Saturday, January 14, 2017

US Olympians Centrowitz and Grace highlight UW Indoor Preview...

SEATTLE—Reigning world indoor and Olympic 1500 meter champion Matthew Centrowitz (left/photo by Paul Merca) put on a show by easily winning the men’s 3000 meter run to highlight competition at the UW Indoor Preview meet Saturday at the Dempsey Indoor.

With Ireland’s 2012 Olympian and 2011 world championship finalist Ciaran O’Lionaird doing the pacesetting for the first mile, Centrowitz looked relaxed and controlled as he won the 3000 meters in a time of 7:49.89 on the oversized track (Russia’s Vladamir Nikitin has run 7:48.13, but the Russian federation is still under IAAF suspension which is easily the fastest time in the world).

Nearly breaking the 8 minute mark in the 3000 was Gonzaga’s Troy Fraley, as he took second behind Centrowitz in a time of 8:00.54, ahead of US cross country champion Craig Lutz (8:01.19) and 3-time USA world championship steeplechaser Dan Huling (8:03.93).  Fraley’s mark is the second fastest time in NCAA Division I so far this season.

In a bit of an upset, 2016 US Olympian Kate Grace defeated reigning world indoor 1500 meter champion Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands and the Nike Oregon Project in the women’s 3000, running a facility record 8:47.26 to Hassan’s 8:50.36.

Finishing third was Bellarmine Prep grad Brie Felnagle, who is now training in the Sacramento area with Grace, as she ran 8:52.35, while Lauren Paquette in fourth (8:54.71) and Leah O’Connor in fifth (8:56.14) all broke 9 minutes in what easily was the fastest race in the world at that distance so far this season.

Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe ran the fastest time in the world so far this season in the 60 meter dash, as the University of Oregon junior ran 7.19 to defeat Washington’s Kennadi Bouyer, who ran 7.29, the same time as Makenzie Dunmore of Oregon ran to with the first of the two-section final. Dunmore and Bouyer currently are tied for the fifth fastest time in the world so far this season.

Other highlights—

—Washington’s Colby Gilbert, who admittedly was disappointed with how his cross country season finished, opened his season by breaking 4 minutes in the mille for the second time in his career, running 3:58 96, finishing behind Oregon alum Eric Jenkins, who ran 3:58.68;

—In the women’s 600, NCAA 800 champ Raevyn Rogers of Oregon ran 1:26.97, just off her meet record and collegiate best 1:26.34 set last year. Olivia Baker of Stanford, who finished behind Rogers at the NCAA outdoor championships, was second in 1:28.22, just nosing out Olympia native Brooke Feldmeier of Oregon by 1/100th of a second; 

—The women’s 60 hurdles saw Oregon’s Sasha Wallace set a meet record 7.96, the fastest time in the world so far this season, and scare the 11-year old facility record of 7.93 set by Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie (Powell) Crawford;

—After rupturing her Achilles tendon last year, 2015 Pac-12 champ Kristina Owsinski won the women’s pole vault with a clearance of 13-6.5 (4.13m) to defeat former Pac-12 champ Kristine Felix of Washington State (13-0.75/3.98m) and current Pac-12 champ Liz Quick of Washington (13-0.75/3.98m).  Owsinski only has outdoor eligibility left for the Huskies, so she competed unattached Saturday.

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