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Strong field to make run at sub-4 mile

Thu., July 31, 2014, 9:39 p.m.

Herm Caviness wants Spokane to set aside four minutes to witness some history Saturday evening.

Three top-level American runners will take aim at running the first sub-four mile on a Spokane track when the Spokane Summer Games are revived after a 35-year absence at Spokane Falls Community College.

Caviness, the former Ferris coach who started the original Summer Games in 1973, and his helpers have pieced together a brisk eight-event program that features not only the showcase mile, but some of the top men’s and women’s pole vaulters in the nation.

Field events begin at 5 p.m., with action on the track starting at 6. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under, but active military, Guard, Reserve and military retirees and families will be admitted free by showing military ID.

The mile field includes three runners with sub-four credentials: former Oregon All-American A.J. Acosta (3:53.76), ex-Oklahoma standout Riley Masters (3:56.75) and Wisconsin grad Rob Finnerty (3:59.42). Masters and Acosta finished fourth and seventh last week in a loaded 1,500 race at the Track Town High Performance Meet in Eugene, both running what equates to roughly 3:58.

But there are also three 18-foot performers in the men’s pole vault, led by former Idaho State All-American Mike Arnold, who’s cleared 18-8.5, and Moscow’s Jeremy Klas, a five-time WAC champion for Idaho. Another ex-Vandal, Melinda Owen Withrow, has a 14-11 best to top a women’s field of three 14-footers that also includes Eastern Washington’s Keisa Monterola.

Competition in the 100 meters, 800, high jump, javelin and hammer rounds out the program. And there’s an 8-kilometer road race at 8 a.m. at SFCC for the public, with registration today at Runners Soul from 3-6 p.m. as well as at the race site beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday. Participants are also admitted free to the evening meet.

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