DES MOINES, Iowa—University of Washington alum and American record holder Brad Walker (left/photo courtesy Drake Relays) finished second to reigning world and Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie of France at the inaugural Hy-Vee Street Vault on Court Avenue as part of the Drake Relays Wednesday night.
Walker actually led the competition early, with a first attempt clearance at his opening height of 18-0.5 (5.50m), then followed it up with a second attempt make at 18-8.25 (5.70m). At both bars, Lavillenie needed one more attempt than Walker to clear.
Walker lost the lead when Lavillenie made 19-0.25 (5.80m) on his first attempt, a feat Walker couldn’t match.
Walker’s jump of 18-8.25 is a season best, and more importantly, gets him over the IAAF world championship qualifying standard of 18-6.5 (5.65m).
The Drake Relays got underway Wednesday with the multi events, and continue Thursday with several high school events and a distance carnival in the evening. Washington’s Aaron Nelson is listed among the entries in the men’s 10000 Thursday, and the Huskies are sending a group of primarily middle distance and distance runners to Drake, of which nearly all will run on Friday.
American record holder and Vancouver native Kara Winger is among the entries in Friday’s javelin, while Walker is slated to go in the Beijing preview men’s pole vault on Saturday against Lavillenie.
Results from the Hy-Vee Street Vault on Court Avenue are available here.
The men’s start lists for the university/college section of the Drake Relays are available here, while the women’s start lists are available here.
Portions of the Drake Relays will be shown on Saturday on NBCSN starting at noon, eastern time, while USATF.tv will have online coverage from 6-7 pm eastern on Friday, and Saturday starting at 1:30 pm eastern.
NOTE: The Drake Relays and USA Track & Field contributed to this report.