Feb. 22, 2005
On the Track: Six of the nation's top-25 men's and women's teams will be among the Pac-10 and Big West Conference squads battling for conference titles this weekend at the 2005 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track and Field Championships at Dempsey Indoor. Admission is free to the two-day meet, which features a full slate of events both Friday and Saturday. For more information, including an event schedule, driving directions, meet history and links to entries and results, visit http://gohuskies.collegesports.com/sports/c-track/spec-rel/05-mpsf-home.html.
Meet Preview: With MPSF teams limited to 27 men's and women's entrants this weekend, the fields at Dempsey Indoor are certain to feature only the West Coast's top collegiate athletes, including NCAA pole vault leaders Kate Soma of Washington and Tommy Skipper of Oregon, and NCAA distance champions Alicia Craig of Stanford and Robert Cheseret of Arizona. Just as exciting will be the matchups on the team level, as the top-ranked Stanford women battle defending NCAA outdoor champion UCLA, and the No. 11 Oregon men seek to take down the defending MPSF champion Bruins. For a complete list of UW athletes qualified for this week's meet, see page five of this release.
Meet Results: Results are posted throughout the meet at the south end of Dempsey Indoor. Following the meet, packets of results will be available at the finish line for coaches and meet officials only. Final results will be faxed to all local media and participating schools roughly 30 minutes following the meet, and will be posted to GoHuskies.com within an hour. Any coach or SID wishing to have results e-mailed should send a special request to the UW Sports Information office at the e-mail address listed on the following page.
What is the MPSF?: Established in 1992 to serve the competitive needs of member institutions from the Big West, Pacific-10, Mountain West, Western Athletic and West Coast Conferences and other selected universities in the western United States, the MPSF provides championship competition for Division I intercollegiate Olympic sports in a conference setting. During the 2004-05 season, the MPSF will manage nine Olympic sports and serve approximately 1,500 student-athletes and 80 head coaches from 35 universities in 12 western states. Teams competing in the MPSF for indoor track include Pac-10 representatives Arizona, California, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Washington and Washington State, and Big West competitors UC Davis, UC Irvine (women only), Cal Poly (women only) and Long Beach State. The MPSF was one of the nation's most successful conferences in 2003-04, with three conference teams winning NCAA championships, and over a dozen teams and hundreds of student-athletes participating in NCAA postseason competition.
2004 MPSF Redux: Washington athletes Eric Garner and Ingvill Makestad ensured the first MPSF Championships ever to be held at Dempsey Indoor would be a memorable one, sweeping mile titles with meet-record performances last February. The UW women placed third overall with 83 points, trailing only runner-up UCLA and champion Stanford, which successfully defended its 2003 MPSF title. UCLA's men also won for the second-straight year, edging Cal by a 127-108 margin. Washington's men placed eighth, with 47.5 points. In all, 12 meet records were set at the event, which brought more than 2,000 spectators to Dempsey Indoor over the course of the three days of competition.
Rankings Report: Both UW's men's and women's squads fell just shy of a top-25 mention in this week's Trackwire 25, which predicts the order of finish at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships. The Husky men scored six points in the poll, just three shy of the nine scored by the two teams sharing 24th place, while the UW women netted eight points to fall two shy of a top-25 mention. MPSF Championships participant Stanford remained the favorite for the NCAA indoor title with 51 points, well ahead of the 39 scored by Miami (FL) and reigning NCAA indoor champ LSU. On the men's side, defending NCAA outdoor champion Arkansas retained its iron grip on No. 1 with 76 points, nearly doubling No. 2 Indiana's 44. The Huskies fared better in the U.S. Track Coaches Association Dual Meet Power Rankings, which simulate head-to-head competition between participating NCAA Division-I teams. Washington's men earned a season-best No. 18 nod from the USTCA with 269.09 points, second most among MPSF teams, while the Husky women were 30th overall at 251.08. Indiana leads all men's teams in the USTCA rankings with 337.48 points, while Nebraska its tops among women's teams at 311.59.
Just Dandy, Thank You: Trackwire may not have seen fit to include Washington in its Top-25s this week, but the magazine did put several UW athletes on its list of those to watch this indoor season. Three Huskies earned mention in the Trackwire Dandy Dozen, which predicts the order of finish in each event at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships. Freshman sensation Norris Frederick, who currently boasts the third-best long jump by a collegian in 2005, earned a matching ranking in the event from Trackwire, while the magazine expects UW senior Kate Soma, the Pac-10 pole vault champion and NCAA runner-up in 2004, to place second in the event next month. Sophomore Ashley Lodree also earned a Dandy Dozen mention, her No. 12 ranking in the 60-meter hurdles ranking four spots below her current place on the 2005 NCAA performance list.
Monster PR of the Week: Three school records and a UW freshman record gave Monster PR plenty to ponder for the weekend of Feb. 12-13. However, what caught the watch's eye were the four PRs set by senior heptathlete Grace Vela, including three which rank among the team's top-10 all-time indoor marks. At the Husky Classic, the Toronto native moved to sixth all-time in the long and triple jumps with marks of 19-6 3/4 and 39-3 3/4, before high-jumping 5-6 1/2 at the UW Open #3 to move into a three-way tie for eighth all-time at UW. Vela has already set a school record this season in the pentathlon, and boasts top-10 all-time marks in eight different events.
Distance Dominance: If there was any doubt before, Dempsey Indoor cemented its reputation as America's fastest indoor distance track at the Feb. 12 Husky Classic. Seven collegiate men and six collegiate women bested the NCAA automatic qualifying standard in the Classic's 5,000-meter races, including an NCAA-leading mark Wisconsin's Matt Tegenkamp. In fact, of the NCAA's 11 automatic men's qualifiers at 5K, eight achieved their mark on the Dempsey Indoor track, while six of the event's nine automatic women's qualifiers did so in Seattle. The Dempsey's influence even extends to the 2005 IAAF World Rankings -- 17 of the 29 men's 5,000 meter times ranked by the IAAF were achieved at one of UW's three home invitationals this season, including Tegenkamp's oversized-track world leader of 13:36.48.
It's Not the Size of the Dog in the Fight: Three-time All-American pole vaulter Kate Soma may stand only an inch above 5'-0", but the Husky senior cuts a towering figure in collegiate pole vaulting history. At the Feb. 12 Husky Classic, Soma claimed the 2005 NCAA lead and broke her own UW indoor record with a clearance of 14 feet, 3 1/2 inches, equaling the seventh-best by a collegiate vaulter all-time. Currently 16th in the 2005 IAAF World Rankings, and No. 2 among U.S. women only to American record-holder Stacy Dragila, Soma has broken UW's pole vault record in each of her seven collegiate "seasons," including four indoors and three outdoors. In clearing 14-3 1/2, the Portland, Ore., native backed up her UW outdoor record clearance of 14-2 at last year's Pac-10 Championships, a vault which won Soma her first Pac-10 title and qualified her for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials. Soma followed up her conference crown with a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships to earn her third-consecutive All-America award. Only five other women in UW history have earned as many All-America honors as Soma's three, while just four others have captured at least two in the same season, something Soma did in 2004 with a second-place NCAA finish outdoors, and a tie for fifth indoors. Perhaps it's her support system -- Soma's mother, Donna, boasts an American pole vault record in her age group, while Soma's high school coach designs shoes worn by elite vaulters Dragila and Dmitri Markov.
All-Time Collegiate Pole Vault Top-10
Name, School, Year, Mark
1. Chelsea Johnson, UCLA, 2004, 15-0
2. Amy Linnen, Arizona, 2002, 14-10 1/4i
3. Thorey Elisdottir, Georgia, 2001, 14-9 1/2i
4. Becky Holliday, Oregon, 2003, 14-8
5. Lacy Janson, Florida State, 2003, 14-7 1/4i
5. Tracy O'Hara, UCLA, 2000, 14-7 1/4
7. Kate Soma, Washington, 2005, 14-3 1/2I
7. Melissa Price, Fresno State, 1998, 14-3 1/2
9. April Steiner, Arkansas, 2003, 14-3 1/4i
9. Tamara Diles, Wash. State, 2002, 14-3 1/4i
Moving On Up: Currently the NCAA's pole vault leader in 2005, Husky senior Kate Soma has the chance to continue an impressive streak. The three-time All-American has improved her NCAA standing in each of her five-career appearances at the meet, having placed 16th outdoors in 2002, 12th indoors in 2003, seventh outdoors in 2003, fifth (tied) indoors in 2004 and second outdoors in 2004. Should that trend continue, Soma would become just the third NCAA champion in UW women's history, and the first since 1988.
Vault Supremacy: There is little doubt that Washington reigns supreme in the world of collegiate women's vaulting. Four UW women boasted best marks over 13 feet in 2004, a feat matched nationally only by Nebraska. Washington, however, one-upped the Huskers in the category of NCAA qualifiers, with the UW sending three competitors to the NCAA field, while Nebraska managed just two. The Huskies backed up their bids at the NCAA meet, with Kate Soma placing second, Carly Dockendorf 11th, and Stevie Marshalek 14th. In 2005, the results could be better -- all three of the UW's NCAA qualifiers return, as does seventh-place West Regional finisher Ashley Wildhaber, currently eighth on the 2005 NCAA performance list. Additionally, the accomplished quartet welcomes freshman Kelley DiVesta of Colorado, whose prep best of 12-6 1/2 is higher than the prep bests of all but one of the UW's returnees.
Dazzling Debut: All eyes were on freshman Norris Frederick at January's UW Indoor Preview, and the Seattle native did not disappoint. Frederick swept high- and long-jump titles at the meet, his winning mark of 25-4 1/2 in the latter a six-inch personal best. Two weeks later, Frederick launched four more jumps over 25 feet at the UW Invitational, the last a 25-foot, 6 1/4-inch monster that ranks third in the NCAA, and is the third-best mark in the world this year by a jumper under the age of 20. Success for Frederick is certainly to be expected -- he ranked second among U.S. prep high jumpers in 2004 with a best of 7-1, and was the United States' fourth-ranked prep long jumper at 24-10 1/2. The Roosevelt High School graduate literally jumped out of his shoes at July's IAAF World Junior Championships in Italy, tearing apart the footwear which had guided him to five state titles during his four-year prep career. With borrowed shoes, Frederick managed to place 19th in both events at the world meet, and closed the 2004 season ranked among the top-35 under-20 athletes in the world. Frederick's 2005 long jump best, just 1/4-inch shy of the UW record held by former world-record holder Phil Shinnick, earned a No. 3 ranking from Trackwire magazine, which predicts order of finish at the NCAA Championships. Additionally, the mark is tied for0 11th among American men in the IAAF World Rankings, and is tops among U.S. junior-age jumpers.
Passing the Baton: More than a decade passed between the last two times a Washington men's 4x400-meter relay crossed the finish line at the NCAA Championships. It's likely Husky fans won't have to wait so long again. Three of the four Huskies who led UW's relay to third at the 2004 NCAA West Regional, and a berth at the 2004 NCAA Championships, return in 2005, including senior Sean Williams and juniors Phil McCary and Bruce Jackson. While the three returnees all hail from the Seattle area, having respectively attended Lake Washington and Juanita High Schools in Kirkland, and Roosevelt in Seattle, it takes a little longer to reach the hometown of the relay's newest addition, Grenada native Shane Charles. Grenada's national 400-meter hurdles champ, Charles earned All-American honors at Central Arizona JC in 2004 with a best of 50.95 seconds that would have placed third at the 2004 West Regional. With the addition of Charles and Renton native Ryan Brown, UW's relay -- which clocked a best of 3:06.41 in 2004 to rank 15th in the nation, and third in UW history -- is off to a fast start this season, with a best of 3:09.63 at the Feb. 12 Husky Classic that ranks second indoors in UW history, and 16th in the nation this year.
Parlez-Vous Francais?: If he doesn't speak French already, Husky freshman Jeremy Mineau will have to be a quick learner. The Menlo Park, Calif., native ran fifth in the junior men's 8,000-meter open race at the Feb. 13 USA Cross Country Championships in Vancouver, Wash., to clinch one of six spots on the U.S. National Team for next month's World Cross Country Championships in Saint Garnier, France. Mineau, who will compete in the junior 8,000-meter race in Saint Garnier on Mar. 20, is the first current Husky to earn a world cross berth since then-freshman Laura Hodgson did so in 2003. Including post-collegiate UW competitors, Washington has had at least one representative at the World Cross Country Championships in five of the last six years, including a record three particpants in 2003. Mineau won't be the only UW freshman battling an international field next month -- Issaquah native Jon Harding, the 13th-place junior 8K finisher at the U.S. meet, was named last week to the U.S. team for the 2005 North and Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships, to be contested Mar. 6 in Claremont, Fla.
Record Rookies: The weekend of Feb. 12-13, 2005, may well go down as the date Washington's class of 2008 made its presence officially known. While much of the attention went to freshman Jeremy Mineau's world championships-qualifying run at the Feb. 13 USA Cross Country Championships, it was the school- and UW freshman records set at the Feb. 12 Husky Classic which really put the class on the map. Chehalis native Austin Abbott kicked off the record day with a blistering run in the men's mile, his time of 4:02.25 third-fastest ever at UW, and tops all-time by a first-year Husky. Abbott's NCAA provisional-qualifying mark is the second-fastest by a collegiate freshman this year, and ranks among the world's fastest by a runner under the age of 20. Just minutes later, Wenatchee's Amanda Miller did Abbott one better, breaking the UW all-classes indoor record in the 800 meters with an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 2:08.33. Miller's time, run in just the second 800 of her collegiate career, ranks 13th in the nation this year, and is fifth-fastest among NCAA freshmen. In fact, freshmen account for one-third of UW's nine NCAA-qualifying performances this season, including Norris Frederick's nationally third-ranked mark of 25-6 1/4 in the long jump. Should one or all of the talented newcomers make the NCAA Championships field, it would mark the second-consecutive year, and third time in the past four seasons, that at least one Husky frosh has competed at the national meet.
Ridiculous Records: Washington's 2005 media guide is not yet a month old, and already its indoor records section has been rendered useless. Husky athletes combined for 20 marks among the team's top-10 all-time at January's UW Invitational, and have achieved a stunning 42 such marks this season, after totaling 47 new top-10 marks in 2004. Washington's highly-acclaimed indoor facility, Dempsey Indoor, has certainly had an effect on the Huskies' indoor list, with 16 school records and an eye-popping 146 marks among UW's all-time top-10 having been achieved since the start of the 2002 season, UW's first in the facility. For a complete list of the top-10 indoor marks set in 2005, see the PDF version of this release.
The `Lo' Down: She's only three meets into her 2005 season, but already Ashley Lodree boasts NCAA qualifying marks in the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles, and a 200-meter best of 24.81 seconds that ranks second in UW history. But then, everything the 19-year-old does is fast. Lodree was a one-woman whirlwind in 2004, placing 14th in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2004 NCAA indoor meet before bettering UW's 100-meter hurdles record in her first collegiate final just two weeks later. Lodree's wind-aided 13.43-second mark was well below the UW benchmark of 13.55 set by All-American Claudine Robinson in 1994, and was the first of seven record-breaking runs for the UW freshman, who closed her rookie season with a wind-aided best of 13.39 at the Texas Relays, and a legal record of 13.41 seconds at the Drake Relays. Despite just missing an NCAA outdoor berth with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA West Regional, Lodree's efforts ranked the freshman No. 7 in the world among junior-age runners in the 2004 IAAF World Rankings, and No. 2 among U.S. juniors. More than just a hurdler, however, Lodree also set all-time top-10 UW marks in the 100 meters and indoor long jump, and scored in four different events at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships. Lodree has picked up in 2005 right where she left off last season, posting an NCAA qualifying effort of 8.24 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles at the Husky Classic, and adding another provisional qualifier with a 60-meter dash time of 7.44 seconds at the UW Invitational. The sophomore is seeking in 2005 to lower her indoor hurdles career-best of 8.19 seconds set in 2004, a UW record and the fastest by an NCAA freshman last year.
2004 IAAF Junior Women's 100-Meter Hurdles Rankings
Name, Country, Mark
1. Ronetta Alexander, United States, 13.22
2. Sally McLellan, Australia, 13.30
3. Stephanie Lichtl, Germany, 13.36
4. MaKeatha Cooper, United States, 13.37
5. Sabrina Altermatt, Switzerland, 13.39
5. Shantia Moss, United States, 13.39
7. Ashley Lodree, United States, 13.41
Multi-Talented: Senior multi-eventer Grace Vela is used to crisscrossing the track for multiple events -- witness her performance last year's Pac-10 Championships, where the Toronto native competed in the heptathlon, long jump, triple jump, 100-meter hurdles and 4x100-meter relay, ultimately toeing the line 11 different times. So, given the opportunity to compete in the pentathlon the night before January's UW Indoor Invitational, Vela made the most of it, setting a UW record and qualifying provisionally for the NCAA Championships with a 3,723-point performance. That mark followed up a terrific 2004 campaign that saw Vela earn four top-10 national rankings from Athletics Canada, including sixth in the heptathlon, seventh in the long jump, and ninth in the 100-meter hurdles and triple jump. Vela's heptathlon best of 5,225 points is bettered in UW history only by Sonja Forster, who tallied 5,266 points at the 1992 Pac-10 meet. Forster was also the last Husky to earn an NCAA berth in the heptathlon before Vela did so last season, placing 21st at the NCAA outdoor meet in Austin, Texas. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Vela moved to Toronto in 1995 with her family, eventually graduating from Toronto's Vaughan High School and attending Division-II Lewis University in Chicago. Vela won five events at the 2003 Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships, and earned Division-II All-America honors in the 4x100-meter relay. Vela, whose best marks in the heptathlon and pentathlon are tops all-time among those achieved by Zimbabwe-born women, will receive her degree in economics this spring, and plans to return to her home country to improve the quality of life for its citizens.
Island Fever: Don't be surprised if Dempsey Indoor seems a little tropical this winter -- with three Caribbean sprinters on the UW roster, there's a distinct island flavor to the 2005 season. Grenada's Shane Charles joins Jamaica's Patrick Davidson and Davaon Spence on the Husky roster this year, giving the UW three sprinters with significant international experience. Charles, who led all of his countrymen in the 400-meter hurdles in 2003 and 2004, crushed UW's indoor 800-meter record by nearly half a second in January, before seeing his mark broken two weeks later by teammate Ryan Brown. Grenada's national champion in the 400-meter hurdles in 2003, and the junior national record holder in the event, Charles earned All-America honors at Central Arizona JC in 2004 with a best of 50.95 seconds that would have qualified him for last year's NCAA Championships. Spence and Davidson, meanwhile, teammates at Kingston, Jamaica's St. Jago High School, teamed for a world youth record in the 4x400m at the 1999 World Youth Games in Poland, and led Jamaica's relay to a silver medal at the 1999 Pan Am Games. The two split up to attend junior colleges in the U.S. before reuniting at UW last season, each setting Pac-10 qualifying marks before injuries cut their seasons short in May.
Rare Double: From the first time she entered a pole vault competition -- clearing 12-1 1/2 in her first-ever vault competition in 2002 -- it was obvious that junior Carly Dockendorf, already a decorated UW gymnast, was in an elite class of athletes. Just two years later, at the 2004 NCAA West Regional, Dockendorf moved into a class all her own, adding an NCAA Track and Field Championships invitation to the NCAA Gymnastics meet invite she earned in April. While it is not uncommon for a college athlete to compete in multiple NCAA Championships in one year -- track/cross country, volleyball/basketball, and basketball/track doubles being among the most frequent -- to do so in two unrelated sports in which qualification is based on individual, not team, performance is extremely rare. Dockendorf finished 11th in her NCAA pole vault debut, after placing 24th on the floor exercise at April's NCAA gymnastics nationals.
Northwest Honors: The Feb. 5 weekend may have represented a week off for the UW track teams, but that didn't stop the Huskies from making headlines. Women's assistant coach Kelly Strong and former Husky pole vaulter Brad Walker were recognized for their 2004 accomplishments with Pacific Northwest Track and Field's Athlete of the Year honors, announced Feb. 4 at the PNTF's annual awards banquet. The fifth-place steeplechase finisher at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, and the ninth-ranked steepler in U.S. history, Strong was nominated alongside UW senior Kate Soma and 2004 UW alum Megan Spriestersbach, both All-Americans and Olympic Trials participants in 2004. Walker, meanwhile, captured his third-straight PNTF Athlete of the Year honor after winning his second-straight NCAA indoor pole vault title, placing sixth at the Olympic Trials, and closing the 2004 season with a No. 6 world ranking.
Jumping for Joy: Perhaps no one was more excited for the 2004-05 season than UW jumps coach Pat Licari. After seeing his men's unit decimated in 2004 by injuries, Licari in 2005 boasts one of the Pac-10's deepest jumps units, with two seven-foot high jumpers, two 24-foot long-jumpers and two 48-foot triple jumpers. And that doesn't include junior Warren Eickhoff, who tied for sixth in the high jump at the conference meet in 2004. Chief among Licari's new additions is freshman Norris Frederick, who ranked second among U.S. preps in 2004 with a high jump best of 7-1, and is currently the nation's third-ranked collegiate long jumper with a mark of 25-6 1/4. Oregon transfer Teddy Davis, meanwhile, seeks to repeat the form that led him to a 7-1 high jump and a third-place NCAA West Regional finish, while Pacific Lutheran transfer J.R. Wolfork tries to better the respective long- and triple-jump marks of 23-10 1/4 and 48-6 that led him to Division-III All-America honors in 2003. Wolfork is one of two Husky jumpers who were lost to injury in 2004, including senior Phillipe Cook, a Pac-10 long- and high jump competitor in 2002. Both will return this season, while Davis will redshirt due to Pac-10 transfer rules.
2005 Season Preview: As impressive as UW's 2004 campaign proved to be -- with one NCAA title, one Pac-10 title, four All-America honors, and nine school records -- 2005 could be even better. Eight of UW's 13 NCAA Championships competitors return, while the team adds four newcomers whose existing bests would have qualified them for the NCAA meet last year. Topping the returnees is Pac-10 pole vault champ and three-time All-American Kate Soma, who leads a deep UW women's team that includes athletes responsible for all but 13 of the Huskies' 67 points in a sixth-place finish at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships. The UW men are equally loaded for a strong postseason run with 13 Pac-10 scorers returning, including three of the four members of the team's NCAA-qualifying 4x400-meter relay. While the Husky women boast particular strength in the pole vault, with three returning NCAA qualifiers, Washington's men are loaded in the throws, with the Pac-10's top returning competitors in the hammer and javelin, and the conference's third-ranked returnee in the discus. Husky hurdler Ashley Lodree and heptathlete Grace Vela each seek return trips to the NCAA meet, while four-time prep All-American sprinter Jennifer Nash and freshman heptathlete Bonnie Snyder could challenge for NCAA berths in their first collegiate seasons. Grenadan national champion Shane Charles, a junior-college All-American in the 400-meter hurdles, joins the the team's 4x400-meter relay, while five-time state champion Norris Frederick seeks to back up his top-four national prep rankings in the high and long jumps.
Dempsey Indoor: In only three full seasons, Washington's Dempsey Indoor has already earned a reputation as one of the nation's top indoor competition venues. The facility includes a permanent 307-meter MONDO track (six lanes on the straightaway, five on the oval) and a full 100-yard FieldTurf infield equipped to host the shot put, weight throw, long jump, triple jump, high jump and pole vault events. Dempsey Indoor has hosted 11 Olympians, witnessed 15 top-10 world marks, 12 UW indoor school records and hundreds of NCAA qualifying marks, and is the host site of the MPSF Championships. In addition to its competitive use, the building serves as an indoor practice facility for many UW teams. The facility is named for California businessman Neal Dempsey, a 1964 Washington graduate. Dempsey and his wife, Janet, made the largest individual contribution ever to the University in January of 2001. The Dempseys announced a gift of $10 million to be split between the School of Business and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Dempsey Indoor Draws World's Best: If Washington's home indoor meets over the past three seasons have seemed to shimmer in gold, it is likely due to the numerous Olympians who have highlighted the fields at Dempsey Indoor. Adam Goucher, a U.S. Olympian in 2000, set a facility record in the 5,000 meters in his first of two appearances at Dempsey Indoor this season, while fellow Olympian Bolota Asmeron clocked a Dempsey-best 7:48.59 at last year's UW Indoor Invite. In 2003, numerous former Olympians put the Dempsey on their competition schedule, including former Husky and 2000 U.S. Olympian Ja'Warren Hooker, two-time Olympic medalist John Godina, U.S. Olympians Seilala Sua and Michael Stember, and Asmeron, who in 2000 competed for his native Eritrea. All set facility records in their respective events, while Asmeron clocked what at the time was the world's sixth-fastest 3,000-meter mark.
Head Coach Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his third year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross country, and his eighth year overall on the UW coaching staff. In his first two seasons at the helm, Metcalf has led the UW women to 29th and 18th at the NCAA Championships, and guided the Husky men to a tie for 22nd indoors in 2004. Individually, eight UW distance runners have earned NCAA berths, with two grabbing All-America accolades. In addition, Metcalf has led the Huskies' women's cross country team to the NCAA meet in each of his eight years atop the UW distance program, marking the sixth-longest active streak of NCAA appearances in the nation. In all, Metcalf has coached 11 All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 15 school-record setters and 65 NCAA qualifiers. A 1993 UW graduate, Metcalf was a two-time All-American in the steeple, and ran in the 1996 U.S. Olympic trials.
Husky Greats Give Back: Head coach Greg Metcalf isn't the only former Husky passing his knowledge on to UW's stars of today. In fact, three former Husky greats dot the coaching staff at Washington, including two-time All-Americans Metcalf and David Bazzi, and two-time Olympian Duncan Atwood. The results speak for themselves: in Atwood's two seasons working with throws coach Bud Rasmussen as a volunteer assistant javelin coach, Husky women's spearers have combined for two All-America awards and a pair of top-10 U.S. women's rankings, while raising the UW javelin record by nearly 20 feet. Meanwhile, over the past three years in the men's distance events, where Bazzi assists Metcalf, Husky runners have combined for three school records, and 34 times that rank among Washington's top-10 all-time in distance events.
Star-Studded Staff: Washington's assistant coaching staff in 2005 is in no way short on accolades. Ninth-year vaults/jumps coach Pat Licari has directed eight All-Americans, including two-time NCAA champion Brad Walker. Third-year throws coach Bud Rasmussen founded the prestigious Iron Wood Thrower Development Camp, has mentored two All-Americans in two years at Washington, and in seven years at North Idaho College coached 82 NJCAA All-Americans, 18 national champions and five NJCAA record holders. First-year sprints/relays coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr. mentored eight Eastern Kentucky sprinters to Ohio Valley Conference titles in 2004, and coached athletes to 13 school records in four years at Marshall University. Fourth-year distance coach David Bazzi, a Washington alum, was the 2001 Pac-10 champion at 10,000 meters, and still holds three all-time school records. Rounding out the all-star cast is third-year distance coach Kelly Strong, who graduated from Arizona State in 2002 with five All-America honors and three Pac-10 titles, and is largely credited with putting together a women's recruiting class in 2003 that was ranked sixth in the nation by Track and Field News. Ironically, the most accomplished member of the Husky coaching staff is one of the team's volunteer assistants -- former Olympian Duncan Atwood. A UW All-American, two-time Olympian and three-time U.S. champion, Atwood has helped Husky women's javelin throwers earn All-America honors in each of his two seasons with the team.