Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bernard Lagat formally gets spot on World Championship team; Aretha Thurmond earns ticket to Berlin...

EUGENE, Oregon--Bernard Lagat’s appearance at the USA Outdoor Track & Field championships in Eugene, Oregon took exactly all of 1:48.59, as the former Washington State standout formally placed himself on the World Championship team by finishing third in his heat of the 800 meters.

As defending world champion at 1500 & 5000 meters, all he had to do to put himself on the team was compete at the national championships.

After the race, I told him that it would’ve been more dramatic had he kept running past the finish line and the mixed zone and straight to a waiting car.

He told the media, “I felt alright out there. I wanted to run fast out there but I’m still trying to learn how to run the 800 meters again. I can’t even remember the last time I ran the 800. But it was a good run for me, another step in my training.”

Aretha Thurmond from Federal Way, the former Renton High & UW All-American and two-time Olympian made yet another world championship team, coming through with a clutch sixth round throw of 205-1 (62.51m) to finish second behind Olympic champion Stephanie Brown Trafton, who spun the platter 210-9 (64.25m).

Here’s the interview with Aretha after her competition:



Qualifying for the next round was the order of the day, as a pair of former Auburn prep standouts moved on to the finals in the men’s 1500.

Chris Lukezic finished second in his heat, running 3:45.60, while Jordan McNamara nabbed one of the last spots in finishing fifth in heat 4, clocking 3:41.15.

Former Washington Husky Ryan Brown ran the fifth fastest time of the day in the men’s 800 qualifying round, clocking 1:48.17 to advance to Friday’s semi-finals.

After the conclusion of day 1 of the decathlon, former Seattle Pacific standout Chris Randolph stands sixth with 4032 points. Rickey Moody of Club Northwest and Puyallup, didn't finish the 400, after completing the first four events.

Among those competing Thursday but not advancing were Katie Follett of UW & Jessica Pixler from SPU in the women’s 1500; recent UW grads Jordan Boase and Austin Abbott in the men’s 400 and 1500, respectively; Shelton twins Andy & Alex McClary in the 1500 & 800; former Tacoma prep runner Craig Everhart in the men’s 400.

Former Eastern Washington standout Mattie Bridgmon was 19th in the women’s 10000 in 34:10.51. In the men’s 10000, former O’Dea HS runner Michael Kilburg was 20th in 29:48.14and ex-Husky Mike Sayenko failed to finish the 10000.

In the men’s javelin finals, former Husky and Boise State thrower Justin St. Clair was 18th at 206-2 (62.85m).

Complete results from the first day of competition are posted here.

In Friday’s competition, key Washingtonians to look for include Mel Lawrence in the women’s steeple, Jarred Rome & Ian Waltz in the men’s discus, and Ryan Brown in the semis of the men’s 800.

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