Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lagat runs fastest qualifying time in 5000 heats at world championships...

DAEGU, Korea--Washington State University alum Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) ran the fastest qualifying time Thursday morning in winning the first semifinal of the men's 5000 meters as day 6 of the IAAF World Track & Field Championships opened up at Daegu Stadium.

Lagat ran easily with the pack, making sure that he was in a good position to ensure a top five finish and move on to Sunday's finals.

"You can't go into a mindset that you're gonna be top five, especially when you enter the last 100 meters and there's 9 or 10 guys around you, so I didn't want to take the chance; besides I wanted to be in the top 3. I felt good, and didn't feel like I used a lot of energy. Two more days, just rest up and hydrate."

"I talked to my son Miika this morning and he asked how I felt, and I said, 'I feel like a million bucks', and he replied, 'Now go run like a million bucks'."

Rainier Beach High School grad Michael Berry, the reigning Pac-10 400 meter champ ran an unofficial split of 43.83 on the third leg, according to RunBlogRun, as the United States' squad of Greg Nixon, Jamaal Torrance, Berry, and LaShawn Merritt easily won their semifinal of the men's 4 x 400 meter relay in a world leading time of 2:58.82.

"I wanted to come out hard for the first 60 meters, relax through the backstretch, then go hard the last 175."

Vancouver's Kara Patterson had a rough outing, only throwing 187-5 (57.14m), finishing 21st overall in the women's javelin qualifying round.

Despite the showing, she said, "it was better than any other major championship I've been to. That is the positive I'm going to take away from this."

"On my first throw, I wasn't quite ready for this.  I wanted to be a little more aggressive, and I thought I was.  When you think you're aggressive, you may actually be holding back more.  I've struggled in competitions this year, even though I've had great practices.  I'm happy with my best finish at a major championship, but I wanted to make a final."

Ebba Jungmark from Sweden, who won an NCAA indoor high jump title for the Cougars in the 2008 season, finished 17th overall, and did not advance to the finals in her event.

Jungmark, competing in her second world championships, cleared 6-3 1/2 (1.92m), as everyone who made the finals cleared 6-4 3/4 (1.95m).

In Thursday night's session, former University of Washington standout Ingvill Måkestad will run in the finals of the women's 1500 meter run at 8:55 pm, local time (4:55 AM in Seattle).

Complete results from day 6 of the IAAF world track and field championships are available here.

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