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.

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