PORTLAND—Washington State University alum Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished fourth in the men’s 3000 meter run in his 2016 track season debut at the first day of competition at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Oregon Convention Center.
Lagat, who was running between seventh and ninth for most of the race, tried to make a charge late, but could not close the gap on winner Ryan Hill and second place finisher Paul Chelimo.
Hill ran 7:38.60 to Chelimo’s 7:39.00, as Lagat finished fourth in 7:41.25, nosing out Garrett Heath of the Brooks Beasts, who was with Hill and Chelimo untill the final lap.
In the women’s triple jump, University Place resident Andrea Geubelle led after two rounds, but finished fourth with a best of 44-6.25 (13.57m), as Christina Epps won with a personal best of 46-1.25 (14.05m). Washington State alum Blessing Ufodiama was seventh with a best of 43-7.75 (13.30m).
Washington alum Norris Frederick finished seventh in the finals of the men’s long jump, with a best of 24-10 (7.57m).
In preliminary action, Seattle resident Phoebe Wright was second in her heat of the women’s 800, running 2:03.81, just nosing out Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker, who ran 2:03.82. Both advanced to Saturday’s finals.
Cas Loxsom and Drew Windle of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts advanced to Saturday’s finals in the 800, running 1:48.80, and 1:49.49, respectively, with Windle winning his heat.
Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry, who was one of the top seeds entering the meet, did not qualify for the finals in the 400, finishing third in his heat in 47.22, after going out hard in the first lap of the race.
Action at the USA indoor championships continue Saturday at 2:30 pm.