PORTLAND, Oregon—In his final tuneup race before heading to Beijing, Cas Loxsom (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts finished second in the 800 meters at the inaugural FloTrack Throwdown meet Saturday night at Duniway Park near downtown Portland.
The facility, normally used for recreational purposes, and not for high-level racing, was gussied up and set up so that fans could watch the meet on the infield. A beer garden was set up on the infield along with concessions, with part of the proceeds from concession sales used for the athlete prize pool.
Back to the racing, as Loxsom ran 1:47.17 on what many folks considered a slow track, as Duane Solomon won in 1:46.84. Former Brooks Beast Mark Wieczorek was third in 1:47.24.
In other events, recent Husky grad JJ Julifs finished second in the pole vault with a leap of 17-0.75 (5.20m), as reigning world and Olympic decathlon champ Ashton Eaton won in a personal best 17-8.5 (5.40m). Levi Keller of Club Northwest and current Husky Lev Marcus both no-heighted, as did former world decathlon champ Trey Hardee.
The women’s 100 hurdles saw Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford finish second in 12.99, behind Kristi Castlin’s 12.83.
In the women’s 800, Megan Malesarte of the Brooks Beasts was fifth in 2:03.83, as Maggie Vessey won in 2:00.30.
The women’s mile saw Hannah Fields of the Brooks Beasts finish fourth in 4:41.31, followed by Washington alum Mel Lawrence, now competing for Oiselle, in 4:43.56. Fiona Benson of Canada won in a world leading time of 4:25.79.
In the men’s 400, Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry was third in 46.10, as Deon Lendore of Trinidad & Tobago won in 45.77. Reigning USA 800m champ Nick Symmonds of the Brooks Beasts, who was obviously out of his element by dropping down in distance, was sixth in 48.53, as he was the only one in the six-man field not to use blocks.
Symmonds, is currently in a standoff with USA Track & Field for refusing to sign a mandatory statement of conditions agreement to wear only Nike branded Team USA gear while with the national team at the training camp in Japan and then in Beijing at the world championships until the federation defines in writing what a team function is.
If Symmonds refuses to sign the agreement by Sunday, USATF contends that he is off the world championship team. Should that happen, Symmonds plans to take the federation to court.
In San Jose, Costa Rica, the weather was the figurative winner of the men’s pole vault at the NACAC senior championships Saturday, as five of the six men in the field, including Spokane native Brad Walker, failed to clear a height, as torrential rain and winds cut the meet short with three events remaining.
Natan Rivera of El Salvador was the only athlete to clear a height, winning with a mark of 15-5 (4.70m). His victory gives him the qualifying standard to compete in Beijing at the world championships in two weeks.
The men’s javelin and both 4 x 100 meter relays were postponed until the final day of competition on Sunday.
On Sunday, Tacoma native Marcus Chambers is expected to run a leg on Team USA’s 4 x 400 meter relay team.