Saturday, July 5, 2008

Notes from Raff: Friday

Breaux Greer failed to qualify for Sunday’s javelin finals after winning nine straight American championships. Greer’s best throw was, for him, a paltry 220-6, far from his American record of 299-6.

Grand Blanc’s Gwen Wentland cleared two heights, 5-10 ½ and 6-0 ½, but left the competition with three misses at 6-2 ¼ in the high jump. Wentland finished in seventh place as Chaunte Howard (6-5 ½), Amy Acuff (6-4 ¾), and Sharon Day (6-4 ¾) will represent the United States in China.

Saline’s Steve Scherer advanced to Sunday’s 1500 meter finals with a 2nd place finish in the first semi-final heat. The former Michigan State runner now represents the local Oregon Track Club and ran 3:44.20 with laps of 63-63-56 and a closing 400 of 55.

I’m still pulling for Texas’ Leonel Manzano in Sunday’s finals of the 1500. Manzano placed 2nd in the second semi-final with a 3:40.32 pace as the quick Texan miler closed with a 55 last lap.

In the women’s 1500 the University of Michigan graduate Lindsey Gallo won the 2nd semi-final heat with a 4:12.54 as the New Jersey native ran laps of 68-71-63 and closed with a 65 final 400.

Gallo’s training mate Morgan Uceny, former Cornell runner from an Indiana high school, also qualified in 4:13.61.

The 1500 was highlighted by California 11th grader Jordan Hasay who also advanced to the finals on Sunday with a national high school record of 4:14.50.

Hasay’s laps were 68-72-65 and a final 400 of 64 as the crowd noise followed her on that final lap.

I don’t know when the last prep female miler made a national senior final?? If the little senior-to-be runner makes the Olympic team, this stadium will go bananas.

I’m betting on Gallo as one of the final three and that both 1500 races on Sunday will be fast.

As expected Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan, and Jennifer Rhines took the top three places in the 5000 women’s finals.

The race featured kilometer splits of 3:08, 3:01, 3:03, 3:03 and 2:46 as the three Olympians ran the last 400 in 65 seconds and the last 800 in 2:12.

The best three 5000 runners will represent the country in China.

The men’s 10,000 meter final closed tonight’s meet with a crowd cheering victory by Abdi Abdirhman in 27:41.89, but Oregon’s Galen Rupp followed Abdi in 27:43.11, and Jorge Torres’ 27:46.33 as the crowd again roared its approval.

The fireworks began above the north end of the field as the three Olympians finished their last five laps.

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