Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Olympic Trials day 5 preview...

EUGENE--Bernard Lagat (left, leading Ian Dobson in the final lap of Monday's 5000/photo by Paul Merca) already has his ticket punched to Beijing in the 5000 meter run, but he’s looking for more, as the 2004 Olympic silver medalist at 1500 meters begins his journey towards moving up to the top box.

The journey to the top box begins at 8:25 pm local time Thursday, as the first round of the men’s 1500 gets underway.

Other runners with Washington connections competing in the first round of the 1500 include 2005 World Championship team member Chris Lukezic, a 2002 grad of Auburn HS; Andy McClary, who attended Shelton HS; and, late addition Jordan McNamara, who attended Auburn-Riverside HS.

2004 Olympians Jarred Rome (Marysville-Pilchuck HS) and Ian Waltz (WSU) begin their quest for a return shot at an Olympic medal as the qualifying round of the men’s discus begins at 8:30 pm.

Also competing in the men’s discus qualifying are former Husky Will Conwell and UW throws coach Reedus Thurmond.

Conwell’s wife, Kate, the 2006 NCAA pole vault champ at University of Washington will jump at 7:10 pm.

In the women’s hammer, five women— Brittany Hinchcliffe (Capital HS/Olympia),
Vanessa Wilhelm (Crescent HS/Joyce), McKenzie Garberg (WSU), Kate Burton (Clark CC/Evergreen HS), and Britney Henry (Spokane) will contend for one of 12 spots in Saturday afternoon’s finals, as the hammer qualifying kicks off the meet at 7 pm.

At 7:25 pm, recent Husky Norris Frederick will attempt to shake off the disappointment of not making the finals in the long jump, as he’ll compete in the high jump qualifying.

Frederick will be joined in qualifying by former Woodinville HS and current Washington State jumper Trent Arrivey.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing qualifying races on the track will be the women’s 1500 meter run, featuring 2007 NCAA champion Brie Felnagle from North Carolina via Tacoma’s Bellarmine Prep HS.

Joining Felnagle are three current Huskies in Michelle Turner, Amanda Miller, and Katie Follett, all of whom qualified for this year’s NCAA championships in Des Moines.

Washington Husky fans will also see Thursday the future, as incoming freshman Christine Babcock, the national high school federation record holder at 1600 meters, and 1500 meters, from Irvine, California, will run in the qualifying round of the 1500m.

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

7:00 p.m. Hammer Throw women qualifying (24)
Brittany Hinchcliffe (Capital HS/Olympia)
Vanessa Wilhelm (Crescent HS/Joyce)
McKenzie Garberg (WSU)
Kate Burton (Clark CC/Evergreen HS)
Britney Henry (Spokane)

7:10 Pole Vault women qualifying (24)
Kate Conwell (Univ. of Washington/Club Northwest)

7:25 High Jump men qualifying (24)
Norris Frederick (Univ. of Washington)
Trent Arrivey (WSU/Woodinville HS)

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

8:25 1500m men quarterfinal (30)
Andy McClary (Shelton HS)
Chris Lukezic (Auburn HS)
Jordan McNamara (Auburn Riverside HS)

8:30 Discus Throw men qualifying (24)
JARRED ROME (Marysville-Pilchuck HS)
Will Conwell (UW)
Reedus Thurmond (UW assistant coach/Club NW)

NOTE: Names in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS indicate athlete owns Olympic Games 'A' standard.

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