Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quick and dirty notes from Friday's action at Millrose, UW Invite, & Pole Vault Summit...

A quick and dirty note to post before bed time, as we've just arrived at the domicile after announcing day 1 of the UW Invitational from the Dempsey Indoor.

Bernard Lagat won his eighth Wanamaker Mile title at the Millrose Games at New York's Madison Square Garden., running 3:56.34 to defeat 2008 Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya, who ran 3:58.03.

Lagat shot past Kiprop on the final lap and continued to extend his lead over the final lap before crossing the line in 3:56.34 with Kirpop coming in second (3:58.03). With his historic eight win, Lagat collected all of the night's hardware, including Team USA Athlete of the Meet, presented by Visa, which comes with a $2500 bonus. Lagat has decided to donate this, and all bonus monies he might earn this indoor season, to the Haiti Relief Fund.

Lagat's coach, James Li afterwards talked to here in Seattle, and said that he was pleased with his athlete's effort in New York. Li watched Lagat's race in UW coach Greg Metcalf's office, and spoke to Lagat.

Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Powell finished third in the women's 60 meter hurdles, clocking 8.07, behind Olympic bronze medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (8.01) of Canada, and former Michigan standout Tiffany Ofili (8.04).

At the UW Invitational, sophomore Kelly McNamee of Spokane placed fourth overall with 3,524 points, just off her PR. Close behind her was Lindsay Kirschman (left/photo courtesy University of Washington), a former mid-distance runner that has now ventured into the multi-events in her senior year.

Kirschman moved up 10 places to sixth overall on the strength of her outstanding 800-meter run to close the pentathlon. Her time of 2:12.76 was the best by six seconds over anyone else in the field, and she won her heat by seventeen seconds. That pushed her up to sixth place with 3,381 points, good for ninth in UW history.

Freshman Sarah Schireman now sits 10th right behind Kirschman, as she posted 3,284 points in her first collegiate multi.

The night's top performance came courtesy of professional Molly Huddle, who ran the second-fastest 5,000-meters in Dempsey history. She streaked around the 307-meter oval in 15-minutes, 20.05 seconds to win by over 50 seconds.

The men's 5,000-metres was won by a U.S. Olympian, as Billy Nelson of the Oregon Track Club finished in 14:00.93. Washington junior Jordan Swarthout placed second overall in 14:40.64, four seconds ahead of the third-place finisher. American 5000 meter record-holder Dathan Ritzenhein withdrew from the meet early in the day.

The lion's share of competition comes on Saturday, with the first running events beginning at 9 a.m. The first finals come in the 11 o'clock hour with 60m dash and hurdle finals. The fastest heats from 200-meters up will then all be contested in a row starting at approximately 3:15.


After thrilling the home fans two weeks ago with a new lifetime-best pole vault clearance, junior Scott Roth headed to Reno's annual National Pole Vault Summit where he captured the elite men's title. Roth's win came over one particular athlete he'll hope to defeat later this season, as he outjumped 2009 NCAA Indoor and Outdoor champion Jason Colwick of Rice. Roth was the runner-up to Colwick at the outdoor meet last year.

Roth cleared 18-feet 1/2 inch (5.50m) on his first attempt and wound up being the only vaulter over the bar at that height to seal the win. He had the bar raised to a would-be PR of 18-8 3/4 (5.71m), but missed his three attempts.

NOTE: The University of Washington contributed to this report.

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