Sunday, July 10, 2011

Aretha Thurmond earns second place finish in Birmingham Diamond League meet...

BIRMINGHAM, England--Three time Olympian and University of Washington alum Aretha Thurmond (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished second in the women's discus at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix at Alexander Stadium under cloudy conditions with occasional rain sprinkled in for good measure.

Thurmond took the lead early, throwing what turned out to be her best mark of the day of 205-6 (62.65m) in round one.

However, Germany's Nadine Muller, throwing later in the rotation, took the lead with her first round throw of 214-0 (65.24m), then extended her lead, finishing with a best of 215-8 (65.75m) in round 5.

Another former Husky, Ingvill Måkestad was fifth in the women's 1500 in a season best time of 4:06.82, as US champion Morgan Uceny took the win in a very tactical race in 4:05.64.

After the pace setter took the women through the first 400 in 65 seconds, the pack bunched up, running 68 seconds for the next 400.

Måkestad was positioned around fourth entering the final lap and maintained that position on the rail as the pack entered the final straightaway but had a wall of three runners in front and could not find any room to run.

After the race, she tweeted, "I'm getting there! 6th place and just a sec behind the win. Smiling!"

Courtesy of the Diamond League, here is video of the women's 1500m race:

In the women's 100 meter hurdles finals, Rainier Beach HS graduate Ginnie Crawford, running in lane 5 against a strong field, finished third in 12.79, as Australia's Sally Pearson ran a world leading time of 12.48 to outrun the USA's Danielle Carruthers by .04, a personal best for Carruthers.

In the semifinals, Crawford ran 12.82 in the semifinals of the women's 100 hurdles to finish behind Pearson, who tied the meet record with her time of 12.57, giving an indication of what was to come later.

In the women's high jump, former Washington State University standout Ebba Jungmark finished in a tie for fifth with a jump of 6-0 (1.83m), as reigning world champion Blanka Vlasic won with a jump of 6-6.25 (1.99m).

Complete results from the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix are available here.

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