© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated
The 2015 Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic at Jack Kemp Stadium in Los Angeles started tonight at 6:15 PM PST with the women’s 3,000m steeplechase and finished with the men’s 1500m. The two 5,000m races (men’s and women’s) that were scheduled to cap off the evening were cancelled due to a thunderstorm.
The first three finishers in the women’s 3,000m were Stephanie Garcia, who finished in the time of 9:37.19. Garcia was followed in by Ashley Higginson who crossed the line in 9:41.27 and third went to Canadian Genevieve Lalonde of Speed River TFC in the time of 9:42.40. She achieved the IAAF World Championships and Olympic standards with this performance. The 23-year-old Lalonde is having an excellent season so far as her personal best was 9:46.05, which she achieved just two weeks ago at the Payton Jordan Invitational. The 27-year-old Garcia owns a personal best of 9:24.28, which she achieved in 2014, while Higginson has raced as fast as 9:27.59.
The men’s 3,000msc saw Canadians go one-two, while achieving the IAAF World Championships and Olympics standards; with Matt Hughes winning the race in the time of 8:25.54. Speed River TFC’s Taylor Milne was close behind in the time of 8:25.72. Meanwhile third went to American Travis Mahoney in 8:27.08. Fourth went to Speed River’s Chris Winter, who finished in the time of 8:29.86. Hughes has run as fast as 8:11.64 two years ago during the Moscow IAAF World Track and Field Championships. Milne set his personal best at 8:25.46 just two weeks ago at the Payton Jordan meet; this was one of his better performances.
Maggie Vessey won the second section of the women’s 800m in the time of 2:00.70, narrowly beating out Jenny Simpson with her 2:00.79 finish time, which was well ahead Brittany McGowan of Melbourne Track Club with her 2:02.17. The first section was won by Treniere Moser from the Nike Oregon Project with her 2:01.67. Geena Lara finished in second place in2:01.87, narrowly bettering Latavia Thomas who finished in 2:01.89.
The top Canadian was Karine Belleau-Beliveau who represents Speed River TFC – she finished in the time of 2:02.49 for fourth place in the second section. Vessey has an impressive personal best at the distance; however, it has been six years since she ran her personal best of 1:57.84. Where in contrast that was one of Simpson’s best 800m performances as her pb is just slightly faster at 2:00.45.
Casimir Loxsom won the men’s 800m races in the time of 1:46.23 over Matthew Centrowitz of the NOP, who crossed the line in 1:46.55. Charles Jock of OTC finished third in 1:45.58.
Ryan Martin won the second section in the time of 1:46.37 with the second-fastest time on the night. He bettered Canada’s Anthony Romaniw, who ran his best time in over two years with his 1:46.58, two-tenths of a second off his personal best. Jared West finished third in 1:48.49
The women’s 1500m was a close race between Katie Mackey who finished in 4:07.51 and Gabriele Grunewald with her time of 4:07.67. Third went to top Canadian Nicole Sifuentes who ran 4:09.23.
Sarah Brown won her section with a 4:09.00 performance over Nicole Tully who finish in 4:09.10 and third place finisher in the second section was Nikki Hamblin in 4:09.37.
Sifuentes wrote, “I was third in the 1st heat, 5th overall in time and yes I’m disappointed. But I gave it everything and I believe the next one will be much better, looking forward.” She has upheld that promise in the past.
It is worth noting that Canadian Kendra Pomfret, who runs for the University of Victoria ran her second consecutive personal best in the 1500m in two weeks with her 4:15.49 – at the 2015 Payton Jordan Invitational she had set a best of 4:18.89. Tonight she finished in fifth place in section three. Also, Canadians Hilary Stellingwerff with Speed River continues to seek race fitness as this was her second performance after coming back from pregnancy and Sheila Reid of OTC continues to make her comeback from long-term injury. They ran 4:16.38 and 4:12.66, respectively.
Interesting, Sally Kipyego, one of the world’s fastest 10,000m runners entered the race. She finished sixth in the first section with a finish time of 4:11.95. She owns a London 2012 Olympic silver medal and a personal best of 30:26.37, which is the 23rd fastest time in history and the active fastest time in the world. She has run the 1500m as fast as 4:06.23.
The men’s 1500m didn’t disappoint where the top-nine finishers were under the time of 3:41 and 10th finished in 3:41.04. Leo Manzano representing the title sponsor of the event Hoka One One finished in 3:38.96 over Andrew Wheating of Oregon Track Club, with his time of 3:39.56 and Kyle Merber’s 3:40.03. Manzano has run one of the fastest 1500m races over the past decade last year with his performance of 3:30.98.