Friday, July 2, 2010

Kentwood finishes eighth at Nike Track Nationals...

EUGENE, Oregon--As a precursor to Saturday's Nike Prefontaine Classic, twelve of the top boys' and girls' high school teams from around the country gathered at Hayward Field to determine who is America's top high school squad, including Washington's lone representative, Kentwood High School, which had a girls team invited to compete.

Using a scoring system similar to the decathlon, the Kentwood girls' squad finished eighth, scoring 7053.16 points.

Coach Steve Roche's squad from Covington, which this spring won the Tacoma, Pasco, and Lake Washington Invitationals, were led by thrower Alyx Toeaina, who placed third in both the shot put (38-5/11.71m) and discus (124-2/37.84m).

Long jumper Holly DeHart (left/photo by Paul Merca), the state 4A champ at 200 meters, finished fourth with a mark of 17-1.25/5.21m. DeHart was eighth in the 100 in a time of 12.40, off her personal best of 12.25.

High jumper Carly Horn finished fifth with a leap of 4-11.75/1.52m.

Chandler (AZ) won the girl's team title, scoring 7721.65 points. In the men's competition,

Vista Murietta (CA) won the boy's team title with a score of 7797.18 points.

Complete results of the meet are available at

Earlier in the day, WSU hall of famer Bernard Lagat, who is running in the Bowerman Mile race, met the media at the Prefontaine Classic press conference. Here are excerpts, courtesy of USA Track & Field:

Q: Everyone knows about the success you've had with the Wanamaker Mile and that you've been successful with the Bowerman Mile at the Pre Classic. What would it mean for you to win it again on Saturday?

A: It would mean a lot to me. It's been a long time since I've won the Bowerman Mile and I want it so bad. My coach told me to go in there and put your mind and everything in it and don't go into it halfway and just do the work and run strong towards the end and make sure you win it because this is important. If I lose tomorrow my son is going to be not too happy. He's here with me and he gets upset when daddy loses races. I lost in New York and he could not believe that I lost, and when I broke the American record in the 5,000 I finished third and he wasn't too happy, so there's more motivation for me to run and win for my son as well.

Q: Would another motivation come from knowing that you're facing a terrific field in this race?

A: Absolutely. The biggest motivation is that I am running against the best in the world. Everybody's here and for me to win I'll have to work very, very hard for it. It's not going to be easy and it won't be given to me. I've been training well and I'm rested, I'm ready mentally and physically.

Q: Does it mean more to you to win these famous races when the competition is more challenging?

A: If you think about the Wanamaker for example, I was going against the Olympic champion and it was not easy. I had to run hard, I ran a smart race and I won it, so that is a legitimate race that I won and tomorrow is going to be another one.

Q: Do you think anyone is going to take it out early and try to take your great kick away from you?

A: I think so. About 1,200 meters into the race I am sure somebody is going to try to go.

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