Feb. 19, 2010
SEATTLE - Head Husky track and field coach Greg Metcalf announced this week the signing of seventeen recruits for both the track and cross country programs. The diverse mix of five men and twelve women is undoubtedly among the best in Washington history and could provide immediate contributions in many cases.
In 2009 the Husky women's track team placed 19th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and the men tied for 20th. In the first ever USTFCCCA Program of the Year rankings, which measure overall finishes at the NCAA Cross Country and Indoor and Outdoor Track Championships, the UW women were ninth and the men took 10th. The new wave of recruits will play a major part in keeping Washington on the rise.
Seven of the incoming recruits are Washington natives, with two more from Oregon and one from Idaho. The Huskies will bring in four recruits from California, all distance runners, and also welcome student-athletes from New York, Michigan, and Iowa. Eight of the recruits already have individual state titles to their credit with their final track seasons still ahead.
While Washington is bringing in top-ranked jumpers, hurdlers, and vaulters, the one group receiving the largest infusion of talent is the women's distance crew, already one of the strongest in the nation over the past few years. Six of the women's recruits are middle distance or long distance specialists, and all have achieved an incredible amount during their prep careers.
Highlighting the women's group is Megan Goethals, the 2009-10 Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year from Rochester, Michigan. The winner of the 2009 Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships, Goethals becomes just the second Gatorade national athlete of the year to sign with Washington in any sport, along with legendary quarterback Brock Huard.
While Goethals won the Foot Locker national title, Katie Flood of Des Moines, Iowa was the individual champion at 2009 Nike Cross Nationals, giving the Huskies the two reigning national cross country champs. Flood is a two-time Gatorade Runner of the Year for the state of Iowa and was also Top-10 at Foot Locker last year.
Based on the 2009 Foot Locker results, Washington signed four of the Top-10 seniors in the nation, with Goethals (1st) and Flood (8th) joined by Liberty Miller (14th) of Canoga Park, Calif. and Megan Morgan (17th) from Del Mar, Calif. Morgan was the runner-up at the Foot Locker West Region meet and the California state cross country meet.
Rounding out the distance squad is Mackenzie Carter of Fayetteville, N.Y., and Chloe Curtis from Redondo Beach, Calif. Carter's Fayetteville-Manlius high school squad won the Nike Cross National team title all four years of her career, while Curtis ranked second nationally in the mile among all juniors in 2009.
"Our women's class is definitely distance heavy," said Metcalf. "Our distance group has had recent success and we attracted interest on a national level and came away with a great group."
The women's cross country team won the 2008 National Championship and placed third in 2009. The Huskies lose just one senior from the 2009 team but Metcalf will be able to find room for the newcomers in the fall.
"We added outstanding depth to our great group of distance runners. We have a handful of women that can strengthen our 5-10 slots right away, and one of them is going to come in and be better than that. Who that will be remains to be seen."
Stellar homegrown talent is also a huge part of the incoming women's class, led by Puyallup's Tate Latimer is another gifted hurdler, who was third in the 100m and 300m hurdles at the 4A state level last year.
Michelle Fero of Seattle's Holy Names Academy is one of the state's top intermediate sprinters, and multi-talented Shelby Williams of Ridgefield, Wash. was the state's top junior in the heptathlon last year and qualified in four different individual events at the 2A state meet.
Washington also adds a pair of great pole vault recruits in Tasha Clark of Mead High School in Deer Park, Wash. and Ashley Schnapp of Oregon City, Ore. Clark is the top returning vaulter in the state, having gone over 12-feet, and Schnapp recently raised her PR to 11-9 ¾ at UW's own Dempsey Indoor in the UW Open Meet.
The men's group, while smaller, is a very well-balanced and elite group of athletes, including two jumpers already leading the nation early in the indoor season.
Anthony Maricich, a teammate of Clark's at Mead High School, is a 7-foot high jumper whose recent clearance of 6-10 ¾ at the UW Open Meet ranks him first in the country indoors according to athletic.net. He was the 2008 Washington 4A State high jump champ as a sophomore.
While Maricich covers the vertical, Kasen Covington has the horizontal jumps down pat. The Boise, Idaho native is the top-ranked triple jumper indoors right now with a mark of 49-11 ¾ and also ranks eighth in the long jump. Covington is the two-time Idaho state triple jump champion and broke the state meet record by 15 inches last year.
The middle distance group should receive a big-time boost from California's Sean Krinik. He is the reigning California state champion at 800-meters and the top returning senior in the nation with a top time of 1:51.42. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native could be the latest in a line of standout Husky mid-distance runners including Ryan Brown and Austin Abbott.
Last but certainly not least are two more state champions in Matt Anthony from Ontario, Ore. Schmidt is the defending Washington state decathlon champion, and also an All-WesCo performer in both football and basketball. Anthony swept the 100-meters, 200-meters, and 4x100-meter state titles at the 4A level in Oregon last year and could make a large contribution right away on the relay teams.
"With Kasen Covington, Anthony Maricich, and Sean Krinik, I think we have three guys that have the potential to score at the Pac-10 Championships as freshmen," said Metcalf. "Kale and Matt are both also very talented athletes that have known nothing but success and want to continue that."
"When it's all said and done I think this will be as good a recruiting class as we've ever had."
More signings could still be announced in the coming weeks so check back with GoHuskies.com.
2010 Washington Track & Field Recruits (click each name for full bio, photos, and coach quotes)
Matt Anthony - Sprints - Ontario, Ore. - Ontario
Mackenzie Carter - Distances - Fayetteville, N.Y. - Fayetteville-Manlius
Tasha Clark - Pole Vault - Deer Park, Wash. - Mead
Kasen Covington - Jumps - Boise, Idaho - Capital
Chloe Curtis - Mid-Distances - Redondo Beach, Calif. - Redondo Union
Michelle Fero - Sprints - Seattle, Wash. - Holy Names
Katie Flood - Distances - Des Moines, Iowa - Dowling Catholic
Megan Goethals - Distances - Rochester, Michigan - Rochester High
Sean Krinik - Mid-Distances - Yorba Linda, Calif. - Valencia
Tate Latimer - Hurdles - Maple Valley, Wash. - Tahoma
Anthony Maricich - Jumps - Spokane, Wash. - Mead
Liberty Miller - Distances - Canoga Park, Calif. - Simi Valley
Megan Morgan - Distances - Del Mar, Calif. - Torrey Pines High
Kale Schmidt - Multis - Stanwood, Wash. - Stanwood
Ashley Schnapp - Pole Vault - Oregon City, Ore. - Central Catholic
Kayla Stueckle - Hurdles - Puyallup, Wash. - Emerald Ridge
Shelby Williams - Multis - Ridgefield, Wash. - Ridgefield