SALINE, Michigan--With Garrett Heath (left/photo by Paul Merca) in hot pursuit, 2008 Olympic silver medalist Nick Willis of New Zealand won the featured Ron Warhurst Mile Run at the Michigan Track Classic, running the fastest mile in the state of Michigan, and leading the first seven runners under the 4-minute barrier.
Willis, who doubled as one of the meet organizers, took the lead in the last two laps, and held off the late charge of Heath, a member of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts squad to win in 3:53.50 to Heath's 3:53.61.
Willis admitted later that he had nothing left and that he was concerned at the charge that Heath and the other racers made, noting that he normally doesn't like to run from the front.
Heath's Brooks Beast teammate Riley Masters finished ninth in 4:01.88.
In the women's 800, 2014 world leader Ajee Wilson won in 2:02.19.
Kate Grace, who is sponsored by Seattle-based Oiselle, was third in 2:01.22, with Erica Moore and Katie Mackey of the Brooks Beasts finishing fifth and sixth in 2:02.28, and 2:02.69.
Phoebe Wright of Seattle finished tenth in 2:05.40.
In Kamloops, British Columbia, Dakarai Hightower of Tacoma finished second in the high jump at the NACAC Under-23 track & Field Championships at Hillside Stadium on the kaput of Truman Rivers University.
Hightower, who attends Lane Community College in Eugene, cleared a best of 6-10 3/4 (2.10m), despite competing with a ripped jumping shoe, and was forced to borrow another athlete's shoe to continue the competition.
Ryan Ingraham of the Bahamas won with a new meet record of 7-5 3/4 (2.28m).
One of the biggest championship meets of the season gets underway Tuesday, as the European Championships start Tuesday in Zürich, Switzerland.
Among those with Washington ties competing in the meet are Märt Israel of Estonia in the discus; Ingvill Måkestad Bovin of Norway in the 1500 and 800; and Martin Bingisser of the host nation in the hammer.
All three are former University of Washington athletes.
Måkestad Bovin begins competition on Tuesday with qualifying in the women's 1500, and ruins the first round of the 800 Wednesday, while Israel throws in the qualifying round Tuesday afternoon, with the finals happening the next day.
Thursday, Bingisser, who currently lives in Zürich, will throw in the qualifying round of the hammer, while Måkestad Bovin will be in the semis of the 800 later that evening.
Måkestad Bovin runs in the finals of the 1500 on Friday. Assuming both make the finals, Bingisser and Måkestad Bovin are scheduled to compete Saturday.