Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ex-Cougars Lagat and Waltz winners at adidas Track Classic...

Bernard Lagat (left/file photo from 2008 adidas Track Classic) opened his 2009 outdoor campaign by winning the 1500 meter run at the nationally-televised adidas Track Classic Saturday evening at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

With good early season splits of 56.2, 1:54.9 and 2:54.9, the two-time Olympic medalist and 2007 double World champion from Washington State University won the race in 3:36.38, defeating a field that included Canada's Nate Brannen and former Auburn High School standout Chris Lukezic.

Lukezic was in the main pack when he was spiked by a competitor, then lost his shoe at the 500 meter mark. According to a post on his Twitter account, Lukezic said he felt good about his chances before the mishap.

Afterwards, Lagat said, "I was feeling good all the way. Even at the bell I wanted to go. So I had to wait, wait, wait. So I went at about 150 and it worked out."

Another former Cougar, discus thrower Ian Waltz won his specialty, spinning the platter 202-5 (61.70m) to beat training partner and Marysville-Pilchuck HS grad Jarred Rome by four inches.

The victorious Rome said, "I'm just happy to be healthy. Last year at the (Olympic) Trials I tore my adductor muscle in my stomach. I'm finally throwing pain free."

"I feel like I'm a month or two behind where I need to be but that's okay because Worlds are in August".

"No matter which meet it is, it's about winning no matter what the distance."

Former Rainier Beach HS standout and two-time world championships competitor Ginnie Powell finished seventh in the women's 100 meter hurdles, running 13.06.

Roosevelt HS grad and recent University of Washington grad Norris Frederick's struggles on the pro circuit continued as he finished seventh in the long jump, with a mark of 24-0.25 (7.32m).

Complete results from the adidas Track Classic, which is part of USA Track & Field's 2009 Visa Outdoor Championship Series, can be accessed here.

USATF's Visa Championship Series moves on to New York for the Reebok Grand Prix meet on May 30th, before returning to the West Coast and the Nike Prefontaine Classic on June 7th.
NOTES: As announced on our Twitter feed Saturday night, 400m runner Jeremy Wariner, the 2004 Olympic champion at that distance, announced at the adidas meet that he was reuniting with Baylor coach Clyde Hart. Wariner and Hart separated last year over a financial dispute.

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