ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico—Newcomer Brannon Kidder (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com) of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts finished a strong second in the men’s 1000 at the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships Sunday afternoon.
The Penn State alum started in seventh place through the first 400, just behind fellow Beast Drew Windle, as Oregon alum and two-time Olympian Andrew Wheating controlled the front.
At the 600 mark, he was still in seventh, but made a move to second at the 800 mark. Meanwhile, 2016 Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy overtook Wheating before the 800 mark and opened up a gap, with Murphy using Wheating as a screen to make his getaway.
Once past Wheating, Kidder tried to close the gap on Murphy, drawing to about a step behind Murphy. However, Murphy put on a burst coming off the final curve to salt away the victory, running 2:18.60, to Kidder’s 2:19.10
Windle finished fifth in 2:21.64.
Reigning world 600 meter record holder Cas Loxsom of the Brooks Beasts was second in the event, running 1:15.18 behind Erik Sowinski, as Loxsom reacted too late . Teammate Shaq Walker was third in 1:15.39.
In the women’s 1000, Hannah Fields of the Beasts finished third in 2:40.10, as Charlene Lipsey won in 2:37.97. Washington alum Eleanor Fulton, who will run for Team USA in Uganda in three weeks at the world cross country championships along with Olympic 5000m silver medalist Paul Chelimo and Pasco HS alum Marisa Howard as part of the first co-ed cross country relay, was seventh in 2:44.66
Claudia Saunders (2:45.12) and Baylee Mires (2:46.38) of the Beasts were eighth and ninth, respectively.
In the men’s mile, Garrett Heath of the Beasts was third in 4:00.31, as Minnesota alum Ben Blankenship of the Nike Oregon TC Elite won in 3:59.22.
Washington alum Katie Mackey of the Brooks Beasts was fourth in the women’s 2-mile, running 10:22.78 in a very tactical race in which the leader at the halfway mark ran under 5:40. US Olympian Shelby Houlihan won the race in 10:19.14.
Brooks Beasts coach Danny Mackey was pleased with Kidder’s performance, noting, “He beat 2 Olympians and Murphy didn't pull away after he reacted so that is a fantastic first pro championships for him. Kidder has a great mentality for this level.”
Mackey was very positive about the overall results of his group, noting that the Beasts had six athletes medal at the national indoor championships.
“Given the fact we are the only group that has not done any altitude training and these champs were at altitude means the Beasts really had to dial in mentally. I'm very happy for them, this is reflective of their attitude and professionalism this season.”
The only hiccup for the Beasts in Albuquerque was the fact that Washington alum Izaic Yorks wasn’t able to compete in the men’s two-mile because of a administrative snafu with his entry, even though he was qualified to race.
Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker finished sixth in the women’s 600, running 1:27.72, in a race won by Ajee Wilson in 1:23.84. Former Issaquah standout Katie Burnett was third in the 2-mile race walk in 15:03.36.
On the field, WSU alum Blessing Ufodiama finished third in the triple jump with a best of 43-8.75 (13.33m), while University Place resident Andrea Geubelle was fifth at 43-3 (13.18m). Tori Franklin took home the national title with a best of 45-5.75 (13.86m).
Evergreen State alum Zeb Hoffman was tenth in the mens’ weight throw with a best of 62-1 (18.92m), as Alex Young won with a mark of 78-9.75 (24.02m).