Sunday, March 31, 2013

WEEKEND RECAP: Eagles nab eight wins in Montana; Zag distance runners break five school records...


Here's a recap of what happened with the state's Division I & II schools over the weekend:


In Missoula, Montana, Eastern Washington's Phil Puccino (above/photo courtesy Eastern Washington University) won the triple jump and finished third in the high jump as the Eagles competed in the Al Manuel Invitational hosted by the University of Montana.

Puccino won the triple jump in his season debut, stretching the tape out to 47-11 1/4 (14.61m) with a slight 0.2 aiding wind.

Marlyn Anderson led a 1-2 Eagle finish in the shot put, winning with a mark of 55-1 (16.79m).

Other Eagle winners included Jordan Arakawa in the hammer (208-1/63.43m), Kris Durr in the long jump (22-0 3/4/6.72m),  and Brad Wall in the 400 (47.72), as teammate Brad Michael finished second in 47.84.

Robin Taylor won the women's pole vault with a clearance of 12-9 1/2 (3.90m), as 2012 NCAA All-American Keisa Monterola continues her struggles with another no-height; Emma Murillo won the discus at 143-0 (43.60m); and, Olivia Midles took the hammer at 173-2 (52.78m).

The Eagles head to Boise for the All-Idaho Cup, hosted by Boise State on April 5-6.


At the Texas Relays, University Place resident Andrea Geubelle won the triple jump, as the reigning NCAA indoor champ in both the long and triple jumps from the University of Kansas jumped a wind-aided 45-1 3/4 (13.76m).


In the Bay Area, Gonzaga runners broke five school records at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival and at the Stanford Invitational.

At Stanford, Emily Thomas improved her school record by 20 seconds by finishing ninth in Section 2 in 34:41.97.

Lindsey Drake broke Thomas' school record in the 5000, as she ran 16:38.62.

Nick Roche ran 9:09.29 to break the school record of 9:26.41 set in 1996.

Lauren Bergam, who broke her record last week at the Buc Scoring Invite, did so again at the S.F. State Distance Carnival, running a 10:58.98 to become the first Zag woman to eclipse the 11-minute barrier. She set the record last year with an 11:31.64 and ran an 11:14.24 last week.

Freshman Conor McCandless shattered the 5000 meters record with a 14:08.77 to finish fifth at the S.F. Distance Carnival.

In the men's 10000, SeattleU's Erik Barkhaus ran 31:45.76 at the S.F. Distance Carnival.  He was the only Redhawk competing in the meet.


Most of Washington's Division II schools competed in Saturday's Club Northwest Spring Break meet at West Seattle Stadium on Saturday.

Unfortunately, other than the recaps written by Seattle Pacific and co-host Western Washington, we can't tell you any highlights, because as of Sunday night, results had not been posted on host Club Northwest's site or on the TFRRS site, which is the site used as a clearinghouse for collegiate marks.

NOTE:  The sports information offices at Eastern Washington, Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, and Gonzaga University contributed to this report.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stephan Scott-Ellis and Cougs' 4 x 1 win at Stanford Invitational...


PALO ALTO, California--Washington State's Stephan Scott-Ellis (left/photo by Paul Merca) and the Cougars' 4 x 100 meter relay squad emerged victorious to highlight day 2 of the Stanford Invitational at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the campus of Stanford University.

After fouling out of the invitational long jump, Scott-Ellis turned around and won the collegiate section of the triple jump with a season best mark of 51-1 (15.57m).

Washington State's squad of Greg Hornsby, Trevor Rogers, Brett Blanshan, and Andre McBride took the sprint relay race, winning in a time of 40.85 seconds, as the Washington Huskies were disqualified for a zone violation on the third exchange.

The Dawgs had a pair of impressive performances in the 4 x 400 meter relays, as the men's team of Quadelle Satterwhite, James Alaka, Dan Sanders and Andrew Prentice ran 3:09.38 to finish third overall behind Notre Dame (3:06.71) and Minnesota (3:09.12).  

It was the fastest time by a Husky foursome since 2008.

The women's team of Kayla Stueckle, Baylee Mires, Gianna Woodruff, and Krista Armstead ran 3:43.15, the fastest time by a Washington squad since 2000, and the seventh fastest time in school history, as they finished fourth behind Arizona (3:35.44), Notre Dame (3:37.84), and Stanford (3:39.07).

Washington State Garrett Gerling and Josiah Sims went 2-3 in the finals of the men's 110 hurdles, as both clocked 14.53, behind winner Teivaskie Lewin's 14.28 into a -0.1 wind.  The Huskies' Shayne Moore was fourth in 14.57.

The Cougs' Shawna Fermin finished fifth in the 200, running a season best 24.19.

Both Washington and Washington State will see each other for the third consecutive time this outdoor season at next week's Pepsi Team Invitational at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.


NOTE:  The sports information offices at the University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Megan Goethals takes out 30-year old UW school record in 10000 at Stanford...


PALO ALTO, California--University of Washington junior Megan Goethals (left/photo by Paul Merca) broke a long standing school record in the 10000 meters Friday night in finishing fourth at the Stanford Invitational at Cobb Track & Angell Field on the campus of Stanford University.

Three-time US Olympian Shalane Flanagan and her training partner Kara Goucher went 1-2 in the race, running a world leading time of 31:04.85, and 31:46.64, respectively, as they prepare for the Boston Marathon in a few weeks.

Behind Goucher was Oregon's Jordan Hasay in her debut over the distance, as she ran 32:46.68, with Goethals six seconds back at 32:52.78.

Goethals' mark eclipsed the school record of 33:13.45 set by hall of famer Regina Joyce thirty years ago.

In the women's 5000, senior Christine Babcock ran 15:44.98 to finish eighth.

Babcock's mark is the second fastest time in Husky history behind only Joyce's 15:35.60 from 1982.

In the women's steeple, WSU's Caroline Austin set a personal best of 10:23.77, which is the third best in school history.

Long hurdler Dana Wells finished second in the 400 hurdles in a season best 52.08.

In the 400, Lucas Sealby and Byron Howell each won their heats in the men's 400 for the Cougs. with times of 48.00 and 48.03, respectively, which got them sixth and seventh place overall.

On the field, the Huskies' Jordin Seekins was second in the invitational javelin with a toss of 146-2 (44.56m), with Washington State's Kelsie Taylor third at 143-4 (43.68m).

Several events were still being contested Friday night.  Notable results will be in the Saturday meet recap.


At the Texas Relays Thursday in Austin, decathlete Spencer Wordell scored a PR of 7073 points to finish ninth.

Wordell ran the 110m hurdles in a time of 15.63 seconds, threw the discus 108-feet 2 inches (32.96m), pole vaulted a PR height of 14-5 1/4 (4.40m), threw the javelin a PR distance of 177-2 (54.00m), and ran the 1500m in a time of 4 minutes 30.28 seconds.

Teammate Sean Harris did not finish after struggling with flu-like symptoms throughout the second day of competition, and did not start the final event, the 1500.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Huskies, Cougs & Zags head to Stanford for Stanford Invitational...

For most college kids, spring break is the time to go and find warm places to let loose and have some fun.

But not if you're on a college track team.

While you can go find a warm place to let loose and have some fun AND compete in college track, it's also a time to get some necessary work in to prepare for the outdoor season, as the Washington Huskies have done after their meet last weekend at the USC Trojan Invitational in Los Angeles.

The Huskies spent the early part of this week training in Santa Barbara, before heading north to Palo Alto for Friday & Saturday's Stanford Invitational at Cobb Track & Angell Field on the campus of Stanford University.

The distance races will be a big focus for Washington, as they have eleven entries in the women's 1500 on Friday night, led by senior Christine Babcock.

2012 NCAA 5000m runner-up Megan Goethals (above/photo by Paul Merca) will make her debut Friday night in the 10000, in a race that includes Olympians Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher, Pac-12 rivals Jordan Hasay from Oregon, Jennifer Bergman from Arizona, and former Husky Kendra Schaaf, now running for New Mexico.

Washington State will have a full team entered at the Stanford Invitational, led by All-American Stephan Scott-Ellis, who will contest the long and triple jumps, as well as the 100 meters.

Gonzaga will also have five athletes at Stanford, while ten others will run a few miles north at the San Francisco State Track & Field Distance Carnival.

Entries for the Stanford Invitational are available here, as well as the link to live results.

Media partner Flotrack will offer streaming video of the Stanford Invitational on a pay-per-view basis via Flotrack Pro.

The releases for the University of Washington, Washington State, and Gonzaga are available by clicking the school's name.

Seattle University will also have athletes competing at San Francisco State.


In Division II, Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Central Washington and St. Martin's will all send athletes to the Club Northwest Spring Break meet Saturday at West Seattle Stadium.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Team USA gets silver medal in men's 12k at world cross; Amy-Eloise Neale 20th in junior women's race...

From left--Chris Derrick, Ryan Vail, Bobby Mack, James Strang, Elliott Heath, and  Ben True.
Photo by Paul Merca

BYDGOSZCZ, Poland--In one of the most surprising performance in recent memory, Team USA, led by the sixth place finish of Ben True (Hanover, New Hampshire) earned a hard fought team silver medal in the senior men's 12-kilometer race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships at Myslecinek Park.

Under cold skies, and temperatures hovering slightly above 30 degrees, True, along with the rest of the squad, took a conservative approach on the first lap of the six-lap race, as he started out in 25th place.

He along with Chris Derrick (Portland, Oregon) worked their way through the pack, and found themselves in the top ten at the 10-k mark, while eventual winner Japhet Kipyegon Korir of Kenya, defending world champion Imane Merga of Ethiopia and Teklemariam Medhin of Eritrea broke away from the field.

Behind Derrick came Ryan Vail (Portland, Oregon) who finished 17th in 33:42, and Bobby Mack (Raleigh, North Carolina) in 19th at 33:49 to round out Team USA's scorers.

Ethiopia won the team gold medal with 38 points, with Team USA scoring 52 points, two points lower than perennial power Kenya's 54.

In the junior women's 6k race, Glacier Peak HS senior Amy-Eloise Neale (left/photo by Paul Merca), representing Great Britain, finished 20th to help the Brits to a team bronze medal, as she ran 19:34.

Neale's long time high school rival and future teammate at the University of Washington,  North Central HS senior Katie Knight was 28th at 19:52. 

In the senior women's 8k race, Eastern Washington alum Mattie Suver finished 26th in a time of 25:27.

Afterwards, she said, "It was fun out there, especially on a hard course.  It was hard to get a rhythm.  We had a great group of women out there.  I wanted to get out there and compete and race the other women, and ultimately run as good a race as possible."

In the junior men's 8k race, Mead HS senior Andrew Gardner finished 42nd in a time of 23:30.







Saturday, March 23, 2013

Dawgs get five wins, Cougs take four at USC Trojan Invitational...



LOS ANGELES--Washington State's Ruby Roberts (above/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com) and Washington's Kasen Covington highlighted the performances by both squads at Saturday's USC Trojan Invitational at Loker Stadium.

Roberts won the women's 1500 in a personal best 4:25.82, while Covington rode a slight 2.3 meter per second tailwind to record the victory in the triple jump with a jump of 51-6 1/2 (15.71m).

Other winners on the day for the Cougs included Richard Shroy in the men's 1500 (3:47.99), Jesse Jorgensen in the 800 (1:50.85), and Oliver Henry in the discus (171-0/52.13m).

Former conference scorer Justine Johnson made her debut in the 3000 steeple, taking the victory in that event at 10:40.25.

Kayla Stueckle, an NCAA quarterfinalist last year in the 400m hurdles, posted her best ever season-opener, as she clocked 59.21 seconds for the win.

Pac-12 scorer AJ Maricich cleared 7-0 1/4 (2.14m) to win the high jump with a first attempt clearance at the height, a mark matched by UCLA's Herbert Dew on his second attempt.

Pole vaulter Jax Thoirs took the victory in his specialty, as the frosh cleared 17-2 3/4 (5.25m), with fellow Husky frosh Chris Williams second at 16-2 3/4 (4.95m).


Checking the course out the day before the world championships..


BYDGOSZCZ, Poland--Had a chance to return to the Myslecinek Park course this afternoon as Team USA and other international squads conducted its formal course inspection for Sunday's IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

While the sun was brightly shining all day with temperatures in the high 20s, one got the sense that Sunday would be a cold one, as most of the European continent was hit with a cold spell.  In fact, when I arrived in the country late Thursday, it was snowing throughout most of Poland.

In a video interview that will be posted on YouthRunner.com, both Katie Knight (far left, with Amy-Eloise Neale/photo by Paul Merca) and Andrew Gardner from Spokane agreed that this is one of the toughest courses that they've seen.


"The entire course is a concern (laughs)!  There wasn't one spot on the course that I felt that we could sail through or surge without slipping, falling or having the mud suck up your shoe.  It's a gnarly course.  It will be an epic day tomorrow, and we'll be facing some pretty harsh elements."

Sunday, expect temperatures to warm up marginally to the high 20s edging towards freezing level.  The championships begin at noon, local time (4 am pacific time) with the junior women's 6K race, followed by the junior men's 8K race at 12:30 local time (4:30 am pacific time).  

The senior women's 8K race is set for 1:15 pm local time (5:15 am pacific time) followed by the senior men's 12K at 2:10 pm local time (6:10 am Eastern time).

Witam z Bydgoszczy (part deux...)!


BYDGOSZCZ, Poland--Have finally got my bearings together to write a post for the blog.

As I was three years ago, I am here assisting USA Track & Field with media operations at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on Sunday.

They've made several changes to the course since they hosted the meet three years ago.

In 2010, the athletes ran the loop counter clockwise; this time around, they will run in the opposite direction.

This course, even without snow and ice covering the ground, as is the case here in the last week or so, is a difficult one to establish any sort of rhythm.  Don't let the fact that the course is essentially a 2-k loop fool you.  There may be a stretch of 150 meters that one may consider straight, but there are lots of turns within the loop that will potentially take runners out of their comfort zone.

The biggest change organizers made was the addition of a hill to make it more difficult.


I will agree with what the LetsRun.com guys say--if this course were used for a big meet back home like the NCAA championships, coaches would be in an uproar with the difficulty and terrain.  You don't have 500 meters until the first turn--try about 100, which could possibly mean runners may want to run close to their PR--in the 100 if they want to have good positions.

The three Washington state affiliated runners--Eastern Washington alum Mattie Suver, and Spokane preps Andrew Gardner (above/photo by Paul Merca) and Katie Knight are all in good spirits so far.  I have not run into Amy-Eloise Neale from Snohomish yet, as the British team is staying at a different hotel than the USA.


Expected temperatures and conditions are sunny skies and highs in the upper 20s-maybe low 30s for Sunday.  Needless to say, the course could be interesting, especially with the number of bulldozers on the course trying to clear out the snow the last few days.

Huskies' Joe Zimmerman wins javelin at season opening USC Trojan Invitational...


LOS ANGELES--The Washington and Washington State javelin throwers got the USC Trojan Invitational off to a good start Friday with strong performances.

The Husky men took four of the top five spots, led by Joe Zimmerman (left/photo by Paul Merca), who won with a toss of 238-0 (72.55m), a mark that puts him in the top four on the collegiate performance list early.

Quinn Hale (220-0, 67.11m) was second, and Jimmy Brookman (219-9, 66.97m) was third, with freshman Carson Fuller (208-1, 63.42m) fifth for the Dawgs.

Washington State was led by Kyle Stevens (204-5, 62.32m) in sixth, Sam Ferenchak in eighth (195-4, 59.55m) and Derek Byrne (184-10, 56.35m) in tenth.

On the women's side, the Cougars' Anna Adamko was second with a toss of 161-6 (49.21m), with Jaclyn Onosko fifth at 147-9 (45.03m), Celena Ward sixth at 145-5 (44.32m), Christine Kirkwood seventh at 143-8 (43.80m), and Kelsie Taylor eighth at 141-8 (43.18m).

The Huskies' Jordin Seekins was fourth at 148-3 (45.18m) and Ally Mueller was ninth at 141-4 (43.09m).

The only other event of day 1 of the USC Trojan Invitational was the hammer, as Washington State entered two male throwers.

Chris Baltazar was sixth at 162-11 (49.67m), and Travis Pickett took seventh at 153-7 (46.82m).

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dawgs and Cougs head to Los Angeles for USC Invitational...


LOS ANGELES--Both the University of Washington and Washington State University are in action this weekend at the USC Trojan Invitational at Loker Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern California.

With the Trojans hosting the Pac-12 championships in May, this will be an opportunity for both squads to get a first hand look at the venue for the conference title meet.

With the Huskies finishing up winter quarter finals this week, the team will be in California during spring break, starting off with the USC meet, then moving north to run at the Stanford Invitational next week, with the team training in Santa Barbara in between.

Kayla Stueckle (left/photo by Paul Merca) opens the outdoor season with her debut over the 400 hurdles.

The long throwers will finally get an opportunity to show the coaches how their throwing has progressed over the fall and winter months, led by javelin All-Americans Joe Zimmerman and Jimmy Brookman for the Huskies.

The USC Invite features teams from Texas A&M, Utah, BYU, Hawaii, and Cal Poly, with the A&M Aggies bringing in the preseason #1 ranked men's squad, and their women ranked #6.



NOTE:  The sports information offices at the University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

We're off to Bydgoszcz, aka the "Big Dog"!


Faithful readers, paulmerca.blogspot.com is off to Bydgoszcz, Poland for Sunday's IAAF World Cross Country Championships!

I've had the opportunity to cover this event consecutively since 2001, when we were in Oostende, Belgium.

As this photo, courtesy of the Bydgoszcz local organizing committee shows, it's been snowing, so this could be interesting--think Boston 1992 interesting!

Some of the stories we will watch in Bydgoszcz (or as Pennsylvania based running photographer Patti Stirk affectionally calls the "Big Dog") include Spokane preps Andrew Gardner and Katie Knight in the junior race representing Team USA; Glacier Peak HS standout Amy-Eloise Neale in the junior women's race representing Great Britain; and former Eastern Washington All-American Mattie Suver in the women's senior race.

It will be interesting to see how Neale fares after flying back to the USA after the British trials, then having to fly back to the Continent a week later.  

That's a lot of air travel for a young lady in such a short time.

On the domestic front, most of the Washington schools are in action this weekend, with the Huskies and Cougars competing at the USC Invitational in Los Angeles.

We will post a preview of this weekend's action when we get to the other side of the Atlantic…I will be in Paris in about 12 hours, and then a 7 hour layover, followed by a flight to Warsaw, and a train ride to Bydgoszcz.

Talk to you when I get to Poland!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bernard Lagat's half-marathon debut nabs 12th place finish in New York...


NEW YORK--Washington State University alum Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Victah Sailer, Photo Run/The Running Network) made his professional debut at the half marathon distance, finishing twelfth in the NYC Half Marathon through the streets of New York.

Wearing a neon tech shirt underneath his racing singlet, along with arm warmers and a skull cap, Lagat cruised through the streets of New York in a time of 1:02:33, as Kenya's Wilson Kipsang won in a time of 1:01:02.

With the temperature at the start of Sunday's race a brisk 30 degrees, the field was reluctant to go hard early, as the 1500 and 5000 meter legend tucked in behind Kipsang for about the first 15 kilometers.

Portland's Dathan Ritzenhein briefly took the lead after the 15k mark, but Kipsang made a move that essentially dropped Lagat.

Lagat said he tried to push a little more, but couldn’t move any faster. “The guys were hammering it up,” he said, still so cold that he wore his gloves in the post-race press conference. "I kept digging deeper because I wanted to run a good time.”

In reflecting on his first half-marathon, he said that it was tough, “But now I know how to run a half-marathon in the future.”


NOTE:  The New York Road Runners and letsrun.com contributed to this report.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

SPU's McKayla Fricker highlights Oregon Preview by winning 800...



EUGENE--Seattle Pacific's McKayla Fricker (above/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific) set a personal best in her outdoor season debut, winning the 800 meter run at the Oregon Preview meet at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Fricker, the junior from Camby, Oregon, who finished fourth at last week's NCAA Division II championships in the 800, cruised to a winning time of 2:09.90, beating her old outdoor PR of 2:11.57 at last year's Beach Invitational in Long Beach, California, and her lifetime best of 2:10.76 in last week's indoor championships in Birmingham, Alabama.


Both SPU relay squads emerged victorious, as BryAnne Wochnick, Ali Worthen, Tasia Baldwin and Kishia Mitchell won the 4 x 100 in 47.92, while the Falcon 4 x 400 team of Worthen, Emily Quatier, Lynelle Decker and Fricker stopped the watch at 3:53.65.

Other highlights of the meet included former Spokane prep Britney Henry winning the hammer throw with a toss of 206-7 (62.97m); Camas HS standout Alexa Ephraimson winning the 1500 in 4:19.54; Worthen taking the long jump at 18-7 1/4 (5.67m); SeattleU's Zach Stanfield finishing second in the 400 at 48.13; Saint Martin's Michael Davis winning the triple jump at 48-1 1/4 (14.66m), and teammate Sam Washington winning the shot put at 50-10 3/4 (15.51m); and Western Washington's Ryan Macdonald winning the discus at 158-1 (48.19m).


In Spokane, the Washington State women won 11 events and the Cougar men won six events Saturday at the Dusty Lane Open track and field meet held at Spokane Falls Community College.

WSU head coach Rick Sloan said,  "For the most part I'm pretty happy with the efforts and what we accomplished when we know we are going to run the hurdles and the sprints into a headwind here. There are adjustments when you move outside for competitions and we lucked out on the weather. We have the first one under our belts."

Cougar freshman Kelsie Taylor won the javelin with a toss of 149-2 (45.48m).  MPSF 3000 champ Todd Wakefield dropped down to 800 meters, winning in 1:51.08.

Steeplechasers Ruby Roberts and Caroline Austin dropped down in distance as well, with Roberts winning the 800 in 2:13.48, and Austin the 1500 in 4:37.80.


NOTE:  The sports information offices of Seattle Pacific and Washington State contributed to this report.

Jeshua Anderson takes victory in Perth, while Brad Walker gets second...


PERTH, Australia--Washington State alum Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Paul Merca) notched his first victory of the 2013 outdoor season, winning the 400 hurdles at the Perth Track Classic Saturday night.

Competing against a domestic field, Anderson, the 2011 USA national champion clocked a time of 49.93, ahead of runner up Ian Dewhurst's 50.31.

University of Washington alum Brad Walker, the 2012 US Olympic trials champ and former world champion, finished second in the pole vault, clearing 18-0 1/2 (5.50m).

Great Britain's Steve Lewis won the competition, with a third attempt clearance at 18-4 1/2 (5.60m).

Friday, March 15, 2013

Washington's D1 & D2 schools in outdoor action Saturday at Oregon Invite & Dusty Lane...


Most of Washington's Division I and II schools will be in action Saturday for the opening of the outdoor track and field season.

On the west side, Western Washington, Seattle University, Seattle Pacific, Saint Martin's, and Central Washington will send athletes to Eugene for the Oregon Preview meet at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, and Washington State are in action at their traditional season opener, the Dusty Lane Open in Spokane hosted by Spokane Community College.

Notably absent is the University of Washington, which opens its outdoor season next weekend at the USC Invitational in Los Angeles.

All six of Seattle Pacific's NCAA indoor championships competitors will see action in Eugene, led by Oregon native and NCAA 800m All-American McKayla Fricker (above/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific University), who opens the outdoor season running her specialty.

SPU multi-event specialist Ali Worthen, who got her NCAA auto qualifier two weeks ago at the Chico State Multi-Event Classic after scoring 5243 points, is entered in the 200, 100 hurdles, and long jump.

In contrast, Western Washington is giving all three of its NCAA indoor participants the weekend off.


Oregon will offer live streaming video of the Oregon Preview via pac-12.com.

With several of their long throwers not able to compete during the indoor season, both Washington State and Eastern Washington are looking to get their hammer, discus and javelin throwers some action on Saturday.

The Cougs have six men and four women entered in the javelin; on the other hand, the Eagles have two men, and seven women ready to fling the spear in Spokane.


In advance of his half-marathon debut on Sunday in New York, Bernard Lagat talked to letsrun.com about his expectations for the race.


Here's a great read from letsrun.com on ten training tips from Lagat, Dathan Ritzenhein, and Abdi Abdirahman, the most notable (and most obvious) being that staying healthy is the number one objective.

Another tip from the trio is knowing when to check your pride at the door.  Too often runners in training try to beat the workout, which may get you short term success, but also strays you away from the big picture.

"The workouts aren’t the competition…You run your own workout. If you’re not feeling good and someone is feeling really good and you can’t stay with them, you don’t have to feel bad.” Conversely on his good days Abdi is not afraid to “go for it” and drop whoever he is working out with. Winning the workout is not the objective. Abdi said the objective is finding the “good pace, (the) good rhythm.”

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The accolades keep rolling for Andrea Geubelle, and links from around the track...



The honors keep piling up for University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (above/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com), as she was named by the USTFCCCA as its NCAA Division I women's field event athlete of the year.

Geubelle won both the long jump and the triple jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships, becoming the fourth woman in indoor NCAA history to accomplish the feat and the first since Elva Goulbourne of Auburn in 2003. Her winning triple jump distance of 46-6¼ (14.18m) won the event by more than a foot and put her third on the all-time indoor collegiate performance list. She is one of just five collegiate women in history to surpass 46-6.

The day prior she won the long jump with a mark of 21-6 (6.55m). Her mark tied Christabel Nettey of Arizona State’s mark, but Geubelle won on virtue of her second-longest attempt, which was just two centimeters shorter.

Geubelle finished the indoor season as the top-ranked student-athlete in both the triple jump and the long jump. She led the triple jump with her NCAA title mark, and claimed the long jump with a mark of 21-11½ (6.69m) at the Armory Collegiate Invitational. The long jump marks sits just outside the all-time collegiate top 10.


It turns out that Geubelle's jump of 46-6 1/4 was even more remarkable considering that in her fifth round attempt in the previous night's long jump, she bruised her heel.

As she tells KUSports.com, “I was having trouble walking. I had horrible warm-ups for the triple jump. I was babying (the heel). I didn’t want to put pressure on it. The girl in second was right on my butt. I taped it up a little and put a cushion in my shoe. I thought, I’m in the finals, and I have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My foot’s only going to keep hurting worse, so I put one out there — 46-6 — and I had a pretty good feeling I was going to win the competition."


In Division II, the USTFCCCA announced its All-America awards, with Seattle Pacific's McKayla Fricker receiving two--one for the 800, and one for the 4 x 400 relay along with teammates Jasmine Johnson, Kishia Mitchell, and Emily Quatier.

Western Washington's Emily Warman received All-America honors from the coaches' association in the long jump.


On the pro circuit, Jeshua Anderson and Brad Walker continue their season opening outdoor meets on Saturday at the Perth Track Classic in Australia.

Anderson, the former Washington State All-American, runs the 400 hurdles against a domestic field, while former Husky Walker goes against 2008 Olympic champ Steve Hooker and British Olympian Steve Lewis in the pole vault.


One of the most anticipated half marathon debuts happens Sunday as Bernard Lagat trades track spikes for road racing flats when he runs the NYC Half Marathon through the streets of the Big Apple.

In this interview with Aimee Berg, Lagat and his agent James Templeton talk about the process of trying a half marathon, and how he's made the transition, particularly in building up his mileage, while maintaining the intensity.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Glacier Peak HS standout Amy-Eloise Neale named to British squad for world cross...


UPDATE (8:00 am, 3/12/13) British Athletics announced its squad Tuesday morning--the release announcing Amy-Eloise Neale's selection to the squad that will compete at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships is available here.

Glacier Peak HS senior and University of Washington commit Amy-Eloise Neale (left, #2 in dark jersey/photo by Paul Merca) will represent Great Britain at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland on March 24th.

Neale finished fourth at the McCain World Cross Country Trials in Birmingham, England on Saturday March 9th, running 20:15 over the 6k distance in very muddy conditions, as Emilia Gorecka, last year's bronze medalist at the IAAF world junior championships in the 3000 meter run in Barcelona, took the victory in 19:41.

At a media gathering before the Brooks PR meet in Seattle, Neale revealed that she was flying to Great Britain to run in her country's world cross country championship trials, inspired in part, by how her US high school peers, including Michigan's Erin Finn, and future Husky teammate Katie Knight of Spokane's North Central HS, fared at last month's USA cross country championships in St. Louis.

Neale won the mile at the Brooks PR meet at the Dempsey Indoor on the campus of the University of Washington on February 24th in a time of 4:45.89.

The top four finishers were awarded berths on the British squad, with the other two spots selected by committee.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Jeshua Anderson & Brad Walker get second in outdoor debuts in Sydney...


SYDNEY, Australia--Former Washington State University standout Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Paul Merca) opened his 2013 outdoor season with a second place finish in the 400 hurdles at the Sydney Track Classic at the Sydney Olympic Park.

Anderson, who was a member of Team USA at the 2011 IAAF world championships in Daegu, but had a disappointing season last year, ran 50.56 to finish behind New Zealand's Michael Cochrane, who ran 50.07 for the win.

In the men's pole vault, University of Washington grad Brad Walker finished in a tie for second with 2008 Olympic champion Steve Hooker, as both jumped 17-8 1/2 (5.40m), to finish behind Great Britain's Steve Lewis, who cleared 18-2 1/2 (5.55m).

Walker has been jumping off of a short approach in his first few meets as he refines his run up in the early part of the season.

Curtis HS grad Andrea Geubelle gets the NCAA jumps double...


FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas--One night after winning the long jump, Curtis HS graduate Andrea Geubelle (above/photo courtesy University of Kansas) of the University of Kansas successfully defended her NCAA title in the triple jump Saturday at the NCAA Division I championships at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas.

Geubelle, a resident of University Place just outside of Tacoma, opened the competition with a jump of 43-5 3/4 (13.25m), then after a foul, improved to 45-6 1/2 (13.88m).

The fourth round was the one that sealed the fate, as she stretched the tape all the way out to the eventual winning mark of 46-6 1/4 (14.18m), then came close to it in the penultimate round, jumping 46-3 1/2 (14.11m).

Geubelle finished her day with a jump of 45-3 3/4 (13.81m).

Andrea's winning mark was just two centimeters short of the IAAF B standard for this summer's world championships in Moscow.  With the win, she became the fourth woman in NCAA indoor championship history to emerge victorious in both the long and triple jumps in the same meet.

Even with Geubelle's two wins, the Jayhawks did not score enough points, as Oregon won the national indoor title, scoring 56 points, and earning their only victory in the 4 x 400 relay.  

The Ducks ran 3:30.32, while the Jayhawks were eighth in 3:34.91, after being behind by only three points entering the final event to get their second straight runner-up finish with 44 points.

Bellingham's Becca Friday earned a sixth place finish in the mile, running 4:39.23, earning the Ducks three points towards the national title, as US Olympian Emma Coburn of Colorado won in 4:29.91.

The only other woman with Washington connections, Wenatchee's Hannah Kiser of the University of Idaho, finished fifth in the 3000 meters, running a time of 9:07.76, as Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino won in a time of 9:01.08.

In the men's championship meet, Oregon's Michael Berry, the Rainier Beach HS grad, set another indoor personal best in the 400 as he won his section in a time of 45.83, overtaking Arkansas' Anton Kokorin in the backstretch of the final lap.

Houston's Errol Nolan took the overall title, winning his section in a time of 45.75.

Washington's Jeremy Taiwo, the collegiate leader in the heptathlon, finished 15th in the high jump, clearing 7-0 1/2 (2.15m).

Olympic bronze medalist Derek Drouin of Canada and Indiana University won in a facility record 7-8 1/2 (2.35m).


SEATTLE PACIFIC'S MC KAYLA FRICKER FOURTH IN 800 AT NCAA D2s...

At the NCAA Division II championships in Birmingham, Alabama, McKayla Fricker of Seattle Pacific finished a surprising fourth in the 800 meter run, running yet another personal best.

Starting out in eighth after the first of four laps around the Birmingham CrossPlex, she steadily worked her way through the field, moving up one place per lap, picking off runners on the final lap en route to a final time of 2:10.76, just under her indoor PR of 2:10.82, set Friday night in the semifinals.

In analyzing the splits, Fricker, the junior from Camby, Oregon, ran even splits, with all four laps in the 32 second range.

Helen Crofts of Simon Fraser took the national title in a time of 2:05.96.

A few hours later, Fricker anchored the Falcons to a sixth place finish in the 4 x 400 meter relay, as the team of Kishia Mitchell, Emily Quatier, Jasmine Johnson, and Fricker ran 3:46.34, giving Seattle Pacific three points, as Lincoln of Missouri won the race in a time of 3:40.07.

Friday, March 8, 2013

University Place resident Andrea Geubelle halfway home to NCAA jumps double...


FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas--University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (above/photo courtesy University of Kansas) has one national title in her back pocket as the Curtis High School graduate won the long jump at the NCAA Division I championships at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas.

The Kansas Jayhawk senior took the national crown with a closer than expected mark of 21-6 (6.55m), the same distance jumped by runner-up Christabel Nettey of Arizona State.

In round 3, Geubelle took the lead from Nettey with her eventual winner after being behind in the first two rounds.

In the finals, Nettey matched Geubelle's 21-6 (6.55m) mark, but Geubelle answered with a jump of 21-2 3/4 (6.47m) to put her back in the lead, as Nettey's second best mark was 21-1 1/2 (6.44m) in round 1.

Geubelle came close to matching her best in round 5, stretching the tape to 21-5 1/4 (6.53m), while Nettey answered with a jump of 21-0 (6.40m).

Neither jumper came close to their best in the final round.

Geubelle's teammate Francine Simpson finished third with a jump of 21-0 1/2 (6.41m) to give Kansas 16 points towards their first day team score of 20, giving the Jayhawks the lead after six events.

Saturday, Geubelle returns to defend her national title in the triple jump.

In other finals, Geubelle's Curtis HS teammate Stephan Scott-Ellis of Washington State was 11th in the men's long jump with a best of 24-7 3/4 (7.51m).

According to WSU jumps coach Matt McGee, "There wasn't any part that went terribly wrong but overall Stephan just wasn't at his best tonight. He looked good on the runway but wasn't maintaining his rhythm and carrying his momentum great through the last three steps and as a result wasn't able to extend through the take-off as well as he can."

Marquis Dendy of Florida won the competition with a best of 27-2 (8.28m).

In the men's distance medley relay, Bellevue HS grad Michael Williams ran the first leg on Princeton's winning distance medley relay, running a 1200 leg of 2:56.56 to keep the Tigers in striking distance behind early leader Penn State.

Princeton's winning time was 9:33.01.

In the women's mile, Bellingham's Becca Friday from Oregon advanced to the finals, finishing third in her semi in a time of 4:37.80.  Washington senior Christine Babcock was seventh in her semi, running 4:41.55, three places below what was needed to advance to Saturday's final.

In the men's 400, Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry from Oregon ran the second fastest time of the prelims, running an Oregon school record time of 45.64 to finish second to Texas A&M's Deon Lendore, who ran 45.36 in the same heat.

Friday came back to run a 2:06.65 800 leg on the Ducks' distance medley relay team that finished eighth in 11:02.15.

Besides Geubelle (triple jump), Berry (400), and Friday (mile), the University of Washington's Jeremy Taiwo goes in the men's high jump, and Wenatchee native Hannah Kiser of Idaho runs the 3000.


The meet will be streamed live on arkansasrazorbacks.com, then picked up on ESPN3.com.

WESTERN'S WARMAN GETS EIGHTH IN D2 LONG JUMP; FRICKER QUALIFIES FOR 800M FINALS...

In  Birmingham, Alabama, Western Washington University's Emily Warman  broke her own school record set five years ago and placed eighth in the women's long jump Friday at the 2013 NCAA Division II National Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Warman leaped 19-2 3/4, 4-3/4 inches better than the WWU standard she established in 2009.

It was the third national indoor appearance for Warman and her second in the long jump. She holds indoor and outdoor school bests for both the long and triple jumps.

WWU pole vaulters Karis Anderson and Cheyenna Pinley finished 12th and 13th, respectively. Both cleared 12-1 1/2.

Seattle Pacific's McKayla Fricker posted a personal-best time on Friday afternoon and earned a spot in Saturday's  800-meter finals. running 2:10.82, breaking her previous PR of 2:11.11 set last month at the Husky Classic.

The junior from Canby, Oregon, who is the daughter of former Oregon State middle distance runner Mark Fricker, came from the back of her six-runner heat to finish second, surging past three runners in the final 400 meters.

Freshman teammate Lynelle Decker also posted a PR on Friday, although it wasn’t enough to get into the nine-runner finals. Decker came across the line in 2:13.06. That beat her previous best time of 2:13.64, which she set on Feb. 23 in the SPU Last Chance National Qualifer to put herself in position for a spot at nationals.

Saturday, SPU sends out senior Katy Gross (Everett, Wash. / Cascade HS) in the pentathlon beginning at 7 a.m. PST. Gross, who finished 13th last year, comes in at the 10th seed off a career-best 3,505 points that netted her a third straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference title.

The Falcons will also send out the foursome of junior Kishia Mitchell (Puyallup, Wash. / Rogers HS), senior Emily Quatier (Portland, Ore.), sophomore Jasmine Johnson (Federal Way, Wash. / Federal Way HS) and Fricker in the 4 x 400 meter relay.


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

Geubelle's jumping key to Kansas' team title hopes at NCAAs...


FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas--The focus of the US domestic indoor track & field season will be squarely on the Randal Tyson Track Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas, as the NCAA Division I championships get under way Friday.

One of the most compelling stories is the University of Kansas' attempt to claim its first NCAA women's indoor national title, led by University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (left/photo by Mike Scott), who is the national leader in the long jump at 21-11 1/2 (6.69m) and is ranked second in the triple jump at 45-7 3/4 (13.91m), both marks of which are KU school records.

Geubelle is also the defending national champ in the triple jump, so if she can get 20 points in the two jumps, that will go a long way towards the Jayhawks' chances of winning the national title.

Geubelle will contest the long jump Friday night.

Another athlete with Washington ties competing in the long jump Friday is Geubelle's Curtis High School teammate Stephan Scott-Ellis, the two time MPSF long jump champ from Washington State University.

In last year's national championships in Nampa, Idaho, Scott-Ellis was 13th with a best of 23-5 1/4 (7.14m), as he looks to improve from his 2012 showing.

Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry of the University of Oregon, who was third in the 400 last year, will run in the semis of the 400 Friday.

Bellingham's Becca Friday from Oregon, who was fourth in the mile in 2012, runs in the semis of the mile, as does University of Washington senior Christine Babcock.

Among those competing on Saturday include Washington's Jeremy Taiwo in the high jump,  and Wenatchee native Hannah Kiser of Idaho in the 3000.

The schedule for the NCAA D1 championships is available here.  Live streaming of the NCAA championship meet is available via arkansasrazorbacks.com, and on ESPN3.

In Birmingham, Alabama, action gets underway Friday at the NCAA Division II championships at the Birmingham Cross Plex.

Seattle Pacific will have McKayla Fricker and Lynelle Decker (800m), Katy Gross (pentathlon); and the 4 x 400 relay team of Fricker, Emily Quatier, Kishia Mitchell, and Jasmine Johnson.

Western Washington has three athletes in the meet--pole vaulters Karis Anderson and Cheyenna Pinley, along with long jumper Emily Warman.

All three Vikings compete on Friday, while Fricker and Decker run semis in the 800. 

The NCAA D2 time schedule is available here.  Streaming video of the meet is available via ncaa.com.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Andrea Geubelle & Jeremy Taiwo earn USTFCCCA regional honors; NCAA D1 field announced...


NEW ORLEANS--University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (left/photo courtesy University of Kansas) of the University of Kansas, along with University of Washington multi-event specialist Jeremy Taiwo were selected by the USTFCCCA as its female and male field event athletes of the year for the Midwest Region, and West Region, respectively.

Geubelle, the defending NCAA champion in the triple jump indoors, is the national collegiate leader in the long jump at 21-11 1/2 (6.69m) and is ranked second in the triple jump at 45-7 3/4 (13.91m).  

She has won 12 of the last 14 triple jump competitions against collegians. She moved in to indoor collegiate top 10 triple jump list after breaking her own school record with a leap of 45-7 3/4 (13.91m) at the Tyson Invitational. She broke the indoor long jump school record with a collegiate-leading leap of 21-11 1/2 (6.69m). Geubelle won the 2013 Big 12 Conference triple jump and finished runner-up in the long jump

Taiwo scored a collegiate-leading and then-world-leading 6,156 in the heptathlon at the Boise State Team Challenge, including a then-all-time world best clearance of 7-4½ (2.25m) in the heptathlon high jump. He is ranked as the third-best collegiate performer in the history of the heptathlon, and his score is fifth-best in collegiate history.

Both Geubelle and Taiwo are entered in this weekend's NCAA indoor track & field championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, hosted by the University of Arkansas.

However, Taiwo will only contest the high jump, and not the heptathlon, with perhaps the effect of the hamstring injury he suffered in the MPSF championship meet two weeks ago still lingering and the Husky coaching staff not willing to gamble with the senior's health, with the outdoor season upcoming.

Besides Taiwo, the Huskies will send senior Christine Babcock in the mile, where she is seeded 14th among declared entries at 4:37.57.  

Washington State will have long jumper Stephan Scott-Ellis as its lone representative, as he's seeded 13th with a best of 25-4 3/4 (7.74m).

Rainier Beach HS grad Mike Berry from the University of Oregon is seeded number 5 in the men's 400, with a time of 46.03.

Bellingham's Becca Friday from the University of Oregon is seeded number 9 in the women's mile at 4:35.34.

Wenatchee native Hannah Kiser, a junior at the University of Idaho and the reigning WAC champ, is entered in the women's 3000, where she's seeded fifth with a time of 9:04.74.

One of the most notable Huskies missing from the field is MPSF 5000m champ Megan Goethals, who was bumped from the field by several runners around the country in various last chance meets last weekend.


NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Ex Coug Blessing Ufodiama places second at USA indoors in triple jump...


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.

Ebba Jungmark takes second at European Indoor championships...


GÖTEBORG, Sweden--Competing in her home town, former Washington State standout Ebba Jungmark (left/photo by Paul Merca) earned the silver medal Sunday in the high jump at the European indoor championships at the Scandinavium Arena.

Jungmark, a indoor world championships silver medalist last year, and a former NCAA indoor champ in 2008 at Washington State, tied her personal best of 6-5 (1.96m) with a first attempt clearance, after clearing the first three heights of 5-11 1/2 (1.82m), 6-1 1/2 (1.87m), and a season best 6-3 1/2 (1.92m) on first tries to match eventual winner Ruth Beitia of Spain.

6-6 1/4 (1.99m) was the height that decided Jungmark's fate, as with only Beitia and Swedish teammate Emma Green Tregaro remaining in the competition, Beitia was the only one over as the Spaniard cleared the bar on her second attempt.


“Today felt kind of unreal,” said Jungmark. “I have had some issues during this season but I was still dreaming of gold. I think that thinking got me to win a medal today, even though it was not gold. It was magical competing on home turf. I felt like I was Superman – or maybe Superwoman! Now I will just rest and make sure that my foot heals properly. I took some painkillers before the competition.”

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cougar alum Joe Abbott & UW grad Katie Mackey win 800m heats at US Indoor nationals...


ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico--Washington State alum Joe Abbott (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com) and Washington grad Katie Mackey both won their semi-final heats of the 800 meters as the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships got under way at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Abbott, a former US junior champion outdoors, took to the front from the outset, holding on to take the heat from a late charging Matthew Centrowitz, 1:47.93 to 1:47.94.

Mackey, who is dropping down in distance at the national championships, stayed behind Bethany Praska for the first three laps, then ran a 31.29 last 200 to take the win in a comfortable 2:06.64.

In another heat of the men's 800, Tacoma's Mark Wieczorek was not fortunate, as last year's Olympic Trials finalist finished second in his section in a time of 1:49.36, behind winner Robby Andrews' 1:48.87.   Only the heat winner was guaranteed a place in Sunday's finals, with the three fastest times advancing to the six-man final.

Former Spokane resident Britney Henry finished fifth in the finals of the women's weight throw, with a mark of 67-11 1/2 (20.71m), as Gwendolyn Berry took the win with a best of 81-0.5 (24.70m).

Reigning Olympic champion Jenn Suhr set a new world record in the women's pole vault, clearing 16-5 1/2 (5.02m).

The meet resumes Sunday, with live television coverage on NBC Sports Network (channel 626 on Comcast in Seattle) between 1-3 pm, pacific time.


In Tacoma, Western Washington dominated the field events at Saturday's University of Puget Sound quad meet, as they won the women's team title, and tied with UPS in the men's team competition.

For Seattle Pacific, distance runner Katie Thralls and 400 hurdler Ryan Endresen earned GNAC auto qualifiers, with Thralls winning the 10000 in 37:08.94, and Endresen winning the men's 400 hurdles in 55.06.


NOTE:  USA Track & Field, and the sports information offices of Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, and the University of Puget Sound contributed to this report.

Ebba Jungmark qualifies for high jump finals in European Championships...


GÖTEBORG, Sweden--Former Washington State standout Ebba Jungmark (left/photo by Paul Merca), competing in her home town, advanced to the finals in the women's high jump at the European Championships at the Scandinavium Arena.

Jungmark  cleared 6-3 1/2 (1.92m) to advance to Sunday's finals, clearing 5-10 3/4 (1.80m), 6-0 3/4 (1.85m), and 6-2 (1.89m) on her first attempt, before clearing the final height of 6-3 1/2 on her second attempt.

Her mark ties her season best, set at the Swedish national championships on February 17th.

The finals of the women's high jump will be contested at 4:40 pm, local time (7:40 am in Seattle), with live streaming available here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Rainier Beach grad Mike Berry wins 400m at UW Last Chance meet...


SEATTLE--Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the University of Oregon cemented his spot in next week's NCAA indoor championships with his decisive win in the 400 at the UW Final Qualifier to close out Washington's home indoor season.

The junior, who owns a relay gold medal from the 2011 IAAF world track & field championships in the 4 x 400, was quick out of the blocks and was slightly behind the Huskies' James Alaka at the break before Alaka ran another 50 meters and dropped out after completing pacing duties.

Berry's final time of 46.03 was a season best and the fourth fastest time in NCAA Division I this season, and a tenth of a second off the Oregon school record he set at last year's NCAA indoor.

The Huskies' Jordan Carlson, running in her final race in the purple & gold, won the women's 400 in a time of 54.47, as she was pressed by USC's Ashley Liverpool (54.47), an NCAA qualifier outdoors last year for Iowa.

In a bit of a surprise, Boise State's Emma Bates, the Mountain West 3000 champ, won the women's 5000 in a potential NCAA qualifying mark of 15:50.78, over Japanese Olympian Yuriko Kobayashi (15:54.18), who is training in Tuscon under Arizona coach James Li, and the Wildcats' Jennifer Bergman (15:55.60), who was third in last week's MPSF race over this distance.

As expected, former American 10000 meter record holder Chris Solinsky of Portland, won the men's 3000 in a time of 8:05.38, as he continues to make a comeback from an injury filled 2012 that forced him to miss the US Olympic Trials.

While Washington's Joey Bywater won the mile in 4:01.81, he fell short of becoming the fifth UW runner to break 4 minutes in the mile, and more importantly, get in a position to go to next week's NCAA championships.


In South Bend, Indiana, Washington State's distance medley relay squad of Todd Wakefield, Jacob Sealby, Jesse Jorgensen, and Drew Jordan finished 22nd in a time of 9:40.20.

The unofficial split times were 2:57 for Wakefield in the 1200m, 47.7 for Sealby in the 400m, 1:48.8 for Jorgensen in the 800m, and 4:05 for Jordan in the 1600m.

In Chico, California, Seattle Pacific redshirt senior Ali Worthen from Coos Bay, Oregon earned an automatic berth for the NCAA Division II championships in the heptathlon, winning the event with a final two-day score of 5243 points, beating the automatic standard of 5200 points.

Worthen was just 54 points off her third place score at last year's NCAA championship meet.

In taking the title at the Chico Multi-Event Classic, she won two more events--the long jump (19-0 1/2, 5.83m), and the javelin (113-5.5/34.59m), and scored a personal best in the 800 of 2:20.78.

In the men's decathlon, the Falcons' Nate Johnson was tenth with a final two day score of 5368 points.

Johnson's downfall was in the pole vault, where he no-heighted, picking up no points for his effort.


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

Notes to pass along before the UW Final Qualifier...


With a few hours to go before the UW Final Qualifier meet at the Dempsey Indoor, here's a few notes to pass along:

Seattle Pacific's Ali Worthen (left/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific University), who was granted a redshirt year after missing the 2010 outdoor campaign with injuries, leads the Chico Multi-Event Classic heptathlon in Chico, California, with a first day score of 3068 points.

Worthen opened Thursday's meet with a 14.74 clocking in the 100 hurdles. She then cleared 5 feet, 5 ¼ inches in the high jump, two inches higher than the next-best performance. Worthen followed with a 34-1 ¼ mark in the shot put, winning by 6 ¾ inches, and finished with a 25.75 in the 200.

In the men's decathlon competition, SPU senior Nate Johnson stands seventh with a first day score of 3115 points.


Meanwhile, the majority of the Falcon team will open up the outdoor season Saturday along with Western Washington, Lewis & Clark and host UPS at the UPS Invitational in Tacoma.


The pros are in Albuquerque for the USA Indoor Championships Saturday and Sunday (the multi-events started Friday).

With very little on the line, the field, quite frankly, is watered down.  



Among those with Washington ties competing are:  Katie Mackey (800); Brie Felnagle (mile); Blessing Ufodiama (triple jump); Britney Henry (weight); Mark Wieczorek and Joe Abbott (800); and, Levi Keller & Brad Walker (pole vault).

The meet will be broadcast on Universal Sports on Saturday from 3-5 pm pacific, and on the NBC Sports Network on Sunday from 1-3 pm pacific.

Finally, University Place's Andrea Geubelle continues to be on the Bowerman Women's Watch List for March.


Geubelle, a senior at the University of Kansas, is the collegiate leader in the long jump including a win at the Armory Collegiate Invitational where she posted a collegiate-leading jump of 21-11½, just a quarter inch shy of placing her among the top 10 collegians all-time. 

She extended her streak of triple jump victories against collegians to 12 of the past 14 dating back to the 2012 indoor season with an individual title in the Big 12 triple jump, recording a mark of 44-3¼ (13.49m). She is currently ranked second as one of two jumpers to surpass 45 feet with a 45-7¾ (13.91m) attempt at the Tyson Invitational.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field, the USTFCCCA, and the sports information office at Seattle Pacific University contributed to this report.

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