Downtown Yakima Mile Features Centrowitz, Kincaid, Engels In Men's Elite Race; Markovc, Jones, Hiltz Lead Women's Entries
By Doug Binder, DyeStat Editor - August 25, 2021
This weekend the running world's spotlight turns to Yakima, Wash. and the second running of the Downtown Yakima Mile, where some big names are assembling for a prize purse totaling $46,500.
The men's field for Saturday's event in the Central Washington city includes 2016 Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz, Olympian Woody Kincaid, U.S. Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Craig Engels, Sir Walter Miler and Prefontaine Classic International Mile champion Geordie Beamish, Craig Nowak, David Ribich, Garrett Heath, Tripp Hurt, Sam Prakel, Isaac Updike, Casey Comber and Vincent Ciattei, in addition to defending champion Amos Bartlesmeyer.
Bartlesmeyer, in June of 2019, won the inaugural Yakima Mile in 3:51.76 on the slightly downhill course -- believed to be the fastest mile ever recorded in Washington.
The prize money includes $5,000 for the winner and addtional $5,000 bonuses for a meet record and a sub 3:48 clocking.
On the women's side, defending champion Therese Haiss' meet record 4:29 is in serious jeopardy. She will be joined on the starting line by British Olympian Amy-Eloise Markovc, Dani Jones, Nikki Hiltz, Emily Infeld, Shannon Osika, Alexa Efraimson, Alli Cash, Eleanor Fulton, Jaimie Phelan-Calderon and Marissa Howard.
It will mark the first professional appearance in Washington state for Markovc, a former standout at Glacier Peak High and the University of Washington, who now represents Reebok Boston Track Club.
In addition to $5,000 for the winner, there are bonuses for running the fastest mile in Washington history (4:23.68i by Shelby Houlihan) and breaking 4:20.
The community event has 11 heats and offers opportunities for runners young and old -- and dogs! -- to test themselves along a 14-block stretch of Yakima Ave. The competitive 14-18 age group category race for boys and girls is named for Robby Barany, the former Eisenhower High legend who died tragically at age 25.
The racing begins at 6 p.m. Pacific, with the women's elite race slated for 7:30 and the men set to go at 7:45.
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