Saturday, August 15, 2009

IAAF World Championships--day 1 recap...

BERLIN, Germany--Former Washington State University All American Bernard Lagat opened his world championship title defense Saturday evening with an easy first round advancement, running 3:41.60 to finish behind 2008 Olympic silver medalist Asbel Kiprop of Kenya.

Lagat stayed out of trouble during the early laps of the race, then positioned himself on the outside entering the final 200 meters, easing up slightly over the last 25 meters of the race.

Afterwards, Lagat told USA Track & Field, " I just wanted to run very smart. I wanted to get outside so I don’t get boxed. That has been my strategy all the time. The most important thing is I want to run strong and feel like I can run fast with them in the last lap. That is why I wanted to make sure I ran with the guys. With 300 meters to go, I followed it and I felt really good. I wanted to feel like I can accelerate but even go faster. I’m feeling really good about my race today."

After four events in the heptathlon, fellow Washington State alum Diana Pickler stands twelfth in the heptathlon, with a current score of 3589 points.

In the evening session, she had a sub par performance in the shot put, only throwing 12.40 meters (40-8 1/4), worth 688 points.

In the day's final event, she won her heat, running a season best time of 24.75, worth 910 points.

Historically a better second-day performer, Pickler will have to come close to her personal bests in the long jump, javelin, and 800 if she's to contend for a top-eight finish.

In Sunday's events, Vancouver's Kara Patterson will be the only other athlete besides Pickler with Washington ties competing, as she will throw in the qualifying round of the women's javelin.

For complete results from the IAAF World Championships, please go to

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