By Jack Pfeifer
EUGENE, Ore. – Bernard Lagat and Lukas Verzbicas were back on the same track again here over the weekend, just as they were at the Armory in February. This time, it was for the Prefontaine Classic, the legendary invitational meet held here at the University of Oregon every spring.
EUGENE, Ore. – Brigetta Barrett, a tall, poised, 20-year-old sophomore at the University of Arizona, may be America’s next great female high jumper. She’s won an NCAA indoor title and recently cleared 6 feet 4 inches. The journey to Tucson wasn’t easy.
Started by what may have been the fastest leadoff 1,200 leg ever run indoors, Villanova went on to run 10:56.12 in the women’s distance medley relay Friday night on Day 1 of the Columbia Last Chance meet at the Armory in New York, pulling three other teams under the magical 11-minute barrier with them.
Four collegians long-jumped more than 26 feet over the weekend – two for the first time in their young careers – and all four will be in the field for this year’s New Balance Collegiate Invitational, to be held at the Armory Feb. 4-5.
Jordan Yamoah opened his senior season by breaking the New York state indoor pole vault record, clearing 16'6" Friday night Dec. 17 at the Jim Mitchell Invitational at the Armory.
Haverford College, led by the individual champion Anders Hulleberg, won the NCAA Division III national cross country championship on Saturday on the campus of Wartburg College, in Waverley, Iowa. It was the first NCAA team championship in the storied school’s history, and the first for its renowned coach, Tom Donnelly, in his 36 years at the school.
The Van Dalen twin sisters from New Zealand, Lucy and Holly, took the top two places at the Northeast Regional women’s Division I cross country race over the weekend, leading Stony Brook to second place and an automatic qualifying spot at the NCAA championships.
The Stony Brook women’s cross country team – not even ranked Div. I – placed fifth in the big Notre Dame Invitational over the weekend, led by the great running of the twin sisters Lucy and Holly Van Dalen. Lucy won the race, defeating Sheila Reid of national-champion Villanova, and Holly finished sixth.
Aliann Pompey, the veteran New York sprinter, is expected to run the 400 meters at the Commonwealth Games next month in Delhi, India, returning to an event she won eight years ago in one of the biggest victories of a long, stellar career.
The college cross country season got under way over the weekend with low-key early-season events. Some top teams will not their use “A” runners for three more weeks. Nevertheless, it was a time for some of the younger runners to get off to a good start, including Easterners who are in college programs across the country.
The NYU men’s cross country team – national Div. III champions a few years ago and fourth last year – are ranked fifth nationally in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association preseason poll. Coach Nick McDonough’s Violets are led by Sebastian Schwelm and Matt Turlip, both of whom finished in the top 40 in last year’s championship race. NYU has won its UAA conference championship each of the last four seasons.
New Yorker Molly Huddle broke the American record in the 5,000 meters Friday night in Brussels, Belgium, running 14:44.76 to beat Shalane Flanagan’s 3-year-old record by a minuscule four-hundredths of a second.
New Jersey's Myasia Jacobs and Najee Glass both ran on the victorious multinational medley relay teams for the Americas on Monday at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and won gold medals.
New Yorker Claudia Francis advanced to the final of the girls’ 1,000-meter run Wednesday at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. Francis, who will be a senior this fall at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Queens, had the fifth-fastest time in the preliminaries, running 2:51.99, just off her indoor best for the distance. The fastest qualifier was Anastasia Tkachuk of Ukraine, who ran 2:43.55.
Fellow New Jersey sophomores Myasia Jacobs and Najee Glass have advanced to the finals of their events in the Youth Olympics in Singapore.
Claudia Francis of Queens will compete in the girls’ 1,000-meter run next week at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
Lateisha Philson led a group of Cardozo runners at the AAU Junior Olympics over the weekend in Norfolk, Va., finishing second in both hurdle finals in the Intermediate age division. Philson, who will be a junior next season at Cardozo, Queens, was beaten by Kendell Williams, of Kennesaw, Ga., in both races.