Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Spokane native Britney Henry finishes tenth in women's hammer at Trials...

EUGENE—Spokane native Britney Henry (left/photo by Kim Spir) finished tenth in the women’s hammer competition at the stand-alone event contested at the US Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

After opening the competition in flight 2 with a toss of 206-11 (63.08m), the veteran thrower, who was 11th in the throwing order spun the hammer to 217-6 (66.29m) in the second round.

Knowing that she was on the bubble to advance to the finals and get three more throwns, Henry threw 215-7 (65.72m), well short of the 217-8 (55.35m) Maggie Ewen of Arizona State threw in round 2 to nab the final spot in the finals.

Caressa Sims of Seattle, who was a late add to the field, finished 18th overall with a best of 204-2 (62.23m).

Amber Campbell won the competition with a best of 242-10 (74.03m). She will be joined on the team to Rio by Gwen Berry and Deanna Price, both of whom threw 239-9 (73.09m).

The meet proper resumes Thursday, with a slew of Washington athletes competing.

At 3:30pm, two time US Olympian Kara Winger from Vancouver begins her bid for a third Olympic berth in the javelin, along with a trio of throwers with Western Washington University connections—Katie Reichert, Monika Gruszecki, and Bethany Drake.

At 4:20pm, Katie Mackey, Jessica Tonn, Gabrielle Grunewald, and Angela Bizzarri of the Brooks Beasts will run in the qualifying round of the women’s 5000, along with Seattle Pacific alum Jessica Tebo.

Rainier Beach HS alum Ginnie Crawford will run in her fourth and final Olympic Trials in the 100 meter hurdles qualifying round.

Camas’ Alexa Efraimson, fresh off of winning the US junior title, goes in the first round of the women’s 1500.  In the men’s 1500, Auburn/Riverside HS alum Jordan McNamara and University of Washington alum Izaic Yorks begin their bid for an Olympic berth.

Washington State grad Jeshua Anderson, and current Cougar CJ Allen begin their first round of competition in the men’s 400 hurdles.

Two finals will be contested involving Washington athletes, as Andrea Geubelle goes in the final of the women’s triple jump.  Geubelle goes into the finals as one of only two women, along with Georgia sophomore and American record holder Keturah Orji, who hold the Olympic qualifying standard.  If no one else jumps at least 46-5.25 (14.15m) Thursday, Orji and Geubelle will comprise the Olympic team in that event, regardless of placing.  Club Northwest's April Sinkler is also in the triple jump field.

Washington alum Mel Lawrence runs in the finals of the women’s steeplechase to end Thursday’s session at 7:48pm.

The complete list of times Washington athletes are competing is listed below.

NEWS AND NOTES:  At a media session at the Brooks House across the street from Hayward Field on Wednesday, new University of Washington graduate Izaic Yorks (left/photo by Paul Merca) said that one of the reasons that he signed with Brooks was because of the intangibles, citing the fact that he and his wife Courtney have family in the Greater Seattle/Tacoma metropolitan area.

“Up until I signed with Brooks and the decision to join the Beasts, it came down to the intangibles, like where was I going to be happiest at. I was really nervous and filled with anxiety about the decision. I went from not getting much sleep to getting 8-10 hours of sleep, which is really nice.”

According to sources in the running industry, Yorks, who is represented by KIMbia Athletics, was recruited by both Brooks and Nike, whose gear he ran in while at Washington.

Regarding his first round of the 1500, he said that he “stopped worrying about the big names in the field. I realized that no one’s explicitly better than any one.” 

Angela Bizzarri was added late yesterday to the field in the women’s 5000, using the 15:30.00 mark she set at last year’s Payton Jordan meet at Stanford, which was contested on May 2nd, one day after the qualifying period opened for the Olympic Trials.

Though they are both entered in the women’s 1500 qualifying rounds Thursday, both Katie Mackey and Gabriele Grunewald of the Beasts will not run it, opting to concentrate solely on the 5000. Garrett Heath & Riley Masters of the Beasts, who both qualified for the finals in the 5000, have scratched out of the 1500.

Oiselle is currently consulting with their legal team regarding the situation.

Finally, here is a link to an article from the Washington Post regarding the plight of Jeremy Taiwo, who finished second in the decathlon on Sunday, earning his slot on the Olympic team.

His GoFundMe account, which raised him $18331 since starting in late December, has now reopened, with the goal to help pay for the costs of sending coach Atanas Atanassov to Rio.

Atanassov is a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Washington, who makes ends meet by substitute teaching, and serving as a referee and umpire in the Seattle area.

Below is Taiwo's post on his Instagram account:

Meet Atanas Atanassov: The best coach in the world. We have been a team this year and the journey starts with him. He has been a volunteer assistant coach at Washington since 2012. The multi group and I have to wait to practice with him until he can battle traffic from Renton to get to Seattle at 2:45 Pm each week day and we work til 4:30-5 most days. He has to bail early some days to be able to drive to Bellevue, Renton or Seattle to referee at a basketball, baseball or volleyball game. That and substitute teaching is how he makes ends meet, he does not get payed to coach us, but he's had multiple Pac-12 scorers each year, has coached an all American, world record holder, a world champion, oh!..and I guess we can add an Olympian to that list. He should at the very least be at a big conference school coaching 400m hurdles/110 hurdles/sprints and multis. That should be his only job. Trust me. We've only worked together for 2 years. But we have done so much, we talk about how hard we have had to work for every damn little thing we get. How he has the patience and time to come and coach us, and all that he wants is to see us become better athletes and competitors and not ask for anything in return is beyond me. We did this. We made it. We set after our goals and accomplished them. Thank you Atanas, since life doesn't want to hand us anything, I'm glad we could scrap for this together. #Olympics
A photo posted by Jeremy Taiwo (@jeremytaiwo) on

Since the article ran in the Washington Post, Taiwo has raised over $4000, with the goal being $30000.

Please visit Taiwo's GoFundMe page here.

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