Thursday, June 28, 2012

Walker, Rome and Lagat punch their tickets to London...

EUGENE--It was the veterans who punched their tickets to London on a cloudy afternoon at Hayward Field, as University of Washington grad Brad Walker (left/photo by Paul Merca), Marysville native Jarred Rome, and Washington State grad Bernard Lagat made yet another US Olympic team as the Olympic Trials resumed Thursday after two days of rest.

Walker, the American record holder in the pole vault, took the competition after being the only jumper to clear 18-7 1/4 (5.67m).

'I felt prepared. Conditions for the pole vault such as wind and rain can turn the event into (an interesting scenario). Height doesn't matter in this meet--place does."

Thinking back about Beijing, where he did not get out of the qualifying round, he said, “I definitely wasn’t happy with what happened in Beijing. I can put it behind me in a healthy way and use it as motivation. I won’t completely forget about it, but it’ll be safely out of the way.”

Fellow Husky Scott Roth finished third with a clearance of 18-4 1/2 (5.67m), as he passed Walker's eventual winning height to take a shot at the Olympic A standard of 18-9 1/4 (5.72m), knowing that even with a third place finish, a clearance of 18-7 1/4 would do him no good without the standard.

Roth's chances for London ended with three straight misses at 18-9 1/4.

Marysville native Jarred Rome used a sixth round toss of 207-10 (63.35m) to move from fourth to second to make his second Olympic team.

Talking about his last round toss, he said, “I went for it on my last throw and gave it 100%. I thought if I slip, I slip, and fortunately I didn’t.”

The odd man out ended up being his longtime training partner Ian Waltz who ended up fourth with a toss of 201-2 (61.33m).

Waltz could have ended up on the Olympic team if winner Lance Brooks failed to throw 65 meters or better on his final attempt.

With over 20000 pairs of eyes upon him, Brooks, who had sewn up the competition with a third round throw of 211-5 (64.44m), but did not have the Olympic A standard, reached back on the final throw of the competition and got the standard, as the discus landed 213-5 (65.15m) later, bumping Waltz, who owned the mark, off another Olympic team.

Former Husky Will Conwell ended up tenth with a toss of 188-4 (57.41m).

In the men's 5000, Washington State alum Bernard Lagat was content to let Mo Trafeh and Brandon Bethke take out the early pace.

The reigning world champion at 3000 indoors kept himself in striking distance, but Galen Rupp, who had earned a spot earlier in the meet in the 10000, but Rupp jumped first, with a 60.92 penultimate lap as opposed to Lagat's 61.15.

Lagat closed with a 52.46, while Rupp countered with a 52.54, losing the lead to Lagat, but retaking it in the home straight, as Lagat finished second in 13:22.82 to Rupp's 13:22.67. Rupp broke Steve Prefontaine's meet record of 13:22.80 set way back in 1972.

“First of all making the team was the most important thing. I have been looking for something I don’t have, an Olympic Gold medal.”

Talking about Rupp, he said, “I knew that at any moment he was going to pass me. It was unbelievable about him running a 10K in the rain. I knew I was going to get strong competition from Galen and Lopez.”

Here's a recap of how Washingtonians fared in qualifying action Thursday:

--In the women's 1500, both Washington alum Katie Mackey (4:14.28) and newly minted NCAA champ Katie Flood (4:15.45) advanced to Friday's semifinals;

--The men's 1500 saw Jordan McNamara, an Auburn-Riverside alum advance to the semifinals with his 3:40.78, the fastest time of the first round;

--Cougar alum Jeshua Anderson, the reigning USA national champ, opened up with a time of 50.49 in the 400 hurdles, the tenth fastest time of the evening.

Friday, Flood and Mackey are both in the semifinals of the women's 1500, with McNamara going in the men's 1500.

Former Husky Jordan Boase, who withdrew from the semis of the 400 earlier in the meet with a foot problem, is entered in the 200.

Anderson runs in the semis of the 400 hurdles, while on the field, Curtis HS alum Andrea Geubelle, who was third in the triple jump, will try to qualify in the long jump.

Finally, four time US national champion and defending Olympic Trials champ Kara Patterson, along with NCAA Division II champ Brittany Aanstad from Seattle Pacific will throw in the women's javelin qualifying round.

Complete results are available via

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