Thursday, June 30, 2011

Huskies announce 2011 cross country schedule...

The University of Washington announced its 2011 cross country schedule Thursday, with some major changes in its two meets leading up to the Pac-12 Championships in Tempe on October 29th.

The Huskies will open September 2nd with an informal race against Seattle University at a site to be announced.

The season begins in earnest on September 17, when the Huskies host the annual Sundodger Invitational out at Lincoln Park.

The schedule shake-up begins after that, as the Huskies travel to Minneapolis for the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota. That will be just one week after the Sundodger on September 24.

In previous years, the Huskies have traveled to Notre Dame for the Notre Dame Invitational.

The second significant change to the Huskies' regular season schedule happens on October 14th, as the Dawgs will head to Madison, Wisconsin for the adidas Wisconsin Invitational, instead of going to Terre Haute, Indiana for the Pre-Nationals meet.

Tempe, Arizona hosts the Pac-12 Conference meet on October 29. Next up is the NCAA West Regional Championships, which the Husky women have won for the past three years. Stanford hosts Regionals this November 12, and those teams that qualify at Regionals advance to Terre Haute, Indiana for the NCAA Championships on November 21.

NOTE:  The University of Washington contributed to this report.

Aretha Thurmond places second in Lausanne Athletissima meet...

LAUSANNE, Switzerland--Three time US Olympian Aretha Thurmond (left/photo by Paul Merca) from Federal Way finished second in the discus at the Athletissima meeting Thursday night.

Thurmond, who finished second in the USA outdoor championships, threw a season best of 209-5 (63.85m) in round one, but ultimately was passed by winner Yarelis Barrios of Cuba, who threw 210-11 (64.29m) for the victory.

Despite a very strong start, Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford finished fourth in the 100 meter hurdles in a very fast race won by Australia's Sally Pearson in 12.47.

Powell, who was fourth Sunday at the USA championships in Eugene, ran what would have been a season best of 12.65, except for the 3.3 meter-per-second trailing wind.

University of Washington alum Jordan Boase of Bothell was a disappointing seventh in the 400 meters, running 46.36, as he was never in contention after the field entered the backstretch.

Former Husky standout Ingvill Måkestad of Norway placed twelfth in the women's 1500 meter run in a season best time of 4:10.76, as Cornell grad Morgan Uceny, the winner of the USA championships, took the win in 4:05.52.

In a short note to paulmerca.blogspot.com,  Måkestad confirmed that she will be going to Daegu as part of the Norwegian squad in the 800 and 1500.


After her race, she told Norwegian television, "I think I ran very well in the beginning. Then I hung well, but I felt the stiffness come when there were about 300 meters left."

At that point, Måkestad, who was sitting in fifth, saw the field jump past her.

Former Washington State high jumper Ebba Jungmark of Sweden, an NCAA indoor champion in her one season in Pullman, placed ninth with a leap of 5-10.75 (1.80m), as Russia's Anna Chicherova won with a jump of 6-4.75 (1.95m).

Complete results from the Athletissima 2011 meeting, part of the Samsung Diamond League series, are available here.

The Samsung Diamond League resumes on July 8th in St, Denis (Paris), France with the Meeting Areva.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thurmond, Boase, Måkestad, and Crawford primed for Lausanne Diamond League meet...

LAUSANNE, Switzerland--Four athletes with Washington ties are among the participants in Thursday's Samsung Diamond League stop, the Athletissima 2011 meeting in the city where the International Olympic Committee calls home.

Washington grad Aretha Thurmond (left/photo by Paul Merca), who made her fifth world championship team with her second place finish at the USA championships in Eugene last week, competes in the discus against a field that includes reigning Olympic and US national champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton, and Cuba's Yarelis Barrios.

While it's not a Diamond League race this week, Bothell HS and UW grad Jordan Boase will contest the men's 400 meters, a week after getting bounced in the semis at nationals.

Former Washington middle distance standout Ingvill Måkestad, who won the 1500 at the European Team Championships-First Division in Turkey almost two weeks ago, will run the 1500 in a field that includes the top two point scorers in the Samsung Diamond Trophy in Maryam Jamal of Burundi and Anna Mishchenko of the Ukraine at 4 points each as the Diamond League season reaches the halfway mark with this meet.

Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford, who finished fourth at last week's USA championships in the 100 hurdles, will face the top two finishers in last Sunday's finals in US champ Kellie Wells, and Danielle Carruthers.

The Athletissima 2011 meeting will be streamed live on universalsports.com beginning at 11 am, pacific time.

The complete start list is available here.

NOTES: USA Track & Field, which has operated without a chief executive officer since September after Doug Logan was fired, will extend the service of interim CEO and current chief operating officer Mike McNees through the 2012 Olympics.

The board of USATF will activate three committees: Management, Strategic Positioning and Operations. The committees will work intimately with the Interim CEO and key staff members, and will engage all 15 voting board members, as a transition through 2012 Olympic preparations.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jeshua Anderson named by Pacific-10 Conference as Male Track Athlete of the Year...

WALNUT CREEK, California--Washington State's Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Paul Merca), the three-time NCAA 400 hurdles champ and newly minted USA champion was named the Pac-10 Conference male track athlete of the year.

Anderson, a senior from Woodland Hills, Calif., has had a stellar year including his win Sunday at the USA Track & Field Championships in a school-record and US-leading time of 47.93 seconds.

Anderson, who plans to continue training in Pullman with his collegiate coach Mark Macdonald, will make his professional debut July 22, at the Herculis Meet in Monaco, part of the Samsung Diamond League series.

Washington State's previous male athletes honored as track or field athletes of the year by the Pac-10 includes: Anson Henry, sprinter, 2002; Bernard Lagat, middle distance, 1999; Josephat Kapkory, distance, 1994; Samuel Kibiri, distance, 1991; Gabriel Tiacoh, 400m dash, 1986.

The Pac-10 Track & Field and Coach of the Year awards for 2011:
Women's track athlete of the year: Nia Ali, USC
Women's Field Athlete of the year: Brigetta Barrett, Arizona
Women's Freshman/Newcomer of the year: English Gardner, Oregon
Women's Coach of the year: Fred Harvey, Arizona


Men's track athlete of the year: Jeshua Anderson, Washington State
Men's field athlete of the year: Jordan Clarke, Arizona State
Men's freshman/newcomer of the year: Stephen Sambu, Arizona
Men's coach of the year: Fred Harvey, Arizona

WEEKEND ROUNDUP

Here's a roundup of what we missed while we were in Eugene at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships:

Across the pond over in Bedford, England, Pac-10 sprint champion James Alaka (#22/photo courtesy UK Athletics) set a new personal-best in winning the England Under-23 National Championship at 100-meters. Alaka clocked a 10.23 second victory, and it was wind legal at that. That will move Alaka up to No. 2 all-time in Washington history, passing Pablo Franco (10.26 in 1975) and Sterling Hinds (10.27 in 1982). Alaka ran 10.29 seconds to win the Pac-10 title in May.

“I knew I was ready to run fast, and because I had the time there was no stress,” said Alaka. “To finish top three was great, especially in such a good, competitive race.”

Results from the Aviva England Athletics U23 & U20 Championships are available here.

At the Canadian championships in Calgary over the weekend, Washington alum Carly Dockendorf won the women's pole vault with a mark of 13-9 1/4 (4.20m).

In the women's high jump, current Cougar Holly Parent was second at 5-11.25 (1.81m).

Former Washington State standout Anson Henry didn't advance to the finals in the 100, running 10.59.

Current Cougar Shawn Swartz finished ninth in the men's high jump Saturday with a clearance at 6-feet, 6 inches (1.98m), clearing the opening height on the second attempt.

Recent Washington grad Ryan Vu was third in the pole vault with a mark of 16-10 3/4 (5.25m).

Another recent UW grad, Kyle Nielsen, who was the defending national champion in the javelin, finished second with a toss of 251-6 (76.67m).


Results from the Canadian Championships are available here.

NOTE:  UK Athletics, Athletics Canada, Washington State University, the University of Washington, and the Pacific-10 Conference contributed to this report.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Jeshua Anderson breaks 48 seconds in winning first USA outdoor title...

EUGENE--Washington State University senior Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Mike Scott) added the USA national title to his three career NCAA titles as the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships concluded at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Anderson took command of the race early, and had to dive across the line to hold off the charge of Bershawn Jackson, as both were credited with identical times of 47.93 (47.921 for Anderson; 47.930 for Jackson).

Former Olympic champion Angelo Taylor earned the final spot with his time of 47.94.

Anderson, a senior from Woodland Hills, Calif., broke through the 48-seconds barrier for the first time with his winning time.

Anderson, coached by WSU's Mark Macdonald, had run the top times in both the prelim and the semifinal races at the 2011 USA Championships. The three-time NCAA champion and school record-holder, Anderson had run the previous USA-leading time of 48.13 this spring in Tucson winning his fourth consecutive Pacific-10 Conference title. Only LJ van Zyl (South Africa) has run a faster intermediate hurdles time this year at 47.66.

They will join defending world champion Kerron Clement on the plane to Daegu.

Afterwards, he told reporters, “This is something I’ve been working towards for a long time. I’ve been preparing to run my best race at USA’s. I gave it my all, I’m so thankful to have won.”

"My dad told me before I ran the final to `hit that finish line like you're running for a deep ball' and that's what I did," Anderson said.

Jackson, affectionately known by his nickname of "Batman", said, “This is probably the closest race I’ve been in, in my whole career. It was definitely a close race.”

Courtesy of media partner RunnerSpace.com, here is video of Anderson's victory:



In the 100 meter hurdles, Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Powell finished fourth in a time of 12.76, as Kellie Wells (12.50), Danielle Carruthers (12.59) and reigning Olympic champion Dawn Harper (12.65) took the first three places.

With the conclusion of the USA championships, Anderson joins Bernard Lagat (5000m; he has a spot in the 1500, but will not run it in Daegu), Kara Patterson (javelin), Aretha Thurmond (discus), Jarred Rome (discus), Michael Mai (hammer), and Mike Sayenko (marathon) as Americans with Washington ties going to Daegu for the world championships in two months.

Michael Berry's fifth place finish in the 400 could possibly earn him a spot on the USA 4 x 400 relay pool if the coaching staff selects him.


Complete results from the final day of competition are available here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Husky signee JJ Juilfs wins national junior title in pole vault...

EUGENE--University of Washington signee JJ Juilfs (left/photo by Paul Merca) won the national junior pole vault title at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Junior championships at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus, with a personal best jump of 17-2.75 (5.25.m).

First attempt misses were a constant for the high schooler from Eugene, Oregon, who spurned the Ducks to attend the UW this fall.

With the exception of his opening height of 15-9, all of his clearances up to 17-2 3/4 were made on his second attempt. His winning clearance was scaled on his third attempt.

Afterwards, Juilfs, who had been fighting a back problem for most of the season, felt that he was ready to do something big at the junior championship.

"I went into the meet as an underdog, and I relish that role of playing spoiler. I just trusted myself that I could hang with these guys."

Another Washington signee, Derrick Daigre finished second in the men's 800 meter run, clocking 1:50.05.

Daigre stayed in contention for most of the race, though he was challenged and passed momentarily with 150 to go, but composed himself on the final straightaway, and got second place, and a spot on Team USA that will compete in next month's Pan Am Junior championships in Miramar, Florida.

Here is a video interview with both Juilfs and Daigre in the mixed zone after their competition:



Eastern Washington frosh Emma Murillo was fourth in the javelin with a toss of 150-8 (45.92m).

Husky freshman Kasen Covington finished fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 49-11.25 (15.22m), while Kennedy Catholic's Darian Brooks of the Seatown Express was 21st at 46-5.5 (14.16m).

Washington freshman Kayla Steuckle finished sixth in the 400 hurdles with a time of 63.06.

Oak Harbor HS senior Adrianna Royal, who will attend Cal State Sacramento this fall, was seventh in the steeplechase with a time of 12:37.86.

Complete results from Saturday's USA junior championships are available here.

Kara Patterson wins fourth straight US national javelin title...

EUGENE--Vancouver native Kara Patterson (left/photo by Mike Scott) won her fourth straight national title, essentially ending the competition with her first throw of 194-8 (59.34m).

"I wanted to get a good mark out on my first throw. I wanted to be a little bit more aggressive, and I've been getting myself in the habit of thinking too much."

As far as the rest of the season leading up to Daegu goes, she hopes to get into the Samsung Diamond League meet in Paris on July 8th, but is not confirmed for the meet yet.

Amanda Peterson, the University of Washington school record holder finished tenth with a toss of 159-8 (48.68m).

In the men's 1500, Bernard Lagat was out-Lagated by Oregon senior Matthew Centrowitz, as he held off a late charge by the Washington State graduate, winning in a modest time of 3:47.63, with Lagat finishing in 3:47.96.

Auburn/Riverside grad Jordan McNamara, who led for most of the first 800 meters, finished tenth in 3:49.61.

Michael Berry from Seattle's Rainier Beach HS was fifth in the 400 meters running 45.22, and consideration to be selected for the relay pool for Daegu.

Brie Felnagle was seventh in the women's 1500 in 4:10.33, while Katie Follett was eighth at 4:11.92.

Brittany Hinchcliffe from Olympia was tenth in the hammer with a throw of 210-5 (64.14m), while Spokane native Britney Henry was 11th of 205-9 (62.71).

Both Scott Roth and Brad Walker picked a bad day to have a bad day, as Roth only cleared 17-6.5 (5.35m), and Walker's gamble to pass until 18-6 3/4 (5.66m) didn't pay off, after missing twice at his opening height of 18-2 (5.54m).

In semi-final action, Jeshua Anderson had the fastest semi-final time in the 400 hurdles, winning in a time of 48.99.

Ginnie Crawford opened competition in the 100 hurdles, running 12.82 to finish fourth in her heat.

Day 3 results are available here.

Complete day 3 results are available here.

The meet concludes Sunday.

NOTE:  A junior recap will be posted later Saturday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Congratulations to "Down The Backstretch" for winning TAFWA's Adam Jacobs Award...


Before signing off from Eugene, I wanted to post a personal note of congratulations to "Down The Backstretch" and its publisher/editor, Charlie Mahler, as the web site was awarded the Track & Field Writers of America's Adam Jacobs Award for excellence in blogging.

I've known Charlie (above/photo courtesy Down The Backstretch) for almost a decade, having first met at the USA Cross Country Championships in Vancouver. On several world cross country championship trips, Mahler was one of my cohorts in the mixed zone, helping grab quotes from tired athletes and incorporating them into the USA Track & Field story.

He was also, among other things, one of my roommates at the 2003 IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Paris, and a guy that was on the receiving end of the world famous football at several world cross country championship meets, as we would play catch with anybody and everybody before getting to work.

Mahler's blog was actually the inspiration for this very blog, in that the focus has been, first and foremost, on the athletes from our state--in Charlie's case, the athletes from the state of Minnesota.  His format was the blueprint for how this blog is created.

I was honored to present him his award Friday at the TAFWA annual breakfast at the Eugene Hilton, after receiving word from TAFWA president and my old high school coach Jack Pfeifer Thursday night in the press area at Hayward Field.

Knowing how much the athletes from the state of Minnesota admire and respect his work, I asked as part of my presentation for 2004 Olympian Carrie Tollefson to write a few words.

She wrote, "Charlie is amazing. He is such a great guy with such knowledge of the sport. He's so willing to help us athletes out whether it be back in the day pacing us and helping us through long workouts or by writing about us as human beings first and athletes second."

"He has a true love for the sport but I think he respects the hard work, dedication, heart, emotion, and commitment it takes to be a runner. That shows in his writing. He is never one to bring an athlete down in his writing, and always lifts them up and makes the story real, showing everyone has great moments but also off moments as well. I really have nothing but great things to say about Charlie. Class act all around."

Somewhere up there, Adam Jacobs is smiling down upon Charlie, and the athletes from the state of Minnesota that he covers.

Congratulations, Charlie. 

You and your blog are an inspiration to myself, the athletes you write about, and the countless number of track & field web journalists in this country.

Bernard Lagat uses trademark kick to win another USA outdoor 5000m title...

EUGENE--Washington State alumnus Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) began his quest for yet another podium finish at the IAAF world outdoor track & field championships with a victory in the men's 5000 meter run to cap the second day of action at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Bellingham's Jake Riley from Stanford University led for the first few laps, and as has been his modus operandi, Lagat tucked in behind the leaders, most notably Chris Solinsky, and Galen Rupp.

With less than two laps to go, Solinsky and Lagat opened up a slight gap on Rupp, who won the 10000 last night, and the race was truly on.

“I took over when I thought the time was right,” Solinsky said. “I knew I had the gears left to get home.”

Only problem was that the Cougar hall of famer, who finished with a winning time of 13:23.06 had an extra gear that Solinsky had no answer for.

“Chris didn’t make it easy, man,” Lagat said. “He took control of the race. I was thinking that was going to happen, and it wasn’t easy. I was working, I was working hard.”

Riley, the very early leader, finished 12th in 14:06.07.

Lagat, who will run in the finals of the men's 1500 on Saturday, said, “I feel awesome. I have nothing to lose now, I made the team and that is the most important thing. I’m really excited that I won the race today. Tomorrow, I’m going to be in there to run serious again and look for another win.”

In the men's decathlon, former Seattle Pacific standout Chris Randolph was fifth with a final two day score of 7606 points.

Oregon freshman Michael Berry from Seattle's Rainier Beach HS advanced to the finals of the men's 400 in a time of 45.39. Washington alum Jordan Boase finished eighth in his semi-final, in 46.18.

“I’m very excited right now. It’s a dream come true to come out here and race against all these pros. Last year I was in high school. I just wanted to come out here and show what I have, I’m just very blessed to have my talent.”

Washington State's Jeshua Anderson, the current US leader in the 400 hurdles, cruised to victory in his preliminary heat, running 49.53, the fastest time in the first round.

Joe Zimmerman of the Huskies, last year's USA junior champion, finished 25th in the senior men's javelin, throwing 181-3 (55.24m).

Washington State grad Blessing Ufodiama finished 7th in the women's triple jump with a mark of 43-10 (13.36m).

In junior action, Eastern Washington's Jordan Arakawa was third in the hammer throw with a best of 216-6 (65.99m).

Washington's Kayla Stueckle advanced to the finals of the 400 hurdles, running 61.86, while California prep Gianna Woodruff, who will join Steuckle at the UW only ran 63.10, and did not advance.

Husky signee Derrick Daigre from Kent advanced to the finals of the 800, running 1:51.87.

Oregon signee Alec Fellows from Edmonds/Woodway HS finished fourth in the decathlon with a final score of 6802 points.

Complete day 2 results are available here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Marysville native Jarred Rome wins national discus title...

EUGENE--Marysville-Pilchuck alumnus Jarred Rome's (left/photo by Paul Merca) fourth round throw of 209-11 (63.99m) proved to be enough as the Boise State University grad and 2004 Olympian won his second national title to highlight a busy first day at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

After the first three rounds of throws, Rome found himself mired in fifth place with a best of 204-9 (62.40m) until popping the winning throw, propelling him into the lead, leapfrogging past early leader Jason Young, who finished with a best of 209-4 (63.81m), and training partner and former WSU alum Ian Waltz, who finished fifth with a best of 206-9 (63.02m).

Afterwards, he said, “I was really nervous, the older and older I get the more and more nervous I seem to get. It has become expected of me to make the team consistently.”

He also stated that he's three months behind on his training, but he feels that by the time the world championships roll around in Daegu, he feels that his technique will be where he wants it to be.

Former Husky Will Conwell was 11th with a throw of 192-5 (58.66m), while former WSU standout Drew Ulrick was 15th at 189-5 (57.73m).

Washington alum Aretha Thurmond made yet another world championship team, as she finished second in the women's discus with a toss of 206-3 (62.87m), as reigning Olympic champ Stephanie Brown Trafton took the win at 207-10 (63.35m).

Ft. Lewis' Michael Mai made his second world championship squad, as the US Army standout finished second in the men's hammer, throwing 245-0 (74.69m) to finish behind winner Kibwe Johnson's mark of 263-6 (80.31m).

In the women's 10000, NCAA Division II champ Sarah Porter of Western Washington was ninth in a personal best of 32:57.15, while Sequim's Stephanie Marcy was 18th at 33:18.18.

Among athletes advancing in preliminary action Thursday:

--Michael Berry, the freshman from Oregon via Rainier Beach HS (45.72) and Washington alum Jordan Boase (45.78) in the men's 400;

--Washington alum Katie Follett (4:09.94) and Bellarmine Prep grad Brie Felnagle (4:09.95) to the finals in the women's 1500;

--Auburn/Riverside grad Jordan McNamara (3:40.43) and WSU hall of famer Bernard Lagat (3:44.04) in the men's 1500.

Lagat, who is focusing on the 5000, said, "Today was a good way to get my legs ready for tomorrow.”

In the first day of the decathlon, Seattle Pacific grad Chris Randolph stands 12th with a first day score of 3768 points.

Tahoma HS grad Derek Eager, a freshman at UCLA, won the junior men's javelin with a toss of 227-1 (69.22m), over Sean Keller of Heritage HS (219-11/67.05m), and Tacoma native Quinn Hale, who is a University of Washington signee (208-1/63.42m).

Curt Clauson of Edmonds, another UW signee, was sixth at 203-1 (61.90m).

Alec Fellows of Edmonds/Woodway HS, who is a University of Oregon signee, stands fourth in the junior men's decathlon with a score of 3707 points.

Complete day 1 results are available here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

USA Outdoor Championships begin Thursday in Track Town USA...

EUGENE--Action at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships gets rolling Thursday morning at Hayward Field with the junior men's and women's multi-events, and the senior men's decathlon, featuring Seattle Pacific grad Chris Randolph.

Besides Randolph, Aretha Thurmond (w DT), Joe Abbott and Kevin Hicks (m 800), Jeshua Anderson (m 400H), Michael Mai (m HT), Jordan Boase, Maurice McNeal and Michael Berry (m 400), Ian Waltz, Jarred Rome (left/photo by Paul Merca), Drew Ulrick and Will Conwell (m DT), Katie Follett and Brie Felnagle (w 1500), Bernard Lagat and Jordan McNamara (m 1500); and Sarah Porter & Stephanie Marcy (w 10000) are in action.

The discus, hammer and the 10000 are finals, with Thurmond, Rome, Waltz and Mai, who were on the 2009 world championship team looking to earn yet another spot.

One junior athlete who we did not have listed on our original post who is competing Thursday is Edmonds/Woodway grad Alec Fellows, who will be an incoming freshman at the University of Oregon.

A senior athlete we missed was the University of Washington's Amanda Peterson in the javelin.

Other junior athletes participating include California product Gianna Woodruff, UW's most recent signee, who ranks 10th among high school seniors in the 300-meter hurdles.

Husky men's recruits in action include Kent, Wash. native Derrick Daigre in the 800-meters, Eugene product J.J. Juilfs in the pole vault, and local javelin standouts Curtis Clauson (Edmonds, Wash.) and Quinn Hale (Tacoma, Wash.).

Media partner RunnerSpace.com will provide live streaming video of any events not part of the ESPN2, NBC or Universal Sports television package.

paulmerca.blogspot.com will be on site for all the action from the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

Live results will be available via flashresults.com.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

List of Washington entries for this weekend's USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships...

With declarations all but complete, here is the list of Washington affiliated athletes competing at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships which start Thursday at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon:

MEN

Michael Berry (Rainier Beach HS) 400
Jordan Boase (Bothell HS/UW) 200/400
Kevin Hicks (SETA) 800
Joe Abbott (WSU) 800
Bernard Lagat (WSU) 1500/5000
Jordan McNamara (Auburn/Riverside) 1500
Jeshua Anderson (WSU) 400 H
Brad Walker (University/Spokane / UW) PV
Scott Roth (UW) PV
Jason Colwick (Seattle resident) PV
Jarred Rome (Marysville/Pilchuck) DT
Ian Waltz (WSU) DT
Will Conwell (UW) DT
Drew Ulrick (WSU) DT
Michael Mai (Ft. Lewis) HT
Joe Zimmerman (UW) JT
Chris Randolph (SPU) Dec

Provisionals:

Norris Frederick (Roosevelt/UW) LJ
Dylan Burnett (SeattleU) JT


WOMEN

Katie Follett (UW) 1500
Brie Felnagle (Bellarmine Prep HS) 1500
Sarah Porter (WWU) 10000
Stephanie Marcy (Sequim HS) 10000
Ginnie Crawford (Rainier Beach HS) 100h
Lois Ricardi Keller (Club NW) 3000 St
Blessing Ufodiama (WSU) TJ
Aretha Thurmond (Renton / UW) DT
Britney Henry (Lewis & Clark/Spokane) HT
Kara Patterson (Skyview/Vancouver) JT


Provisionals & notables:

Anna Layman (WSU) 800 scratched
Falesha Ankton (UW) 100h
Marissa Tschida (WSU) JT not declared

Here is the list of athletes with Washington affiliations competing in the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which are being held with the senior national championships:

MEN

Michael Okoro (EWU) 200
Oliver Bear Don't Walk (Nooksack Valley HS) 10000
Darian Brooks (Kennedy Catholic) TJ
Kasen Covington (UW) TJ
Jordan Arakawa (EWU) HT
Sean Keller (Heritage HS) JT
Derek Eager (Tahoma HS) JT
Samuel Ferenchak (Union HS) JT

WOMEN

Kayla Stueckle (UW) 400 H
Adrianna Royal (Oak Harbor HS) 3000 steeple
Emma Murillo (EWU) JT

The complete list of declared athletes for the senior championships are available here, while the list of declared junior athletes are available here.

The complete time schedule for both the junior and senior championships is available here.

ESPN2, Universal Sports, and NBC Sports will provide television coverage of the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.  The link to the television schedule is available here.

Please make sure you check the air time for your local area!

paulmerca.blogspot.com will be on site in Eugene for coverage of the national championships!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Washington's Scott Roth & Washington State's Jeshua Anderson named Bowerman semi-finalists...

NEW ORLEANS--The Bowerman Men’s Watch Committee in conjunction with the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Monday that Washington senior pole vaulter Scott Roth and Washington State senior 400-meter hurdler Jeshua Anderson are among the ten male semifinalists for collegiate track & field’s biggest award – The Bowerman.

With the collegiate season complete, the semifinalists will be evaluated by the ten-person Bowerman Advisory Board and three finalists will be named from the group on Wednesday, July 13.

Roth, who was not on the Bowerman's Watch List during the regular season, claimed a sweep of NCAA pole vault crowns during the 2011 year, becoming the fourth to do so since 2000. He set an indoor season best of 18-1 (5.51m) during the indoor season and an overall personal best of 18-9¼ (5.72m) to take victory at the Mt. SAC Relays. At the end of the collegiate season, Roth's season’s best mark ranked among the world’s top five.

Anderson, in contrast was on the Bowerman Watch List throughout the indoor and outdoor seasons. He joined BYU’s Ralph Mann (1969-70-71) and Iowa State’s Danny Harris (1984-85-86) as the only three to win a third NCAA-championship title in the 400-meter hurdles. Anderson won on the 2011 NCAA title in 48.56, over a half-second ahead of the rest of the field in the event’s finals. He earned the season’s collegiate best, and current American-leading, 400-hurdle time of 48.13 in winning a fourth-straight Pac-10 crown. His clocking also ranks second in the world so far in 2011 and ranks among the collegiate all-time top five.

The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the top male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation. Oregon's Ashton Eaton and Virginia Tech's Queen Harrison are the reigning winners of The Bowerman, which is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman.

Both Anderson and Roth are entered for this weekend's USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, with berths for the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea on the line.

Here are the ten semi-finalists, including year, school, event, and hometown:

Jeshua Anderson SR Washington State Hurdles Woodland Hills, Calif.
Robby Andrews SO Virginia Distance Englishtown, N.J.
Sam Chelanga RS SR Liberty Distance Nairobi, Kenya
Will Claye JR Florida Jumps Phoenix, Ariz.
Kirani James SO Alabama Sprints Gouyave, Grenada
Leonard Korir JR Iona Distance Iten, Kenya
Ngoni Makusha JR Florida State Jumps/Sprints Zimbabwe
Maurice Mitchell JR Florida State Sprints Kansas City, Mo.
Scott Roth SR Washington Pole Vault Granite Bay, Calif.
Christian Taylor JR Florida Jumps Fayetteville, Ga.

NOTE: The USTFCCCA contributed to this report. 

paulmerca.blogspot.com publisher Paul Merca is a Bowerman Voter, which consists of national and regional media personnel, track & field statisticians, NCAA collegiate administrators, and presidents of affiliated organizations.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ingvill Måkestad wins 1500m at European Team Championships-First League...

IZMIR, Turkey--Former University of Washington standout Ingvill Måkestad of Norway (left/photo by Martin Bingisser) emerged victorious in the 1500 meter run Sunday at the European Team Championships-First League at at Atatürk Stadium in the Turkish city.

Måkestad ran 4:25.92 to take home the win in a tactical race over Johanna Lehtinen of Finland (4:26.05), and Sultan Haydar (4:26.50) of host Turkey.

According to Swiss hammer thrower and former Husky Martin Bingisser, who is in the stadium, after he competed Saturday, "Ingvill showed a good kick over the final 150 to win a tactical race."

In a brief message to paulmerca.blogspot.com after Saturday's 800 meter race, where she finished in fourth for Team Norway in 2:02.64, she said that she was using this weekend's races to work on tactics that she'll need to be competitive at the world championships in Daegu later this summer, particularly racing on consecutive days.

Events in this meet pit one athlete from twelve countries--Greece, Turkey, Norway, Belgium, Romania, the Netherlands, Hungary, Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, Slovenia, and Croatia against each other, with the top three teams earning places in the top division, which includes traditional European powerhouses Germany, Russia, and Great Britain.

Courtesy of European Athletics, here is her post-race interview:



Turkey (329 points), Greece (307.5 points) and Norway (290 points) took home the top three spots, and will be promoted to the European Super League.

The European Athletics recap of the meet is available here.

Complete results from the European Team Championships-First League are available here.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Måkestad fourth, Bingisser eighth in Izmir...

IZMIR, Turkey--Ingvill Måkestad (left/photo by Martin Bingisser) finished fourth in the 800 meter run at the European Team Championships-First League meet Saturday at Atatürk Stadium in the Turkish city.

The former University of Washington standout and Norwegian record holder in the event ran 2:02.64, as Yeliz Kurt of the host nation took home the victory in 2:01.95.

On her Twitter page, Måkestad said that she used the race in preparation for running the heats in this summer's world championships in Daegu, utilizing a front-running strategy.

"Worked well in 750m ;) Still pretty happy w my race 2.02.64 in the wind!," she tweeted afterwards.

Another former Husky, Martin Bingisser, representing Switzerland, finished eighth with a mark of 211-11 (64.59m), as Hungary's Krisztian Pars took the victory with a toss of 262-11 (80.14m).

On his blog, he writes, "I felt very good in warm ups and was ready to go today. My first attempt was strong, but my hammer clipped the net and it landed at just 61.75m. My second attempt was better. I had plenty of speed, but then I pulled the release and barely stayed in the ring. It measured 64.59m and that was enough to move me ahead of my closest competitors."

You can see a video clip of his throws here:




You can read his thoughts on Saturday's competition here.

Måkestad returns to competition Sunday, running the 1500 meters in this team competition pitting one runner from twelve countries--Greece, Turkey, Norway, Belgium, Romania, the Netherlands, Hungary, Switzerland, Finland, Ireland, Slovenia, and Croatia against each other, with the top three teams earning places in the top division, which includes traditional European powerhouses Germany, Russia, and Great Britain.

After 21 of 40 events contested, Greece leads with 178 points, followed by Turkey at 173.5, and Norway at 150.5.

Bingisser's Swiss squad is in eighth at 129 points.

The recap of the meet is available here, while day 1 results are available here.

Below are video clips from the first day of competition, courtesy of European Athletics:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Matt McGee returns to Washington State; Pac-12 track & field championships in Eugene, plus links...

We're a little late with this, but Washington State University announced that jumps coach Matt McGee (left/photo courtesy Washington State University), who earlier this month resigned to pursue other professional opportunities, will return to his former position with the Cougars.

"Matt is an outstanding coach and I am extremely pleased that he will be directing our jumps program at WSU," said head coach Rick Sloan in a release.

Before WSU announced his resignation, several WSU athletes took to Twitter to express their opinions on McGee's decision to leave.

In another Pac-12 note, the conference announced that next year's track & field championship meet will be hosted by the University of Oregon.

“As we enter into an Olympic year and celebrate the commitment and excellence we have in Olympic sports we thought it was important to align Pac-12 Championship events with Olympic trial locations in 2011-12,” Pac-10 Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Weiberg said. “It was an excellent opportunity for us to provide our student-athletes with the unique experience of competing in venues that will be hosting these very important events with the USOC.”

The move was a hot topic of discussion at last week's NCAA championships in Des Moines. In fact, Curtis Anderson of the Eugene Register-Guard posted this possibility last week.

In the final paragraph, Anderson writes, "At least one Pac-10 coach said a few coaches were upset at the decision to switch championship sites. He said the coaches were asked their opinion, but had no vote on the matter."

USC was scheduled to host the meet next year, with Washington State hosting in 2013. It's projected that the conference will resume the rotation in 2013.

Here's a link from the Oregonian on Carolyn Davidson, the Portland graphics artist who designed and invented the iconic Swoosh that makes Nike's symbol one of the most recognized trade marks in the world.

This week was the 40th anniversary of Davidson's creation, of which she was paid the princely sum of $35.00.

Just for fun, Athletics Weekly out of Great Britain put together a blog post based on readers' responses via Twitter titled, "You know you're an athletics fan when…"


You can read the post here.

I must say that I resemble some of these answers...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brad Walker takes 2011 world lead in pole vault in Chula Vista...

CHULA VISTA, California--Former world champion and University of Washington alum Brad Walker (left/photo by Paul Merca) took over the world lead in the pole vault Thursday at a low key meet at the Olympic Training Center.

Walker, continuing his comeback from an injury in Monaco two years ago that rendered him unable to defend his 2007 world title, jumped 19-2 (5.84m) to take the world lead outdoors from Renaud Lavillenie of France.

According to this post on polevaultpower.com, he cleared 18-0.5 (5.50m) on his first attempt, had two misses at 18-6.5 (5.65m), then passed and cleared 18-9.25 (5.72m), before clearing 19-2.

He also overtakes Scott Roth of the University of Washington, who won the NCAA outdoor title last week for the US lead, which was 18-9.25 (5.72m), set at the Mt. SAC Relays in April.

UPDATE (10:45 PM) In the men's discus, Washington State grad Ian Waltz won with a mark of 214-8 (65.43m), with Marysville-Pilchuck alum Jarred Rome fourth at 210-1 (64.03m). Vancouver native Kara Patterson won the javelin with a throw of 186-11 (56.98m).

Courtesy of jcoover, here's video of Walker's clearance:



Results of the meet are available here...

JESHUA ANDERSON SIGNS WITH ICON...

Received this release from Icon Management in Atlanta announcing that they are now representing Washington State University alum Jeshua Anderson, who capped off his collegiate career last week by winning his third NCAA 400 meter hurdles title.

Fresh off his win in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday in Des Moines, Iowa, Washington State hurdler Jeshua Anderson has joined the Icon brand.

Jeshua waited out a lightning delay and then clocked a time of 48.56, half a second ahead of the field, to win his third NCAA title in the 400mH on Friday.

Currently, Anderson has the sixth fastest time in the world this season of 48.13, set at the Pac-10 championships last month in Tuscon, behind five marks by South Africa's L.J. van Zyl, whose fastest time this season is 47.66, set on February 25th in Pretoria.

On Icon's web site, Anderson said, "“Everyone has goals of having success in life and with a team/family like icon management they embody the tools to put you in the best situation to reach and exceed those goals you have. Making you set your goals even higher.”

Icon Management, led by Kimberly Holland out of Atlanta, lists Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford and her husband, two-time Olympic 200m silver medalist Shawn; former Oregon standout Keshia Baker; Tennessee alum Sarah Bowman, and Olympic 400 hurdles gold medalist Angelo Taylor among her clients.

Icon's release is available here…

Finally, here's a direct link to the list of entries for next week's USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are up. Keep in mind that declarations are not until early next week, and that scratches/changes will be made during the declaration period.

Look for our preview on the meet, which will determine who goes to Daegu for the world championships, next week. paulmerca.blogspot.com will be in Eugene to cover the national championships!

The USA junior championships are also being held in conjunction with the senior meet.  The link to entries is available here.

Finally, a pair of former University of Washington standouts will be in action in Izmir, Turkey at the First League--European Team Championships competition.

Ingvill Måkestad will run both the 800 and 1500 meter races for Norway, while Martin Bingisser will throw the hammer for Switzerland in this two-day meet that begins on Saturday.

The men's entries for this meet are available here, while the women's entries are here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

USTFCCCA announces NCAA Division I All-America squads...

NEW ORLEANS--The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced its All America recipients for the 2011 NCAA Division I outdoor season.

Honors are awarded for performances at the final site of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships occurring the previous weekend in Des Moines, Iowa.

Washington State University's outdoor first team All-Americans included NCAA 400 hurdles champ Jeshua Anderson, and javelin thrower Marissa Tschida.

The University of Washington's three first team All-Americans were NCAA pole vault champ Scott Roth, javelin thrower Kyle Nielsen, and 5000 meter runner Megan Goethals.

Athletes with Washington ties that earned first team All America honors from the USTFCCCA include Michael Berry (Rainier Beach HS) of Oregon in the 400; Jake Riley (Sehome) of Stanford in the 10000; Andrea Geubelle (Curtis HS) of Kansas in the triple jump; Sarah Pappas (attended University of Washington before transferring to Oklahoma) in the pole vault; Becca Friday (Bellingham) of Oregon in the 1500; and, Stephanie Marcy (Sequim) of Stanford in the 10000.

The complete first and second team All-America squads, plus those receiving honorable mentions are available here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Katie Follett drops down in distance, wins 800 at Portland Track Classic...

PORTLAND, Oregon--Dropping down in distance, University of Washington grad Katie Follett (center/photo by Paul Merca) won the 800 meters at the Portland Track Classic Saturday at Lewis & Clark College.

Follett clocked a season best time and USA championships A standard mark of 2:02.63, holding off former Colorado standout Sara Vaughn, who also ducked under the A standard, running 2:03.70.

Club Northwest's Lois Ricardi Keller won the women's steeplechase in a B standard time of 10:13.86.


Complete results from the Portland Track Festival are available here.

In New York, Western Washington's Sarah Porter made her professional debut at Saturday's NYRR New York Mini 10k through Central Park, finishing 24th in a time of 34:55, finishing one spot ahead of 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor, making her return to racing after a maternity leave.

Porter won the NCAA Division II title in the 10000 two weeks ago to cap her collegiate career, a race she almost didn't get to run in, due to questions by the NCAA concerning her participation in the Rhody Run 12k the week before in Port Angeles.


Results from the NYRR New York Mini 10k are available here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lagat's finishing kick just short at adidas Grand Prix in New York...

NEW YORK--Washington State University hall of famer Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished second in the men's 5000 meter run at the adidas Grand Prix meet at Icahn Stadium, part of the Samsung Diamond League series of meets.

On a damp, cloudy day in the Big Apple, Lagat positioned himself near the front of the pack, but with one lap to go, eventual winner Dejen Gebremeskel and Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia opened up a gap, extending it to about 15 meters with 250 to go before the reigning world indoor champion at 3000 meters began unwinding his patented big finish.

However, the lead was just enough for Gebremeskel, as he hung on for the victory in 13:05.22, with Lagat closing for second in a season best 13:05.46.

Courtesy of media partner universalsports.com, here are highlights of the race, along with an interview with Lagat:

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Washington alum and 2007 world champion Brad Walker from Mountlake Terrace finished second in the men's pole vault with a modest clearance of 18-1 1/4 (5.52m), the same height cleared by France's Romain Mesnil for the win.

Mesnil, a two-time world championship silver medalist, won the event with a first-attempt clearance at the winning height, while Walker needed two attempts.

Another Washington alum, Aretha Thurmond, finished third in the women's discus with a mark of 194-10 (59.38m), as Olympic champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton took the victory at 206-6 (62.94m).

Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford, who was a late addition to the field, finished fifth in the 100 meter hurdles, clocking 13.23.

Vancouver's Kara Patterson was a disappointing sixth in the women's javelin, throwing 179-2 (54.62m), marred by four fouls.

Tacoma's Brie Felnagle finished eighth in the women's 1500, running 4:11.85.

In the men's 1500 meter run, Auburn-Riverside HS grad Jordan McNamara finished eighth in a season best of 3:41.92.

Incoming University of Washington freshman Eleanor Fulton from Colorado finished second in the adidas girls' Dream Mile for invited high schoolers, running a personal best of 4:42.90.

Glacier Peak HS sophomore Amy-Eloise Neal finished fifth in a PR 4:43.67, while defending champion Maddie Meyers of Northwest School was seventh in 4:45.46.

In the adidas boys' Dream Mile, incoming University of Oregon freshman Lukas Verzbicas joined Alan Webb, Jim Ryun, Marty Liquori, and Tim Danielson as the only high schoolers to break four minutes in the mile, running 3:59.71 for the victory.


Complete results of the adidas Grand Prix are available here.

Seattle's Abdi Hassan and Bellingham's Becca Friday shine in NCAA 1500m finals...

DES MOINES, Iowa--University of Arizona junior Abdi Hassan (left/photo by Mike Scott), a product of Seattle's Nathan Hale High School, finished third in the men's 1500 meter run as the NCAA track & field championships concluded its four-day run at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University.

The former Washington state prep champion looked to have reached his potential in the 1,500-meter run as he used his immense footspeed to move from the back of the pack to third over the final quarter-mile to finish in 3:43.95 and earn the first outdoor All-America honor of his career, as Oregon's Matthew Centrowitz took home the title in a time of 3:42.54.

It was a relieving finish for Hassan, who was tripped in the preliminary round and did not finish but was advanced to the final after a coach's protest, the result of which was the subject of debate among the keyboard jockeys on the popular running web site, letsrun.com.

In the women's 1500, Bellingham's Becca Friday rallied from last place on the final lap to pass seven runners over the final 400 meters to finish fifth in in 4:16.76. The sophomore from Bellingham, Wash., stayed at the back of a tight pack before finally making her move.

"I'm kind of upset with myself because I was so far back, but I'm really pleased with my finish," said Friday. "I feel really good."

No athletes from either the University of Washington or Washington State University competed Saturday.

In the final team standings, the University of Washington men's squad finished in a tie for 20th with 11 points, while the Washington State Cougars tied for 25th with 10 points, as Texas A&M won both team titles with 55 (men) and 49 (women) points, respectively.

Washington State's women's squad finished in a tie for 40th with 6 points, and the Huskies finished tied for 54th with 3 points.


Day 4 results from the NCAA Championships are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information office of the University of Arizona and the University of Oregon contributed to this report.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Jeshua Anderson ends Washington State career with third NCAA 400 hurdles title...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Washington State University senior Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Mike Scott) won his first NCAA 400 hurdles title at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University, and bookended his collegiate career with his third and final national title Friday night.

After a one-hour delay due to lightning in the area, and running on a wet track with light rain, Anderson took home championship number three in a time of 48.56, ahead of Pac-10 rival Amaechi Morton of Stanford, who ran 49.08.

Anderson took the lead from the starting gun and motored through the ten hurdles with his trademarked smooth and consistent pace, easily out-distancing Morton in the final sprint to the line.

Speaking to CBS Sports' and former Washington State volunteer assistant coach Dan O'Brien on the telecast, Anderson expressed that he didn't let the weather delay hamper his preparation.

"The big thing was to stay focused. Last year we did a little different training. I came here focused. The track was wet and there was the delay, but I'm blessed with the time and thankful for another title. I wanted to run faster but within the conditions, I'm thankful."

WSU hurdles coach Mark Macdonald said, "He isn't really fazed by this kind of thing probably because he knows he's better at recovering and warming up faster than anybody else. He was not rattled at all, just confident the whole time. The entire week he was very professional in how he handled the wind of the qualifying round and then the wet conditions today. The past few weeks he's had the added pressure of agents telling him that another NCAA win would mean so much money for his professional career. And he did a great job of managing that factor too."

Anderson joins former Washington State greats and three-time winners Gerry Lindgren (three-mile run 1966-67-68, and six-mile run 1966-67-68), John van Reenan (discus 1968-69-70), and John Ngeno (six-mile run 1974-75-76). He also joins two other men who have won the 400 hurdles three times--Danny Harris of Iowa State ('84-'85-'86) and Ralph Mann of BYU ('69-'70-'71).

Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry of the University of Oregon was third in a very close race in the men's 400 meters in 45.18. He was actually the fourth runner to cross the line, but Texas Tech's Gil Roberts was disqualified, moving the freshman from Seattle up a spot.

"I wanted to run the last 150 (meters) as hard as I could," said Berry. "It was a tough race at the end."

In the delayed men's 10000, Stanford's Jake Riley from Bellingham was fifth in a time of 28:27.31, while teammate Miles Unterreiner from Gig Harbor was 22nd at 30:40.39.

University of Washington freshman Megan Goethals finished sixth in the women's 5000 meter run, running a time of 15:47.79, which was the best Husky finish in that event in school history, topping Tara Carlson's eighth place finish from 1996.

"I'd just been feeling really strong and all the workouts had been going really well. The plan was to not lead but go off the pace and I'm pretty good at closing, so just hold on those last couple laps," said Goethals. She said her goal was top three, but smiled and said "I'm still happy with sixth, though!"

"Each race this year I felt like I've been getting stronger and learning a lot about college racing. It's a lot different than high school," she said. "I think I keep learning how to take better care of my body. I've really progressed a lot under Metcalf, J.D., and Lauren; they're great at what they do."

Former Washington All-American Kendra Schaaf, now competing for North Carolina, was ninth in 15:52.33.  Sequim's Stephanie Marcy, competing for Stanford, finished 16th in 16:10.33, after doubling back from Wednesday night's 10000.

Andrea Geubelle of the University of Kansas, from University Place outside of Tacoma and Curtis High School, earned an eighth place finish in the triple jump, with a mark of 42-10.25 (13.06m) on her sixth and final attempt.

In the women's pole vault, former Husky Sarah Pappas, competing for Oklahoma, was eighth with a mark of 13-5 1/4 (4.10m), the same cleared by current Husky Logan Miller, who finished 11th.

Oregon senior Jordan Roskelley from Spokane was 17th at 13-1 1/2 (4.00m).

In the delayed conclusion of the men's decathlon, Washington's Jeremy Taiwo, hampered by a disappointing performance in the pole vault in which he only cleared 14-5 1/4 (4.40m), worth 731 points to sit in seventh after eight events, finished 16th overall with a final two-day score of 7517 points.

With a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, there was no way for him to get a decent score in the javelin, the penultimate event. Nonetheless, he set a personal best left-handed toss of 118-9 (36.19m), but was last among the 23 remaining competitors.

In the final event, Taiwo clocked 4:34.99 to finish 12th, scoring 712 points.

"Overall I was doing okay after the first day but then I messed up the pole vault which always seems to happen at nationals," Taiwo said. "After that I knew I couldn't make it up since I had to throw the javelin left-handed. At the end of the day it's kind of disappointing. I was hoping to do really well in nine (events) and I'd say I only did really well in a couple. But that's the decathlon, things happen."

The NCAA championships conclude Saturday morning at 9 am, pacific time, with the live CBS Sports telecast starting an hour later.

Complete day 3 results are available here.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Washington State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

The revised schedule of Friday's NCAA events in Des Moines...

FROM THE NCAA:

Remainder of Decathlon Javelin -- 11:30 a.m. ET
4x400 Meter relays -- noon ET
Remainder of Men’s Long Jump -- 4 p.m. (before Heptathlon Long Jump) ET
Men’s 10,000 Meters -- 5 p.m. ET

A live link to all day 3 results is available here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bernard Lagat among headliners for Saturday's adidas Grand Prix in New York...

NEW YORK--Reigning IAAF world indoor 3000 meter champion and Washington State University graduate Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) is among the headliners for Saturday's adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium in New York City.

The adidas Grand Prix is part of the season-long Samsung Diamond League tour.

Lagst, who finished second in the 5000 meter run at the 2009 IAAF World Track & Field Championships, and is fresh off a victory in the two-mile run at the Nike Prefontaine Classic last week, will contest the 5000 in a field that includes Tariku Bekele of Ethiopia, and three men who have broken 13 minutes this season--Isiah Koech of Kenya, who enters the meet with the second fastest time in the world this season at 12:54.59, Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia, who ran 12:55.89 in Rome a few weeks ago, and Edwin Soi, who ran 12:59.15 in Hengelo.

Lagat announced at the Prefontaine Classic that he will only contest the 5000 at the USA championships in Eugene in two weeks.

2007 world champion Brad Walker of Mountlake Terrace continues his comeback in the men's pole vault, as the Washington alum goes against Frenchmen Romain Mesnil and Renaud Lavillenie and veteran Derek Miles.

American record holder Kara Patterson from Vancouver looks to bounce back from a disappointing sixth place finish in the javelin at last week's Prefontaine Classic.

Three time US Olympian Aretha Thurmond from Federal Way competes in the women's discus against a field that includes Olympic champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton, and long-time rival Suzy Powell-Roos.

In the women's 1500 meters, Tacoma's Brie Felnagle, a former University of North Carolina All-American, will run against a field that includes world championship bronze medalist Shannon Rowbury of San Francisco, former Texas Tech star Sally Kipyego, American steeple record holder Jenny Barringer, and Canadian Malindi Elmore.

A national men's 1500 field has been assembled for this meet, designed to help domestic runners attain the USA outdoor championship meet standards, and Auburn Riverside HS grad Jordan McNamara is among the contestants in the field.

In the high school girls' Dream Mile, incoming University of Washington freshman Eleanor Fulton goes against defending adidas Dream Mile champion Maddie Meyers of Seattle's Northwest School, and Amy-Eloise Neal, a sophomore at Glacier Peak HS, who set a state meet record of 10:12.33 in the 3200m at the Washington state meet a few weeks ago.

The adidas Grand Prix will be televised live Saturday from 3-5 pm eastern time on NBC Sports.


The start lists for the adidas Grand Prix are available here.

Washington State's Marissa Tschida earns third place finish in NCAA javelin...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Washington State's Marissa Tschida (left/photo by Mike Scott) took third place and Courtney Kirkwood placed ninth in the women's javelin at the NCAA Track & Field Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium.

Tschida, a senior from Missoula, Mont., and the two-time Pacific-10 Conference champion, threw the spear 171-feet, 3 inches (52.20m) on her fourth attempt. Oklahoma's Brittany Borman won the event with a throw of 178-2 (54.32m), tossed on her fourth attempt and overtaking Stanford's Eda Karesin by slightly more than six feet,

There was a delayed start to the women's javelin of over an hour due to wet conditions from a thunderstorm Wednesday night which delayed other events sharing the field. Tschida's series of throws included distances of 167-6 (51.06m), a foul, and 149-4 (45.52m), placing her second after the first three attempts, and four feet behind the leader, Karesin.

Tschida's final three attempts were 171-3 (52.20m), a foul on the right side of the sector, and then by the narrowest of margins, another right side foul. After letting her final throw fly, the official in the field raised the white flag to signal a fair throw and then immediately changed to a red flag to signal a foul. The coaches estimated this was her farthest throw of the day.

Tschida, who had the top throw in the country entering this competition at 183-9 (56.02m), earned her third All-American certificate and leaves collegiate competition as the WSU all-time record-holder. In previous NCAA finals Tschida has finished fourth, sixth and 18th. She'll skip the USA National Championships later this month in Eugene in order to rest and rehabilitate her elbow.

Kirkwood, a junior from Othello, Wash., placed ninth with a throw of 160-0 (48.78), an improvement from her 2010's 11th place finish. Kirkwood series of throws measured 158-8 (48.37m), 158-7 (48.34m), 155-11 (47.52m), for ninth place through three attempts with only the top nine advancing to the final. Kirkwood's final three attempts were 145-11 (44.49m), 160-0 (48.78m), and 152-9 (46.57m).

In the men's hammer, junior Alex Nelson of Boise State, from Vancouver's Evergreen HS, finished 15th with a throw of 203-9 (62.12m), and Oregon senior Jordan Stray from Centralia was 18th at 202-8 (61.79m).

In running events completed so far, Bellingham's Becca Friday from the University of Oregon ran the second fastest time in qualifying in the women's 1500 at 4:15.17.

The University of Washington's Katie Flood, returning to the track where she won numerous Drake Relays titles as a high schooler at Des Moines' Dowling Catholic HS, was tenth in her heat at 4:25.75, just ahead of Sumner HS grad Katrina Drennen of Montana, who ran 4:25.86.

In the men's 1500m, Nathan Hale HS grad Abdi Hassan of the University of Arizona was advanced to Saturday's final on a protest, as he was knocked down approaching the bell lap.

The men's decathlon is in the ninth event, the javelin, and Jeremy Taiwo of the University of Washington finished all three of his throws, with a best of 118-9 (36.19m), worth 387 points, bringing his nine-event total to 6835 points, a score that will drop him out of the top eight.

Entering the javelin, Taiwo sat in seventh at 6418 points. He threw the javelin with his left hand, as he has elbow problems with his right arm, and will require Tommy John surgery on it this summer.

Bellingham's Jake Riley, and Gig Harbor's Miles Unterreiner, both competing for Stanford University are scheduled to run in the men's 10000, scheduled to be contested at 11 pm central time.

UPDATE (8:40 PM, pacific) The lightning and heavy rains at Drake Stadium have caused postponement of the remaining events of Thursday's schedule--the remaining heats of the women's and men's 4 x 400 meter relays, the men's 10000 and long jump finals, the conclusion of the decathlon javelin, and the decathlon 1500.  An announcement on start times for the remaining events will come Friday at 8 am, central time.

Day 2 results are available here.

NOTE: The sports information office of the University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Mart Israel gets fourth in discus at Bislett Games...

OSLO, Norway--Former University of Washington discus thrower Mart Israel (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished fourth in the ExxonMobil Bislett Games Thursday night at Bislett Stadium.

In this stop of the Samsung Diamond League tour, Israel threw 207-8 (63.30m) on his sixth and final throw, as his Estonian training partner Gerd Kanter took the victory with a mark of 213-8 (65.14m).

Yennifer Casanas from Spain was second at 211-9 (64.54m), and the legendary Virgilijus Alekna was third at 210-0 (64.00m), overtaking Israel in round five.

In the women's 800 meter run, Ingvill Måkestad finished tenth at 2:01.16, as Morocco's Halima Hachlaf ran a world leading time of 1:58.27.

Jamaica's Usain Bolt ran a world leading time of 19.86 in the rain in the climactic men's 200 meter dash.

Complete results from the ExxonMobil Bislett Games are available here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ingvill Måkestad and Mart Israel set to compete at ExxonMobil Bislett Games...

OSLO, Norway--A pair of former University of Washington standouts, Ingvill Måkestad (left/photo courtesy runingvill.wordpress.com), and Mart Israel are set to compete in Thursday's ExxonMobil Bislett Games at famed Bislett Stadium in the Norwegian capital.

Måkestad, the Norwegian record holder indoors in the 1500 at 4:08.65, and the 800 meters outdoors at 1:59.62, will compete in the 800 in a field that includes reigning world outdoor champion Caster Semanya of South Africa, who was beaten at last Saturday's Nike Prefontaine Classic at that distance, and current Samsung Diamond League leader Jenny Meadows of Great Britain.

Måkestad tuned up for Thursday's stop on the Samsung Diamond League tour by setting a personal best in the 1000 meters, running a hand-timed 2:36.7 in Florø last Saturday.

Meanwhile, Israel, a two-time world championships competitor and 2008 Olympian from Estonia, will throw the discus against a field that includes countryman and current Samsung Diamond League leader Gerd Kanter, and discus legend Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania.

The ExxonMobil Bislett Games will be streamed live on universalsports.com beginning at 11 am pacific.

PORTER SET FOR FIRST PRO RACE IN NEW YORK

Western Washington senior Sarah Porter, who won the NCAA Division II title in the 10000 meter run last week, makes her pro debut Saturday at the New York Road Runner's Mini 10k at New York's Central Park.

Here's a video interview with universalsports.com talking about her preparations for the race:

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Husky senior Scott Roth captures NCAA outdoor pole vault title...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Washington senior Scott Roth (left/photo by Mike Scott) who entered the NCAA championships as perhaps one of its biggest favorites in an unpredictable event, battled the elements to emerge victorious in the pole vault to highlight the first day of competition in the NCAA track & field championships at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University.

After experiencing a slight weather delay, Roth entered the competition at 17-6.5 (5.35m), clearing the bar on his first attempt.

With only Oral Roberts' Jack Whitt and BYU's Chris Little remaining in the competition, Roth put pressure on the other two by clearing 17-8.5 (5.45m) on his first attempt, while both missed on their first, forcing them to pass their remaining two attempts and have to clear the next height of 17-10.5 (5.45m) in order to retake the lead from the Washington senior.

Neither Whitt nor Little made their two attempts at 17-10.5, which made Roth's three misses at that height academic, as the California native secured his first NCAA outdoor title to go with two national championships indoors.

Chehalis native Tanner Emrich, competing for BYU, no-heighted at 16-4 3/4 (5.00m).

"I came into this meet thinking I'm going to win this thing," said Roth. "I need to win it, I'm going to, I really want to, and that attitude helped me. I can't ask for a better way to end my time here at U-dub. It's just been awesome. I want to thank all my coaches. I've just really had a great time here and I'm going to miss everybody. And I want to thank my dad because I wouldn't be anywhere without him and he gave me crazy opportunities."

"It went really well, it went smoothly. I was dealing with some crazy winds out there. So it was difficult to deal with but I had been prepping myself since Pac-10s, because I didn't deal with the conditions very well there," said Roth. "And (assistant coach) Pat (Licari) and I had a talk about how I'm going to prepare myself mentally for these conditions ... and it's really changed my attitude about it. I knew when I walked on the track that it would be a difficult day as far as conditions, but I kept a positive attitude that I'd be able to deal with it."

In other finals, Washington's Kyle Nielsen finished a disappointing eighth in the javelin, throwing 234-5 (71.45m), while teammate Joe Zimmerman, who was fourth in this meet last year, failed to make the nine-man final, throwing 217-10 (66.41m).

Walla Walla's Nick Lyons, competing for Baylor, was tenth at 231-9 (70.64m).

Sequim's Stephanie Marcy of Stanford, the Pac-10 champion in the 10000, finished sixth in her race, running 34:35.18, while Oregon's Bronwyn Crossman from Bellingham's Squalicum HS finished 15th at 35:25.12.

In other action, Washington's Jeremy Taiwo won the decathlon high jump competition, clearing 6-9.75 (2.08m) for 878 points. The junior from Renton sits in sixth with 4074 points at the halfway mark.

Washington State's Jeshua Anderson led all qualifiers in the 400 hurdles, running 49.18 to advance to Friday's finals, where he will shoot for a third career national title in this event.

"The race felt good," Anderson said. "It was real windy on the backstretch. I just ran as smooth and relaxed as possible and then pushed it the second 200. I knew Reggie was going to run up on me but I just ran the way I do in practice and finished pretty good. I tried to relax and get these jitters out. I'll feel better on Friday. The national prelims race is always a little scary."

Neither Washington's 400-meter relay squad of Maurice McNeal, James Alaka, Colton Dunn & Ryan Hamilton (39.86) nor Washington State's team of Greg Hornsby, Nate Washington, Brett Blanshan, and Marlon Murray (39.85) advanced to Friday's final.

Texas-El Paso, with Lakes HS grad Anthony Wright on the anchor, ran 40.37, and didn't advance.

McNeal didn't advance in the 400 meters, running 46.27. Oregon freshman Michael Berry from Seattle's Rainier Beach HS ran the third fastest time of the day at 45.23.

Sophomore Andrea Geubelle of Kansas via University Place's Curtis HS finished 21st in the women's long jump at 19-8 (5.99m).

Washington State 800 meter runners Anna Layman and Joe Abbott didn't advance in their events, as Layman, the 2011 Pac-10 champion, ran a time of 2:06.60 which was seventh in her heat and 19th overall. Abbott ran a time of 1:47.73 which was fourth in his heat but 13th overall with only the top eight advancing.

Action at the NCAA championships continues Thursday beginning at 1 pm, pacific time. A live video stream will be available via ncaa.com.

Complete day 1 results are available here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Besides Dawgs and Cougs, Washington athletes well represented at NCAAs this week...

In addition to those athletes competing for the University of Washington and Washington State University, here is a list of individuals who attended high schools in the state of Washington competing at the NCAA championships, which begin Wednesday at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

This list was compiled by stat maven Chris Kuykendall of Austin, Texas.

Those who wish to download the .pdf file may go here.

Abdi Hassan Seattle, WA (Nathan Hale) JR Arizona m/1500

Germe Poston Tacoma, WA (Franklin Pierce) FR Arizona w/4x400

Nick Lyons Walla Walla, WA (DeSales Catholic) SR Baylor m/javelin throw

Alex Nelson Vancouver, WA (Evergreen) JR Boise State m/hammer throw

Tanner Emrich Chehalis, WA (W.F. West) SR Brigham Young m/pole vault

Andrea Geubelle University Place, WA (Curtis) SO Kansas w/long jump, triple jump

Katrina Drennen Sumner, WA (Sumner Senior) SR Montana w/1500

Michael Berry Seattle, WA (Rainier Beach) FR Oregon m/400

Bronwyn Crossman Bellingham, WA (Squalicum) JR Oregon w/10000

Alexandria Davidson Steilacoom, WA (Steilacoom) SO Oregon w/4x100

Becca Friday Bellingham, WA (Bellingham) SO Oregon w/1500

Jordan Roskelley Mead, WA (Mt. Spokane) SR Oregon w/pole vault

Jordan Stray Centralia, WA (Centralia) SR Oregon m/hammer throw

Jake Riley Bellingham, WA (Sehome) SR Stanford m/10000 (pictured above/photo by Paul Merca)

Miles Unterreiner Gig Harbor, WA (Gig Harbor) JR Stanford m/10000

Stephanie Marcy Sequim, WA (Sequim Senior) SR Stanford w/5000, 10000

Anthony Wright Lakeland, WA (Lakes) SO UTEP m/4x100

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dawgs and Cougs head to Des Moines for NCAAs, plus hot blogs...

The University of Washington will send eight men and three women, while Washington State will put up six men and three women into competition at this week's NCAA track and field championships in at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with competition getting underway on Wednesday.

The Huskies are led by reigning NCAA indoor pole vault champion and current US leader Scott Roth, as he aims for a national outdoor title that has eluded him throughout his collegiate career at Washington.

Roth, a six-time All-American, set the UW school record earlier this spring with a clearance of 18-9 1/4 at the Mt. SAC Relays. That mark remains the best by an American this year. His competition begins at 5:35 p.m. Central time Wednesday.

On the men's side, Washington State will be led by senior Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com), who looks to win his third career NCAA title in the 400 meter hurdles, after losing last year's championship race to South Carolina's Johnny Dutch, who elected to turn pro after the 2010 meet in Eugene. Anderson is the current US leader at 48.13, a mark he set in winning the Pac-10 championships in Tucson last month.

Senior Marissa Tschida, the two-time Pac-10 javelin champ, leads the Cougars into Drake Stadium, and is the team's highest returning placer from last year's meet, where she was fourth.

The Huskies will be led by freshman Katie Flood, who makes her first collegiate appearance at Drake Stadium, a place where she dominated during her prep career. A graduate of Dowling Catholic in West Des Moines, she won six career junior titles at the Drake Relays, including four-straight 3,000-meter titles, and set a stadium record for high schoolers of 9:43.39 in the 3k last year. Flood also set the Iowa high school record at 1,500-meters on the Drake track last year, running 4:28.30.

Drake University will provide a free web stream of all parts of the meet that are not televised live. CBS will provide television coverage on Friday and Saturday. Saturday's coverage, from 12-2 p.m. (CDT), will be carried on the CBS network, with Ian Eagle calling the action, along with analysis and interviews from Larry Rawson, Carol Lewis and Dan O'Brien. Coverage on Friday, June 10, will be provided from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Central on CBS Sports Network on cable.

Washington's release is available here, while Washington State's is available here.

HOT BLOG READS

Former universalsports.com writer and LA Times Olympics reporter Alan Abrahamson, who is one of the most respected Olympic writers in the country, writes down some ideas on how track and field can move forward from its position as a sport that "…is going nowhere fast in the United States."

He asserts that it must do better, "especially because USATF, track and field’s governing body, is getting $4.4 million annually in grant money from the U.S. Olympic Committee, the most any governing body is getting, and with that kind of cash comes heavy responsibility."

Alan points out that there is a disconnect between the athletes, coaches, shoe companies, other sponsors, and yes, even the top leaders of the sport in this country and the fans.

Because of that, he asserts that there are only two meets that matter--the USA championships back in Eugene on June 23-26th, and the IAAF world championships in Daegu in late August.

The rest of the meets in the USA, including last weekend's Nike Prefontaine Classic, and this weekend's adidas Grand Prix in New York, and anything else that involves this nation's elite athletes, have pretty much "…devolved, regrettably, to varying degrees of noise, and everyone knows it."

To read Alan's thoughts on the state of the sport in the US, his ideas, and even thoughts on Eugene, please click here.

The other hot blog read is friend of the blog and American javelin record holder Kara Patterson, who writes in two separate posts on her competitions in both Eugene and Rome, which were part of the season-long Samsung Diamond League competition.

Patterson, who entered the Nike Prefontaine Classic undefeated in meets contested at Hayward Field, suffered her first career loss with her sixth place finish.

She states that she's making some transitions in her technical approach, as her coach Ty Sevin is working with her to throw the javelin with her legs and her whole body, instead of depending on her arm strength and flexibility.

Patterson noted that at Pre and at the Drake Relays, she reverted to her old habits.

You can read both of her posts here.

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