Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Zurich Weltklasse meet could see American record in 5000 go down; Falcons start 2012 season in Fairbanks...

With September right around the corner, the transition has begun from the pro track & field season right to the start of the collegiate cross country season.

There are still a few pro meets in Europe left, with one of the biggest meets of the 2012 Samsung Diamond League season happening Thursday in Zurich, Switzerland at the Weltklasse Meeting, perhaps one of the best annual meets of the season.

All three members of the US Olympic men's 5000 meter team--Galen Rupp and Lopez Lomong of Portland, along with Washington State University hall of famer Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca)--are entered in the men's 5000 at the Weltklasse race, which could produce the fastest time of the year.

Even with Olympic champ Mo Farah and silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia missing, the Weltklasse 5000 features Kenya's Thomas Longosiwa, the bronze medalist from London, Ethiopia's Tariku Bekele, Samsung Diamond League second place points leader Hagos Gebrhiwet and Imane Merga, along with Uganda's Moses Kipsiro, and Kenya's Mark Kiptoo, Moses Masai & Edwin Soi.

In fact, Lagat thinks that his American record of 12:53.61, which he set at last year's Herculis meeting in Monaco could go down, as he discussed in this video, courtesy of media partner Flotrack.

Mountlake Terrace resident Brad Walker will compete in the men's pole vault, as he faces all three Olympic medalists--France's Renaud Lavillenie, as well as silver and bronze medalists Bjorn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany.

Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford, who sits in third in the Samsung Diamond Trophy race in the 100 hurdles with three points, goes against Americans Dawn Harper, Kellie Wells and Queen Harrison, along with Canadians Priscilla Lopes-Schliep, Phylicia George and Jessica Zelinka.

The meet will be shown online (pay-per-view) at starting at 11 am, pacific time.

Start lists for the Zurich Weltklasse meet are available here.


In Fairbanks, Alaska, the Seattle Pacific Falcons begin the 2012 cross country campaign with a pair of meets Thursday and Saturday against host Alaska-Fairbanks and Black Hills State of South Dakota.

The long course race (6k women, 8k men) begins Thursday at 6:30pm, pacific time, while the short course race (4k for both genders) is Saturday at 11 am, pacific.

The Falcon men won both the long-course and short-course team titles last year – and both by considerable margins. SPU had a 10-point advantage on runner-up Montana State Billings (27-37) in the long-course meet, and won by 26 points (23-49) against Billings in short-course. Fairbanks was third in both meets.

Meanwhile, the Falcon women finished second in both meets last year, with Fairbanks sweeping both races last year.

SPU coach Erika Daligcon said, "It would be nice to go for some team wins – that's something we all would like to achieve.”

“It's just an opportunity for these athletes to run together and compete together. We have some freshmen in the mix, so it'll be fun to have these two races under their belts. Also, it's exciting that we have two distances (6K women/8K men on Thursday, then 4K for both genders on Saturday). We'll get a lot of valuable information from this that will shape our training from here on out."

SPU's release is available here.

NOTE: The sports information office of Seattle Pacific contributed to this report.

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