TRE Last Chance Meet is a Success
After the monsoon on Thursday at the Stumptown Twilight, we were left wishing we had just one more shot to get some athletes qualified for next week’s U.S. Olympic Trials. When you want something, you go out and do it! Coach Ian Dobson worked tirelessly for the 48 hours following Stumptown Twilight to put together the “Team Run Eugene Last Chance Last Chance” meet. With the help of Oregon State University’s athletic department, willing officials, and motivated racers and pacers, the meet was created. It was held at OSU’s Whyte Field in Corvallis, OR, last night just hours before the qualifying deadline. With just three events being contested (the men’s 800m, men’s 1500m, and men’s 3000mSC), it was short and sweet. Full recap of the excitement below:
This was by far the event with the most participants, and though we did not see any Trials qualifiers, the race itself was electric. You could feel how much these guys wanted this, and it definitely showed in the final meters of the race. Digging deep and crossing the line first was our own Stephan Bullard, who ran a huge PR of 1:48.20 (previous PR was 1:49.11) on a windy evening, just 3 days after tying his PR in Portland. That time was also a Whyte Track & Field Center record. Cory Primm and Hans Roelle also had gutsy races, fighting for every meter they could get. Hans finished 5th in 1:50.61, and Cory finished in 1:51.12—both having strong finishes after a whole lot of racing these last couple of weeks.
Men’s 3000m SC
Tripp Hurt and Lucas Updike gave the steeplechase one more go, a difficult task after racing hard just a few days prior. The 5-man field dropped to 4 early on in the race, and then down to 3 after an unfortunate fall. We did not see any qualifiers in this race, but again, it was an extraordinary effort by the guys. After the pacer stepped off about 800m into the race, Tripp took over the lead and fought hard against a heavy backstretch wind, with Lucas and Carl Stones following close behind. Tripp pulled away to win in 8:52.09, with Lucas finishing 3rd in 9:04.11.
The final race of the night featured Eric Avila aiming to go after an OT time, working together with Oregon’s Sam Prakel. Our own Eric Finan did a fantastic job pacing the guys through 900m, passing through 800m in just under 58 seconds. As this was the last race of the night, everyone in attendance was on the field yelling for these guys. Eric and Sam worked well together, sharing lead duties, and making it a strong final lap. Eric came away with the win in 3:38.30, a time that should definitely get him into the Trials. Though it is just shy of the 3:38.00 auto-standard, it places him high enough on the descending order list to make it on the start line, since not many athletes have hit the standard. Oregon’s Sam Prakel finished in 3:38.43, which also should get him into the Trials. What a way to close out the evening!
More weekend results:
Earlier that morning across the pond, Mel Newbery competed in the British Championships in Birmingham, UK. This meet served as her Olympic Trials as well, and she came away with a sixth place finish in the women’s steeplechase—a great effort by her. Congrats, Mel!
Results of British Champs: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/results/20160624_birmingham/timetable/index/Data/W/3KSC_R_f.html
Thank you to everyone who helped make yesterday’s meet a reality. We will be back in action next at the U.S. Olympic Trials, held at Hayward Field July 1-10. Stay tuned for more information about the TRE athletes that will be on the starting line. It’s going to be an exciting month!