March 10, 2011
ON THE TRACK: The indoor track and field season comes to a close with the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend in College Station, Texas, with seven Huskies heading to Texas A&M to vie for national titles with the indoor team champions crowned as well. The two-day meet is this Friday and Saturday at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.
The Husky men are ranked 19th entering NCAAs with five participants, led by defending indoor champion Scott Roth. The senior from Granite Bay, Calif. will be competing in his fourth and final NCAA Indoor meet, and is the top seed once again with a best clearance of 18-feet, 1-inch. However, Roth has not competed in a month since an injury at the Husky Classic on Feb. 12. Last year, Roth outdueled Jason Colwick for his first NCAA title, clearing 18-4 1/2 in Fayetteville, Ark. for the win. Roth is a five-time All-American.
Joining Roth in the men's vault final on Friday is senior Ryan Vu of Bellevue. This will be the final collegiate meet for Vu, who only has indoor eligibility remaining. He made his first NCAA Outdoor Championships last spring in his final outdoor season, and now makes his NCAA Indoor Championships debut in his final indoor season. Vu cleared a PR of 17-7 to rank in a tie for 12th out of the 17-competitor field. Vu is the 2010 Pac-10 Champion and was runner-up in the MPSF Championships this season. He is going for his first All-America honor.
Senior Colton Tully-Doyle returns for his second straight NCAA Indoor Championships, running the 3,000-meters on Saturday after placing 12th last year at 5,000-meters. Tully-Doyle (San Diego, Calif.) set the school record in the 3k this season, clocking in a 7:53.13, which ranks him 11th in the field of 20. He'll be gunning for his first All-America honor and the first for UW in the 3k since Jeremy Park in 2003.
In the men's mile, sophomore James Cameron looks to cap off one of the best indoor seasons in school history. Cameron first ran the third-best 3,000-meter time in school history (8:00.17), followed by the No. 4 time over 5,000-meters (13:54.77), and finally he punched his ticket to NCAAs with a surprise 3:58.51 mile time at the UW Final Qualifier last week, the second-fastest in Husky history and just the fourth under the four-minute barrier. This is the first NCAA Championship appearance of any kind for the Lake Forest, Calif. native.
Rounding out the men's group is sophomore Jeremy Taiwo (Renton, Wash.). The school record-holder in the heptathlon, Taiwo scored 5,746 points back at the UW Invitational in January, which surpassed the NCAA Auto mark and still ranks seventh nationally. Taiwo has spent the ensuing weeks working on individual events, including setting PRs in the high jump (6-11 1/2) and long jump (23-6), marks that would have pushed his total score near 6,000 points. Taiwo competed at NCAA Indoors as a freshman in 2009, before redshirting the 2010 indoor season. He has come back impressively from a concussion suffered at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the decathlon hurdles. Taiwo was 12th at NCAA Indoors in 2009, earning All-America honors.
Washington's women's team will be represented by a pair of freshmen, both running the 3,000-meters. Katie Flood and Megan Goethals gave UW its first two qualifiers of the year at the UW Final Qualifier last week. Flood (Des Moines, Iowa) won the 3k in a time of 9:09.85, second-best in school history, and fifth-best among the NCAA competitors. Goethals (Rochester, Mich.) was right behind in 9:11.56, the No. 3 time at UW and seventh in the field. Flood will be off to the IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Spain next week as well, running for Team USA. She was the 2010 Pac-10 Cross Country Freshman of the Year in the fall and was UW's top finisher at NCAA Cross Country. This will be the first NCAA appearance for Goethals, the 2010 Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Athlete of the Year. The two will run in the final on Saturday at 6:40 p.m. Central.
FOLLOW ALONG AT HOME: A live video stream will be available on both Friday and Saturday, accessed from the championships home page on NCAA.com. ESPN3 will webstream the event on Friday, March 11 from 4-8:40 p.m. and Saturday, March 12 from 4-7:50 p.m. The remainder of the event will be streamed live on NCAA.com. ESPN2 will show a tape delay of the event on March 16 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: All athletes who meet the NCAA's automatic-qualifying standards in their events are guaranteed inclusion in the NCAA Indoor Championships field, which allows for 284 men and 284 women total. In the event that there are not enough automatic qualifiers to provide full fields, athletes are selected in descending order of performance from those who have met the provisional standard in each event, creating fields with a minimum of 14 athletes per individual event and 10 teams per relay.
ALL ABOUT ALL-AMERICANS: Scott Roth is one of the most decorated Huskies ever in terms of All-America honors, with five entering this weekend's meet. One more will tie him with Austin Abbott and Rick Noji for fifth-most in UW history. Roth already owns the most All-America honors by a Husky vaulter. The only other Husky competing this weekend to have earned All-America honors is Jeremy Taiwo, who garnered the honor in the heptathlon in 2009. The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association is implementing a new protocol for awarding All-America honors beginning with this weekend's meet. Track and field will now have First Team, Second Team, and honorable mention All-Americans. Any athlete scoring a portion of a team point at NCAAs (top eight) in individual or relay events, will be a First Team All-American. Second Team status will go to athletes finishing ninth through sixteenth, including ties. Honorable mention will go to any other athletes that reach one of the final sites indoors or outdoors.