Saturday, January 27, 2018

UW Invite produces world leading mark from Nike Oregon Project's Sifan Hassan...

SEATTLE—After a two-week hiccup, Sifan Hassan (left, behind Shalane Flanagan/photo by Paul Merca) of the Netherlands and the Nike Oregon Project made her season debut at the UW Invitational Saturday, at Dempsey Indoor on the campus of the University of Washington, and made it worth the wait for those who wanted to see her race.

Hassan, the reigning world indoor champion at 1500 meters, set a new Dempsey Indoor record in the women’s 3000 meters, running a world leading (oversized track) time of 8:34.45, besting the time of 8:38.81 set by Hellen Obiri of Kenya two nights before in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

In the process, she towed 2017 TCS New York City Marathon champ and 2008 Olympic 10000m silver medalist Shalane Flanagan to an American leading mark this season, as she ran 8:43.28, the fastest time she’s run indoors at this distance since 2011.

Cal’s Brie Oakley and Jordyn Colter did the early grunt work for Flanagan and Hassan, pacing them for the first 1200 meters.

Flanagan took to the front, and the woman who still holds the American indoor record at this distance of 8:33.25 set eleven years ago, forged her way to the front for the next few laps, before the younger Hassan took control over the last two laps of the race, widening the gap.

Even in defeat to Hassan, Flanagan was pleased with her performance Saturday, noting that the progress she’s made in her two 3000-meter races in Seattle is giving her confidence as she takes dead aim at the Boston Marathon in April.

She did give a hint to the folks in attendance that she could possibly be back in Seattle in two weeks when asked about an Instagram post about possibly running another indoor race to help with her training for the Boston Marathon.  She said that she would consult with her Nike Bowerman TC coach Jerry Schumacher before deciding to race again indoors.

Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia and the Nike Oregon Project picked up his second win of the meet by taking the men’s mile in 3:56.95, to go along with his victory in the 5000 meters Friday night in a world leading 13:34.67.

In the process, he took collegians Andy Trouard of Northern Arizona (3:58.01) and David Ribich of Western Oregon (3:58.88) under 4 minutes, along with two-time US Olympian Lopez Lomong (3:59.75).

In a separate heat, Arizona’s Carlos Villarreal came off the pace in the final lap to win his section in 3:59.65.

Dillon Maggard of Utah State ran a collegiate leading 7:52.99 to win the men’s 3000.

2017 Bowerman Award winner Raevyn Rogers from Oregon made her professional debut in the women’s 400, winning in a meet record 52.24, which is the fifth fastest time in the world this season. 

In that race, she beat UW alum Gianna Woodruff, who ran 53.78, also under the meet record of 54.07 set by the Huskies’ Jordan Carlson in 2013.

On the field, Arizona freshman Jordan Geist (above/photo by Paul Merca) won the men’s shot put with a massive throw of 70-4.5 (21.45m), the second furthest throw in the world this season behind Tomas Stanek of the Czech Republic’s 70-10.75 (21.61m).  

Geist set a meet record, eclipsing the mark set in 2015 by eventual Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser of Texas, who threw 68-9 (20.96).

Canada’s Django Lovett threatened the Dempsey facility record in winning the high jump with a mark of 7-6 (2.29m).  After clearing the height, he took three unsuccessful shots at 7-7 (2.31m), which would have tied US Olympian Jesse Williams’ Dempsey record set in 2010.

Central Washington’s Kodiak Landis earned an automatic berth in the NCAA Division II indoor championships, as the GNAC champion and heptathlon All-American won the two-day, seven event competition with a final score of 5407 points, the third best in Division Ii this season.

Eastern Washington’s Keshun McGee finished second in the men’s triple jump, with a new personal best of 51-4.5 (15.66m), behind Cal’s Thomas Kaukolahti, who won with a leap of 52-2.5 (15.91m).

Washington sixth-year senior Maddie Meyers was third in the women’s mile, as the 2015 cross country All-American, who ran the anchor leg on the winning distance medley relay for the Dawgs Friday night, ran 4:39.08.

In the women’s 800, which was won by Great Britain’s Lynsey Sharp in 2:04.97, the second place finisher was Yuliya Stepanova, the Russian athlete who exposed the doping scandal before leaving her country. Stepanova ran 2:06.92.

NOTE:  The University of Washington contributed to this report.

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