Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday is a great day to follow Washington athletes at the Olympic Trials--eighteen in action!


That's how many athletes with Washington ties are competing Monday as day 4 of the US Olympic Track & Field Trials rolls on in Eugene at Hayward Field

Here's a preview of what to expect Monday:

Men's discus--Marysville's Jarred Rome, WSU alum Ian Waltz, and former Husky Will Conwell aim for one of the twelve spots in the finals.

Rome and Waltz, who train together in Chula Vista, both hold Olympic A standards, and should make the finals as they both vie for another Olympic team.

Conwell, who moved to Auburn, Alabama to join a training group that includes former Husky and 4-time Olympian Aretha Thurmond, made the finals in this event four years ago.

Women's 3000 steeple--Washington State alum Collier Lawrence will run in the 3000 steeplechase, along with Seattle resident Lois Keller.

Lawrence got the Trials auto standard a few weeks ago, while Keller recently ducked under 10 minutes at the Portland Track Classic.

Men's 3000 steeple--Club Northwest's John Ricardi will see his first action in the men's steeple. Ricardi's mark of 8:36.69 from last year's Stanford Invite held up to get his place in the field.

Men's pole vault--American record holder and former Husky Brad Walker, Seattle resident Levi Keller, former Husky Scott Roth, and Seattle's Jason Colwick, a former NCAA champion from Rice University. Roth, Keller & Colwick all train together under UW coach Pat Licari, while Mountlake Terrace resident Walker has opted to train at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California under resident coach Ty Sevin.

Women's 5000--Tacoma's Brie Felnagle and former Husky Katie Mackey will compete.

Felnagle has been on a bit of a roll over the past month, running a PR in the 3000 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic. She's got a best of 15:22.39, just off the Olympic A standard of 15:20.00. Mackey, who now resides in Boston, goes into the meet with a best of 15:31.59.

Former Seattle Pacific standout Jessica Tebo, who qualified for this event, is not running, as she was injured during the 5000 at the NCAA championships in Des Moines. Tebo had the Olympic A standard, a mark she got at the Payton Jordan Invitational in April, where she ran 15:19.43.

Men's 5000--Bellingham's Jake Riley and Washington State alum Bernard Lagat look to qualify for Thursday's final. Lagat enters the meet having won the world indoor title at 3000 meters in March, and is coming off a victory in the 1500 at the adidas Grand Prix in New York a few weeks ago.

Riley is coming back from running the 10000 on Friday, where he was 13th in a big PR of 28:08.36.

Monday Finals

Competing in Monday finals are Curtis HS alum Andrea Geubelle (above/photo by Mike Scott) and WSU alum Blessing Ufodiama in the women's triple jump, Heritage HS/Vancouver senior and two-time Washington 4A champ Sean Keller in the javelin, and Gig Harbor HS coach Mark Wieczorek in the 800.

With only one American (Amanda Smock) holding an Olympic "B" standard of 46-3 1/4 (14.10m) or better in the triple jump, this event sets up as a winner take all event IF the winner places ahead of Smock and gets the B standard. The USA can send more than one athlete to London if all jump 46-11 (14.30m) or better.

Geubelle, a resident of University Place, who attends the University of Kansas, goes into Monday's final with a bit of an edge after winning-then losing the NCAA triple jump title two weeks ago in Des Moines, Iowa after a protest was lodged over her fourth round jump of 46-11 3/4 (14.32m, wind aided), claiming that she fouled.  She was bumped down to third after the protest.

Ufodiama enters the meet with a PR of 46-1 1/2 (14.06m) set in June of last year.

One of the biggest stories of the meet is Vancouver high schooler Sean Keller in the men's javelin, as the Heritage HS senior, and reigning US junior champion threw a massive personal best of 253-0 (77.12m) in Saturday's qualifying, eclipsing his previous best of 244-1 (74.40m) set in late April.

In the 800, Wieczorek, who will be easily recognized by the blue and white t-shirt, comes into the finals after running 1:46.48 in Saturday's semis. He must place in the top 3 and get the Olympic A standard of 1:45.60 to go to London.

Needless to say, Monday will be extremely busy! We'll have a recap late Monday night of all of the day 4 action!

PS--Don't forget that sometime after the conclusion of Monday's events, the contest opens to WIN KIP'S SPIKES, as an autographed pair of Bernard Lagat's spikes and some Nike gear will be up for grabs!  Make sure you "like" us on our new Facebook fan page at in order to enter the contest.

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