May 27, 2009
ON THE TRACK: The second leg of the postseason for the UW track and field squads is just a few days away, as the Huskies return again to Oregon's Hayward Field for the NCAA West Regional Championships. Regionals are essentially the turnstile for the NCAA Track & Field Championships in mid-June, with athletes needing top-five finishes to earn automatic bids to the national meet. The competition runs Friday and Saturday, May 29-30.
Washington was just at Hayward field for the Pac-10 Championships less than two weeks ago, and came away with five individual titles, its most since 1998. Competition begins on Friday at 2:40 p.m. with the men's javelin and runs until the 5,000-meters at 7:30 p.m. Things pick back up Saturday at 12 p.m. with the men's discus and go until 4:50 when the final of the men's 4x400m relay takes place.
The Huskies are taking one of their largest contingents in recent years to Eugene. The 13th-ranked women have 23 Regional qualifying marks, compared to just 15 one year ago. Only four of those 15 marks from last season were repeated this year, meaning the UW women posted 19 new qualifying marks this year compared to last. The 18th-ranked men also boast a more robust total of qualifiers this season, with 19 qualifying marks compared to 16 in 2008, and only 10 of those marks have been repeated.
Washington's loaded women's distance crew will have some decisions to make, as multiple athletes are qualified in several events. Two-time Pac-10 1,500-meter champion Katie Follett ranks fourth in the 5,000-meters, sixth in the 800-meters, but just 11th in the 1,500 despite her Pac-10 win in Eugene. Redshirt freshman Mel Lawrence, the Pac-10 steeplechase champ, is also ranked fifth in the 5k and qualifying for nationals in both would be a tough task. Junior Kailey Campbell and freshman Christine Babcock also both have excellent times in both the 800m and 1500m and could double or choose to focus on one or the other.
The women have five total qualifiers at 5,000-meters including Follett, Lawrence, Pac-10 10,000-meter champ Anita Campbell, and sophomores Kenna Patrick and Lauren Saylor. Junior Falesha Ankton, second in the region in 2008, will look for her second NCAA bid in the 100m hurdles. Sophomores Brooke Pighin and Elisa Bryant lead the women's throws. Pighin ranks 7th in the region in the javelin and Bryant is 11th in the hammer throw. Both are looking to make their first NCAA Outdoor meet. Andrea Peterson and Lara Jones in the pole vault, and Kelly McNamee in the high jump will also hope to add another meet to their 2009 season with big leaps.
Leading the men will be senior All-Americans Jordan Boase and Austin Abbott. Both have racked up five All-American honors, and will certainly be bent on advancing to one last NCAA meet. Boase is coming off a win in the 400-meters at the Pac-10 Championships, and is a big favorite again this weekend. Abbott, qualified in both the 800m and 1500m, will likely run the 1500, where he ranks 11th nationally but just fifth in the region in what is one of the deepest fields in the country.
The men have a very real shot at sending three vaulters to nationals, with Pac-10 Champion Scott Roth leading the way. Senior Jared O'Connor is the defending West Region pole vault champ, and junior Ryan Vu has come into this own of late and scored at the Pac-10 Championships. In the throws, sophomore Kyle Nielsen and junior Zack Midles have a chance to become the first UW thrower to make outdoor nationals since 2007. Nielsen ranks fourth in the javelin and Midles is fifth in the hammer.
Senior sprinter Joe Turner is qualified in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay and could run all three. Turner just missed an NCAA bid last year, finishing 6th in the 200m. Jeff Gudaitis also was one place away last year in the 400m dash, and is back again this season.
Also competing as much for the experience as anything else are freshmen Joey Bywater in the 1,500m, Angus Taylor in the hammer, and Allison Linnell in the steeplechase. A top-five bid may be hard to reach this year, but the four rookies will certainly operate with no pressure which could produce great results.
Live results will be available on Oregon's website, www.goducks.com.
NCAA SELECTION PROCESS: Automatic NCAA Championships berths will be granted to the top-five finishers in each individual event, and top-three relays, from each of the four Regionals contested nationwide May 29-30. Athletes qualify for Regionals by meeting pre-determined standards, or by winning their conference title. The NCAA then supplements the Championships field with the highest-ranking competitors (6-7 per individual event and 5-6 per relay) from the national performance lists, provided the athlete competed in their event at a Regional meet and was not among the finishers to earn automatic berths. The lone exceptions are the 10,000 meters and multi-events, in which athletes qualify directly for the NCAA Championships by meeting provisional and automatic standards.
HUSKIES COLLECT FIVE PAC-10 TITLES: Washington athletes turned in a slew of historical performances at the 2009 Pac-10 Championships at Oregon's Hayward Field, with five athletes taking conference crowns, the most since UW also won five titles in 1998. Sophomore Scott Roth started things off with a dominant win in the pole vault. He set a new PR of 18-4 1/2, the second-best vault in the NCAA this year and second-best in UW history. Then UW's women's distance stars claimed the spotlight with runaway wins of their own. Redshirt freshman Mel Lawrence won the steeplechase in a Pac-10 meet record time of 9:54.13, more than 20 seconds ahead of the runner-up. The former meet record belonged to current Husky assistant coach Kelly Strong from her days at Arizona State. Shortly thereafter, junior Anita Campbell claimed her first Pac-10 title in the 10,000-meters, crushing the field by a full minute. The next day UW added two more titles. Senior Jordan Boase rolled to a win in the 400-meter dash in 45.64 seconds, then junior Katie Follett successfully defended her Pac-10 1,500m title, edging Stanford's Alicia Follmar at the line by 0.04 seconds. Follett becomes the first Husky woman ever to win back-to-back Pac-10 titles in any event. The wins for Boase and Lawrence were also the first ever for Washington in those events. The Husky women had not won a conference title in a running event from 2002-07, but now have earned four in the past two years. Other performances of note included third-place finishes for junior Zack Midles in the hammer throw and freshman Christine Babcock in the 800-meters. Jared O'Connor was fourth in the pole vault, and Kyle Nielsen took fourth in the javelin. In the women's throws, Elisa Bryant was fifth in the women's hammer as was Brooke Pighin in the javelin. Freshman Jeremy Taiwo had a tremendous third-place finish in the decathlon one week earlier, scoring 7,299 points to put himself in contention for an NCAA bid.
LAST YEAR AT REGIONALS: Senior Michelle Turner and junior Jared O'Connor had to have great seasons already just to qualify for the NCAA West Regionals, but neither were among the favorites for national meet bids heading into the meet hosted by Cal State Northridge. Yet not only did Turner and O'Connor highlight nine automatic qualifying showings for the Huskies, each won their respective events in stunning fashion. Turner, seeded ninth in the women's 1500-meters with a lifetime best of 4:23.38, sprinted past the leaders with 300 meters to go, opening up a large lead that she carried to victory in 4:14.94, nearly a nine-second personal best. The only runner who closed the gap on Turner was sophomore teammate Katie Follett, who was second in 4:15.78, also a major PR. The two runs were the fourth and fifth fastest in UW history. O'Connor had the meet of his life in the pole vault, clearing new personal bests on three consecutive vaults, finally finishing with a best of 17-5. Entering the meet, O'Connor's lifetime best was 16-6 3/4. Other Huskies earning automatic NCAA bids were Norris Frederick in the long jump (2nd, 25-2), Jordan Boase in the 400m (3rd, 46.80), Falesha Ankton in the 100m hurdles (2nd, 13.49), Austin Abbott in the 800m (4th, 1:49.75), and James Fredrickson in the 400m hurdles (5th, 51.22). Washington's men's 4x100m relay (Boase, Randy Bacon, Joseph Turner, Ryan Hamilton) also cruised into NCAA's running 39.97 in the final.
PAC-10 PROWESS: While UW's teams have never claimed a Pac-10 title outright, Washington does have an impressive string of 10 consecutive seasons with at least one individual title. The run was extended with ease this year as the Huskies captured five individual crowns, its most since 1998. That 10-year streak is Washington's longest-ever run of individual champions, besting a seven-year run from 1974-1980, highlighted by Scott Neilson's four titles in the hammer. Washington athletes have combined for 22 Pac-10 titles over the 10 years of the streak, with the single-season high coming this year.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Husky women's team moved up to a season-high 13th in this week's USTFCCCA Rankings, while the men's squad maintained its No. 18 ranking. The rankings compile Regional qualifiers in every event and assign points to the athletes that estimate their likelihood of scoring points at the NCAA Championships. In individual events, Scott Roth is the highest-ranked Husky, currently second nationally in the pole vault with a best clearance of 18-4 1/2. Mel Lawrence has the nation's fourth-best steeplechase time on the women's side of 9:54.13. Several other Huskies are currently ranked in the NCAA Top-10 in their events. Jordan Boase ranks ninth nationally in the 400-meter dash and has yet to be pushed. Sophomore Kyle Nielsen also ranks seventh in the javelin throw (239-2). Anita Campbell (15:45.85), Katie Follett (15:48.72) and Lawrence (15:50.36) rank fifth, seventh, and eighth, respectively, in the 5,000-meter run, evidence as to why UW won the cross country title in such dominating fashion in the fall. Campbell's 10,000m time from Stanford (33:40.22) also ranks ninth overall which should assure her of a spot in NCAA's.
UP NEXT: The track season comes to a close in two weeks with the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by the University of Arkansas at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark. The meet runs from June 10-13.
HUSKIES MAKE STATEMENT AT PENN RELAYS: In its first trip to the legendary Penn Relays in 16 years, the UW track and field team picked up second- and third-place finishes in its two relays on April 17 at University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field. Washington had not sent a squad to Penn since 1993, head coach Greg Metcalf's senior season at UW. First up was the Women's 4x1500-meter Championship of America, featuring the Husky quartet of juniors Kailey Campbell and Katie Follett, redshirt freshman Mel Lawrence, and true freshman Christine Babcock on the anchor. Campbell opened with a 4:18 split, putting UW right in the mix. Follett then took the baton and turned in her best showing of the season with a 4:16 split, as she took over the lead over the final 20 meters and handed off to Lawrence in first place. Lawrence held the lead for much of the third leg, but Georgetown and Tennessee put on a kick and opened up a small lead heading into the final leg. Lawrence still ran 4:20 for her leg, a four-second PR. On the anchor leg, Tennessee and Georgetown both sported multiple-time All-American seniors, while Babcock was running just her third college 1,500m. Babcock pulled away from Villanova, but Tennessee's Sarah Bowman led the Vols to the win in 17:08.34 followed by Georgetown in 17:11.80, and then the Huskies in 17:14.55. All three teams broke the previous meet record of 17:15.62 set by Michigan in 2007. Several hours later, it was time for the Men's Sprints Medley Championship of America, featuring four Husky seniors: Joe Turner, Kenjamine Jackson, Jordan Boase, and Austin Abbott. Turner and Jackson ran well over the first two 200m legs, but it was Boase who shocked the onlookers when he went into overdrive and powered from the back of the pack all the way into first place for the hand-off to Abbott. Abbott led early on the final leg, before letting Tennessee's Joe Franklin move in front and sticking right behind him. Abbott looked in good position for his patented finishing kick, but Franklin was very strong and was able to hold off Abbott, as Tennessee thwarted UW again for the win in 3:17.77. Abbott and the Huskies finished second in 3:18.81, ahead of Albany, and two-time defending champion LSU which took fourth.
CAMPBELL RETURNS TO TOP FORM: Washington junior distance standout Anita Campbell suffered through a challenging 2008, where injuries forced her to redshirt the track season despite coming off a career-best 20th-place finish at the 2007 cross country championships. Campbell came back this past fall to help lead the team to its first national title in cross country, and she earned First Team All-Pac-10 honors in her final season. Though her cross country career came to a close, Campbell has looked stronger than ever this track season, and she still has one to come in 2010. This season Campbell has added the 10k to her workload, and made it look easy thus far. The Vancouver, B.C. native decimated the field at the Pac-10 Championships, winning the 10k title by a full minute and is all but assured of an NCAA berth in the 10k. Campbell was also named the Pac-10 Women's Track Athlete of the Week for the week of April 13-19. She was the first Husky woman to win the weekly award in four years. Campbell ran her first 5,000-meters outdoors since the 2007 season on April 17 at the Mt. SAC Relays, and crossed the line in 15-minutes, 45.85-seconds, the second-fastest time in Washington history. The time was a 15-second personal best. Campbell and Wisconsin's Gwen Jorgensen are the only two women that rank in the Top-10 in the NCAA at both 5k and 10k distances. Campbell already set the indoor school record earlier this year in a time of 16:09.26 and went on to place 13th at NCAA Indoors. Campbell is the first Husky woman to earn Pac-10 Athlete of the Week recognition since five-time All-American sprinter and hurdler Ashley Lodree won the honor on April 25, 2005. Three-time Olympian Aretha (Hill) Thurmond is the only other UW woman to win the award. A total of fourteen Huskies have combined to win the award on nineteen occasions, with senior sprinter Jordan Boase the most recent recipient in 2008.
BOASE FOCUSED ON FINAL GOAL: Few could have predicted the season that awaited Jordan Boase heading into 2008, when the two-time All-American in the 4x400m relay returned to the team after a year off from the sport. Even after Boase started the year by breaking the indoor school record in the 400-meters, and placing third at the NCAA Indoor Championships, he still remained something of an unknown nationally. That all changed at the Sun Angel Classic in April in Tempe, when Boase took over the NCAA lead with a school record 44.82, which was the second-fastest run in the world at the time. Boase would go on to battle USC's senior sprinter Lionel Larry, with Larry getting the edge for the Pac-10 title as both went under 45-seconds. The Bothell, Wash. native also ran the lead-off leg for UW's 4x100m relay, which won the Pac-10 title for the first time in program history, and qualified for nationals. At the national meet, Boase placed fourth in an extremely fast 400m final, running 44.83 despite having been limited in training by an injury. Boase went on to make the semifinals of the U.S. Olympic Trials, before a painful blister stopped him one race short of the final. But a fully healthy Boase is coming off another outstanding indoor season and will be hunting for his first national title outdoors this spring. Boase ran an indoor PR of 46.09 seconds to win his second straight MPSF 400-meter title, and headed to NCAA Indoors as one of the clear favorites. Boase won his preliminary heat with ease, but in the final he was assigned to the outside lane and just beaten to inside position when the lanes converged. Trapped in third, Boase had to slow down to move around one competitor, and was unable to track down the winner of the heat. The winner, Michael Bingham of Wake Forest, actually came out of the first heat, and Boase settled for third for the second straight year. Outdoors Boase has yet to really push himself, but claimed the Pac-10 title at 400-meters in 45.64 seconds which ranks him in the Top-10 again this season. He will head into Regionals as a big favorite once again and then hopefully leave it all on the track at NCAA's in Arkansas.
ABBOTT IN PERFECT POSITION FOR FINISHING KICK: The most decorated current Husky in terms of All-American honors this season is senior Austin Abbott, a native of Chehalis, Wash. who will go down as one of the greatest mid-distance runners in school history with a strong final season. Abbott has added to his legacy this this season by breaking the school mile record and submitting the second-best 1,500-meter time in school history outdoors. At the UW Last Chance Meet, in his final appearance in the Dempsey Indoor as a Husky, Abbott ran 3:58.23 to break the school record in the mile run. Abbott was already one of just three four-minute milers in Washington history, but he overtook the marks set by Eric Garner (3:58.93; 2002) and Greg Gibson (3:59.24; 1974) with a powerful finishing kick. Garner was running in the very same heat, competing for Brooks Eastside, and finished in 4:00.66. Gibson was also on hand to witness the record-setting run, and the three gathered for a photo after the race. Abbott has five All-America awards to his name, three coming as part of UW's distance medley relay, which placed fifth at NCAA's in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Abbott also took fourth in the 800-meters indoors in 2007. But following his best individual finish, Abbott was hampered by injury and only competed once on the track over the next year. It was not until the 2008 Pac-10 Championships that Abbott would get back to his old form, as he broke a longstanding personal-best in the 800, running 1:48.14 for a fourth-place finish. Abbott went on to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, where he placed seventh to earn his fifth All-American honor and first in more than a year. He focused on the 800-meters for the majority of this indoor season, and was ranked in the top-10 with an indoor PR of 1:48.56, but chose to run the mile at NCAA Indoors after his record-setting run. Abbott found himself out of his comfort zone at Nationals, up front and setting the pace rather than hanging back and waiting to kick, and he failed to make the final. However, Abbott bounced back in short time at the start of the outdoor season, as he won the top 1,500-meter race at the Stanford Invitational on March 27, running 3:41.62, which was the fastest performance by a Husky since Bruce Stirling set the school record of 3:39.89 in 1987. Abbott's time still ranks 11th in the NCAA this outdoor season.
THROWING UNIT TAKES FLIGHT: Owning the most storied tradition of possibly any unit at Washington, this year's corps of throwers has shown major progress from a year ago and looks poised to add its own chapter to a legacy that includes numerous Olympians, All-Americans, and National and Pac-10 Champions. During the indoor season, sophomore Elisa Bryant became UW's first ever women's weight throw All-American, as she took eighth-place with a lifetime-best and school-record toss of 65-8 3/4. A Regional qualifier in the hammer throw last year as a freshman, Bryant broke the school record with a major PR at the UW-WSU dual meet, throwing 190-6. She has continued to develop in the discus as well, and earned her first Regional mark in that event with a mark of 158-6. Washington's biggest improvement in any event this year might be in the javelin, where sophomores Kyle Nielsen and Brooke Pighin have each rocketed up among the nation's elite in their first few outings this year. Nielsen, a native of Langley, B.C., made Regionals last season as a freshman, but smashed his personal best throw in each of his first two competitions this year. Nielsen went 225-11 at the Stanford Invite, a PR by 13 feet, and followed that up with a mark of 239-2 at the Jim Click Shootout. Nielsen currently ranks seventh nationally and leaped up to third in the UW Top-10 lists, ahead of former All-Americans and Pac-10 Champions. Pighin, a transfer from Fresno State, has immediately filled a major need for the women. Like Nielsen, Pighin is a British Columbian, coming from Port Alberni, and made Regionals as a freshman. Pighin set a new personal-best at the UW-WSU dual, throwing 168-11, which was the second-best throw by a Husky in the past 10 years and currently ranks her 15th nationally. The men's hammer throw continues to be another major strength for UW, as junior Zack Midles (Olympia, Wash./Capital) and freshman Angus Taylor (Richmond, B.C./Vancouver College Prep) have already notched Regional qualifiers. Midles repeated his third-place finish in the hammer at Pac-10's and will be seeking his first NCAA bid at Regionals this week.
FIVE VAULTERS VIE FOR NATIONALS: Washington has been a consistent national pole vault power under coach Pat Licari, producing two national champions, eight different All-Americans, and American record-holder and 2008 Olympian Brad Walker. Two of those eight All-Americans are currently honing their craft on this year's squad and rank among the nation's best yet again. Sophomore Scott Roth, a two-time All-American as a freshman in 2007, is back from injury and vaulting higher than ever before. He took his collegiate career to yet another level by winning the Pac-10 Championships with a new PR of 18-4 1/2 that ranks second nationally and is the second-best vault in UW history behind only Walker. At Pac-10's, Roth had the bar raised to 18-9 after he clinched the win, but a gust of wind dislodged the bar just as he was going up for his attempt, and he checked his vault and came down on the ground. Roth was allright but chose to pass on his remaining attempts. Still, he has his eyes set on record-setting heights. Also operating at a high level is senior Jared O'Connor, the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Runner-Up and West Region Champion. O'Connor had a lifetime-best clearance of 17-6 1/2 at the Ken Shannon Invite. That effort came on the heels of a huge PR from junior Ryan Vu the previous week in the WSU dual. Vu hit new PR's multiple times in the same day, winding up at 17-6 1/2, a foot higher than his previous best. O'Connor and Vu were fourth and eighth, respectively, at Pac-10's this year. On the women's side, transfer student Lara Jones had never cleared 13-feet in her career before coming to UW this season. Jones has already gone up and over 13-3 1/2 outdoors, the sixth-best mark in school history. Senior Andrea Peterson has also booked her first trip to Regionals and hit a new PR of 13-0 1/4 at Pac-10's, which was good for seventh-place and the first points she's scored at the conference meet. Peterson's PR is nearly a foot higher than her previous outdoor best entering the season.
NEWCOMERS WASTE NO TIME: Washington has received an immediate boost in several key areas this season from a talented freshman class and several transfer students. Two freshmen can already call themselves All-Americans. Christine Babcock (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge) has lived up to her legendary high school career thus far, as she already ranks in UW's top-10 in the 800-meters, mile run, and 1,500-meters, and was part of UW's record-setting DMR, which placed eighth at NCAA Indoors and earned her an All-America honor. Babcock also anchored UW's third-place 4x1500m relay at the Penn Relays. Freshman Jeremy Taiwo has also done it all in his first year, quite literally, as the Renton, Wash. native placed 12th in the heptathlon at NCAA Indoors to earn All-America honors. Taiwo also won the MPSF heptathlon and broke the school record, and finished third in the Pac-10 decathlon in his first full attempt at the all-around challenge. True freshman Kelly McNamee (Spokane, Wash./Ferris) has filled a big hole for the Huskies in the women's high jump. She qualified for NCAA Indoors and cleared a best of 5-11 1/2, the best jump by a Husky in more than 20 years. Also flashing signs of great potential has been Joey Bywater, a Lake Stevens, Wash. native. Bywater posted his first NCAA Regional mark at the Oregon Relays, running 3:45.43 in the 1,500-meters, one of the fastest times ever by a Husky frosh, and then made the Pac-10 1,500m final against a loaded field. Ryan Soberanis has also had a strong year in the 800m, running the fifth-best time by a Husky indoors at 1:50.52. As for the transfer students now part of the Husky family, senior Lara Jones and sophomore Brooke Pighin have stepped in and thrived. Jones, a Seattle native that came to UW from Duke, has cleared 13-feet in the pole vault for the first time in her career under coach Pat Licari, and already ranks sixth in UW history. Pighin, a transfer from Fresno State, threw the javelin 168-11 against the Cougars, a PR and the No. 2 mark in UW history. She's currently ranked in the Top-20 nationally. Both Jones and Pighin will compete at Regionals for a spot at NCAA's. Vancouver, B.C.'s Angus Taylor has also added depth to the men's throws unit, setting the eighth-best weight throw mark during the indoor season and earning a spot at Regionals in the hammer throw this season. Also, while Mel Lawrence (Reno, Nev.) has already completed two outstanding cross country seasons, she is in the midst of her debut track season and crushed the indoor 3k record at MPSFs then placed 12th at NCAA Indoors, and followed that up with a 15:50.36 PR in the 5k at the Stanford Invite that ranks ninth in the NCAA. Lawrence then ran her first steeplechase since high school in the WSU dual, and blew away the school record by nearly 30 seconds, running 10:07.52. She topped that yet again by crushing the Pac-10 meet record in the steeple in a winning time of 9:54.13. Lawrence was the only freshman Pac-10 champ on the women's side.
HEAD COACH Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in the midst of his seventh season as head of Washington's track and field program, and his 12th year overall on the staff, and remains the driving force behind UW's rise to national prominence. A native of Ephrata, Wash., Metcalf is just a few months away from capturing the program's first ever national team championship, as the 2008 Husky women's cross country team went undefeated to with the NCAA title. Metcalf earned Pac-10 and National Coach of the Year honors for his efforts, and also guided the men's cross country squad to 18th at nationals, its second Top-20 finish in the past three years. The track and field squads have also enjoyed a prolonged period of unprecedented success the past several years. The men finished in the Top-25 at six consecutive NCAA Championship meets from 2006-08, including consecutive Top-10 indoor finishes in 2007 and 2008. At the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships, UW placed 16th with its most points since the 1983 season. The men also won the MPSF Championships in both 2006 and 2007, and Metcalf was named conference coach of the year on both occasions. The women have also had four Top-25 NCAA finishes since 2005, and sent three team members to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 1500-meters. Husky track and field individuals in Metcalf's tenure have combined for six NCAA titles, nine Pac-10 crowns and 145 NCAA Championships appearances, while breaking school records on 60 separate occasions. In addition to their athletic prowess, Metcalf's teams have been among the brightest at a school renowned for its high academic standards. His teams are eight-time recipients of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honor, including the men's track team being named the 2008 Outdoor Scholar Team of the Year, and the 2008 National Champion women's cross country team being named National Women's Scholar Team of the Year. Six UW individuals have earned Academic All-America honors. Washington is the second head coaching position for Metcalf, who served in 1996-97 as the head cross country and assistant track coach at Auburn University. A four-time Academic All-Pac-10 honoree at Washington, Metcalf earned All-American honors at the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Championships. His best collegiate mark of 8:41.17 ranks fourth all-time among Husky steeplers. He also was a steeple finalist in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials.