Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Now available for viewing & downloading--the track & field preview of Washingtonians in London!

paulmerca.blogspot.com's Washington track & field Olympic Preview is now ready for viewing!

This document has brief bio information, along with personal and 2012 season bests for the nine Washington state affiliated track & field athletes competing in London, along with the schedule of when each athlete will be competing during the Olympics.

This document is a .pdf file, which you can view here:

12 Oly TF Schedule

We encourage you to print this file, and have it close to your television set or computer as you follow Märt Israel, Ebba Jungmark, Bernard Lagat, Ingvill Måkestad Bovin, Haley Nemra, Kara Patterson, Jarred Rome, Aretha Thurmond, and Brad Walker during the nine days of track and field competition, which begins on Friday August 3rd.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Working on the final touches for the big Olympic Preview viewer's guide!

We are putting up the final touches to the Olympic Preview featuring the nine athletes with Washington ties competing in the track and field portion of the Olympics in London.

The preview will be very similar to the ones we've produced for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as well as the 2009 and 2011 world championships--it will be a .pdf file that you can download.

Track & field gets underway on Friday August 3rd, as Team USA captain Aretha Thurmond takes to the ring in the women's discus qualifying.

To whet your interest, here's a link to the IAAF list of athletes entered in the track & field competition of the Olympics.  The final start lists and heat sheets will be drawn as we get closer to that day's competiton.

The time schedule of athletes with Washington ties competing is posted below:


All times listed are London time; Seattle is eight hours behind.

3 August 19:10 Women's Discus Qualifying (Aretha Thurmond)

4 August 19:30 Women's Discus Finals (Aretha Thurmond)

5 August None

6 August 10:00 Men's Discus Qualifying (Jarred Rome, Märt Israel)

11:45 Women's 1500 Heats (Ingvill Måkestad Bovin)

7 August 10:00 Women's Javelin Qualifying (Kara Patterson)

19:45 Men's Discus Finals (Jarred Rome, Märt Israel)

8 August 10:00 Men's Pole Vault Qualifying (Brad Walker)

10:45 Men's 5000 Heats (Bernard Lagat)

11:35 Women's 800 Heats (Haley Nemra)

19:45 Women's 1500 Semis (Ingvill Måkestad Bovin)

9 August 09:30 Women's High Jump Qualifying (Ebba Jungmark)

19:30 Women's 800 Semis (Haley Nemra)

21:00 Women's Javelin Finals (Kara Patterson)

10 August 19:00 Men's Pole Vault Finals (Brad Walker)

20:55 Women's 1500 Finals (Ingvill Måkestad Bovin)

11 August 19:00 Women's High Jump Finals (Ebba Jungmark)

19:30 Men's 5000 Finals (Bernard Lagat)

20:00 Women's 800 Finals (Haley Nemra)

NOTE: Times are subject to change.

One athlete missing from the University of Washington's Olympic hub but who we've always carried as an athlete with Washington ties is discus thrower Märt Israel (above/photos by Paul Merca) from Estonia, who was fourth at last year's IAAF world championships in Daegu.

Granted he was only at the UW for one year (2006-07 academic year), and was ruled ineligible after competing in one outdoor meet because of credits transferring over from his last school in Estonia.

Here's a link to his UW bio...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Washington State's track facility to get a makeover this summer...

PULLMAN--The Mooberry Track & Field Complex (left/photo courtesy Washington State University) on the campus of Washington State University is getting a makeover this summer, as the school is resurfacing the track and redoing the field event areas.

The track itself is receiving a completely new running surface, the Beynon Sports Surface. According to its website, Beynon manufactures high-performance synthetic surfaces designed for speed and competition as well as daily training.

The Beynon premier track and field surfaces are found in the world's most renowned athletic facilities, carrying some of the world's greatest champions to record-breaking times. The BSS 2000 is promoted as giving an Olympic caliber running surface that gives athletes the ultimate edge when it comes to competitive performance. It has not only been able to stand up to adverse weather conditions, as was evident during the 2012 US Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore., but it has also provided the resilient response and maximum energy return that the athletes need to shatter records.

The BSS 2000 is also the surface of choice for the University of Washington's new track and field facility being built next to Husky Soccer Stadium near the east student parking lot.

Immediately noticeable of the inner perimeter improvements is at the north end of the infield "D." In addition to the drainage system, the discus circle will be moved and the sector will be in the center of the infield. The entire "D" section, from the finish line of the 100 meters on the east side of the oval to the start of the 1500 meters on the west side, will be covered by the Beynon surface.

"These are significant improvements to the facility," Cougar Track & Field Head Coach Rick Sloan, with the program for 39 years and head coach for the past 17 years, said. "We will have bi-directional long jump pits that will be off set on each other so we can long jump in either direction. And the pole vault will be set up to have boxes at either end of the runway so we can compete in either direction. The prevailing winds are usually out of the west-southwest so we will be covered on that end. There will be a smaller rectangular area of infield grass that can be watered without wearing down the pits and runways."

Looking to the future Coach Sloan envisions filling in the "D" at the south end of the field creating a much larger high jump area and the ability to compete in different directions. The javelin will remain in that end and the shot put circle will be inside the "D" surface. Also the west side long/triple jump and east side pole vault will move further into the infield. The long jump will have a pit at each end with a double runway. The pole vault will have a pit in the middle with runways painted in the north and south direction.

"When we host the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships in two years having that south end "D" work completed would enable us to have two high jumps going on simultaneously and with the numbers we have been seeing in the combined events that is a necessity. The advantages of what we're doing plus the longevity of our facility without daily water from the sprinkler system, it will look sharp out there."

Courtesy of WSU Athletics, here is a video describing the work, featuring Sloan and decathlete Sean Harris.

NOTE: The sports information office at Washington State University contributed to this report.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Brad Walker ties for first in Jockgrim, plus some blog posts featuring Kara Patterson...

JOCKGRIM, Germany--University of Washington alum Brad Walker's (left/photo courtesy USA Track & Field) return to the site of his first career six-meter jump was a partial success, as he and two vaulters tied for the victory at the Internationales Stabhochsprung-Meeting Wednesday.

Walker, along with the German trio of Raphael Holzdeppe, Bjorn Otto and Malte Mohr all opened at 18-4 3/4 (5.61m) with all except Mohr clearing on their first attempt.

After passes at the next two heights (18-8 3/4-5.71m and 18-10 3/4-5.76m), Holzdeppe, Otto, and Walker all cleared 19-0 3/4 (5.81m) on their first attempt, with Mohr needing two tries.

The quartet passed the next height of 19-2 3/4 (5.86m), then Holzdeppe went three and out at 19-4 3/4 (5.91m).

Walker, Otto, and Mohr each took three tries at a meet record and 2012 world leading mark of 19-8 1/2 (6.01m) but were unsuccessful.

According to a thread on polevaultpower.com, Holzdeppe, Otto and Walker all decided not to jump off to break the three-way tie.

Complete results of the Internationales Stabhochsprung-Meeting are available here.

Before leaving the United States for London, Vancouver native Kara Patterson blogged about what she eats when she travels to a big meet overseas.

You can read her post here.

Here's a link to an interview with Patterson written by womentalksports.com contributor Cara Hawkins where she talks about last month's Olympic Trials, how she got started in the sport, and her expectations for the Olympics.

You can read the post here.

If you're looking for Kara in the Parade of Nations on Friday at the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics, don't count on it, as she tweeted a few days earlier that she wasn't participating to take some stress off of the left knee that she hyperextended in round four of the Trials finals.

The IAAF's Olympic Stats Handbook is now available for download!

MONTE CARLO--The Athletics Statistics Handbook for the Games of the XXX Olympiad, London 2012 (Athletics Competitions, 3 to 12 Aug) is now available for download from the IAAF website.

Produced in collaboration with LOCOG and the Association of Track & Field Statisticians (ATFS) and edited by renowned statistician Mark Butler, the 386-page book is one of the most comprehensive historical and statistical compilation of Olympic track & field facts for media and fans alike.

The book, divided into two sections, can be downloaded in pdf format from the ‘General Information’ of the IAAF’s dedicated London 2012 Athletics site via the following link - http://www.iaaf.org/mini/oly12/index.aspx

NOTE:  The IAAF contributed to this report.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

American record holder Brad Walker tunes up for Olympics at Jockgrim...

JOCKGRIM, Germany--University of Washington alum and University/Spokane grad Brad Walker (left/photo courtesy Stabhochsprung-Meeting) will jump in his final test before the Olympics on Wednesday, as he competes in the 18th Internationales Stabhochsprung-Meeting, one of the world's top pole vault only meets.

Walker has always said that the Jockgrim meet is one of his favorite venues to compete in; in fact, he holds the meet record of 19-8 1/4 (6.00m) from 2006, a meet in which he joined the exclusive six-meter club for the first time.

He will face a field that includes Germans Bjorn Otto and Malte Mohr; rising star Lazaro Bourges of Cuba; Greece's Konstadinos Filippidis; and Poland's Pawel Wojciechowski.

In the women's competition, Germany's Silke Spiegelburg is the headliner, with American Olympian and Oregon alum Becky Holliday in the field, along with a pair of vaulters familiar to Pac-12 fans in Stanford alum Katerina Stefanidi of Greece, and UCLA alum Tori Pena of Ireland.

The complete start list for the Internationales Stabhochsprung-Meeting is available here.

In Dublin, Ireland, Washington alum Katie Mackey will run the 800 at the Morton Pre-Games, fresh off of a PR of 2:02.23 last Saturday in Ninove, Belgium.

Some of the entrants in the 800 include Lucy Van Dalen of New Zealand, former Minnesota standout Gabriele Anderson, and Victoria native Diane Cummins.

The start list for the Morton Games is available here.

At the USA Track & Field team meeting at its training camp in Birmingham Tuesday, the squad selected Renton HS and University of Washington alum Aretha Thurmond as its women's team captain.

Thurmond is one of the senior members of Team USA, as she'll participate in her fourth Olympic track & field team, a feat accomplished by 16 women in US Olympic history.

Her male counterpart is 400 hurdler Angelo Taylor, who won the gold medal in that event in 2000 in Sydney, and 2008 in Athens.

Though USATF hasn't officially announced it, several athletes who were in the meeting, including sprinter Wallace Spearmon and Sanya Richards-Ross tweeted congratulatory remarks to both Thurmond and Taylor, as well as the USATF Athletes Advisory Committee.

Finally, in a low key meet at Oslo's Bislett Stadium against mixed competition, former Husky Ingvill Måkestad Bovin ran a season best of 2:02.13 for 800 meters on Tuesday.

She said that she was very pleased with her time as she enters the final phase of training before the Olympics.

Here's a link to a post (in Norwegian) describing her race (you can use Google Translate to assist in translating the post to English).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Brad Walker gets second at Janusz Kusocinski Memorial meeting; Katie Mackey sets 800 PR...

SZCZCIN, Poland--University of Washington alum Brad Walker (left/photo courtesy US Olympic Committee) vaulted to a second place finish at Saturday's Janusz Kusocinski Memorial meeting in the Polish city.

Walker cleared 18-9 1/4 (5.72m) as Great Britain's Steve Lewis cleared a personal best and national record 19-1 (5.82m) to take the victory.

Defending Olympic champion Steve Hooker of Australia was third behind Walker, also clearing a 2012 season best of 18-9 1/4.

On his Facebook fan page, Walker said, "Cold night with some cross winds. Passed to .92 after one attempt at .82. Ended on the same stick as the .90 jump in Chula so I'm pleased. That stick is worth 6m so to get on it today is a good take away."

Walker moves on to Jockgrim, Germany for the annual street vault meet next week, an event that he's won before.

In Ninove, Belgium, former Husky Katie Mackey finished sixth in the 800 meters at the Memorial Rasschaert meeting Saturday.

Mackey set a personal best of 2:02.23 as Maggie Vessey won in a time of 1:59.98.

You can read Mackey's account of the race along with the official results here.

Finally, here's a link to an article written in the Journal & Courier in Lafayette, Indiana on Purdue alum and Vancouver native Kara Patterson, who travels to London for her second Olympics.

She's not satisfied with being a participant at this year's Olympics--she's aiming for a top eight finish.

You can read the interview with Patterson here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thurmond finishes eighth at Herculis Meeting in Monaco...

FONTVIEILLE, Monaco--Renton High School alum Aretha Thurmond (left/photo courtesy US Olympic Committee) finished eighth in the discus at the annual Herculis Meeting Friday at Stade Louis II.

Thurmond threw 193-11 (59.10m) in round one of the competition, as Croatia's European champion Sandra Perkovic won with a toss of 214-2 (65.29m) in the first stanza to make her one of the favorites entering the London Olympic discus competition, which begins on August 3rd, which is day 1 of track & field, with the finals the following day.

Germany's Nadine Muller (212-1/64.64m) and Cuba's Yarelis Barrios (211-7/64.49m) took second and third, respectively, with American record holder and defending Olympic champ Stephanie Brown Trafton fourth at 209-0 (63.70m).

Percovic's win was her fourth this season in the Samsung Diamond League series, giving her a healthy lead with 18 points.

American highlights from Monaco included an American record by Oregon TC/Portland's Evan Jager in the steeplechase, who ran 8:06.81 to take down Daniel Lincoln's old US standard of 8:08.82 set in 2006.

Aries Merritt continued his hot streak in the 110 hurdles with a win in 12.93, while Oregon TC/Eugene's Jesse Williams, the reigning world champ, won the high jump with a leap of 7-7 3/4 (2.33m).

Complete results from the Herculis Meeting are available here.

Closer to home, the University of Washington reports that cement is being poured this week and next to lay out the foundation for the new track & field complex being built next to the Husky Soccer Stadium on the northeast portion of campus by the student commuter parking area.

More than 70 trucks per day have been coming in from South Seattle, filled with cement, then poured and smoothed out using a "super screed" machine. The track surface, which is identical to the surface at Hayward Field, is expected to be installed next month.

Here's a link to a photo gallery showing the progress of the track complex.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Måkestad Bovin scores 2012 season best in 800 in Karlstad...

KARLSTAD, Sweden--In one of her final tuneup races before the Olympics, former Washington Husky Ingvill Måkestad Bovin (left/photo courtesy runingvill.com)  finished second in the 800 meters at the Karlstad Grand Prix meet.

Måkestad Bovin ran a season best 2:03.61, but in a mild upset, Vancouver Island resident Diane Cummins took the victory, as the Canadian veteran ran 2:03.20.

Complete results from the Karlstad Grand Prix meet are available here.

Meanwhile, the University of Washington announced its 2012 cross country schedule, highlighted by two trips to the Midwest in late September and early October.

On September 29th, the Washington women, who finished second at last year's NCAA cross country championships, travel to Louisville's E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park for the Greater Louisville Classic on the same course that will host the NCAA championships on November 17th.

That same day, the men's squad will compete in Eugene at the Bill Dellinger Invitational, hosted by the University of Oregon.

Two weeks later, both Husky squads travel to Madison, Wisconsin for the adidas Wisconsin Invitational, a meet the Husky women won last year.

Washington hosts two home meets this season--the Sundodger Invitational on September 15th at Lincoln Park, and the NCAA West Regionals on Friday November 9th at Jefferson Park Golf Course on Beacon Hill.

The UW schedule is available here.

Trio of former Huskies tune up for Olympics in Europe...

The first half of the European season begins to wind down with the Olympics just around the corner, as a trio of athletes with University of Washington ties (photos by Paul Merca vic PicStitch) get ready for the action in London in just over a fortnight.

In Karlstad, Sweden, Norwegian Olympian Ingvill Måkestad Bovin will run the 800 at the Folksam Grand Prix meet on Thursday, as she possibly looks to duck under 2 minutes and possibly threaten her personal best of 1:59.82.

The start list for Karlstad is available here.

Friday's Hercilis Meeting in Monaco will feature Renton HS and UW grad Aretha Thurmond in one of her last meets before the Games, as she faces a field that includes Cuba's Yarelis Barrios, Germany's Nadine Muller, Croatia's Sandra Perkovic, and defending Olympic champ and American record holder Stephanie Brown-Trafton.

The complete start list for the Hercilis meet, which is part of the Samsung Diamond League series, is available here.

Saturday, Husky alum Brad Walker heads to Szczcin, Poland for the Janusz Kusocinski Memorial meeting where he'll face a strong field including Australia's Steve Hooker and France's Renaud Lavillenie

The start list for the Janusz Kusocinski meet is available here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ginnie Crawford wins in Luzern, Switzerland...

LUZERN, Switzerland--Rainier Beach HS alum and US Olympic team alternate Ginnie Crawford (left/photo by Paul Merca) took the victory in the 100 hurdles at the Spitzen Leichtathletik Luzern meeting Tuesday.

Crawford got out strongly and won the race in 12.61 over Turkey's Nevin Yanit (12.73) and US Olympian Kellie Wells (12.79).

Complete results from the Spitzen Leichtathletik Luzern are available here.

In Lignano, Italy, Gig Harbor's Mark Wieczorek finished eighth in the 800 meters at the Meeting Internazionale di Atletica Leggera.

Wieczorek, an Olympic Trials finalist, ran 1:45.96, as Kenya's Job Kinyor took the win in 1:44.39.

University of Washington alum Katie Mackey also finished eighth in the women's 1500, as she ran 4:08.09, as Minnesota alum Gabriele Anderson took the win in 4:04.84.

Results from the Meeting Internazionale di Atletica Leggera are available here.

Speaking of Wieczorek, here's an interesting take on the self-funded runner from Gig Harbor whose trademark racing uniform is a green and blue striped V-neck t-shirt from American Eagle and a blue headband, written by Andy Chan of San Francisco, who was the high school coach of Shannon Rowbury.

Coincidentally, Wieczorek tweeted an inquiry to Bothell based Brooks Sports (of the Run Happy plane fame) about obtaining sponsorship.

Wieczorek, who was the Washington state high school cross country coach of the year for leading Gig Harbor to a state 4A title, should be a guy that a local company such as Brooks should go after!

You can read Andy's post here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wieczorek & Mackey set to race in Lignano Tuesday...

LIGNANO, Italy--Gig Harbor resident Mark Wieczorek (left/photo by Paul Merca) and University of Washington alum Katie Mackey will compete in Tuesday's Meeting Internazionale di Atletica Leggera.

Wieczorek, who finished second in the 800 in Kortrijk, Belgium on Saturday in 1:47.59, will run in the 800 against a field composed primarily of Americans, including former UC Irvine standout Charles Jock, Oregon's Elijah Greer and Tyler Mulder.

The top seed in the 800 is Kenya's Job Kinyor, who has a time of 1:43.76 listed.

Mackey, who won the 1500 in Kortrijk on Saturday in 4:11.85, goes against a field that includes Great Britain's Lisa Dobriskey, Minnesota alum Gabrielle Anderson, and Canadian Sheila Reid.

The start lists for the Meeting Internazionale di Atletica Leggera is available here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Crawford gets third at Aviva London GP; Mackey wins 1500 in Kortrijk...

LONDON, England--With the start of the track & field competition at the Olympics less than three weeks away, many of the world's top track & field athletes gathered at Crystal Palace for day 2 of the Aviva London Grand Prix stop on the Samsung Diamond League tour.

Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished third in the finals of the 100 hurdles in a time of 12.74, as US Olympic trials runner-up Kellie Wells took the victory in 12.57 to beat reigning world champion Sally Pearson of Australia by 2/100ths of a second.

In the prelims, held earlier in the meet Crawford was victorious, running 12.62 to advance to the finals.

In the men's mile, which was not a Diamond League event, Washington State alum Bernard Lagat was sixth in a season best time of 3:54.17, as he sharpens for a run at the Olympics in the 5000.

Kenya's Silas Kiplagat won the race in 3:52.44.

Complete results from the Aviva London Grand Prix are available here.

In Kortrijk, Belgium at the Flanders Cup Guldensporenmeeting Meeting, Washington alum Katie Mackey won the fast section of the women's 1500, running 4:11.85, leading a US sweep of the podium positions, as Emily Infeld (4:12.13) and Ashley Miller (4:13.12) went 2-3.

Olympic trials 800 meter finalist Mark Wieczorek from Gig Harbor finished second in the fast section of the men's 800, running 1:47.59, as Kenya's Alex Kibet won in 1:47.32.

Complete results from the Flanders Cup Guldensporenmeeting Meeting are available here.


US Olympians Nick Symmonds and Lolo Jones were not given invitations to the Aviva London Grand Prix meet by meet director Ian Stewart.

In a post on his Facebook page, Symmonds wrote, "For those of you wondering why I am not racing in tomorrow's London Diamond League 800m: I was told by the meet director, Ian Stewart, that I am "a liability" and that I am not allowed to race in any of his meetings. Apparently, he told the same thing to Lolo Jones, one of the most popular athletes in the world of Athletics. People like Mr. Stewart have very antiquated ideas about how the sport of Track and Field should be governed and are holding our sport back."

While it is within the meet director's discretion over who runs in their meet, it makes one wonder if Stewart (who is married to USATF president Stephanie Hightower) has some sort of grudge against Symmonds and/or Jones, as both athletes have gone against the grain in marketing themselves--Symmonds with the temporary tattoo on his arm with the logo and Twitter handle of Hanson Dodge Creative, and Jones with the Red Bull headband; or, is Stewart protecting his meets' sponsors, Aviva (British financial services company) and Samsung (sponsor of the Diamond League).

Relay Network affiliate tracksuperfan.com has a great summary on the Symmonds/Jones v. Stewart feud, which you can read here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Forks HS standout Tanner Sork finishes sixth in heat at world juniors over 800m...

BARCELONA, Spain--Vancouver resident Tanner Sork (left/photo courtesy MileSplit), who just graduated from Forks HS in Camas, finished sixth in his heat of the 800 meters Friday at the IAAF World Junior Track & Field Championships at Estadio Olimpico.

Sork, who raised eyebrows after the Washington state high school meet, when he won the Washington/Oregon Border Duel in a PR 1:48.74, then beat Washington State's Joe Abbott at the Portland Track Festival, and made the US junior team in Bloomington, ran 1:50.80 on Friday morning.

Sork will enroll at Brigham Young University in the fall, where he originally planned to walk on, but was upgraded to scholarship status by distance coach Ed Eyestone after his streak in early June.

Complete day four results from the IAAF World Junior championships are available here.

On the pro circuit, Olympic Trials finalist Katie Mackey will run the 1500 at the Flanders Cup Guldensporenmeeting Meeting in Kortrijk , Belgium.

She'll face a field that includes many athletes familiar to American fans, including Olympians Molly Huddle and Kim Conley, along with Canadian Olympian Sheila Reid.

The start list for the Guldensporenmeeting Meeting is available here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brad Walker jumps season best in Chula Vista; WSU alum Anson Henry announces retirement...

CHULA VISTA, California--Instead of jumping at the Aviva London Grand Prix meet on Friday, Mountlake Terrace resident and Washington alum Brad Walker (left/photo by Paul Merca) opted to compete at a low key meet at the Olympic Training Center Thursday.

The result was Walker winning in a season best 19-4 1/4 (5.90m) in the Pre-Olympic Tune Up meet.

Walker opened up the meet with a first attempt make at 18-0 1/2 (5.50m), then cleared 18-8 1/2 (5.70m) on his second attempt, before taking three tries to clear the season best 19-4 1/4.

The Spokane native ended the day with three misses at 19-8 1/4 (6.00m).

Results from the Pre-Olympic Tune Up meet are available here.

As one athlete with Washington ties gets ready for the sport's biggest stage, another athlete calls it a day and a career.

Washington State alum Anson Henry (above/photo by Paul Merca), who represented Canada in two Olympics, announced on his Facebook page his retirement from the sport.

Henry, who finished sixth in the Canadian Olympic Trials last month in 10.31, competed in Wednesday night's National Track League finals in Toronto, where he was fifth in 10.38.

On his page, he writes about what the sport has given him, including a free education at Washington State, the opportunity to travel around the world, and represented Canada in numerous meets.

"I'm kinda looking forward to being a fan now, and guiding and supporting some of the up and comers we have in Canada… I see the talent, I see the hunger, and with the right guidance and support, those names (Canadian sprinters Justyn Paris, Akeem Haynes, Aaron Kingsley Brown, Ian Warner, Sam Effah, Gavin Smellie, Jared Connaughton, Seyi Smith and Dontaé Richards) will find podiums in the future."

Henry concludes, "The story of my career has so many details, but here's the short form - I tried. I really, really tried. It's funny, now in the latter part of my career I know so much that I could have taken advantage of in my earlier years, but alas, my time is no more. Not sure what the next step is, but once I'm over this retirement, I will embrace whatever I do next, and approach it with the same heart and dedication I gave to track."

Henry ran in two Olympics for Canada, running the 4 x 100m relay in Athens in 2004, and the 100 and 4 x 100m in Beijing four years later.

In 2007, Henry made the semifinals at the World Championships in Osaka.

He leaves the sport with a personal best of 10.12, set in 2006 in Doha, Qatar.

Trio of Washington athletes set to go at Aviva London GP Friday-Saturday...

LONDON, England--While the city makes its last minute preparations to welcome the world in two weeks for the start of the Olympics, many of the world's top track and field athletes will make a quick stop at London's Crystal Palace stadium for the Aviva London Grand Prix meet Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, US Olympic Trials champ Brad Walker (left/photo by Paul Merca) from Mountlake Terrace will compete in the pole vault, as the former Husky and current American record holder goes against a field that includes reigning world indoor champion Renaud Lavillenie of France and reigning Olympic champ Steve Hooker of Australia.

Saturday, Olympic trials fourth place finisher Ginnie Crawford from Rainier Beach HS is entered in the 100 hurdles against reigning world champion Sally Pearson of Australia, Olympic bronze medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Canada, and former world champ Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica.

Reigning world indoor 3000m champ Bernard Lagat, who will compete in the Olympics at 5000m, drops down in distance to run the mile against Olympic silver medalist at 1500m Nick Willis of New Zealand, US Olympic trials 1500m winner Leo Manzano, and Kenya's Silas Kiplagat.

The start lists for the Aviva London GP, which is part of the season-long Samsung Diamond League series, is available here.

In Barcelona, reigning US junior champion Sean Keller of Heritage HS in Vancouver's great late season run ended with a 12th place finish in his section of the javelin at the IAAF World Junior Track & Field Championships at Estadio Olimpico.

The just graduated high school senior, who threw 253-0 (77.12) on June 23rd at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, was only able to muster up a toss of 217-7 (66.33m) in qualifying Thursday morning.

Results from the javelin qualifying round at the world junior championships are available here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Washington 4A 1600m champ Izaic Yorks seventh in heat at world juniors...

BARCELONA, Spain--On day one of competition at the IAAF World Junior Track & Field Championships, Lakes HS senior Izaic Yorks (left/photo courtesy IAAF) finished seventh in his heat of the 1500 meters.

Yorks, the reigning Washington state 4A 1600m champ and runner-up at last month's USA junior championships, was hanging near the front of the chase pack for the first two laps, vying for a fast qualifying time in his heat, but slipped back to seventh at the tape. He finished with a time of 3:49.21.

Yorks will attend the University of Portland this fall.

On Thursday, Heritage HS senior Sean Keller from Vancouver, the reigning USA junior champion and Olympic Trials finalist in the javelin, opens up competition in his specialty.

Day 1 results from the IAAF World Junior Championships are available here.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field and the IAAF contributed to this report.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Geubelle wins triple jump at NACAC meet in Mexico...

GUANAJUATO, Mexico--Day two of the NACAC Under-23 track & field championships continued in the Mexican city with two Washington athletes medaling on Saturday.

University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (left/photo by Paul Merca), a graduate of Curtis HS, who attends the University of Kansas, won the triple jump, despite competing with a 102 degree fever.

Geubelle jumped 43-1 1/2 (13.14m) to take the victory by a centimeter over USA teammate Michelle Jenije from Florida State.

In the women's pole vault, the Huskies' Logan Miller finished second with a jump of 13-11 1/4 (4.25m) behind Canada's Melanie Blouin, who jumped 14-3 1/2 (4.36m).

In the women's 400, Washington State's Shawna Fermin, competing for Trinidad & Tobago, finished sixth in a time of 53.42, as Rebecca Alexander of the USA and LSU won in 51.13.

Results from the NACAC meet are available here.

At the Alki Swashbuckler Beach Vault at Alki Beach in West Seattle, Keisa Monterola's last shot at trying to qualify for Venezuela's Olympic team fell short, as she only jumped 14-0 (4.27m), just short of the Olympic B standard of 14-5 1/4 (4.40m).

Former USC jumper Brysun Stately took the victory, as she cleared 14-5 1/4.

In the men's competition, Washington alum Scott Roth took the win at 18-1 (5.51m).

Results are available via polevaultpower.com's Twitter page.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Crawford runs season best at Meeting Areva...

ST. DENIS, France--Rainier Beach HS alum Ginnie Crawford (left/photo by Paul Merca) ran a season best 12.59 Friday night as she finished second in the 100 hurdles at the Meeting Areva at the Stade de France.

In this meet, which is part of the season-long Samsung Diamond League series, Crawford finished second behind Australia's Sally Pearson, who ran a world leading time of 12.40.

Crawford and Pearson were about even through the first hurdle, as both got away from the field quickly.

However, the Aussie, who was last year's world champion in Daegu, began pulling away from Crawford towards the middle of the race.

Courtesy of universalsports.com, here is video of the race:

In the women's 1500, former Husky Ingvill Måkestad Bovin finished 11th in a season best time of 4:03.71, as Marlem Alaoui Selsouli of Morocco took the victory in a world leading time of 3:56.15.

Another former Husky, Aretha Thurmond, finished seventh in the discus with a toss of 189-4 (57.72m), as former world champ Dani Samuels of Australia won with a throw of 202-9 (61.81m) in wet conditions.

Complete results from the Meeting Areva are available here.

For Eastern Washington's Keisa Monterola, Saturday's Alki Beach Vault in West Seattle is her last chance to qualify for the London Olympics.

She will need to clear 14-5 1/4 (4.40m) in order to ensure selection onto Venezuela's Olympic squad, as Sunday is the last day for athletes to make the qualifying marks.

Monterola will face former USC standout Brysun Stately and Linfield's NCAA D3 champ Catherine Street, the same field that competed in Wednesday's Tacoma Freedom Fair vault.

The men's competition features Olympic Trials 3rd place finisher and world indoor championships competitor Scott Roth, against training partners Ryan Brown, Levi Keller, Jason Colwick, and Ryan Vu.

The elite competition begins Saturday at noon.

Start lists for the Alki Beach Vault are available here.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A potpourri of information after a break from the Olympic Trials...

After a short break recovering from the US Olympic Trials (well, not really, as I had to file three different stories for both Track & Field News and Northwest Runner), we are back to fill you in on what's up!

Friday, the Samsung Diamond League rolls back into action with the Meeting Areva at the Stade de France on the outskirts of Paris in St. Denis on Friday.

US Olympian Aretha Thurmond (center/photo courtesy Nike) is entered in the discus, where she'll face Diamond League event leader Sandra Perkovic of Croatia, Yarelis Barrios of Cuba, and Dani Samuels of Australia.

In the women's 1500, former Husky Ingvill Måkestad Bovin, who is coming off a disappointing effort at last week's European Championships in Helsinki, faces Diamond League event leader Abeba Aregawi of Ethiopia, and third placer Helen Obiri of Kenya.

Rainier Beach alum and Olympic Trials fourth place finisher Ginnie Crawford will compete in the 100 hurdles against reigning world champ Sally Pearson of Australia and Tiffany Porter of Great Britain.

The Meeting Areva will be streamed live (pay-per-view) beginning at 11 am pacific time on universalsports.com.

The start lists for the meet are available here.

Eastern Washington's Keisa Monterola is facing a race against the calendar, as she tries to get the Olympic B standard before Sunday's qualifying period ends to ensure selection onto Venezuela's Olympic team.

Monterola jumped in Wednesday's beach vault competition at the Tacoma Freedom Fair, where she jumped 13-11 3/4 (4.26m) along with Linfield's NCAA D3 champ Catherine Street, before both missed at the Olympic B standard of 14-5 1/2 (4.41m).

Monterola will jump Saturday at the Alki Beach Vault on Alki Beach in West Seattle in one final attempt to get the Olympic B standard starting at noon.

Information on the Alki Beach Vault is available here.

At the InColor Hub City Classic stop of the National Track League circuit in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada Thursday, former Husky Kyle Neilsen won the javelin with a throw of 248-7 (75.78m).

UW volunteer assistant coach Christie Gordon was fifth in the 100 hurdles in 13.73.

Results from the Hub City Classic are available here.

As a follow up to the post last week about the Brooks "Run Happy" plane flying above Hayward Field, it looks like the New York Times has jumped in on the act.

We posted a tweet by David Monti of Race Results Weekly stating that Brooks personnel had their credentials pulled for hiring the plane for a bit of guerilla marketing over Hayward Field, which was clearly covered in Nike swooshes.

Erin Hofto, a spokeswoman for Bothell based Brooks, told the Times the company determined that the air space above Hayward Field was not a no-fly zone. Jesse Williams, a sports marketing manager at Brooks; Jim Weber, the chief executive; and Rick Wilhelm, a vice president, were told that the language on the back of their tickets said that “the ticket can be terminated without any cause for reason, immediately, and without refunding the face value of the ticket,” Hofto said.

A few minutes before the start of the women's javelin finals at the Trials, which I was covering for NBC Sports,  I was near the runway when I heard Kara Patterson yell at me to look up in the sky...and lo & behold, the Brooks plane was cruising along, at which time we both started laughing...all this a few moments away from the biggest meet of the domestic season!

The post is available here.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Kara Patterson makes her second Olympic team with second place finish...

EUGENE--On the final day of full competition at the US Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field, Vancouver's Kara Patterson (left/photo by Paul Merca) earned her second consecutive Olympic team spot with a second place finish in the javelin.

Before a record crowd of 22497 inside Hayward Field, Patterson set the tone early with a throw of 193-10 (59.09m), before extending her lead to 196-2 (59.79m) in round three.

In the fourth round, Patterson felt a twinge in her left knee when she planted to make her throw, which traveled 185-6 (56.55m). After some work by one of the on field medical trainers, she elected to shut it down for the afternoon.

After the end of the competition, she said that she hyperextended her knee on that round four throw, saying that she was a bit forward when she went to make the toss.

That opened the door for Brittany Borman, as in the final round, she threw 201-9 (61.51m) to take the victory from Patterson, and most importantly, earn the Olympic A standard of 61 meters (200-1) to join Patterson and fourth place finisher Rachel Yurkovich (186-6, 56.85m), who was the only other thrower with the requisite mark to go to London.

Patterson, whose streak of four consecutive USA national titles came to a halt Sunday, said, “I came into today really wanting to make a statement in the first round. I would have liked to have thrown farther. I am really happy to make the team. It was one of the best competitions ever.”

“I am very extremely thankful for Asics at this meet. It’s a family. To be around them the whole meet and to be supported. My parents were over there. The support I have in the Northwest is amazing.”

In the men's 1500, Auburn-Riverside HS alum Jordan McNamara took the early lead in the men's 1500m, knowing that a top three finish without the Olympic A standard of 3:35.50 would keep him off the team.

McNamara led through the first lap or so, slipping to second to let Will Leer, who was also chasing the standard, lead with two laps to go, before ultimately finishing seventh in 3:37.79.

Afterwards, he said, that he “felt great, (but) lulled myself into a bit of a box. Just didn’t have the last 150 that I needed.”

He said that he talked to Leer before the meet to help take out the early pace.

“We had it arranged. We figured we might as well give a shot. I’d rather be seventh and give it my all. We knew it was going to be a dog fight.”

He said that he will go to Europe to chase marks in various meets throughout the Continent.

Former Washington Husky Katie Mackey was ninth in the women's 1500, running 4:11.46.

In the women's long jump, Curtis HS grad Andrea Geubelle from the University of Kansas finished eleventh with a best of 20-7 3/4 (6.29m).

The run-off between Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix for the third spot on the US Olympic team in the 100 meters will be held at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, July 2. The race will be held at Hayward Field and broadcast live on NBC.

Complete results from Sunday's competition are available here.

Ingvill Måkestad Bovin finishes eleventh at European Championships...

HELSINKI, Finland--Former University of Washington standout Ingvill Måkestad Bovin finished 11th in the finals of the women's 1500 on the final day of the European Championships at the Olympic Stadium.

Måkestad Bovin ran 4:13.32 as Asli Cakir-Alptekin and Gamze Bulut of Turkey finished 1-2, crossing the line in 4:05.31, and 4:06.04, respectively, with Anna Mishchenko of Ukraine third in 4:07.74.

Complete results from the European Championships are available here.

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