Monday, June 12, 2017

Hannah Fields of Brooks Beasts gets USA & world 800 standard at Portland Track Festival...

PORTLAND—With the USA Track & Field national championships looming in less than two weeks, a host of athletes with Washington ties made the trip Sunday to Griswold Stadium on the campus of Lewis & Clark College to compete in the annual Portland Track Classic designed to give athletes an opportunity to chase qualifying standards.

Hannah Fields of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts (left/file photo by Paul Merca) finished second in the women’s 800 in a new personal best of 2:00.53, finishing behind 2016 US Olympian Kate Grace, who won in 1:59.30.  More importantly, Fields got under the world championship qualifying standard of 2:01.00.

In the same race, Camas’ Alexa Efraimson was fifth in 2:00.95 to duck under the USATF qualifying standard of 2:02.00, as well as the world championship standard.

Baylee Mires (2:04.33) and Claudia Saunders (2:08.56) were seventh and eighth in the race.

The men’s 800 saw Nick Symmonds of the Brooks Beasts run his first 800 in over a year, as he clocked 1:49.48 to finish fifth in the B section.  Symmonds, who has declared this season to be his final competitive campaign, said to members of the media after the race that he has qualified for the nationals by virtue of his 2013 world championships medal, so that takes off the pressure of looking for a race this upcoming weekend to go under the USATF standard of 1:47.50.

In the women’s 1500, Natalija Piliusina of the Brooks Beasts finished seventh in 4:11.04, just ahead of Washington alum Eleanor Fulton, who set yet another personal best of 4:11.46 in eighth.

US Olympian Brenda Martinez won the race in 4:03.15.

In the women’s 3000 steeplechase, Washington State alum Caroline Austin fell just short of the USATF standard of 9:50.00, as she ran a personal best 9:51.38. Austin may possibly get into the field should there be less than 26 qualified entries.

Canadian Maria Bernard won the race in 9:44.29.

Stanford alum Jessica Tonn of the Brooks Beasts was second in the women’s 5000 behind Olympian Shannon Rowbury, as she ran 15:33.13 to Rowbury’s 15:12.52.

Like Austin in the steeple, Tonn doesn’t have the standard in the 5000 of 15:25.00, but could possibly be on the line if there are less than 24 qualified entries by the time entries close on June 18th.

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