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).

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