ALBUQUERQUE--Former Washington State standout Blessing Ufodiama (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com) finished second in the women's triple jump Sunday as the USA indoor track & field championships concluded at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
Ufodiama had a best jump of 44-1 1/4 (13.44m) to finish behind 2012 Olympian Amanda Smock, who won with a best of 44-9 1/2 (13.65m).
Recent Washington State grad Joe Abbott, competing in his first USA indoor championship final at 800 meters, led the field through 400 meters before fading to sixth, running a time of 1:51.27, as Erik Sowinski took the win in 1:47.09.
University of Washington alum Katie Mackey finished fifth in the women's 800, running a season best 2:04.52, as Ajee Wilson won in 2:02.64.
In what can be generously described as a very tactical race, Tacoma native Brie Felnagle was third in the women's mile in a time of 5:06.90, as high schooler Mary Cain became the first prep to win an indoor national title since Allyson Felix turned the trick in 2003. Cain won the national title in a pedestrian 5:05.68, running a 58-second last 400.
Former world champ and University of Washington alum Brad Walker, competing in his second meet of the season, finished eighth in the pole vault, clearing a best of 17-6 1/2 (5.35m) off of a short approach. Seattle's Levi Keller tied for 12th at 17-0 3/4 (5.20m), as Jordan Scott won with a jump of 18-4 1/2 (5.60m).
For those wondering why Bernard Lagat was absent from Saturday's 3000 meter run, paulmerca.blogspot.com was told by his coach James Li, that the two agreed that he not run in Albuquerque in order for him to prepare for his half-marathon debut in New York on March 17th.