Saturday, August 21, 2010

Lagat, Patterson lead Washington contingent onto Berlin's Olympiastadion for ISTAF Sunday...

BERLIN, Germany--One year after Washington State University hall of famer Bernard Lagat (far right/photo courtesy walked out of the Olympiastadion with a bronze medal in the 1500, and a silver in the 5000 at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships, Lagat returns to Berlin aiming for the American record in the 3000 meter run at Sunday's ISTAF meeting.

Lagat is eying Bob Kennedy's 7:30.84, set twelve years ago in Monaco at the Herculis meeting, which translates to roughly 60 seconds per lap for 7.5 circuits.

The current Tuscon, Arizona resident will face a formidable field that includes Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia, the Zurich winner over 5000 meters and who has a personal best of 7:29.11; world 3000m steeple record holder Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar, and Kenya's Isaac Songok, who has a personal best of 7:28.72.

Lagat's personal best in this event is 7:32.43, which is the American indoor record, set in 2007.

After posting on her website that she let the pressure of a really high level competition get to her in Zurich on Thrusday, javelin thrower Kara Patterson from Vancouver returns to the Olympiastadion to throw against Germans Christina Obergfoll, Kathrina Molitor, and European champion Linda Stahl, all of whom are in the top ten in the world this season.

In last year's world championships, Patterson did not get out of the qualifying round in her first summer as a professional.

Rainier Beach HS alum Ginnie Powell Crawford, who was sixth in the world championships at the Olympiastadion, will face three other finalists from last year's meet including Canada's Priscilla Lopes-Schliep and Perdita Felicien, and Jamaica's Delloreen Ennis, along with reigning world indoor champion Lolo Jones.

Former Washington Husky Märt Israel from Estonia, smarting after a ninth place finish in the Weltklasse meet in Zurich on Thursday, will throw the discus against a field that includes reigning world champion Robert Harting of Germany, who set off one of the most raucous victory celebrations at last year's championships, picking up Berlino, the meet's mascot, and twirling him upside down.

Israel did not qualify for the finals at last year's world championships, aggravating an injury he suffered earlier in the season.

Finally, 2007 world pole vault champion Brad Walker will have an opportunity to step on the Olympiastadion runway in his second meet of the 2010 season, after missing last year's world championship with an injury suffered in Monaco. Walker was in Berlin last year, but was unable to start when he tried to warm up and could not shake off the effects of the injury.

The start list for the ISATAF meeting is available at

Meanwhile at the Norwegian championships in Sandnes, former Husky Ingvill Måkestad (left/photo courtesy easily won her national championships over 800 meters, running 2:02.36 in a solo effort, winning by nearly ten seconds.

Results can be viewed here.

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