Friday, March 28, 2014

Kara Patterson opens 2014 season with win at Texas Relays...

AUSTIN, Texas--Kara Patterson (above/photo by Paul Merca) is back.

The Vancouver native, who threw a limited number of meets in 2013 after rehabbing a knee that she injured at the 2012 US Olympic Trials, opened her 2014 season by winning the women's javelin competition at the Texas Relays Friday.

On her first throw of the day, the two-time Olympian launched the spear past the 60-meter mark, taking it 198-4 (60.45m), well past her 2013 season best of 187-5 (57.12m), a mark that is the ninth best in the world so far this season.

Her second throw of the day of 187-10 (57.26m) also went past her 2013 best.

All in all, all six of her throws Friday went over the 180-foot mark.

According to a tweet posted by her coach Ty Sevin, Patterson threw using a short approach.

University Place native Andrea Geubelle finished second in the triple jump with a best of 42-9 1/2 (13.04m) in her 2014 outdoor season debut.

In the B section of the women's pole vault, reigning Pac-12 pole vault champion Kristine Felix of Washington State cleared a best of 13-1.5 (4.00m) to finish tied for fifth.

Shaquana Logan ran 13.71 in the 100 meter hurdles to finish fifth in her heat, the 17th best time overall, but not enough to make the finals.

In the men's 110 meter hurdles, the Cougars' Josiah Sims ran 14.42 in his heat to finish second, while teammate Garrett Gerling ran 14.61 to finish third in his heat.  Neither made the finals.

The women's 100 meter heats saw WSU's Dominique Keel run 11.87, and Danielle Darden 12.05, with neither advancing to the finals.

Washington State's Erin Allen ran in the finals of the women's 400 meter hurdles, and finished sixth in a time of 60.64, as Texas' Danielle Dowie won in 57.52


The Track & Field Athletes Association, the organization representing numerous athletes, primarily from the USA, posted an open letter on its web site addressed to current sponsors, asking them to recognize them as the "collective voice of elite and professional athletes", protect the athletes' rights, and not to "penalize your athletes for participating in collective action that may preclude them from competing in a sanctioned event, and that you agree to identify alternative events, if necessary, to satisfy any sponsor obligations."

Both Seattle based companies Oiselle and Brooks have gone on board with the TFAA, along with Saucony and CEP Compression.

Jesse Williams, Brooks' sports marketing head, said in a statement, "Brooks recognizes the power of teamwork on and off the track. We're excited to see the Track & Field Athletes Association step up to help give all athletes a voice, and support their desire to work collectively to better the sport. We stand behind our athletes' participation in the association and look forward to their leadership in track and field."

The statement from the TFAA implies that they and USA Track & Field could be headed for a showdown at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the end of June in Sacramento.

Tensions between the two organizations have been heightened in light of USATF's handling of the Gabe Grunewald and Andrew Bumbalough disqualifications at last month's USA indoor championships in Albuquerque, the perception that USATF sponsor Nike exerted extra influence in getting Grunewald DQ'd, and the national governing body's stonewalling actions towards TFAA which included canceling a conference call to discuss the situation, not to mention a written statement by USATF president Stephanie Hightower saying she was appointing a working group to study it, a process that will "take place over weeks and month."


Spring break is the word for many of the Washington colleges and universities this weekend, but that won't deter them from competing this weekend.

Several schools, including Seattle Pacific and Western Washington, will participate in Saturday's Club Northwest Spring Break meet at West Seattle Stadium on Saturday.  

Eastern Washington heads to Montana to face Montana and Montana State at the Al Manuel Invitational meet in Missoula.

On the roads, Eastern Washington alum Mattie Suver will run in Saturday's IAAF world half-marathon championships in Copenhagen, Denmark as a member of Team USA.

Sunday, Washington State alum Bernard Lagat will run in the Carlsbad 5000 as he takes a shot at the long standing American road 5k best mark of 13:24 set in 1996.

Among those entered in the Carlsbad race are three-time champion and Olympic silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia, Olympic bronze medalist Tariku Bekele (also of Ethiopia), and Kenyan standout Augustine Choge.

You can read more about Lagat's bid here.

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