Thursday, June 8, 2017

Olympia native Brooke Feldmeier runs fastest time of day in 800 meter semis at NCAAs...

EUGENE—On yet another overcast day in Track Town USA, Olympia native Brooke Feldmeier (left/photo by Paul Merca) gave the 9000-plus fans at Historic Hayward Field lots to cheer about, as the University of Oregon junior cruised to the fastest time of the day in winning her semi in the women’s 800 meter run at the NCAA track & field championships Thursday afternoon.

Feldmeier, who was looking to make her second career NCAA championship final (she made the finals as a freshman at Ole Miss), easily won her heat in a time of 2:03.43, as the top four in her race qualified for Saturday’s finals.

She also had time Thursday to run the third leg on the Ducks’ 4 x 400 relay team that won its heat in 3:31.76.

In the finals, Feldmeier will go up against defending champion and training partner Raevyn Rogers, the collegiate record holder in the event.

Washington’s Kristina Owsinski closed out her Husky career with a fifth place finish in the pole vault, as she cleared 14-5.25 (4.40m), validating her decision to return to UW for a sixth year after rupturing her Achilles tendon at the 2016 MPSF indoor championships.

She needed three tries to clear the opening height of 13-1.5 (4.00m), and two at 13-7.25 (4.15m), before finding her groove and clearing 14-1.25 (4.30m) and a school-record tying 14-5.25 (4.40m) on her first attempt, before bowing out at 14-7.25 (4.45m), which would’ve broken her own school record set two years ago at this meet, where she finished fourth, and tied at the previous height.

Fellow senior teammate Liz Quick finished 15th with a best of 13-1.5 (4.00m). 

"I'm just happy that I left off here where I left off two years ago," Owsinski said. "My confidence was really low this year, I haven't felt the best, I've had little injuries here and there including a broken toe for a month. To come back and know that I am a consistent vaulter, I can jump 14-5 again, it feels really good and it makes the decision to stick with pole vault a little bit longer easier for me."

Amy-Eloise Neale improved her NCAA semifinal record to 3-for-3, as she powered into the 1,500-meter finals for the second year in a row, having also made the NCAA Indoor mile final earlier this year. 

With the top-five finishers in the 12-woman heat moving on, Neale had worked her way up into a pack of four that were chasing one lone leader and had a gap behind them going into the final lap. The pack caught the leader and Neale was able to cruise to the finish without much drama, other than running an extremely fast time of 4:11.00 for fourth-place, a .02 second PR.

Izzi Batt-Doyle of the Huskies finished twelfth in the finals of the 10000, as she ran 33:49.61.

In other qualifying action, Washington’s Laura Anuakpado finished eighth in her semi of the 400 meters, running 54.81.

Later in the day, she along with leadoff Whitney Diggs, Imani Apostol, and Darhian Mills finished seventh in their 4 x 400 meter relay semifinal, running 3:40.49.

Friday, Washington State’s Alissa Brooks-Johnson, the reigning Pac-12 heptathlon champion, begins her two-day quest in that event to improve upon her 18th place finish two years ago. Her first event, the 100 hurdles, gets underway at 12:30pm

Tacoma’s Marcus Chambers of Oregon will run in the finals of the men’s 400 at 6:32 pm, and is scheduled to run on the Ducks’ 4 x 100 relay an hour earlier.

Gonzaga’s Troy Fraley, who is the first male from his school to even compete at the NCAA championship, looks to become its first scoring athlete as he goes in the finals of the 3000 steeplechase at 5:54 pm.

Seattle Prep grad Joe Hardy of Wisconsin, and Mt. Spokane HS grad John Dressel of Colorado will go in the men’s 5000 finals at 7:25 pm.

Here’s the complete list of remaining athletes competing in the final two days of the NCAA championships:

Friday

W Heptathlon (12:30p first event)—Alissa Brooks-Johnson
M 4 x 100 relay (5:32 pm)—Marcus Chambers
M Steeplechase finals (5:54 pm)—Troy Fraley
M 400 finals (6:32 pm)—Marcus Chambers
M 5000 finals (7:25 pm)—Joe Hardy, John Dressel

Saturday

W Heptathlon (3:00p first event)—Alissa Brooks-Johnson
W 1500 finals (3:41 pm)—Amy-Eloise Neale
W 800 finals (4:44 pm)—Brooke Feldmeier
W 4 x 400 relay finals (5:51 pm)—Brooke Feldmeier (on relay pool; coaches to decide)

The ESPN family of networks offers live coverage of the NCAA championships both over-the-air and online each day. 


NOTE:  The NCAA, the University of Oregon, and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

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