Sunday, May 21, 2017

Washington alum Gianna Woodruff ducks under 56 seconds in 400 hurdles in Tucson Saturday...

TUCSON, Arizona—The Tucson Elite meet is a low key gathering of many of the country’s top throwers and their coaches who assemble at Drachman Stadium on the campus of the University of Arizona for competition and a summit to assemble ideas on how they can get better for the rest of the season and beyond.

A few races are also staged at the meet, primarily for the benefit of some of the local post-collegiate athletes who train at the University of Arizona.

In a 400 meter hurdle race that was set up Saturday night for 2012 US Olympian Georganne Moline, University of Washington alum Gianna Woodruff (left/file photo by Paul Merca) made a major breakthrough, running a personal best of 55.76, to finish second behind Moline’s world leading time of 54.10.

More importantly, Woodruff’s time of 55.76 is comfortably under the IAAF world championships standard of 56.10, and all but assures her of a spot on the line in London in August as a member of Panama’s national team, as she holds Panamanian citizenship.  

Her time is currently the 13th fastest in the world this season, and is a new national record, eclipsing her mark of 56.05 that she set on May 5th at the Occidental College Invitational in Los Angeles, which was the former national record.

Another Washington alum, Kyle Nielsen, finished fifth in the men’s javelin, throwing a season best of 249-9 (76.13m), improving upon his season best of 244-1 (74.40m) that he threw in the Thursday portion of the meet.

In the women’s hammer, Spokane native Britney Henry finished sixth with a mark of 212-6 (64.41m).

In Kingston, Jamaica, Federal Way resident Jordin Andrade finished fifth in the 400 hurdles at the Jamaica International Invitational, as the 2016 Cape Verde Olympian ran 50.06, as he looks to get under the IAAF world championships standard of 49.35.

Complete results of the Jamaica International Invitational are available here.

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