Thursday, February 4, 2016

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Meets in Portland, Pullman, Bozeman highlight action among Washington teams...

As we go deeper into the indoor track & field season, each weekend promises to get progressively busier, and this weekend is no exception.

Thursday, the University of Portland hosts the Portland Indoor Invitational at the Nike+ Run Club House of Track in Portland, featuring a host of teams from Oregon and Washington.  The time schedule for the meet is posted here; unfortunately, as of this writing (7:45 am), neither a list of accepted entries nor heat sheets were posted.

On Friday, Washington State hosts the two day Cougar Indoor Track & Field meet at its on-campus indoor facility in Pullman, featuring a multi-event competition.  Defending Pac-12 heptathlon champ Alissa Brooks-Johnson competes in her first pentathlon this season, while hurdler Liz Harper (left/photo by Paul Merca) will contest her first multi-event competition.  Dino Dodig looks to improve upon the 5464 score he put up last month in Boise.

Eastern Washington heads to Bozeman Friday for a four-way scoring meet involving host Montana State, along with Montana and Sacramento State at the venue that will host the Big Sky Indoor championships at the end of the month. Eastern Washington’s release previewing the meet is available here.

Saturday, the USA Cross Country championship race takes place in Bend, Oregon.  With no world cross country team spots on the line, and the US Olympic marathon trials taking place the following week in Los Angeles, the quality of the fields entered has dropped significantly.

On the women’s side, Eastern Washington alum Mattie Suver is the most prominent entry in the field, as she’ll go against Amy Van Alstine, the 2014 national cross country champion.  Washington alum Mel Lawrence, who won the 3000 at the UW Invitational last week is entered, as is her sister and WSU alum Collier.


Washington State University alum Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) has declared that 2016 will be his final season competing on the track, and he intends to give his all in trying to make the world championship team in the 3000 indoors, and his fifth Olympic team.

“I would have retired at the end of the 2015 season, but something inside was telling me, ‘Why retire one year before the Olympics? You can still do this’.

“I’ll be going to the US Trials to do my very, very best to make the team. But it’s not a given like before. The US runners have stepped up and they’re highly ranked. They’re fast, young guys, so it’s not easy for me. But if I make that top three, oh my, I’ll be celebrating.”

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