Former University High School and University of Washington athlete Brad Walker cemented his No. 1 world ranking in the men’s pole vault with a victory Friday at the World Athletics Final in Monte Carlo, Monaco, the final major European track and field meet of the season.
Walker vaulted 19 feet, 2 3/4 inches for the victory.
Former Washington State middle-distance athlete Bernard Lagat won the 3,000 meters on Friday in 7 minutes, 38 seconds, and placed second in the 1,500 on Saturday in 3:33.55.
Ivan Heshko of Ukraine won the 1,500 in 3:33.50 for the surprise victory of the day.
Also on Saturday, former WSU sprinter Dominique Arnold placed second in the 110 hurdles (13.10), finishing right behind fellow American Allen Johnson (13.09), and former University of Idaho thrower Joachim Olson finished second in the shot put (69-0) for his native Denmark.
Saint Liam wins unusual Woodward Stakes by two
Saint Liam won a wacky Woodward Stakes on Saturday – a race that turned into a showdown between two trainers who saddled all five horses in the field.
Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.’s Saint Liam came out on top of trainer Nick Zito’s Commentator, rolling to an easy victory in a most unusual running of the $500,000 Woodward at Belmont Park in New York.
Dutrow sent out three horses, two of whom were used as “rabbits,” speed horses entered for the purpose of making sure of an honest pace.
Show Boot and Crafty Player did exactly that, preventing Commentator from gaining an easy lead.
When the field turned for home, Saint Liam came on strongly under jockey Jerry Bailey and beat Sir Shackleton by two lengths in 1:49.07 for 1 1/8 miles.
Commentator, ridden by Gary Stevens, was another 12 1/2 lengths back, with Show Boot and Crafty Player about 48 lengths farther back.
United States, Canada lose in World Cup play
Yasuyuki Saigo hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and knocked in the winning run in the ninth, leading Japan to a 7-6 victory over the United States at the Baseball World Cup in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Japan leads Group B and is followed by Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United States. The top four teams in each group advance to the quarterfinals.
Japan took an early lead on Tsutomu Takanezawa’s homer in the second inning, but American third baseman Mike Cervenak tied it with a two-run homer in the fourth.
Japan added a solo homer by Daisuke Kusano, before the Americans rallied to take a 6-5 lead with four runs in the sixth.
Saigo tied the game with a homer in the seventh, and eventual loser Chris Mobley came on in the ninth and gave up just one hit – Saigo’s RBI single.
In other Group B action, Puerto Rico dealt Nicaragua its first loss, 6-5. In Group A games, defending champion Cuba beat Canada 7-0 to remain unbeaten.
“Hawaii’s Brian Viloria knocked out Eric Ortiz in the first round to win the WBC light flyweight championship at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
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