Saturday, June 28, 2008

Friday report on Michigan athletes

The women's 800m was the highlight last night. Both Katie Waits (2:03.73) and Geena Gall (2:05.04) looked to be in top form, and ran like potential Olympians. And Becky Horn came fighting back after nearly losing contact in the first lap. Her 2:05.10 made her the last time qualifier.

Sherita Williams came here meaning business. Considered a long-shot in the triple jump, she opened up with the best leap of her life by nearly six inches, a Michigan-alum record 44-4.25. She will be in the final.

Our discus throwers also did well, both Becky Breisch (198-2) and Katie Corner (174-4) making the finals.

In the heptathlon, Lela Nelson ran into problems. She hit 13.46w in the hurdles, 5-5.25 in the high jump, and 38-10.5 in the shot. However, she did not show up for her 200 heat, and is out. I suspect an injury but I haven't heard anything specific. Meanwhile, Bettie Wade is tearing it up, at 13.85, 5-11.25, 42-9, and 24.72w. She is currently in 5th at 3633, 356 points behind leader Hyleas Fountain.

In the 10,000, Sharon Dickie Thompson ran a game first half (16:24), but then faded in the heat and ended up 20th in 34:10.46.

Michigan's 400 hurdlers did not fare well, with none advancing to the next round. Kathleen LaValley was 4th in her heat in 59.62. Danielle Brown was also 4th, at 58.62. And Kenneth Ferguson finished last in his with a lackluster 53.13.

In the men's 800, Abraham Mach finished far out of the running at 1:53.92. In the shot, Steve Manz threw a decent 63-3.25, but finished three spots away from the final.

Paul Terek has withdrawn from the meet with a knee injury, so no Michigander will be in the decathlon.

Finally, in our best-lessons-for-high-school-runners-department, after the 10,000m race, and the victory lap, and the interviews, and the award ceremonies, Shalane Flanagan could be seen all alone on a practice field, following a vigorous stretching routine, while Kara Goucher ran laps around the field, cooling down. Most people, having just made the Olympic team, would be kicking their feet up and celebrating. The pros got that good because they do the right thing. It pays off.

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