Monday, June 11, 2018

Windle sharpens up for USA championships with win at Portland Track Festival...

PORTLAND—Though it may or may not have been as bad as the occasional monsoon that the collegians were subjected to the past two days at the NCAA track & field championships down Interstate 5 in Eugene, the athletes competing Sunday night at the Portland Track Festival at Lewis & Clark College were subject to some of the same conditions.

With the late qualifying deadline for the USATF senior championships coming up on Friday, many athletes were hoping to secure their tickets to compete at the national championship in Des Moines June 21-24th.

For those who already had qualifying marks, the objective of the meet was to get race sharp and compete against high caliber athletes.

Drew Windle of the Brooks Beasts (left/photo by Paul Merca) took the win in the men’s 800, running 1:47.50, over a field that included Olympic 1500 meter champ Matthew Centrowitz and Craig Engel of the Nike Oregon Project, and Beasts teammate and UW alum Izaic Yorks.

Windle, who was the IAAF world indoor silver medalist in the 800 last March, ran a modest 1:47.50, while Engels was third in 1:47.96, Yorks was fifth in 1:48.20, and Centrowitz sixth at 1:48.29.

In taking the victory, Windle, who was in about third or fourth for most of the race, made his move at about 250 meters to go, then put the hammer down coming off the final turn.

"My goal was to come here and win and get set up for USAs," Windle said to Ken Goe of the Oregonian, comparing his mindset to a Diamond League race earlier this year in China. "I didn't have a very good showing in Shanghai. Today wasn't much faster, but I was more in the mix."

In a separate section of the 800, Western Oregon graduate David Ribich (left/photo by Paul Merca), who announced Saturday on his social media platforms that he signed with the Brooks Beasts, ran 1:49.11.

In the women’s 1500, Camas’ Alexa Efraimson did most of the front running before Bozeman resident and Arkansas alum Stephanie Brown charged to the front to win in 4:06.71.

Efraimson was fourth in 4:08.47, while Washington alums Katie Mackey (4:09.10) and Mel Lawrence (4:11.19) were sixth and seventh, with Mackey ducking under the USATF standard of 4:11.00.

Complete results of Sunday’s Portland Track Festival are available here.

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