Friday, March 23, 2018

Central's multi-event specialists Kodiak Landis & HarLee Ortega impressive at Sam Adams Classic...

SPOKANE—Central Washington’s multi-event specialists pulled strong performances to highlight competition at the Sam Adams Classic Friday on the campus of Whitworth University.

Both Kodiak Landis (above/photo courtesy Great Northwest Athletic Conference) and HarLee Ortega won the decathlon and the heptathlon in conference leading marks under less than ideal conditions.

Landis, who led at the end of Thursday’s competition with 3813 points, ran 15.84 in the 110 hurdles, threw 115-6 (35.21m) in the discus, won the pole vault with a clearance of 15-5.75 (4.72m), threw the javelin 148-2 (45.17m), and finished the day with a time of 4:49.12 to set a new personal best of 7098 points, and take the NCAA Division II lead in the event, pending marks from other meets around the country this weekend.

Ortega took the GNAC conference lead from Seattle Pacific’s Scout Cai with her seven-event total of 4875 points, as she won the long jump with a mark of 18-5.25 (5.62m), threw the javelin 108-11 (33.20m), and ran the 800 in 2:26.24.

Thursday, she ran the 100 hurdles in 15.37, won the high jump at 5-2.25 (1.58m), threw the shot 34-4 (10.46m), and ran the 200m in 26.00.  

Incidentally, Ortega’s score is the third best so far this season in NCAA Division II.

Eastern Washington’s Lexi Rolan won both the 100 and 200, running 12.05 and 24.91.

The other highlight of the competition was a victory by Washington State’s Molly Scharmann in the pole vault at 13-1.5 (4.00m).

Seattle Pacific hosts its lone home meet of the season Saturday, as the Falcons host the Doris Heritage Track Festival at West Seattle Stadium, with the first field events at 10 am, and running events off at noon.

Other GNAC schools expected to send athletes include Western Washington, and Central Washington.

Central Washington along with Saint Martin’s will also send athletes to Tacoma for the Joe Peyton Scoring meet, hosted by the University of Puget Sound.

Finally, Washington State University hall of fame member Bernard Lagat (above/photo by Mike Scott) makes his Team USA road racing debut at the IAAF/Trinidad Alfonso World Half Marathon Championships Saturday in Valencia, Spain.

Lagat, who was one of a select group of athletes asked to participate in Friday’s pre-race press conference, joked that “I wish this press conference was for the road one mile, not a half marathon,” he said. “It’s a big challenge for me but I still have that competitive nature in myself that I always want to go out there and do the best that I can. The problem is that I’m running against Geoffrey Kamworor.”

Lagat is the third oldest man in the world championships race, and goes in with a personal best of 1:02:00 set in January in Houston.  Only problem is that Kamwowor, the two-time defending world half-marathon champion from Kenya, has a personal best of 58:54, while Lagat’s 1:02:00 isn’t even in the top 100 in the world this season.

The IAAF World Half Marathon Championships will be streamed ($) via the NBC Sports Gold site starting at 8:50 am pacific time Saturday.

NOTE:  The IAAF, along with the sports information offices of Whitworth, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, and Seattle Pacific University contributed to this report.

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