March 4, 2004
On the Track: Another exciting season of track and field competition at Dempsey Indoor comes to a close Saturday as Washington hosts hundreds of the nation's top collegiate athletes in the NCAA Last Chance Qualifier. One of eight NCAA-approved "Last Chance" meets being contested around the country this weekend, the qualifier will give athletes such as UCLA All-American Lena Nilsson, Husky hurdler Ashley Lodree and dozens more one final chance to improve their marks before next weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships. The meet will also mark the final collegiate Dempsey Indoor appearance by Husky senior Brad Walker, who will finish a remarkable career at next week's NCAA meet before turning pro. Field events begin at 9 a.m., with events on the track scheduled to run from 11:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Admission is free to all spectators.
NCAA Championships Selection: Official start lists for the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships will be announced Monday on NCAASports.com, with a full list of those Huskies qualified for NCAA competition to be posted to GoHuskies.com shortly thereafter. All athletes achieving automatic qualifying standards will be qualified for the NCAA Championships, next Fri.-Sat., Mar. 12-13, at Arkansas' Randall Tyson Center. In the event that there are not enough automatic qualifiers to provide full fields, athletes will be added, in descending order, from the list of those who have met the NCAA's provisional-qualifying standard Final fields will consist of roughly 15 athletes per individual event, and 12 teams per relay.
Event Schedule: Following is a complete schedule of events for Saturday's NCAA Last Chance Qualifier. All times below are Pacific and subject to change.
9:00 a.m. -- 20-lb Weight Throw (W)
9:30 a.m. -- Long Jump (W)
10:00 a.m. -- Pole Vault (W)
10:30 a.m. -- 35-lb Weight Throw (M)
11:00 a.m. -- Long Jump (M)
11:00 a.m. -- 60m Hurdles Prelims (W)
11:10 a.m. -- 60m Hurdles Prelims (M)
11:20 a.m. -- 60m Dash Prelims (W)
11:30 a.m. -- 60m Dash Prelims (M)
11:40 a.m. -- Mile Run (W)
12:00 p.m. -- Mile Run (M)
12:00 p.m. -- High Jump (M)
12:00 p.m. -- Shot Put (W)
12:20 p.m. -- 60m Hurdles Final (W)
12:25 p.m. -- 60m Hurdles Final (M)
12:30 p.m. -- Triple Jump (W)
12:30 p.m. -- 5000m Run (W)
12:50 p.m. -- 5000m Run (M)
1:00 p.m. -- Pole Vault (M)
1:10 p.m. -- 400m Dash (M)
1:30 p.m. -- Shot Put (M)
2:00 p.m. -- Triple Jump (M)
1:20 p.m. -- 60m Dash Final (W)
1:25 p.m. -- 60m Dash Final (M)
1:30 p.m. -- 800m Run (W)
1:40 p.m. -- 800m Run (M)
1:50 p.m. -- 200m Dash (W)
1:55 p.m. -- 200m Dash (M)
2:00 p.m. -- 3000m Run (W)
2:15 p.m. -- 3000m Run (M)
2:35 p.m. -- DMR (W)
2:50 p.m. -- DMR (M)
3:05 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (W)
3:15 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (M)
Meet Results: Results will be posted periodically throughout the meet on a board at the south end of Dempsey Indoor. Following the conclusion of the meet, packets of results will be available at the finish line for coaches and meet officials only. Final results will be faxed to all local media and participating schools roughly 30 minutes following the conclusion of each day, and will be posted to www.gohuskies.com, within an hour. Any coach or SID wishing to have results e-mailed should send a request to the UW Sports Information office at the e-mail address listed on the following page.
MPSF Redux: Washington proved last week that despite recent success in the vaults and sprints, it hasn't gotten away from its distance-running roots. Husky athletes Eric Garner and Ingvill Makestad swept the mile runs at the 2004 MPSF Championships last weekend, each setting meet records in the process. Makestad's 10 points went a long way towards lifting the UW women to third overall with 83 points, trailing only champion Stanford and runner-up UCLA. The Husky men, meanwhile, placed eighth with 47.5 points, 13 of which came on the strength of Garner's NCAA-qualifying performances in the mile and 3,000-meter runs. Additional stars for Washington included Ashley Lodree, who placed fourth in both the hurdles and long jump; Lauran Dignam, who PR'd by more than a quarter-second to take third in the 200 meters; Kate Soma, the runner-up in the women's pole vault; and the men's 4x400-meter relay squad of Sean Williams, Nik Williams, Phil McCary and Cristian Adams, which placed second. For a complete list of UW's MPSF Championships scorers, see the box on page six of this release.
Monster PR of the Week: The list of candidates from last week's MPSF meet is extensive, including Lauran Dignam's quarter-second PR in the 200m and Ashley Lodree's six-inch long jump PR. For volume, however, it's hard to top junior Grace Vela (Toronto, Ont.). Including the pentathlon, long and triple jumps, Vela competed in eight events over three days, setting UW PRs in seven of the eight. Vela's pent score was the school's first-ever, and her long jump mark of 19-1 1/4 ranks No. 9 in UW history.
Rankings Report: The Husky men slipped one spot this week in the Trackwire 25, their eight points equaling five other teams for 24th. Defending NCAA champion Arkansas remained atop the poll - which predicts team scoring at the NCAA Championships - for the eighth-straight week with 67 points, while Florida took top men's honors in the U.S. Track Coaches' Association Dual Meet Power Rankings. The UW men were ranked 37th by the USTCA, which simulates a massive dual meet between the nation's elite collegiate squads, with a score of 230.68. For the women, Nebraska held onto top honors in the USTCA rankings, while LSU narrowly eclipsed Florida for No. 1 in Trackwire's poll. The UW women fell two spots to 25th in the USTCA rankings, and received two points from Trackwire, six shy of the eight scored by the four teams sharing 23rd place.
Just Dandy, Thank You: The Huskies received five mentions in this week's Trackwire Dandy Dozen, which predicts the order of finish in each event at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships. Husky senior Brad Walker, the defending NCAA indoor champion in the pole vault, was ranked second nationally by Trackwire, while the Huskies' record-setting distance medley relay squad of John Russell, Sean Willams, Todd Arnold and Carl Moe earned a No. 10 Trackwire ranking. Junior All-American Kate Soma held steady at seventh in the pole vault, while Norweigian miler Ingvill Makestad made her Dandy Dozen debut at ninth. Rounding out the Trackwire rankings was Washington's women's DMR squad of Amy Lia, Cambrielle Jensen, Makestad and Lindsey Egerdahl, which merited a No. 12 national ranking.
Dempsey Indoor: When the last runner crosses the line in the 4x400 meters Saturday at Dempsey Indoor, it will bring to an end the Huskies' third full season in the 80,000-square foot facility, which has earned a reputation as one of the nation's most outstanding 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. In just the past 14 months, Dempsey Indoor has played host to nine former Olympians, witnessed nine top-10 world marks, 12 UW indoor school records and hundreds of NCAA qualifying marks, and served as the host site of the 2004 MPSF Championships. In addition to its competitive use, the building is utilized as an indoor practice facility for many Husky teams.
Walker Takes An Encore: A broken hand in May ended the 2003 season for Husky senior Brad Walker, but has played a large role in bringing the three-time All-American back this season. Though Walker has exhausted his four years of outdoor eligibility, he has competed just three seasons indoors, having redshirted the 2002 indoor season due to injury. By utilizing the remaining season, Walker can continue to train with his UW coaches in preparation for July's U.S. Olympic Trials, while simultaneously defending his 2003 NCAA indoor pole vault crown. Walker will compete for Washington through the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships, Mar. 12-13, before launching his professional career in the spring.
World-Class Walker: If there was any doubt that senior pole vaulter Brad Walker belongs in any ranking of America's best vaulters, the Spokane, Wash native put them to rest with a fourth-place finish at last week's USA Indoor Championships, achieving a mark of 18-4 1/2 that is second-best by a collegian this year, and fifth by an American indoors in 2004. The NCAA runner-up and sixth-place finisher at the USA Outdoor Championships in 2002, Walker took his talent to new heights last season, crushing the field by nine inches to win the NCAA indoor title. Walker's clearance of 19-0 1/4 at the NCAAs was better than all but two indoor marks in the world in 2003, and equaled the winning mark at the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships. Walker finished the indoor season tied for third in the world with American Derek Miles and Romain Mesnil of France, and tied Miles for the U.S. best. Even with the handicap of having not competed at any of the major national or international meets during the summer and fall, Walker still finished among the top-12 vaulters in the final 2003 IAAF World Rankings, and was named MONDO's West District Athlete of the Year. Walker crushed his own UW record by more than six inches, and became the first Pac-10 vaulter ever to clear the 19-foot mark, shattering by three inches the record of 18-9 1/4 set by Stanford's Toby Stevenson.
Final 2003 IAAF World Indoor Rankings
Name, Country, Mark
1. Tim Lobinger, Germany, 19-1
2. Adam Ptacek, Czech Republic, 19-0 3/4
3. Brad Walker, United States, 19-0 1/4
3. Derek Miles, United States, 19-0 1/4
3. Romain Mesnil, France, 19-0 1/4
6. Oleksandr Korchmid, Ukraine, 18-10 1/4
6. Michael Stolle, Germany, 18-10 1/4
8. Jeff Hartwig, United States, 18-9 1/2
8. Lars Borgeling, Germany, 18-9 1/2
8. Rens Blom, Netherlands, 18-9 1/2
8. Vasily Gorshkov, Russia, 18-9 1/2
8. Richard Spiegelburg, Germany, 18-9 1/2
All-Time Collegiate Pole Vault Top-10
Name, School, Year, Mark
1. Lawrence Johnson, Tennessee, 1996, 19-7 1/2
2. Istvan Bagyula, George Mason, 1991, 19-5
3. Jacob Davis, Texas, 1998, 19-4 1/4
4. Bill Payne, Baylor, 1991, 19-2 3/4
5. Joe Dial, Oklahoma State, 1985, 19-2 1/4
6. Brad Walker, Washington, 2003, 19-0 1/4
6. Russ Buller, Louisiana State, 1999, 19-0 1/4
6. Jim Davis, Fresno State, 2000, 19-0 1/4
9. Doug Fraley, Fresno State, 1986, 18-11
10. Jeff Buckingham, Kansas, 1983, 18-10 1/2
Walker's Steady Climb: Walker initially enrolled at Washington as a non-scholarship athlete who never cleared 17 feet at University High School in Spokane, Wash. He blossomed during his sophomore season, improving by more than a foot en route to an All-American indoor campaign. An undiagnosed foot injury hampered Walker outdoors, but he still finished 12th at the NCAA Championships before undergoing surgery. After redshirting the 2002 indoor season, Walker posted one of the top outdoor seasons in UW history, shattering the UW pole vault record and earning Washington's first Pac-10 pole vault title in 30 years. A second-place finish at the NCAA Championships and the sixth-place finish at the USA Senior Nationals followed. In 2003, Walker upped the school record again, to 19-0 1/4 with his performance at the NCAA Indoor meet, broke his own outdoor record in his first competition, and won his second-straight Pac-10 title.
Give Her An Inch ...: ... and she'll take a mile. Sophomore transfer Ingvill Makestad shook up the national rankings last week with a dramatic win in her first-career collegiate mile, at the MPSF Championships. The 22-year old Norweigian, who blew past Stanford All-American Sara Bei on the homestretch, crossed the line in 4:42.17, just two seconds off the school record established by Courtney Inman a year ago and 11th-fastest in the nation this year. While the MPSF mile may have represented her first NCAA individual competition, Makestad boasts loads of experience competing against the world's best college-age athletes. If you happened to be at the Norweigian Track and Field Championships this fall, you may have caught Makestad winning her nation's 800-meter crown, just weeks before placing fourth in the 1,500 meters at the Under-23 European Championships in Poland, in a career-best time of 4:13.58. Since arriving at the UW in the fall, Makestad has found nothing but success, taking ninth at the Pac-10 Cross Country Championships - in just her second-ever cross country competition - and fifth at the NCAA West Regional. Ironically, at the Regional Makestad placed just a split-second ahead of USC's Iryna Vaschuk, the same athlete who finished behind the Husky sophomore in this year's Norweigian 800-meter final. Makestad is expected to compete at both 800- and 1,500 meters outdoors for Washington, and could run both the mile and distance medley relay for the Huskies at next week's NCAA Indoor Championships. Makestad is the youngest mile qualifier among the top-11 on this week's NCAA performance lists, and runs the 800-meter leg of the Huskies' school-record DMR, currently ranked 16th nationally.
Scandinavian Invasion: Don't think that Ingvill Makestad is the only Norweigian 800-meter champion on the Washington track and field roster. The Huskies, in fact, boast the odd coincidence of having both of Norway's reigning half-mile titlists competing in purple and gold this season, including Makestad and men's champ Stig Ellingsen. A native of Tromso, Ellingsen clocked a winning time of 1:51.30 in the 800-meter final at the 2003 Norweigian Outdoor Championships, after sweeping junior titles every year from 1999-2002. The junior, who was also an outstanding prep soccer player, has competed for years on the European amateur circuit, with a best finish of sixth in the half-mile at the 2002 European Cup in Banska Bstryka. Ellingsen is scheduled to make his UW 800-meter debut this weekend, at the Last Chance Qualifier at Dempsey Indoor.
It's Not the Size of the Dog in the Fight...: All-American pole vaulter Kate Soma may stand only an inch above 5'-0", but the Husky junior towers over UW female vaulters past and present. At the Feb. 14 Pac-10 Invitational, Soma soared to new heights, clearing 13-5 3/4 to break her own UW indoor record and climb into a tie for fifth in the national rankings. Soma is one of just two Husky women ever to clear 13 feet in the vault, and is the only Husky female ever to have done so both indoors and out. The Portland, Ore., native earned her first-career All-America honor by placing seventh at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships with a mark of 13-5 1/2, and might have gone higher if not for a broken pole that lacerated her right hand on her third attempt at 13-10. The meet marked the third NCAA appearance for Soma, who was the 12th-place finisher at the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships, and 16th-place finisher outdoors in 2002. Soma vaulted herself in the Pac-10's all-time elite at last year's NCAA West Regional Championships, clearing 13 feet, 10 inches to break her own Washington outdoor record by more than eight inches and climb to eighth in Pac-10 history. The sixth-place finisher at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, Soma was bested at the Regional only by Oregon's Becky Holliday, who set a collegiate outdoor record of 14-8 in her Regional win. Soma's has broken UW's indoor and outdoor records in all five of her collegiate "seasons," including three indoors and two outdoors, a tradition she began as a freshman by setting UW benchmarks of 13-1 1/2 outdoors, and 12-11 1/2 indoors. Soma entered the UW with a best of 12-0 at Grant High School, but improved that mark by more than a foot in 2002.
All-Time Pac-10 Pole Vault Top-10
Name, School, Year, Mark
1. Amy Linnen, Arizona, 2002, 14-10 1/4
2. Becky Holliday, Oregon, 2003, 14-8
2. Chelsea Johnson, UCLA, 2004, 14-8
4. Tracy O'Hara, UCLA, 2000, 14-7 1/4
5. Tamara Diles, Wash. State, 2003, 14-3 1/4
6. Nikki McEwen, Oregon, 2003, 14-1 1/4
6. Connie Jerz, Arizona, 2003, 14-1 1/4
8. Kate Soma, Washington, 2003, 13-10
9. Andrea Dutoit, Arizona, 2001, 13-9 1/4
10. Erica Hoerning, UCLA, 2001, 13-7
Garnering Acclaim: When hunting for breaking news, it can be easy to overlook those for whom success is routine. All senior All-American Eric Garner has done over the past two years is ensure that his name will come up in any future discussion of Washington's legendary distance-running tradition. A graduate of Kelso (Wash.) High School, Garner burst onto the scene in 2002 with a school-record 3:58.93 mile at Dempsey Indoor, the first four-minute mile ever by a Husky on Washington soil. Garner earned All-America honors with a 13th-place finish in the mile that season at the NCAA indoor meet, and returned in 2003 to become the UW's most prolific postseason qualifier, boasting NCAA Regional marks at 800-, 1,500-, and 5,000 meters. Garner placed third in the 1,500 meters at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, and earned an NCAA berth with a fourth-place finish in the event at the Regional. With one full track season remaining, Garner already owns the all-time UW indoor marks in the mile, ranks second in the indoor 3,000 meters and distance medley relay, and is sixth all-time indoors at 800 meters, and outdoors at 1,500 meters. At the 2004 MPSF Championships, Garner accounted for more than a quarter of the UW's 47.5 team points, winning the mile in an NCAA-qualifying 4:00.53 just 24 hours after taking sixth in the 3,000 meters. In addition to ranking among the team leaders in nearly every distance event, Garner is also the team's top cross country competitor, having led the UW at all but one varsity meet over the previous two seasons.
Trend-Breakers: Washington's men's distance medley relay squad of John Russell, Sean Williams, Todd Arnold and Carl Moe, are currently ranked 10th in the nation this season with a school-record mark of 9:38.09. Should the foursome manage to place eighth or higher at the NCAA Championships occur, the foursome would be the first UW distance medley relay ever to earn All-America honors, and would enter an elite class of UW men's relays. No Husky relay has ever performed better at the national meet than the men's mile relay of Keith Tinner, Jerry Belur, Pablo Franco and Billy Hicks, which earned a national title in 1975. Since then, two UW relays have earned All-America acclaim, including the men's 4x400-meter relays in 1990 and 1998, the latter being the only relay to do so indoors. Only one women's relay has ever been named All-American, with the two-mile team of Sandra Gregg, Anne Phillips, Susan Gregg and Dana Arnim placing third outdoors in 1980. Arnold, Russell and Moe, however, are old pros at bucking trends - this fall, the threesome combined to lead the UW cross country team to the NCAA Championships, in the process snapping UW's 11-year NCAA drought. Both UW's men's and women's DMRs will be in action this weekend, seeking to improve their national rankings.
The Kids Are Alright: If Track and Field News needed any evidence to support their No. 6 national ranking of Washington's women's recruiting class, they need look no further than the national peformance lists. Already, Husky women's frosh are lighting up the lists with outstanding performances, including five freshman records. Bothell's Amy Lia boasts two of those records, in the 800 meters and mile, including a half-mile best of 2:09.73 that is the school's second-best all-time. Also doubling up is hurlder Ashley Lodree, second all-time in the sprint hurdles and fourth-best ever in the long jump, while pole vaulter Stevie Marshalek became just the second UW woman to clear 13 feet with a mark of 13-1 1/2. In all, eight of the Huskies' 17 event leaders in 2004 did not compete at all for Washington last season, including four leading marks by freshmen, three by transfers, and one by a redshirt freshman.
Moe Is Money: The Husky women's freshman class may be loaded, but if there's one thing Husky track and field fans can bank on so far this season, it's big-time performances by freshman Carl Moe. The middle-distance star has run six times in 2004, and five gone down in the history books as one of Washington's top-10 all-time. The Auburn, Wash., native made his Husky debut with a time of 4:07.15 in the mile, ninth-fastest ever at Washington and tops by a UW freshman. On Friday, Feb. 6, however, Moe turned up the jets, clocking a timed four-minute mile to run down UCLA's Jon Rankin and lead UW across the finish line first in the distance medley relay, the UW school record and NCAA provisional qualifying standard left tattered in his wake. The DMR's time of 9:38.09 is 10th-fastest in the nation this year, and would have placed eighth at last year's NCAA meet. Moe saved his best individual effort for the 3,000 meters the following day, however, crossing the line in a UW freshman-record 8:02.82 to earn his second NCAA provisional mark in just three collegiate races. Moe's success is an extension of an outstanding senior season at Auburn-Riverside High School, during which he earned the state's 4A cross country title and swept crowns at 1,600- and 3,200 meters, ranking third among U.S. preps in the latter. In fact, only a third-place finish in the state 800-meter final prevented Moe from completing an undefeated senior season.
The 'Lo' Down: When they set themselves in the blocks for the finals of the 60-meter hurdles at the Feb. 7 United Heritage Invitational, it's doubtful that any of the nationally-ranked competitors lined up next to Ashley Lodree gave the Husky freshman a second glance. Lodree gave them plenty to look at over the next 8.33 seconds, however, winning the final with a time that was second-fastest in UW history. In the final, Lodree toppled not only the defending NCAA 400-meter champion, Sheena Johnson of UCLA, but also Bruins' All-American Sani Roseby and two of the top sprint hurdlers in the current national rankings. Lodree has since lowered her hurdles best to 8.28 seconds, in the process becoming the first UW sprint hurdler to qualify for an NCAA meet since Claudine Robinson in 1994, who set the UW record with a mark of 8.21 seconds (converted from 55 meters). Lodree, however, isn't one to be fazed by national acclaim. Last year, the Richmond, Calif., native ranked among the top-five preps nationally in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, and placed third in the former at the U.S. Jr. Nationals. Lodree has proven equally prolific at Washington, lowering the UW's freshman record in the 60-meter hurdles four times in 2004, while climbing into a tie for sixth in the Husky history in the long jump with a Pac-10 qualifying best of 19-6 1/4. Lodree equaled the Huskies' top individual scorer at the 2004 MPSF Championships, notching five points each for fourth-place finishes in both the hurdles and long jumps to establish herself as one to watch over the next three years. Who are likely to be Lodree's chief challengers? Following is a list of 2004's top collegiate freshman hurdlers:
2004 NCAA 60-Meter Hurdles Freshman Rankings
Name, School, Mark
1., Ronnetta Alexander, South Carolina, 8.20
2. Ashley Lodree, Washington, 8.28
3. Yvonne Mensah, Illinois, 8.29
4. MaKeatha Cooper, Texas Christian, 8.30
5. Lisi Maurer, Kansas State, 8.32
6. Amy Menlove, Brigham Young, 8.34
7. Porsha Dobson, North Carolina, 8.41
Double-Duty Dockendorf: Washington has had plenty of two-sport athletes over the years, but few, if any, have attempted to compete in two sports in one season. That's the feat being accomplished by gymnast/pole vaulter extraordinaire Carly Dockendorf, who last month entered an even more select group by competing in two different sports on the same weekend - on the road. With both teams in Boise, Dockendorf found time to win the all-around competition for the Husky gymnasts Friday night, then place fourth in the pole vault on Saturday morning at the United Heritage Invitational. Two-sport excellence is nothing new for Dockendorf - in 2003, the Port Moody, B.C., native set a UW gym record with three perfect 10s while pole vaulting her way to second all-time at Washington, and ninth in Canadian history. A redshirt freshman in 2003, Dockendorf improved weekly, culminating with an eighth-place finish at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, in 12-11 1/2, the second-best outdoor mark in UW history. The weekend of Mar. 1, 2003, though, may have marked the most impressive display of Dockendorf's athletic ability. On Friday, Feb. 28, the redshirt freshman scored a perfect 10 on the floor exercise to lead UW to a dual-meet win, then turned around barely 12 hours later and soared 12-0 in the pole vault at the Pac-10 Invitational, among the best marks ever at UW. During the 2003 season, she established herself as one of Washington's top gymnasts, earning All-America honors and sharing the conference crown in the floor exercise with a perfect 10 at the Pac-10 Championships. A provincial pole vault champion as a prep, Dockendorf's vault best of 12-11 1/2 tied for fourth by a Canadian woman in 2003, and equals the ninth-best mark in Canadian history.
Athletics Canada All-Time Women's Pole Vault Rankings
Name, Year, Mark
1. Stephanie McCann, 2002, 14-3 1/4
2. Dana Ellis, 2003, 14-1 1/4
3. Ardin Tucker-Harrison, 2002, 13-9 3/4
4. Kelsie Hendry, 2003, 13-8 1/4
5. Trista Bernier, 1998, 13-7 1/4
6. Jackie Honey, 2001, 13-6 1/4
7. Simona Kovacic, 2003, 13-2 1/4
8. Adrienne Vangool, 2003, 13-1 3/4
9. Carly Dockendorf, 2003, 12-11 1/2
9. Rebecca Chambers, 1999, 12-11 1/2
9. Melissa Feinstein, 2000, 12-11 1/2
Jamaican Sensations: Don't blame second-year sprints/hurdles coach Dion Miller for catching a bit of island fever - the island nation of Jamaica is producing some impressive track talent. Washington's 2004 roster includes two athletes from the Caribbean nation, juniors Patrick Davidson and Davaon Spence. The two grew up friends at St. Jago HS in Kingston, Jamaica, and competed together on 4x100m and 4x400m relay squads that swept Jamaican national titles in 2003. After splitting up to attend junior colleges in the U.S., the two long-time friends have reunited at Washington this season, providing the Huskies a pair of top-flight sprinters to bolster a team already strong in the distances and field events. Davidson's career-best marks of 10.50 for 100m and 21.50 for 200m would each have scored at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships, while Spence adds big-meet experience gained from years of competition at the World Youth Championship. The two have indeed already made their presence felt, with Spence ranking ninth on the UW's all-time 200-meter list indoors, and Davidson boasting a leg of the school's 10th-fastest indoor 4x400-meter relay.
International Blend: Washington's roster in 2004 features several individuals from outside the United States. Not surprisingly, Canada is the foreign nation with the most athletes on the Washington track roster, with sophomores Gaelle Banini (Richmond, B.C.), and Carly Dockendorf (Port Moody, B.C.) and junior Grace Vela (Toronto, Ont.). Of the three, Banini has certainly carved the most unique route to Seattle, having been born in Cameroon, Africa, and moved to France in 1987 before settling in Canada in 1994. Nearly as well-represented as Canada is Norway, which sent both of its reigning 800-meter national champs to Washington in the form of Ingvill Makestad (Odda, Norway) and Stig Ellingsen (Tromso, Norway). Jamaican national champions Patrick Davidson and Davaon Spence, both from Kingston, are making their UW debuts this spring, while sophomore Vinh Chung will rack up plenty of frequent flyer miles traveling from Seattle to his hometown of Hamilton, New Zealand.
Russell Rebounds: He may have been out of action for over two years, but junior John Russell hasn't lost any of the speed that led him to fourth place as a freshman in the Pac-10 1,500 meters in 2000. After that exciting debut season, in which he also cracked the UW's all-time top-10 indoors in the mile and placed 13th in the U.S. Junior National Cross Country meet, Russell had his next two seasons wiped out by tendinitis. The Spokane native finally returned to competition during the fall of 2002, easing his way back into competition before exploding in the 2003 postseason. In addition to setting aside questions of lost speed, the junior showed at the Pac-10 meet that he had lost none of his tenacity, taking sixth in a physical 1,500-meter final. Russell completed his comeback with a fifth-place run at the Regional to earn his first-ever NCAA Championships bid, and has proven equally successful in 2004, clocking NCAA qualifying marks in the DMR and mile, the latter in a time of 4:03.77 that is third-fastest in UW history. In all, Russell was off the track for 22 months, missing two full seasons of track, and one full season of cross-country.
Ridiculous Records: The official 2004 University of Washington track and field media guide came out just last month, and already the Huskies' athletes have rendered its indoor records section virtually useless. Forty-two marks among the top-10 all-time have been clocked by Washington athletes this season, eight more than the record number of 34 updates made to the school's indoor lists in 2003. The Huskies' prolific record-breaking includes five new school records and 24 marks among the top-five all-time. The past two seasons have kept the record keepers busy, with Husky athletes achieving 12 school records and a stunning 75 marks among the top-10 in UW history. For a complete list of the top-10 indoor marks set by UW athletes in 2004, see the box above.
Raising Arizona: Already in 2004, 31 Husky athletes have punched their tickets to Tuscon for the 2004 Pac-10 Championships at the University of Arizona. Last year, Husky athletes earned 55 Pac-10 qualifying marks, and pole vaulter Brad Walker earned his second-straight Pac-10 title. Pac-10 teams can bring a maximum of 24 athletes and two wild cards per team to the meet, and in addition may place one athlete in each event for which the school has no qualifier. Thus, some athletes to post qualifying marks may not compete, and others not qualified may be entered in some events. Following is a list of UW's 2004 Pac-10 Championships qualifiers:
Name, Event, Mark
Todd Arnold, Mile, 4:06.32
Travis Boyd, 5,000m, 14:29.90
Phillippe Cook, High Jump, 6-8 3/4
Warren Eickhoff, High Jump, 6-8 3/4
Andy Fader, Mile, 4:05.45
Eric Garner, Mile, 4:00.53
McKane Lee, Pole Vault, 16-7 1/4
Mark Mandi, 5,000m, 14:12.51
Carl Moe, Mile, 4:07.15
Sam Roberts, Pole Vault, 16-6
John Russell, Mile, 4:03.77
Brad Walker, Pole Vault, 18-4 1/2
Name, Event, Mark
Mary Beeman, Shot Put, 44-0 3/4
Camille Connelly, Mile, 4:55.30
Cherron Davis, Shot Put, 45-4 1/4
Carly Dockendorf, Pole Vault, 12-9 1/2
Lindsey Egerdahl, Mile, 4:47.82
Laura Halverson, Mile, 4:59.49
Kira Harrison, Mile, 5:00.54
Amy Lia, 800m, 2:09.73
Amy Lia, Mile, 4:50.51
Ashley Lodree, Long Jump, 19-6 1/4
Ingvill Makestad, Mile, 4:42.17
Stevie Marshalek, Pole Vault, 13-1 1/2
Brianna McLeod, Mile, 4:53.23
Brittiny Roberts, Triple Jump, 39-6
Kate Soma, Pole Vault, 13-5 3/4
Alison Tubbs, 5,000m, 17:14.83
Grace Vela, Long Jump, 19-4 1/4
Ashley Wildhaber, Pole Vault, 12-5 1/2
Dallon Williams, Mile, 5:00.67
Angela Wishaar, Mile, 4:54.02
Dempsey Indoor Draws World's Best: If Washington's home indoor meets over the past two seasons have seemed to shimmer in gold, it is likely due to the numerous current and former Olympians who have highlighted the fields at Dempsey Indoor. The Feb. 7 Husky Invitational featured former Olympians Bolota Asmeron of the U.S. and Peru's Hugo Munoz, the former of which clocked a facility-record time of 7:48.59 that is among the best by an American this year. Last year, numerous former Olympians put Dempsey Indoor on their competition schedule, including former Husky and 2000 U.S. Olympian Ja'Warren Hooker, two-time Olympic medalist John Godina, fellow U.S. Olympians Seilala Sua and Michael Stember, and Asmeron, who in 2000 competed for his native Eritrea. All set facility records in their respective events, while Asmeron clocked what at the time was the world's sixth-fastest 3,000-meter mark.
Husky Greats Give Back: A look around a UW practice reveals some familiar faces - in the coaching staff. Former U.S. Olympian Duncan Atwood has volunteered his time to his alma mater as a throws coach, working with second-year assistant coach Bud Rasmussen. The results speak for themselves: in 2003, four UW javelin throwers qualified for the NCAA Regional, while senior Heather Reichmann earned All-America honors with a throw of 159-6 that was the 10th-best by a U.S. woman in 2003. Atwood joins second-year head coach Greg Metcalf, a two-time steeplechase All-American at UW and a participant at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials, as well as two-time Husky All-American David Bazzi, now a UW assistant coach.
2003 NCAA Indoor Championships Recap: Without a doubt, the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships were nearly a perfect finish to an outstanding indoor season for the University of Washington track and field teams. Senior Brad Walker backed up his No. 1 ranking in the pole vault, earning Washington's 25th-ever NCAA individual title with a vault of 19-feet, 0 1/4 inches that is the best-ever by a Pac-10 vaulter, third-best in the world in 2003, and tied for sixth-best in NCAA history. Senior Jeremy Park earned All-American honors with a 13th-place finish in the 3,000 meters, helping lead the Husky men to a tie for 20th overall at the meet. Senior Courtney Inman placed ninth overall in the mile, and sophomore Kate Soma was the 12th finisher in the pole vault, each improving their finishes from the 2002 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Top-ranked Arkansas ran away with the men's title, while LSU defended its indoor crown on the women's side.
Star-Studded Staff: Washington's coaching staff in 2003 is in no way short on accolades. Seventh-year vaults/jumps coach Pat Licari has directed three All-Americans, including Pac-10 and NCAA champion Brad Walker. First-year throws coach Bud Rasmussen founded the prestigious Iron Wood Thrower Development Camp, and in seven years at North Idaho College mentored 82 NJCAA All-Americans, 18 national champions and five NJCAA record holders. First-year sprints/relays coach Dion Miller last year led Texas Tech sprinters to 13 All-America accolades, and a Big 12 title in the 4x100-meter relay. Second-year distance coach David Bazzi, a Washington alum, was the 2001 Pac-10 champion at 10,000 meters, and still holds three all-time school records. Rounding out the all-star cast is first-year distance coach Kelly MacDonald, who graduated from Arizona State in 2002 with five All-America honors and three Pac-10 titles. The full-timers are joined by UW legends and volunteer coaches Duncan Atwood and Ja'Warren Hooker.
Head Coach Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his second year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross-country, and his seventh year overall on the UW coaching staff. In his first season at the helm, Metcalf led the UW women to 29th at the NCAA Championships, equaling their highest point total since the 1998 season, and guided seven UW distance runners to NCAA Championships appearances. In seven years directing Washington's cross country program, Metcalf has led the women's cross country team to seven-consecutive NCAA Championships, the seventh-longest active streak in the nation. Metcalf has coached nine All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 13 school-record setters and 62 NCAA qualifiers. A 1993 UW graduate, Metcalf was a two-time All-American in the steeplechase, and ran in the 1996 U.S. Olympic trials.