Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Marisa Howard out of Trials steeple; Levi Keller added to pole vault field...

The list of athletes with Washington ties competing at the US Olympic Track & Field Trials posted earlier in the day on this web site saw some movement today with two changes.


The Boise State alum wrote, “A little less than a month ago I started having some pain in my hip flexor area, this was later diagnosed as a femoral neck stress fracture. To say I am devastated is an understatement. I am humbled by the fact that years of training can be taken away in an instant.”

She continued, “I am thankful for an awesome sponsor @oiselle (Seattle-based Oiselle) who have been so supportive during this tough time. To my family, friends and husband, thank you for all your love and support. To the doctors, therapists and everyone else who has helped me this year, thank you. I'll be back, stronger, faster and more prepared. Don't count me out just yet!”

Last Saturday, Eastern Washington alum Mattie Suver also took to Instagram to announce her withdrawal from the Trials in the 10000 due to a hip injury.

Seattle’s Levi Keller from Club Northwest was added to the field in the pole vault Wednesday after a scratch by Jack Whitt.  Keller goes into the meet with a mark of 18-4.75 (5.61m) set at the Club Northwest all-comers meet on June 15th at Husky Track. 

The entries for the Olympic Trials, including scratches & additions, are available here (updated hourly).  Final declarations are supposed to be made no later than 11:59 pm Pacific, two days before the first round of an event.

Daily guide to watching Washington athletes competing at the US Olympic Trials (plus day 1 preview)...

The reality show just for American track and field fans known as the US Olympic Track and Field Trials gets underway Thursday with the meet’s prologue—the men’s and women’s 20 kilometer walk in Salem, Oregon, while the meet proper starts Friday at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon, and goes through July 10th, with spots on the US Olympic team competing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the line.

Former Issaquah high school standout Katie Burnett gets the meet started in the women’s walk, which gets underway on the streets of Salem shortly after 9 am (the USATF site has the walks starting at 10:30, but organizers recently changed the start time to 9 am because hot conditions are expected).

Burnett is seeded 4th going into the Trials, but will need to go under the Olympic standard of 1:36:00 to go to Rio, a mark only Maria Michta-Coffey and Miranda Melville have achieved.  Burnett has a best of 1:37:51 set back in November.

DAY 1 PREVIEW

Tera Novy of Montesano gets the Olympic Trials kicked off Friday in the women’s discus at 4 pm in the qualifying round, with the top 12 throwers advancing to Saturday’s finals.

The first round of the men’s and women’s 800s will see at least ten athletes with Washington ties competing.  On the men’s side, it will be Nick Symmonds (left/photo by Paul Merca), Cas Loxsom, Shaquille Walker, Brannon Kidder and Drew Windle of the Brooks Beasts, WSU alum Jesse Jorgensen, and Gig Harbor HS coach Mark Wieczorek, while on the women’s side, it will be Seattle resident Phoebe Wright, Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker and recent UW grad Baylee Mires, who has just signed a contract to run for Brooks.

Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry and Tacoma native Marcus Chambers will also see first round action in the men’s 400.

Finally, Friday’s action concludes with the finals of the men’s 10000 with Washington State alum Bernard Lagat and Bellingham native Jake Riley, as Lagat looks to make his third US Olympic team at a distance he’s only raced on the track once in his career.


However, he’s planning to lead a protest at the Trials along with other athletes to voice concern about compensating Olympic athletes, and specifically about the IOC’s Rule 40, which protects the rights of the official Olympic sponsors, at the expense of the athletes’ personal sponsors.

Below is a PDF file showing a day-by-day breakdown of when Washington affiliated athletes are competing.  The file will be updated daily throughout the Trials.


Note that all athletes listed in red on the file own the Olympic standard.

Here is a link to the daily television schedule for the US Olympic Trials, which will be aired on the networks of NBC (NBC, NBCSN & online at NBCSports.com; over the air in Seattle on KING TV 5).

paulmerca.blogspot.com will be on site in Eugene for the duration of the Trials beginning Thursday.

QUICK HITS

Portland State University alum Caressa Sims, who now works for Boeing and lives in the Seattle area, was added to the field in the women’s hammer, after throwing 214-3 (65.30m) at the Ironwood Throws meet Saturday in Portland.

Brooks is expected to formally announce at a press gathering in Eugene Thursday that UW grad Baylee Mires has signed with them, along with another athlete.  Mires and that other athlete will be part of the Brooks Beasts team at the Trials.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Quick observations while combing through the verified Olympic Trials entries...


—One of the surprises while skimming the entries was the fact that it took 2.20 (7-2.5) to get accepted into the Olympic Trials in the men’s high jump.

Two of the biggest beneficiaries of this are Washington State’s Thane Pierson (above/photo courtesy WSU Athletics), and University HS/Spokane senior Noah Martin, who got in with marks of 7-3 (2.21m).

At the 1984 US Olympic Trials in Los Angeles, it took 7-4.5 (2.25m) to get into the meet. 16 year old Franklin HS junior Rick Noji got into the meet with that mark, which is still the Washington state high school all time best.

For those who love the high jump in the United States, that should be cause for concern. 

Is it lack of proper coaching at the high school level and below, is it lack of proper equipment (i.e., high jump pits & standards), space for a high jump facility, attraction to other sports (basketball), etc?

While it’s very easy to point the finger at the high jump, this is part of a bigger problem with many of the field events in the United States. I’m just saying that it’s alarming.

—Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe’s name is not on the entry list in either the 100 or 200 meters.  If you recall, she aggravated an injury at the NCAA championships. Also, recall that around the time of the Pac-12 championships in May, Cunliffe, the conference 100/200 champion out of the University of Oregon, was applying for Italian citizenship in order to run for the Azzuri at both the Olympics and at the European Championships which begin July 6th in Amsterdam.


Her injury at the NCAA may make participation in the European Champs and the Olympics a moot point.  

—As of now, recent University of Washington grad Izaic Yorks is listed in the entries without an affiliation in the 1500 meters, while New Mexico steeplechaser Courtney Frerichs, who also has KIMbia Athletics as their agency, just signed a contract with Nike and will run for the Beaverton based Bowerman TC.

Sources have told me that Yorks and his representatives have met with both Brooks and Nike.

While it has not been officially announced, it appears that recent UW grad Baylee Mires will be competing at the Olympic Trials as a member of the Brooks Beasts.  She is entered in the meet with Brooks Beasts as her affiliation.  If so, she will join fellow Husky alum Katie Mackey on the squad. When the entries closed on Sunday, Mires was still listed as University of Washington.  As they say in the business, stay tuned...

paulmerca.blogspot.com is working on an Olympic Trials preview.

Final list of Washington-affiliated athletes qualified for US Olympic Track & Field Trials...

Below is the final list of Washington affiliated athletes who have qualified and entered the 2016 US Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon starting July 1-10, 2016.

Washington affiliated athletes are those who attended high school, college or graduate school in the state of Washington, while professionals are those currently training in the state.

All qualifiers achieved their marks after May 1, 2015. Athletes have until June 26th to qualify for the US Olympic Track & Field Trials.  

This list does not include the walks.  Former Issaquah prep Katie Burnett is entered in the women's 20K race walk, which will be contested on June 30th in Salem. Burnett is seeded fourth with a time of 1:37:51.

All athletes indicated in red are those who were added to the field by USA Track & Field to fill the field to the minimum based on the number of athletes needed to run the proper rounds, based on the descending order list kept by USATF.

The athletes added by USATF Monday to the Olympic Trials field include: Washington State’s CJ Allen (left/photo by Paul Merca), Tacoma native Dakarai Hightower, Washington State’s Thane Pierson, University of Washington alum Norris Frederick,  recent University of Washington grad Carson Fuller, and University/Spokane grad Noah Martin, who will attend Montana State this fall.

The top three in each event, assuming all three have the Olympic qualifying standard, will comprise the team in that event at the Olympics in Rio in August. In events where there are three or less athletes with the standard, USATF historically has taken those holding the standards over an athlete that finished in the top three but didn’t have a standard. In certain events, the IAAF may invite an athlete based on the current world list to fill the field.

For complete details on the US Olympic Track & Field Trials qualifying procedures, please visit usatf.org.

For those of you reading this on a mobile device, we are aware of an issue with Scribd cutting off parts of the document, which is 4 pages long.  We apologize in advance; however, there are no issues reading from a computer. 



One significant addition to this list since the last publication on June 19th are known withdrawals from an event at the Trials due to injury, concentrating on a single event (if qualified in more than one event), etc. For example, Andrea Geubelle has withdrawn from the long jump to concentrate on the triple jump, so she has a line drawn through her name on the form. 

There are also some athletes who are keeping their options open to compete in another event that they’ve qualified in until the final declaration deadline, which is 11:59 PM, Pacific time, two days prior to the first round of that event.

To check the latest status of an athlete, click here.

paulmerca.blogspot.com will publish a time schedule of when Washington affiliated athletes will compete at the Trials.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Alexa Efraimson wins USA junior 1500m title, plus other results from the weekend...

At the USATF Junior Championships in Clovis, California, Camas native Alexa Efraimson (left/photo by Paul Merca) won another national title in the women’s 1500, to get another shot at a world junior title next month.

Efraimson ran in front of high schooler Christina Aragon for the majority of the race, before pulling away on the final lap to win in a time of 4:16.75 to Aragons 4:18.07.

Efraimson, who was sixth at the world juniors two years ago in Eugene, earns a trip to Bydgoszcz, Poland for next month’s IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Mountlake Terrace graduate Chinne Okoronkwo finished second in the triple jump to punch her ticket to Bydgoszcz.

Okoronkwo jumped a best of 42-2.25 (12.86m) in the fourth round, and had to sweat out in the final two rounds a late charge from Chaquinn Cook of Portland State University, who jumped 42-0.75 (12.82m) in the final round, but fell just short of the mark.

Bria Matthews of Georgia Tech won the event with a best of 43-2.2.25 (13.16m).

In the women’s 200 finals, Shorecrest HS grad Wurrie Njadoe finished fifth in 23.93, while High Voltage TC teammate and Bothell HS grad Maya Harewood was sixth in 25.17.


In Chula Vista, California Sunday, Washington alum Norris Frederick popped a season best in the long jump at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center High Performance meet.

Frederick jumped a best of 26-2.25 (7.98m) on his fourth attempt with a +1.4 meter per second wind to take second behind Ted Hooper’s 26-7.25 (8.11m).

While Frederick’s mark is short of the US Olympic Trials standard of 26-5 (8.05m) and the Olympic Games standard of 26-9 (8.15m), he may get into the Trials, as only 11 jumpers this season have achieved the Trials standard. 

The former Husky’s mark currently puts him #13 on this year’s US list, while the event has a recommended field of 24 athletes, which would get him into the meet.

Assuming Frederick gets placed in the meet (USATF men’s track & field committee makes the final decision of filling fields if there are not enough qualified athletes), he would still need to finish in the top 3 AND achieve the Olympic standard at the meet.


At the British Championships in Birmingham, England, University of Washington alum Jax Thoirs tied for second in the men’s pole vault, clearing a best of 17-2.75 (5.25m) on Sunday.

Luke Cutts won the event with a clearance of 17-8.5 (5.40m).

Another Washington alum and former Pac-12 champ James Alaka, finished fourth in his semi-final heat of the 100 in 10.49 Saturday, and did not advance to the finals. Alaka met a similar fate in the 200 Sunday, finishing third in his semi in 21.16, and missing the final.


Finally, in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, WSU grad Shawna Fermin finished second in the 400 meters (5th overall, as athletes from other nearby countries were allowed to compete in the meet) at the Trinidad & Tobago national championships Sunday.

Fermin ran 53.96, as Domonique Williams won the national title in 52.83.

In a Facebook post, she said that while she finished second at her national championships, she will not be going to the Olympics in that event, as she doesn’t have the Olympic standard of 52.20.  However, she feels confident that the T&T team will go in the 4 x 400 relay assuming they can get the standard (top 16 countries).

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Kara Winger opens 2016 with second longest throw by an American this season...

At the Ironwood TC Throws Classic contested at the Concordia Throw Center in Portland Saturday, reigning USA national champion and two-time US Olympian Kara Winger (above/photo by Howard Lao) began her 2016 season by winning the javelin.

The Skyview HS/Vancouver graduate threw a best of 202-6 (61.72m), which would make it the second furthest throw in the country so far this season, behind only Maggie Malone of Texas A&M, who threw 204-0 (62.19m) at the NCAA championships in Eugene a few weeks ago.

Winger elected to open her 2016 season late partly due to a heavy work load, as she was taking classes towards obtaining her masters in business administration.

She had two other throws past the 61 meter mark.

In a text to paulmerca.blogspot.com after the competition, she said, “Wanted a bit more but I’m excited about my potential this season!”.

Entering the US Olympic Trials, Winger, Malone, and Brittany Borman are the only three who own the Olympic qualifying standard of 203-5 (62.00m).

As of this writing, complete results from the Ironwood TC Throws Classic were not posted yet on the directathletics.com site.

At the USATF Junior Championships (under 20) in Clovis, California, Shorecrest HS grad Wurrie Njadoe finished third in her heat of the women’s 200, running 24.05 to qualify for Sunday’s finals.  Bothell HS grad Maya Harewood, who will attend Wisconsin this fall, was fourth in her heat in 24.09 to get the last spot to advance to the finals.

Harewood did not fare as well in the 400, running 55.27 to finish fifth in her heat.

Ruby Watson of Sehome HS did not finish in the women’s 3000m finals.

Sunday, Alexa Efraimson of Camas (1500), Harewood, and Njadoe will contest the finals in their respective events



At the French national championships in Angers, Justine Fedronic, who trains in Seattle with the Beasts TC, finished second in a time of 2:02.79, as Renelle Lamote won their national title on Saturday.

Jordin Andrade takes fifth at African Championships 400 hurdles final...

In Durban, South Africa, Boise State alum Jordin Andrade (above/photo courtesy Mt. SAC Relays), a graduate of Bonney Lake HS, who will represent Cape Verde at this summer’s Olympics in Rio, finished fifth in Friday night’s finals of the 400 hurdles at the African Championships.

Andrade ran 49.62, as Kenya’s Boniface Mucheru took the victory in 49.20.

According to a tweet from his representatives at World Express Management, Andrade hit hurdle #9, stumbled but did not fall, but that mishap was enough to throw off his timing approaching the final hurdle.



The Seattle-based Brooks Beasts announced the signing of recent collegians Shaquille Walker from BYU and Brannon Kidder from Penn State Friday.

Walker, who is a familiar face to track fans attending meets at the Dempsey Indoor, was third in the 800 at the recent NCAA track & field championships in Eugene.  Walker, who comes to the Beasts with a 1:44.99 personal best, was also third at this year’s NCAA indoor champs.

Kidder is a versatile runner with personal bests of 1:45.58 in the 800, 2:18.26 at 1000m, and 3:57.13 in the mile. He won the Big Ten title indoors in the mile, and outdoors in the 1500, and finished seventh indoors at 800 meters at the NCAAs, and was fourth in the 1500 outdoors in Eugene a few weeks ago.

Both will make their debuts as members of the Beasts at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene.

At the USA junior championships in Clovis, California, Camas native Alexa Efraimson, the current American junior record holder in the 1500 meters, easily qualified for the finals in that event, running 4:31.49.

Efraimson expressed confidence after her race, telling USA Track & Field media relations, “No U.S. girl has ever medaled in the 1500 at World Juniors, so I think I have a good opportunity.”  

Efraimson finished just out of the podium at the world juniors in Eugene two years ago.

Shorecrest HS grad Wurrie Njadoe, who will attend Kansas State this fall, was seventh in the 100 meters in 11.63.

In the finals of the men’s pole vault, University of Washington rising sophomore Chase Smith finished eighth with a clearance of 16-2.75 (4.95m), while incoming Husky freshman Zach Shugart, who recently graduated from Blanchet HS, was 11th, also clearing 16-2.75.

The men’s javelin saw Idaho freshman Austin Beyer from Kennewick finish 14th with a best throw of 171-3 (52.20m).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Wet weather derails locals from last chance qualifiers at Stumptown Twilight...

With only a few days left until the qualifying period for the US Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene closes on Sunday, a slew of middle distance runners with Washington ties headed to Mt. Hood Community College for the Stumptown Twilight meet to try and punch their tickets to Eugene.

In wet conditions, Megan Malasarte (above, third from right/photo by Howard Lao) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts came oh-so-close to the 2:03.00 Olympic trials standard, as she finished third in the top section of the women’s 800, running 2:03.20.  In the same heat, WSU volunteer assistant coach Liga Velvere, a Latvian citizen who was aiming for the Olympic Games standard of 2:01.50, finished fourth in 2:03.23.

The women’s steeple saw Club Northwest’s Amber Schultz finish fourth in 9:55.61, 2.61 seconds short of the 9:53.00 standard.  WSU alum and SeattleU assistant coach Caroline Austin was sixth in 10:05.04.

Tacoma native Brie Felnagle was second in the women’s 1500 in 4:12.85, short of the 4:09.50 Trials standard.

In the second heat of the men’s 1500, Travis Burkstrand was third in 3:41.38, short of the 3:38.00 standard. 

Huskies and Cougars announce 2016 cross country schedules...

Action from the 2015 Sundodger Invitational, won by
Washington State (Paul Merca photo)
Both the University of Washington and Washington State University posted their 2016 cross country schedules this week.

The Huskies open the season on September 2nd with the annual open race with Seattle University on Friday September 2nd at Magnuson Park in Seattle, while the Cougars open the day before with the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet in Moscow, Idaho, hosted by the University of Idaho.

The Huskies host the Sundodger Invitational at Lincoln Park in West Seattle on September 17th, where they will see the Cougars, whose men’s team upset the Dawgs in the last two Sundodger races.

The Dawgs host the Washington Invitational on October 1st at Jefferson Park Golf Course on Beacon Hill, with the Cougs making a return trip to Seattle for that meet.

Both the Huskies and Cougars travel to Madison, Wisconsin for the Wisconsin Invitational on October 14th to end the regular season.

The championship season starts on Friday October 28th in Tucson, Arizona, where the Pac-12 cross country championships will be contested at Randolph North Golf Course.

On November 11th, the NCAA West Regionals will be held in Sacramento, with berths to the NCAA championships on the line on November 19th in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, and SeattleU have not posted their complete 2016 schedules as of yet.

Jeshua Anderson pressed, but gets the win in Madrid, plus other news and notes...

Washington State University alum Jeshua Anderson (above/photo by Howard Lao), who is tuning up for the US Olympic Trials, won the 400 hurdles Thursday at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Madrid, Spain.

Anderson held off the charge of Eric Cray of the Philippines, winning in a time of 48.96 to 48.98, which was a national record for Cray.



In Durbin, South Africa, Jordin Andrade of the Seattle Speed TC won his qualifying heat of the 400 hurdles at the African Championships, running 51.22, to advance to Friday’s finals.

The Boise State alum, who will represent Cape Verde at the Olympics, will compete in the finals against a field that includes LJ van Zyl and Comel Fredericks of South Africa, Amadou Ndiaye of Senegal, and Boniface Mucheru of Kenya.


The USA Junior Track & Field championships get underway Friday in Clovis, California, and the following athletes with Washington ties are entered, headlined by 1500m American junior record holder Alexa Efraimson of Camas:

w 200/400—Maya Harewood (Bothell HS/High Voltage)

w 1500—Alexa Efraimson (Nike)

w 3000—Ruby Watson (Sehome HS/Whatcom Tesseract)

m PV—Chase Smith (UW)

w TJ—Chinne Okoronkwo (Mountlake Terrrace HS/Flying AJs)

m JT--Austin Beyer (Idaho/Southridge HS, Kennewick)

These athletes are competing for spots on the USA world junior championships team that will travel to Bydgoszcz, Poland for the IAAF World Under-20 championship meet, with the top two finishers who hold the qualifying standard moving on.

USATF announced earlier on Thursday that the time schedule for the meet would be modified as a precaution to heat advisories in the area.


Finally, a slew of athletes with Washington ties are in Gresham for Thursday night’s Stumptown Twilight meet at Mt. Hood Community College, in a last chance attempt to qualify for the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, and get a Olympic qualifying mark.  For those who already have one and/or both, this meet serves as a tuneup for the trials.

The meet offers the following events:  800, 1500, 3000 steeple, and 5000

Olympians Galen Rupp and Matthew Centrowitz of the Nike Oregon Project are the headliners. 

Flotrack ($) will offer live streaming of the meet.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

List #6--Washington affiliated athletes qualified for the US Olympic Trials...

Baylee Mires poses next to the scoreboard indicating that
she qualified for the US Olympic Trials in the 800m
at the Brooks PR meet (Paul Merca photo)
Below is a list of Washington affiliated athletes who have achieved qualifying marks for the 2016 US Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon starting July 1-10, 2016.

Washington affiliated athletes are those who attended high school, college or graduate school in the state of Washington, while professionals are those currently training in the state.

This will be the next-to-last list published before the Trials.  This list does not include the walks.

All qualifiers achieved their marks after May 1, 2015. Athletes have until June 26th to qualify for the US Olympic Track & Field Trials.  


Any new additions since the last list was published on June 5th are indicated in red. Athletes added and/or have improved marks since the last list was published include Drew Windle (800 meters), Baylee Mires (800 meters), Mel Lawrence (3000 steeple), Andrea Geubelle (triple jump), Katie Reichert (javelin), and Jordin Andrade (400 hurdles).

For complete details on the US Olympic Track & Field Trials qualifying procedures, please visit usatf.org.

For those of you reading this on a mobile device, we are aware of an issue with Scribd cutting off parts of the document, which is 4 pages long.  We apologize in advance; however, there are no issues reading from a computer.


Two additions to this list are the addition of foreign athletes with Washington ties achieving the Olympic A standard. Depending on their country’s qualification process, they may be selected by their federation to compete at the Olympics, or may have to compete in qualifying trials selection meets.

The other addition is a set of numbers to the right of each event name, which indicates the approximate field size (not the minimum), and the number of rounds in each event. 

For the purposes of this list, I have not added any athletes who are just short of the automatic standards, but are likely to be added, per USATF rule 11.3 (b) concerning adding athletes to make a competitive field.

As always, corrections, additions, etc., are welcome.

Andrea Geubelle hits the Olympic standard on the nose in Chula Vista...

CHULA VISTA, California—Add Andrea Geubelle (left/photo by Paul Merca) to the short list of Americans who have hit the Olympic qualifying standard in the triple jump.

Competing at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center High Performance Last Chance Olympic Qualifier meet, the University Place resident and Curtis HS grad jumped the exact distance needed for the Olympic standard—14 meters 15 centimeters (46-5.25) on her fourth jump of the day to win the competition.

Geubelle started with a mark of 44-5.75 (13.56m), then followed up with a wind-aided mark of 46-0 (14.02m).

In round 3, she jumped 45-1.25 (13.75m), then followed it up with the Olympic standard in round 4, with a negligible +0.1 meter per second wind.

Courtesy of Omar Craddock, here is video of the jump:



Round 5 saw her jump 44-10.25 (13.67m), and finished the day with a leap of 45-6.5 (13.88m).

WSU alum Blessing Ufodiama was eighth with a jump of 44-0.25 (13.42m).

Geubelle’s mark is just short of her all-time personal best of 46-6.25 (14.18m) set three years ago.  

Currently only Geubelle, and new American record holder and NCAA champion Keturah Orji of the University of Georgia have the Olympic standard.  Orji jumped 47-8 (14.53m) at the NCAA championships in Eugene to claim the American record.

Spokane native Britney Henry won the women’s hammer with a toss of 228-5 (69.62m).


In Victoria, WSU assistant coach Angela Whyte finished third in the 100 hurdles at the Victoria International Track Classic as she prepares for the Canadian Olympic Trials.

Whyte, who is under the Olympic standard  of 13.00, with a mark of 12.95 in April, ran 13.28, as Bridgette Owens of the USA won in 13.22.

Former Husky Kyle Nielsen finished second in the men’s javelin with a toss of 216-10 (66.11m), as Riley Dolezal of the USA won with a throw of 249-0 (75.90m).

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Washington grad Baylee Mires gets Olympic Trials qualifier at Brooks PR meet...

RENTON—For the first time in the short history of the Brooks PR meet featuring many of the country’s top high school runners, the Seattle-based running shoe company added four professional races to the meet, with the intent of highlighting its Brooks Beasts squad, which has its home base in the city.

In addition, three of the four pro races held with the PR meet at Renton Stadium in suburban Seattle were staged with the intent of giving athletes the opportunity to chase either the US Olympic Trials standard and/or the Olympic standard.

On an overcast day that had tricky winds come into play during the meet, one athlete who made the most of that opportunity was new University of Washington alum Baylee Mires (left/photo by Paul Merca), who in her first professional race, finished third in a personal best 2:02.97 and ducked under the US Olympic trials standard of 2:03.00.

With former Husky 400 meter hurdler Gianna Woodruff as the designated pace setter, the field went through the first 400 just over 58 seconds, about a half-second slower than what several of the runners asked for.

After Woodruff dropped out at the 500 meter mark, Seattle’s Phoebe Wright, who trains with the Beasts group, along with Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker took command up front.

Meanwhile, Mires, who was eighth at the NCAA championships last week, began moving up, passing several runners, and positioned herself into third as they exited the final turn.

Mires could not quite close the gap on Wright and Fricker, as Wright took the win in 2:02.35, and Fricker second at 2:02.47.

Megan Malasarte of the Beasts was fourth in 2:03.62, just short of the Trials qualifier.

In the women’s 1500, Washington alum Katie Mackey dominated the field, winning easily in a time of 4:09.83, 4.23 seconds up on runner-up Lianne Farber.

Jessica Tonn of the Beasts, who is qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 5000, was fifth in 4:16.21, and Tacoma native Brie Felnagle was seventh in 4:18.29. Angela Bizzari of the Beasts was ninth in 4:19.48.

In his first professional race, Washington grad Izaic Yorks, who finished second at last week’s NCAA championship meet at 1500 meters, took the lead with 350 meters to go, but could not hang on as Oklahoma State’s Josh Thompson won the 1500 meters in 3:39.61, with Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano second in 3:39.70, and Yorks third at 3:39.83.

Clayton Murphy, who defeated Yorks at last week’s NCAA championships in the 1500, was fourth in 3:41.02, just ahead of two-time US Olympian Andrew Wheating’s 3:41.38.

Garrett Heath of the Beasts was eighth in 3:43.51, just ahead of teammate Riley Masters’ 3:43.91.  Dorian Ulrey of the Beasts was 11th in 3:46.88.

The men’s 600, which was set up for two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds of the Beasts, never materialized as originally projected, as Symmonds withdrew, and became a match race between Cas Loxsom and Stephan Bullard, with Loxsom winning in 1:17.18 to Bullard’s 1:18.06.

In the high school section, Andrew Jordan of Watkins HS in Pataskala, Ohio had the top mark of the day, winning the two-mile in 8:50.12, crossing 3000 meters in 8:19.69.


At the Harry Jerome Track Classic in Burnaby, British Columbia Friday night, Auburn/Riverside HS alum Jordan McNamara won the men’s 1500 in 3:39.42.

Western Washington grad Katie Reichert qualified for the US Olympic Trials in the javelin, as she finished third with a best throw of 180-4 (54.97m), comfortably over the standard of 177-2 (54.00).  Teammate Bethany Drake was sixth with a best of 164-5 (50.13m), as Krista Woodward of the USA won with a toss of 187-0 (57.01m).

In other events, WSU assistant coach Angela Whyte, who is preparing for the Canadian Olympic trials, was fourth in the 100 hurdles in 13.59, as Bridgette Owens of the USA won in 13.30.

In the women’s steeple, Amber Schultz of Club Northwest was sixth in 9:56.88, and teammate Katelyn Steen was ninth in 10:02.98, short of the Trials qualifying mark of 9:53.00, as 2012 US Olympian Bridget Franek won in 9:49.37.

Many of these same athletes will move on to Victoria for Sunday's Victoria International meet, which is the second stop of Canada's National Track League series.


At the Club Northwest all-comers meet on Wednesday June 15th at Husky Track, Club Northwest pole vaulter Levi Keller may have punched his ticket to the Olympic Trials, clearing a personal best 18-4.75 (5.61m), just short of the automatic qualifying mark of 18-6.5 (5.65m). 

However, with 14 athletes as of this weekend over the standard and a recommended field of 24, the jump will most likely get Keller into the field.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pro fields announced for Brooks PR Invitational...

paulmerca.blogspot.com received an email from Brooks Running media relations guru Derek Lactaoen announcing the tentative fields for the four pro races at the Brooks PR Invitational meet Saturday at Renton Stadium in the Seattle suburb of Renton.

As mentioned in Monday’s post, University of Washington’s Izaic Yorks, who finished second in last week’s NCAA 1500 meter finals in Eugene, will make his pro debut in a field that includes NCAA champ Clayton Murphy of Akron, along with past US Olympians Andrew Wheating and Leo Manzano, along with Garrett Heath and Dorian Ulrey of the Brooks Beasts.  Irish Olympian and 2011 world championships 1500m finalist Ciaran O’Lionaird is also in the field as they go for the Olympic standard of 3:36.20 and the US Olympic trials standard of 3:38.00.

The women’s 1500 has University of Washington alum Katie Mackey (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the host Brooks Beasts and training partner Brie Felnagle from Tacoma as the headliners.  Angela Bizzarri and Jessica Tonn of the Beasts drop down in distance, while collegians Ashley Maton of Oregon and Anna Maxwell from the University of Washington add some spice to the field, which is aiming for the Olympic standard of 4:07.00 and the US trials standard of 4:09.50.

In the women’s 800, 2012 US Olympian Geena Gall is the headliner, along with Megan Malasarte and Natalja Piliusina of the Brooks Beasts.  Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker, along with Lea Wallace and Shannon Leinert are also in the field as they aim for the Olympic standard of 2:01.50 and the Trials standard of 2:03.00

Finally, two time US Olympian and 2013 world championship silver medalist Nick Symmonds of the Brooks Beasts headlines the rarely contested men’s 600m run, along with teammate and 2015 world championship competitor Cas Loxsom, and fellow Beast Drew Windle, who punched his Olympic Trials ticket Sunday when he won the fast section of the men’s 800 at the Portland Track Festival.


The women's 800 will be held at 2:05pm, while the men's 600 will commence at 2:45pm.  The women's 1500 starts at 3:05, while the men's 1500 closes the meet at 3:50.  The complete time schedule is available here.  Media partner Flotrack will provide live streaming of the meet.

The complete fields for the pro section of the Brooks PR Invitational are listed below:


Elite Women's 800m


McKayla Fricker
2:00.81
Brooks ID - High Performance West
Geena Gall
1:59.24
Brooks ID
Shannon Leinert
2:01.62
Brooks ID
Megan Malasarte
2:02.06
Brooks Beasts
Brigitte Mania
2:04.40
Atlanta Track Club
Natalija PiliuĊĦina
2:01.59
Brooks Beasts
Lea Wallace
2:00.30
unattached






Elite Women's 1500m


Angela Bizzarri
4:11.26
Brooks Beasts
Alli Cash
4:16.56
Oregon
Christy Cazzola
4:14.20
Atlanta Track Club
Lianne Farber
4:13.16
New Balance - NorCal Distance Project
Brie Felnagle
4:05.64
adidas
Katie Mackey
4:03.81
Brooks Beasts
Ashley Maton
4:18.38
Oregon
Anna Maxwell
4:12.62
Washington
Yolanda Ngarambe
4:16.15
Atlanta Track Club
Jess Tonn
4:18.28
Brooks Beasts
Tara Welling
4:24.54
Skechers - High Performance West
Phoebe Wright
Pacer
Nike
McKayla Fricker
Pacer
Brooks ID - High Performance West



Elite Men's 600m


Cas Loxsom
01:44.9
Brooks Beasts
Stephan Bullard
01:49.1
Team Run Eugene
Nathan Fleck
01:47.7
High Performance West
Drew Windle
01:45.6
Brooks Beasts
Nick Symmonds
01:42.9
Brooks Beasts



Elite Men's 1500m


Eric Avila
3:40.20
Hoka One One
Josh Thompson
3:41.88
Oklahoma State
Travis Burkstrand
3:40.60
Brooks ID
Kirubel Erassa
3:39.05
Atlanta Track Club
Garrett Heath
3:34.12
Brooks Beasts
Brandon Lasater
3:42.91
Atlanta Track Club
Frezer Legesse
3:36.93
Under Armour
Leo Manzano
3:30.98
Hoka One One
Riley Masters
3:36.49
Brooks Beasts
Clayton Murphy
3:36.23
Akron
Ciaran O'Lionaird
3:34.46
Nike OTC
Duncan Phillips
3:38.28
Brooks ID
Dorian Ulrey
3:35.23
Brooks Beasts
Andrew Wheating
3:30.90
Nike OTC
Izaic Yorks
3:37.74
Washington
Mark Wieczorek
Pacer
Team Wizzo
Daniel Herrera
Pacer
High Performance West

Monday, June 13, 2016

Izaic Yorks signs with KIMbia agency & scheduled to make pro debut Saturday at Brooks PR meet...

According to a news release, University of Washington middle distance runner Izaic Yorks (left/photo by Paul Merca) signed with KIMbia Athletics Monday, just days after competing in the NCAA track & field championships.

Yorks joins an agency that includes 2016 US Olympians Shalane Flanagan & Amy Cragg, along with several other members of the Portland-based Bowerman Track Club.  


The agency also represents a a pair of athletes who currently compete for the Brooks Beasts in Jessica Tonn and Natalja Piliusina.

Yorks will make his professional debut Saturday at the Brooks PR meet in the 1500, where he’ll face a field that includes Olympians Leo Manzano and Andrew Wheating, as well as Clayton Murphy from Akron, who defeated Yorks last Friday in the NCAA 1500 final (he announced that he was turning pro), and the Brooks Beasts duo of Riley Masters and Garrett Heath.

Brooks announced that they will contest three other pro races between the high school all star races—a women’s 800, a men’s 600, and a women’s 1500, with fields to be announced throughout the week.

ANDRADE SETS CAPE VERDE NATIONAL RECORD SATURDAY IN 400 HURDLES

Boise State alum Jordin Andrade, who currently competes for the Seattle Speed TC, set a Cape Verde national record and a 2016 season best in the 400 hurdles Saturday June 11th in Kingston, Jamaica.

Andrade ran 49.26 to finish fourth at the Racers Grand Prix meet at the National Stadium in Kingston, as Johnny Dutch won in 48.10.

The mark is 2/100ths off of his personal best set at last year’s NCAA championships, but isn't considered a national record, as Andrade was an American citizen when he ran that mark.

Andrade is currently coached by Seattle Speed founder Mike Cunliffe, and is represented by Mark Pryor’s World Express management firm, which has Olympic long jump champ Brittney Reese as its most notable client.

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