EUGENE—Washington State University alum Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished third in the second semi of the men’s 400 hurdles, to advance to Sunday’s final on a very wet Friday at the United States Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.
Running in the second heat that included Anderson’s long time college rival Johnny Dutch, and the two time world champion Kerron Clement, Anderson ran a solid 49.84, with Dutch winning in 49.20, and the veteran Clement second in 49.28.
“The rain was crazy today but I worked nine months in it out in Seattle, so I’m just excited to get a day off, and I’m really good at recovering, so look forward to the race on Sunday,” he said.
“It’s a blessing. Really driven me a lot this year. This whole year, being able to come back and my coach, Mark Macdonald gave me a lot of confidence. I know I’ve put in the work, and I’m gonna definitely show it on Sunday.”
University of Washington alum Izaic Yorks looked impressive in winning his semi-final heat of the men’s 1500 Friday at the US Olympic Track & Field Trials, as he advanced to the finals on Sunday.
While his time wasn’t the fastest of the day, the Lakewood native changed things up on a rainy Friday afternoon at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, as the notorious front runner demonstrated that he can run from the back if necessary.
Yorks ran 3:47.67 to win the first of two semi-finals, finishing with a 53.39 last 400, while letting the others do the work.
In the mixed zone afterwards, he said, “I really like that round, got to play with some tactics and the rain is treating me really nice. I got out and closed that last lap hard, letting everyone know that I’m not just a leader from the gun. I can play both games. I’m hoping the other heat goes faster. The time we ran wasn’t that fast. I would like to see most of the time qualifiers come from that heat."
In the second heat, which, as Yorks predicted, was significantly faster, Auburn/Riverside alum Jordan McNamara advanced to the final, after originally being announced as disqualified for impeding a runner. McNamara ran 3:45.01 to finish seventh, while Dorian Ulrey of the Brooks Beasts was tenth in that heat in 3:46.61, and did not advance.
In an event that was clearly affected by the rain, only one height cleared was needed to advance to Sunday’s finals. Dakarai Hightower from Tacoma, the reigning Northwest community college champion from Eugene’s Lane CC, was one of 14 high jumpers that cleared the unusually low height of 7-0.25 (2.14m), while Washington State’s Thane Pierson, and University HS/Spokane’s Noah Martin failed to clear the bar.
In he women’s 1500 semis, Camas’ Alexa Efraimson finished third in the first heat, running 4:10.49. Also in that heat, Gabe Grunewald of the Brooks Beasts was sixth to advance to Sunday’s finals as a time qualifier in 4:11.86.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s action, Kara Winger, who was the top qualifier in the javelin on Thursday, goes for her third US Olympic team berth. She’s one of three Americans (Brittany Borman and Maggie Malone) who own the Olympic standard of 62 meters (203-5).
Bernard Lagat will attempt to make his third US Olympic team at 5000 meters, after dropping out of last week’s 10000 finals. Also in the field are Garrett Heath and Riley Masters of the Brooks Beasts, as they look to make their first team.
The complete list of athletes with Washington ties competing Saturday is below:
At the European Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, former Husky Ingvill Måkestad Bovin qualified for Sunday’s finals in the women’s 1500 Friday, running 4:11.54 to take sixth in her heat.
The 2012 Norwegian Olympian, who has battled a series of injuries, is looking to run the Olympic standard of 4:07.00 or faster in order to be selected for Norway’s team.