Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tacoma's Mark Wieczorek seventh in 800m at Birmingham Diamond League stop...

BIRMINGHAM, England--Tacoma's Mark Wieczorek (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished seventh in the 800 meters at the Sainsbury's Grand Prix, stop number seven on the IAAF Diamond League tour on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon.

With training partner and rabbit du jour Matt Scherer setting the pace for the field, Wieczorek ran 1:48.74, as Ethiopia's Mohammed Aman took the win in a time of 1:45.18, making it Aman's third win this season on the IAAF Diamond League circuit this season.

The meet's highlight was the appearance of national hero Mo Farah, who trains in Beaverton as part of the Nike Oregon Project, as Farah showed his readiness to defend his world title in the 5000 with a 52.36 last 400 and a 27.26 last 200 to win the 5000 in 13:14.24 over Ethiopia's Yenew Alamirew (13.14.71) and Hagos Gebrhiwet (13:17.11).


The IAAF Diamond League tour moves to Lausanne, Switzerland for the Athletissima meeting on July 4th.

NOTES:  University of California grad Deborah Maier is now the newest member of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts middle distance squad that Wieczorek and Scherer are members of.

Maier joins Washington alum Katie Mackey, SPU grad Jessica Tebo, along with Stanford alum Lindsay Allen and Tacoma's Brie Felnagle in the group led by Danny Mackey.

At Cal, Maier was an NCAA All American in cross country, and was third in the 10000 at the 2012 NCAA championships, and second at both 3000 and 5000 at the NCAA indoors.  She also won two MPSF titles over 3000 indoors during her stint at Berkeley.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

UW alum Kyle Nielsen wins in Edmonton; current UW vaulter Jax Thoirs clears 18 feet...

EDMONTON, Alberta--Competing in one of his final domestic meets before heading to Russia for the World University Games, former University of Washington standout Kyle Nielsen won the javelin competition at the Edmonton International Track Classic Saturday at Foote Field.

Nielsen, this year's Canadian national champion, took command early with a first round throw of 245-5 (74.80m), then topped it in the final round with his toss of 250-6 (76.37m) to beat Olympian and fellow British Columbia resident Curtis Moss, who threw 245-3 (74.77m), while Oregon alum Cyrus Hostetler took third with a best of 233-11 (71.31m).

In other events, University of Idaho alum and former UW volunteer coach Christie Gordon was sixth in the 100 hurdles, running a wind-aided time of 13.00, as Lolo Jones won with a time of 12.50.


The NTL series continues Monday with the Harry Jerome Track Classic in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Meanwhile, in Somero, Finland on Saturday, University of Washington rising sophomore Jax Thoirs (left/photo by Paul Merca) became the fifth Husky to clear 18 feet in school history as he finished second at the Somero Pole Vault Carnival.

Thoirs cleared 18-0 1/2 (5.50m) to join Scott Roth, Brad Walker, Garth Willard, and Steve Oravetz on the UW all-time list.

His clearance puts the native of Glasgow, Scotland in a position to compete for Great Britain in the European Under 23 championships in Tampere, Finland July 11-14th.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Canadian NTL circuit has Washington athletes competing in Edmonton & Burnaby this weekend...

After a few days off after the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, we are back with the rundown on a few items as most of the focus on Washington's pro and collegiate athletes shifts from the domestic venue to overseas.

Canada's National Track League series continues Saturday with the Edmonton International Track Classic, as Washington alum Kyle Nielsen (left/photo by Paul Merca), the reigning Canadian national champion faces off in the javelin against Oregon alum Cyrus Hostetler and Canadian Olympian Curtis Moss.

Former University of Idaho standout and Husky volunteer coach Christie Gordon is entered in the 100 hurdles.

Monday afternoon, the scene shifts to Burnaby, just outside of Vancouver, for the annual Harry Jerome Track Classic on Canada Day.

At the Jerome, Washington State alum Joe Abbott is entered in the 800 meters.  Current Cougars Todd Wakefield is entered in the national section of the 1500, while Holly Parent is entered in the developmental section of the high jump.

Spokane native Britney Henry is entered in the hammer at the Jerome, and Gordon is also entered in the 100 hurdles.

The start lists for both the Edmonton International and the Harry Jerome are available by clicking the meet name.

Speaking of Henry, a series of Twitter exchanges on both her timeline and on the timeline of women's running wear company Oiselle Friday confirmed that Henry is now sponsored by the Seattle based firm.

On the Oiselle team's feed, the tweet said, "@hammerlover @oiselle We are so excited to have you a part of the Oiselle family!"

Henry tweeted that she will begin throwing in Oiselle gear beginning with Monday's Harry Jerome Classic.

Speaking of social media, Vancouver's Kara Patterson announced on her Facebook page that she will only take one attempt at the IAAF world championships A standard, and that will take place July 20th at Benedictine University in Chicago.

Organizers of the Portland Track Festival will host the attempt by Nike Oregon Project runners Tara Erdmann and Jordan Hasay to achieve the IAAF A standard in the 10000 at Portland's Roosevelt HS on July 15th.

On its Twitter feed, the organizers put a caveat that if the conditions aren't right, the meet may be pushed back to July 19th.

Finally, Washington high schoolers Alexa Ephraimson and Hannah Cunliffe were named to the Team USA squad for the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine July 10-14th.

Cunliffe will run the 100 and 200, while Ephraimson will run the 1500.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bernard Lagat runs 3:55 last 1600 to win national 5000m title and ticket to Moscow world champs...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Pick your poison.

If you want to run fast from the start, he can do that.

If you want to run 3000 meters in 9:45 and bank that you can run away from him over the last five laps, he can play that game as well.

And that's exactly what the field in the men's 5000 meters at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium dared him to do, and the result was yet another national title for the ageless Washington State University alum, Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca), who ran a 3:55 last 1600.

With four laps to go, Ben True, who was one of the heroes of Team USA's silver medal winning performance at the world cross country championships in Poland in March, charged to the front, taking command for more than two laps, with Lagat and Olympic 10k silver medalist Galen Rupp close by.

Rupp went to the front with a lap to go, but in an all familiar scene to those who have followed Lagat's career over the years, the 38-year old pounced in the last 150 and overtook Rupp in the final straightaway to win in 14:54.16 to 14:54.91, with North Carolina State standout Ryan Hill taking third in 14:55.16, and the chance to join the two veterans in Moscow if he can attain the IAAF B standard before July 20th.

That time was the slowest winning time in the national championship meet since 1952.

“When I was evaluating the strategy with my coach (James Li), we knew it was going to be slow, that nobody was going to take it in the beginning, but then nobody was willing to take it later. I would not have cared if it averaged even 80 maybe as long as it was moving and I was out of trouble, which was the most important thing."

“I ran 3:54 at the Penn Relays and I’ve had faster training times that I’ve run with my coach, so that time was not surprising.”

University of Washington alum Aretha Thurmond picked a bad time to have a bad meet, as she only threw 190-11 (58.19m) in the final round to finish sixth, and miss her first world championship team since 2007.

The men's steeplechase saw Bellingham resident and 2012 Olympian Donn Cabral finish sixth in 8:35.87.

In the women's 5000, Tacoma's Brie Felnagle finished seventh in 15:46.05, while training partner and UW alum Katie Mackey was eighth in 15:57.78.

University of Washington senior Christine Babcock was eleventh in 16:08.81.

Husky senior Joe Zimmerman was 21st in the men's javelin with a best of 218-2 (66.51m).


At the Canadian national championships in Moncton, New Brunswick, former Husky Kyle Nielsen won the championship in the javelin with a toss of 250-1 (76.23m).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jeremy Taiwo charges onto world championship team with stirring 1500 meter run...

DES MOINES, Iowa--21 seconds seemed like an eternity.

On a hot, muggy Midwestern day in the heartland of America, 21 seconds was what recent University of Washington graduate Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo by Paul Merca) needed to beat Gray Horn by in the 1500 meter run to ensure a spot on the plane to Moscow, Russia for the IAAF world track & field championships in August.

After Friday's first day, Taiwo found himself in a bit of a hole, with only a score of 4115 points, and a fourth place spot at the break, 56 points behind University of Florida alum Grey Horn, no thanks in part to what he admitted afterwards as a sub-par performance in the long jump, where he jumped 22-6 1/4 (6.86m), his worst performance in a decathlon in over three years.

Saturday, he started the day with a solid 14.33 clocking in the 110 hurdles for 932 points to make up 12 points on Horn.

In the discus, Taiwo got back another six points on Horn, throwing 129-10 (39.58m), while Horn managed a mark of 128-10 (39.26m).

Horn appeared to turn the momentum in his favor after he cleared a personal best of 16-4 3/4 (5.00m) to take 910 points, while Taiwo, who, like the other vaulters struggled with the headwinds, and only mustered a clearance of 15-1(4.60m) for 790 points.

In the penultimate event, Taiwo gained 27 points in the javelin, throwing 171-5 (52.24m), close to his decathlon PR of 176-2 (53.71m), a mark he set in 2009, while Horn threw 165-5 (50.43m) to set up the fireworks in the final event, the 1500, where Horn had a 7246-7115 lead over the Renton native.

With defending national and Olympic champ and Oregon alum Ashton Eaton, along with world junior champ Gunnar Nixon safely in first and second, and defending world champ Trey Hardee only competing in select decathlon events with a wild card in hand, Taiwo needed to beat Horn by 21 seconds in the 1500 and hope Horn didn't score 8000 points, the B standard needed.

Taiwo said afterwards that having the A standard in his pocket, a mark he accomplished two weeks ago at the NCAA championships gave his confidence a boost entering this meet.

In the deciding 1500, Horn and Taiwo were together in third and fourth, while Eaton and Nixon hung back, their spots on the plane all but assured.

With 600 meters to go, Taiwo made a push to the front and held the lead, until Northern Iowa's Daniel Gooris found another gear in the last straight to take the win in 4:20.08, while Taiwo crossed in 4;20.29, worth 810 points.

In that last lap, Horn started fading back , then in the final straight, stumbled and fell inexplicably.  After an agonizing few moments, he picked himself up and staggered across the line in 4:41.35, 21.06 seconds behind Taiwo, a 138 point differential, equaling a final score of 7925 for Taiwo and a 7918 score for Horn.

Eaton won with a final score of 8291, while Nixon took second with 8198 points, two points short of the A standard but good enough to go to Russia, as countries can take two A standard athletes and one B standard to the world championships.

"I'm glad I got a little luck this time," Taiwo said.  "I'm glad the pressure's off of me from UW and I'm glad that I got to wear the jersey one more time.  Now it's time to go have fun at worlds."

"I was hoping to have a solid meet here, and I didn't feel too bad after the NCAA meet, but after the long jump, I thought to myself, 'here we go again'."

On whether or not competing on one of the world's biggest stages will be intimidating, Taiwo said that it won't be intimidating at all. "I'm gonna go get a good rest in, and get ready to go off in Moscow.  No pressure there."

About the deciding 1500 meters, he said, "I've never been able to jog it like the big dogs.  I'm always gonna have to run it."

In other Saturday finals involving Washington athletes, Washington State alum Jeshua Anderson finished sixth in the 400 hurdles in 49.14.

Husky alum Katie Mackey was ninth in a tactical 1500 meter run, clocking 4:32.10.

In the semifinals of the 100 meter hurdles, Rainier Beach HS alum Ginnie Crawford finished a non-qualifying fifth in a time of 12.67.

Spokane native Britney Henry was fifth in the hammer, throwing 228-3 (69.57m).

University Place native Andrea Geubelle was seventh in the long jump with a best of 20-10 3/4 (6.37m).

In the concurrent junior national championships, Marcus Chambers of the Seatown Express TC won the national title, as the Foss HS grad ran 46.55 to beat University of Illinois freshman Juan Paul Green, who ran 46.64.

UW freshman Hap Emmons was fifth in the 1500, running 3:50.34, while Gig Harbor HS grad Will Drinkwater was seventh at 3:53.73.  Husky frosh Nick Harris was 11th in 4:03.09.

The junior men's javelin saw Husky freshman Carson Fuller take fifth with a toss of 203-4 (61.98m).

In the junior women's 400 hurdles, Cece Jackson of Seatown Express was seventh in 61.61.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Husky alum Brad Walker wins national title number five...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Another day, another national title.

University High School/Spokane and University of Washington graduate Brad Walker (left/photo by Paul Merca) won his fifth US outdoor pole vault title at Drake Stadium on day 3 of the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

After passing the first two heights, Walker cleared 18-2 1/2 (5.55m) on his second attempt, then took the lead after clearing the eventual winning height of 18-6 1/2 (5.65m) on his first attempt, a mark cleared only by second place finisher Jeremy Scott.

Walker passed the next height of 18-8 1/4 (5.70m) and watched as Scott and Dustin DeLeo both missed all three attempts at the height.  Walker then took three unsuccessful attempts at 19-0 1/4 (5.80m).

"It wasn't pretty, but it got the job done," Walker, who holds the requisite world championships A standard,  said in the mixed zone afterwards.

“It’s a little lower than I would have liked. It was a little bit harder today to jump than I thought it was going to be. It was a good wind, but it was hard to gauge like a repeatable easy run. I was under I was out trying to gauge that. I made 5.65 meters, first attempt, when nobody made the next bars, they just went up to 5.80 meters to try and get a good bar. I made a team, relief that I did, but not so pumped about it. I would have liked to have gotten the next bar (5.80 meters) and taken shots at 6.00 meters and so.”

Walker, who is now based in the Phoenix area, also revealed that he is not currently with his long time sponsor Nike, although if one were to watch him from a distance, you wouldn't know that he's not a Nike athlete, probably after accumulating loads of gear over the years.

He stated that the only apparel equipment support he's getting is product from Vancouver, Canada based Lululemon, which currently does not have a presence in track & field, but may want to after Walker's win.  Walker jumped with a singlet with a small Lululemon logo in the back.

One of the surprises came in the men's 400 after Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry was disqualified in his semifinal, after finishing third in 45.41, for a lane violation.

Bellingham resident Donn Cabral finished fourth in his semifinal of the 3000 steeplechase, running 8:38.06.

Washington State grad Jeshua Anderson advanced to the finals of the 400 hurdles, finishing fourth in 49.49.

Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford had the seventh fastest time of the day in the 100 hurdles, as she ran 12.67 to finish second in her first round race.

Both Washington State grad Joe Abbott and Tacoma's Mark Wieczorek failed in their efforts to make the finals in the 800 meters, as Abbott finished sixth in his semi in 1:46.19, while Wieczorek was fifth in his semi in 1:46.33.

Marysville-Pilchuck HS alum Jarred Rome finished sixth in the discus, throwing 196-6 (59.91m).

At the halfway point of the decathlon, University of Washington alum Jeremy Taiwo stands in fourth place with 4115 points, 334 behind leader Gunnar Nixon's 4449 points.

Taiwo opened with a 10.98 100 meter dash, then jumped a sub-par 22-6 1/4 (6.86m) in the long jump.

He then threw 44-2 1/2 in the shot put (13.47m), then high jumped 6-9 3/4 (2.08m).

Taiwo's day was completed with a 48.30 clocking in the 400.

Entering the national championships, Taiwo is one of only three athletes holding the IAAF A standard for the world championships, with the others being defending world champ Trey Hardee, and defending Olympic champ and world record holder Ashton Eaton.

In the junior championships, White River HS grad Marcus Dickson, who just completed his freshman season at Brigham Young University, finished second in a thrilling 800 meter final, as he was nipped at the line by Nicholas Rivera.

Rivera ran 1:49.55 to take the national title ahead of Dickson at 1:49.63.

Tatum Taylor of O'Dea qualified for the finals of the 200, running 21.88.

The University of Washington's Hap Emmons and Nick Harris, along with Gig Harbor HS alum Will Drinkwater qualified for the finals in the men's 1500, while SeattleU's Collin Overbay did not advance.

Marcus Chambers of Seatown Express ran the second fastest time of the day in the 400, running 47.00.

Whitney Diggs of Seatown Express was disqualified in her semi of the 400.

In the 400 hurdles, Cece Jackson of Seatown Express ran 59.92 to make the finals.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Curtis HS alum Andrea Geubelle wins USA national title in triple jump...

DES MOINES, Iowa--University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (left/photo by Paul Merca) won her first USA national title in the triple jump, taking command from the start and was never seriously pressed to highlight day 2 of the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium.

On her first attempt, Geubelle took the lead with a mark of 45-0 1/4 (13.72), then extended the lead to 45-6 1/4 (13.87m) in round 3.

Though aided with a tailwind of 3.4 meters per second, Geubelle, who finished her career at the University of Kansas, and was also battling a heel bruise suffered at the NCAA championship meet two weeks ago, got her best mark of 46-0 1/2 (14.03m) in the fourth round.

In the mixed zone afterwards, Geubelle, the graduate of Curtis HS, said, “My coach (Wayne Pate) reassured me he had what it takes to compete. He said ‘You have been training for this all year and you can be successful at this meet.’ I definitely need this from the confidence standpoint; especially to put a 46 (foot) jump out there. I really haven’t jumped 46 since indoor. I know I have so much more in my tank. It is just a matter of getting myself healthy and hit the standard. If I do that then I have a chance to get to Moscow. I went 46-6 indoors and that was about two centimeters short, so I am close. "

Washington State alum Blessing Ufodiama finished fourth with a best of 44-7 1/2 (13.60m), and is eligible to chase the world championships standard.

Currently, no Americans have either the IAAF A or B standards to go to the world championships in Moscow in August, so a spot on the plane to Russia is not guaranteed for Geubelle, or any of the top four finishers, unless they attain it.

Geubelle returns to compete in the long jump on Saturday.

Vancouver's Kara Patterson finished third in the javelin in her first competition since the London Olympics, and the subsequent surgery on the knee she injured at the US Olympic Trials, throwing 183-4 (55.88m).

Patterson afterwards said, "I was shaking like a leaf the whole time.  I was excited, but also nervous.  Overall, I'm pleased with how it went.  Getting the top four means that I can chase the standard to go to worlds, but I'm going to take my time doing it.  I might try and set something up on or about July 19th or 20th.  I don't feel that it would do me a lot of good to travel and chase the standard."

Washington junior Megan Goethals finished tenth in the finals of the 10000, running 33:36.73.

In the men's 10000, Bellingham's Jake Riley finished eighth after leading for the first half of the race, running 29:25.66.

In other action, Washington State alums Jeshua Anderson and Joe Abbott advanced to the semifinals in the 400 hurdles, and 800 meters respectively, with Anderson and Abbott each finishing third in their heats in 50.65, and 1:47.31.

Washington alum Katie Mackey finished third in her semi of the women's 1500, running 4:13.90.

Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry won his heat of the 400 meters, running 45.58, which was the fourth fastest time of the day.

WSU grad Collier Lawrence ran 10:23.98 to finish ninth in her heat of the 3000 steeplechase.

Auburn/Riverside alum Jordan McNamara was a surprise non-qualifier, as he ran 3:41.74 in his heat of the 1500 meters.

In the junior championships held concurrently with this meet, University of Washington freshman Daje Pugh finished sixth in the finals of the 100 hurdles in 14.61, a race she hadn't run since the Pac-12 championships in Los Angeles last month.

Husky freshman Chris Williams no-heighted in the pole vault, and was third in his heat of the 110 hurdles in 14.31.

In the heptathlon, Olivia Vincent was seventh with a two-day score of 4992 points, while Brooke Feldmeier was tenth at 48.55.

Complete results from Thursday's competition at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are available here.

TAIWO SIGNS WITH WORLD EXPRESS ATHLETIC MANAGEMENT

paulmerca.blogspot.com has learned that recent University of Washington graduate Jeremy Taiwo has signed with agent Mark Pryor of World Express Athletic Management for representation.

Pryor represents Olympic long jump champion Brittney Reese, and just signed a pair of Olympians this week in sprinter Isiah Young of the University of Mississippi, and shot putter Tia Brooks of Oklahoma.

His company also represents former Husky long jumper Norris Frederick.

Taiwo, who finished second in the NCAA decathlon in Eugene, begins competition Friday, where he will go up against reigning world champion Trey Hardee, and current world record holder and Olympic champ Ashton Eaton.

We are here and ready to roll at Drake Stadium!


DES MOINES, Iowa--After a long day of travel and a late arrival into Des Moines, we are here at Drake Stadium (above/photo courtesy Drake University) for the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

As I'm writing, the University of Washington's Daje Pugh just went through the mixed zone after finishing sixth in the finals of the junior women's 100 hurdles, running 14.61, in her first race in the event since the Pac-12s in Los Angeles last month.

After five events in the junior women's heptathlon, Olivia Vincent of the Seatown Express TC is in eighth at 3662 points, while Brooke Feldmeier from Tumwater HS is in tenth at 3504.

In an hour, University Place resident Andrea Geubelle goes in the triple jump, while Collier Lawrence runs in the 3000 steeple.

Others competing in day 1 include Tacoma's Mark Wieczorek and WSU grad Joe Abbott in the mens 800; WSU grad Jeshua Anderson runs in the 400 hurdles.

UW alum Katie Mackey and Bellingham's Becca Friday goes in the women's 1500, and Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry goes in the 400.

Vancouver native Kara Patterson throws the javelin in competition for the first time since undergoing knee surgery.

In the men's 1500, Auburn Riverside grad Jordan McNamara runs his semi.

The University of Washington's Megan Goethals runs in the women's 10000 finals, and closing out the evening is Bellingham's Jake Riley in the men's 10000.


We will have a recap of Thursday's action later on this evening, and will try to supplement with tweets!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

USATF.tv to provide expanded web coverage of national championships...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Good news for those who can't make it to Drake Stadium for the USATF Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

In addition to the ESPN2, Universal Sports, NBC Sports Network and NBC broadcast of the meet, USATF’s fully branded internet broadcasting outlet, USATF.tv, will go live this week to webcast unprecedented coverage of the USATF Outdoor Track & Field Championships and USA Junior Championships from Des Moines, Iowa.

With 50 hours of webcasting coverage and nine hours of national television coverage, 2013 marks USATF’s most aggressive national media distribution of a national championship to date.

“This weekend is just the start of our aggressive digital media strategy, which will build throughout the summer and into 2014,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel. “Fans will find more and more sophisticated event coverage, as well as a range of creative programming and behind-the-scenes footage as we continue to develop USATF.TV.”

USATF.tv, which is powered by media partner Runnerspace.com, will launch on Wednesday, June 19 with live coverage from 1 p.m.-7:20 p.m. ET and includes complete coverage of the Junior heptathlon and decathlon competition. Thursday coverage includes the finals of the men’s and women’s 10,000 meters. Current entries include 2012 Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp in the men’s race and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan and 2007 World Outdoor bronze medalist Kara Goucher in the women’s race.

With 50 hours of webcasting coverage, the schedule continues through June 23rd, with webcasts featuring running events, race walks and field events. The webcast will complement USATF’s robust TV coverage for the meet, which begins Friday, June 21 and includes nine hours of coverage of ESPN, Universal Sports, the NBC Sports Network and NBC. During the live TV broadcasts, the webcast will switch to field event coverage.

In addition, the USATF original program, “USATF 36: Sanya Richards-Ross” will debut on NBC Sports Network on Friday, June 21 from 7:00-7:30 p.m. ET and will re-air later that night, at 11:30 p.m. ET

USATF.TV Webcasting Schedule
2013 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and Junior Track & Field Championships
All times Eastern
June 19, 1pm to 7:20pm
June 20th, 11am to 10:25pm
June 21st, 11am to 10:35pm (Only field events from 8-10pm)
June 22nd, 7:30am to 7pm (Only field events from 4-7pm)
June 23rd, 8am to 6pm (Only field events from 3-6pm)

Broadcasting Schedule
USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
All times Eastern. Check Local Listings.
June 21, LIVE 8-10 p.m. on ESPN2
June 22, LIVE 4-5 p.m. on Universal Sports, LIVE 5-7 p.m. on NBC Sports Network
June 23, 2-3 p.m. on Universal Sports, LIVE 3-4 p.m. on NBC Sports Network, LIVE 4-6 p.m. on NBC

paulmerca.blogspot.com will begin its coverage of Washington athletes competing at the USA championships beginning Thursday.


NOTE:  USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

Monday, June 17, 2013

USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on the docket this week...

With possibly a late declaration or appeal pending, here is the list of Washington affiliated athletes competing at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships that begin on Thursday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa:

MEN

Michael Berry (Rainier Beach HS) 400
Mark Wieczorek (Tacoma/Brooks Beasts) 800
Joe Abbott (WSU) 800
Jordan McNamara (Auburn/Riverside HS) 1500
Bernard Lagat (WSU) 5000
Jake Riley (Bellingham HS) 10000
Jeshua Anderson (WSU) 400 hurdles
Donn Cabral (Bellingham resident) 3000 steeplechase
Brad Walker (University-Spokane HS/UW) pole vault
Jarred Rome (Marysville-Pilchuck HS) discus
Joe Zimmerman (Lewis & Clark-Spokane HS/UW) javelin
Jeremy Taiwo (Newport HS/UW) decathlon

WOMEN

Katie Mackey (UW/Brooks Beasts) 1500, 5000
Becca Friday (Bellingham HS) 1500
Brie Felnagle (Bellarmine Prep HS) 5000
Christine Babcock (UW) 5000
Megan Goethals (UW) 10000
Ginnie Crawford (Rainier Beach HS) 100 hurdles
Collier Lawrence (WSU) 3000 steeplechase
Andrea Geubelle (Curtis HS) long jump, triple jump
Blessing Ufodiama (WSU) triple jump
Aretha Thurmond (Renton HS/UW) discus
Britney Henry (Lewis & Clark-Spokane HS) hammer
Kara Patterson (Skyview-Vancouver HS) javelin

Here's the list of athletes with Washington affiliations competing in the USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which are held in conjunction with the senior nationals.  Note the junior championships begin on Wednesday.

MEN

100:  Tatum Taylor (O'Dea HS)
200:  Tatum Taylor, Marcus Chambers (Foss HS)
400:  Marcus Chambers
800:  Marcus Dickson (BYU/White River HS)
1500:  Hap Emmons & Nick Harris (UW), Collin Overbay (SeattleU), Will Drinkwater (Stanford/Gig Harbor HS)
110 hurdles:  Chris Williams (UW)
Pole vault:  Chris Williams
Triple jump:  Lane Russell (Tumwater HS)
Javelin:  Carson Fuller (UW)

WOMEN

400:  Whitney Diggs (Highline HS) 
800:  Alexis Daugherty (Skyline HS)
100 hurdles:  Daje Pugh (UW), Cece Jackson (Holy Names)
400 hurdles:  Cece Jackson 
Shot put:  Courtney Hutchinson (Mead HS)
Javelin:  Kerry Wright (Whitworth College)
Heptathlon:  Olivia Vincent (Holy Names)

Vincent will be in action on Wednesday, as the junior multi-events competition gets underway, with everything else starting up on Thursday.


paulmerca.blogspot.com will be in Des Moines to cover the national championships, which will determine who goes to Moscow for the world championships, and to Colombia for the Pan-Am junior championships.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Brad Walker jumps 19 feet again in Chula Vista Thursday, plus the weekend buzz...


CHULA VISTA, California--In a short conversation I had with Brad Walker (above/photo by Paul Merca) at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon on June 1st, the defending US outdoor champion and American record holder in the pole vault told me that he would jump at the Olympic Training Center as a final tuneup for the USA outdoor championships in Des Moines, Iowa next week.

And jump he did.

Walker, the University of Washington alum, cleared his opening height of 19-0 1/4 (5.80m) on Thursday afternoon to win the competition at the Olympic Training Center Pre-World 10 meet.

After clearing 19-0 1/4, he took three shots at 19-4 1/4 (5.90m), missing all three times.


With this weekend the last weekend to try and qualify for the USA championships, those on the fringe of getting in/not getting in are scrambling to find meets to get marks to compete in Des Moines.

The biggest buzz of the weekend so far in track & field is what's happening in Jamaica, as according to the Jamaica Gleaner, Veronica Campbell-Brown (left/photo by Paul Merca), the reigning world champion at 200 meters, and the bronze medalist in the 100 at last year's Olympics, has tested positive for a diuretic.

According to the report, Campbell-Brown, who went to college at the University of Arkansas, tested positive at the Jamaica Invitational meet on May 4th.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Huskies' Chris Williams named Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year for 2013 track season...

WALNUT CREEK, California--The Pac-12 Conference named University of Washington hurdler/pole vaulter Chris Williams (left/photo by Mike Scott) as its men's track & field freshman/newcomer of the year for the 2013 season, based on a vote by all of the head coaches in the conference.

The native of Philadelphia made the college transition in not one but two events, as he ran the 110-meter hurdles as well as pole vaulted, a rare combo. He had outstanding success at both, qualifying for the NCAA West Prelims in both events, as well as running lead-off on Washington's 4x100-meter relay. Williams advanced to the NCAA final site in Eugene last week in the hurdles as well as on the relay. 

In Austin at the NCAA West Prelims, he posted the second-fastest 110-meter hurdles time in school history, 13.82 seconds, and the fastest since Spider Gaines' school record of 13.57, set in 1976.

Williams finished second in the Pac-12 pole vault competition in Los Angeles, clearing a personal best of 17-3 (5.26m).

Other award winners on the men's side were Bryshon Nellum of USC as Track Athlete of the Year, and Jordan Clarke of Arizona State as Field Athlete of the Year, with Robert Johnson of Oregon winning both men's and women's Coach of the Year honors. Kori Carter of Stanford was the Track Athlete of the Year on the women's side, Brigetta Barrett of Arizona won Field Athlete of the Year, and Jenna Prandini of Oregon was Freshman/Newcomer of the Year.

Williams is entered in both the pole vault and the 110 meter hurdles at next week's USA Junior Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, where he will compete for a spot on Team USA's Junior Pan-Am squad that will compete in Colombia in August.


NOTE:  The Pac-12 Conference and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

USA championships in Des Moines--which athletes with Washington ties are qualified & entered...

With a few days to go before Sunday's qualifying deadline for next week's USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, here's the list of athletes from the area who are qualified, along with those who are provisionally in the meet.

It should be noted that provisional entries will be added to the field in descending order after auto qualifiers declare their intent to compete or not by Monday (note that athletes can petition their way into the meet if they're willing to pay the $100 late petition declaration fee, and have a committee decide their fate).

Here's the list of those entered in the senior meet:

MEN:

400:  Michael Berry

800:  Mark Wieczorek, Joe Abbott

1500:  Jordan McNamara

5000:  Bernard Lagat, (Jake Riley)

10000:  Jake Riley

400 Hurdles:  Jeshua Anderson

3000 Steeplechase:  Donn Cabral

Pole vault:  Brad Walker (above/photo by Paul Merca)

Discus:  Jarred Rome

Javelin:  Joe Zimmerman

Decathlon:  Jeremy Taiwo

WOMEN:  

1500:  Katie Mackey

5000:  Brie Felnagle, Katie Mackey, Megan Goethals, Christine Babcock

10000:  Megan Goethals

100 Hurdles:  Ginnie Crawford

3000 Steeplechase:  (Collier Lawrence), (Mel Lawrence), (Caroline Austin), (Liberty Miller)

Pole vault:  (Sarah Pappas)

Long jump:  Andrea Geubelle

Triple jump:  Andrea Geubelle

Discus:  Aretha Thurmond

Hammer:  Britney Henry

Javelin:  Kara Patterson

Names surrounded by (parentheses) indicate provisional qualifiers.  Names in bold print indicate athlete has the IAAF 'A' standard to run in this summer's world championships in Moscow.

Here are the list of athletes with Washington ties entered in the junior championships which are held with the senior nationals:

MEN

100:  Tatum Taylor (O'Dea HS)

200:  Tatum Taylor, Marcus Chambers (Foss HS), 

400:  Marcus Chambers

800:  Marcus Dickson (BYU/White River HS)

1500:  Hap Emmons & Nick Harris (UW), Collin Overbay (SeattleU), Will Drinkwater (Stanford/Gig Harbor HS)

110 hurdles:  Chris Williams (UW)

Pole vault:  Chris Williams

Triple jump:  Lane Russell (Tumwater HS)

Javelin:  Carson Fuller (UW)

WOMEN

100 hurdles:  Daje Pugh (UW)

400 hurdles:  Cece Jackson (Holy Names)

Heptathlon:  Olivia Vincent (Holy Names)

The top finishers from the junior championships qualify for the Pan-Am Junior championships in late August in Medellin, Colombia.

Detailed information on both the junior and senior championships are available through the USA Track & Field web site.

paulmerca.blogspot.com will be in Des Moines to cover the national championships, which will determine who goes to Moscow for the world championships.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Geubelle's sixteen points helps Jayhawks win NCAA championship, plus the pro rundown...

EUGENE--What do Louisville guard Peyton Siva and Kansas jumper Andrea Geubelle (third from left in black shirt holding trophy/photo courtesy of University of Kansas) have in common?

Both are Washington products and both got to hoist the NCAA national championship trophy in their senior seasons at their school.

On a sunny day at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, the Kansas Jayhawks, led in part by Geubelle's sixteen points earned in placing second in the long jump Wednesday, and the triple jump on Friday, left American track & field's most hallowed venue with the NCAA national championship, and in the process, denied the host Oregon Ducks the chance to win the first track & field triple crown in NCAA history.

What was projected before the meet as a tight battle between the Ducks and Jayhawks turned into a 60-43 advantage for Kansas, as they scored points on the final day in both relays, and the 200, combined with Oregon miscues in the 1500, along with a strong effort by Texas A&M.  TAMU in fact, finished second with a final score of 44 points.

The Ducks, who had two entries in the finals of the 1500 and were projected to score points, got nothing, as Bellingham HS grad Becca Friday finished 11th in 4:20.85, and teammate Anne Kesselring was 12th in 4:28.17. 

Kansas had athletes entered in eleven events, and scored points in ten, and only had one individual champion in heptathlete Lindsay Vollmer.

The men's team title was shared between the University of Florida, and Texas A&M, who each scored 53 points.

In other events involving Washington athletes, Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry anchored Oregon to a third place finish in the 4 x 400 meter relay, as the Ducks ran 3:03.61.

The University of Washington's three javelin throwers--Jimmy Brookman, Joe Zimmerman, and Carson Fuller, finished 16th, 17th, and 22nd with marks of 214-4 (65.33m), 210-3 (64.09m), and 202-5 (61.70m), respectively.

The Husky men, who got all eight points from decathlete Jeremy Taiwo, finished in a tie for 28th place.  The Washington women, who got all nine points from 5000/10000 meter runner Megan Goethals, finished in a tie for 29th place.


PRO ROUNDUP

In Portland, Washington State alum Joe Abbott finished second in the 800 meters at the Portland Track Classic at Eldon Fix Track on the campus of Lewis & Clark College.

Abbott ran a personal best of 1:45.80, as he finished behind Oregon Track Club's Tyler Mulder, who ran 1:44.79.

Behind Abbott was Tacoma's Mark Wieczorek, who ran 1:45.85, as both were just over the IAAF 'A' standard of 1:45.30 for this summer's world championships in Moscow.

In the women's 800, UW alum Katie Mackey finished second behind the Oregon Track Club's Jemma Simpson, as Mackey ran 2:04.94 to Simpson's 2:04.46.  Club Northwest's Rose Sinnett was 10th in 2:08.64.

In the women's steeple, incoming University of Washington freshman Amy-Eloise Neale ran 10:14.07 in 11th place, while Lindsay Allen of Seattle was 13th in 10:22.14.

In the women's 1500, Tacoma's Brie Felnagle was second to Violah Lagat, 4:09.71 to 4:10.44.  Camas High's Alexa Efraimson was fifth in 4:16.00, while Gonzaga's Lindsey Drake was eighth in 4:17.79.

The women's 5000 saw high schooler Mary Cain run a national high school record of 15:45.46 in sixth, as Karolina Jarzynska won in 15:25.52.  North Central HS grad and incoming Husky freshman Katie Knight was 16th in 16:25.75.



Anderson, who is preparing for the USA championships in two weeks in Des Moines, Iowa, ran 50.33, as Justin Gaymon of the US took the win in 48.87.

In Chicago, Aretha Thurmond, who just returned to the USA from Thursday's IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome, threw 195-4 (59.54m) in an elite co-ed discus competition at Benedictine University.

In the same meet, Marysville-Pilchuck alum Jarred Rome threw 196-1 (59.76m).


Friday, June 7, 2013

Post collegians head to Rose City for Saturday's Portland Track Festival...

PORTLAND--While their collegiate brethren are competing about one hundred miles south of the Rose City at the NCAA track & field championships, many of the region's top post collegiate runners are converging upon Eldon Fix Track on the campus of Lewis & Clark College for the Portland Track Festival on Saturday night.

The meet is designed as a high performance competition, in much the same way as last month's Occidental College High Performance meet, with emphasis on the 800, 1500, steeple, and 5000, with many athletes looking to improve upon their times before the USA championships in two weeks in Des Moines, Iowa, or looking for that important IAAF A or B standard for August's world championships in Moscow.

After this weekend, athletes will have until June 16th to post a qualifying mark for the USA outdoor track & field championships.

Seattle Pacific alum Jessica Tebo (left/photo by Paul Merca), who now competes for the Seattle based Brooks Beasts middle distance group is entered in the women's 5000, in a field that features high school sensation Mary Cain, who set the American junior record in the 800 meters at last week's Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene.

North Central HS grad Katie Knight, who will be a freshman this fall at the University of Washington, is also entered in the 5000, as she looks to get a qualifying mark for the USA junior championships.

Former Husky Colton Tully-Doyle is entered in the 5000, as well as Brooks Beasts' Jordan Horn.

In the women's 1500, Tacoma's Brie Felnagle is in the field, along with Gonzaga's Lindsey Drake, and Camas HS standout Alexa Efraimson.

The women's 800 features former Husky Katie Mackey, as she drops down in distance.

In the men's 800, Washington State alum Joe Abbott and Tacoma's Mark Wieczorek are in an outstanding field that includes Olympians Andrew Wheating and Matthew Centrowitz.

The women's 3000 steeple features Washington alum Mel Lawrence, and incoming Husky freshman Amy-Eloise Neale, who is looking to qualify for the British junior team trials, along with former Stanford standout Lindsay Allen, who now lives in Seattle.


Andrea Geubelle takes second in triple jump; Megan Goethals runs to fifth in 5000m at NCAAs...

EUGENE--University of Kansas senior Andrea Geubelle  (left/photo courtesy University of Kansas) ended her stellar career as a Jayhawk, as she finished second in the triple jump at the NCAA track & field championships at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Geubelle, the graduate of Curtis HS, opened the competition with what eventually was her best jump of 44-8 3/4 (13.63m).

The reigning NCAA indoor champ did not jump close to her opening round mark in the second and third stanzas, as she remained in second behind eventual winner Shanieka Thomas of San Diego State, who jumped 44-9 3/4 (13.66m) in the first flight.

In the finals, Thomas built up her lead in round 4, as the native of Jamaica jumped 46-4 3/4 (14.14m) to cement the NCAA crown, as Geubelle fouled in round 4, then had jumps of 42-4 1/4 (12.91m) and 44-0 (13.41m) in rounds 5 & 6.


Junior Megan Goethals of the University of Washington (above/photo by Mike Scott) finished fifth in the finals of the women's 5000, running in a time of 15:54.00.

As the race progressed, Goethals, the fourth place finisher in Wednesday night's 10000, was in a group of six to nine runners, with senior teammate Christine Babcock on the tail end of the lead group.

With four laps to go, the pack dropped Babcock, and two laps later, it was down to a group of five, including Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino,  10000m champ Betsy Saina of Iowa State, hometown favorite Jordan Hasay of Oregon, Wichita State's Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, and Goethals.

D'Agostino, the reigning champion, ran a 2:15.77 last 800, with her final lap a 66.74 to break Hasay, and take the win in 15:43.68, as Saina caught the fading Hasay in the last 40 meters to take second in 15:50.26, to 15:50.78.

Goethals, who was second in this meet last year, rallied with a 71.76 last lap, but could not catch Tuliamuk-Bolton, who finished ahead of the Husky junior in 15:51.92.

Babcock, competing in her final race as a Husky, finished eleventh in 16:09.10.

"The 10k didn't go as I had hoped," said Goethals. "I went for it, so I have no regrets, but I was definitely upset afterwards because I invested so much into it, and just hit a wall. I was able to hold on for fourth so I was happy for that, but just the disappointment that comes with not being able to hit my goal. But today was light years better. Happy I was able to compete; that last 600 I was definitely feeling the 10k in my legs, but I was able to hold on."

In other events involving Washington based competitors, the University of Washington's Logan Miller, who finished fourth in this meet last year, finished 12th with a best of 13-9 1/4 (4.20m) in the pole vault.

In Saturday's finale, Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry will run on the host Oregon Ducks' 4 x 400 meter relay as he makes amends for not qualifying for the finals in the open 400.

Bellingham's Becca Friday will contest the women's 1500 for the Ducks, as Oregon is in a battle for the team title with Kansas.  Oregon is looking to become the first Division I women's team to complete the triple crown (cross country, indoor track, outdoor track), having won both the cross country and indoor titles this academic year.

The University of Washington will have javelin throwers Carson Fuller, Jimmy Brookman, and Joe Zimmerman in action Saturday.


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

Ginnie Crawford takes third in Rome Golden Gala meeting...

ROME, Italy--In our haste to post the recap of Thursday's IAAF Diamond League meeting, we neglected to post Ginnie Crawford's (left/photo courtesy USA Track & Field) season best time in taking third in the 100 meter hurdles.

Crawford, the Rainier Beach HS grad, ran 12.90 to take third behind Dawn Harper-Nelson's winning time of 12.65 and Lolo Jones' 12.70.

Courtesy of Universal Sports, here is the race:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Jeshua Anderson takes sixth in Golden Gala 400 hurdles in Rome...

ROME, Italy--Washington State University alum Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com) finished sixth in the 400 hurdles at Thursday's Golden Gala meeting at the Stadio Olimpico, the fifth stop on the IAAF's Diamond League circuit.

Anderson ran 49.33, as long time rival Johnny Dutch took the win in a time of 48.31.

In the women's discus, University of Washington alum Aretha Thurmond finished seventh with a first round throw of 200-9 (61.18m), as reigning Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic of Croatia won with a toss of 223-11 (68.25m).

The highlight of the meet was Olympic bronze medalist Justin Gatlin upsetting two-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt in the featured 100 meter dash, 9.94 to 9.95.

The IAAF Diamond League series resumes on June 13th with the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway.


Jeremy Taiwo finishes second in NCAA decathlon, and gets IAAF 'A' standard...

EUGENE--University of Washington senior Jeremy Taiwo (above/photo by Mike Scott) made his final appearance at the NCAA track & field championships in a Husky uniform a memorable one, as he finished second in the decathlon competition with a personal best score of 8239 points, just short of winner Johannes Hock of Texas' 8267 points.

The senior from Newport HS in Bellevue entered the day with the lead after five events with a score of 4389, and got the day started by winning the 110 hurdles in a time of 14.16, good for 954 points.

Hock, the Texas freshman from Germany took over the lead in the discus, as he threw 166-0 (50.61m) for 883 points, while Taiwo could only muster a best of 114-6 (34.90m), scoring 562 points, and well off his best of 137-2 (41.80m).

In the pole vault, Taiwo cleared four bars, including a personal best of 16-0 3/4 (4.90m), before setting yet another personal best of 16-4 3/4 (5.00m) in the series, a clearance worth 910 points.

The penultimate event saw Taiwo throw the javelin 163-7 (49.87m) for 587 points, while Hock launched the spear 192-1 (58.55m) to get 716 points.

For Taiwo to somehow win the national title, he had to beat Hock in the 1500 by about 27 seconds.

Taiwo ran aggressively, and finished third overall with a personal best of 4:16.34 for 837 points, but Hock also ran a personal best, running 4:37.90, worth 694 points  to salt away the national title.

Taiwo's score of 8239 makes him the eighth best performer in NCAA history, gives him the best score by an American so far this season, and is the second best score in school history, behind only Mike Ramos' score of 8322 in 1986.


As defending world champion, Hardee only has to compete at the USA championships to collect his automatic wild card berth to Moscow.

"I went out and did everything I could," said Taiwo. "The throwing events didn't go as well as I wanted them to, that's a testament to how much I need to show up at practice and work on them. Everything else I'm okay with. All in all, there's a lot of ups and downs in the multi, and I'm really happy I got the `A' standard. That's something I really wanted to get this year. I wish I could have finished in first place, but (Hock) had a great two days and there's not much you can do except go out and compete."

In semi-final action Thursday, Oregon's Michael Berry from Rainier Beach HS, who surprisingly did not qualify in the 400 meters Wednesday, anchored the Ducks to a second place finish in the 4 x 400 meter semis, as the team ran 3:04.20.

Bellingham's Becca Friday of the host Ducks, qualified for Saturday's finals in the women's 1500, finishing fourth in 4:17.46.

Spokane's Nathan Weitz, competing for Northern Arizona, finished seventh in his semi in the men's 1500, running 3:44.56.

The Huskies' James Alaka finished eighth in his 200m semi, running 20.97.  Teammate Chris Williams was eighth in his 110 hurdles semi in a time of 14.46.

In the women's steeple semis, Washington's Liberty Miller finished 11th in 10:28.27.

On Friday, the Huskies' Logan Miller competes in the women's pole vault, while Christine Babcock and Megan Goethals go in the women's 5000.

University Place resident Andrea Geubelle from the University of Kansas looks to avenge a loss at the West Regionals handed to her by Shanieka Thomas of San Diego State, as the country's top collegiate triple jumpers go head to head.

Geubelle goes into the triple jump finals still stinging from last year's apparent national championship which was taken away after an appeal filed after the competition was apparently over, that bumped her to third in Des Moines.



NOTE:  The University of Washington sports information office contributed to this report.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Andrea Geubelle takes second in long jump; Megan Goethals fourth in 10000 as NCAA championships begin...

EUGENE--University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished second in the long jump as the NCAA track and field championships opened its four day run at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Competing in the first of two flights, Geubelle, the University of Kansas senior and reigning NCAA indoor champ, took the lead in the third round with a jump of 21-2 (6.45m), then sat and watched eventual winner Lorraine Ugen of Texas Christian take the lead in the third round  of flight 2 as she popped a leap of 22-2 1/2 (6.77m).

In the finals, Geubelle improved her mark to a wind-aided jump of 21-4 (6.50m), then followed with two fouls, as she tried to catch Ugen.

Washington's Megan Goethals finished fourth in the 10000 meter run, as she ran 33:40.85.

After what could be generously called a slow start by the field, a group of three, which included eventual winner Betsy Saina of Iowa State, Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton of Wichita State, and Goethals made a break for the front  shortly before the 4000 meter mark.

Saina and Tuliamuk-Bolton established a growing gap over Goethals, who had almost a nine-second gap on the chase pack of six athletes at the 6800 meter mark, before the Washington junior was reeled in with five laps to go.

Goethals sat with the pack for the next four laps, then gathered herself to make a final run for third, but Boise State's Emma Bates broke away in the final lap to take third as she ran a 66 second final lap to take the third spot, while Goethals managed a 69.7.

Saina took the title in 33:08.85, with Tuliamuk-Bolton second in 33:14.12, then Bates at 33:37.13.

Washington senior Jeremy Taiwo leads the decathlon after the first five events, with a personal best first day score of 4389 points, just six points in front of Duke's Curtis Beach.

Taiwo began his day by running the 100m in 10.84 for 897 points, then jumped 24-4 1/4 (7.42m) in the long jump for 915 points.

In the shot put, he threw 44-11 1/2 (13.70m) for 710 points, then won the high jump with an outdoor best of 7-1 1/2 (2.17m) for 963 points to take the lead for the first time.

He concluded day 1 of the decathlon by running 48.11, worth 904 points in the 400, the second fastest time of the day, as Beach won the event with a time of 47.74 for 922 points.

In other day 1 action, the Huskies' 4 x 100 relay team of Chris Williams, James Alaka, Quadelle Satterwhite, and Matt Anthony finished sixth in their heat in 40.32.

The Arizona Wildcats' women's 4 x 100 relay, with Tacoma's Germe Poston, finished seventh in 45.13.

Washington's Baylee Mires was eighth in her heat of the 800 in 2:12.74.

Washington State senior Shawna Fermin ran a season best of 52.76 and finished sixth in her heat of the 400.

In one of the biggest surprises of the meet, Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry of the University of Oregon, running on his home track, finished fourth in his heat of the 400 meters in 45.70 (45.695) and was nosed out of the last spot in the finals, as Akheem Gauntlett of Arkansas, running in heat 3, finished third in 45.70 (45.691).

The women's 400 hurdles saw Washington's Kayla Stueckle finish sixth in her heat in 59.51.  Teammate Gianna Woodruff did not run due to a stress injury in her leg.

Thursday, Taiwo continues his battle in the decathlon, while Becca Friday of Bellingham and the University of Oregon runs in the semis of the 1500.  Spokane's Nathan Weitz of Northern Arizona goes in the men's 1500.  

James Alaka of Washington, who has been bothered all season with a hamstring problem, will go in the men's 200.  Teammate Chris Williams will run in the semis of the 110 hurdles.  The Huskies' Liberty Miller runs in the finals of the womens 3000 steeplechase, while Michael Berry of the Ducks will run on Oregon's 4 x 400 meter relay team in the semis.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

NCAA D1 track and field championships get underway Wednesday at Hayward Field...

EUGENE--With the pros from last Saturday's Nike Prefontaine Classic long gone from Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, it's the collegians' turn to take over one of the country's most famous venues, as the NCAA Division I track and field championships begins Wednesday.

The University of Washington's Jeremy Taiwo (left/photos courtesy University of Washington) helps get the meet started as the decathlon 100 opens the meet at high noon.  Taiwo set a personal best score of 7998 points at last month's Pac-12 decathlon championship meet and was in an epic battle with Oregon's Dakotah Keys, who defended his conference championship by a slim 3-point margin.

Taiwo is looking to score in the decathlon in his final NCAA meet as a Husky, as well as attain the IAAF 'A' standard for this summer's world championships.

University Place native Andrea Geubelle looks to pull off a repeat of her indoor double victory, as she competes in the women's long jump finals Wednesday. The University of Kansas senior is seeded third in the event, and will have to battle Christabel Nettey of Arizona State and Kylie Price of UCLA if she's to win the long jump crown.

In the other final contested Wednesday involving a Washington athlete, the Huskies' Megan Goethals will begin her double, as she runs in the women's 10000 final, where she's seeded third behind Iowa State's Betsy Saina, and Wichita State's Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton.

Among those competing in semi final action Wednesday includes the Huskies' Baylee Mires (w800); Washington State's Shawna Fermin (w400); Washington's Kayla Stueckle and Gianna Woodruff (w400 hurdles); the Huskies' 4 x 100m relay team of Chris Williams, James Alaka, Quadelle Satterwhite, and Matt Anthony; Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry of Oregon (m400); and Tacoma native Germe Poston of the University of Arizona in the women's 4 x 100 relay.

Wednesday's action at the NCAA championships will be streamed via the Pac-12.com portal.  The meet will also be carried beginning Thursday on ESPNU, ESPN3.com and on the Watch ESPN app.



The USTFCCCA meet preview is available here (men) (women), while Track & Field News' form charts are available here (men) (women).


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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