Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Olympic Trials day 4 recap

EUGENE--Kara Patterson from Vancouver (above/photo by Paul Merca), who was fifth in the NCAA championships a few weeks ago as a member of the Purdue University track team,secured her spot on the Olympic team by winning the women’s javelin in an Olympic Trials meet record distance of 191 feet 9 inches.

After talking to the Skyview High School graduate after Saturday’s qualifying round, one got the feeling that she was more relaxed than she was a few weeks ago in Des Moines, Iowa at the NCAA meet, where she entered the championships as America’s top collegiate thrower with her mark of 202-0 at the Big 10 meet in Champaign, Illinois.

And relaxed she was.

Entering Monday’s finals, she along with American record holder Kim Kreiner were the only two throwers in the field to hold the vitally-important Olympic Games A standard in order to go to Beijing.

In layman’s terms, for anyone else in the field except Patterson and Kreiner to even think about going to Beijing, they had to finish in the top three AND throw at least 198-6.

Patterson took care of business early, setting the tone of the competition by leading after a first round throw of 182-3.

After Kreiner took over the lead in round two with a toss of 183-5, Patterson took control of the competition in the next round with her winning toss of 191-9.

Such was Patterson’s dominance of the field that she had two other throws over the 58-meter (190-3) mark, and no one else did.

Dana Pounds, who finished second with a throw of 189-9, provided some drama in the final round, as she went for the 198-6, knowing that she wasn’t making the trip to China unless she threw that distance.

After realizing that her final toss wasn’t going to reach 198-6, Pounds intentionally stepped over the line.

Oregon’s Rachel Yurkovich, who entered the Trials as the NCAA javelin champion, finished third with a throw of 185-9, and Kreiner finished fourth with a throw of 183-5.

Kreiner displaces both Pounds and Yurkovich for the trip to China.

Afterwards, Patterson stated that she really wanted to win this meet. “It’s really fun to understand how to have the competitive mindset and be super-confident in what you can do.”

She was pleased from a technical standpoint on her performance Monday, and on the fact that she strung together three throws better than anyone else in the field.

"I was excited to have three 58-meter throws; I'd like to get back out there to that 60-meter mark. I like that I have a 61-meter throw under my belt."

"I was really excited to be in the Northwest throwing and had Beijing 2008 in my mind."

Patterson’s former Purdue teammate, Lindsey Blaine from Lyle finished eighth with a throw of 168-7.

Former Washington State University standout Bernard Lagat used essentially the same tactic of letting others do the work and staying out of trouble, as he won the men’s 5000 meter run in a modest time of 13:27.47.

Discussing his strategy of staying away from traffic, much as he did at last year’s world championships in Osaka, Lagat said, "Being on the inside, sometimes you can get tripped and I don't want that to happen, so that's why I stayed towards the outside."

"The atmosphere was amazing. The fans here are incredible. You could hear them as you crossed the finish line, and we just had so much support tonight. After the 800, the crowd was already excited and the energy was so good that I knew we would keep that excitement up for our race."

"The Olympics are the biggest meet. Everyone dreams about going to the Olympics, and to be here on Team USA is unbelievable. I'm going to take the same hunger I had in 2004 and try and bring home the gold."

Former Seattle Pacific standout Chris Randolph, competing for Seattle’s Club Northwest, finished the two-day decathlon competition in tenth, scoring 7660 points. Washington State’s Rickey Moody from Puyallup finished 14th with a score of 7512 points.

The amazing run of the University of Washington’s Jordan Boase in the 400 meters came to a screeching halt as he struggled to a time of 46.60, slower than the 46.31 he posted in yesterday's opener. The Bothell High grad finished seventh in his heat,

Boase will return to run in the qualifying rounds of the 200 on Friday.

University of Washington women’s distance coach Kelly Strong, one of the top women's steeplechasers in the country, placed 9th in her 12 woman semifinal heat in a time of 10:13.70.

Former Eastern Washington University hammer thrower David Paul threw 228-6 to advance to the finals on the Fourth of July.

High school rivals Adam Midles (Capital HS/Olympia) and Nick Owens (Shelton HS) finished 14th and 15th in the hammer qualifying, throwing 221-1, and 219-8.

For complete results of Monday’s Olympic Trials competition, click here, follow the date, then click on the event title.


Shahana said...

nice to know about her.

CrossTrack said...

Patterson is from Skyview of Vancouver, not Skyline.

Mercanator said...

Oops...just a plain rush job typing!

CrossTrack said...

Figured, you had it right earlier....

Gotta give SW Washington (Vancouver) props when available though.

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