Monday, April 30, 2012

Jessica Tebo is back! SPU alum gets Olympic A Standard at Payton Jordan Cardinal Invite...

PALO ALTO, California--She's back!

Sunday night, Eastlake High School and Seattle Pacific University alum Jessica Tebo (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com), one of the most decorated track & field athletes to ever come out of the Division II school, finished sixth in the women's 5000 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational hosted by Stanford University, clocking 15:19.43, and most importantly, ducking under the Olympic 'A' standard of 15:20.00.

Tebo (formerly Pixler), now a graduate student at the University of Colorado, was competing in only her second race of the season. Tebo, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, is now perhaps one of the favorites to win the NCAA 5000 title in Des Moines in June.

The race was won by Sally Kipyego of the Oregon Track Club, as the world championships silver medalist in the 10000 clocked a world leading time of 14:43.11.

Courtesy of media partner Flotrack, here is video of the race.


Watch more video of 2012 Stanford Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on flotrack.org

The meet has traditionally been one of the top competitions for domestic distance runners as they try to achieve marks for entry into this year's US Olympic Trials.

Former Husky Carly Dockendorf won the women's pole vault with a leap of 13-11.75 (4.26m).

World championships marathon competitor Mike Sayenko of Bellevue got his Olympic Trials A standard in the 10000, as the UW alum ran 28:12.42 to take fourth in section 2 of the men's 10000.

Washington State alum Collier Lawrence got under the Olympic Trials A standard of 9:55.00 in the steeplechase, finishing second in section 2, as she ran a personal best of 9:53.79. Club Northwest's Lois Keller was seventh in 9:59.79.

Kevin Hicks of Seattle finished fourth in the men's 800, running 1:47.83.

Auburn-Riverside HS alum Jordan McNamara was 13th in the men's 5000, running 13:34.64.

Levi Keller of Club Northwest cleared 17-7 (5.36m) in the pole vault to tie for second.

Complete results of the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational are available here.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend roundup: Washington pros at Drake, UCSD & Penn; collegiate action around the state...

With the focus this weekend on the Washington/Washington State dual meet, we weren't able to update all of you on what happened with everyone else, so here's a summary, including links, to what else happened in the world of Washington pro and collegiate track & field:

THE PROS

In Des Moines, Iowa on Friday, Vancouver native Kara Patterson (left/photo courtesy Drake Relays) won the javelin competition at the Drake Relays, throwing 185-7 (56.58m) to beat national list leader Brittany Borman of the University of Oklahoma, who threw 179-0 (54.56m).

Her series was a struggle, as she and the rest of the field fought the winds.

"This is literally the worst wind I have ever thrown in. You try to pretend that it is not a problem. Today, if I had a little better (weather) conditions it might have gone a little better. I had some good energy in some of those throws and then the wind just carried them out of sector. There is really not a whole lot you can do about that."

Former Husky Scott Roth, who competed earlier in the week in the Pole Vault at the Mall, won the invitational pole vault with a best of 17-7 1/4 (5.37m) at Drake on Saturday.

“I came in at 5-25, cleared that then went to 5.37, cleared that then I ended up passing 5.52 deciding to come back in at 5.62 hoping I would clear that then still have enough energy to take a jump at 5.75. I got on the biggest pole I have ever been on and actually blew through it. It was encouraging to see the potential. Based on that I think I can go to a bigger pole.”

Results from the Drake Relays are available here.

At the Triton Invitational in San Diego hosted by the University of San Diego on Friday, University of Washington alum Aretha Thurmond threw a season best of 208-2 (63.44m), finishing second to Olympic champ Stephanie Brown Trafton, who threw 213-4 (65.02m).

Former Washington graduate assistant coach Kimery Hern threw 195-0 (59.43m) in the hammer to finish 11th.

Saturday's second day of competition saw former Husky Märt Israel finish sixth with a best of 206-3 (62.86m), as Rutger Smith of the Netherlands threw a world leading 219-9 (66.97m).

Former Husky Will Conwell of Club Northwest was 18th at 198-3 (60.42m), and former Cougar Ian Waltz was 20th at 195-7 (59.62m).

Conwell and Waltz were involved in a separate competition on Thursday at the US Olympic training center in Chula Vista (results incorporated into the Triton Invitational), with Waltz finishing 15th in 194-4 (59.24m), and Conwell 18th at 192-7 (58.69m).

Complete results from the Triton Invitational are available here.

At the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Texas alum Leo Manzano ran a 3:54.9 1600m leg for the USA Blue squad to defeat the USA Red team anchored by Washington State hall of famer Bernard Lagat (3:57.2), 9:19.31 to 9:19.88 as part of the USA vs the World meet.

Bellingham's Becca Friday contributed solid legs for the University of Oregon as the Ducks won both the 4 x 800 and 4 x 1500.

On Friday, she ran a 4:23.1 to anchor Oregon's 17:29.00 victory, then followed it up on Saturday with a 2:06.3 third leg to help the Ducks secure a 8:24.16 win.

Complete results from the Penn Relays are available here.

The Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, one of the most important distance meets of the domestic outdoor season takes place Sunday on the campus of Stanford University, with several athletes from the area, including Mike Sayenko and Sarah Porter, looking for qualifying marks in the 10000 meter run for June's US Olympic Trials.

Former Cougar Collier Lawrence is entered in the steeplechase, as is Club Northwest's Lois Keller. Keller's husband Levi, is entered in the pole vault. Kevin Hicks is entered in the 800, while Brie Felnagle is entered in the 1500.

Media partner Flotrack will stream the meet live, starting at 4:15 pm pacific time.

Start lists for the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational are available here.

AROUND THE STATE:

Eastern Washington's Keisa Monterola made her outdoor season debut Friday at the Pelluer Invitational hosted by the Eagles, clearing 14-0 (4.27m), a new school, meet and Roos Field record.

Results from the Pelluer Invitational are available here…

Washington's three other NCAA Division I schools--Seattle, Gonzaga, and Eastern Washington--all were in action Saturday at the Duane Hartman Invitational hosted by Spokane Falls CC.

SeattleU saw five school records broken Saturday--in the men's 4 x 100 relay (41.51); the men's pole vault by Stephen Squatrito (14-9, 4.50m); and Josh Walters in the hammer (147-9, 45.04m).

Bethany Richards scored a school record in the hammer (147-0/44.81m), and Katie Tougas got a Redhawk school record in the 200 (26.02).

Gonzaga's Lauren Bergam won the 3000 meter steeplechase in a school record 11:11.71.

Eastern's Keisa Monterola led a 1-2-3 Eagle sweep of the women's pole vault, clearing 13-1.5 (4.00m).

Complete results are available here.

In Lacey, Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, and Central Washington competed at the Saint Martin's Invitational, hosted by the Saints.

SPU's Myisha Valentine won the 100 in 12.32, and the 200 in 24.94, with her 200 the fourth fastest time in GNAC conference history.

Western's Eleanor Siler won the 400 in a NCAA DII provisional qualifying time of 55.94.

Central Washington earned eight event wins, including three of the four relays contested.

The Wildcats' Bryan Mack won the men's triple jump and was the first leg on the men's 4x100 relay squad that won with a time of 42.80 seconds. Mack's winning triple jump was 14.06 meters (46 feet, 1 1/2 inches).

Complete results from the Saint Martin's Invitational, along with SMU's recap are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information offices at Drake University, the Penn Relays, USA Track & Field, the University of Oregon, Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, SeattleU, Seattle Pacific, Western Washington, Central Washington, and St. Martin's University contributed to this report.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Washington women, Washington State men win annual cross-state dual meet...

PULLMAN--True to the pre-meet form charts, the Washington women and Washington State men earned team victories in the annual UW/WSU dual track & field meet on a clear day at Mooberry Track on the campus of Washington State University.

For the Dawgs, the 89-74 victory marked the first time they had won in Pullman since 2004.

In contrast, the Cougar men used a sweep of the penultimate running event, the men's 3000 (photo of Jono Lafler, Andrew Kimpel & Drew Jordan by Paul Merca) to clinch a hard-fought 87-76 victory over the Huskies, avenging last year's defeat in Seattle.

WOMEN'S RECAP

The Washington women swept the 800-meters, 1,500-meters, and the 3,000-meters, and capped things off with a 4x400-meter relay win. Meet records were set in the 400-meter dash by senior Jordan Carlson and junior Shaniae Lakes in the triple jump. Carlson once again smashed her school record, the third-straight race she has broken it, this time taking off more than half a second with a time of 53.15. Lakes set a new PR with a jump of 41-4 ½ (12.61m) on her sixth and final attempt, tying for the No. 2 mark in school history.

Megan Goethals took home two wins in the 1500 (4:29.86) and 3000 (9:31.91), as the Huskies dominated every distance race from 800 up, conceding points to the Cougars only in the steeple--that being a second from Ruby Roberts (10:33.84) and a third from Caroline Austin (10:48.49), behind UW frosh and world junior competitor Eleanor Fulton, running her first collegiate steeple (10:31.07).

Washington needed a strong start in the four field events before the first race if it wanted to walk out of Pullman with a win. The Huskies got wins from Logan Miller in the pole vault (13-1.75/4.01m), and Elisa Bryant (177-4/54.05m) in the hammer, with Miller having a close miss at a PR 14-1 1/4 (4.30m), a mark which would've been a B standard mark for the US Olympic Trials.

A key race was the women's 400, featuring Washington's Jordan Carlson and WSU's Shawna Fermin. Carlson was all business, shot out of the blocks to take control of the race from the start, and she maintained all the way to the finish, hammering her own school record once again in a new lifetime-best of 53.15.

One of the biggest wins of the day came from senior Kelly McNamee in the high jump. An event the Cougars were favored in, McNamee flipped the script with a season-best clearance of 5-8 ½ (1.74m) for the victory.

MEN'S RECAP

The Cougs got their third dual meet win of the season after sweeping UCLA & Tennessee last month in Los Angeles.

One of the biggest breakthroughs for the Cougs was pole vaulter Jake Baertlein, who was not pegged for a top 3 finish on the form charts.

The senior team captain soared to a personal-record height of 17-feet, 1 inch (5.21m) to grab the five first-place points for the Cougs, while pre-meet favorite and reigning US junior champ JJ Julifs of the Huskies was third at 16-9 1/4 (5.11m), the same height cleared by teammate Robby Feagles for second.

"Last week I was very close to a PR and so jumps Coach Matt McGee and I have been working out some kinks," Baertlein said. "Today was about a team performance and having the support of my team got me over 17-feet."

"Jake's performance today was a huge four-point swing for the Cougars at a time when we really needed it," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "As our team captain, to jump his lifetime-best by nearly a foot and to win the competition was really special. The Huskies did a good job and competed well and almost made a challenge near the end. But I think the Cougar men's team as a whole did a nice job competing."

The tone for this meet was set early by Cougar steepler Andrew Gonzales, who took command on the final lap to beat Washington's Mike Miller, the defending champ in this meet, 9:02.19 to 9:03.20.

Washington wasn't going away, as they won the 4 x 1 in 40.23. Defending Pac 10 sprint champ James Alaka took both short sprints (10.39 & 20.89). and got some help in the 400 as Maurice McNeal, coming off an injury that required surgery, won in 47.15.

As expected, former US junior champ Joe Abbott of the Cougs won the 800 in 1:48.53.

With the Huskies sweeping the javelin and Joey Bywater winning the 1500 in 3:47.81 for the Dawgs, WSU's All-American Stephan Scott-Ellis won the long jump in 25-1 3/4 (7.66m). The move by the Cougs to have him run the 200 for the points almost backfired, as he finished a non-scoring fourth in 21.88, and finished second to the Huskies' Kasen Covington in the triple jump, as both jumped 50-3 1/4 (15.32m), with Covington having a better second jump.

With the 200 done, plus upset wins in the high jump by AJ Maricich at 6-11 (2.11m) and Covington in the triple jump, Washington needed a third place finish in the 3000 and a win in the 4 x 400 relay to win the meet.

Neither happened.

In the 3000, the Cougs got the sweep by Andrew Kimpel (8:18.10), Drew Jordan (8:20.89), and Jono Lafler (8:21.50) and ended all speculation as to the team outcome. WSU took an 82-76 lead and the five points from the last event of the day, the 4x400m relay, would not be enough for UW to win. The Cougar squad of Brandon Dawson, Greg Hornsby, Brett Blanshan and Jacob Sealby won the 1600m relay in 3:13.80.

Courtesy of Washington State University, here are video highlights of the meet:



Complete results of the meet are available here.

NOTE: The University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's Rivalry Saturday: Dawgs and Cougs go at it at Mooberry Track!

From looking at the listing of places on the blog's Feedjit live traffic feed, I've noticed a lot of hits from Eastern Washington and Idaho, which must mean that everyone's looking for my annual dope sheet of Saturday's UW/WSU dual track & field meet at Mooberry Track on the campus of Washington State University.

In an era where schools prefer to attend multi school invitational meets which more often than not are non scoring, and the sports information offices of those schools crank out garbage press releases that usually begin something like, "Name of school earned ten automatic qualifiers for next month's conference championships at the Podunk Invitational, hosted by Joe Blow University, ad nauseum…", both the University of Washington and Washington State University still feel that the dual meet between the two schools means something to its athletes, coaches, and its fan base.

From a personal standpoint, the UW/WSU dual meet that I attended in 1975 at Husky Stadium as a sophomore at Franklin High School still remains one of the most vivid memories, which included this taunt by Washington's Billy Hicks (left/photo courtesy Seattle Times) of the Cougars' Gary Minor in the 220.

The WSU women's team has defeated Washington in 10 of the past 11 years, with UW winning in 2009 with a score of 81 2/3 to WSU's 81 1/3. Overall UW women leads the series 20-16.

In contrast, the men's dual meet history is not as clear-cut, as according to WSU records, the Cougars and Huskies have met 100 times already with WSU leading the series 62-37-1. The WSU records include two quad meets also scored as duals and two UW wins in 1945.

Washington records list WSU leading the series 60-35-1, 2012 will either be the 101st meeting of the men's teams or the 97th meeting.

Last year, the Washington men took the victory by a 83-80 margin, while the WSU women prevailed 92-71 over the Huskies, despite Washington capturing individual wins in 10 of 19 events.

Washington's release is here (which has a link to the heat sheets), while Washington State's release is here. 

Before I post my prediction, I've enlisted the services of one of the biggest proponents of collegiate scoring meets, Jesse Squire from Ohio, who writes the very informative track & field blog, "Track & Field Superfan", a blog that any fan of the professional and collegiate track & field game should read and bookmark.

Based on the entries posted for Saturday's meet, here's his take:

Women:  Washington 86, Washington 77
Keys to victory: javelin, 400, 400 hurdles, 800 and relays


I have Washington winning four out of these six events.  That makes this meet closer than it looks, because even one loss could turn the tables.


Appropriately for a Washington-Washington State dual, the most hotly contested field event is going to be the javelin.  I have UW's Amanda Petersen winning and WSU going 2-3, but it could come out very differently.  Points are also up for grabs in the 400, a battle between UW's Jordan Carlson and WSU's Shawna Fermin; the 400 hurdles, which I rate as a complete toss-up, and the 800, which looks like a UW sweep on paper but is an event that always seems to come with surprises. 


So many points are on the line in the relays that they are important by themselves. WSU is the strong favorite in the 4x100, but bad exchanges can always turn the tables. UW looks like the better 4x400 team, but who wins that race is often dependent on which team has more athletes ready to run hard at the end of the meet.


Men: Washington State 87, Washington 76
Keys to victory: high jump, 400, 1500 and relays


The high jump is always a hard-to-predict event, and this one is a toss-up between UW's AJ Maricich and Chase Walker and WSU's Michael Bolligar.  The 400 is also likely to be a hard-fought race between UW's Maurice McNeal and WSU's Brandon Dawson.  Dual-meet 1500 races can be completely up for grabs if the race goes out slow and many athletes are still in it at the bell.  And, of course, so many points are at stake in the relays that they're always a very important thing.

My take:

In the women's meet, I have the Huskies winning by a narrow 84-79 margin. The key to a Washington victory are the four field events that kick off the meet at 11 am--pole vault, long jump, javelin and hammer.

Anything less than a 20-16 margin score by the Huskies before the first running event starts could mean it's gonna be a long day, even with their stud distance runners.

The two races on the track that I'd pay attention to are the 400 and 800. Jesse alluded to the Carlson/Fermin matchup which could be huge, but I'm going to take it one step further and key on the 800 as well.

Pac-10 finalist Courtney Zalud of the Cougs is the favorite on paper, but quite honestly hasn't been impressive so far this outdoor season. Spokane native Baylee Mires, who will certainly have friends and family making the drive to Pullman, may be poised to take the victory.

In the men's meet, I have the Cougs winning by a bigger margin than Jesse, going 95-68 over the Dawgs.

WSU All American Stephan Scott-Ellis will be a key early on, as I have the Cougs sweeping the Huskies in the long jump at 12:30 pm.

Last year, I picked Andrew Gonzales of the Cougs to win the steeple, but he ended up getting beat by the Huskies' Mike Miller. I have Gonzales winning, but Miller could make things interesting again.

I'm in agreement with Jesse that the distance races could be pivotal, especially if they become tactical affairs. Don't be surprised if one of the second-line guys on either team is sacrificed to disturb any team tactics.

Below is my dope sheet, which you can print and take with you to the meet, or use as a paper airplane afterwards.

uw_wsu 2012

paulmerca.blogspot.com will be on site with coverage of the meet, and hopefully will provide live tweets with the hashtag #uwwsudual.

NOTE:  Special thanks to Jesse Squire for taking the time to dope this meet!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brad Walker wins the Drake Relays 'Pole Vault in the Mall', while Scott Roth finishes fifth...

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa--Former University of Washington standout Brad Walker (left/photo courtesy Drake Relays) claimed the 2012 Drake Relays “Pole Vault in the Mall” individual competitions on Wednesday at Jordan Creek Town Center, setting event records in the process.

Walker, the 2012 U.S. indoor champion, cleared a winning height of 18 feet 9¼ inches (5.72m) on his first try to claim the men’s title. His three attempts at 19-1¼ (5.83m) fell short.

“It’s really fun,” Walker said “I love coming out to this meet. It’s only my second year here, but I’ll come back every year if they keep having me. It was a really good jump (at 19-1 3/4) but the pole was too small. If I would have had a couple more attempts I would have gone up poles and I’d like to think I would have made the bar.”

“We have a lot of events that are inside the stadiums, which are fun, but the crowd is far away, you’re not jumping to your own music, your own songs,” Walker said. “This just adds another dimension to it. I think people being up close get a good chance to understand the speed and dimensions of it all. It’s great for all of us.”

Three-time Drake Relays champion and two-time Pole Vault in the Mall winner Derek Miles (2008, ’11) was runner-up with a successful clearance of 18-0 1/2 (5.50m) on his first try before failing to clear 18-5 1/4 (5.62m).

Jordan Scott, the 2010 NCAA champion who ranks eighth in the U.S., finished third by clearing 18-0 1/2 (5.50m) on his second try, while Mark Hollis, the 2009 Pole Vault in the Mall champion and third-ranked U.S. vaulter, was fourth at the same height, cleared on his third attempt. Fifth place went to three-time NCAA champion Scott Roth, who sailed over the opening height of 17-6 3/4 (5.35m), while Jeremy Scott, the 2011 Drake Relays champion, no-heighted in the competition.

American record holder Jenn Suhr, the world’s No. 1-ranked women’s pole vaulter, cleared a height of 15 feet 7 inches (4.75m) on her first try to claim the victory. She then attempted to top her indoor record of 16 feet, but missed on all three attempts at 16-0 3/4 (4.90m).

The Drake Relays release is available here.

In Chula Vista, California, former Husky Aretha Thurmond finished second in the discus Wednesday at the Olympic Training Center high performance competition.

Thurmond threw 194-3 (59.21m) to finish behind defending Olympic champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton, who won with a mark of 197-1 (60.07m).

Complete results of the meet are available here.

Thurmond returns to action on Friday at the Triton Invitational against Brown-Trafton & many of the same competitors, hosted by the University of California/San Diego.

The Triton Invitational will also host a high performance men's discus featuring WSU alum Ian Waltz, and former Husky Märt Israel from Estonia, who was a surprising fourth place finisher at last year's world championships in Daegu.

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Katie Flood named Pac-12 athlete of the week, plus notes...

Washington sophomore Katie Flood (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki/trackandfieldphoto.comwas named by the Pac-12 Conference as its female track athlete of the week for the week ending April 22nd.

Flood won the 1,500-meters invitational section at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., on Friday, posting the fourth-fastest time so far in the world this season and the fastest by an American outdoors this year. The 2011 Pac-12 Cross Country Champion and NCAA Distance Medley Relay Champion cut seven seconds off her personal best, running 4:11.66, the seventh-fastest time in Pac-12 history and third-fastest in UW history. She now leads the NCAA at that distance.

The Huskies are preparing to face Washington State in the annual UW/WSU dual meet in Pullman on Saturday.

The Pac-12's release is available here.

Don't know how this slipped past everyone, but Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times wrote a piece nearly two weeks ago on what the University of Washington track team was doing for training outdoors while their new track & field facility is being built just north of the Husky Soccer Stadium.

Condotta writes, "Some track workouts are being held this spring at the track at Nathan Hale High School in northeast Seattle at 35th Ave. NE and 110th Street. The sprinters might be at Hale one day and the middle-distance runners the next. Distance runners do some work there but often have specific workouts - such as hill repeats - that take them elsewhere. Distance runners also can just go out the door to run mile after mile after meeting at Dempsey."

For the distance runners, there's an abundance of places to run from the Dempsey, including, the Burke-Gilman trail, the Arboretum, and Green Lake.

"Throwers are working out regularly at West Seattle Stadium by the West Seattle Golf Course on 35th Avenue SW where there is room for javelin, hammer, and discus throws."

Condotta's piece is available here.

Almost lost in the hoopla surrounding USA Track & Field's announcement of Max Siegel as its new CEO, was this release announcing the USA vs the World portion of the Penn Relays in Philadelphia this weekend.

No fewer than 21 countries will be represented at the premier relays event in the world. Team USA will battle against teams from Jamaica, Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Germany, Kenya and Morocco.

This year’s relays include the Nike Men’s Distance Medley, BMW Women’s Sprint Medley, BMW Men’s 4x100m, Visa Women’s 4x100m, Visa Men’s 4x400m and Nike Women’s 4x400m.

USA vs. the World is the first stop of the 2012 Outdoor Visa Championship Series and will be broadcast live on NBC from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday.

Washington State University alum Bernard Lagat will lead the men’s distance medley team with an impressive line-up assembled from a group that includes fellow Coug alum Jeshua Anderson, along with Khadevis Robinson, Nick Symmonds, Russell Brown and Leo Manzano. Lagat is fresh off of his third World Indoor title in the 3,000m and set an indoor American record in the 5,000m in February.

USA Track & Field's release can be read here.

Meanwhile, University of Washington alum Aretha Thurmond will compete in two meets Wednesday and Friday in the greater San Diego area. She'll throw the discus Wednesday at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, and at the Triton Invitational hosted by the University of California/San Diego on Friday.

Another Husky alum, Scott Roth, will compete in the mall vault competition Wednesday as part of the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

You can watch Roth compete starting at 6 pm, Central time (4 pm on the West Coast) via this link, courtesy of the Drake Relays.

Kara Patterson from Vancouver, the American record holder in the javelin, will also compete at the Drake Relays, throwing on Friday.

NOTE:  The Pac-12 Conference, the University of Washington, the Drake Relays, UC San Diego, and USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

Former federation board member, NASCAR & recording industry exec Max Siegel gets USATF CEO gig...

Like many of my colleagues in the track & field media business, I was caught a bit off guard at the timing, but not surprised with Monday's announcement that Max Siegel (far left, with Dale Earnhardt, Jr/photo courtesy USA Track & Field), whose firm, Max Siegel Inc, was hired by USA Track & Field back in October to "integrate and vastly expand USATF’s commercial efforts in marketing, sponsorship, publicity, membership and broadcasting" got the full time gig as chief executive officer of the federation, with over three months to go before the London Olympics.

In other words, he was essentially given a six month tryout to see if he can/is willing to put up with the board of directors of the organization, a group that's been branded as dysfunctional by observers inside and outside of the sport.

Some background on Siegel: The Notre Dame Law School grad was involved in marketing for Dale Earnhardt Inc., and worked in the music industry as a senior VP of Zomba Label Group, where he was part of the executive team that oversaw the careers of recording stars Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Usher, along with gospel artists Kirk Franklin & Fred Hammond.

The Indianapolis resident, who gets a two-year contract from USATF at $500,000/year plus performance bonuses, has also represented athletes like Tony Gwynn and Reggie White through his company. He served on the board of directors of USATF from 2009, then resigned a month before his company got the consulting gig, which looks a lot like conflict of interest.

In a conference call Monday, USATF president Stephanie Hightower tried to shoot down any perception that the CEO hire (a job which she once eyed herself after the federation terminated Doug Logan) reeked of conflict of interest by saying, "The real issue here is Max was not on the board when he was selected for this position."

What's my take on this?

Honestly, I don't know.

On the one hand, hiring a former board member to become a CEO is a recipe for disaster, as the US Olympic Committee learned when it made Stephanie Streeter its CEO in the run-up to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

On the other hand, Siegel, who is the only African-American CEO of a national governing body, and who has an impressive resume in the sports and entertainment world, might be hamstrung by the board of directors.

If the board and some of the volunteers of the organization gets out of his way and lets him and his paid staff do their job, he's got a shot at getting the sport back into the the consciousness of the American sporting public beyond the Olympics.

If Siegel is just a puppet for the board, then it could be more of the same old USATF.

Some links on Siegel's hire: 

Phil Hersh's post in the Chicago Tribune; 

The USATF announcement; 

USATF president Stephanie Hightower's message; 

Alan Abrahamson's post on 3 Wire Sports; 

The Track Superfan's take; 

Spiked Up Psyched Up's take; 

Longtime journalist & broadcaster Toni Reavis;

Weldon Johnson of LetsRun.com

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Weekend roundup: Hot track and field action involving Washingtonians all over...

Unless you followed your favorite school or athlete closely, the feast of meets happening in Kansas, Southern California, Eugene, and Pullman would've had your head spinning. It would've been like trying to figure out which line to jump in first at the buffet tables.

To make things easier on everyone, we'll start in Kansas and work our way west:

KANSAS RELAYS

University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (left/photo courtesy University of Kansas) of the University of Kansas won the long jump at the Kansas Relays Saturday in Lawrence, as the reigning NCAA indoor triple jump champion went 21-4 (6.50m).

The Curtis HS grad was pleased with her performance in front of her home crowd, especially after going 21-4 twice in the series.

"I said coming out here that I wanted to jump 21-5, but I was an inch off. That’s okay because my PR coming in was 21-1 and I haven’t long jumped yet this season, so it’s a really good opener. I’m excited for Big 12’s and we’ll see what happens there.”

She added, "Long jump hasn’t been my strongpoint this year at all, so, I came out here and tried convincing myself that I could still long jump a bit and that I still had it in me. Going into Big 12’s I should be ranked pretty well, so hopefully I can do it again there.”

In addition to winning the long jump, she set a season best in the 100m, running 11.83.

Results from the Kansas Relays are available here.

BEACH INVITATIONAL

The University of Washington, Seattle Pacific, and Eastern Washington had groups of athletes competing in Cerritos at the Beach Invitational on Saturday, hosted by Long Beach State.

Throwing in the third flight, the Huskies' Joe Zimmerman connected on a season best of 233-1 (71.04m) to finish second overall in the javelin.

Multi-event specialist Sarah Schireman won her heat of the 100 hurdles in 14.41, and almost got her first career 19-foot long jump, going 18-11 1/4 (5.77m).

Eastern Washington's Shene Davis set a personal best in the long jump, soaring 19-6 1/4 (5.95m) to finish second overall.

In the women's javelin, senior All-American Brooke Pighin got a season-best throw on her first attempt, tossing 157-8 (48.06m) to finish sixth. Amanda Peterson, competing for the second straight day, was right behind at 156-5 (47.67m). Junior Jordin Seekins set a new PR for the second meet in a row, going 146-6 (44.65m) on her third and final throw, while Seattle Pacific's Brittany Aanstad finished with a toss of 139-2 (42.41m).

Complete results of the Beach Invitational are available here. Washington's release is available here, while Eastern Washington's release is here.

OREGON RELAYS

In Eugene, Washington alum Kyle Nielson finished second in the javelin, as the former All-American threw 242-9 (74.00m) in his quest to get the Olympic A standard and earn a spot on Canada's Olympic team.

Seattle University's Zach Stanfield finished in second place in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.78 seconds. He also anchored both Seattle U relays, first joining with Austin Thummel-Gravitt, Eric Patterson-Floyd, and Zachary Schlachter in the 4x100 meter relay for a third place finish in 42.38 seconds.

On the meet's opening night on Friday, SeattleU's Katie Tougas won the long jump with a best of 18-3 (5.56m).

Gonzaga sophs Emily Thomas (5000m, 16:56.17) and Catherine Theobald (1500m, 4:38.02) set school records in their respective events.

Complete results from the Oregon Relays are available here.

COUGAR INVITATIONAL

At the Cougar Invitational, WSU's Morgan Clem and Stephan Scott-Ellis each took three wins on Saturday in Pullman.

Clem won the women's 100m dash (12.28 seconds), 200m dash (25.00) and the 100m hurdles (14.18), all season-best times.

Scott-Ellis, a junior from Tacoma, captured wins in the 100m dash (11.09), 200m dash (21.87) and long jump with a meet record leap of 24-feet, 9 1/4 inches (7.55m). Scott-Ellis' races were season-bests and his long jump equaled his PR. The previous long jump meet record of 24-8 1/2 (7.53m) was set by WSU's Demetrius Murray in 2000.

Courtesy of WSU, here are video highlights of the meet:



Complete results of the Cougar Invitational are available here.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Seattle University, Seattle Pacific, Gonzaga, University of Washington, Washington State University, Long Beach State, and the University of Kansas contributed to this report.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spokane native Britney Henry finishes fourth in hammer at Mt. SAC...

WALNUT, California--Spokane native Britney Henry finished fourth in the invitational elite women's hammer throw as the Mt. SAC Relays concluded its three day run at Hilmer Lodge Stadium outside of Los Angeles.

Henry threw 229-9 (70.04m) as Amber Campbell took the victory with a toss of 234-10 (71.57m).

University of Washington and Roosevelt HS alum Norris Frederick finished in a tie for fourth in the invitational elite long jump with a leap of 26-5 (8.06m). as Mexico's Luis Alberto Rivera won with a mark of 26-11 3/4 (8.22m).

In the women's triple jump, Washington State alum Blessing Ufodiama finished fifth with a wind-aided mark of 43-10.75 (13.38m). Crystal Manning took the competition with a jump of 45-8.5 (13.93m).

It was a rough outing on the track for the University of Washington's James Alaka (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com), as the reigning Pac-10 sprint champ was sixth in the invitational elite 200 in 20.92, as world championships competitor Jeremy Dodson won in 20.39.

Washington State alum Jeshua Anderson, making his 2012 outdoor opener, failed to finish the invitational elite 400 hurdles.

In the Olympic Development Elite 4 x 100 meter relay, the University of Washington's team of Haley Jacobson, Jordan Carlson, Gianna Woodruff, and Bianca Greene finished second behind the team from UNLV, as the Rebels ran 45.94 for the win, with the Huskies at 45.99.

Results from the Mt. SAC Relays are available here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Washington's Katie Flood takes collegiate lead with win in 1500 at Mt. SAC...

WALNUT, California--University of Washington sophomore Katie Flood (#1,left, with Jessica Tebo (#5)/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com) ran the third fastest 1500 meter time in school history, as the Des Moines, Iowa native won the invitational elite 1500 meter run to highlight day 2 of the Mt. SAC Relays at Hilmer Lodge Stadium on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College outside of Los Angeles.

Former Seattle Pacific standout Jessica (Pixler) Tebo of the University of Colorado, who was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, led for most of the race before Flood made a strong move in the last third of the race, to stop the watches at a collegiate leading time of 4:11.66, pending the outcome of several big meets around the country this weekend.

Tebo, a former NCAA Division II national champion at SPU at this distance and a graduate of Eastlake HS in Sammamish, finished fifth in 4:14.53 in her first race in over a year.

Flood's mark gives her the A standard for entry into this June's US Olympic Trials in Eugene, and puts her in a position to challenge the Olympic Games A standard of 4:06.00, and the Games B standard of 4:08.90.

Tebo earned a provisional entry into the US Olympic Trials.

Former Husky Katie (Follett) Mackey, now a resident of Boston, earned an Olympic Trials A standard mark in the 5000, running 15:31.59, just short of the Olympic Games B standard in that event.

Former Husky and current Seattle Pacific vault coach Carly Dockendorf won the open A section of the pole vault, clearing 14-1 1/4 (4.30m). Current Husky Logan Miller finished fourth with a jump of 13-7 1/4 (4.15m).

Other highlights from Mt SAC:

--Washington State's J Hopkins finished third in the men's open 400 hurdles in a season best 51.43;

--In the javelin, Washington State's Christine Kirkwood (158-7, 48.34m), Washington's Amanda Peterson (156-2, 47.60m), WSU's Courtney Simmons (152-4, 46.44m), Seattle Pacific's Brittany Aanstad (144-8, 44.09m), and Western Washington alum Monika Gruszecki of Club Northwest (131-0, 39.94m) finished 6-7-8-10 and 13th;

--The Husky men's 4 x 100m of Matt Anthony, James Alaka, Sam Rucker and Ryan Hamilton won their heat and finished second overall to Houston, as they ran 40.77;

--In the men's javelin, Washington's Joe Zimmerman was fourth at 222-3 (67.74m). Former Washington high school standout Derek Eager of UCLA was fifth at 218-6 (66.59m), while the Huskies' Quinn Hale was sixth at 206-11 (63.07m).

Complete day 2 results from the Mt. SAC Relays are available here.

At the Bryan Clay Invitational hosted by Azusa Pacific in Azusa, Western Washington's Karis Anderson finished in a five-way tie for first in the pole vault, clearing 11-11 3/4 (3.65m).

Western Washington's Emily Warman won the women's triple jump with a leap of 40-5 (12.32m).

Results from the Bryan Clay Invitational are available here.

Action continues Saturday with day 3 of the Mt. SAC Relays, featuring a number of pro athletes, notably long jumper Norris Frederick and reigning NCAA/USA 400 hurdles champ Jeshua Anderson, with athletes from the area also competing at the Beach Invitational in Cerritos, hosted by Long Beach State.

NOTE: The sports information office of the University of Washington, Washington State University, Western Washington University, Seattle Pacific University, Mt. SAC College, and Azusa Pacific University contributed to this report.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chelsea Orr of the Huskies gets third in open 1500 at Mt. SAC Relays...

WALNUT, California--Washington's Chelsea Orr (left/photo by Paul Merca), the redshirt freshman from Sammamish's Eastlake HS, took a surprising third place in the open women's 1500 meter run, running a personal best of 4:19.21 as day one of the Mt. SAC Relays got underway at Hilmer Lodge Stadium Thursday with the distance carnival, consisting of numerous heats of the open 1500, steeplechase, and 10000.

Orr, who was a member of the Huskies' national championship distance medley relay team during the recent indoor season, finished second in her heat behind eventual winner Ashley Higginson of Saucony, who ran 4:18.50.

In the men's 1500, Washington State's Joe Abbott finished seventh in his heat and 14th overall with a time of 3:47.22.

A pair of Cougar steeplers, Caroline Austin, and Andrew Gonzales, set personal bests in their events.

Austin, a junior from Chehalis, Wash., ran a PR and the fifth-fastest time in WSU women's 3000m steeplechase records with a 10-minute, 28.91 seconds finish in the Open-A University/Open race.

In the men's 3000m steeplechase Open-A University/Open race, Gonzales, a redshirt sophomore from Kennewick, Wash., ran a PR time of 8:55.81 for eighth place.

It was a rude awakening for incoming University of Washington freshman Maddie Meyers, as the senior from Seattle's Northwest School and national high school record holder in the 2000 steeplechase was 16th in the Olympic Development Elite section,as she ran 10:59.28 in her first race over the full 3000 meter steeple distance against a collegiate and open field.

The Mt. SAC Relays continues its three day run Friday and concludes on Saturday.

The results link for the Mt. SAC Relays is available here.

Elsewhere in the greater Los Angeles area, Western Washington's Alex Harrison set a school record in the decathlon, scoring 6772 points, at the California Invitational decathlon, hosted by Azusa Pacific. Harrison surpassed the old Viking school record set by Jeff Neubauer in 1986.

Eastern Washington's Tim Armstrong scored 6273 points.

In the Mt SAC Relays heptathlon, also held at Azusa Pacific, Washington's Shelby Williams finished 13th with a two-day score of 4679, while teammate Sarah Schireman was 17th with a two-day score of 4633.

The results from the Mt. SAC Relays and California Invitational multi-events competition are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Azusa Pacific, Mt. SAC, Western Washington, Washington State, and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Washington schools head to California for Mt. SAC, Long Beach & Bryan Clay Invites; Kara Patterson vents...

If it's mid-April of Washington's Division I and II schools , as well as its post-collegiate track and field athletes are heading south to compete at several meets in the greater Southern California area, including the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut.

The University of Washington, Seattle Pacific, Western Washington, and Eastern Washington will have some presence at not only Mt. SAC, which is the biggest annual invitational meet on the West Coast, but also at several meets, including the Bryan Clay Invitational hosted by Azusa Pacific College on Friday, and the Beach Invitational hosted by Long Beach State on Saturday at Cerritos College in Norwalk.

Thursday's Mt SAC Relays schedule comprises primarily of heats in the 1500, steeplechase, and 10000 meter runs, with the bulk of the meet occurring on Friday and Saturday.

The link to the complete Mt. SAC time schedule is here, while the final entry lists are available here.

The entry lists for the Bryan Clay Invitational are available here.

The time schedule for the Long Beach Invitational is available here.

Washington State stays at home to host the Cougar Invitational in Pullman, while Gonzaga and Seattle University travels to Eugene for the Oregon Relays.

Western Washington's Alex Harrison (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University) got the ball rolling in California, as he's in seventh after the first day in the California Invitational B Division decathlon at Azusa Pacific University with a score of 3340 points.

Harrison, a senior from Edmonds, ran the 100 meters in 11.63 seconds, had a personal-best mark of 21-3/4 in the long jump, tossed the shot 43-10, cleared 5-7 3/4 in the high jump and completed the 400 in 52.87.

Harrison resumes competition Thursday with the 110 hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500.

KARA PATTERSON VENTS AND TALKS FOOD…

Vancouver's Kara Patterson (left/photo by Paul Merca) recently wrote a very insightful post on her blog about her 2011 season, in which she analyzed that she didn't "have a good handle on my technique."

"I probably wasn’t disciplined enough in my technique (whether because I was confused, in pain, or simply lazy and expected the past to work for me) to really solidify things before competitions came around, and that resulted in little freak-outs when things didn’t go well from the outset. I learned new things about javelin technique that I believe have carried over into this year, but I didn’t understand them well enough (and wasn’t brave enough) to apply them at competition pace during 2011. I also focused so much on the new ideas I was learning that I simply forgot to keep in mind the basics that had gotten me where I was."

She also wrote a guest piece on carrotsncake.com on what a typical day of training is like, and how she fuels and refuels herself before and after practice.

Patterson will open her domestic season at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa next week.

You can read her blog post on her 2011 season here, and her food post here!

NOTE: The sports information offices at Western Washington, Mt. SAC, Long Beach State, Seattle Pacific, Azusa Pacific, and Long Beach State contributed to this report.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

UPDATE #1: List of Washington affiliated athletes with Olympic "A" standard...

Jeshua Anderson (Paul Merca photo)
With the start of many of the key domestic meets such as this weekend's Mt. SAC and Kansas Relays, next weekend's Penn and Drake Relays and the major collegiate conference championships around the corner, here is the first update to the list of Washington affiliated athletes who have achieved the Olympic Games "A" standard, which was published on February 29th.

The Olympic Games A & B standards can be accessed through this link here.

The qualifying period for the Olympics began May 1, 2011, and ends July 8, 2012. For US athletes, it essentially means they have to get the standard at or before the Olympic Trials in order to go to London.

Here's a link to the qualifying standards for the US Olympic Trials.  Note in many cases, the Olympic Games standards are tougher than the standards to gain entry into the Olympic Trials.

Updated marks since February 29th are noted in red.

As always, please leave a note in the comments section if there's anyone we missed/overlooked/have an incorrect mark...thanks!

MEN

100m (10.18) none (James Alaka, GBR/Univ of Washington close at 10.23, 6/25/11)

200m (20.55) Jordan Boase, 20.52, 6/5/11 (James Alaka, GBR/Univ of Washington close at 20.59, 7/16/11)

400m (45.30) Michael Berry, 44.91, 5/14/11 (Jordan Boase, 45.34, 5/31/11 close)

800m (1:45.60) none

1500m (3:35.50) Bernard Lagat, 3:33.11, 7/8/11

Steeplechase (8:23.10) none

5000m (13:20.00) Bernard Lagat, 12:53.60, 7/22/11

10000m (27:45.00) none

110 hurdles (13.52) none

400 hurdles (49.50) Jeshua Anderson, 47.93, 6/26/11

20k walk (1:22:30) none

High Jump (7-7/2.31m) none

Pole Vault (18-9.25/5.72m) Brad Walker, 19-2.75/5.86m, 2/26/12.NOTE--Scott Roth's 18-9.25/5.72m was set 4/16/11, BEFORE the Olympic qualifying period began.

Long Jump (26-11/8.20m) none (Norris Frederick, 26-7/8.10m, 7/1/11 is close)

Triple Jump (56-5.25/17.20m) none

Shot Put (67-3.25/20.50m) none

Discus (213-3; 65.00m) Jarred Rome, 225-7/68.76m, 8/6/11; Märt Israel (EST), 219-9/66.98m, 5/12/11; Ian Waltz, 214-8/65.43m, 6/16/11

Hammer (255-11/78.00m) none

Javelin (269-0/82.00m) none

Decathlon (8200 points) none

20k Walk (1:22:30) none

WOMEN

100 (11.29) none

200 (23.10) none

400 (51.55) none

800 (1:59.90) none

1500 (4:06.00) Ingvill Måkestad (NOR) 4:03.79, 9/16/11 (Katie Mackey, 4:07.44, 5/21/11 is close)

5000 (15:20.00) none; (Brie Felnagle, 15:22.39, 4/6/12 at Stanford Invite is close)

10000 (31:45.00) none

100 hurdles (12.96) Ginnie Crawford, 12.73, 5/6/11

400 hurdles (55.50) none

High Jump (6-4.75/1.95m) Ebba Jungmark (SWE), 6-4.75/1.95m, 3/9/12 at IAAF World Indoors, Istanbul

Pole Vault (14-9/4.50m) none

Long Jump (22-1.75/6.75m) none

Triple Jump (46-11/14.30m) none (Blessing Ufodiama, 46-1.5/14.06m, 6/4/11 close)

Shot Put (60-0.5/18.30m) none

Discus (203-5/62.00m) Aretha Thurmond, 209-5/63.85m, 6/30/11

Hammer (234-7/71.50m) none (Britney Henry, 232-1/70.73m, 3/18/12 at Oregon Preview, Eugene is close)

Javelin (200-1/61.00m) Kara Patterson, 205-11/62.76m, 5/26/11

Heptathlon (6150 points) none

SOURCE:  IAAF, USA Track & Field, Track & Field News

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Falcons get three wins at Emilie Mondor/Simon Fraser Invitational in Canada, plus weekend roundup...

BURNABY, British Columbia--Seattle Pacific's Brittany Aanstad put another NCAA automatic-qualifying javelin mark into the books on Saturday at the Emilie Mondor/Simon Fraser Invitational, although this one wasn't quite as far as her national-leading 161-11 toss last week in Spokane.

Aanstad, the senior from Lake Stevens, threw it 150 feet, 3 inches (45.80m) this time, to finish second behind Tiffany Perkins of the Langley Mustangs, who won with a mark of 165-0 (50.31m). She also was third in the high jump, going a season-best 5-3¾ (1.62m).

The Falcons won three individual events plus a relay in the women's meet at Simon Fraser University.

Senior Ali Worthen from Coos Bay, Oregon won the 100 hurdles in 14.82, and was second in the long jump at 17-10 1/4 (5.44m).

The Falcons' Trinna Miranda went 35 feet, 11½ inches (10.96m), barely shy of her season-best 36-0¾.

Sophomore Robyn Zeidler picked up a victory in the 5,000 meters in 18 minutes, 26.32 seconds, while the Falcons won the 4 x 400 relay in 3:51.86.

Complete results from the Emilie Mondor/Simon Fraser Invitational are available here.

In El Paso, Texas, the University of Kansas' Andrea Geubelle (left/photo courtesy University of Kansas), the reigning NCAA indoor triple jump champ, finished second in her specialty at the two-day UTEP Invitational meet Friday and Saturday, jumping a wind aided 42-5 1/2 (12.94m), behind reigning USA national champion Amanda Smock, who jumped a windy 44-9 1/2 (13.65m).

Geubelle, a product of Curtis High School in Tacoma, also ran 11.95 in the 100 meters.

Complete results from the UTEP Invitational are available here.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Seattle Pacific, Simon Fraser, and the University of Kansas contributed to this report.

Boston365 training program launches to help prospective Boston Marathon qualifiers...

Our friends at adidas, celebrating its 23rd year as the official footwear and apparel supplier of the Boston Marathon, announced the launch of Boston365, a new training program designed to help runners achieve the ultimate goal of running the world’s most coveted marathon.

adidas’ Boston365 program provides assessment, coaching and training to support participants hoping to qualify for and gain entry into future Boston Marathons.

“With elite coaching partners and deep roots in running that stretch back to legends like Jesse Owens, Grete Waitz and current marathoner Geoffrey Mutai, adidas offers a comprehensive and integrated training program for those gunning to get better and faster to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” said Mikal Peveto, director of running, adidas America. “Combining our rich performance heritage with our state-of-the-art personal coaching platform allows us to provide runners with a truly unique vehicle to achieve their personal best.”

Information and registration for Boston365 will be available online at RunBoston365.com in June and in-store at Fleet Feet Sports in September. The program includes micoach registration, which provides opportunities for runners to improve performance and get faster.  Subscribers can participate in Coaching Circles run by local Fleet Feet training group leaders, develop individualized and time-specific programs and create unique apparel to celebrate a group’s quest to qualify.

Participants who don’t make it into next year’s marathon are invited redeem themselves during Run Your Own Boston on Patriot’s Day.  The top three participants who capture the best video of their marathon will be entered into winning Boston Marathon entries for the following year.

Like last year’s world record breaking performance by adidas athlete Geoffrey Mutai and near fastest time by Caroline Kilel, the 116th Boston Marathon on Monday promises to be another exhilarating year for the brand.  Both Mutai and Kilel will be returning to defend their records along with several other adidas hopefuls including Nicholas Arciniaga of Houston and University of Oregon alum Jason Hartmann

adidas running innovates high performance footwear and apparel to help athletes of every level get faster and better for their sport. For more information visit adidas.com and facebook.com/adidasrunning.

NOTE:  adidas media relations contributed to this report.

adidas adiZero F50 2 gives runners a nice pop...

One of the perks of doing what I get to do with this web site is occasionally getting sent shoes to try out.

Unfortunately, a combination of illness and injuries have cut my running down after the first of the year, so I'm finally getting around to reviewing the adidas adiZero F50 2 (left/photo courtesy adidas Media Relations) running shoes.

Back in the days when I actually was coaching track and field athletes, and selling shoes at Foot Locker, I'd get questions on what the best running shoes are (disclosure: at the height of my involvement with Club Ballard, the team was sponsored by Nike, so for the obvious reasons, I steered my athletes to Nike).

Regardless of my like/bias for a certain brand, I always operated under the philosophy of the three F's: fit, feel, and function. If a shoe fits well, feels good when you actually run in the shoe, and does what you feel the shoe is supposed to do, you are well on your way to happiness with the shoe you've picked out.

When I put the shoe on with my orthotics, the first thing I noticed was the racing shoe/track spike fit. I'll probably never get back to running a competitive road race anytime soon, but when I put the adiZero F50 2's on, I actually had delusions of grandeur that maybe, if I could ever lose 20 pounds, drop my body fat percentage down, and ran more, that I might try to get back to some semblance of competitive running.

I've had the opportunity to take the shoes on about 70 miles worth of running, predominantly on the roads along Lake Washington Boulevard and Seward Park, near my home.

If you've worn racing shoes, you'll know what I'm talking about when I can safely say that the adZero F50 2 gives a bit of a "pop" when you're running, and gives you that feeling that you can go faster than the pace you're running at (for me not a good idea, as someone might have to scrape what remains of my carcass off the sidewalk, especially with my myriad of injuries, loss of conditioning, etc.).

Where that pop is coming from is the Sprint Frame, which is best explained by the reviewer from runningshoesguru.com, who said, "the frame is not to be confused as a stability device, but a spring loaded performance aid. The thermo plastic plate is hidden inside the shoe under the midsole and runs the length of the shoe. Its designed to push down as the foot flattens out from forefoot to heel, and as is begins to leave the ground the plate springs back."

This shoe is ideal for lighter to medium weight runners who have little to mild overpronation issues, and are looking to transition to a neutral shoe. Larger runners should stay away from this shoe.

As my conditioning and my mileage increases, I look forward to doing tempo runs and maybe doing some track work on them…at the rate I'm going, I might be ready to run the media 800 at next year's world track & field championships in Moscow…or maybe not.

NOTE: Special thanks to Caitlin Albaugh at adidas media relations.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

SPU's Terra Schumacher wins pole vault battle at Spike Arlt Invitational in Ellensburg...

ELLENSBURG--The Western Washington women and the Central Washington men's squads took top honors at Saturday's Spike Arlt Invitational, hosted by Central Washington.

In the seven team women's competition, the Vikings scored 226.5 points to outscore the host Wildcats, who finished second with 156.6.

Kirkland's Northwest University was fourth with 82 points, with Green River CC (26.5), Eastern Washington (25) and Seattle Pacific (10) rounding out the scoring.

In the men's competition, Central (256) turned the tides on Western (218.5). Green River was fourth (32), Whitworth fifth (18), Northwest sixth (18), Skagit Valley CC seventh (5), and Eastern Washington eighth (4).

In a matchup of three NCAA indoor qualifiers, Seattle Pacific's Terra Schumacher (left/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific University) took the victory in the women's pole vault over Central's Kati Davis, with the difference being Schumacher's clearance of 11-9 3/4 (3.60m) on the first attempt, a mark Davis made on her second.

NCAA indoor qualifier Karis Anderson of Western was fourth at 11-5 3/4 (3.50m).

Double winners in the women's competition included Western Washington's Eleanor Siler in the 200 (26.20) and 400 (58.30), and Central's Katharine Lotze in the long (16-5 1/4, 5.01m) and triple (39-7, 12.06m) jumps.

Former NCAA D2 shot put champ Krissy Tandle won her specialty, as the Central alum threw 44-8 3/4 (13.63m).

University of Oregon alum Jordan Stray from Centralia had the best mark of the meet, winning the men's hammer throw with a best of 205-3 (62.56m).

Complete results from the Spike Arlt Invitational are available here (click on the event name).

In Los Angeles, Washington State alum Blessing Ufodiama won the women's triple jump at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational hosted by UCLA.

Ufodiama jumped 43-4.25 (13.21m) to easily win the competition by almost three feet.

University of Washington alum Falesha Ankton finished fifth in the invitational 100 meter hurdles, running 13.46. Two time world champ Michelle Perry won the race in 12.75, followed by 2004 Olympic champion Joanna Hayes in 12.96, making a return to the hurdle wars.

In the invitational hammer throw, Olympia native and Oregon alum Brittany Hinchcliffe finished third with a toss of 206-7 (62.98m).

Rainier Beach HS alum Ginnie Crawford ran a leg on the winning 4 x 100m relay team for the Bobby Kersee All-Stars, along with Jeneba Tarmoh, Allyson Felix, and Dawn Harper, as the squad ran a world leading time of 42.65.

Complete results from the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational are available here.

At the John Jacobs Invitational in Norman, Oklahoma, hosted by the University of Oklahoma, Washington State alum Ian Waltz finished second in the discus with a mark of 204-9 (62.40m), as North Carolina alum Vikas Gowda of India took the win with a toss of 211-7 (64.50m).

Complete results from the John Jacobs Invitational are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information offices at Central Washington, Seattle Pacific, UCLA, and the University of Oklahoma contributed to this report.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Brittany Aanstad leads Falcons into Canada for Emilie Mondor/Simon Fraser Invitational...

The Seattle Pacific Falcons head north to Burnaby, British Columbia to compete in the Emilie Mondor/Simon Fraser Invitational this Saturday.

Seattle Pacific has not run a track and field meet in Canada since the Simon Fraser Invite in May 1997. The closest the Falcons have come to the border are their annual trips to Bellingham for the Ralph Vernacchia Invitational and/or the WWU Twilight.

The Falcons will by led by javelin thrower Brittany Aanstad (left/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific), the GNAC conference women's track & field athlete of the week for last week, after throwing a personal best of 161-11 (49.35m) to take the NCAA Division II lead at WAR V in Spokane.

Courtesy of Seattle Pacific, here's an interview with Aanstad.



The Falcon women's squad is ranked #12 in the current USTFCCCA Division II rankings that were released on Tuesday.

Grand Valley State of Michigan is currently ranked #1 in the country.

Meanwhile, Western Washington heads across the Cascades to Ellensburg for the Spike Arlt Invitational hosted by Central Washington University.

While Central and Western dominate the entries for the Arlt Invitational, teams from Northwest University and Green River CC are also entered.

Perhaps one of the best matchups of the meet is in the women's pole vault, which features 2012 NCAA Division II indoor All-Americans Karis Anderson of Western against Central's Kati Davis, with Seattle Pacific's NCAA indoor qualifier Terra Schumacher thrown in for good measure.

The start list for the Spike Arlt Invitational is available here.

Thursday night, sprinter Whitney Leavitt and jumper Shene Davis were double winners as Eastern Washington competed in the inaugural Whitworth Twilight meet in Spokane, hosted by Whitworth University.

Leavitt won the 100 and 200, and Davis was victorious in the long jump and triple jump.

Leavitt took the 100 in 12.25, and the 200 in 24.79.

Davis met the Big Sky qualifying standard in the triple jump with a winning leap of 37-3 1/4 (11.36m), and also won the long jump with a mark of 18-4 1/4 (5.59m) , which missed the qualifying standard in that event by just a quarter-inch.

Eastern alum Erica Chaney took a shot/discus double, winning the shot at 50-5.5 (15.38m), and the discus at 164-7 (50.18m).

Eastern's meet recap is available here, while complete results of the Whitworth Twilight are available here.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Seattle Pacific, Eastern Washington, Central Washington, and Whitworth University contributed to this report.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mt. SAC entries now up, and scoring the Oregon/Washington dual meet for fun...

Tuesday morning, the organizers of the Mt SAC Relays in Walnut, California, released its accepted entries for next weekend's meet on the campus of Mt. San Antonio College.

The list of men's accepted entries are here, while the women's are here.

In skimming through the entries for the meet, I've made a list of events with entries that jumped out at me:

MEN

400-Jeremy Wariner

5000-Dathan Ritzenhein, Ed Moran

100--Ashton Eaton

110hh--Eaton, Jason Richardson

400h--Jeshua Anderson, Angelo Taylor

LJ--Eaton, Norris Frederick, Greg Rutherford (GBR)

WOMEN

100--Carmelita Jeter

200--Lauryn Williams

400--Maggie Vessey (!) dropping down from 800.

1500 (Mile for non collegians) Jackie Areson, Katie Flood, Jessica Tebo (above/photo courtesy University of Colorado).

The former Jessica Pixler races for the first time in almost a year after getting injured.

5000 Jenny Simpson, Jackie Areson, Angela Bizzarri, Sara Hall, Megan Goethals, Molly Huddle, Katie Mackey, Anna Pierce, Christin Wurth-Thomas.

The women's 5000 might just be the most intriguing event, after what happened at Stanford last week with Areson going under the Olympic Games A standard of 15:20, and Lisa Uhl & Brie Felnagle just missing.

Steeple--LIsa Aguilera, Delilah DiCrecenzo

High Jump--Sharon Day, Brigetta Barrett

Pole Vault--Carly Dockendorf, Keisa Monterola, Melissa Gergel, Katerina Stefanidi

Needless to say, Mt. SAC will be one of the most fascinating meets of the early domestic season.

JUST FOR KICKS & GIGGLES…

Back in the good old days, before the trend in college track & field to go to invitationals to chase marks, there was the dual meet--your school versus mine, mano a mano.

Times weren't as big a deal as long as your guy/gal finished in front of the other team's guy/gal.

With the University of Washington's outdoor track facility beyond bad over the last few years, and spring football taking priority over Husky Stadium, one of the fixtures that's been eliminated from the calendar is the annual Washington/Oregon dual meet.

The only semblance of a scoring meet that Washington and Oregon have partaken in is the Pepsi Team Invitational in Eugene, where the two schools compete against two other schools in a four-way meet.

Just for fun, I went ahead and scored last weekend's Pepsi Team Invitational as a straight dual meet (5-3-1, 5-0 in relays), throwing out marks from UCLA and Texas A&M, and here's how it ended up:

In the men's team competition, the Ducks won 102-61, helped by 8-1 scores in the long jump, 110 hurdles, triple jump, 800, and 5000, plus winning both relays.

In the women's team competition, Oregon won 114-49. helped by 8-1 scores in the shot put, steeple, high jump, 800, 5000, 100 & 400, along with 9-0 sweeps in the 100 hurdles and 200, plus winning both relays. The Huskies erased Oregon's sweeps of the 100 hurdles and 200, by taking the javelin and triple jump.

As a note, I left the men's high jump competition as is, with Washington's AJ Maricich getting the win over Oregon's Danny Marconi.  Having said that, Marconi should have gotten the win, as both cleared 6-8 (2.03m) with Marconi needing two tries, and Maricich needing three.

Here's hoping the dual meet between the Ducks and Huskies gets revived after Washington gets its new track & field facility!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Logan Miller clears career best 14-0 to highlight strong UW effort in Eugene...

EUGENE--The University of Washington women's squad finished second to the host Oregon Ducks at the Pepsi Team Invitational scoring meet at Hayward Field, featuring teams from UCLA and NCAA pre season outdoor championship favorites Texas A&M.

Oregon won the four-team meet 221.5 to the Huskies' 157. Texas A&M was third with 149.5 points, with UCLA fourth at 135 points.

In the men's team competition, the Ducks took top honors with 204 points, with Texas A&M second at 190. The Huskies were third at 138, and UCLA rounded out the field with 134.

For the Husky women, the highlights of the day came in the field events, as pole vaulter Logan Miller (left/photo courtesy University of Washington) cleared 14-0 (4.27m) for the first time in her career, as she easily won her event and earned nine points for the Dawgs.

In the javelin, the Huskies' Amanda Peterson led a 1-3-4 finish, winning with a best toss of 160-5 (48.89m) in the opening round and was never really challenged.

Brooke Pighin was third at 145-2 (44.26m), and Jordin Seekins was fourth at 145-1 (44.22m).

In the triple jump, Washington went 1-2-3, led by Alana Alexander's first round jump of 40-7 (12.37m), followed by Shaniae Lakes in second at 40-6.75 (12.36m), and Taylor Nichols in third at 39-5.75 (12.03m).

Other women's highlights:

Bellingham native Becca Friday took the win for the home team in the 1500, running 4:20.21 to beat the Huskies' Megan Goethals in a race that wasn't decided until the last 70 meters;

Washington's Katie Flood, dropping down in distance, was third in the 800 in 2:07.33, as defending NCAA outdoor champ Anne Kesselring took the win in 2:05.46;

Elisa Bryant was solid with two second place finishes in the discus (147-10, 45.06m) and hammer (173-7, 52.91m).

In the men's competition, the Huskies got its only victory from freshman JJ Julifs in the pole vault, as the Eugene native came home and cleared 17-4.5 (5.30m).

Washington got second place finishes from James Alaka in both the 100 and 200 (10.36/20.90); Ryan Soberanis in the 1500 (3:46.94); and Angus Taylor in the hammer (197-5, 60.18m).

Bellingham's Chris Kwiatkowski finished second in the men's 5000 behind Oregon teammate Trevor Dunbar, 13:51.79 to 14:04.38.

Complete results from the Pepsi Team Invitational are available here.

STANFORD INVITATIONAL

Club Northwest's Levi Keller won the pole vault at the Stanford Invitational, clearing 17-10.5 (5.45m), as Washington alum and world indoor championships team member Scott Roth no heighted at his opening jump of 17-2 3/4 (5.25m).

Two time world championships team member Michael Mai of the US Army, who was formerly based at Joint Base Lewis McChord, won the hammer throw with a toss of 235-4 (71.73m).

In the finals of the women's 100 meter hurdles, former Husky Falesha Ankton was second, running 13.42 in her 2012 outdoor season opener, after running 13.40 Friday night to qualify for the finals.

Washington State's Joe Bartlett finished third in the invitational section of the shot put, throwing 57-0.25 (17.38m).

Complete results from the Stanford Invitational are available here.

WAR V

At WAR V, hosted by Spokane Falls Community College, Seattle Pacific's Brittany Aanstad rifled the javelin 161-11 (49.35m) to take the NCAA Division II lead and was easily the best mark of the day at the meet which featured teams from Washington versus teams from Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

For the record, Washington easily cruised to victory 530-318 in the combined men's and women's scores. A breakdown by gender had the Washington men winning 284-139 while the Washington women were victorious 246-179.

Seattle University won the men's team title with 72 points, while Seattle Pacific took the women's team crown with 98 points.

“I just had a really good day. I had quite a few throws that were out there,” said Aanstad.

Seattle Pacific's recap of the meet is available here, while complete running event results from WAR V are available here.

In Auburn, Alabama, three time US Olympian and University of Washington alum Aretha Thurmond won the discus at the Tiger Track Classic, throwing 207-9 in her domestic opener, after opening the 2012 season in Australia in February.

Another former Husky, Will Conwell, won the discus with a toss of 193-8 (59.03m), while Kimery Hern, a former UW volunteer coach and native of Clinton on Whidbey Island, finished second in the hammer with a toss of 199-3 (60.73m).

Results are available here.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Seattle Pacific, the University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of Oregon, Auburn University, and Gonzaga University contributed to this report.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Brie Felnagle narrowly misses Olympic Games "A" standard in finishing third at Stanford Invitational...

PALO ALTO, California--Bellarmine Prep alum Brie Felnagle (left/photo by Mike Scott) made her 2012 outdoor season debut, finishing third in the women's 5000 meters at the Stanford Invitational at Cobb Track & Angell Field.

Felnagle, a former All-American at the University of North Carolina, who returned to Tacoma to train under her high school coach Matt Ellis, ran a personal best of 15:22.39, just off of the Olympic 'A' standard of 15:20.00, and well under the US Olympic Trials standard of 15:35.00.

Jackie Areson of the Nike Oregon Project took the victory, running 15:18.31, with former Iowa State product Lisa Uhl of the Oregon TC/Portland second at 15:21.56.

Washington State's J Hopkins finished second overall in the men's 400 meter hurdles to highlight the Cougar contingent competing at Stanford.

Hopkins ran 52.38 to finish behind former Oregon standout David Klech, who won in a time of 51.96. The Cougars' Robert Shelby finished seventh in 54.07.

WSU's Cindy Robinson set two personal bests in the 100 meters in finishing eighth in the finals, running 11.87 in qualifying, and 11.83 in the finals.

Shawna Fermin finished third overall in the 400 meter dash, running 54.18.

The Washington State recap can be read here.

In the men's 10000, Club Northwest's Mike Sayenko finished eighth in 28:45.31, while Miles Unterreiner of Stanford, formerly out of Gig Harbor HS was 11th in 28:49.15, as both ducked under the provisional qualifying mark of 29:00.00 for June's US Olympic Trials.

The Stanford Invitational continues Saturday.

Complete day 1 results from the Stanford Invitational are available here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cougars and Eagles fly south for Stanford Invitational, while Washington travels to Eugene for Pepsi Team Invite...

Washington State and Eastern Washington will send groups of athletes to Stanford University for the annual Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto.

The Cougars will send a large contingent of athletes, while the Eagles will send six athletes to Stanford.  Curiously, pole vaulter and NCAA indoor championships scorer Keisa Monterola is not among the group heading to Stanford.

Washington State will send a small group to Spokane for the annual WAR V scoring meet hosted by Spokane CC, while Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, Seattle University, and Seattle Pacific will send the majority of their teams. The WAR format pits Washington schools as one team against the rest of the field, which includes schools from Idaho, Oregon and Montana.

Courtesy of WSU Athletics, here's an interview with Andrew Gonzales (left/photo by Paul Merca) who ran 8:59.23 last week to win the steeplechase in Los Angeles against UCLA and Tennessee.



Links to the entries for the Stanford Invitational are available here.

Meanwhile, the University of Washington heads down Interstate 5 for the Pepsi Team Invitational, a scoring meet hosted by the University of Oregon at Hayward Field that features Texas A&M, and UCLA, along with the host Ducks.

Washington's Katie Flood will open her 2012 outdoor season by running the 800, while Megan Goethals will run the 1500.

Amanda Peterson returns to the meet where she set her school record, and James Alaka makes his season debut in the 100 and 200. The Huskies' JJ Julifs, a former Oregon state prep champ in the pole vault and Eugene native, makes his collegiate debut in the venue where he won both the Oregon state and US junior titles.

The entry list for the Pepsi Team Invitational is available here.

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