PORTLAND—Garrett Heath (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts may have solidified his chances to be one of the three men going to Beijing this summer, as he finished second to American steeplechase record holder Evan Jager of the Nike Bowerman TC in the 1500 meters Sunday at the Portland Track Classic at Griswold Stadium on the campus of Lewis & Clark College.
Jager took the victory in 3:32.97, the second fastest time in the world this season, while Heath stopped the watch in 3:34.13, the sixth fastest time in the world this season, and 1/100th of a second short of his personal best.
Auburn/Riverside HS alum Jordan McNamara was third in 3:37.84.
Sunday’s Portland Track Classic was set up as a last chance opportunity for middle distance runners to try and qualify for the USA outdoor championships in two weeks, as the deadline to try and qualify is Sunday, though USA Track & Field reserves the right to fill the field if there isn’t enough entries.
In the women’s 800, Washington alum Katie Mackey of the Brooks Beasts finished fifth in the top section, running 2:01.20, well under the US championship standard, but short of the IAAF world championships standard of 2:01.00.
Washington State volunteer coach Liga Velvere won heat 2 in 2:02.79, while Washington’s Baylee Mires was seventh in 2:06.73. WSU’s Abby Regan won heat 3 in 2:05.64.
2012 US Olympian Shalaya Kipp, who runs for Oiselle, won the women’s steeple in 9:45.90, while UW alum Mel Lawrence was fourth in 10:05.04, outside the USA qualifying standard of 9:53.00. Seattle native Lucy Cheadle of Washington University, the reigning NCAA Division III champ, was 12th in 10:35.18, behind WSU alum Caroline Austin, who ran 10:32.14.