Saturday, July 29, 2017

Husky alum Aaron Nelson wins steeple in Antwerp Saturday...

University of Washington alum Aaron Nelson (left/photo by Paul Merca) won the steeplechase Saturday at the Internationaal Antwerps Atletiekgala meeting in Antwerp, Belgium.

Nelson, who runs professionally for the North Carolina-based Zap Fitness/Reebok squad, ran 8:40.56 to set a new meet and stadium record, winning by exactly four seconds over American Jordan Mann, formerly out of Providence College.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Former WSU assistant coach Angela Whyte added to Team Canada for world champs...

Former Washington State University assistant track coach Angela Whyte (left/photo courtesy Athletics Canada) was named Friday by Athletics Canada to its squad that will compete at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in London beginning a week from Friday.

The veteran Whyte, a fixture on national teams since 2001, won the Canadian national championship title in Ottawa earlier this month, but did not have the world championships qualifying standard of 12.98, with her best being 12.99, set in Mesa, Arizona in June.

In the qualifying rounds at the Canadian nationals, she ran 12.95, but with a 2.2 meter per second wind reading, .2 above the allowable for qualifying and record purposes.  She then won with a time of 13.02, just short of the qualifying time.

Whyte was extended an invitation by the IAAF to fill the field to the required field of 40 athletes in the 100 hurdles.

In some results we missed, University of Washington alum Mel Lawrence set a personal best of 9:34.94 in winning the 3000 steeplechase at the Folksam Grand Prix in Folksam, Sweden on Tuesday July 25th.

In her victory, she also set a new meet record, and beat second-place finisher Nataliya Strebkova by a healthy margin, as the Ukrainian crossed the line in 9:59.00.

Camas’ Alexa Efraimson won the women’s 800 in 2:01.39 over Ce’aira Brown of the USA, who ran 2:01.77.

Spokane native Britney Henry was second in the women’s hammer with a mark of 205-6 (62.64m) as Sweden’s Marinda Petersson won with a best of 211-7 (64.51m).

Thursday, July 27, 2017

SeattleU steps up and hires Kelly Sullivan as head track & field/cross country coach...

SEATTLE—Kelly Sullivan’s retirement lasted less than two months.

The 14-year head track and cross country coach at Oregon State (above/photo courtesy Oregon State University) was named the new track and cross country coach at Seattle University on Thursday.

In a release published by the school, SeattleU athletic director Shaney Fink said, “Coach Sullivan’s commitment to the holistic development of student-athletes aligns perfectly with the mission of Seattle University,” said Fink. “He is a proven competitor with tremendous experience and outstanding character, who will immediately propel our programs forward. We are thrilled to welcome Coach Sullivan to the Redhawk family.”

During his tenure at Oregon State, he reestablished the track program after a 16-year hiatus. Beginning in 2004 with just a distance program, one coaching position, one full in-state scholarship and no track and field facility, he departed the program with 21 event areas, 18 full scholarships, three coaching positions and a full-time director of operations.

From 1997-2003, Sullivan served as the head coach at Willamette University where he guided the men's track and field team to a sixth-place finish nationally in 2003, while the men's cross country squad was fifth in 2002. In 2003, his women's cross country team placed eighth nationally – the highest finish in school history – and he guided the Bearcats to their first-ever NWC women's cross country title in 2000.

Before coaching the Bearcats, Sullivan was head men's and women's cross country coach and assistant track and field coach at Auburn from 1984-96. During that time, Sullivan's 1985 men's team finished 12th at the NCAA Championships, his female athletes broke every Auburn distance record and earned trips to the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 1994 and 1995.

Prior to coaching at Auburn, Sullivan headed the cross country program and was the assistant track and field coach at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Ore., coaching 24 NJCAA All-Americans from 1980-84. His men's cross country teams won four straight Oregon Community College titles and four straight NJCAA West Regional titles. His 1981 and 1983 teams were fourth at the NJCAA Cross Country Nationals while the 1982 team was NJCAA runner-up.

University of Washington head track coach Greg Metcalf, who was mentored by Sullivan when he was a graduate student at Auburn, said “Seattle University just made a terrific hire in Kelly Sullivan. I am incredibly excited for Kelly and this wonderful opportunity to move to the greatest city in the country and work at this fantastic university. It is a perfect fit. He was my coach and is the reason I got into coaching and I know firsthand what he Is capable of.”

“He will positively impact every athlete and every member of the Seattle U family the moment he steps onto campus. Kelly is truly one of the greatest human beings and coaches I have ever been around. He is well respected by his peers, possesses tremendous knowledge, and is filled with passion for the sport and working with young people.”

Former Oregon State athletic director Bob de Carolis said, "Congratulations to Seattle University on a great hire. In Kelly Sullivan you get a very good coach, but also even a better person. Kelly is perfectly aligned with the values of Seattle University and this hire is a great fit for everyone." has tried to reach out to Sullivan via text and hopes to talk to him soon.

In a related note, publisher Paul Merca received a text from field events coach Chad Pharis, who said that he is being retained as an assistant by Sullivan.


Seattle University’s hire of Sullivan is a great move by the school. Sullivan brings instant credibility, particularly with the high school coaches around the state of Washington, some of whom confided to me that they wouldn’t steer their athletes to Seattle University under former coach Trisha Steidl.

It’s a known fact that Seattle University faces major challenges in the area of scholarships, facilities, and recruiting.  It’s also a known fact that SeattleU’s tuition is extremely high compared to other Division I schools in the Northwest, with Gonzaga and Portland being the most comparable. All three of those schools are private Catholic schools.

The most telling fact about how ineffective SeattleU’s program was since it became Division I in 2012 (five years competing as an NCAA Division I program), it was the only school of the five Division I schools in the state not to qualify an athlete for the NCAA national finals in either cross country, indoor, or outdoor track.

Their women’s team won a Western Athletic Conference crown in cross country, and had a male athlete come close to qualifying for the national championship meet in cross country.  They’ve also had several conference champions, including most recently, heptathlete Mandie Maddux.

At the NCAA West Regionals (or what the NCAA calls the preliminary round), the only athletes from SeattleU to even qualify for that meet in the five years since becoming D1 were high jumper Shaddye Melu and javelin thrower Dylan Burnett, both of whom were coached by Chad Pharis. In contrast, no distance runners, which were supposedly the strong suit of the head coach, even sniffed the regional meet.

By the same token, since 2012, Gonzaga qualified a women’s team for the national championships in cross country, and qualified a male and female athlete for the national track and field championships.

In the same five year span (2012-17) since SeattleU became Division I, non Power 5 school Eastern Washington qualified a male hammer thrower and a female steeplechaser for the national finals, as well as a female cross country runner for the NCAA championships.

While the Redhawks have had several outstanding individuals since becoming a D1 program in 2012, the perception—at least according to several knowledgable people in the local track and field community—was that the program overall wasn’t even a decent Division II team, and that perception among coaches around the state is probably what doomed the previous staff.

Unfortunately, perception equals reality in the case of the SeattleU track and cross country program.

In the short term, Sullivan’s challenges are not going away. The Redhawks will still have to train at local high schools or park department tracks around the city. They will still have to compete in the Western Athletic Conference, which is one of the weaker Division I conferences in the country. They will have challenges with scholarships that they can/can't give to prospective athletes.

However, I believe that Sullivan can do a better job in the area of recruiting and reaching out to the high school coaches in the Pacific Northwest. I think, based on his fundraising efforts in getting a new track at Oregon State, he can rally the donors and alumni to help achieve his goals with the program.

Gonzaga has Pat Tyson and Patty Ley, and credibility within the Washington prep coaching community. Eastern just hired legendary coach Dave Nielsen as an assistant. Kudos to SeattleU’s leadership for stepping up. This hire sends a positive message to the track and field community.

Now Sullivan needs the support of his athletic department, alumni and boosters to get SeattleU going and remove the stigma of being a mediocre Division II program in the eyes of the state’s high school coaches.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Team USA announced for world champs, plus other notes and links...

Couple of items to post:

Three men with Washington ties are on Team USA, including former Renton resident Devon Allen (110 hurdles), former Emerald Ridge HS standout and reigning 10000 meter champion Hassan Mead; and the surprise of the 800 meters this season, Drew Windle of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts.

On the Team USA women's roster are three athletes with Washington ties, led by seven-time USA national champion Kara Winger (left/photo by Paul Merca) from Vancouver.

Also on the women’s squad are University of Washington alum Lindsay Flanagan (marathon), and former Bellevue resident Katie Burnett (below/photo courtesy USATF) who will contest the just added 50-kilometer race walk.

Burnett, who was born in Bellevue, and attended high school at Skyline and Newport before finishing her high school career in Arizona, is the current US national record holder in the event, walking 4:26:37 on March 28th in Santee, California.

The IAAF, in a last minute decision “based on its wish to ensure gender equality on the field of play, the IAAF Council has decided to create a new 50km race walk competition for women at the IAAF World Championships London 2017.”

In its release dated Sunday July 23rd, the IAAF set the entry standard at 4:30:00, a mark that only five women have achieved this season, which calls into question the credibility of the event, as Quentin Rew posts.


Tuning up for a run at the IAAF World Championships in London, Federal Way resident Jordin Andrade (above/photo courtesy Getty Images) won the 400 hurdles at the Francophone Games in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Monday.

Andrade, who is competing for Cape Verde, won the race in 49.66, with Amadou Ndiaye of Senegal second at 50.17.


Former Cougar jumper Kayla Warren has been hired as the track and cross country program’s operations coordinator, replacing Andrea Sabbatine, who is pursuing other interests after working for two years at WSU.

"Kayla will be an excellent addition to our track and field program," Phipps said. "Kayla is highly motivated and possesses both a strong work ethic and a strong understanding of the administrative and athletic goals of our track and field and cross country programs. Her role will be a huge benefit to our coaching staff and as well as our student-athletes."

Warren is the daughter of former Seattle Seahawk running back Chris Warren, and graduated from Holy Names Academy. She was a two-time scorer for the Cougs in the triple jump.  At WSU. she earned her B.S. in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation Sciences with a minor in Forestry in December 2016.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Efraimson gets season best; Mel Lawrence PR's in 5000m at Heusden...

In Heusden, Belgium, Camas’ Alexa Efraimson (left/photo by Paul Merca) scored a season best in the 1500 meter run Saturday night at the Nacht van de Atletiek meeting.

Efraimson finished sixth in a time of 4:04.63, eclipsing her previous season best of 4:06.12 set six days ago in Padova, Italy.

US Olympian Colleen Quigley of the Portland based Bowerman TC won the race in a time of 4:03.93.

Washington alum Mel Lawrence earned a marginal personal best in the women’s’ 5000, as she finished 18th in a time of 15:40.18, beating her previous PR of 15:40.26 set in April at the Mt. SAC Relays.

Former Florida State All-American Susan Krumins won the race in a time of 14:53.35, with Bowerman TC standouts Emily Infeld (14:56.33) and Shalane Flanagan (14:58.99) also ducked under 15 minutes.

For the second meet in a row, Shaquille Walker of the Brooks Beasts did not run in a meet that he was entered in.

Brooks Beasts coach Danny Mackey, who is still in Seattle, replied via text that he did not know why Walker was not on the final start list. Walker had an entry issue last week in the Madrid meet. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Drew Windle ties for fourth in 800m at Monaco Diamond League...

In his IAAF Diamond League debut, Drew Windle (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts finished in a tie for fourth at the Herculis Meeting International d’Athletisme in Monaco Friday night.

Pace setter Bram Som of the Netherlands took the field through the 400 at 49.96, while Windle was tucked away towards the back of the pack in the eleventh stop of the season-long IAAF Diamond League tour.

Once Som finished his pacing chores, NCAA champ Emmanuel Korir took charge with 200 meters to go as Canada’s Brandon McBride gamely tried to hang on.

Meanwhile Windle made his usual later charge from the back, but may have moved too late, as he was outmaneuvered by Burundi’s Antoine Game over the last 50 meters.

Korir won in a world leading time of 1:43.10, with McBride second in 1:44.41, and Gakeme third in 1:44.54.

Windle and Pierre-Ambroise Bosse of France tied for fourth in 1:44.72, just 9/100ths of a second off of his personal best of 1:44.63.

In a text sent to publisher Paul Merca, Brooks Beasts coach Danny Mackey, watching the meet in Seattle, praised Windle’s effort, considering that he was a last minute entry into the meet.

“I liked that given the work and travel, he still ran 1:44.7, which is his second best time, so he’s getting consistent,” said Mackey.

Mackey said that because he got an invite at the last minute, they didn’t back off in his training last week.

Camas’ Alexa Efraimson won the 800 meters Thursday night at the Meeting International d’Athletisme de la Province de Liege in Liege, Belgium.

Efraimson ran 2:01.61 to defeat Noelie Yarigo of Benin, who ran 2:01.89.

Efraimson moves on to Heusden, Belgium to run in Saturday night's Nacht van de Atletiek, where she will run the 1500. Shaq Walker of the Brooks Beasts is also scheduled to run the men's 800 in Heusden.


Linton replaces Allix Potratz-Lee, who left to pursue other interests after three seasons at WSU.

"We are very excited to hire CharLee," WSU head coach Wayne Phipps said. "As a student-athlete at WSU she brought a level of dedication, commitment and passion that is rarely matched, and as a volunteer assistant coach for us last year, she brought that same level. CharLee impressed me right away as an assistant coach as she has a great coaching intuition and a level of understanding of the sport that belies her age.” 

"I am beyond excited to join the staff as an assistant coach," Linton said. "It's really special for me because I'm passionate about Washington State University and I know what it means to be a part this team. To work closely with Coach Phipps means that I get to coach student-athletes through a program that I truly believe in and training that I know produces great results."

The Shorewood HS grad was a walk-on at WSU before earning a scholarship, where she put herself in the top ten on the school’s all-time lists at several distances during her career, before graduating in May 2016 with a B.S. In Psychology. Linton was a volunteer coach at WSU last season while working on a second degree in history.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Windle set for Diamond League debut at Herculis Meeting International d’Athletisme...

Drew Windle (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts makes his IAAF Diamond League debut in Friday’s Herculis Meeting International d’Athletisme in Monaco.

Windle, the third place finisher in the USATF Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the men’s 800, will compete in his specialty as part of a ten-man field that includes Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir, the reigning NCAA indoor and outdoor champion at that distance out of Texas-El Paso.

Korir is currently the third fastest in the world at 800 meters this season, having run 1:43.60, while Windle, who is preparing for the IAAF World Championships, is number 11 with his 1:44.63 run at the TrackTown Summer Series finals in New York two weeks ago.

The 800 meters is the only men’s individual event that is non-scoring for IAAF Diamond League points.

After the Herculis meet, the IAAF Diamond League goes on hiatus until after the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in London conclude. It resumes on August 20th in Birmingham, United Kingdom.  

The meet will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Gold ($) app starting at 10:30 am pacific time on Friday.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Kidder and Fields win high-performance races at CNW all-comers meet...

SHORELINE—In what was supposed to be an attempt by UCLA alum Daniel Herrera of Mexico to reach the 3:36.00 qualifying time needed to compete in the world championships in two weeks fell flat, as Brannon Kidder (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Brooks Beasts won the high performance 1500 meter run Wednesday night at the Club Northwest all-comers meet at Shoreline Stadium.

Herrera and Dan Huling went with pacemaker Shyan Vaziri, but there was a lull at the beginning of the third lap after Vaziri dropped out that doomed any hope of Herrera or anyone else sniffing 3:37 or even 3:38.

Kidder made a late run to win the race in 3:39.39, with Washington alum Izaic Yorks of the Brooks Beasts second in 3:39.75.  

Four-time US world championships team member Dan Huling of the Bowerman TC was third in 3:39.84, with Garrett Heath of the Beasts fourth in 3:40.49.  Herrera, who went into this race with a personal best of 3:39.66, was fifth in 3:44.55.

In the other high performance race of the evening, Hannah Fields (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Brooks Beasts took a good shot at breaking 2 minutes, winning the race in 2:00.97, after being towed through the first 400 by pacesetter Anna Connor of the Portland based High Performance West.

Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker was second in 2:03.97, with 2017 world championship team member Sara Vaughn third in 2:04.27.  Washington alum Baylee Mires of the Beasts was fourth in 2:05.42, with teammate and Stanford alum Claudia Saunders fifth in 2:06.37.

A PDF copy of the results is available below.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

High performance men's 1500 and women's 800 to highlight Wednesday's Club NW all-comers meet...

Wednesday night’s Club Northwest all-comers meet at Shoreline Stadium just north of Seattle will have a bit of a high performance feel, as Club Northwest and the Brooks Beasts will stage two elite races.

At 8:25 pm, the men’s 1500 meters will get underway, with a field that includes Brooks Beasts team members Izaic Yorks, Garrett Heath, and Brannon Kidder; 4-time USA world championships team member in the steeplechase Dan Huling; former NCAA 800m champ from Iowa State Edward Kemboi; Alabama alum and 2016 Ghanaian Olympian at 800m Alex Amankwah; and UCLA alum and Mexican national Daniel Herrera (left/photo by Paul Merca).

This race is being set up for Herrera, who trains in Portland with the High Performance West group, as he looks to run under 3:36.00 before Friday’s qualifying deadline for the IAAF world championships in London that begins in two weeks, or hope he runs fast enough to get invited by the IAAF.  

Herrera has a personal best of 3:39.66 set in 2015 in Portland, and ran 3:56.13 in the mile last month.  The Mexican national record in the 1500m is 3:36.67 set by Pablo Solares in 2009.

As of Tuesday, 34 athletes (including IAAF recognized Area champions) have met the standard, 11 short of the target number of 45 athletes.  According to the website, the 45th fastest time in the 1500 since the qualifying period for the world championships began October 1st is 3:37.12.

The other high performance race at the Club Northwest all comers race is the women’s 800 at 8:50 pm, featuring Colorado alum Sara Vaughn of Brooks, the 30 year old mother of three and full-time real estate agent who surprisingly made the US team in the 1500 at last month’s national championships, and is using this race to sharpen up for London.

Other runners in the field include Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker; Hannah Fields, Baylee Mires and Claudia Saunders of the Brooks Beasts; and Anna Conner of High Performance West.  Washington alum Eleanor Fulton is scheduled to be the pacemaker for the race.

Shoreline Stadium is located at 18560 1st Avenue NE in Shoreline.

In Padova, Italy on Monday night, Camas’ Alexa Efraimson finished second in the 1500 meters at the Meeting Citta di Padova.

Efraimson ran a season best 4:06.12 behind Great Britain’s 4:05.01.

In Cork, Ireland, University of Washington alum Aaron Nelson finished ninth in the men’s 3000 at the Cork City Sports International Athletics meeting Tuesday night.

Nelson ran 8:08.67 as University of Portland alum Reid Buchanan won in a time of 7:50.26.

Results from the Cork City Sports International Athletics meeting are available here.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Pasco native Marisa Howard wins steeple in Lapinlahti...

In Lahpinlahti, Finland, Pasco HS alumna Marisa Howard (left/photo by Paul Merca) scored a big personal best as she won the 3000 steeplechase at the Savo Games in the Finnish town Sunday.

Howard, paced by Washington alum Mel Lawrence and sister Collier, ran 9:30.92, dropping almost ten seconds from her previous personal best of 9:40.42, set at the USATF High Performance meet at Occidental College in Los Angeles in May.

Her mark is the fifth fastest time in the country this season.

Earlier in the meet, Mel Lawrence was fourth in the 1500, running 4:12.64, as Shannon Osika of the USA won in 4:07.60.  Washington State alum Abby Regan was sixth in a personal best 4:16.18.

In Rabat, Morocco, Vancouver native Kara Winger threw 196-8 (59.94m) to finish fifth at the Meeting International Mohammed VI d’Athletisme, the tenth stop of the IAAF Diamond League tour.

Former Olympic champ Barbora Spotáková won with a toss of 209-1 (63.73m).

University Place resident Andrea Geubelle finished eighth in the triple jump with a best of 43-8.75 (13.33m), as reigning Olympic champion Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia won with a mark of 47-7.25 (14.51m).

Geubelle has until this Friday (July 21st) to achieve the qualifying standard of 46-3.25 (14.10m) to compete at the IAAF world championship meet in London that begins in less than three weeks.

The IAAF Diamond League tour resumes Friday at the Herculis Meeting in Monaco.

In Bydgoszcz, Poland, the University of Washington’s Jacopo Spanò ran the second leg of the Italian mens’ 4 x 100 relay team that finished second in the semis of the European Under 23 Championships Sunday.

The Italians ran 39.69 in the semis behind Great Britain’s 39.45.

Unfortunately, the Italians were disqualified in the finals for a pass outside the exchange zone.

Germany won in a photo finish over Great Britain, with both teams timed in 39.11.

In the women’s long jump finals, Washington State’s incoming recruit Martha Traore of Denmark was seventh with a best of 20-8.5 (6.31m).

France’s Yanis Davis won with a personal best of 21-6.25 (6.56m).

NOTE: The IAAF and European Athletics contributed to this report.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Incoming WSU recruit Martha Traore advances to finals of long jump at European U23s...

BYDGOSZCZ, Poland—Incoming Washington State University recruit Martha Traore (left/photo courtesy IAAF/Getty) from Denmark advanced to the finals of the women’s long jump at the European Athletics Under 23 Championships Saturday evening.

Traore jumped a season best 20’10 (6.35m), which was the seventh best mark of the qualifying round.

After opening with a jump of 19-11.75 (6.09m) in round 1, she got her mark of 20’10 (6.35m) to surpass the automatic qualifying mark of 20-5.25 (6.23m) and advance to Sunday’s final, which will be contested at 6:35 am, Seattle time.

To put Traore’s jump in perspective, her mark today would be the fourth longest in WSU school history, and would have won this year’s Pac-12 championship meet.

Current Coug Atina Kamasi of Serbia did not advance to the finals of the women’s javelin, as she threw 161-11 (49.37m), well short of her personal and season best of 171-8 (52.32m) set at the Cougar Invitational in April.

The University of Washington’s Jacopo Spanò was fifth in the semis of the men’s 200, as the Italian ran a season best 21.02, the ninth fastest time of the day, and 7/100ths of a second away from the last spot in Sunday’s finals.

Spanò is part of Italy’s 4 x 100m relay pool that will run the semis Sunday morning at 6:08 am Seattle time, with the finals at 9:40 am Seattle time.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Jacopo Spanò advances to European Champs U23 semis in 200 meters...

BYDGOSZCZ, Poland—The University of Washington’s Jacopo Spanò (left/photo by Paul Merca) advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s 200 meters at the European Athletics Under 23 Championships Friday evening.

Running out of lane 5, Spanò, competing for his native Italy, ran 21.14 to finish third and earn an automatic qualifying spot in Saturday’s semis, which will be run at 7:52 am Seattle time.

Jan Volko of Slovakia won the heat in 20.80.

Serbia’s Jelena Grujic, who will be an incoming freshman at Washington State this fall, was seventh in her heat of the women’s 400 hurdles, running 60.86.

Saturday, Serbia’s Atina Kamasi, who finished fifth at the Pac-12 championships for Washington State, throws in Group 1 of the women’s javelin at 3:55 am Seattle time.

Also competing Saturday at about the same time is incoming Cougar freshman Martha Traore of Denmark, who is in the women’s long jump.


Federal Way resident Jordin Andrade was fifth in the B section of the men’s 400 hurdles at the Meeting de Madrid Friday night.

Andrade ran 51.04 as Mohamed Adam of Sudan won the heat in 49.95.

Shaq Walker of the Brooks Beasts never made it to the line for the men’s 800 when he found out the night before that he was placed in the B section when he was supposed to run in the A section.

According to an understandably upset Beasts coach Danny Mackey, Walker had a personal and season best time that warranted being placed in the A section, and claimed there was a error between Walker’s agent and meet management on his entry.  Additionally, Brooks paid a significant sum for Walker’s ticket to Europe, only to find out that he was put in a B section against 1:47 competition.

Walker elected not to run in the B section.  According to Mackey, he will race next in Heusden.  The A section of the men's 800 was won by Antonie Gakeme of Burundi in 1:44.44. with American Erik Sowinski third in 1:45.01.

Coaching legend Dave Nielsen comes out of retirement to become new jumps/multis coach at Eastern...

CHENEY—Eastern Washington University announced that Dave Nielsen (above/photo courtesy Idaho State University), formerly the head track and field coach at Idaho State University for 31 seasons, is coming out of retirement to become the Eagles’ new jumps and multi-events coach.

In a press release, Eastern Washington men’s coach Stan Kerr said, “Dave will bring a resourceful and diverse history of track and field to our EWU program. He is an innovator, coached a gold medalist in the 2000 Sydney Games and will be inheriting a talented group of athletes who will enjoy getting to know him and vice versa."

During his tenure at Idaho State, Nielsen coached Amber Welty to an NCAA national title in the high jump in 1988, and later went on to make the 1992 US Olympic team, making her Idaho State’s first track and field Olympian.

Internationally, Nielsen is best known as the mentor to Stacy Dragila, the former world record holder and winner of the first women’s Olympic pole vault competition at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Eagle women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg said, “One of the things I really like about Coach Nielsen is that he was a pioneer in the development of the women's pole vault, hammer and weight throw. His women athletes were vaulting and throwing before the USATF and NCAA added those events to track and field."

Nielsen was named the Nike Coach of the Year for Track and Field back in 2000. He was also named the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year in 1998, 1997, 2005, 2006, and 2007. Back in January 2014, he was also inducted to the National Pole Vault Hall of Fame.

NOTE:  The sports information office of Eastern Washington and Idaho State University contributed to this report.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Andrade and Walker entered in Meeting de Madrid Friday...

A pair of athletes with Washington ties will compete in Friday’s Meeting de Madrid in the Spanish capital city.

Federal Way’s Jordin Andrade (left/photo by Paul Merca) of Cape Verde, who ran a season best 49.52 in Luzern, Switzerland on Tuesday, is entered in the 400 hurdles as he looks to duck under the 49.35 time needed to assure his spot on the starting line at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in London that begins in three weeks.

The final day to attain a qualifying mark for the world championships is Friday the 21st.

Shaq Walker of the Brooks Beasts is entered in the men’s 800 meters .

GEUBELLE’S SEASON IS NOT DONE (YET)... publisher Paul Merca received a text from 2016 US Olympian Andrea Geubelle stating that she is entered in the triple jump in Sunday’s Meeting International Mohammed VI d’Athletisme in Rabat, Morocco, which is the tenth stop in the IAAF Diamond League series.

Geubelle is entered in a field that includes reigning Olympic champion Caterine Ibarguen.

After her third place finish at the USATF Outdoor Championships last month in Sacramento, she stated that her season was over and that she would not chase the world championships qualifying standard of 46-3.25 (14.10m) needed to compete in London in three weeks.

Geubelle, who according to her social media posts, was vacationing with her boyfriend in Spain, apparently had a change of heart, and is headed to Rabat.

If she can jump 46-3.25 (14.10m) between now and July 21st, the Curtis HS grad will make her first senior world championship team, after qualifying for the Olympic team last year.


Incoming Washington State University freshman Zorana Grujic of Serbia was seventh in her heat of the 800 meters at the European Under-23 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Grujic ran 2:09.86, as Hannah Segrave of Great Britain won the heat in 2:05.54.

On Friday, her twin sister Jelena, who will also join her at Washington State, will run in the first round of the women’s 400 hurdles, which toes the line at 3:44 am, Seattle time.

Also competing Friday is Washington’s Jacopo Spanò in the first round of the men’s 200 at 10:21, Seattle time.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Alexa Efraimson wins 1500m at Morton Games in Dublin...

DUBLIN, Ireland—Camas resident Alexa Efraimson (left/photo by Paul Merca) won the women’s 1500 Wednesday night at the Morton Games in the Irish capital city.

Efraimson, who has a season best of 4:06.16 set at the TrackTown Summer Series stop in Palo Alto almost two weeks ago, ran 4:06.73 to take the win over Melissa Courtney of Great Britain, who ran 4:07.02.

Natalja Piliusina of the Brooks Beasts was tenth in 4:17.49 in her attempt to get the world championship standard of 4:07.50 to get consideration from the Lithuanian federation.

New Zealand’s Angie Petty, who is currently being coached by Danny Mackey of the Beasts TC, was second in the women’s 800, as she ran 2:01.82 behind Adelle Tracey of Great Britain’s 2:01.53.

Brannon Kidder of the Brooks Beasts was fourth in the men’s 800, as he ran 1:47/79. as Kyle Langford of Great Britain won in 1:46.98.

Washington alum Aaron Nelson was tenth in the men’s 5000, running 13:54.70, as Stewart McSweyn of Australia won in 13:19.98.

In Joensuu, Finland, Pasco HS graduate Marisa Howard finished second in the B section of the women’s 800 at Wednesday’s Joensuu Eliittkisat meeting.

Howard ran a personal best 2:07.71 behind her training partner and Oiselle teammate Megan Rolland, who ran 2:06.93.

Washington alum Mel Lawrence was seventh in the A section of the 800, running 2:05.89, while  Washington State alum Abby Regan of Australia was ninth in 2:08.54. Shannon Osika of the USA won in 2:02.36.


One of the more significant meets of the calendar begins Thursday in Bydgoszcz, Poland as the European Under-23 Championships starts its four-day run.

Washington’s Jacopò Spano of Italy is entered in the men’s 200, which begins Friday.

Washington State has four athletes entered, led by Serbia’s Atina Kamasi, a Pac-12 scorer in the women’s javelin, who throws on Saturday.

The Cougars will also have a trio of incoming freshmen competing, including twins Jelena (400 hurdles) and Zorana Grujic (800 meters) of Serbia, along with long jumper Martha Traore-Thomsen of Denmark.

The women’s 800 qualifying begin Thursday, while the women’s 400 hurdles qualifying starts Friday, and the women’s long jump begins Saturday.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Devon Allen gets back to winning ways in Luzern...

In Luzern, Switzerland, former Renton resident Devon Allen (above/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport) won the A section of the men’s 110 hurdles at the Spitzen Leichtathletik meeting Tuesday night.

Allen, who was fourth at the IAAF Diamond League stop in London on Sunday, had a bit of a slow start, but made up ground in the middle of the race and closed for the win in a time of 13.31 over Antonio Alkana of South Africa (13.34) and fellow American Jarret Eaton (13.38).

You can watch Allen’s race here:

Federal Way resident Jordin Andrade, who was an Olympic semi-finalist in the 400 hurdles last year as a member of the Cape Verde team, was second in the B section of his specialty in a season best time of 49.52, just losing out to Andrew Clarke of the United States, who ran 49.48.

The A section was won by Quincy Downing of the USA in 48.85.

Andrade needs to run at least 49.35 or faster before July 21st to ensure a spot on the line at the IAAF world track & field championships in London next month.

However, in a text exchange with publisher Paul Merca, Andrade stated that if he falls short of the standard, the Cape Verde federation will most likely give him their country’s single entry (each member federation gets one male and female entry into the world championships if no one from their country meets the qualifying standard).

Washington alum Martin Bingisser, a Swiss citizen who resides in Zurich, was second in the mens’ hammer, with a toss of 203-10 (62.14m), as Germany’s Tristan Schandke won with a best of 226-8 (69.10m).


In Dublin, several athletes with Washington ties will run in Wednesday’s Morton Games, which is annually one of Ireland’s biggest international meets.

Brannon Kidder of the Brooks Beasts, fresh from competing in Sunday’s Diamond League stop in London, drops back down to the men’s 800.

Washington alum Aaron Nelson of Zap Fitness/Reebok will run the 5000 meters.

Another Husky alum, Jax Thoirs, will compete in the men’s pole vault.

New Zealand’s Angie Petty, who is currently being coached by Danny Mackey of the Beasts TC, is entered in the women’s 800.

Camas’ Alexa Efraimson is entered in the women’s 1500, as is Natalja Piliusina of the Brooks Beasts, as she tries to go under the world championship standard of 4:07.50 to get consideration from the Lithuanian federation.

Media partner Flotrack ($) will offer live streaming coverage of the Morton Games beginning at 10 am, pacific time.


In Joensuu, Finland, three athletes with Washington ties are entered in Wednesday’s Joensuu Eliittkisat meeting.

Washington alum Mel Lawrence drops down in distance to run the women’s 800 meters against a field that includes Washington State alum Abby Regan of Australia.

Pasco HS alum Marisa Howard is entered in the B section of the women’s 800, while Washington State alum Collier Lawrence is entered in the women’s 3000.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Devon Allen takes fourth in 110 hurdles at Müller Anniversary Games in London...

LONDON—With less than a month to go before the IAAF World Track & Field Championships gets underway at London Stadium, former Renton resident Devon Allen (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished fourth in the finals of the men’s 110 hurdles at the Müller Anniversary Games, the ninth stop on the IAAF’s Diamond League series.

Allen, who ran a season best of 13.10 in the qualifying round in the Paris Diamond League meet eight days ago, ran 13.30 in the finals, as 2012 Olympic champion Aries Merritt returned to the scene of his gold medal performance to take the win in a season best 13.09.

Merritt also beat Allen in the qualifying round, 13.22, to the former Oregon standout’s 13.32.

In other events, Vancouver native Kara Winger finished seventh in the women’s javelin with a best throw of 200-4 (61.06m), as former Olympic champion Barbora Spotáková won with a meet record 223-11 (68.11m).

Former Emerald Ridge HS runner Hassan Mead, the reigning USATF 10000 meter champ, finished seventh in the men’s 3000, running a personal best 7:38.51, as part-time Portland resident Mo Farah of Great Britain and the Nike Oregon Project, won before his countrymen in a time of 7:35.15.

Brannon Kidder of the Brooks Beasts ran a personal best 3:38.71 in finishing 14th in the men’s 1500, won by Great Britain’s Chris O’Hare in 3:34.75.

The highlight of the meet was in the women’s mile, where Hellen Obiri broke her own Kenyan national record in the mile, running 4:16.56, which was also a new meet record, and also was the deepest women’s mile race, with best marks-for-place set from fourth all the way to 14th place.

The IAAF Diamond League series resumes next week in Rabat, Morocco.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

UW alum Aaron Nelson sets PR in steeple, while fellow alum Mel Lawrence wins in Letterkenny...

With the TrackTown Summer Series in the rear view mirror, many of the state’s professional track and field athletes are eying competitions on the European continent.

While not quite as glamorous as the IAAF Diamond League circuit, Washington alum Aaron Nelson (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished second in the 3000 steeplechase Friday at the Letterkenny International Track & Field Meeting in Letterkenny, Ireland.

Nelson, a former Pac-12 champion who runs for North Carolina-based Zap Fitness/Reebok, ran a personal best of 8:37.04, just behind 2017 USATF steeple finalist Jordan Mann, who won in 8:36.73.

Another Washington alum, Mel Lawrence, won the women’s steeplechase, as she ran a season best 9:36.65, just missing her personal best set at last year’s US Olympic Trials by 3/10ths of a second.

You can watch Aaron’s race here:

You can watch Mel’s race here:


Meanwhile, the IAAF Diamond League resumes Sunday with the Müller Anniversary Games meeting at London Stadium, as athletes look to get in a competition on the track that will host the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in four weeks.

Former Renton resident Devon Allen, fresh off of a victory at the TrackTown Summer Series finals in New York on Thursday, is entered in the 110 hurdles.

Vancouver native Kara Winger, who was eighth in the javelin at Thursday’s Diamond League stop in Lausanne, Switzerland, looks to challenge many of the same athletes that she threw against a few days ago.

Brannon Kidder of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts is entered in the men’s 1500 meter run, while former Puyallup resident Hassan Mead is entered in the final event of the meet, the men’s 3000 meter run featuring hometown hero and double Olympic champion Mo Farah, who trains in Portland with the Nike Oregon Project.

The start lists and live results link for the Müller Anniversary Games meeting at London Stadium are available here.

NOTE:  The IAAF Diamond League and the Letterkenny International Track & Field Meeting contributed to this report.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Windle takes a bite of Big Apple and wins 800m at TrackTown Summer Series finale in New York...

NEW YORK—One of the biggest revelations of the 2017 track and field season in the United States has been the performance of Brooks Beasts team member Drew Windle (above in green/photo courtesy TrackTown USA).

In a span of six-plus weeks, Windle, a product of Division II Ashland University in Ohio, has lowered his personal best from 1:45.65 from 2016 to 1:45.02 in the pro section of the Georgia HS Meet of Champions in May to 1:44.95 at the US nationals, and now down to 1:44.63 in winning the 800 meters in the finals of the TrackTown USA Summer Series contested Thursday night at Icahn Stadium.

Windle, competing for general manager and WSU alum Bernard Lagat’s Portland Pulse team, found himself in eighth as the pace setter took the field through the first 400 meters in 49.47m, with training partner Cas Loxsom of the New York Empire up near the front and fellow Beast teammate Shaq Walker of the San Francisco Surge running just a step in front of Windle, as the pair went through the first 400 in just under 51 seconds.

Erik Sowinski took command through the second half of the race, but as he did at the USATF championships in Sacramento, Windle ran the fastest second 400 in 53.64 as he roared from behind to take the win in 1:44.63, 3/100ths of a second ahead of Sowinski.

Walker was sixth in 1:46.04, while Loxsom was eighth in 1:47.34.

Former Renton resident and Olympic finalist Devon Allen of the Philadelphia Force won the men’s 110 hurdles in a time of 13.36.

In a reversal of last week’s race in Palo Alto, Philadelphia’s Amanda Eccleston got a bit of revenge over Brooks Beast member Hannah Fields of San Francisco, as Eccleston won the women’s 1500 in 4:05.51 to Fields’ 4:05.76. 

Camas resident Alexa Efraimson, who was third in Palo Alto last week, was also third behind San Francisco teammate Fields, as she ran 4:06.25.

Pasco native Marisa Howard, competing for the San Francisco Surge, broke 9 minutes for the first time in finishing third in the women’s 3000, as she ran 8:57.15. Stephanie Garcia of New York won the race in 8:52.74.

Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker was seventh in the women’s 800 meters, running 2:04.33 for the San Francisco Surge, as Sanne Verstagen of New York won in 2:00.22.

In the final race of the evening, Tacoma’s Marcus Chambers ran the opening leg of New York’s co-ed 4 x 400 relay team that got second behind Portland in a near photo finish, as the Pulse won in 3:13.88 to the Empire’s 3:13.94.

However, the Empire’s second place finish was good enough to clinch the team title for New York as they scored 200.5 to Portland’s 196.5. Philadelphia was third with 189 points, while defending team champion San Francisco was fourth with 180 points.


Vancouver native and seven-time national champion Kara Winger finished eighth in the javelin at the IAAF Diamond League stop in Lausanne, Switzerland Thursday night.

Winger threw a best of 194-2 (59.19m) on her first attempt of the day, but could not improve on any of her other five throws, fouling four consecutive times before throwing 191-3 (58.29m) in round 6.

Reigning Olympic champion Sara Kolak of Croatia won with the best throw in the world this season, throwing a national record 224-6 (68.43m).

NOTE: TrackTown USA and the IAAF Diamond League contributed to this report.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

TrackTown Summer Series ends with finals in New York Thursday...

The three meet TrackTown Summer Series, which began last week in Palo Alto, and stopped in Gresham, Oregon Sunday, comes to its conclusion Thursday night at New York’s Icahn Stadium, with several athletes with Washington ties competing.

Pasco native Marisa Howard (left/photo by Paul Merca) is one of five athletes on the defending team champion San Francisco Surge squad with Washington ties, as she will run in the women’s 3000.

Also competing for the Surge, whose general manager is current Brooks Beast Nick Symmonds, are Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker (w 800); Hannah Fields of the Brooks Beasts and Camas native Alexa Efraimson, who went 1-3 in the 1500 at last week’s Palo Alto stop; and Shaq Walker of the Brooks Beasts, who was fourth in Gresham in the men’s 800.

World championship team member and Gresham 800m winner Drew Windle of the Brooks Beasts will compete for the Portland Pulse, whose general manager is WSU alum Bernard Lagat.

Former Renton resident Devon Allen, who was in Paris over the weekend competing in the IAAF Diamond League stop, will run the 110 hurdles for the Philadelphia Force, while Seattle’s Cas Loxsom (m 800) and Tacoma’s Marcus Chambers (mixed 4 x 400 relay) will run for the New York Empire.

In the Palo Alto meet, San Francisco won 90-86 over Portland, with New York third with 84 points and Philadelphia fourth with 69.

New York won the Gresham stop Sunday to nip Philadelphia by an 86-85 margin, with San Francisco third with 80, and Portland fourth with 78.

The finals of the TrackTown Summer Series will be televised by ESPN starting at 6 pm pacific time.


Reigning national javelin champion Kara Winger is in Lausanne, Switzerland to compete in tonight’s Athletissima meeting, the eighth stop in the IAAF Diamond League circuit.

Winger will be throwing against a field that includes all three medalists from the Rio Olympics: Sara Kolak of Croatia, Sunette Viljoen of South Africa, and the Czech Republic’s Barbora Špotáková

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Charlotte Prouse transfers from University of Washington to University of New Mexico...

Charlotte Prouse (left/photo by Paul Merca) announced Wednesday on her social media platforms that she is transferring from the University of Washington to the University of New Mexico.

Prouse, who finished her sophomore season of cross country last fall, did not compete in either indoor or outdoor track in the 2017 season.

The native of London, Ontario had a great start in the 2015-16 season, finishing 17th at the 2015 Pac-12 cross country championships, and 78th at the 2015 NCAA cross country championships in Louisville.

In the 2016 track season, Prouse was third at the Pac-12 championships in the steeplechase in Seattle, despite breaking a bone in her wrist in a fall during the race.  She finished ninth in that season’s NCAA championship race in the steeple. 

Screen shot of Prouse's announcement on Instagram
(courtesy Instagram)
A month later, Prouse set a Canadian and North American under-20 record in placing sixth in the steeple at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, running 9:44.62, the fifth fastest collegiate time that season, and the second best all time in Washington school history.

The 2016 cross country season started well for Prouse, as she won both the Sundodger and Washington Invitational races, and finished no worse than tenth in any of her races, until the NCAA championships in Terre Haute, Indiana, where she struggled to a 208th place finish.

Rumors that Prouse was considering transferring out of Washington began surfacing on the message boards in mid-June.  Attempts by to confirm these were unsuccessful until a few days ago when Prouse messaged publisher Paul Merca to confirm that she was indeed transferring, but could not officially say where.

Prouse will have two seasons of cross country eligibility and three seasons of indoor and outdoor track for the Lobos.

The rundown for July 5th...

Some quick notes:

Jacopo Spanò (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the University of Washington has been selected by the Italian federation to compete in next week’s European Under-23 championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland in the 200 meters.

Also selected to compete in next week’s European U23 championships is Washington State’s Atina Kamasi of Serbia in the women’s javelin.

In Székesfehérvár, Hungary, Jordin Andrade of Federal Way was seventh in the 400 hurdles at the Istvan Gyulai Memorial Grand Prix meet on July 4th.

Andrade ran 50.90, as Bershawn ‘Batman’ Jackson won in 49.54 to lead a 1-2 USA finish.

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