May 14, 2009
ON THE TRACK: Washington takes its two Top-20 track and field squads to Oregon's Hayward Field this weekend to compete in the Pac-10 Championships. The two-day meet which runs Saturday and Sunday will crown individual and team conference champions. Competition gets underway at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and 12 noon on Sunday.
The conference championships are the first of three postseason meets that bring the outdoor season to an end, with NCAA Regionals following in two weeks and the NCAA Championships two weeks after that. This is the 79th running of the Pac-10 Championships for the men and the 23rd all-time for the women. Dozens of Pac-10 athletes will also be among the favorites to claim national titles in their respective events.
As usual, the Pac-10 is loaded with teams ranked among the Top-25 by the USTFCCCA. On the men's side, Oregon is the nation's top-ranked team and the defending Pac-10 Champions. Arizona State ranks sixth, followed by Stanford (10th), Washington (14th), USC (16th), California (17th), and Washington State (21st). Oregon also is the highest-ranked women's team at No. 2, with fifth-ranked USC and seventh-ranked Arizona State also in the Top-10. UCLA (13th), Stanford (15th), and Washington (17th) also dot the upper echelon of the rankings.
Washington should contend for a number of individual titles this year, looking to extend a record streak of nine-straight years with at least one individual title winner. Senior Jordan Boase leads the conference in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes and is entered in both. Last year he took second in the 400 and ran the lead-off leg on UW's title winning 4x100m relay. Also entering as the favorite based on best marks is sophomore pole vaulter Scott Roth. He is the only conference vaulter to have cleared 18-feet this year, though competition could come from his own teammates, as senior Jared O'Connor and junior Ryan Vu have both cleared 17-6 1/2 this year, which ties for the fourth-best mark in the Pac-10.
Senior All-American Austin Abbott will focus on the 1,500-meters this weekend in his last Pac-10 meet. His time of 3:41.62 ranks ninth nationally. Regional qualifier Joey Bywater will also get his first taste of Pac-10 action in the 1,500. Senior Joe Turner is expected to line up in the 100m and 200m, and was part of the champion 4x100m relay team along with Boase last season. In the distances, junior Jake Schmitt leads five Huskies in the 5,000-meter run.
Freshman Jeremy Taiwo, fresh off a third-place finish in the Pac-10 Decathlon last weekend, will try and give the Huskies some big points in the long and triple jumps. Taiwo already gave UW a nice head start with six points for this decathlon finish, putting UW in second-place behind Oregon entering the weekend. The throws unit will be highlighted by junior Zack Midles, third in the hammer last year and ranked third heading in this year as well, and sophomore Kyle Nielsen who ranks fourth in the javelin behind two of the NCAA leaders. Football standout Daniel Te'o-Nesheim will also compete for the Dawgs in the shot put.
The women's team will rely on its deep pool of distance standouts to post the lion's share of its points. Redshirt freshman Mel Lawrence boasts the conference's fastest time in the steeplechase this year, having run it just once at the UW-WSU dual. Lawrence also ranks fifth in the extremely deep 5,000-meter field, right behind fellow Huskies Anita Campbell (3rd, 15:45.85) and Katie Follett (4th, 15:48.72). Campbell is also entered in the 10,000-meters and owns the second-best time there. Follett is the defending Pac-10 Champion at 1,500-meters but will certainly be in for a challenge repeating against a loaded field.
Mid-distance standout Kailey Campbell will attempt to double in both the 800-meters and 1,500-meters. Campbell, who has cut more than 10 seconds off her 1,500 PR since this meet last year, is ranked 3rd in the 1,500 and 4th at 800-meters. Freshman Christine Babcock will join Campbell to compete for a title in the 800-meters, where she has run a UW freshman record of 2:06.55 in her only attempt.
Junior Falesha Ankton headlines the women's sprints effort. She ranks fifth in the 100m hurdles and will also look to lead a young but exciting 4x100m relay team. Seniors Lara Jones and Andrea Peterson rank eight and ninth, respectively, in the pole vault, and freshman Kelly McNamee's season-best high jump is tied for third. Washington will lean on sophomore Elisa Bryant in the throws, as she stands a good chance at scoring in both the hammer and discus with a solid effort. Sophomore Brooke Pighin will also contend in the javelin in a field that boasts several of the nation's very best.
PAC-10'S ON THE AIR: Updated results will be posted throughout the Championships at www.goducks.com, with complete results, recaps, and photos at the end of each day on GoHuskies.com. FOX Sports Net will air a two-hour tape delayed show starting Thursday, May 21. Barry Tompkins and Dwight Stones will call the action, while color commentary will be provided by Tom Feuer. Lindsay Soto will provide additional commentary from the inﬁeld. Check the local listings for the airing dates of the championships on your FOX Sports Net regional carrier.
TAIWO SHINES AT PAC-10 MULTIS: Husky freshman Jeremy Taiwo made quite an impression in his first completed decathlon, as the Renton, Wash. native placed third at the Pac-10 Multi-Event Championships, which wrapped up Sunday, May 10, at Oregon's Hayward Field. Taiwo, a graduate of Newport High, picked up six points for the Huskies heading into the main Pac-10 Championships. An All-American indoors in the heptathlon, Taiwo had only attempted one previous decathlon and was unable to finish due to a nagging injury. Today, not only did he finish the two-day endurance test, but he posted one of the best scores in the NCAA this season and in Husky history. Taiwo finished with 7,299 points, placing just behind Oregon's Marshall Ackley, who was second with 7,337, and Oregon's Ashton Eaton, the 2008 NCAA Champion in the event, who scored 8,091. Taiwo trailed Ackley by just eight points heading into the final event, the 1,500m run, but Ackley took second in the event to Taiwo's third-place finish to hold off the rookie. Taiwo's 7,299 points ranks as the 16th-best score in the nation this season, and is the sixth-best in school history. His best events were second-place finishes in the high jump (6-6), 110m hurdles (14.88) and long jump (22-5 ¼). Sophomore Andrew Ferleman posted a significant personal-best as well today with 6,357 points. That was nearly 300 points higher than his previous best. Ferleman finished 10th overall. On the women's side, senior Liz Fuller just barely missed out on scoring points for the Dawgs in the heptathlon, as she placed ninth with 4,844 points. Eighth-place was just 37 points out of reach.
LAST YEAR AT PAC-10'S: Five Husky athletes made history at the 2008 Pac-10 Championships in Tempe, Ariz., capturing conference crowns that no UW athletes had ever won. Sophomore Katie Follett took the women's 1500-meter title in a time of 4:22.41, becoming the first Husky female to win a Pac-10 running event since Anna Aoki in 2001. Follett was running third behind Oregon's Nicole Blood and Stanford's Lauren Centrowitz until the last 75 meters, when she went out wide and sprinted past the pair to win by nearly a second. Just moments before, Washington's men's 4x100-meter relay squad also claimed its first ever Pac-10 title in an event that dates back over 30 years. Junior Jordan Boase, senior James Fredrickson, junior Joe Turner, and freshman Ryan Hamilton relied on superior transfers to race to the win in 39.52 seconds. It is also just the third relay win of any kind for the Huskies at the conference meet, and first since 1999 when UW won the 4x400-meters. Other major showings were turned in by senior Norris Frederick who took second in the long jump (25-4) and high jump (7-2 1/4), and Boase, who ran under 45-seconds in the 400-meters for the second time this season but was edged by USC's Lionel Larry who ran an NCAA-best 44.77 to beat boase's 44.97. Senior Austin Abbott took fourth in the 800m with the fifth-best time in UW history at 1:48.14, while Turner logged the eighth-best 200m time to finish fourth as well. Senior Carl Moe was fourth in the steeplechase, while sophomore Zack Midles led the throws unit with a third-place showing in the hammer.
PAC-10 RETURNING SCORERS:
1st Boase/Turner 4x100m Relay 39.52
2nd Jordan Boase 400m Dash 44.97
3rd Zack Midles Hammer 207-11
4th Joe Turner 200m Dash 21.15
4th Austin Abbott 800m Run 1:48.14
5th Gudaitis/Turner/ 4x400m Relay 3:09.16
8th Kyle Nielsen Javelin 210-10
PAC-10 PROWESS: While UW's teams have never claimed a Pac-10 title outright, Washington does have an impressive string of nine consecutive seasons with at least one individual title. The run was extended last year with Katie Follett's 1,500m win and the victory by the men's 4x100m relay which was the first ever title in the event for UW. That streak now marks the 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 for15 Pac-10 titles over the eight years of the streak, including a high of three in 2006.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Husky men's squad rose one place to No. 14 in the weekly USTFCCCA Rankings, with the women's moving down two places to No. 17 this week. 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. Preseason bests were taken out of consideration this week, accounting for the women's quick rise, as their 2009 performances alone have been top notch. In individual events, Scott Roth is the highest-ranked Husky, currently third nationally in the pole vault with a best clearance of 18-1. Several other Huskies are currently ranked in the NCAA Top-10 in their events. Jordan Boase ranks seventh nationally in both the 200- and 400-meter dashes, having run each just one time so far outdoors. Sophomore Kyle Nielsen also ranks seventh in the javelin throw (239-2). Austin Abbott is ninth in the 1,500-meters, with his time of 3:41.62 set in a win at the Stanford Invite. On the women's side, Anita Campbell (15:45.85), Katie Follett (15:48.72) and Mel 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, and Lawrence is ninth in the 3,000m steeplechase.
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.
UP NEXT: Washington won't spend long away from Oregon's Hayward Field, as the Ducks also host the 2009 NCAA West Regional Championships, which take place May 29-30. The Regional meet is the final step before the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The top five finishers in each event at Regionals earn an automatic bid to NCAA's.
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 EARNS PAC-10 WEEKLY HONORS: Washington junior distance standout Anita Campbell was named the Pac-10 Women's Track Athlete of the Week for the week of April 13-19. Campbell is the first Husky woman to win the weekly award in four years. A native of Vancouver, B.C., 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 now ranks fourth in the NCAA at the 5k, in addition to ranking eighth at 10,000-meters. The only Husky to run a faster 5k was Regina Joyce who went 15:35.60 in 1982. 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. She was also a First Team All-Pac-10 honoree in cross country in the fall, helping lead the Huskies to the national championship. 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 READY FOR ENCORE: 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. With just one 400-meter race under his belt so far outdoors, Boase is seventh nationally with a time of 45.67 set in a victory at the Sun Angel Classic. He also won the 200-meters against Washington State in 20.61 seconds, which is tops in the Pac-10.
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 ninth 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 14th 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, and Midles continues to improve in the discus throw and inch closer to qualifying in that event as well. Midles ranks third in the conference in the hammer (211-6) heading into Pac-10's.
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. Roth is currently ranked third in the NCAA after he cleared a new personal best of 18-1 at the Jim Click Shootout, the second-best vault in UW history behind only Walker. 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. 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 with a clearance of 12-11 1/2, which is 10 inches 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. 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.
2009 INDOORS IN REVIEW: The NCAA Indoor Championships on March 14 put the capper on another outstanding indoor track and field campaign for the Huskies. With six collegiate meets at UW's Dempsey Indoor facility, Washington was once again one of the focal points of the national indoor track scene. Many of the fastest times in America were turned in at the Dempsey, with Husky athletes contributing a good number themselves. A whopping 36 new times or marks were written into the UW indoor Top-10 lists this season, with seven new school records. Washington sent 12 athletes to the NCAA Indoor meet in College Station, Texas, and they returned to Seattle with nine All-America honors between them. UW's indoor All-Americans included: senior Jordan Boase, who took third in the 400m for the second straight year; Katie Follett who took fifth in the 3K; Elisa Bryant, eighth in the weight throw in her first NCAA meet; the eighth-place women's DMR comprised of Christine Babcock, Falesha Ankton, Kailey Campbell, and Follett; Jake Schmitt, ninth in the 5K to earn his first All-America award; and freshman Jeremy Taiwo, who was 12th in the heptathlon just three months into his college career. Both teams scored six points at Nationals, which put the men in a tie for 33rd and the women in a tie for 35th. Once again Washington played host to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championships with the men placing sixth, though just four points out of second, and the women taking fifth, but only six points from third. UW earned four titles at the MPSFs, including Boase with a win in the 400m, Schmitt in the 5K, Taiwo in the heptathlon, and the women's distance medley relay. Highlighting the school record showings was senior Austin Abbott in the mile run. Abbott went 3:58.23 at the Last Chance Meet to break Eric Garner's school record, with Garner running in the same heat. Other records were set by Boase in the 400m (46.09), Taiwo in the heptathlon (5,559), Mel Lawrence in the 3K (9:08.50), Anita Campbell in the 5K (16:09.26), the women's DMR (11:05.80), and Bryant in the weight throw (65-8 3/4). The women's 3,000-meter list was the most drastically altered, as Lawrence, Follett, Anita Campbell, and Lauren Saylor ran the four fastest times in school history, respectively.
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY TAKES NCAA BY STORM: This past fall, the Husky women's cross country team grabbed the national spotlight, dominating every race they entered en route to the program's first National Championship. At the start of the season, the women were given a No. 3 national ranking, but quickly jumped up to No. 1 after dominating wins at the Sundodger and Tiger Invitational. UW confirmed its top billing with a huge win at Pre-Nationals. The Huskies then headed for a showdown with second-ranked Oregon at the Ducks' home course for the Pac-10 Championships. Washington turned the expected battle into an historic route, sweeping the top six places to record a perfect 15 points and snap Stanford's 12-year run of conference titles. Freshman Kendra Schaaf won the race by 30 seconds in a conference record time, becoming UW's first individual champion since 1982. After another routine win at West Regionals, the women went to NCAA's as the overwhelming favorite and did not disappoint, defeating Oregon once again by 52 points to win the national title. Freshman Christine Babcock led the way with a 7th-place finish, followed by Schaaf (12th-place), sophomore Mel Lawrence (25th), junior Katie Follett (26th), senior Amanda Miller (35th), sophomore Lauren Saylor (41st), and senior Anita Campbell (51st). The top five all earned All-America honors, with Saylor just missing out by one-tenth of a second. Schaaf was named Pac-10 Athlete of the Year, a first ever for Washington, and Babcock was named Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year. Head coach Greg Metcalf swept the coaching awards, as he was named the Pac-10, West Regional, and National Coach of the Year.
DEMPSEY INDOOR: Having now just concluded its eighth season, Washington's Dempsey Indoor has solidified its 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 dozens of Olympians; in 2009 alone this year fans witnessed 2008 U.S. Olympians Kara Goucher, Amy Yoder-Begley, Loree Smith, Sharon Day, Galen Rupp, and Andrew Wheating. The Dempsey produces numerous top-10 world marks every year and has seen 33 UW indoor school records broken, and hundreds of NCAA qualifying marks. The facility is also the annual host site of the MPSF Championships. In addition to its competitive use, the building serves as an indoor practice facility for many UW teams. Following is a list of new facility records set during the 2009 season:
2009 Dempsey Indoor Records
Men's 60m Hurdles 7.77 (tied); Myles Bradley, Stanford, 2/27
Men's 400m 46.09; Jordan Boase, Washington, 2/28
Men's 800m 1:47.03; Andrew Wheating, Oregon, 2/14
Men's 3,000m 7:47.97; German Fernandez, Oklahoma State, 2/14
Men's DMR 9:28.35; Arkansas, 1/30
Men's Heptathlon 6,174; Ashton Eaton, Oregon, 1/30-1/31
Women's 60m 7.31 (tied); Charonda Williams, Arizona State, 2/28
Women's 200m 23.44; Charonda Williams, Arizona State, 2/27
Women's 3,000m 8:53.88; Jennifer Barringer, Colorado, 1/31
Women's 5,000m 15:01.70; Jennifer Barringer, Colorado, 2/14
Women's Pentathlon 4,276; Sharon Day, Asics, 1/30
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.