Sunday, July 26, 2015

WEEKEND ROUNDUP--Taiwo tunes up for Beijing in low-key meet in Chula Vista...

CHULA VISTA, California—In a low key tune-up competition for next month’s IAAF World Track & Field Championships, Washington alum Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo by Mike Scott) finished fourth in the pole vault at the Olympic Training Center-Chula Vista USATF World Pre-Meet Saturday at the Olympic Training Center.

Taiwo, the Newport HS grad and current USOTC resident, cleared a best of 16-1 (4.90m), as Nick Mossberg won at 18-0.5 (5.50m). He also finished third in the discus, throwing 145-3 (44.27m), as Andrew Evans won with a toss of 201-3 (61.35m).

Taiwo, along with fellow decathletes Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee, competed in various events as they prepare for the decathlon in Beijing, where Eaton is the defending champion.

Spokane native and USOTC resident Britney Henry, competing for Seattle-based Oiselle, won the women’s hammer with a throw of 229-5 (69.64m).

Complete results of the Olympic Training Center-Chula Vista USATF World Pre-Meet are available here.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Marcus Chambers runs leg on Team USA's 4x400 relay that finishes second...

TORONTO, Ontario—Tacoma native Marcus Chambers (left/photo by Paul Merca) ran the third leg of Team USA’s 4 x 400 meter relay squad that finished third in the final track race of the Pan Am Games at CIBC Pan Am Athletics Stadium on the campus of York University Saturday night.

After a strong start by Kyle Clemons and James Harris on the first two legs, Chambers, the reigning Pac-12 400 champ who competes for the University of Oregon, took off strongly before fading in the home straight, and giving the baton to veteran Kerron Clement in fourth.  Clement got Team USA in medal contention on his leg, finishing third in 3:00.21, behind winner Trinidad & Tobago’s 2:59.60, and Cuba.

However, the Cubans were disqualified after the race for a relay composition violation, moving Team USA to second, and the Bahamas to third in 3:00.34.

In the men’s 5000m finals, Garrett Heath of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts finished fourth in a time of 13:47.17, as Juan Luis Barrios of Mexico won in 13:46.47.

Heath and teammate David Torrence were in the top six as they headed into the final kilometer.

Heath stayed in third, just ahead of Torrence at the bell. Heath moved through on the inside to very briefly take the lead with 200 to go before fading to fourth.

Washington athletes at the Pan Am Games won two individual medals—Kara Winger a silver in the javelin, and Lindsay Flanagan taking bronze in the marathon, in addition to Chambers’ team silver in the relay.

Kara Winger finishes fifth in London Diamond League meeting...

LONDON, England—Vancouver native Kara Winger (left/photo by Paul Merca), who earned a silver medal in the javelin earlier in the week at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, finished fifth in her specialty Saturday afternoon at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium.

Competing in the eleventh stop of the season-long IAAF Diamond League tour, Winger threw a best of 206-7 (62.97m), as Madara Palameika of Latvia won with a throw of 213-3 (65.01m), nosing out reigning Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic by a centimeter.

It was a rough day for athletes with Washington ties at the Olympic Stadium.  In the pole vault, Washington alum Brad Walker failed to clear a height, missing all three attempts at his opening height of 18-0.5 (5.50m) while current Husky Jax Thoirs was seventh with a best of 17-4.5 (5.30m).

Reigning world and Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie of France won in a meet record 19-9.25 (6.03m).

Cas Loxsom of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts was tenth in the 800m in a time of 1:48.04, as Nijel Amos of Botswana won in 1:44.57.

The IAAF Diamond League continues on July 30th with the Stockholm Bauhaus Athletics meeting in the Swedish city.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Katie Mackey takes third in 1500m at London Diamond League meeting...

LONDON, England—Competing in the same stadium that previously hosted the 2012 Olympic track and field competition, Katie Mackey (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts finished third in the women’s 1500 meters Friday night at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, the eleventh stop of the IAAF’s Diamond League series.

Mackey ran 4:06.54, as she started in the middle of the pack, then made a move to get to the front with 350 to go, but ran out of real estate, as Great Britain’s Laura Weightman won in 4:06.90 on a wet night.

Gabe Grunewald from Minnesota was second in 4:06.35, ahead of Mackey.

While in the program, the women's 1500 was not a scored Diamond League event.

Courtesy of the meet organizers, here is the race:


In the men’s 3000, Washington State alum Bernard Lagat was seventh in the men’s 3000 in a time of 7:42.38, as hometown hero and reigning world & Olympic champ Mo Farah, who trains in Portland as part of the Nike Oregon Project, won in a world leading time of 7:34.66.

The men’s pole vault, which had Washington alum Brad Walker entered, was rescheduled for Saturday.


In Dublin, Ireland, Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker finished second in the 800 in a time of 2:01.35, as Angela Petty of New Zealand won in 1:59.89.

In the featured Morton Mile, Riley Masters of the Brooks Beasts finished third in a time of 3:57.48, while Auburn/Riverside alum Jordan McNamara was 16th in 4:09.07.  

Australia’s Jeff Riseley won in 3:57.09.


In Toronto, both Jeshua Anderson and Marcus Chambers saw action Friday morning in the qualifying round of the men’s 4 x 400 meters at the Pan Am Games.

Teaming with leadoff James Harris, and anchor Kyle Clemons, Anderson ran a 45.92 split on the second leg, before handing off to Chambers, who ran a 45.40 split, the fastest split of the team, as Team USA won in a time of 3:02.99.

The finals of the men’s 4 x 400 relay will be contested Saturday at 10:10 pm local time (7:10pm in Seattle), and will be shown on ESPN3/WatchESPN app, and on the ESPN family of networks.


CHRIS SHANE NEW DISTANCE COACH AT EASTERN WASHINGTON

Eastern Washington announced Friday that Chris Shane, formerly an assistant distance coach at the University of San Francisco, has been hired as the new distance/cross country coach for the Eagles.

He takes over a talented group of EWU distance runners for both the men and women. Last year, the women finished fourth at the Big Sky Conference Championships, equaling the team's highest finish in program history. The men placed sixth, just eight points out of fourth place in the 12-team league.

Before going to USF, Shane was an assistant coach at BYU, where he worked alongside his father Patrick, the current head coach of the women's cross country team at BYU. 

The BYU alum competed for the Cougars from 2001-03, after serving as a missionary in Mexico. He graduated from BYU with a degree in exercise & wellness.

He takes over the position vacated by Chris Zeller after the conclusion of the 2014 cross country season, and filled on an interim basis by Camille Moseley.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Jeshua Anderson finishes fifth in 400H at Pan Ams; UW alum Planell Cruz 10th in pole vault...

TORONTO, Ontario—Washington State University alum Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished fifth in the finals of the men’s 400 hurdles Thursday night at the 2015 Pan Am Games at the CIBC Pan Am Athletics Stadium on the campus of York University.

Anderson, who ran the fastest time of the semis Wednesday at 49.73, ran a season best time of 48.95, as Jeffery Gibson of the Bahamas won in a personal best 48.51, followed by Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson in 48.67, and Jamaica’s Roxroy Cato in 48.72.

Kerron Clement of Team USA was fourth in 48.72, followed by Anderson in a season best 48.95, breaking 49 seconds for the first time this season.

University of Washington alum Diamara Planell Cruz, competing for her native Puerto Rico, finished tenth in the finals of the women’s pole vault, clearing 13-7.25 (4.15m).  Yarisley Silva of Cuba won with a new Pan Am meet record of 15-11 (4.85m), which is the best mark in the world this season.

CORRECTION:  Planell Cruz will have one season of indoor track eligibility remaining at the University of Washington.

On Friday, Anderson and Tacoma native Marcus Chambers may run in the qualifying round of the men’s 4 x 400 meter relay, as they are part of the relay pool.  The USA is in the first of two semifinal heats scheduled to go at 12:20 pm local time (9:20 am in Seattle).


ESPN will have live coverage of the Pan Am Games via its online and on-air platforms, including ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3/WatchESPN.

WHAT’S ON TAP THIS WEEKEND

The IAAF Diamond League makes its annual stop in London for the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium for two days of competition.

Among those competing Friday are Bernard Lagat (3000), Brad Walker (PV), and Katie Mackey (1500).

In Dublin, Ireland, Auburn/Riverside alum Jordan McNamara & Riley Masters of the Brooks Beasts will run the mile at the Morton Games.

Saturday, Pan Am javelin silver medalist Kara Winger goes against a strong field in her specialty in day two of the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in London, while Cas Loxsom of the Brooks Beasts will run the 800.

The Pan Am Games track and field competition concludes in Toronto, as Garrett Heath of the Brooks Beasts will run in the finals of the men’s 5000, while Marcus Chambers & Jeshua Anderson may be called upon to run legs in the 4 x 400 meter relay finals, assuming Team USA advances out of their heat Friday.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Phoebe Wright finishes seventh in Pan Am Games 800m final...

TORONTO, Ontario—Current Seattle resident Phoebe Wright (left/photo by Paul Merca), who trains with the Beasts TC group, finished seventh in the finals of the women’s 800 meter run Wednesday night at the 2015 Pan Am Games at the CIBC Pan Am Athletics Stadium on the campus of York University.

In the final, Cuba’s Rose Mary Almanza took the pace out early, crossing 400m in 57.86, with Team USA’s Alysia Montaño tucked behind.

Almanza faded as Montaño took the lead entering the final straight, only to be challenged and passed by Canada’s Melissa Bishop, who won in 1:59.62 to Montaño’s 1:59.76.  Flavia De Lima of Brazil took the bronze in 2:00.40, as Wright, the University of Tennessee alum, finished in 2:04.17.

Washington State alum Jeshua Anderson, who ran the fastest time of the day at 49.73 in the first semifinal Wednesday afternoon, will compete in the finals of the 400 hurdles, which is set for Thursday afternoon at 5:40 pm (2:40 pm in Seattle).


ESPN will have live coverage of the Pan Am Games via its online and on-air platforms, including ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3/WatchESPN.

Jeshua Anderson runs fastest time in 400 hurdles semis at Pan Am Games...

TORONTO, Ontario—On a very windy morning, Washington Sate University alum Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Paul Merca) won his heat of the 400 hurdles Wednesday morning at the 2015 Pan Am Games, held at the CIBC Pan Am Athletics Stadium on the campus of York University.

Anderson, one of the favorites in the field, took command early despite a slow start, leading as he cleared the third hurdle,and maintained the lead through the remainder of the race, easing up after clearing the final hurdle, 

Brazil’s Roxroy Cato of Brazil took the other automatic qualifying spot in the heat behind Anderson, 49.85.

Anderson’s time was the fastest of the three semifinal races.

The finals of the 400 hurdles are set for Thursday afternoon at 5:40 pm (2:40 pm in Seattle).

Seattle’s Phoebe Wright will run in the finals of the 800 meters later Wednesday evening. Wright, who trains with the Beasts TC, finished third in her semifinal of the 800 meters Tuesday, running 2:04.88 to automatically advance.


ESPN will have live coverage of the Pan Am Games via its online and on-air platforms.  Please check ESPN.com for further details.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Winger takes silver in javelin at Pan Am Games; Wright advances to 800m finals...

TORONTO, Ontario—Two time US Olympian Kara Winger (above/photo courtesy USA Track & Field/Claus Andersen) finished second in the javelin Tuesday morning in the first field event of the 2015 Pan Am Games at the CIBC Pan Am Athletics Stadium on the campus of York University.

The Skyview HS and Purdue University graduate began her series with a throw of 186-7 (56.88m) and was third until improving to 193-2 (58.89m) in round three.

Brazil’s Jucilene De Lima took the lead took the lead in round 4 with the first 60 meter toss of the meet, which went 198-3 (60.42m).

The results held until the penultimate throw of the competition when Winger let fly a toss of 201-7 (61.44m) that took the lead until Liz Gleadle of Canada countered with her winning throw of 206-1 (62.83m).

Seattle’s Phoebe Wright, who trains with the Beasts TC finished third in her semifinal of the 800 meters, running 2:04.88 to automatically advance to the finals on Wednesday at 7:30 pm (4:30 pm in Seattle).

Washington State alum Jeshua Anderson competes in the first of three semifinal heats of the 400 hurdles Wednesday afternoon at 12:20 pm local time (9:20 am in Seattle).


ESPN will have live coverage of the Pan Am Games via its online and on-air platforms.  Please check ESPN.com for further details.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Winger and Wright kick off track & field portion of Pan Am Games Tuesday...

TORONTO, Ontario—The track and field portion of the Pan Am Games gets underway Tuesday at the CIBC Pan Am Athletics Stadium on the campus of York University.

Vancouver native Kara Winger (left/photo by Paul Merca) competes for Team USA in the very first event of the meet, the women’s javelin, which is scheduled to get underway at 10:05 am, eastern (7:05 am in Seattle).

Later in the afternoon, Seattle’s Phoebe Wright will run in the second of two semi-final races in the women’s 800 meters, with the finals scheduled for Wednesday evening.

Team USA got its first track & field medal Saturday when University of Washington alum Lindsay Flanagan finished third in the marathon on the streets of Toronto.

The three men with Washington ties competing on the USA Pan-Am team—Jeshua Anderson (400 hurdles/4 x 400 relay pool), Marcus Chambers (4 x 400 pool), and Garrett Heath (5000m) compete later in the week.


ESPN will have live coverage of the Pan Am Games via its online and on-air platforms.  Please check ESPN.com for further details.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Beasts' Katie Mackey & Riley Masters each earn third place finishes in Heusden...

HEUSDEN, Belgium—Both Katie Mackey (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Riley Masters of Seattle’s Brooks Beasts TC earned third place finishes at the KBC Night of Athletics meeting Saturday night at De Veen Stadium.

Mackey ran 4:04.53, as Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya took the victory in 4:03.58.

In the men’s 1500, Mackey’s Beasts TC teammate Riley Masters had an identical third place finish, running 3:36.71, as Great Britain’s Chris O’Hare won in 3:34.83.

Auburn/Riverside HS alum Jordan McNamara was seventh in 3:37.20.

In the women’s 100m hurdles, Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford finished fifth in 13.12, as Anne Zagre of Belgium won in 12.71.

UW alum Lindsay Flanagan earns bronze medal for Team USA at Pan Am Games...

TORONTO, Ontario—University of Washington alum Lindsay Flanagan (left/photo by Paul Merca), competing in her second marathon as a professional, finished third at the Pan American Games marathon competition Saturday morning, earning a bronze medal for Team USA.

Flanagan and the rest of the 16-woman field started slowly along the spectator friendly loop course on the shores of Lake Ontario, going through the 5-kilometer mark in 18:55.

She was in the lead group as they went through 15k in 55:42, before eventual winner Gladys Tejada of Peru pulled away, going through the half-marathon point in 1:17:11, 33 seconds ahead of the Husky alum.

Flanagan maintained second place until before the 35k mark when second place finisher Adriana da Silva of Brazil passed her, thanks to a 18:12 split run between 30 and 35k.

Tejada crossed the line first in a personal best 2:33:03, followed by da Silva in 2:35:40, and Flanagan in 2:36:30.

Flanagan, who ran 2:33:12 in her debut at the Chevron Houston Marathon earlier this year, is currently based in Silver Spring, Maryland where she is part of the Riadha training group.  She is sponsored by Mizuno USA.


Track and field competition at the Pan Am Games gets underway Tuesday.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Brooks Beasts' Garrett Heath fifth in Monaco Diamond League 3000m...

FONTVIEILLE, Monaco—Garrett Heath (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts took fifth in the men’s 3000m at the at the Herculis Meeting International d’Athletisme Friday evening

Heath ran a personal best 7:37.97 at the tenth stop of the IAAF Diamond League tour, and was in contention for most of the race.  Kenya’s Caleb Ndiku won in a world leading time of 7:35.13.

Washington alum Brad Walker finished fifth in the pole vault  with a season best 18-9.25 (5.72m) as reigning world and Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie of France won with a leap of 19-5 (5.92m).

The meet was highlighted by the world record run by Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia in the women’s 1500m as she ran 3:50.07 to break the long standing record of 3:50.46 set by Qu Yunxia of China back in 1993.  In that race, Shannon Rowbury of the Portland-based Nike Oregon Project set a new American record of 3:56.29.

Two time world champion and Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya ran a world leading time of 3:26.69, the third fastest mark of all-time to win convincingly.

Highlights of the meet are available below, courtesy IAAF Diamond League:



WHAT’S ON TAP THIS WEEKEND

University of Washington alum Lindsay Flanagan, who made her pro marathon debut at the Houston Marathon last January, will toe the line early Saturday morning in Toronto as the track and field portion of the Pan American Games gets underway with the women’s marathon at 7:05 am eastern time (4:05 am in Seattle).

Flanagan, who enters the race with a best of 2:33:12, is one of seventeen women in the field.

The competitors will run on a spectator-friendly loop course along the shore of Lake Ontario.


On the European circuit, several athletes with Washington ties will run at the KBC Night of Athletics  meeting in Heusden, Belgium Saturday night.

In the men’s 1500, Auburn/Riverside HS alum Jordan McNamara is in the field, along with Riley Masters of the Brooks Beasts.

Rainier Beach HS alum Ginnie Crawford goes against Lolo Jones and Jackie Coward in the women’s 100m hurdles.

Washington alum Katie Mackey of the Brooks Beasts is in a strong women’s 1500m field that includes Mary Cain of the Nike Oregon Project.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tumwater HS grad & SEC 800m champ Brooke Feldmeier from Ole Miss transfers to Oregon...

The University of Oregon Ducks, fresh off a sweep of the NCAA men’s and women’s track and field championship, just added some more firepower with the announcement on her Twitter account that Tumwater HS graduate Brooke Feldmeier (left/photo by Mike Scott) will transfer from the University of Mississippi.


Feldmeier ran a personal best 2:03.13 in finishing seventh at the NCAA East Regionals, after running 2:04.44 to win the SEC title.

At the USA junior championships in Eugene, Feldmeier was fifth in the 800m, running 2:10.57.

During her career at Tumwater, she won state titles at the 200, 400, and 100 hurdles her junior and senior seasons, and won two Washington state heptathlon titles.

She becomes the second high profile Washington prep in the last week to transfer from another university to Oregon, joining sprinter Hannah Cunliffe, who earlier announced that she was transferring from Oklahoma.

DREW WINDLE LATEST TO JOIN BROOKS BEASTS

Seattle-based Brooks Sports announced that six-time NCAA Division II 800m champion Drew Windle (left/photo courtesy Brooks Sports) is the latest runner to join coach Danny Mackey’s Brooks Beasts group.

Windle comes to the Beasts having won the last three NCAA D2 indoor and outdoor titles for Ashland University in Ohio.  He has a collegiate best of 1:46.52, set in 2014 indoors at the GVSU Invitational in Allendale, Michigan.

He competed at the USA outdoor championships in Eugene, last month, finishing seventh in his first round heat in a time of 1:50.53.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Efraimson and Fricker go 1-3 in 800m in Liege...

LIEGE, Belgium—Training partners Alexa Efraimson (left/photo by Paul Merca) and McKayla Fricker finished 1-3 in the 800 meters at the International Meeting de Liège Wednesday night in the Belgian city.

Efraimson, the recent graduate of Camas HS, who turned pro instead of competing for her high school this past season, won the race in 2:01.11, while Fricker, the Seattle Pacific grad who was the 2014 NCAA Division II champion at this distance, finished third in 2:02.06.

Courtesy of the race organizers, here is video of the race:


In the women’s 100 meter hurdles, Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford, who competed Sunday in Edmonton, but had never competed in a European meet after flying the same day, was second in 13.04, as Belgium’s Anne Zagre won in 12.91.

Former University of Washington standout Ingvill Måkestad Bovin of Norway,  who has slowly been rounding into form after being injured and on maternity leave, finished 14th in the women’s 1500 in 4:16.00, as Rachel Schneider of the USA won in 4:07.88.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Lagat sets M40 world best in 3000 in Luzern; Cunliffe announces transfer to Oregon...

LUZERN, Switzerland--Washington State University hall of famer Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished second in the 3000 meters at the Spitzen Leichtathletik meeting.

Lagat, who was a disappointing tenth at the USA championships in the 5000 after getting sick at the Oslo Diamond League meeting and missing a week of training, ran a world M40 masters’ best of 7:42.75 to finish behind fellow US Olympian Lopez Lomong, who ran 7:42.19 for the win.

Fellow Cougar Jeshua Anderson was third in the 400 hurdles, running a season best 49.08, as Jeffery Gibson of the Bahamas won in 48.77.  Anderson heads to Toronto to join Team USA at the Pan American Games.

Former Husky Märt Israel was ninth in the discus with a best of 194-6 (59.29m).


SPRINTER HANNAH CUNLIFFE TO TRANSFER TO OREGON

Federal Way HS graduate Hannah Cunliffe (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport), who finished her freshman year at the University of Oklahoma, announced on her Twitter page Tuesday that she will transfer from Oklahoma to the University of Oregon, where she will join a powerful sprint group that includes the likes of USA 200 meter champion Jenna Prandini, and Jasmine Todd, who was third in the USA championships in the 100.

At Oklahoma, Cunliffe qualified for the NCAA championships in the 60, and finished second in the Big 12 championships.  Outdoors, she ran a season best of 11.74, in finishing eighth at the Texas Relays.

The speculation began that something was up with Cunliffe when she did not compete at either the Big 12 or the NCAA West Regionals, and was further fueled when she was seen in the stands at the Brooks PR meet last month talking to members of the Oregon coaching staff.

Cunliffe was one of the most heralded prep sprinters to come out of the state of Washington, even though she only competed in the state meet her senior year (she was home schooled).  She finished fourth in the 200 at the 2013 IAAF world youth championships in Donetsk, Ukraine, running 23.44.

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