EDMONTON, Alta. -- Gonzaga's Brandon Pollard won the silver medal at the Pan American Junior Championships Saturday. The upcoming sophomore placed second in the men's 1,500 meters at the Foote Field Sports Complex.
Pollard was one of two runners in the event representing the United States. The other, Blake Haney from the University of Oregon, won the gold medal. Haney edged Pollard at the line by .02 seconds. Haney's time of 3:56.49 was just ahead of Pollard's 3:56.51. Rodrigo Silva of Brazil (3:56.73) and Canada's Braydon Rennie (3:56.78) were close behind in third and fourth.
The Pan American Junior Athletics Championships are a biennial sports event for track and field organized by the Association of Panamerican Athletics (APA) open for junior (under-20) athletes from member and associate member associations. They were first held in 1980.
Pollard placed fifth at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships with a 3:59.47 finish in the men's 1,500 meters at Historic Hayward Field on June 27. He was only 1.37 seconds from the victory and 0.99 seconds from second place. Oregon's Blake Haney (3:58.16) won the race and will be the other U.S. representative. Pollard was named the first alternate to the team, and after some scratches, received the news that he would represent the country at the games.
In the USATF preliminaries, Pollard ran a 4:00.05 to qualify for the junior national final. He qualified by taking second in a slow tactical heat. He ran the fastest last lap of any of the 16 competitors competing in the two heats, closing in 54.77.
During his freshman season, Pollard ran a 3:48.85 at the Portland Twilight on May 17. That time ranks fourth in program history.
On June 13, Pollard ran the fastest 800-meter time in Gonzaga history winning his heat at the Portland Track Festival in 1:49.88. It was a lifetime best by six seconds.