June 9, 2008
The national meet runs from Wednesday through Saturday, June 11-14 at Drake Stadium, hosted by Drake University. A total of 544 student-athletes per gender will compete in the championships. Student-athletes qualified for the championships through participation in one of four regional championship meets.
Nine Huskies making the trip have prior NCAA meet experience, while four will be making their debuts. Leading the charge is senior Norris Frederick (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt), who will be competing for the final time as a Husky. Frederick is a seven-time All-American and will be entered in the long jump and high jump. Frederick has finished third and second in the long jump in his past two NCAA outings, and will look for his first title in his last outing. With two more All-America honors, Frederick would tie former Husky Ryan Brown for second all-time at Washington with nine.
Also competing for the last time in their storied careers are local standouts Carl Moe (Auburn, Wash./Auburn-Riverside) and Amanda Miller (Wenatchee, Wash./Eastmont). Moe, a two-time All-American, makes his second consecutive NCAA appearance in the steeplechase. Miller meanwhile, will be one of three Huskies competing in the 1500-meter run, along with Pac-10 Champion sophomore Katie Follett (Fort Collins, Colo./Fort Collins) and West Regional Champion Michelle Turner (Orem, Utah/Timpanogos/BYU). All three earned All-America distinction in the mile run at 2008 NCAA Indoors and will be looking to duplicate the feat this week.
One of UW's top title contenders is junior Jordan Boase (Bothell, Wash./Bothell) in the 400m dash. Boase became one of the biggest stories in college track this season when he broke Ja'Warren Hooker's school record with a time of 44.82 at the Sun Angel Classic in April that currently ranks Boase seventh in the world this year, and second in the NCAA behind USC's Lionel Larry who won their first encounter at the Pac-10 Chamionships when both ran sub-45-second times.
Boase also runs the opening leg of UW's 4x100m relay unit, which is seeded 10th at NCAA's and captured the school's first ever Pac-10 title in the event this year. Boase hands off to senior James Fredrickson (Kent, Wash./Kentridge/CS Northridge), a two-time All-American who will also be competing in the 400m hurdles. Two newcomers finish the race, starting with Joseph Turner (Fresno, Calif./Fresno) a junior transfer from Modesto Junior College. Freshman Ryan Hamilton (Vancouver, Wash./Evergreen) has anchor leg responsibility, and the smoothness of the passes between Turner and Hamilton have been a big reason for the group's success.
Sophomore Falesha Ankton (Benicia, Calif./Benicia) will make her second NCAA appearance after running on the distance medley relay at NCAA Indoors earlier this year. This time she's on her own, running in the 100m hurdles. Ankton's 13.46 mark at Regionals was the second-fastest all-time at UW. Jared O'Connor (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa/North Carolina) and Jake Schmitt (Kentfield, Calif./Redwood/California) will both make their NCAA debuts. O'Connor was a surprise winner in the pole vault at West Regionals, PR'ing on three straight attempts to win at 17-5, while Schmitt owns UW's third-fastest 10k time.
The Husky men come into the meet with a good head of steam, after a fourth-place Regional finish. Their ranking climbed to 23rd this week, and they will be shooting for their third-sraight NCAA Outdoor Top-25 finish. At the last four NCAA meets indoors and out, the Husky men have finished 10th, 15th, 7th, and 22nd.
NCAA COVERAGE: Results of the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships can be viewed at www.ncaa.com, or by visiting Drake University's NCAA Championshisp page found at www.godrakebulldogs.com. CBS College Sports Network (formerly CSTV) will be airing live coverage of the NCAA Track and Field Championships on Friday, June 13th from 7-10 p.m. CST. CBS will also broadcast live coverage of the final day of competition from 3-5 p.m. CST.
Did You Know?
Washington has boasted at least one NCAA champion in each of the past five seasons, and has captured 52 All-America honors since the start of the 2004-05 campaign.
EVENT SCHEDULE: Following is the time schedule for the 2008 NCAA Championships for all events featuring Husky athletes. All times are central and subject to change.
Wednesday, June 11
3:30 Long Jump, Qual. (M)
4:15 Pole Vault, Qual. (M)
4:45 4x100m Relay, Semis (M)
5:15 800m Run, Prelim (M)
6:15 400m Hurdles, Prelim (M)
6:15 High Jump, Qual. (M)
6:45 400m Dash, Prelim (M)
7:45 3000m Steeple, Semis (M)
Thursday, June 12
4:30 100m Hurdles, Prelim (W)
6:00 400m Hurdles, Semi (M)
6:25 800m Run, Semis (M)
6:55 1500m Run, Semis (W)
7:30 Long Jump, Final (M)
8:50 10000m Run, Final (M)
Friday, June 13
4:15 Pole Vault, Final (M)
7:00 High Jump, Final (M)
7:15 4x100m Relay, Final (M)
7:40 3000m Steeple, Final (M)
7:55 100m Hurdles, Semis (W)
8:25 400m Dash, Semis (M)
9:05 400m Hurdles, Final (M)
Saturday, June 14
3:12 400m Dash, Final (M)
3:28 800m Run, Final (M)
3:53 100m Hurdles, Final (W)
4:12 1500m Run, Final (W)
2007 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS REDUX: The Washington men and field team scored its highest team finish in 22 years at the 2007 NCAA Track and Field Championships, as six Washington athletes to earn All-America honors at Sacramento State's Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex. The reigning NCAA outdoor and indoor champion in the event, Ryan Brown was boxed inside early in the race, and forced to drop all the way back to last place at the 400-meter mark to find a clear lane in which to sprint to the front. The Renton High School graduate unleashed his patented finishing kick with 300 meters to go - about 100 meters earlier than usual - and climbed all the way to third before falling just three-tenths of a second shy of his third-straight NCAA 800-meter crown. In total five UW men took home All-America honors. Those outstanding performances - including a third-place long jump finish for junior Norris Frederick, a sixth-place hammer finish for senior Martin Bingisser, an eighth-place pole vault finish for freshman Scott Roth and a 10th-place finish for quarter hurdler James Fredrickson - lifted the 11th-ranked UW men into a tie for 15th in the final team standings with 16 points, equal to No. 14 Baylor and No. 15 Oklahoma. Senior Ashley Lodree's third-place hurdles finish Friday scored three points for the UW women, who tied for 59th place overall. The Huskies' men's team finish was its highest at the NCAA outdoor meet since 1985, and capped a banner year for the UW men's team, which placed 12th at the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships and seventh at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships, and won its second-consecutive indoor track conference title.
TURNER AND O'CONNOR DROP JAWS AT REGIONALS: Senior Michelle Turner and junior Jared O'Connor had to have great seasons already just to qualify for the NCAA West Regionals, but neither were among the favorites for national meet bids heading into the meet hosted by Cal State Northridge, on May 30-31. Yet not only did Turner and O'Connor highlight nine automatic qualifying showings for the Huskies, each won their respective events in stunning fashion. Turner, seeded ninth in the women's 1500-meters with a lifetime best of 4:23.38, sprinted past the leaders with 300 meters to go, opening up a large lead that she carried to victory in 4:14.94, nearly a nine-second personal best. The only runner who closed the gap on Turner was sophomore teammate Katie Follett, who was second in 4:15.78, also a major PR. The two runs were the fourth and fifth fastest in UW history. O'Connor had the meet of his life in the pole vault, clearing new personal bests on three consecutive vaults, finally finishing with a best of 17-5. Entering the meet, O'Connor's lifetime best was 16-6 3/4, the minimum clearance needed for Regionals, yet he now moves on to Des Moines as the West Region Champion. Other Huskies earning automatic NCAA bids were Norris Frederick in the long jump (2nd, 25-2), Jordan Boase in the 400m (3rd, 46.80), Falesha Ankton in the 100m hurdles (2nd, 13.49), Austin Abbott in the 800m (4th, 1:49.75), and James Fredrickson in the 400m hurdles (5th, 51.22). Washington's men's 4x100m relay (Boase, Randy Bacon, Joseph Turner, Ryan Hamilton) also cruised into NCAA's running 39.97 in the final.
PAC-10 TITLES FOR FOLLETT AND 4X1: Five Husky athletes made history at the Pac-10 Championships in Tempe, Ariz. on May 17, 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 Joseph 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. As a team, both Husky squads placed ninth. The Oregon men won the team title for the second-straight year and the Arizona State women made it three in a row on their home track.
PAC-10 PROWESS: While UW's teams have never claimed a Pac-10 title outright, wins by Katie Follett and the men's 4x100 relay did extend an impressive string of nine straight years with at least one individual titlist. That streak now marks the UW'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 for17 Pac-10 titles over the nine years of the streak, including a high of three in 2006.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Automatic NCAA Championships berths were granted to the top-five finishers in each individual event, and top-three relays, from each of the four Regionals contested nationwide May 30-31. Athletes qualified for Regionals by meeting pre-determined standards, or by winning their conference title. The NCAA then supplemented the Championships field with the highest-ranking remaining competitors (6-8 per individual event and 5-6 per relay) from the national performance lists, provided the athlete placed among the top-12 in their event at a Regional 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.
ALL-AMERICA PROCESS: All-America awards are given to the top-eight finishers in each event (including all four individuals of a top-eight relay), regardless of nationality, as well as one additional American for every foreign-born athlete in the top-eight.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS BY THE NUMBERS: Senior Ryan Brown's win in the 800 meters in 2007 was the 32nd all-time by a Washington track and field athlete at the NCAA Championships. Twenty-six UW athletes have combined for those 32 NCAA titles overall -- a total which ranks 20th among NCAA institutions all-time -- including at least one in each of the last five seasons. Additionally, the Huskies have placed 306 athletes on the All-America podium, including a stunning 52 since the start of the 2004-05 season alone. At least one Husky has earned All-America honors in each of the last 16 years, and 46 of the last 48 years, including record-breaking totals of 10 each at the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, and 11 at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships. In addition to the single-meet records set over the past two-plus years, Washington also set single-season records in both 2005 and 2006, with Husky athletes combining for 15 All-America honors in 2005 and 19 in 2006. A regular top-five finisher in the 1920s, Washington's men have placed among the top-15 at the NCAA meet 11 times since 1970, including a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Indoor meet in March. The Husky women, meanwhile, boast six top-25 finishes, including a high of 10th in 1988, and a tie for 22nd at the 2008 indoor championships.
Five of Washington's 13 athletes competing at NCAA's this week were not always Huskies. James Fredrickson (Cal State Northridge), Jared O'Connor (North Carolina), Jake Schmitt (California), Joseph Turner (Modesto Junior College), and Michelle Turner (BYU) all transfered to Washington over the last two years. Only Michelle Turner had previous NCAA experience with the Cougars, the rest have found their greatest success in Seattle.
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 covered every area save for throws.
Junior Jordan Boase was named Pac-10 Track Athlete of the Week for the week of Apr. 7-13 after his record-setting 400-meter run at the Sun Angel Classic. Boase broke Ja'Warren Hooker's school record in 44.82 seconds, which tied for the second-fastest time in the world this year. He becomes the first Pac-10 weekly award winner since Shane Charles in 2006. The award was the 15th for the Husky men all-time.
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 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.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Husky men climbed five spots in the Pre-National edition of the USTFCCCA Rankings, moving back into the Top-25 at No. 23. The Huskies gained their most points from Jared O'Connor, who shot up to 13th in the pole vault at Regionals. The current rankings are based solely on the NCAA meet entries, and scores based on athletes' standings. The Husky men have eight marks that rank in the top-25 nationally, including Jordan Boase (2nd, 400m), Norris Frederick (5th, High Jump; 22nd, Long Jump), Carl Moe (18th, steeple), Jake Schmitt (18th, 10000m), Austin Abbott (20th, 800m), James Fredrickson (25th, 400m hurdles), and their 10th-ranked 4x100-meter relay which includes Boase, Fredrickson, Joseph Turner, and Ryan Hamilton. The Husky women are unranked, but gained points from Michelle Turner's jump in the 1500m and Falesha Ankton's PR in the 100m hurdles. Turner and Follett now rank sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 1500, and senior Amanda Miller is not far behind in 21st. Ankton is the 23rd-ranked 100 hurdler heading into NCAA's. All told the Huskies had 34 NCAA Regional qualifying marks this season.
BOASE ADDS HARDWARE TO SENSATIONAL SEASON: Despite a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 400-meters -- the best finish ever by a Husky -- junior Jordan Boase remained something of an unknown on the national scene. Boase won a pair of All-America awards as a sophomore in 2006 as part of UW's 4x400m relay, but then left the team last season to decide if the sport still appealed to him. Thankfully for the Huskies and the track world at large, Boase decided to return. He broke the indoor school record to win the MPSF Championships indoors, and then bettered his PR again at NCAA's, finishing third in 46.34. Boase had not competed since that final indoor run heading into the April 12th Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz. with nearly a month off. Despite the downtime, Boase came out and shocked the track world with a NCAA-leading time of 44.82. The time came against a strong field including ASU's Joel Phillip who placed just ahead of Boase in second at NCAA indoors. Boase broke the school-record outdoors, held for eight years by UW legend Ja'Warren Hooker, who previously held every significant sprints record. His time also tied 2004 Olympic gold medalist Jeremy Wariner for second-fastest in the world this year, though Wariner has since retaken the world lead. The Bothell, Wash. native, who competed in high school track for just two months before walking on at UW, is now coming into his own with the help of coach LaMonte Vaughn. Boase backed up his 400m time at the UW-WSU dual, running solo for the first time since the Sun Angel and clocking an NCAA-leading 20.37 in the 200-meters. The run broke Hooker's dual meet record, and was just 0.14 seconds shy of Hooker's school record. With the stage set for the first of three possible meetings with 2007 400m runner-up Lionel Larry of USC at the Pac-10 Championships, Boase covered the same Sun Angel track in 44.97, but Larry edged him for the Pac-10 title in 44.77. The two will meet again at this week's NCAA meet. While Boase settled for second in the 400, he ran the opening leg of UW's 4x100m relay, which captured the conference crown in a time of 39.52 seconds. It was the first ever 4x100 title for the Huskies. Boase has achieved the U.S. Olympic Trials "A" standard in the 400-meteres, guaranteeing himself a spot in the Olympic trials this summer in Eugene, where he figures to have a legitimate shot at making at least the relay pool.
FREDERICK THRILLS WITH WORLD-CALIBER LEAPS: 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 ranked as the second-best jump by an American this year, and the sixth-best jump in the world. 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. Notorious for performing best at bigger meets, Frederick has yet to clear 26-feet outdoors, but turned in a lifetime-best high jump clearance of 7-3 1/4 at the UW-WSU dual, soaring up to fifth in the NCAA standings. He then had a season-best long jump of 25-4 to take second at the Pac-10 Championships, and was second as well in the high jump with a mark of 7-2 1/4, accounting for 16 of UW's 63 team points. Needing a solid showing at Regionals to make the long jump field, Frederick placed second with a leap of 25-2, besting the last two NCAA Champions (Cole and DaShalle Andrews of Cal State Northridge) in the process. 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 collegiate meet.
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. Follett 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, demolishing that record at MPSFs, running 11:12.77. 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 in 2008, and shattered that indoor record by more than seven seconds as well. Her time of 9:25.09 gave her three NCAA qualifying marks, and three school records in less than three weeks. Since moving outdoors, Follett has continued to turn in exceptional runs every time she takes to the oval. This outdoor season, Follett has placed herself on UW's Top-10 list in the 800-meters (3rd, 2:06.43), 1500-meters (5th, 4:15.78), and 5000-meters (5th, 16:01.16). Follett's top times in the 5K and the 800-meters were run just six days apart. With the NCAA Championships on the horizon, it's impossible to label anything as a crowning achievement, but Follett proved at the Pac-10 Championships that she can not only compete with the best, but beat them as well. She captured the 1500-meter title in 4:22.41, outsprinting multiple-time All-Americans Nicole Blood (Oregon) and Lauren Centrowitz (Stanford) to win UW's first ever 1500-meter title, and the first Pac-10 title for the women in any running event since 2001.
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-American 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. Since moving outdoors, Miller has continued to excel, running one of the nation's best 1500-meters at the Sun Angel Classic, as she went under 4:20 for the first time, finishing in 4:19.49, the 20th-best time in the NCAA thus far, and easily a regional qualifying mark. At the UW-WSU dual, Miller improved her outdoor 800m PR, winning the event in 2:06.98, the seventh-fastest in UW history and a top-25 mark nationally.
POLE VAULT TRADITION SWELLS: Whether on the collegiate or professional scene, Washington's pole vault unit under coach Pat Licari continues to thrive like few others. Another milestone was reached this past week, as Husky alum and former NCAA Champion Brad Walker became the best pole vaulter in American history, as he broke the U.S. record at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore. on June 8. Walker cleared 19-9 3/4, surpassing Jeff Hartwig's eight-year-old national record. Walker still trains with Licari at the Dempsey Indoor. This season's current Huskies have been excellent once again, with Jared O'Connor's breakout performance at Regionals the lastest in a long line of recent vault successes. With three NCAA titles, three Pac-10 titles, and 13 All-America honors over the past eight years, Washington's pole vault unit under coach Pat Licari knows a thing or two about raising the bar. Heading into the 2008 season, two women's vaulters remained from the quintet that set an NCAA record in 2005 by being the first unit to send five vaulters over 13-feet in one season. One of the two was senior Kelley DiVesta, whose career came to an end at Regionals two weeks ago after injuries slowed the momentum from a terrific indoor campaign. DiVesta did what every coach dreams of--setting a personal-best at the NCAA Indoor Championships. She cleared 13-9 1/4 to place seventh at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville to earn her first career All-American honor, making eight awards for Licari's women's crew in six years. The other returnee was senior Stevie Marshalek, who struggled to regain the form that helped her reach four NCAA Championship meets after coming back from injury. However Marshalek did have a season-best clearance of 12-11 3/4 at Regionals to end her career. One day after UW's three women's Regional vault qualifiers failed to advance to nationals, O'Connor came out of nowhere to win the Regional pole vault title and emerge as another star pupil for Licari. O'Connor came into Regionals with only the minimum clearance of 16-6 3/4, but after missing his first attempt of the day, he cleared the bar on his next four attempts. The latter three attempts were all new personal bests, as he went over 16-7 1/4, 17-1, and 17-5 in succession. Only three vaulters cleared 17-5, and O'Connor got the win based on his fewer misses. O'Connor's success sets the stage for a fabulous 2009, when two-time All-American Scott Roth should be back from injury. Roth broke UW freshman records last year and was an All-American both indoors and out, and finished 10th this season indoors before a foot injury sidelined him outdoors.
ABBOTT AND MOE BACK ON NATIONAL STAGE: Despite missing significant stretches due to injuries, current seniors Austin Abbott and Carl Moe have chosen to embrace what is still ahead of them, and thus each are back competing at the NCAA Championships this week. The two local standouts (Abbott from Chehalis and Moe from Auburn, Wash.) have been closely linked on the track, as each was integral to UW's distance medley relay which placed fifth at NCAA Indoors for three years in a row. Abbott also was fourth at NCAA Indoors in 2007 in the 800-meters, and is one of just three four-minute milers in UW history. Abbott's personal best in the 800 of 1:48.57 had stood since his freshman season in 2005, until he finally bested it at this year's Pac-10 Championships, running 1:48.14, the fifth-best time in school history. Abbott is a senior, but could receive an additional year of eligibility. These NCAA's will be the final college performance for Moe, however. Moe showed his true grit in one of the more exciting if unheralded races of the year, as he took a shot at a four-minute mile in his final home race at the Ken Shannon Invite. In cold and windy conditions, Moe left his teammates well behind and ran the final lap on his own, with fans and teammates lining the track to urge him forward. In the end, Moe came up just short in 4:01.53, but his performance was saluted with a standing ovation from his teammates. It was a rare middle distance run for Moe, who has become one of college track's best steeplechasers. He earned an at-large NCAA bid thanks to his season-best 8:47.93 run at Pac-10's, and will be looking for some redemption this year, after he was disqualified in controversial fashion from last year's NCAA steeplechase when it was ruled that he'd obstructed another runner.
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
HEAD COACH Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his sixth year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross country, and his 11th year overall on the UW staff. Metcalf earned West Region Indoor Men's Coach of the Year honors in 2007 after leading Ryan Brown to his second-straight NCAA 800-meter title, and guiding the Washington men to a second-straight indoor conference title and a seventh-place tie at the NCAA Indoor meet, the latter an all-time program best. The men followed that benchmark with another Top-10 indoor finish in 2008, as they tied for 10th, the first time in history they posted consecutive Top-10 finishes. The Husky women meanwhile jumped back into the Top-25 with a 22nd-place finish on the strength of their trio of All-Americans in the mile. Amanda Miller, Katie Follett, and Michelle Turner all earned All-American honors in the mile, which falls directly under Metcalf's watch. No other team, men's or women's, had three All-Americans in one event. In Metcalf's first five full seasons at the helm, plus the 2008 indoor campaign, he has led the UW women and men to five top-25 finishes at the NCAA Championships per team. Individually, 22 UW distance runners have earned NCAA berths, with three earning NCAA titles and 15 grabbing All-America accolades, a list which does not include the team's three-time All-America distance medley relays (2005-07). In addition, Metcalf has led the Huskies' women's cross country team to the NCAA meet nine of his first 11 years at the helm, and is coming off a program-best eighth-place finish, with two women earning All-American honors for the first time in history. Metcalf guided the UW men to a 12th-place NCAA cross country finish in 2006. In 11 years atop Washington's distance program, Metcalf has coached his athletes to three NCAA championships, six Pac-10 titles, 29 All-American awards, 19 school-records and 102 NCAA Championships berths. A 1993 UW graduate, Metcalf was a two-time All-American in the steeple, and ran in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials.
STAR-STUDDED STAFF: Supporting Metcalf in the development of Washington as a national track and field power are a number of heralded assistant coaches. Eleventh-year vaults/jumps coach Pat Licari has coached athletes to three NCAA titles, four Pac-10 titles, and 22 All-American awards. Former NCAA pole vault champion Brad Walker is the American pole vault record-holder, currently the No. 1 ranked vaulter in the world, and still trains with Licari at the Dempsey. Fourth-year sprints/hurdles coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr., meanwhile, has had a banner first three years, mentoring Ashley Lodree to six All-America honors and guiding nine UW relays to NCAA berths, including five All-American relays, and the reigning men's 4x100m Pac-10 Champions. Vaughn has been instrumental this season in the emergence of sprinter Jordan Boase, one of the NCAA leaders this season at 200 and 400-meters. Third-year throws coach Reedus Thurmond has mentored two conference champions and three NCAA qualifiers in his first two years, including a pair of All-America performers, while sixth-year distance coach Kelly Strong was a five-time All-American and three-time Pac-10 champion at ASU, and is the American record-holder in the 2,000-meter steeplechase. The women's distance unit under Strong has continued to increase its profile each year, and women's cross country placed an all-time best eighth-place in 2007 with two All-Americans. All told, eight All-America awards have been claimed by UW women under Strong's watch in her first five years and this season Strong had two different women claim the 1500m titles at Pac-10's and West Regionals. Second-year distance coach Jimmy Bean contributed to one of the best season's ever for Husky men's distance runners last year, as four Huskies earned All-American honors on the track.