Prakel defends Downtown Yakima Mile title with fastest time on Washington soil
Donaghu edges Camarena for women’s crown; 8 men sub-4 minutes; $35,000 in prize money awarded
Race summary from Yakima Herald-Republic & BBTM
YAKIMA, Wash. – For the third consecutive event, the Downtown Yakima Mile produced the fastest Mile on Washington soil. This time, Sam Prakel, who defended his title on Saturday evening, did the trick in 3:50.5 (3:51 official), besting Amos Bartelsmeyer's 3:51.76 (3:52) at the inaugural race in June 2019. For his efforts, the 27-year-old from Seattle took home $10,000 ($5000 win and $5000 fastest state Mile bonus).
In the men’s race, Johnny Gregorek, 6th at last weekend’s USA 1500m Championship, paced the first half of the race with Kieran Lumb of Canada later taking the lead before Prakel made his move in the final blocks on the slight downhill, point-to-point course to hit the tape unchallenged. Lumb finished runner-up, holding off Colton Johnsen, both timed in 3:54. Overall, 8 men went sub-4 minutes.
"I was gunning for the record… (Yakima's) definitely a harder course than people think," Prakel post-race told the Yakima Herald-Republic. "Even though the first quarter mile is slightly downhill it still takes a pretty long grind after you hit 800. It's tough seeing the finish line the whole time because you think it's close but it's not."
The women’s race was a debut road Mile thriller between Ella Donaghu and Katie Camarena.
Donaghu, an Oregon high school record-setter and Stanford graduate, led from the gun with Camarena close behind. In the final strides down Yakima Avenue, Donaghu, 24, had just enough to edge Camarena, 4:31.64 to 4:31.79, both 4:32 official time, and earning $5000 and $3000, respectively. Jenn Randall, seventh last year, finished third in 4:35.
“I found myself in the front at the start, which wasn’t really the plan,” Donaghu recounted to the Yakima Herald-Republic. “But I came here to run a hard race and I didn’t want to back off. Katie did a really good job pushing at the end. The finish line almost looks like a mirage, not coming any closer, but that’s just part of running a road Mile for the first time. It was fun.”
On a partly cloudy, 70-75F evening, there were 10 heats including a Family Walk, Stroll, Jog Mile, Youth Mile divisions, Military-First Responders-Healthcare Mile, Dog-Human Mile, Open Mile, Masters Mile and men’s & women’s Elite Athlete Mile concluding with a kids race to the finish line with elite athletes to end the day.
All event proceeds will be donated to the YWCA Yakima that touches the lives of thousands of people here in the valley through its 24-hour domestic violence emergency shelter, crisis hotline, affordable housing aid, legal advocacy and more.
3rd Downtown Yakima Mile presented by Home2 Suites/Tru by Hilton - Yakima Airport
BBTM Featured Event
Yakima, WA, Saturday evening, July 2, 2022
1) Sam Prakel (WA), 3:51*, $10,000
2) Kieran Lumb (CAN), 3:54, $3000
3) Colton Johnsen (WA), 3:54, $1500
4) Mick Stanovsek (AUS), 3:56, $1000
5) Tom Anderson (GBR), 3:57, $750
6) Zach Stallings (WA), 3:57, $500
7) Matt Wisner (OR), 3:59
8) David Ribich (WA), 3:59
9) Clayton VanDyke (OR), 4:00
10) Riley Osen (OR), 4:01
11) Carlos Vargas (CAN), 4:05
12) Michael Kolor (WA), 4:09
Johnny Gregorek, DNF (pace)
*event record (previous record, 3:52, Amos Bartelsmeyer (GER), 2019); includes $5000 bonus for the fastest Mile on Washington soil (previous fastest mark, 3:52, Amos Bartelsmeyer (GER), Yakima, WA, 06/08/19)
1) Ella Donaghu (OR), 4:32, $5000
2) Katie Camarena (OR), 4:32, $3000
3) Jenn Randall (OR), 4:35, $1500
4) Anna Connor (OR), 4:48, $1000
5) Amelia Keyser-Gibson (OR), 4:40, $750
6) Ashley Maton (WA), 4:47, $500
7) Haley O’Connor (WA), 4:56
Complete race results HERE.
Watch race livestream video here.
Credit: Evan Abell / Yakima Herald-Republic