Dec. 1, 2007
SEATTLE - While snow swirled just outside the walls of the Dempsey Indoor facility today, the Washington track and field team began the warming process with the first-ever UW Winter Preview. Numerous local colleges and club teams helped the Huskies open the 2007-08 track season in style, with deep jump and vault fields and several new faces in sprints.
Five-time All-American senior Norris Frederick got the first big response of the season from the Dempsey crowd, as he recorded an NCAA provisional qualifying mark on the high jump in his first outing this season. Frederick missed his first two attempts at 7' 0 ¼" but went up and over on his third to obtain the provisional standard. The bar was raised to 7' 1 ½" but Frederick was unable to clear. Still, Frederick's early success bodes well for making a fourth NCAA appearance in the high jump, and he will clearly be a title favorite in the long jump, where he finished third outdoors in June.
Dashing through the Dempsey, sheltered from the snow, was a large group of young UW sprinters. With most of Washington's top returners taking the meet off, and the veteran distance runners resting up after cross country season, the young sprinters took center stage. On the men's side, freshman Sam Rucker ran the day's second-fastest 400-meter time, finishing in 50.26. Just off Rucker's pace were fellow freshmen Miles Timpe (50.84) and Kyle Acheson (51.46). Junior transfer Joe Turner also made a strong debut in the 300-meters, winning the event in 35.09 seconds. Freshman decathlete Andrew Ferleman had a busy first day, competing in the 60-meter dash, 60-meter hurdles, long jump, and the shot put.
On the women's side, do-it-all junior heptathlete Liz Fuller won both the 60-meter hurdles (9.03 seconds) and the shot put (40' 8 ¼"), while junior Daria Amiad-Pavlov flew past the best indoor long jump by any Husky a year ago, recording a mark of 18' 1 ½" today. Also getting off to a solid start was the young UW 4x400-meter relay team made up of junior Syreeta Martin, sophomore Falesha Ankton, and freshmen Christina Lee and Marie Tvare. The foursome won the day's relay in 3:56.45.
"This meet serves a great purpose in that it lets our young athletes know what to expect in the college atmosphere, and helps them get familiar with the Dempsey on meet days," said assistant sprints and relays coach LaMonte Vaughn.
Former Husky NCAA Pole Vault Champion Kate Soma, now known as Kate Conwell following her marriage to volunteer assistant throws coach Will Conwell, returned to the site of her numerous record-breaking performances to win the women's pole vault, clearing 12' 6 ¾", though the mark was well short of her school-record 14' 3 ½" set in 2005. Senior Kelley DiVesta took second with a top clearance of 12' 0 ½".
Junior Jared O'Connor and sophomore Ryan Vu tied for the men's pole vault top spot, with O'Connor winning the tiebreaker by clearing the last successful height of 16' 0 ¾" on his first attempt. The vaults already equal O'Connor and Vu's top indoor marks from the 2007 season.
The Huskies now have over a month to continue to build strength with the UW Indoor Invitational next up on the docket on Jan. 19, 2008.