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The Portland Track Festival took place over the weekend. The watercooler conversation Monday morning will likely be about how well the athletes ran in a rain storm. It was a stark contrast to the 2021 USATF Trials where the extreme heat caused schedule alterations. One can only hope that this year’s USATF Trials for the 2022 World Athletics Championships meet somewhere in the middle but it has been a long fade into spring for the west coast, known as Juneuary.

Women’s 800m

American Raevyn Rogers (Nike Union Athletics Club), the Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medallist, picked up a win Sunday clocking a 1:58.90 finish time. Her personal best is 1:56.81 from the Tokyo finals.

Finishing in second place was fellow American Sabrina Southerland (Nike OTC Elite) in 1:59.69. In third place was Canadian Madeleine Kelly clocking a 1:59.71 performance. Next up for her is the Harry Jerome Track Classic on Tuesday, June 14, followed by the National Track and Field Championships, where she will need to place top three and have run under the standard of 1:59.50.

Kelly led the field through 400m clocking a 58.33 split. Rogers and Southerland were close behind.

Southerland qualifies for the USATF Championships, while Rogers, has the standard in her back pocket.

Kelly is close. The performance is a new personal best. Swangard Stadium in Burnaby where the Harry Jerome Track Classic will take place offers what is considered a fast track. The field again will be competitive with several Canadians seeking 2022 World Athletics Championships standard.

Race tactics are different at the national championships when athletes toe the line having already achieved the standard. Finishing top-three is all that is required.

Lindsay Butterworth has run well this season and is coming off a 1:59.59 performance in LA on May 6. She will be racing at Jerome.

Men’s 5000m

Australian Patrick Tiernan (Puma Elite) won Heat 1 of the two-heat 5000m event in Portland. He finished in the time of 13:19.14. The 27-year-old set a meet record but fell short of the World’s qualifying standard of 13:13.50. He has run as fast as 13:12.68 back in 2019 in London, UK. Two years prior he ran a 13:13.44 at the old Hayward Field.

Finishing in second place was Patrick Dever also from Puma Elite Running clocking a 13:20.12. The British runner was within striking distance of his personal best set last year at Hayward Field in 13:19.85. Finishing in third position in Heat 1 was Dillon Maggard recording a 13:22.94 performance.

Going 1-2 in Heat 2 were teammates Woody Kincaid and Marc Scott, both run for Nike Bowerman Track Club. They finished in 13:21.61 and 13:22.15, respectively. Finishing in the third position was Loic Scomparin in 13:45.43 — a nine-second personal best performance. He competes for the Colorado School of Mines.

For Heat 1, the pacing varied by a few seconds per lap, however, Tiernan kept the average kilometre pace to just over 2:40 throughout. His fastest laps were the final two. He clocked a 63.1 and 58.3 to close out the final 800m in 2:01.4.

Men’s 800m

Canadian record holder Brandon McBride (Nike Oregon Track Club) won the men’s 800m in the time of 1:45.22. The World’s standard is 1:45.20. That’s close, and technically, he was even closer, but the timing is rounded up. He clocked a 1:45.217 performance. The 27-year-old holds the national record at 1:43.20, which he set during the Monaco Diamond League meet in 2018.

McBride competed in the Tokyo Olympic Games. He is a four-time national champion and finished eighth during the 2017 London World Athletics Championships.

Finishing in second place in Portland was American Derek Holdsworth (Bell Lap Elite) in the time of 1:45.37. Taking third was fellow American Isaiah Harris (Brooks Beast) clocking a 1:45.55 finish time. Both qualify for the USATF Trials coming up June 23 to 26 in Eugene, OR.

Men’s 3000m steeplechase

Olympian, John Gay of Vancouver bested a strong field of athletes in the 3000m steeplechase with his mark of 8:22.93 as he prepares for the World Championships. Like McBride, he was very close to the required standard of 8:22.00 — but that may be a moot point.

Gay set his personal best of 8:16.99 in the Olympic semifinal last summer in Tokyo, gaining the entry standard to the World Championships. His task now is to ensure selection by qualifying in the top three at the National Championships in Langley next week.

This may be a challenge as Ryan Smeeton of Calgary ran 8:20.06 at the NCAA Championships in Eugene last night. The Oklahoma State senior dipped under the World Championships qualification standard of 8:22.00. This now gets crowded in the steeplechase as the Canadian record holder, Matthew Hughes of Toronto leads the qualifiers with his 8:13.56 in the Tokyo Olympic Games. Jean-Simon Desgagnes is a threat with his 2022 time of 8:22.95 only 0.95 seconds below the qualification.

In Portland, finishing in second place was Benard Keter in 8:24.88, followed by American record holder Evan Jager who is on a long comeback effort from injury. He recorded an 8:28.94 finish. Jager is the Rio Olympic silver medallist and the bronze medallist from the 2017 London World Athletics Championships.

Gay may pace his training partner Lucas Bruchet at the Jerome meet, as the Olympian seeks a qualifying time of 13:13.50 in the 5000m event. The 31-year-old has come close and owns a personal best of 13:12.56 from last year’s Jerome meet.

Full results are available here>>