Thursday, June 7, 2012

Washington's Flood & Bellingham native Friday advance in 1500 semis at NCAAs...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Washington sophomore Katie Flood's (second from right/photo by Mike Scott) homecoming to the blue oval of Drake Stadium where she made her mark as one of the greatest high school distance runners in Iowa state history began in earnest, as she earned a spot in Saturday's 1500 meter finals at the NCAA Division I track & field championships Thursday night.

Running in the second of two semifinal heats, Flood was fifth through the first lap then continued to move up and stay out of trouble. She was third heading into the last lap. For a moment, it looked like she might get stuck on the inside around the final turn, but some space opened up and she pushed through on the rail, pulling it back a little down the homestretch as the top three runners crossed close together, as Oklahoma State's Natalja Piliusina took the win in 4:12.55 with Flood second at 4:12.65, the second-fastest of her career.

Pac-12 champ Jordan Hasay of Oregon took third at 4:12.68, and Bellingham native Becca Friday of Oregon was fourth in 4:13.06 to advance to Saturday's final.

With a hoard of friends and family in the stands, the Dowling Catholic HS standout received a big ovation from the hometown fans when her name was read. "Right before the race, I heard all my friends and all my family," said Flood. "It calmed my nerves. It was a great experience and I'm so thankful to be here."

Courtesy of the University of Washington, here's Flood meeting the Des Moines media.

In field event finals Thursday, University Place native and Curtis HS grad Andrea Geubelle, competing for the University of Kansas, finished sixth in the long jump with a leap of 21-4 (6.50m). Whitney Gipson of TCU was the winner at 22-4 1/2 (6.82m).

In the men's javelin, Washington's Jimmy Brookman finished 15th at 225-9 (68.61m), while Tahoma HS standout Derek Eager, competing for UCLA, struggled and threw 211-8 (64.52m) for 22nd place.

Tim Glover of Illinois State won with a mark of 268-0 (81.69).

The Huskies' AJ Maricich was never a factor in the men's high jump, only navigating over 6-10 3/4 (2.10m). Kansas State's Erik Kynard jumped 7-8 (2.34m), the second highest leap in the world this year to take the national title.

It was also a tough end to the collegiate season for Pac-12 champion James Alaka of the Huskies. The junior from London, England was looking to bounce back after a difficult 100-meter semifinal on Wednesday, but it was clear he didn't have his usual high gear today either. Alaka was in a good spot around the turn, but couldn't turn it up down the homestretch, and he pulled up over the final ten meters, finishing eighth in his heat in 21.24.

Friday, Washington will have pole vaulter JJ Juilifs in action. Also competing are Oregon's Michael Berry from Seattle's Rainier Beach HS in the 400 meter finals, and teammate Chris Kwiatkowski from Bellingham in the 5000.

Complete day 2 results are available here.

In Oslo, Norway, former Husky Ingvill Måkestad Bovin finished seventh in the 1500 at the Exxon/Mobil Bislett Games stop on the Samsung Diamond League tour Thursday night.

Måkestad Bovin, who finished sixth at last year's IAAF world championships in this event, ran 4:06.31, just off her season best of 4:06.09, set in Rome last week.

Abeba Aregawi of Ethiopia took the win in 4:04.42, taking her second win in this event in the Samsung Diamond League series, having won in Rome lat week.

In the featured race of the evening, Jamaica's Usain Bolt won the 100 in a meet record 9.79, beating countryman Asafa Powell, who ran 9.85.

Complete results of the Exxon/Mobil Bislett Games are available here.

NOTE:  The University of Washington, Drake University, University of Kansas, and the IAAF contributed to this report.

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