OORDEGEM, Belgium--In one of the most surprising finishes, Auburn-Riverside HS grad Jordan McNamara (left/photo by Paul Merca) came from way back in the last lap to score a personal best in finishing fourth in the 1500 meter run at the Memorial Leon Buyle meeting.
Entering the final lap of the race, McNamara appeared to be in tenth place, and as the field entered the backstretch, a gap opened up between the first four runners and the rest of the field.
McNamara made his charge with 250 to go, then on the final straightaway, swung wide and caught all but the top three finishers, crossing the line in 3:34.00, as Morocco's Zakaria Maazoozi took the victory in 3:32.89, followed by countryman Fouad Elkaam in 3:33.71, then Ethiopia's Zebene Alemayehu in 3:33.73.
On his Facebook page, he wrote, "I just ran 3:34.00 for 1500m, a 5 second season's best and more importantly, a 1.5 second LIFETIME BEST. I was in tears. Standing on the starting line I held my wedding ring and thought of all that I sacrificed to get here. I wanted this so badly. This changes things. Pure emotion right now. Thanks to every single person who has supported me. This one was for me, my wife, and you."
At the Meeting Areva in St. Denis, France, on the outskirts of Paris, Washington alum Brad Walker replicated his fifth place finish two days ago in Lausanne with another fifth place finish, clearing 18-4 1/2 (5.60m), as Olympic champ Renaud Lavillenie of France gave the home fans something to cheer about, winning with a best of 19-5 (5.92m).
Former Washington State standout Ebba Jungmark of Sweden was eighth in the high jump with a best of 6-0 3/4 (1.85m), as Olympic champ Anna Chicherova won with a jump of 6-7 (2.01m).
In the men's 1500, Cougar hall of famer Bernard Lagat finished 13th in 3:36.36, as Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti took the win in 3:32.55.