Feb. 12, 2013
SEATTLE - Coming off of the biggest weekend of the year in the Dempsey, Washington track and field head coach Greg Metcalf avoided any post-Husky Classic blues by announcing the Husky signing class for the 2013-14 season today. Washington has 13 outstanding newcomers signed to National Letters of Intent.
The latest class for Washington track and field is heavy on distance running and throwing talent and the UW coaching staff successfully kept a number of the state's elite prep athletes close to home, as eight of the 13 signees are from the state of Washington.
"This is a big time group for our program," said Metcalf. "The state of Washington has produced some incredible talent and we couldn't be more proud that so many of these athletes will be wearing purple and gold for years to come. We were able to pick up some key targets from down the West Coast and as far away as Illinois. With the Dempsey in full swing and our new outdoor track now in use, it's an exciting time for myself and my staff. We think this is a class that can make an instant impact."
Over the past four years, Amy-Eloise Neale (Snohomish, Wash./Glacier Peark) and Katie Knight (Spokane, Wash./North Central) established themselves as two of the most dominant distance runners in state history, and two of the top recruits in the nation. Rivals on the track and cross country course, the two have gone head to head dozens of times, but next year they'll be on the same side, as they lead the women's distance recruits. Running Times recently named Neale and Knight the fifth- and sixth-best women's distance cross country runners in the nation for 2012.
Also joining the ranks of the talented Husky women's distance crew are Kaylee Flanagan from Roselle, Illinois, and Kelly Lawson from Carlsbad, California. Flanagan is a two-time Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships finalist and the younger sister of current Husky standout Lindsay Flanagan. Lawson is a three-time top-10 finisher at the California state cross country championships, and one of the top returning milers in the country.
'I really do feel we can build a national-level (throws) program built around local athletes. This is a fantastic class, and the future looks very bright,' says T.J. Crater
A trio of impressive men's distance runners also should make a big impact. Sumner Goodwin (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark) ended his 2012 season by placing seventh in the Nike Cross Nationals meet, with Running Times ranking him 17th in its list of the nation's top boys distance runners. Jamie Coughlin from Seattle's Garfield High was the fifth-place finisher at the 4A Washington State Championships in the fall, and has shown consistent improvement each year. Rounding out the group is A.J. Yarnall from Saugus High in Santa Clarita, Calif., one of the top performers on the cross country course in California this past fall, from a school with a great tradition.
Having now had a full year under his belt to recruit, assistant throws coach T.J. Crater has assembled a great group of four to further build the Husky hurlers. Crater is enthused about the homegrown talent coming up and wants to turn that into a pipeline.
"I am encouraged by the fact that we have brought in some of the best throwers Washington has had to offer in the past two years," Crater says. "I really do feel we can build a national-level program built around local athletes. This is a fantastic class, and the future looks very bright."
Local products Dan Boyden of Arlington and Carey Campbell of Lake Stevens were both in the top-five at the Washington state meet last year in the shot put, along with current freshman Jack Scheideman. Boyden has also shown great promise in the discus. Heading into Oregon, the Huskies got a big commitment from Oregon state champion shot putter Beau Brosseau (Oregon City, Ore.), who has shown a rare aptitude for both the shot put and the javelin.
The key addition for the women's throws group is Gina Flint (Bellingham, Wash./Squalicum), who Crater calls one of the best returning two-event throwers in the U.S. this year. Flint was the Washington state 2A champion in both the shot and discus last spring as a junior.
Assistant sprints coach Raul Sheen has added another great fit to his men's sprinters, who are already off to a fast start this indoor season. Andrew Brown from Tumwater High School is one of the state's top returning quarter-milers, and could quickly fit right in to the Husky relay pool next season. He is the two-time defending 2A state champion at 400-meters.
Joining coach Pat Licari's group of pole vaulters is a junior college transfer, Diamara Planell Cruz. She is a 13-foot vaulter who competed for Puerto Rico in the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, and won the California state junior college title in the pole vault last season.
Washington Track & Field Commitments For 2013-14 (Click on bios for UW coach quotes on each athlete)
» Dan Boyden - Throws - Arlington, Wash. - Arlington
» Beau Brosseau - Throws - Oregon City, Ore. - Oregon City
» Andrew Brown - Sprints - Olympia, Wash. - Tumwater
» Carey Campbell - Throws - Lake Stevens, Wash. - Lake Stevens
» Jamie Coughlin - Distances - Seattle, Wash. - Garfield
» Kaylee Flanagan - Distances - Roselle, Ill. - Lake Park
» Gina Flint - Throws - Bellingham, Wash. - Squalicum
» Sumner Goodwin - Distances - Spokane, Wash. - Lewis and Clark
» Katie Knight - Distances - Spokane, Wash. - North Central
» Kelly Lawson - Distances - Carlsbad, Calif. - La Costa Canyon
» Amy-Eloise Neale - Distances - Snohomish, Wash. - Glacier Peak
» Diamara Planell Cruz - Pole Vault - Mountain View, Calif. - San Jose City College
» A.J. Yarnall - Distances - Santa Clarita, Calif. - Saugus