|Sammy Wanjiru & Pre Tribute
I started the day off with a cup of Stumptown Coffee from Market of Choice and bumped into Mr. Track Town himself, Vin Lananna, in the parking lot. Said hello and headed over to Eugene resident and Track Focus co-founder Jim McDannald's house for some pancakes before heading over to Hayward with Doug Binder. Got a spot one level below last night and the day of Track & Field began.
|My view from press row
The Men's 110m hurdles was certainly one of the top billed events as an epic rematch with David Oliver and Liu Xiang. Xiang got the better of Oliver in Shanghai, but Oliver ran better today, crushing the first few hurdles on the way to a 12.94 world leading time (with Xiang in 13.00). The Men's 400m was a little slow with Angelo Taylor upsetting Jeremy Wariner in 45.16 before another big event for the day, the Men's (and boy's) 2-Mile.
|Lukas signing autographs
What was billed as an attack on the American Record (8:07.07) and the American High School Record (8:34), ended up being about half of that as the Men's race went out pretty slow after a quick first lap and the whole group, high schooler Lukas Verzbicas included, ran together for the first 2k or so. As the men's race began to heat up, Verzbicas kept a strong and steady pace himself (after going through the mile in 4:13). The men's pack stayed together through the last 200m when ageless Bernard Lagat showed his well-honed race tactics and kicked for the win in 8:13.62 with Verzbicas kicking home alone about 150m back in a new high school record of 8:29.46. Word is he's pretty confident he can go sub-4 next week at the Jim Ryan Dream Mile in New York.
Next up, the women's 800m was a tight bunch at the finish with Kenia Sinclair taking the win in 1:58 with 5 Americans at 2:00.xx or better, led by Alysia Montano (nee Johnson). Walter Dix kicked hard in the last 50 to take the 200 in 20.19 before Amantle Montsho surprised the field in the women's 400 in 50.59.
All in all, an excellent day at the track. Perfect weather. Awesome crowd and lots of great races. Hope to make it back next year!
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