Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bernard Lagat and Brad Walker each get fifth place finishes at Nike Prefontaine Classic...

EUGENE--Washington State University graduate Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) ran a season best in finishing fifth in the 5000 at the Nike Prefontaine Classic Saturday afternoon at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Lagat, running his outdoor track season debut, was well positioned for most of the race, but could not find the final gear to make the push to get to the front in the final lap, as Kenya's Edwin Soi took the win in a world leading time of 13:04.75 to get the better of Olympic 5000m champ Mo Farah of Great Britain, who ran 13:05.88.

In fact, the first ten across the line all ran better than the previous world best this season of 13:10.03, run by Hagos Gebrhwet of Ethiopia at last week's adidas Grand Prix meet in New York.

University of Washington alum Brad Walker also finished fifth in the pole vault, as he jumped 18-5 (5.61m) in the event, which was designated as an IAAF Diamond League contest.

The top four finishers all exceeded this season's world lead, led by winner and Olympic gold medalist Renaud Lavillenie of France, who cleared 19-6 1/4 (5.95m).

Other world bests included: Hansle Parchment of Jamaica in the 110 hurdles (13.05); Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba in the women's 5000 (14:42.01); the Czech Republic's Zuzana Hejnova in the 400 hurdles (53.70); Robert Harting of Germany in the discus (228-10/69.75m); Olha Saladukha of the Ukraine in the women's triple jump (48-8 3/4 or 14.85 m).

In that women's triple jump, Saladukha finished second to Colombia's Caterine Ibarguen, who jumped 48-11 3/4 (14.93m); however, it was just over the allowable wind reading at 2.1 meters per second.

The climactic Bowerman Mile was won by Kenya's Silas Kiplagat in a world leading time of 3:49.48, as he denied countryman Asbel Kiprop's bid to be the first to win four career Bowerman Mile titles.

The women's 800 was won by Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba in a world leading time of 1:56.72.

In that race, Mary Cain from New York, who began her 2013 campaign by running the fastest 3000 by a high schooler indoors or outdoors in January at the Dempsey Indoor, set a national high school and American junior record as she ran 1:59.51.

The most impressive world leading mark of the day was by Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar, last year's Olympic bronze medalist, who won the high jump with a leap of 7-10 1/2 (2.40m) to turn back collegians Erik Kynard of Kansas State and Derek Drouin of Indiana, both of whom jumped 7-8 3/4 (2.36m).

Barshim mark earned him the Maria Mutola award, given to the meet's outstanding performer.

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