babcock, who turned 18 on May 19th, graduated from Woodbridge High School in Irvine, California on June 16th. She is coached by George Varvas, but will soon take her talents to the University of Washington.

Babcock recently lowered her own National Federation of High Schools record in the 1600-meters to 4:33.82 in winning the California state title for the third time. Babcock was also the California state cross country champion as a junior and senior.

On June 15th, Babcock added the national high school federation record in the 1,500 to her resume, running 4:16.42 and breaking Kim Gallagher's 26-year-old record. The record was mostly an afterthought; Babcock was focusing on qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials, which she successfully did. She will line up against the U.S.'s best professional and collegiate runners in the quarterfinals of the 1,500 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon on July 3rd.

"Our class of women's distance runners is arguably the best assembled anywhere," said UW coach Greg Metcalf. "Christine's high school track season from a historical perspective, any high school girl that's run four laps before her hasn't done it as well as she has. She's broken the national high school record at 1600-meters, she's an Olympic Trials qualifier, she's the state champion and she's taken it all in stride. She's just a great young woman and we couldn't be more excited about adding her to our group."

Here's video of her breaking the national high school record in the 1500, courtesy of DyeStat:

More updates of Washington state affiliated athletes in the Olympic Trials...

Thanks to sharp eyed reader Martin Bingisser (the former University of Washington hammer thrower), I missed several other Washington-affiliated athletes qualified for the US Olympic Team Trials-Track & Field:

Men's Long Jump--Elvie Williams (Idaho/Spanaway Lake HS/Spokane CC) 26-0 3/4 (7.94m)

Men's Triple Jump--Kyle Jenkins (Thomas Jefferson HS/Indiana Univ.) 53-0 3/4 (16.17m)

Men's Javelin--Shae Murray (ex Spokane CC) 245-5 (74.80m)

Women's Javelin--Kara Patterson (Skyview/Vancouver & Purdue Univ.) 202-0 (61.56m)

Women's Hammer--Vanessa Wilhelm (Azusa Pacific/Crescent HS in Joyce, near Port Angeles) 213-11 (65.21m)

Men's Shot Put--Jesse Roberge (Azusa Pacific/Yelm HS) 64-6 (19.66m)

ON THE BUBBLE--Drew Ulrick (WSU)--men's discus 198-11 (60.62m)

ANOTHER UPDATE: Thanks to Wyoming throws coach Paul Barrett, he spotted three more Washington affiliated athletes missing: Kate Burton in the hammer (Wyoming/Clark CC/Evergreen HS) 209-8/63.92; Ryan Weidman (Spokane Falls CC coach) in the javelin 237-2/72.29m; and, Jake Shanklin in the men's hammer (Wyoming/Spokane CC/Ellensburg HS) at 212-3/64.70.m.

Roberge and Wilhelm are training partners of Bingisser under Anatoly Bondarchuk, the 1972 Olympic gold medalist in the hammer throw, who is coaching them in Kamloops, British Columbia.

Here's a YouTube clip of Wilhelm and others in the Kamloops training group:

Justin St. Clair enters Olympic Trials with bum elbow...

There's an article in Wednesday's Tacoma News Tribune about javelin thrower Justin St. Clair's sore elbow.

Two weeks ago, while on the field practicing with coach Ty Sevin at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, St. Clair felt a pop in his right throwing elbow after unleashing a throw.

“It was like a loud shotgun going off,” St. Clair said. “It was my elbow breaking in half.”

St. Clair said he’s been going through a series of high-tech treatments on his elbow, and carries a bone stimulator with him 24/7 to try and accelerate the healing.

The article on the former Franklin Pierce standout by way of the UW & Boise State University can be accessed here...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Taking a trip on the wayback machine (Eugene 1976 Olympic Trials)...

As prepares to take the white Toyota Corolla with the University of Washington vanity plates to Eugene, Oregon for the US Olympic Team Trials-Track & Field, I thought I’d take a ride on the wayback machine to 1976, and my first Olympic Trials.

In June of 1976, folks were getting excited at celebrating the country’s Bicentennial in a few weeks. The group “Wings” with Paul McCartney held the number one hit throughout June with the song “Silly Love Songs”, and who knew that 1976 would be the timeframe for a CBS television series airing 32 years later called “Swingtown” about the sexual revolution permeating adults of that era (not that there's anything wrong with that...).

If you followed track and field, the big names of that era were sprinter Steve Williams, distance runner Frank Shorter, decathlete Bruce Jenner, discus thrower Mac Wilkins, and high jumper Dwight Stones. What was supposed to have been Steve Prefontaine’s year of revenge after fading in the Munich Olympic 5000 meter finals four years earlier never transpired, as he was killed a year earlier.

I’d just finished my junior year at Franklin High School in south Seattle, and somehow managed to talk my mother into letting me travel by myself by bus to Eugene…come to think of it, that was the first time I’d traveled anywhere by myself.

Little would I know that this would be the first of nine straight Olympic Trials meets that I’ve witnessed over the years.

Some memories of my first Olympic Trials include running from the Oregon campus (we stayed in the dorms) up to Hendricks Park; finding out the hard way that the annual case of hay fever in June in Seattle was nothing compared to the case I got in Eugene, which forced me to buy some surgical masks at a drugstore; getting sucked in to run a 10000 on the track (a couple of friends of mine and I somehow got on the Hayward Field track during the rest day and ran an impromptu 10k race, with nobody seeming to mind—I think I ran somewhere around 37 minutes in my Nike Pre-Montreal spikes--see photo above); and, making a special pilgrimage to 1172 Pearl Street just to see the Nike track and field promotions office (it was closed) and the Nike Vainqueur spikes in an array of colors they were handing out to their sponsored athletes.

For those who know me well, you know about my unwavering affinity for Nikes (that’s not to say that everyone else makes substandard shoes compared to Nike, but they were loyal to me during my competitive days).

In the mid-70s, the Vainqueur (above/photo courtesy Nike Inc) was THE spike to have, because all the top middle and long distance runners in the USA wore them, like Don Kardong, Duncan MacDonald, Paul Geis, and Craig Virgin (who I would get to know well some 30 years later as staff members of the USA cross country team in Mombasa, Kenya).

The pictured Vainqueur track spike got special Olympic treatment for America's bicentennial year in this red, white and blue color makeup done specifically for the Olympic Trials at Eugene, Oregon's Hayward Field.

The Vainqueur had just been released for the Trials, but were not available to the public until the start of the 1977 track season. Nonetheless, I wanted a pair of them in the worst way, preferably in Franklin school colors of green and black, as I’d actually seen an athlete in the Trials with a pair in that colorway.

Alas, it didn’t happen…but, I left the trials with a brand new pair of spikes, as the adidas athlete hospitality room happened to be in the dorm near where I was staying. I happened to talk to Olympic Trials triple jump winner James Butts as he was entering the hospitality room, and asked him if he could “hook a brother up”.

Twenty minutes later, Butts walked out of the hospitality room with a stack full of gear, and sure enough, there was a pair of navy and white adidas Sprints in a size 7 for me! I was so happy that I gave him my Franklin HS Metro Champs t-shirt.

Somewhere in my mother’s house, those shoes still reside as memories of the first Olympic track & field trials I attended. Needless to say, I haven’t missed the Olympic Trials since.

NOTE: Special thanks to Nike media relations goddess Heidi Burgett for this trip down memory lane.

Holy guacomole, Batman! Brad Walker jumps 6 meters again!

In yet another one of these low-key meets that I just happened to miss, Brad Walker jumped 19-8 1/4 (6.00m) to defeat 2004 Olympic gold and silver medalists Tim Mack (18-8 1/4) and Toby Stevenson (17-8 1/2) on June 22nd at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, in what appears to be a glorified practice session packaged as a competition.

This jump marked the third time in his career that Walker's cleared 6 meters or higher; he first cleared 6.00 in July 2006 in Jockgrim, Germany. Walker set the American record of 19-9 3/4 (6.04m) two weeks earlier at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene.

According to a witness posting on, "He opened up at 5.80 and made it on his second attempt then raised it to 6.00 and smoked it on his first attempt and called it a day."

Looks to me like Brad's gonna be dangerous this weekend at the Olympic Trials!

Photos of Brad's jump at the Olympic Training Center can be seen here...

NOTE: Special thanks to for the info!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Link to International Herald Tribune & NPR story on James Li & Bernard Lagat...

Here's a link to a story posted in the International Herald Tribune on former WSU coach James Li, the personal coach to Bernard Lagat.

You can read it here...

Here's a link to a story from National Public Radio on can read it here.

Time schedule of Washington affiliated athletes competing at the Olympic Trials...

To help readers follow their favorite athletes with Washington state affiliations at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, here's an abbreviated version of the time schedule.

If you wish to see the complete time schedule for the Olympic Trials, click here...

Athletes are listed from the the first time they compete all the way to the final of their event(s). This will be updated daily at the Trials as athletes are eliminated or scratched from an event.

This was updated 6/25/08.

Friday, June 27, 2008
1:00 p.m. Day1 women heptathlon (18)
Julie Pickler

5:40 Triple Jump women qualifying (24)
Tiombe Hurd

5:50 Pole Vault men qualifying (24)
Scott Roth

7:05 400m Hurdles men quarterfinal (28)
Eric Dudley

7:30 Long Jump men qualifying (24)
Norris Frederick
Elvie Williams

7:50 Discus Throw women qualifying (24)

8:00 800m women quarterfinal (30)
Rebekah Noble
Anna Layman

8:20 800m men quarterfinal (30)
Ryan Brown

8:40 5000m men semifinal (24)

9:00 Shot Put men qualifying (24)
Jesse Roberge

Saturday, June 28, 2008
12:45 p.m. Javelin Throw women qualifying (24)
Carolee Gutierrez

2-00 p.m. Day 2 heptathlon
Julie Pickler

3:55 400m Hurdles men semifinal
Eric Dudley

4:25 800m women semifinal
Rebekah Noble
Anna Layman

4:40 800m men semifinal
Ryan Brown

4:45 Shot Put men final
Jesse Roberge

Sunday, June 29, 2008
10:00 a.m. Day 1 men decathlon
Chris Randolph
Rickey Moody

2:25 Triple Jump women final
Tiombe Hurd

2:40 Pole Vault men final
Scott Roth

3:15 Discus Throw women final

3:15 Long Jump men final
Norris Frederick

4:17 400m Hurdles men final
Eric Dudley

4:24 400m men quarterfinal (30)

Monday, June 30, 2008
11:30 a.m. Day 2 men decathlon
Chris Randolph
Rickey Moody

7:00 Hammer Throw men qualifying
Nick Owens
David Paul
Adam Midles

7:25 400m men semifinal

7:40 3000m Steeplechase women semifinal
Kelly Strong

8:15 800m women final
Rebekah Noble
Anna Layman

8:20 Javelin Throw women final
Carolee Gutierrez

8:25 800m men final
Ryan Brown

9:40 5000m men final

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 Rest day

Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Rest day

Thursday, July 3, 2008
7:00 p.m. Hammer Throw women qualifying (24)
Brittany Hinchcliffe
Vanessa Wilhelm
McKenzie Garberg
Kate Burton

7:10 Pole Vault women qualifying (24)
Kate Conwell

7:25 High Jump men qualifying (24)
Norris Frederick
Trent Arrivey

7:30 1500m women quarterfinal (30)
Brie Felnagle
Michelle Turner
Katie Follett
Christine Babcock (incoming UW freshman)
Amanda Miller

8:15 400m men final

8:25 1500m men quarterfinal (30)
Andy McClary
Chris Lukezic

8:30 Discus Throw men qualifying (24)
Will Conwell
Reedus Thurmond

9:45 3000m Steeplechase women final
Kelly Strong

Friday, July 4, 2008
5:30 p.m. Javelin Throw men qualifying (24)
Shae Murray
Justin St. Clair
Jon Jeffreys

6:50 200m men qualifying (30)

7:00 Hammer Throw men final
Nick Owens
David Paul
Adam Midles

7:10 Triple Jump men qualifying (24)
Kyle Jenkins

8:05 1500m men semifinal
Andy McClary
Chris Lukezic

8:25 1500m women semifinal
Brie Felnagle
Michelle Turner
Katie Follett
Christine Babcock (incoming UW freshman)
Amanda Miller

9:20 10,000m men final
Michael Kilburg
John Moore

Saturday, July 5, 2008
11:00 100m Hurdles women qualifying (32)
Ashley Lodree

11:25 110m Hurdles men qualifying (32)

12:10 p.m. 200m men quarterfinal

12:55 High Jump men final
Norris Frederick
Trent Arrivey

1:10 Hammer Throw women final
Brittany Hinchcliffe
Vanessa Wilhelm
McKenzie Garberg
Kate Burton

1:15 100m Hurdles women quarterfinal
Ashley Lodree

1:45 110m Hurdles men quarterfinal

2:29 200m men semifinal

Sunday, July 6, 2008
2:20 p.m. Discus Throw men final
Will Conwell
Reedus Thurmond

3:15 110m Hurdles men semifinal

3:35 100m Hurdles women semifinal
Ashley Lodree

3:40 Pole Vault women final
Kate Conwell

4:00 Triple Jump men final
Kyle Jenkins

4:05 1500m women final
Brie Felnagle
Michelle Turner
Katie Follett
Christine Babcock (incoming UW freshman)
Amanda Miller

4:15 Javelin Throw men final
Justin St. Clair
Jon Jeffreys

4:25 200m men final

5:30 110m Hurdles men final

5:40 100m Hurdles women final
Ashley Lodree

5:50 1500m men final
Andy McClary
Chris Lukezic

Athletes on the bubble—Carl Moe (steeple); Jennie Sewell (pole vault); Jake Hanson (400 hurdles); Matt Lamb (discus); Drew Ulrick (discus); Ryan Weidman (javelin).

NOTE: Final entries for all events are posted two days before the start of the first round of competition. Click here to check the status.

The number posted to the right of the event indicates field size. Athletes listed in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS have the Olympic “A” standard going into the Trials. Please click here to see the Olympic Games qualifying standards. Athletes will have until the final of their event to meet the “A” standard as a prerequisite to making the Olympic team.

Nectaly Barbosa makes junior team with second place finish in 1500m...

Every so often, will miss something...well, we blew it on this one!

Barbosa (left/photo courtesy Arizona State University), a 2008 All-American at Arizona State University from Prosser in the outdoor 800m run last week at the NCAA Championships, advancing to the semifinals, was the meet leader after the preliminary run of the 1,500m event, clocking in at 3:50.92 to advance to the finals in Columbus, Ohio.

In the final, Barbosa clocked a time of 3:49.44 to place second and earn a spot on the Team USA roster for the world junior championships in Poland next month, joining Washington State freshman Jeshua Anderson.

Barbosa has a personal best in the 1500 of 3:45.49, set in March at the ASU Invitational, well under the 3:48.00 IAAF standard.

During his high school career at Prosser, he earned All-America honors in the 800m in both 2006 and 2007. He was ranked in the national Top 10 in the 800m, 1,500m and mile events as a senior. Barbosa won state titles in the 800m as a sophomore and junior and was state champion in the 1,600m run as a sophomore.

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

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Poll time!

As part of the lead to's coverage of the US Olympic Team Trials-Track & Field in Eugene, Oregon, we've started a poll to find out who you think which Washingtonian is the surest bet to make the US Olympic team after Brad Walker in the pole vault and Bernard Lagat in the 1500 & 5000.

If you look to the right of the blog, you'll see the choices: Ian Waltz, Jarred Rome, Aretha Thurmond, Cecelia Barnes, Dominique Arnold, Chris Lukezic, Diana Pickler, Ginnie Powell, Jeshua Anderson, or someone else.

This poll expires on Friday June 27th, when the Olympic Trials begins!

Happy voting!

Jeshua Anderson wins junior national title at 400 hurdles...

Jeshua Anderson of Washington State University tuned up for the US Olympic Team Trials-Track & Field in grand fashion, as the super-frosh and reigning NCAA champion won the men's 400-meter hurdles in record-setting fashion at the 2008 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Anderson clocked a time of 49.28 seconds to break a five-year-old stadium record and the meet mark which had stood since 1984. With the victory, Anderson qualified for the 2008 International Association of Athletics Federation World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, July 8-13.

2007 World Youth champion William Wynne (Kennesaw, Ga.) shot out of the blocks and into the lead but was passed on the final straightaway by 2007 Pan Am Junior champion Johnny Dutch (Clayton, N.C.) and eventual winner Anderson (Mission Hills, Calif.). Anderson crossed the line in 49.28 to break the 24 year-old meet record of 49.45 set in 1984 by Belfred Clark. Dutch was second in 49.74 and Wynne third in 50.42.

"I probably don't give Jeshua enough credit because I see him do great things all the time, but when you think about it, a meet record here, that is a big accomplishment," said WSU assistant coach Mark Macdonald.

Afterwards, the winner said, "This race was kind of hard, since I had a couple days off following the NCAA meet. I just wanted to finish in the top two here and make that trip to Poland.

It's a blessing and I thank God that I made it. I wasn't able to go last year, since I missed my flight. Just to make it this year is a good thing for me.

I have the Olympic Trials next week, so hopefully I'll do good enough there and try to make the Olympic team.

I ran this meet to get some more work in. There were a couple of things I messed up on during my NCAA race. I knew I would have great competition out here, so I wanted to fix some mistakes here and at the Olympic Trials."

HARRY JEROME NOTES: At Saturday's Harry Jerome Track Classic in Burnaby, British Columbia, Jarred Rome squeezed out a one-inch victory over training partner Ian Waltz in the men's discus, 211-1 to 211-0.

Ex Husky Will Conwell threw 193-8 to finish fifth.

Will's wife Kate, a former NCAA champion at the University of Washington, cleared 13-5 1/4 to finish third in the pole vault. Another former Husky, Ashley Lodree, finished fourth in the 100 hurdles (13.27), and third in the 100 dash (11.87).

Eric Garner, the Washington school record holder at the mile, won his section of the men's 1500 meter run in 3:45.00.

Incoming UW freshman Kendra Schaff, who finished 20th at the IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships this spring as a member of Canada's national team, won the Olympic Development section of the women's 1500 at Jerome, running 4:20.27. Schaff ran 16:05.16 two days earlier at the Victoria International.

Full results of the Harry Jerome Invitational, which is Canada's top track & field invititational meet, can be accessed here...

NOTE: USA Track & Field, Washington State University, and the Harry Jerome Track Classic all contributed to this report.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Jeshua Anderson cruises through prelims at junior nationals...

Super frosh Jeshua Anderson of Washington State University won the preliminaries of the 400-meter men's hurdles and javelin thrower Marissa Tschida finished fourth in the final of the javelin at the 2008 USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Columbus, Ohio.

Anderson breezed through the preliminaries of the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 50.19 to advance to Saturday's final at 3:15 p.m. Pacific.

"He saved about as much as humanly possible today," Cougar Assistant Coach Mark Macdonald said. "He looked like he was jogging. He was really cruising. He ran through the first seven hurdles easily and did some things on the eighth and ninth hurdles that we have been working on in practice."

Tschida was in second place after four attempts on the strength of a 160-10 (49.03m) throw on her third attempt. Roxanne Grizzle, competing unattached, threw 170-03 (51.89m) and Hannah Carson of the Arizona Cheetahs recorded a throw of 163-05 (49.80m) on their fifth attempts to capture second and third place, respectively.

Karlee McQuillen of Penn State won the event with a fifth-attempt toss of 171-05 (52.24m). McQuillen and one other American will advance to the International Association of Athletics Federation World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, July 8-13

Amanda Peterson of the Eastern Washington University track and field team finished sixth in the javelin, as the freshman from Gig Harbor threw 152-10.

Meanwhile, University of Washington freshman Elisa Bryant finished 11th in the women's hammer throw with a toss of 151-10, after fouling her first two throws.

Spokane CC sprinter Chanel James ran 12.23 in the prelims of the 100 meter dash, and did not make the finals.

The meet continues tomorrow. Here's the link to results from the national championships...

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

The July Northwest Runner is now out...

If you plan to follow the athletes from the state of Washington at the US Olympic Team Trials--Track & Field in Eugene, Oregon, don't forget to pick up a copy of the July issue of Northwest Runner, which has my preview of Washingtonians qualified to run in the meet!

If you've read my blogs, you'll notice that many of the subjects I write about that the magazine can't fit end up here!

There's also an article on the hiring of Pat Tyson at Gonzaga University.

PS--I hope you like my photos from the state meet, including the cover shot (left).

Jeshua Anderson leads Washington contingent at USA Junior Championships...

Four athletes from the state of Washington are competing this weekend at the USA Junior Track & Field Championships in Columbus, Ohio.

Washington State University’s NCAA champion at the 400 meter hurdles, Jeshua Anderson leads the state’s contingent in their bid to earn spots on Team USA’s squad for the IAAF World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland July 8-13.

Anderson, who owns a personal best of 48.69 in winning the national collegiate title in Des Moines, Iowa, enters the junior nationals as a heavy favorite to earn a spot on the national junior team.

Also competing at the junior nationals is WSU javelin thrower Marissa Tschida, who was third in last year’s Pan Am Junior Championships as a member of Team USA.

University of Washington hammer thrower Elisa Bryant, javelin thrower Amanda Peterson of Eastern Washington University, and Spokane Community College sprinter Chanel James round out the contingent from the state of Washington.

Results from the junior championships will be posted here…

List of Olympic Trials Entries are up...

Here's the link to the list of Olympic Trials entries...

Remember, this list is fluid until two days before the start of the first round of the event.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Olympic Trials qualifiers...(update #5)

Updated 6/17/08

The following is a list of athletes with ties to the state of Washington who have earned either an 'A' or 'B' qualifying standard for the US Olympic Team Trials--Track & Field in Eugene, Oregon June 27-July 6th.

This is the final list of who’s made the standard, as the qualifying window closed on June 15th. Please note that athletes with provisional marks listed below the number of minimum qualifiers needed may be moved up to fill the field up to two days before the opening round of that event, depending on scratches, withdrawals, etc.

Added to the list is a number indicating what currently is the mark needed to get the final spot in the Trials, courtesy of Track & Field News' eTrack Newsletter (NOTE: The list published by Track & Field News was accurate as of the start of the NCAA Championships on June 11).

Here's the link to when these athletes are competing...

As always, please contact me with any corrections, missing marks, etc.

Qualifying window: January 1, 2007 - June 15, 2008


"A" "B" Field Size
100m 10.07 10.28 32-- none
200m 20.30 20.75 30

JORDAN BOASE (UW) has B standard @ 20.37
***20.47 is currently #30***

400m 45.00 45.95 28

***45.56 is currently #28***
Alex Harcourt (UW) has B standard @ 45.87
Craig Everhart (H.S.I./UCLA/Lincoln-Tacoma) has B standard @ 45.94

800m 1:46.50 1:48.50 30

Ryan Brown (Asics/UW/Renton HS) has B standard @ 1:46.71
***1:47.33 is currently #30***
Alex McClary (Arkansas/Shelton HS) has B standard @ 1:47.90
Chris Lukezic (Reebok/Auburn HS) has B standard @ 1:48.03

1,500m 3:39.00 3:43.00 30

BERNARD LAGAT (Nike/WSU) 3:33.85
Andy McClary (Arkansas/Shelton HS) 3:36.91
Chris Lukezic (Reebok/Auburn HS) 3:36.95
***3:40.73 is currently #30***
Jordan McNamara (Oregon/Auburn-Riverside HS) has B standard @ 3:41.13
Laef Barnes (UCLA/Mead-Spokane HS) has B standard @ 3:41.76

5,000m 13:33.00 13:50.00 24

BERNARD LAGAT (Nike/WSU) 13:16.29
NOTE: The 5000 is filled. At least 24 athletes have earned an A standard. You must make the A standard to get into the Trials.

10,000m 28:15.00 29:00.00 24

Michael Kilburg (Portland/O'Dea HS) has B standard @ 28:20.57
***28:26.61 is currently #24***

John Moore (Portland/Olympia HS) has B standard @ 28:28.52
David Kinsella (Portland/Inglemoor HS) has B standard @ 28:28.87
Jake Schmitt (Washington) has B standard @ 28:56.05
Jeremy Mineau (Washington) has B standard @ 28:57.02

110m Hurdles 13.40 14.00 32
AREND WATKINS (Nike/WSU) has B standard @ 13.41
***13.61 is currently #32***

400m Hurdles 49.00 51.00 28

Eric Dudley (unat-ex WSU) has B standard @ 49.58
***49.78 is currently #28***
Jake Hanson (Cal/Yelm HS) has B standard at 49.82
Sean Williams (CNW/ex Univ of Wash) has B standard @ 50.43 but may compete for Spain
Barry Leavitt (WSU) has B standard @ 50.44
James Frederickson (UW) has B standard @ 50.63

3,000m Steeplechase 8:32.00 8:45.00 24
***8:38.02 is currently #24***
Carl Moe (UW) has B standard @ 8:41.83

20 km Race Walk 1:36:00 -- 15--none
High Jump 2.28 m 2.20 m 24

Norris Frederick (UW) has B standard @ 2.22m/7-3 1/4
Trent Arrivey (WSU) has B standard @ 2.22m/7-3 1/4
***7-3 1/4 is currently #24***

Pole Vault 5.70 m 5.50 m 24

BRAD WALKER (Nike/Univ. of Wash.) 6.04m/19-9 3/4
Scott Roth (UW) has B standard @ 5.53m/18-1 3/4
***5.51 is currently #24***
Tyson Byers (WSU) has B standard @ 5.50m/18-0 1/2

Long Jump 8.05 m 7.80 m 24

Norris Frederick (UW) 8.12m/26-7 3/4
Elvie Williams (Idaho/Spokane CC/Spanaway Lake HS) 7.94m/26-0 3/4

Triple Jump 16.66 m 15.80 m 24
Kyle Jenkins (Indiana Univ/Thomas Jefferson HS/Indiana Univ.) 16.17m/53-0 3/4

Shot Put 20.00 m 18.60 m 24

Jesse Roberge (unattached/formerly Azusa Pacific & Yelm HS) has B standard @ 19.66m/64-6

Discus Throw 63.75 m 58.80 m 24

JARRED ROME (Nike/Marysville-Pilchuck HS) 68.37m/224-3
IAN WALTZ (Nike/WSU) 67.98m/223-0
Will Conwell (CNW/U of W) has B standard @ 63.61m/208-8
Reedus Thurmond (CNW/U of W asst. coach) has B standard @ 61.42m/201-6
***60.77 is currently #24***
Drew Ulrick (WSU) has B standard @ 60.62m/198-11
Matt Lamb (WSU) has B standard @ 60.47m/198-4

Hammer Throw 72.00 m 64.00 m 24

Nick Owens (UNC/Shelton HS) has B standard @ 71.20m/233-7
David Paul (En WA) has B standard @ 70.00m/229-8
Adam Midles (USC/Capital-Olympia HS) has B standard @ 69.57m/228-3
***68.41 is currently #24***
Martin Bingisser (ex UW) has B standard @ 67.70m/222-1
Nate Rolfe (Georgia/Inglemoor HS) has B standard @ 66.70/218-10
Jordan Stray (Oregon/Centralia HS) has B standard @ 65.75m/215-8
Jake Shanklin (Wyoming/Spokane CC/Ellensburg HS) has B standard @ 64.70/212-3

Javelin Throw 77.00 m 70.00 m 24

Shae Murray (Mead, WA) has B standard @ 74.80m/245-5
Justin St. Clair (ex UW/Boise St) has B standard @ 74.71m/245-1
Jon Jeffreys (WSU) has B standard @ 72.35m/237-4
***72.35 is currently #24***
Ryan Weidman (Spokane CC coach) has B standard @ 72.29m/237-2
Pat McCormick (Spokane CC) has B standard @ 71.51m/234-7
Rob Minnitti (ex UW) has B standard @ 70.27m/230-6

Decathlon 7900 pts. 7600 pts. 18

Chris Randolph (CNW/Seattle Pacific) has B standard @ 7798 pts.
Rickey Moody (WSU) has B standard @ 7787 pts.
***7712 is currently #18***


"A" "B" Field Size

100m 11.13 11.35 32--none
200m 22.80 23.25 32--none
400m 51.45 52.60 30--none
800m 2:01.50 2:06.50 30

Rebekah Noble (Oregon/Rogers-Spokane HS) has B standard @ 2:03.22
Anna Layman (WSU) has B standard @ 2:04.03
***2:04.07 is currently #30***
Brie Felnagle (North Carolina/Bellarmine Prep HS-Tacoma) has B standard @ 2:04.63

1,500m 4:10.00 4:19.50 30

Brie Felnagle (North Carolina/Bellarmine Prep HS-Tacoma) 4:08.54
***4:14.58 is currently #30***
Michelle Turner (UW) has B standard @ 4:14.94
Katie Follett (UW) has B standard @ 4:15.78
Christine Babcock (Woodbridge HS/Irvine CA--incoming UW freshman) has B standard @ 4:16.42
Amanda Miller (UW) has B standard @ 4:16.68
Rebekah Noble (Oregon/Rogers-Spokane) has B standard @ 4:17.43

5,000m 15:28.00 16:00.00 24--none
10,000m 32:45.00 34:00.00 24--none
100m Hurdles 12.85 13.25 32

GINNIE POWELL (Nike/Rainier Beach HS) 12.45
Ashley Lodree (ex UW) has B standard @ 12.99
***13.18 is currently #32***
Diana Pickler (Asics/WSU) has B standard @ 13.25

400m Hurdles 56.00 57.80 30--none
3,000m Steeplechase 10:00.00 10:20.00 24

Kelly Strong (Asics/UW asst. coach) 9:47.68
***10:07.09 is currently #24***
Meghan Leonard (WSU) has B standard @ 10:16.36
Kelly Fullerton (Team XO/Seattle U) has B standard @ 10:16.36

20 km Race Walk 1:48:00 1:50:00 16--none
High Jump 1.86 m 1.83 m 24

Diana Pickler (Asics/WSU) has B standard @ 1.84m/6-0 1/2
***1.84m is #24***

Pole Vault 4.47 m 4.20 m 24
Kate Conwell (CNW/Univ of Wash) has B standard @ 4.37m/14-4
***4.30 is currently #24***
Jennie Sewell (CNW) has B standard @ 4.26m/13-11 3/4

Long Jump 6.53 m 6.43 m 24--none
Triple Jump 13.50 m 13.10 m 24

Tiombe Hurd (Nike/former Seattle resident) 13.57m/44-5 1/4
***13.36 is #24***

Shot Put 17.50 m 17.00 m 24--none
Discus Throw 59.00 m 56.00 m 24

ARETHA THURMOND (Nike) 62.11m/203-9
CECELIA BARNES (ex UW) 61.99m/203-4
***56.06 is currently #24***

Hammer Throw 66.80 m 63.00 m 24

Brittany Hinchcliffe (ex Univ of Oregon/Capital HS-Olympia) 67.27/220-8
Vanessa Wilhelm (ex Azusa Pacific/Crescent HS in Joyce, near Port Angeles) has B standard @ 65.21m/213-11
McKenzie Garberg (WSU) has B standard @ 64.09m/210-3
Kate Burton (Wyoming/Clark CC/Evergreen HS) has B standard @ 63.92/209-8
***63.92m is currently #24***

Javelin Throw 54.50 m 50.50 m 24

KARA PATTERSON (Purdue/Skyview HS-Vancouver) 61.56m/202-0
Carolee Gutierrez (En WA) has B standard @ 53.53m/175-7
***51.09 is currently #24***

Heptathlon 5750 pts. 5500 pts. 18

DIANA PICKLER (Asics/WSU) 6205 points
Julie Pickler (Asics/WSU) 5990 points

***5641 is currently #18***

DISCLAIMER: This list is unofficial. USA Track & Field maintains the official entry lists, which can be seen here...

The final entry lists for each event contested at the Olympic Trials will be posted two days before the start of the first round of competition in that event. Please go to USATF's Olympic Trials home page for complete information on that event.

Names listed in green ALL CAPITAL LETTERS indicates athlete has met the Olympic Games A standard, which in many cases, is tougher than the Olympic Trials A standard.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday recap at the NCAA Championships...

DES MOINES, Iowa--University of Washington junior Jordan Boase’s (left/photo courtesy University of Washington Sports Information) magical mystery tour of the NCAA ended Saturday at the national championships, as Boase finished an oh-so-close fourth in the finals of the men’s 400 meter dash.

Oral Roberts University’s Andretti Bain, the reigning indoor champion, held off the charge of USC’s Pac-10 champ Lionel Larry to win, clocking 44.62 to Larry’s 44.63.

Boase, a junior from Bothell, Wash., was running sixth with 150 meters to go before he unleashed his finishing kick, pulling closer with each second until he crossed alongside Baylor's LeJerald Betters just behind the top two. Both Boase and Betters ran 44.83, but taken out to thousandths of a second, Betters finished in 44.825 and Boase was fourth in 44.828.

"I didn't get out as fast as I wanted, but all in all it was a good race," said Boase. "Running 44.83 in windy conditions is nothing to complain about. It's just a fast year in the 400, that's not usually a fourth-place time. I think I left a little too much in the tank, but I'm happy."

Boase’s season is not done yet, as he is scheduled to compete in the US Olympic Track & Field Team Trials in two weeks in Eugene, Oregon.

800 meter runner Austin Abbott finished seventh in his event, as the Husky senior from Chehalis clocked 1:48.46

"I couldn't bring it like I did the other two days," said Abbott. "I ran well the first two days. Just getting to the finals is an accomplishment. I would have liked to get by a few more guys though. I knew it was going to go out quick, I just tried to lay back and wait for the homestretch, it just wasn't there like it had been."

The seventh-place finish also emphasizes Abbott's skills as a racer, as he was seeded just 20th coming into the meet. Abbott picked up a valuable two points for UW and registered his fifth career All-American award, tying him for fifth-most in Husky history. While he is listed as a senior, he is expected to return next year, regaining a year of eligibility that he lost to injury in 2007.

Washington State freshman Anna Layman from Spokane finished eighth in the women’s 800, running 2:06.93.

North Carolina’s Brie Felnagle from Tacoma, the defending champion at 1500 meters, who had been fighting an illness since the regional championships two weeks ago, was a non-factor, as she placed a non-scoring 9th in 4:17.76.

Washington senior Amanda Miller from Wenatchee finished 11th in a time of 4-20.71,

In the final team standings, the Husky men finished sixteenth with 19.33 points, its most at NCAA's since 1983, and coupled with last year's 15th-place finish, the Huskies have now had back-to-back Top-20 finishes for the first time since 1978-79.

Washington State’s men’s squad finished 23rd with 11 points, thanks to Jeshua Anderson’s win on Friday in the 400 hurdles, while their women’s team was 31st with 8 points.

For those on the cusp of qualifying for the Olympic Trials, the waiting game begins, as Sunday, June 15th is the final day to attain marks to enter the Trials. Others who are under the age of 20 throughout this year are eligible to compete in the USA Junior Track & Field Championships next week in Columbus, Ohio.

NOTE: Special thanks to the University of Washington's Michael Bruscas for assistance with quotes this week.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday recap at the NCAA Championships...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Jeshua Anderson (center/photo by Paul Merca), the freshman wunderkind from Washington State University, proved to those who questioned whether he could seamlessly make the transition from the high school distance of 300 meters to 400 in winning the NCAA 400 meter hurdles title Friday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.

Anderson, the Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional champ, was behind Auburn’s Rueben McCoy as they cleared the final hurdle, but the national high school record holder in the 300 hurdles made a final surge to catch McCoy and win the national title by 2/100ths of a second in a time of 48.69.

"This is a blessing. I thank God for everything he's done for me," Anderson told CBS television commentator Dwight Stones after the race. "I haven't been able to race against fast people so just being in this race is a blessing. I set my goals high and for my collegiate year I accomplished what I wanted to and that was to be a champion at the NCAA Championships."

When Cougar hurdles coach and former intermediate hurdles All-American Mark Macdonald was asked if Anderson followed the race plan said, "That was exactly the race plan. Before he went out for the race we talked about what would happen and that was pretty much exactly what happened. Based on where he makes his changes in his race, going from 13 steps to 14, we knew he would fall back a little bit but the plan was to be set up for the 10th hurdle and the finish. With this plan he is all left-leg lead except for hurdle nine and that is where he fell back a little bit. Then he has about 80 meters of all-out sprint with his good lead-leg. You know Jeshua has this weird lean and he's good at it. It isn't something we taught him but maybe he learned it back in junior meets. He gets his chest way out there. It obviously served him well tonight."

Anderson's 48.69 seconds time is the fifth-best this year by an American man, and the third-best by a collegian, as Georgia's Justin Gaymon, who finished third at the NCAA final, ran a time of 48.53, and Johnny Dutch of South Carolina has run a time of 48.68. Anderson's time also surpassed the US Olympic Trials "A" standard. He will return to Pullman with the team late Sunday evening and then rest and mentally prepare for the US Junior Championships June 20-21 in Columbus, Ohio. Stating "there is still room for improvement," Macdonald said Anderson would watch race tapes and focus on the competition next weekend before thinking about the July Olympic Trials.

In yet another surprise, University of Washington junior Jared O’Connor, who was nowhere close on the national radar during the regular season, continued his magical run, tying for second in the men’s pole vault, clearing 17-2 3/4.

Only one vaulter, Texas' Maston Wallace, was able to clear the next height of 17-6 ½. Among the remaining six vaulters that cleared the previous height, only O'Connor, Nick Frawley of Air Force, and Yavgeniy Olhovsky of Virginia Tech had no prior misses, thus the trio tied for second. O'Connor earned 6.33 points.

"Coming in here I was definitely a long shot to say the least," said O'Connor. "To come out here in adverse wind conditions and suck it up and do the job I needed to do feels great. The key today was just hitting everything on first attempts and I did that."

O'Connor adds to Washington's ever-increasing legacy of pole vault excellence, earning his first career All-America award. He is the highest-finishing Husky at NCAA's since new American record-holder Brad Walker won the NCAA Indoor Championship in 2004. Last year, freshman Scott Roth placed eighth at NCAA's, but Roth redshirted this season with a foot injury. Since 2000, four Husky men have combined for eight All-America honors in the pole vault, all under the watch of assistant coach Pat Licari.

"It feels great," said O'Connor on his newly minted All-American status. "I think that there's better heights to be had in better conditions. I'm looking forward to just keep jumping and reaching my highest potential."

The Cougars’ McKenzie Garberg finished sixth in the women’s hammer, throwing 210-3, then followed it up with a fifth place finish in the discus, throwing 174-10, later in the day.

Washington senior Norris Frederick placed seventh in the men’s high jump, clearing 7-1 1/2. Senior Carl Moe finished eighth in the 3000 steeplechase, as the Husky ran a personal best of 8:41.83.

NCAA indoor champ Ebba Jungmark of WSU finished a disappointing ninth in the high jump, as the Swede only managed to clear 5-9 3/4. High jumper Trent Arrivey finished ninth in his event, clearing 7-0 1/4.

Fellow Cougar Jon Jeffreys placed 11th in the javelin, tossing the spear 207-3.

Eastern Washington’s Mattie Bridgmon ran 16:35.28 to finish 13th in the women’s 5000 meter run, just off her EWU school record time of 16:33.60, set earlier this season.

Washington’s Jordan Boase won his semi-final in the men’s 400 meters, running 45.23 to defeat USC’s Lionel Larry (45.68), the two-time defending Pac-10 champ.

Running in the first semifinal heat of the 400m dash, Boase needed only to finish in the top-three to advance to Saturday's final, but Boase asserted himself from the start and eased to the finish in 45.23, his third-best time of the year. He also assured himself of his fourth All-American award by making the final.

"I knew I had to get out fast to run with the guys. I just tried to stick with the guys on the outside and see how I felt. I felt good enough with about 150 left to kind of go past them so I did. I didn't feel like I was trying my hardest the last 75 so hopefully I've still got more in the tank for tomorrow. Sprinting isn't all that complicated. You've just got to run as hard as you can, so that's all I've got to do."

In Saturday’s final day of competition, Boase and 1500 meter runner Amanda Miller, along with 800 meter runner Austin Abbott will compete for the Huskies, while Washington State counters with 800 meter runner Anna Layman. University of North Carolina junior Brie Felnagle from Tacoma, the defending champion in the women’s 1500, rounds out the field of Washington state affiliated athletes competing at the NCAA title meet.

Tomorrow’s meet will be carried live on CBS Sports starting at 1 pm, Pacific time.

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

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday recap at the NCAA Championships...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Brie Felnagle of North Carolina (center, wearing hip #10/photo by Paul Merca) easily won her heat of the women’s 1500 meter run to advance to Saturday’s finals at the NCAA Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

In contrast to yesterday’s conditions, Thursday’s competition was run under nearly perfect conditions, with temperatures in the low to mid-70s, and a lack of humidity.

The former Bellarmine Prep standout from Tacoma looked very comfortable and in control as she cruised to victory in a time of 4:15.56, the fastest time of the two semi-final heats.

Also advancing in that race was Washington senior Amanda Miller, who finished sixth in that heat, running 4:16.68.

In the other heat, Washington’s Katie Follett placed seventh in 4:19.00, while teammate Michelle Turner was one spot behind in 4:20.06.

Washington State freshman Jeshua Anderson won his semi-final in the men’s 400 meter hurdles in 49.51.

In finals contested Thursday involving Washington-affiliated athletes, the Huskies’ Norris Frederick (above/photo by Paul Merca) finished sixth in the men’s long jump, with a mark of 25-6 3/4.

In the men’s 10000 meter run, Michael Kilburg of Portland (O’Dea HS) finished 11th in a time of 29:29.10. Washington’s Jake Schmitt finished 21st in 30:44.12, while Portland’s John Moore (Olympia HS) was one place behind in 30:49.48.

Washington State senior Rickey Moody, who began day two of the decathlon in fourth place, finished eighth with a two-day score of 7477 points.

Fellow Cougar Anna Layman advanced to the finals in the 800 meter run, finishing third in her semi-final in a personal best time of 2:04.03. Marissa Tschida threw 156-7 and did not advance to the finals.

WSU’s 4 x 400 meter relay team of Barry Leavitt, Reny Follett, Justin Woods, and Marlon Murray finished sixth in their heat in 3:09.45, and did not advance.

For the University of Washington, senior Austin Abbott garnered one of the final qualifying positions in the men’s 800 meter finals, finishing third in his heat in a time of 1:48.54.

100 meter hurdler Falesha Ankton finished fifth in her first round heat, in a time of 13.69, and did not advance to the semi-finals.

One Washingtonian we forgot to mention was former Mead High School standout Laef Barnes of UCLA, competing in the men’s 1500. After running with the lead pack early, Barnes faded to 11th, running 3:48.58.

Below is the list of Washington affiliated athletes competing Friday at the NCAA Championships.

Javelin—Jon Jeffreys (WSU)
Pole Vault—Jared O’Connor (UW)
High Jump—Ebba Jungmark (WSU)
High Jump—Norris Frederick (UW)
Discus & Hammer Throw—McKenzie Garberg (WSU)
3000 Steeplechase—Carl Moe (UW)
400 meters—Jordan Boase (UW)
400 hurdles—Jeshua Anderson (WSU)
5000 meters—Mattie Bridgmon (Eastern WA)

Friday’s competition will be shown live on CBS College Sports, beginning at 5 pm, Pacific time. You can also check live results here.

Notes from the NCAA Championships...

Quick update at 2:40 pm, local time here in Des Moines—after the seventh event, the discus, Washington State’s Rickey Moody has dropped to fourth place with a score of 5634 points.

Complete results are available here…

Here’s a list of Washington-affiliated athletes competing Thursday:

Decathlon—Rickey Moody (WSU)
Javelin—Marissa Tschida (WSU)
Long Jump—Norris Frederick (UW)
100 hurdles—Falesha Ankton (UW)
400 hurdles—Jeshua Anderson (WSU)
800 meters—Anna Layman (WSU)
800 meters—Austin Abbott (UW)
1500 meters—Brie Felnagle (UNC/Bellarmine Prep); Michelle Turner, Katie Follett, Amanda Miller (UW)
4 x 400 relay—WSU (Barry Leavitt, Jeshua Anderson, Reny Follett, Justin Woods)
10000 meters—Michael Kilburg (Portland/O’Dea HS), John Moore (Portland/Olympia HS), Jake Schmitt (UW)

BTW, Moody just cleared 4.00m (13-1 1/2), worth 617 points, giving him 6251 so far. He had three misses at 4.20m (13-9 1/4) worth 673 points, so he finishes with 6251 after eight events.

Great story on WSU's Jeshua Anderson in the Seattle P-I...

Here's a link to a story in today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer on WSU 400 hurdler Jeshua Anderson, who ran the fastest time in the first round Wednesday night here in Des Moines.

You can access the story here...

Mattie Bridgmon qualifies for NCAA finals in 5000m...

Sometimes, you have to hand it to the kids from the little schools.

One of those you have to hand it to is Eastern Washington’s Mattie Bridgmon (left/photo by Mike Scott), who qualified for the finals in the women’s 5000 meter run Wednesday night, running 17:18.39 to finish tenth in her heat, as the top six finishers in each of the two heats and the next four fastest times qualified for finals. Bridgmon was 10th in her heat and was actually the last competitor to qualify.

As a result, the Laramie (Wyoming) HS graduate will miss her commencement ceremony in Cheney on Saturday, where she was supposed to receive her degree in exercise science, as the finals of the 5000 are Friday night here in Des Moines.

"If I am going to have to pick between nationals and graduation, I would definitely pick nationals," said an overjoyed Bridgmon after her race. "It is a shock that I made it to finals and I am definitely excited."

"Today’s race was about getting a place and making it to finals," said EWU distance/cross country coach Chris Zeller. "I would have liked to see Mattie a little quicker but she did what she had to do. Friday it all depends on how the race goes to see if she can earn All-America status."

Wednesday’s first day of the NCAA Championships were highlighted by a thunderstorm, which delayed the morning qualifying in several field events, and the decathlon.

Competition ended with an announcement to leave Drake Stadium promptly, with a possible tornado warning for the Des Moines area in effect.
Five Huskies advanced through the early rounds on the first day of the 2008 NCAA Track and Field Championships hosted by Drake University. Senior Norris Frederick led the way, reaching the final in both the long and high jumps.

Other Huskies advancing through their prelims or semis today included senior Austin Abbott (Chehalis, Wash./W.F. West) in the 800-meters, senior Carl Moe (Auburn, Wash./Auburn-Riverside) in the steeplechase, junior Jordan Boase (Bothell, Wash./Bothell) in the 400-meters, and junior Jared O'Connor (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa) in the pole vault.

"Our day all in all was relatively perfect," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "We got Austin through to the next round, Carl Moe ran great, the best he's looked in a month. Jordan did what he's done all year to win his heat, and Norris had a great day today in both jumps. So it was a very exciting today with more to come tomorrow."

Early morning thunderstorms delayed the morning session, and competitors had to deal with constant winds throughout the day. The only affected UW competitor was Frederick, who had the start time of the high jump pushed back to 9 p.m. CT.

Frederick was the first and last Husky competitor of the day, and opened up with a wind-aided long jump of 25-feet, 8 ¾-inches. With fierce winds at the backs of the jumpers all afternoon, nearly every competitor's best mark had a wind reading above 2-meters. Frederick fouled on his next two attempts, but his first jump proved to be the sixth-best of the day and he moved on to the final.

At around 9:30 p.m. CT, Frederick ended his day with a perfect showing in the high jump, clearing all three heights on his first attempt to move on to the final.

Washington State had 10 competitors participate in 11 qualifying events, and seven Cougars will move on to a final or semifinal in eight events. Additionally, Rickey Moody had a solid first day in the decathlon, as he’s currently standing in third with 4048 points.

Moody opened the day with a 100m dash time of 10.94 seconds, third-fastest among the field of 26 men. His long jump mark of 23-feet, 1 3/4 inches (7.05m) was fifth-best on the day. Moody threw the shot put a distance of 47-11 1/4 (14.61m), fourth-farthest. He reached cleared 6-7 1/2 (2.02m) in the high jump which equaled his lifetime-best height and was the second-best height of the decathletes. Moody ended the day with a 400m dash time of 51.21, 15th-fastest. The decathlon continues Thursday with the 110m hurdles scheduled for 10:45 a.m.

Jeshua Anderson (freshman, Woodland Hills, Calif.) ran the top time in the men's 400m hurdles prelims of 49.90 seconds. Teammate Barry Leavitt's prelim time of 51.63 was 21st out of 26 racers and the top 16 advanced to the semifinals. Leavitt (junior, Benton City, Wash.) is not done with competition at the national championships as he will race as a member of the WSU 4x400m relay team in the Thursday prelims.

McKenzie Garberg (senior, Benton City, Wash.) had the top throw in the women's discus prelims with a personal-record of 177-3 (54.04m), the third-best throw in WSU history. It was her second throw of three in the qualifying round. The 2007 discus All-American (8th place), Garberg will throw in the discus final Friday evening. Earlier in the day, Garberg advanced to the women's hammer final (Friday afternoon) after throwing the fourth-best distance in the prelims of 204-1 (62.21m), on her opening throw.

"It was a good day for the Cougars," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "I was hoping that Sara (Trané) and Meghan (Leonard) could get through to the steeplechase finals. They would have had to run a great race to do it but they just didn't have their best stuff today. Barry's (Leavitt) race looked like a pretty good race it just wasn't as fast as he's run before and his time didn't move him along. Other than those three people, it was a very successful day for Washington State Cougars."

Among the highlighted Washington affiliated athletes competing Thursday include North Carolina's Brie Felnagle (Bellarmine Prep HS), and the Washington trio of Michelle Turner, Katie Follett, and Amanda Miller in the women's 1500 meter run.

Live results from the NCAA Championships are available here...

NCAA agate--day 1


Rickey Moody (WSU)---4048 points (3rd)


Jon Jeffreys (WSU)—213-1 (9th)


McKenzie Garberg (WSU)—204-1 (5th)

Long Jump

Norris Frederick (UW)—25-8 3/4 (6th)

High Jump

Ebba Jungmark (WSU)—5-9 3/4 (t 1st)


McKenzie Garberg (WSU)—177-3 (1st)

Pole Vault

Jared O’Connor (UW) 17-2 3/4 (t 1st)

4 x 100 relay

15 Washington 40.17 (5th heat 3)
1) Jordan Boase JR 2) James Fredrickson SR
3) Joseph Turner JR 4) Ryan Hamilton FR

800 meters

2 Anna Layman FR Washington State 2:06.85Q (heat 2)

800 meters

3 Austin Abbott SR Washington 1:49.64Q (heat 3)

400 hurdles

3 Lorraine King JR Washington State 58.96q (heat 4)

400 hurdles

1 Jeshua Anderson FR Washington State 49.90Q (heat 4)
4 Barry Leavitt JR Washington State 51.63
5 James Fredrickson SR Washington 52.22

400 meters
Heat 4 Preliminaries
1 Jordan Boase JR Washington 46.65Q

3000 steeplechase

10 Meghan Leonard SR Washington State 10:45.90 (heat 1)
10 Sara Trane JR Washington State 10:36.06 (heat 2)

3000 steeplechase

3 Carl Moe SR Washington 8:49.52Q (heat 2)

5000 meters

10 Mattie Bridgemon Eastern Washington 17:18.39q

High Jump (flight 2)
1 Norris Frederick SR Washington 2.14mq 7-00.25

1 Trent Arrivey SO Washington State 2.14mq 7-00.25

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