Ryan Gregson wins the B-race in Oregon. Picture: AP Source: Herald Sun
Miles all round for Ryan Gregson after victory at the Prefontaine Classic track and field meet
June 06, 2011
RISING Australian star Ryan Gregson has powered home for an impressive victory in the mile at the Prefontaine Classic track and field meeting in Eugene, Oregon.
It was his first individual race of the season after recovering from stress fractures in his left foot, so the 21-year-old chose to enter the secondary International Mile at the Diamond League meeting, rather than the A race.
And he was rewarded with victory in 3min 53.86sec.
"I ran the Penn Relays (last month), but this is my first real race since August last year," Gregson said.
"I came here last year and ran well and thought it would be a good place to start the season. It's no use throwing me into the deep end first-up.
"There will be plenty of time to race those big boys in Europe in July."
Gregson's next challenge is to force his way into the 1500m for August's world championships in Daegu, South Korea.
The other standout performance by an Australian came from Gregson's training partner, Collis Birmingham, who was seventh in a loaded two-miler, slashing 20sec off his best. US superstar Bernard Lagat won in 8min 13.62sec, while Birmingham clocked 8:17.91 - a time that will give him confidence that he can qualify for the 5000m in Daegu.
Gregson and Birmingham's next outing will be a 3000m race in Strasbourg, France.
"It was a great result for Ryan to win that race," national distance co-ordinator Tim O'Shaughnessy said.
"He's a winner to start off with his first race with a win and in a strong field.
"And Collis certainly had a good placing. Seventh in that field is a good result."
In other events, Lachlan Renshaw was sixth in the 800m in 1min 46.11sec, world indoor champion Fabrice Lapierre was fifth in the long jump with 7.94m, Youcef Abdi was last in the 3000m steeplechase and Zoe Buckman was 11th in the women's 1500m.