April 9, 2008
ON THE TRACK: Only one destination awaits the Washington track and field team this week, as UW sends a full squad to Tempe, Ariz. for the Sun Angel Classic hosted by Arizona State. All the events with the exception of the hammer throws take place Saturday, April 12, with the hammer competition taking place one day prior.
The Huskies will be looking to add to their current list of eight regional qualifiers, all set at last weekend's Pepsi Team Invitational in Eugene, Ore. Washington has only competed twice outside, and adverse weather conditions have hampered times and marks across the board, so the typical Arizona sun could be a boon to the Husky athletes.
A very strong field will be on hand to give the Huskies a run, including both Sun Devil squads that swept the NCAA Indoor Championships a month ago in Fayetteville, Ark. In addition, full teams from Air Force, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Boise State, DePaul, Duke, Florida,Iowa, Iowa State, New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Penn State and Penn State will be in attendance, as well as men's teams from Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio State and Wisconsin, and women's teams from Illinois, Michigan, and Villanova.
Huskies to watch include junior Jordan Boase, who took third in the 400-meter dash at NCAA Indoors, and is planning to make his outdoor debut after being held out last week due to a sore back. Boase will be in the 400-meter Invitational, matched up against ASU's Jimmie Gordon who was second at NCAA Indoors. Jeff Gudaitis and Joseph Turner will also run the 400m. Four-time All-American Austin Abbott will run the 800m for the second-straight week as he gets back into racing form and hunts for a regional qualifier.
The Husky men are also scheduled to make their first two relay runs outdoors, entering in both the 4x100 and 4x400m relays.
Washington's three women's mile All-Americans, Amanda Miller, Michelle Turner, and Katie Follett are all entered in the 1500-meters, and freshman Lauren Saylor will make her first outdoor run after competing in the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Scotland just two weeks ago. Saylor will run in the 5K along with three other Huskies.
The Husky men's 10th-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships was their second-straight Top-10 finish indoors, following 2007's all-time high seventh-place finish. The last two years represent the two-best NCAA Indoor finishes in school history, and the 2007 place equaled UW's third-best NCAA finish overall since 1930.
Senior Norris Frederick was named the 2008 West Region Field Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field Coaches Association. It is the second year in a row Frederick won the award.
Washington has sent a total of 72 athletes to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championship since 2005, the most prolific stretch in team history. Those 64 have returned home with 58 All-America honors, also obliterating all previous three-year records.
Washington's No. 2 indoor preseason men's ranking marked the highest ever ranking for a UW track program, surpassing last season's No. 4 indoor ranking. The ranking was based on returning athletes from last season's final descending order list. The Husky men came in 10th-place in the preseason outdoor list.
In both 2006 and 2007, Washington boasted at least one NCAA competitor in every event area -- sprints, hurdles, middle distance, long distance, relays, horizontal jumps, vertical jumps, pole vault and throws. This season the Huskies already covered every area indoors save for throws, long distance and hurdles.
In 2006-07, the Husky men were one of only four teams that finished in the Top-15 in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track.
Washington has boasted at least one Pac-10 champion in eight-straight years, and at least one NCAA champ for five-straight seasons. Senior Ryan Brown extended both streaks in 2007, winning NCAA indoor and Pac-10 800m crowns.
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 25-26. 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.
LAST TIME OUT: Windy conditions made for a rough day across the board at the Pepsi Team Invitational, but the Washington men's and women's track and field teams still combined to post eight NCAA Regional qualifying marks, win five events, and set three new school Top-10 marks. The Huskies struggled to fourth-place finishes in both the men's and women's team standings, due mostly to a thin roster that left them unrepresented in several events, including all the relays. Oregon won the men's dual with the 10th-ranked Huskies, 230-125.5, and the UO women 192-78, although the 23rd-ranked Minnesota women's team came out on top among the foursome. Each of UW's indoor All-Americans that competed qualified for West Regionals with strong showings on Saturday. Washington's trio of mile All-Americans split up and ran three different events. Senior Amanda Miller was third in the 1500-meter run in 4:21.26. Senior Michelle Turner ran 2:08.31 in the 800-meters for a third-place finish. Sophomore Katie Follett went the furthest from her NCAA mile success, placing second at 5000-meters in a qualifying time of 16:22.78. Follett's run was seventh-best all-time at Washington. Despite the adverse conditions, the Huskies had some strong performances in the throws, led by junior Dave Nyland, who won the javelin with a throw of 226-0, a personal-best of 11 feet and a regional qualifying mark. True freshman and top-ranked Canadian junior javelin thrower Kyle Nielsen was fourth in his first collegiate action, topping the 200-foot mark and falling less than two feet shy of a regional qualifier. Freshman Elisa Bryant, who set the school record in the weight throw during the indoor season, went straight to No. 2 on UW's hammer throw list with a throw of 173-7. Bryant was second on the day, scoring seven points for the Huskies. In the men's hammer, sophomore Zack Midles easily surpassed the qualifying mark, finishing third with a best of 198-5. The best Husky sprints performance was submitted by senior James Fredrickson, who won the 400-meter hurdles in 52.16 seconds. Fredrickson was an All-American in the event in 2007, and already has his Regional ticket punched. Washington's final two event wins came from a predictable source - senior Norris Frederick in the long jump and high jump. Although conditions clearly impacted his marks, Frederick still won the long jump with a best of 24-10, easily enough for regionals, and took the high jump with a top clearance of 6-7 ½. The Huskies also sent three individuals to the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. Jake Schmitt, Riley Booker, and Trisha Rasmussen each competed in the 10K, and Schmitt turned in a great PR time of 28:56.05 that is an NCAA Provisional qualifier and one of the top times in the region thus far.
2008 INDOOR IN REVIEW: Washington track and field was put front and center before the indoor season even began, as the Husky men earned a No. 2 preseason ranking from the USTFCCCA. An all-time high for the program, the Huskies spent the early part of the season recovering from an assortment of injuries, and never quite reached full strength. But when NCAA's rolled around, senior Norris Frederick and junior Jordan Boase were enough to propel the men to a 10th-place finish. Frederick took second in the long jump and sixth in the high jump, and Boase was third at 400-meters, scoring 17 points total. Sophomore Scott Roth also made his third NCAA appearance, taking 10th in the pole vault. On the women's side, the Huskies broke into the Top-20 late in the season, thanks in large part to the women's dominant middle-distance corps. Seniors Amanda Miller and Michelle Turner and sophomore Katie Follett all earned All-American honors in the mile, making UW the only team at NCAA's to earn three All-American awards in one event. Miller was fifth, Follett sixth, and Turner ninth. Senior Kelley DiVesta also earned points at the national meet with her seventh-place pole vault finish. DiVesta set a new personal record at NCAA's with a 13-9 1/4 clearance to earn her first All-American award. The women's mile and pole vault added up to nine points for the Huskies, placing them in a tie for 22nd, the third-best finish all-time for the women. All told, the Husky men and women combined for seven All-America honors. Seven new indoor school records were set during the 2008 campaign, including three by Follett (mile, 3000m, DMR). The Dempsey Indoor was a hotbed for worldclass talent once again, and nine facility records were smashed during the season, including eight on the men's side. Norris Frederick provided one of the most thrilling facility records when he long jumped 26-7 3/4 to win the MPSF Championship on Feb. 29. Frederick's mark was a personal-best and sixth-best in the world at the time.
2008 Dempsey Indoor Records Men's 200m 20.93, Brent Gray, Long Beach St., 2/29/08 Men's Mile 3:56.00, Steve Sherer, Athletic Performance, 2/2/08 (No. 2 in the world) Men's DMR 9:31.52, Stanford, 2/29/08 Men's High Jump 7-6 ½, Michael Mason, UBC, 1/19/08 Men's Long Jump 26-7 3/4, Norris Frederick, UW, 2/29/08 (No. 6 in the world) Men's Shot Put 70-5 1/4, Ryan Whiting, Arizona St., 3/1/08 (No. 8 in the world) Men's Weight Throw 76-5 1/2, James Parker, Team XO, 2/16/08 Men's Heptathlon 5,784, Josh Hustedt, Stanford, 3/1/08 Women's High Jump 6-1 1/2, Ebba Jungmark, Wash. St., 2/16/08
FREDERICK THRILLS WITH WORLD-CALIBER LEAP: Based on his own lofty standards, senior Norris Frederick was having a so-so year. Sure, he ranked in the Top-10 in both the long jump and high jump, but the five-time All-American from Roosevelt High School had yet to give the Dempsey faithful the jaw-dropping show he's known for. That moment came at the MPSF Championships, when Frederick soared into the NCAA lead with a monstrous personal-best long jump of 26-7 3/4. When the length was announced, Frederick treated the fans to a celebratory back flip. The jump broke the UW indoor record, the Dempsey facility record, the MPSF meet reocrd, and what's more ranks as the second-best jump by an American this year, and the sixth-best jump in the world. The next day, Frederick turned in another personal-best, this time clearing 7-3 in the high jump. Entering the NCAA Indoor Championships as the favorite in the long jump, Frederick would have to settle for second, as he again surpassed 26-feet, going 26-2 3/4 to hold the lead through the first flight. However, Cal State Northridge's Reindell Cole went 26-7 3/4 with his first jump, matching Frederick's personal best from MPSFs and the mark held up, although none of Cole's remaining five jumps surpassed Frederick's best. The second-place long jump finish was the best in UW history, and Frederick capped off his best ever NCAA meet with a sixth-place high jump finish the next day, walking away with two more All-American awards to bring his total to seven, and scoring 11 of UW's 17 points. Frederick's long list of achievements includes a Pac-10 championship, three MPSF championships, an NCAA West Regional championship plus five long jump All-American awards and two All-American high jump honors, but he will be pushing hard for his first NCAA title in his final outdoor campaign.
IF IT CAN BE MEASURED, MILLER CAN RUN IT: Senior Amanda Miller was an invaluable weapon for the Huskies indoors, and has been a versatile speedster throughout her illustrious career. With a fifth-place finish in the mile at March's NCAA Indoor Championships, Miller led the first trio of All-American milers in UW history, finishing just ahead of teammates Katie Follett and Michelle Turner. It was Miller's second-straight All-Americna mile performance, following up a ninth-place finish in 2007. Miller also won All-American honors in the 800-meters in 2005. Miller, who ranks among UW's all-time Top-10 in seven events, posted her first automatic qualifier in the mile at the Husky Classic, running 4:39.93 which would have been a school record had Katie Follett not finished just ahead of Miller in the same race. She also bettered her own school record in the 800-meters at the UW Invitational on Feb. 2, finishing in 2:06.69, though she chose to stick with the mile at NCAA's rather than the 800. In 2005, Miller became UW's first female All-American in the 800-meters since 1985. This season, Miller decided that excelling at two indoor events just wasn't engaging enough, and she led UW's distance medley relay to its first ever NCAA berth, running the opening 1200-meter leg of the relay which slashed over 10 seconds from the school record entering this season. The stage was set for Miller's outstanding season in the fall, when she had her best cross country season to date, running third for the Huskies at the NCAA Championships. Miller placed 108th overall in her first cross country national meet, and the women's team established a new program benchmark with an eight-place finish.
NO RECORD SAFE FROM FOLLETT: Katie Follett had a respectable freshman season by any measure, but the Fort Collins, Colorado native gave little warning for what has become a remarkable sophomore campaign this year. Everything started back in September, when Follett finished second at the Sundodger Invitational, leading head coach Greg Metcalf to praise her offseason work, saying she had simply made herself into a better distance runner. Metcalf proved prescient, as Follett went on to earn her first All-American award in cross country, finishing 19th at NCAA's to lead the women to a program-best eighth-place finish. Following the standard rest period for cross country athletes prior to track season, Follett has spent the indoor season crushing various school records, and putting her name up near the top of the NCAA rankings in multiple events. At the Husky Classic, Follett crushed UW's mile record by more than three seconds, finishing in 4:37.22 to obtain the automatic NCAA qualifying mark. The run was the third fastest in the NCAA at the time, and 12th-best by an American. Follett would not run the mile again until the NCAA Championships, where she submitted a sixth-place finish in 4:41.88, right behind teammate Amanda Miller and just ahead of ninth-palce finisher Michelle Turner, making UW the only school to have three All-Americans in one event. Also during the indoor season, Follett ran as the anchor leg of UW's distance medley relay,finishing off two school-record runs on the only two occasions the Huskies ran their DMR during the regular season. After cutting three seconds off the school record the first time out, the Huskies demolished that record once again at MPSFs, running 11:12.77 to move into the Top-10 of the NCAA this season. The time is over 10 seconds faster than the previous school record entering 2008. Also at the MPSFs, Follett went out and ran the 3,000m for the first time this season, and shattered that indoor record by more than seven seconds as well. Follett placed second to Stanford's Arianna Lambie in a time of 9:25.09 that gave her three NCAA qualifying marks, and three school records in less than three weeks.