Saturday, February 10, 2018

"Half-Hand" claws to victory in 3000 meters at Husky Classic...

SEATTLE—He’s had his ups and downs over his University of Washington career, but the man who calls himself “Half-Hand” on social media came through in front of the home fans at Saturday’s Husky Classic at the Dempsey Indoor Saturday.

Colby Gilbert (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the host Huskies came through with a furious last lap of the Dempsey’s oversized 307-meter oval to win the mens’ 3000 meters, one of the meet’s featured races.

For most of the race, Gilbert, a native of Vancouver who attended Skyview HS, the same school that produced three-time US Olympian Kara Winger, lurked around sixth or seventh until about 400 meters to go, where he swung outside off the turn to put himself in position to challenge a bevy of runners.

Cameron Griffith of Arkansas and Cole Rockhold of Colorado State battled it out for most of the last lap, but Gilbert got in front of them with around 100 meters to go, and carried that momentum all the way to the finish line, winning in a time of 7:49.42, with Griffith the only other to break 7:50 at 7:49.78.

Gilbert’s time is currently the fourth fastest in NCAA Division I, pending the results of other meets around the country this weekend.

Husky fans also were treated to a big victory on the field by shot putter Jack Lembcke, who threw a big personal best of 63-10.5 (19.47m), inching him closer to third on the UW all-time list.

Lembcke’s toss was a personal best by over two feet, eclipsing the mark of 61-7.5 (18.78m) he set two weeks ago at the UW Invitational.

Other highlights:

—Regan Yee of Canada’s Trinity Western won a women’s mile duel with former Husky Eleanor Fulton, 4:33.43 to 4:34.22; 

—NCAA cross country champ Ednah Kurgat of New Mexico won a last lap duel in the women’s 3000, leading five women under 9:00, clocking 8:57.47; 

—In the men’s mile, Oregon’s Sam Prakel led nine men under 4:00, winning in 3:56.89, as Olympians Lopez Lomong (3:58.19/5th), and Evan Jager (3:58.27/7th) were non-factors in the last lap.

In a separate heat, Texas’ Alex Rogers got the win, but also won the award for unluckiest runner, clocking exactly 4:00.00;

—In the men’s 400, Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry won in 46.49, while Tacoma native Marcus Chambers was third in 46.93.  In a separate heat, WSU alum CJ Allen ducked under the USATF indoor qualifying standard of  47.40, winning in 47.33; 

—The women’s pole vault saw a minor upset, as high schooler Ellie Talius of Eastlake HS, the reigning Washington state champ, cleared 13-7 (4.14m) to beat Cal’s Lauren Martinez, who cleared the same height.

Pullman’s Katie Nageotte, currently the fifth highest vaulter in the world this season at 15-7.25 (4.76m), failed to clear her opening height of 14-6.75 (4.44m).

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a University of Washington squad of Hanna Tarleton, Imani Apostol, Carolyn Birkenfeld, and Raquel Tjernagel broke the UW school record in the women’s 4 x 400 relay at the Don Kirby Invitational, hosted by the University of New Mexico at the Albuquerque Convention Center, finishing third in a time of 3:37.30 (adjusted down for altitude to 3:37.74), as the Huskies finished third overall to Oregon (3:30.18) and Stanford (3:34.73).

The UW men’s 4 x 400 relay of Evan Mafilas, Jacopo Spano, Michael Thomas, and Ryan Croson won in a time of 3:09.24 (altitude adjusted to 3:09.68).

In the women’s 800, Camas’ Alexa Efraimson won in 2:03.87 over Natalja Piliusina (2:05.65) of the Brooks Beasts.

The Huskies’ Ryan Croson was fourth overall in the men’s 400, running 46.97.

WSU’s Christapherson Grant was fourth in the finals of the men’s 60 hurdles, running 8.08.

Complete day 2 results of the Don Kirby Invitational are available here.

In Roxbury, Massachusetts, Garrett Heath of the Brooks Beasts finished third in the men’s 1500 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix,  running 3:41.03.

NOTE:  The University of Washington, Washington State University and the University of New Mexico’s sports information office contributed to this report.  The IAAF and TFRRS contributed statistical data used in this report.

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