Friday, September 12, 2014

WEEKEND PREVIEW: IAAF Continental Cup last big meet of pro season; Zags, WWU & CWU in X-C action...

The professional track & field season winds down this weekend, as a trio of Washington affiliated athletes--Kara Patterson,  Bernard Lagat (left/photo courtesy IAAF), and Katie Mackey--are in Marrakech, Morocco for the IAAF Continental Cup Saturday and Sunday.

All three are part of the Americas squad in this four team meet between the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Europe, which is in its second edition after replacing the old World Cup meet.

The Americas squad is composed of athletes from North, Central & South America, plus the Caribbean.

Patterson will throw the javelin Saturday along with Canada's Liz Gleadle on the Americas team, while defending champion Lagat--who is undefeated in both the Continental and World Cup meets in his previous appearances--will run the 3000.

Sunday, Washington alum Katie Mackey will run the 5000 along with Mexico's Brenda Flores.

Universal Sports will provide television and online coverage of the meet.

In New York, Jordan McNamara and Garrett Heath will run in Saturday's Fifth Avenue Mile through the streets of New York.

They'll go against a field headed by Oregon alum and world championship medalist Matthew Centrowitz along with Kenyan veteran Augustine Choge, and domestic stars Will Leer, David Torrence, and NCAA champs Lawi Lalang and Mac Fieet.

On the women's side, Tacoma's Brie Felnagle and former Husky Ingvill Måkestad Bovim are in the field, with world junior champ Mary Cain, 2011 world champ Jenny Simpson, and Kenya's Sally Kipyego the headliners.

Three of Washington's Division I and II schools are in action Saturday, as Gonzaga travels to Sunnyvale, California for the WCC Preview meet at Baylands Park, hosted by Santa Clara University.

The Zags are sending their women's squad, led by junior Ameiia Evans, the team's top finisher at the season-opening Clash of the Inland Northwest meet two weeks ago in Spokane, as they race over 6km at 9:45 am.

Gonzaga returns to Sunnyvale on November 1st for the WCC championship meet.

In Division II, Central Washington hosts the CWU Invitational meet at Ellensburg Rotary Park Saturday, with the women kicking things off at 4 pm over a 4k course, and the men following at 4:40pm.

Western Washington, who is consistently among the top teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, will send both a men's and women's team to Ellensburg for the race.

GNAC teams from Saint Martin's and Seattle Pacific will open their season at next week's Sundodger Invitational hosted by the University of Washington.

NOTE:  The IAAF, New York Road Runners, and the sports information offices at Santa Clara University, Gonzaga University, and Central Washington University contributed to this report.

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