Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Jamie Nieto places sixth in the Olympic high jump finals...

LONDON--Veteran high jumper Jamie Nieto (left/photo by Mike Scott), who was born in Seattle, and grew up in Sacramento, finished sixth in the finals of the event Tuesday night at Olympic Stadium to end the fifth day of track and field competition.

The 35-year old, competing in his second Olympics, cleared 7-6 (2.29m) on his second attempt, as five other men cleared the same height, with Canada's Derek Drouin, Great Britain's Robert Grabarz, and Qatar's Mutaz Barshim in a three-way tie for third at that mark.

Russia's Ivan Ukhov, who made himself a YouTube sensation four years ago by jumping drunk at the Athletissma meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, took the victory with a clearance of 7-9 3/4 (2.38m), with NCAA champ Erik Kynard from Kansas State second at 7-7 3/4 (2.33m).

Reigning world champ Jesse Williams tied for ninth at 7-4 1/2 (2.25m).

Nieto, who currently lives at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, and is an aspiring actor, said afterwards, "It could be anybody’s day. A lot of guys had pressure on them. The conditions weren’t bad. I gave it my best. I was the old guy of the field so finishing sixth wasn’t bad.”

Nanoose Bay, British Columbia's Mike Mason, a frequent competitor during the indoor season at the Dempsey, finished eighth, also at 7-6 (2.29m).

In other events involving Americans, Leo Manzano earned the country's first medal in the men's 1500 since 1968, when Jim Ryun turned the trick, by finishing second in a time of 3:34.79, finishing behind Taoufik Makhloufi of Algeria in 3:34.08.

2011 world championships bronze medalist and Oregon alum Matthew Centrowitz was fourth in 3:35.17, 2/100ths of a second from third place finisher Abdalaati Igulder of Morocco.

In the 100 hurdles, Dawn Harper (12.37), Kellie Wells (12.48) and Lolo Jones (12.58) went 2-3-4, but could not overcome Australia's Sally Pearson, as the reigning world champ set an Olympic record by running 12.35.

Complete day 5 results are available here.


Wednesday morning, two former world champions with Washington ties--University of Washington alum Brad Walker, and Washington State University alum Bernard Lagat--begin their quest to add an Olympic title to their impressive resumes.

Walker, the 2007 world champion in the pole vault, competes at 10:00 am (2:00 am in Seattle), while Lagat, a double gold medalist at the 2007 world championships in the 1500 and 5000 meters, will run in the 5000 at 11:06 am (3:06 am in Seattle).

Both seek to avenge their Olympic misfortunes from Beijing, where Walker, who was one of the favorites, failed to clear a height in the qualifying round, and Lagat, who was competing injured, failed to make the finals in the 1500, and ended up ninth in the 5000.

Marysville-Pilchuck alum Haley Nemra, who has one of the slowest personal best marks in the field at 2:13.83, set at the 2008 Washington state 4A high school championships, runs in heat 2 of the women's 800 at 11:44 am (3:44 am in Seattle), as she represents the Marshall Islands.

The IAAF A & B standards in the women's 800 are 1:59.90 and 2:01.30, but developing nations are allowed to enter one female and one male athlete in the meet if that country has no one that meets the A and B standard.

Wednesday night finals at Olympic Stadium include the women's long jump, 400 hurdles and 200, and the men's 110 hurdles.

Wednesday also marks the first day of the two-day decathlon featuring world record holder and University of Oregon alum Ashton Eaton.

The day 6 start lists are available here.

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