Friday, June 25, 2010

Vancouver's Kara Patterson sets American record in javelin at USA Championships...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Third straight national title. Check.

Drake Stadium record. Check

Four throws over 200 feet in the series. Check.

American record. Check.

$25000 bonus check from Asics for American record. Please and thank you very much!

Those were the thoughts Vancouver native Kara Patterson (left/photo by Mike Scott) must have had as the Skyview High School alum accomplished all those feats Friday night in setting a new American record in the javelin of 218-9 (66.67m) at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Nearly a month's worth of frustration built up from not getting any meets to compete in, along with minor problems with her right shoulder and left Achilles tendon cumulated as Patterson won the meet on her first attempt, throwing 195-7 (59.62m), then strung together four throws of over 200 feet, climaxing with her American record on the sixth and final attempt of the competition.

Courtesy of media partner, here is her throw:

Afterwards, a beaming Patterson told reporters, "I'm really happy. It's my best series ever. Four throws over 200 feet is pretty exciting and this whole season has been a lot about consistency because I'm really focused on always being able to throw that A standard and know that I can make a final at world championships and Olympics. So I'm very happy with how I did today."

Asked about throwing into a headwind, she said, "I don't know, as javelin throwers you always have to be conscious that a head wind means you have to keep the tip down a little and throw straight into it. For women's javelin, that can really help you. I mean Hayward always has a little head wind and last year for USA's, it was kind of the same thing. It was a screaming head wind and if you hit it just right, then it kind of takes it and lifts it up. I was told the wind died down a little bit as I started my approach on my sixth throw, so maybe that helped me out. I'm not really sure."

On her American record throw, the 2008 US Olympian said, "Well I've never had the clap start for me in a competition - like what happens in the long jump. And Karlee McQuillen of Penn State got the girls started and then the crowd got into it and I threw the American record. So the little extra energy, I guess, was good."

Northwest fans will get to see Patterson compete in next week's Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, as well as the Harry Jerome Track Classic on July 5th in Burnaby, British Columbia.

If you wondered what she did in the hours leading up to her American record, you can read her blog post here...


For Washington athletes competing in Des Moines, the javelin runway provided yet another winner, as University of Washington freshman Joe Zimmerman punched his ticket to Moncton, Canada for the IAAF World Junior Championships next month, as he dominated the field, emerging victorious with a personal best toss of 238-4 (72.65m).

"I've always been at nationals, but just never did good enough (to make the World Championships)," said Zimmerman, who finished fourth in the NCAA championships two weeks ago, and was the top freshman. "All year, I focused on nationals, and once that's over, it's all I can think about."

Finishing second behind Zimmerman, and earning a spot on Team USA was Tahoma High School graduate and 2010 Washington state Gatorade High School track & field athlete of the year Derek Eager, representing the Seatown Express Track Club run by former NFL star Eric Metcalf.

Eager, who will attend UCLA this fall, threw 230-5 (70.24m) to ace out Sam Crouser of Gresham HS in Oregon. Crouser, the national junior record holder in the event at 255-4, only threw 228-4.


Another day and another win was collected by Washington State grad Bernard Lagat, as the reigning world indoor champ at 3000 won the men's 5000 meter run in a modest 13:54.08.

Marysville-Pilchuck graduate Jarred Rome finished third in the discus with a mark of 200-3 (61.03m). WSU grad Ian Waltz, who became a father to a girl on Tuesday with wife and Olympic pole vault champ Stacy Dragila, finished sixth with a throw of 191-1 (58.25m).

Former Husky Will Conwell was 11th with a toss of 185-7 (56.57m), while former Cougar Drew Ulrick was 15th at 176-4 (53.76m).

In the men's hammer, 2009 world championships team member Michael Mai of the US Army, who is stationed at Fort Lewis, finished 11th with a throw of 227-10 (69.46m). Former Eastern Washington University thrower David Paul, a Yelm HS graduate, finished 14th with a mark of 221-3 (67.43m).

In the finals of the women's 100 meter dash, Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Powell-Crawford finished eighth in 11.54, after running 11.43 in the semifinals. In her specialty, the 100 hurdles, Powell-Crawford won her heat in 12.92.

Washington's Falesha Ankton finished sixth in her heat of the 100 hurdles, running 13.63.

WSU's Jeshua Anderson advanced to Saturday's finals of the 400 meter hurdles, as he finished second in the semis, running 49.96.

Former Husky Ryan Brown, a 2009 world championships team member, finished third in his semi-final heat of the 800 meter run in 1:47.60, and advanced to the finals on Sunday.

Former Tacoma prep standout Craig Everhart failed to advance to the finals of the men's 400, running 47.01 to finish seventh in his semifinal race.


Othello High School's Christine Kirkwood finished third in the javelin, missing out on a trip to the world championships, as she threw 161-4 (49.18m).

In the junior men's triple jump, University of Washington incoming freshman Kasen Covington placed fourth with a leap of 50-6 3/4 (15.41m).

The University of Oregon's Becca Friday from Bellingham finished fifth in the finals of the junior women's 800, running 2:09.53.

In qualifying action in the junior men's 400, Rainier Beach HS's Michael Berry from Seatown Express ran 46.68 to win his heat and advance to Saturday's finals.

Saturday and Sunday, the coverage will be on ESPN from 10-11:30 a.m. Pacific and from noon to 1 p.m. on NBC.

Streaming video of the USA Championships will also be available via our media partner for races that are not on the television schedule.

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