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I-5 Rivalry Renews at Oregon Invitational
Release: 04/21/2005
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April 21, 2005

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On the Track: For the second time in the past three weekends, Washington's nationally-ranked track and field teams will head down I-5 to historic Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, site of this weekend's Oregon Invitational. Roughly 55 Husky athletes will make the trip to Oregon for the non-scoring invitational, the team's final tuneup before next week's much-anticipated dual meet between with Washington State in Seattle. The host Ducks narrowly defeated the Huskies in a pair of scoring competitions two weeks ago in Eugene, and will welcome Washington's top athletes again in May for the 2005 NCAA West Regional Championships, which will determine qualifying for the NCAA meet. In addition to competition at Oregon, throwers Martin Bingisser, Will Conwell and Joe Gatewood will journey to San Diego for Saturday's UCSD Triton Invitational.

Event Schedule: Events at Oregon begin Friday night with multi-events Thursday and Friday, and the men's and women's 10,000-meter races Friday night, before a full slate of events in two sessions Saturday. The morning session, which is free to the public, begins at 10:00 a.m., while the evening session, which requires tickets, begins with the field events at 3 p.m., and track events at 4:45 p.m. For a complete event schedule, visit www.goducks.com.

Meet Results: Live event recaps will be made available throughout the day Saturday at www.goducks.com, with a full recap of UW action on both fronts to be posted to www.GoHuskies.com following the conclusion of each day's action.

Last Time Out: Nine Huskies set or improved NCAA qualifying marks, while two established new UW freshman records in split-squad competition last weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays outside Los Angeles, and at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Norris Frederick cleared 25-3 1/4 in the long jump at Mt. SAC to break a 34-year-old UW freshman record and climb to 11th in the national rankings, while Austin Abbott added a freshman record of 3:44.36 in Mt. SAC's 1,500 meters, tops by an NCAA frosh this year. Ashley Wildhaber cleared 13-5 1/4 in the pole vault at Mt. SAC to climb to eighth in the nation, while Will Conwell (178-10) and Rigel Wise (221-5) each set outdoor career bests in NCAA-qualifying performances at Arizona State.

Monster PR of the Week: Freshman Jordan Boase continued an outstanding debut season at last weekend's Sun Angel Classic, shaving a tenth of a second off of his collegiate 200-meter PR with a time of 21.71 seconds. Boase's time, second-fastest by a Husky runner this year, is just the latest in a series of impressive runs for the walk-on sprinter, who competed in track and field for just one year at Bothell High School, just northeast of Seattle. Boase was an MPSF Championships qualifier indoors at 400 meters, and has run on both of UW's top NCAA-qualified 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays.

Rankings Report: Washington's teams held steady this week in the USTCA Dual Meet Power Rankings, with the Husky men 10th, and the UW women 23rd. The reverse was true in this week's Trackwire 25, which slotted UW's women in a six-way tie for 25th, and failed to rank the UW men. The USTCA Ranking, which simulates head-to-head competition between the nation's top college teams, awarded 335.45 points to the UW men, second-most among Pac-10 schools and just 44 behind the 379.87 given to top-ranked Florida. The women, meanwhile, scored 304.98 points in the USTCA Ranking, which saw Pac-10 schools sweep the top-three spots, led by No. 1 ASU's 354.64. Trackwire, which predicts team scoring at the NCAA Championships, gave 10 points to the Husky women, and two to the UW men, the latter below the 11 points necessary for top-25 inclusion on the men's side. NCAA indoor champ Arkansas led all men's teams with 73 points, while Texas ranked No. 1 on the women's side with 68.

Just Dandy, Thank You: Four Huskies earned mention in this week's Trackwire Dandy Dozen, a weekly feature of the magazine which predicts the order of finish in each event at the 2005 NCAA Championships. Senior vaulter Kate Soma, the NCAA runner-up indoors, is picked second in the pole vault, while junior All-American Ashley Wildhaber is ranked seventh in the same event. Indoor All-Americans Lindsey Egerdahl (12th, 1,500 meters) and Norris Frederick (7th, long jump) also earned mention in the ranking, used to compile the weekly Trackwire 25 team rankings.

NCAA Selection Process: Automatic NCAA Championships berths will be granted to the top-five finishers in each individual event, and top-three relay teams from each of the four Regional Championships contested nationwide, May 27-28. Athletes qualify for Regionals by meeting pre-determined NCAA standards, or by winning their conference title. The NCAA will then supplement the Championships field with the highest-ranking competitors (roughly 6-7 per individual event and 5-6 per relay) from the national performance lists, provided the athlete competed at a Regional competition and was not among the finishers to earn automatic NCAA berths. The lone exceptions are the 10,000-meter and multi-events, in which athletes qualify directly for the NCAA Championships by meeting pre-determined provisional and automatic standards. Already this year, 25 Huskies are qualified for NCAA Regional Championships competition, including Sean Williams, Norris Frederick, Jordan Boase and Ryan Brown, each qualified in two events, and junior Shane Charles, qualified in three events. For a complete list of UW's NCAA Regional qualifiers, including regional and national rankings, see the box on page three.

Pac-10 Format Change: For the first time ever, Pac-10 athletes will no longer qualify for the Pac-10 championships by meeting pre-determined qualifying standards. Instead, each Pac-10 school will be allowed to bring any 24 men and any 24 women to UCLA for the May 13-14 meet, regardless of entry mark. In previous years, only qualified athletes were allowed to compete, while each team was granted three wildcards, and was allowed to enter one competitor in every event for which it had no qualifier. To view the 2005 Pac-10 Performance List, visit www.DirectAthletics.com, and follow the links at the top of the page. No password is required. The top-25 only in each event can also be viewed at www.Pac-10.org.

Dawg Bites: Washington's 10 All-Americans at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships were its most ever at an NCAA meet, and equaled the team's total from the last four NCAA Championships combined ... Kate Soma and Ashley Wildhaber each earned All-America honors indoors in the pole vault, becoming the first UW event tandem to earn All-America honors at the same meet since 1994 ... Lindsey Egerdahl's indoor All-America honor in the women's mile, and the All-America honor earned by the men's distance medley relay team of Austin Abbott, Sean Williams, Ryan Brown and Andy Fader were the first such awards ever earned by UW competitors in those events ... Freshmen Austin Abbott, Norris Frederick and Amanda Miller each earned All-America honors indoors in 2005, becoming the first UW frosh to do so since 1999 ... Washington currently boasts four women's pole vaulters with bests over 13-5, the only such quartet in NCAA history ... Two former Huskies are currently serving as Washington assistant coaches. Three-time U.S. javelin champion Duncan Atwood is a volunteer assistant with the Husky spearers, while All-American distance runner David Bazzi works with Washington's men's distance runners.

Huskies are World-Class: The successes of Washington track are well-known in the collegiate world, but a number of former Huskies and UW coaches are doing their part to make the UW a player on the international scene. Two-time NCAA indoor pole vault champion Brad Walker won the vault at the 2005 USA Indoor Championships in February, and is ranked seventh in the world this year. UW alum Sabrina Monro won the 2005 NACAC Cross Country Championship, while past UW All-Americans Christian Belz and Courtney Inman each excelled at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Additionally, Mat Schwinn is America's seventh-ranked competitor in the discus, while UW assistant coach Kelly Strong is the world's fourth-ranked competitor in the steeple.

Resourceful Recruiting: Washington's coaches in 2005 have found a creative way to add numerous elite athletes to the squad without giving up any scholarships -- recruit talented athletes from UW's other sports. Thus, the current UW roster includes three members of UW's football team, two UW women's basketball players, and a UW gymnast. The most accomplished of the sextet is gymdawg Carly Dockendorf, a two-time NCAA competiror in the pole vault with a lifetime best of 13-5 1/4. Dockendorf is joined by football players Isaiah Stanback, Cody Ellis and Matt Fountaine, and women's basketball players Angie Jones and Jill Bell. Stanback, who played in seven games at quarterback for the UW football team in 2004, qualified for the MPSF meet indoors in the 60-meter dash, and clocked a 10.93 for 100 meters outdoors. Wide receiver Ellis and cornerback Fountaine also competed at 60 meters indoors, while sophomore Jones, a reserve guard, made her Husky track debut in the high jump at the UW Outdoor Preview. The gem of the group could be Bell, who made her UW long jump debut in Oregon earlier this month. The basketball team's top rebounder, Bell set a state prep record in the long jump in 2000, and was the ninth-place finisher in the event at the 1999 World Youth Championships. UW's track are willing to give as well as get, however -- Husky jumper J.R. Wolfork is helping out the football team this spring, suiting up at wide receiver during spring practice.

You Might Recall: The practice of mining talent from other UW programs has unearthed countless gems for the Husky track program in the past. In fact, a glance at Washington's career top-10 charts reveals several such performers, including 110m hurdles record-holder Spider Gaines, a tailback for the UW football team in the 1970s, and sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker, the UW record-holder at 100m, 200m, and 400m and a Husky wide receiver from 1997-98. Others on the list include football players Ernie Conwell (No. 5, shot put), Dana Hall (No. 3, 110m HH), Sterling Hinds (No. 3, 100m/200m), Pete Kaligis (No. 6, shot put), Orlando McKay (No. 2, 400m), Brent Merritt (No. 6, 400m) and Tony Parrish (No. 5, triple jump), basketball players Tara Davis (No. 1, triple jump; No. 2, long jump) and Heather Reichmann (No. 2, javelin) and All-American volleyball star Makare Desilets (No. 5, high jump). UW's two-sport stars have even excelled on the world stage -- Herman Brix and Paul Jessup, who starred for Washington's football teams in the 1920s, each competed at the Olympic Games, and established world records in the shot put and discus, respectively.

Remember Me?: To the casual fan of Husky athletics, junior Will Conwell may have fallen off the radar in 2003 when he gave up football -- where he was a UW linebacker -- in favor of a career in track and field. After redshirting the 2003 season to rehabilitate two broken wrists, Conwell exploded back onto the front page in 2004, earning an NCAA Regional bid in the discus with a throw of 173-5, before earning a fourth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships. The conference's No. 3-returning discus competitor in 2005, Conwell has his season off to a fast start with an indoor PR of 188-5 and an outdoor best of 178-10, both beyond the NCAA's regional qualifying standard. Once expected to follow his uncle, Husky legend Ernie Conwell, to football glory, Conwell is instead focusing on matching his famous uncle's throwing accolades.. A five-year letterwinner in track and field at Washington, the elder Conwell ranks fourth all-time at UW in the shot put, and was the fifth-place finisher in the event at the 1996 NCAA Championships.

It's Not the Size of the Dog in the Fight: Four-time All-American pole vaulter Kate Soma may stand only an inch above 5'-0", but the Husky senior cuts a towering figure in collegiate pole vaulting history. Soma has cleared the elite 14-foot barrier four times in her UW career and three times this season, including a UW indoor record clearance of 14-3 1/2 on Feb. 12 that equals the seventh-best by a collegiate vaulter all-time, and is tops by a collegian in 2005. The Portland, Ore., native is tied for fifth among American women in the 2005 IAAF World Rankings, and is the 24th-ranked woman in the world. Soma earned second at March's NCAA Indoor Championships, her second-straight runner-up honor in the event and her fourth-career All-America performance, equaling Aretha Hill and Meg Jones for the most such honors in UW history. That consistency has helped Soma to break UW's pole vault record in each of her seven collegiate "seasons," including four indoors and three outdoors. In clearing 14-3 1/2, Soma backed up her UW outdoor record clearance of 14-2 at last year's Pac-10 Championships, a vault which won Soma her first Pac-10 title and qualified her for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials. Soma followed up her Pac-10 crown with a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships and her second All-America honor of the year, a feat accomplished by just four other UW women all-time. Perhaps it's her support system -- Soma's mother, Donna, boasts an U.S. vault age-group record, while her high school coach designs shoes worn by elite vaulters Dragila and Dmitri Markov.

All-Time NCAA Division-I Pole Vault Top-10
Name, School, Year, Mark

1. Chelsea Johnson, UCLA, 2004, 15-0
2. Amy Linnen, Arizona, 2002, 14-10 1/4i
3. Thorey Elisdottir, Georgia, 2001, 14-9 1/2i
4. Becky Holliday, Oregon, 2003, 14-8
5. Lacy Janson, Florida State, 2003, 14-7 1/4i
5. Tracy O'Hara, UCLA, 2000, 14-7 1/4
7. Kate Soma, Washington, 2005, 14-3 1/2i
7. Melissa Price, Fresno State, 1998, 14-3 1/2
9. April Steiner, Arkansas, 2003, 14-3 1/4i
9 Tamara Diles, Wash. State, 2002, 14-3 1/4i

Vault Supremacy: There is little doubt that Washington reigns supreme in the world of collegiate women's vaulting. Four UW women qualified for the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships, most-ever for any team in the event. Senior Kate Soma and junior Ashley Wildhaber each earned All-America honors with top-five finishes, giving UW four vaulters with career top-13 NCAA finishes under their belts, including a 13th-place finish by sophomore Stevie Marshalek on Saturday, and an 11th-place finish by junior Carly Dockendorf at the 2004 NCAA outdoor meet. The four also are the only quartet in collegiate vault history to each boast bests above 13-5, including marks by Soma (14-3 1/2) and Wildhaber (13-9 1/4) that rank among the top-10 in Pac-10 Conference history.

All-Time Pac-10 Pole Vault Top-10
Name, School, Year, Mark

1. Chelsea Johnson, UCLA, 2004, 15-0
2. Amy Linnen, Arizona, 2002, 14-10 1/4i
3. Becky Holliday, Oregon, 2003, 14-8
4. Tracy O'Hara, UCLA, 2000, 14-7 1/4
5. Kate Soma, Washington, 2005, 14-3 1/2i
6. Tamara Diles, Wash. State, 2002, 14-3 1/4i
7. Nikki McEwen, Oregon, 2003, 14-1 1/4
7. Connie Jerz, Arizona, 2003, 14-1 1/4
9. Ashley Wildhaber, Washington, 2005, 13-9 1/4i
9. Andrea Dutoit, Arizona, 2001, 13-9 1/4

Moving On Up:Including her second-place effort at March's NCAA Indoor Championships, senior Kate Soma has matched or improved her finish in each of her six-career appearances at the national meet, having placed 16th outdoors in 2002, 12th indoors and seventh outdoors in 2003, fifth (tied) indoors and second outdoors in 2004, and second indoors in 2005. Should that trend continue at June's NCAA Outdoor Championships, Soma could become just the third NCAA champion in UW women's history, and the first since 1988.

Rare Double: From the first time she entered a pole vault competition -- going 12-1 1/2 at Husky Stadium in 2002 -- it was obvious that junior Carly Dockendorf, already a decorated UW gymnast, was in an elite class of athletes. Just two years later, Dockendorf moved into a class all her own, adding an NCAA Track Championships berth to the NCAA Gymnastics invite she earned last April. While it is not uncommon for a college athlete to compete in multiple NCAA Championships in one year -- track/cross country and volleyball/basketball doubles being among the most common -- to do so in two unrelated sports in which qualification is based on individual, not team, performance is extremely rare. Dockendorf finished 11th in her NCAA pole vault debut, after placing 24th on the floor exercise at April's NCAA gymnastics meet. The junior nearly repeated the feat this season, placing 17th in the pole vault at March's NCAA Indoor Track Championships before falling one-tenth of a point shy of qualifying for the NCAA gymnastics meet in April.

Double-Duty Dockendorf: There is no doubt that pole vaulter/gymnast Carly Dockendorf is one of the finest two-sport athletes in UW history. The Port Moody, B.C., native added to her legend in March with a 17th-place finish in the vault at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Arkansas, just 19 hours after competing in Utah for the Husky gymnastics team. Balancing two sports, though, is nothing new to Dockendorf -- the junior earned a second-straight NCAA gymnastics berth last April, before a terrific 2004 track season that included a sixth-place finish at the Pac-10 meet, third place at the NCAA Regional, and 11th place at June's NCAA Championships. After missing the first two months of the 2005 indoor track season with an injury, Dockendorf cleared 13-5 1/4 in her Mar. 5 season debut to cinch an NCAA berth, and move into sole possession of eighth-place in Canadian women's history. Amazingly, Dockendorf has been pole vaulting for less than three years, having begun the sport only after seeing Husky vaulters working out at Dempsey Indoor during her freshman gymnastics season in 2002. Dockendorf began her two-sport double on a full-time basis in 2003, winning All-America honors on the gymnastics floor while placing eighth in the pole vault at the Pac-10 Championships. Her seven perfect 10s are the most by any UW gymnast all-time, while her six-career vaults over 13 feet rank second in UW history.

Athletics Canada All-Time Women's Pole Vault Rankings
Name, Year, Mark

1. Dana Buller, 2004, 14-8
2. Stephanie McCann, 2004, 14-5 1/4
3. Kelsie Hendry, 2005, 14-4 1/2i
4. Ardin Tucker-Harrison, 2002, 13-9 ¾
5. Trista Bernier1998, 13-7 1/4
6. Jackie Honey, 2001, 13-6 1/4
7. Adrienne Vangool, 2004, 13-5 3/4
8. Carly Dockendorf, 2005, 13-5 1/4i
9. Sue Kupper, 2005, 13-3 1/2i
10. Simona Kovacic, 2003, 13-2 1/4

Dazzling Debut: Freshman Norris Frederick has done everything he can to back up the hype that accompanied his signing with Washington, earning All-America honors indoors in the long jump while breaking UW's freshman long jump record outdoors. The Roosevelt High School graduate launched six jumps over 25 feet during the 2005 indoor season, the best a 25-foot, 6 1/4 inch monster that led all NCAA freshmen indoors, and ranks fifth in the 2005 IAAF World Junior Rankings. The talented freshman placed sixth in the long jump at the 2005 NCAA indoor meet, tops by a Husky long jumper since 1965, and is already qualified for NCAA Regional competition in the long and high jumps outdoors. Success for Frederick, currently America's 16th-ranked male long jumper, and the top-ranked American junior-age competitor, is certainly to be expected -- he ranked second among U.S. prep high jumpers in 2004 with a best of 7-1, and was the United States' fourth-ranked prep long jumper at 24-10 1/2. Frederick literally jumped out of his shoes at July's IAAF World Junior Championships in Italy, tearing apart the footwear which had guided him to five state titles during his four-year prep career. With borrowed shoes, Frederick managed to place 19th in both events at the world meet, and closed the 2004 season ranked among the top-35 under-20 athletes in the world.

2005 IAAF Junior Men's Long Jump Rankings
Name, Country, Mark

1. Viktor Kuznyetsov, Ukraine, 26-11 3/4
2. Jie Ding, China, 25-9 1/2
3. Chris Noffke, Australia, 25-8 1/4
3. Saleh Abdelaziz Al-Haddad, Kuwait, 25-8 1/4
5. Norris Frederick, United States, 25-6 ¼
6. Adrian Vasile, Romania, 25-4 3/4
7. Zutao Jin, China, 25-4
8. Sebastian Bayer, Germany, 25-3 1/2

Record Rookies: Husky freshmen have been outstanding in 2005, combining for three All-America honors, one school record, six freshman records and 18 marks among the team's top-10 all-time. Seattle's Norris Frederick, the sixth-place long jumper at the 2005 NCAA indoor meet, broke a 34-year-old UW freshman record in the event at April's Mt. SAC Relays, clearing 25-3 1/4 to climb to fourth in UW history overall. Chehalis native Austin Abbott also set a UW freshman record at Mt. SAC, his time of 3:44.36 in the 1,500 meters just under Carl Moe's record set one year ago. Abbott and Wenatchee's Amanda Miller joined Frederick on the All-America stand at the NCAA Indoor meet in March, becoming the first freshman trio ever to earn All-America honors at the same NCAA competition. In fact, just six Husky freshmen had earned All-America awards, indoors or out, since 1990, including none since 1999. All three have added to UW's record books this season, with Miller setting an indoor school record of 2:06.76 in the 800 meters, and Frederick adding indoor marks of 25-6 1/4 in the long jump and 7-0 1/4 in the high jump to rank second all-time on both lists. The success hasn't just been limited to those three, however. Freshmen Jordan Boase and Kelley DiVesta posted marks among UW's all-time outdoor best in the 4x400-meters and pole vault, respectively, while distance runners Jeremy Mineau and Jon Harding have both earned international cross country acclaim, including a 68th-place finish by Mineau at March's IAAF World Cross Country Championships, and a sixth-place finish for Harding at the North, Central American and Caribbean Cross Country meet in February.

20 Years of Spear Success: From Fred Luke and Duncan Atwood to Darryl Roberson and Helena Uusitalo, the UW has a long-standing tradition of excellence in the javelin. Since 1982, when women's track and field joined the NCAA, the Huskies have sent at least one javelin thrower to all but three NCAA Championships, including All-American performances by Megan Spriestersbach in 2004, and Heather Reichmann in 2003. The list of UW javelin greats includes four Pac-10 Champions (Uusitalo, `87; Roberson, `88-89; Troy Burkholder, `96), three NCAA champions (Uusitalo, `86, Tom Sinclair, `79 Cary Feldman, `71) and three U.S. Olympians (Atwood, `80, `84; Rod Ewaliko, `80; Fred Luke, `72). In UW history, only the four NCAA hammer throw titles won by Scott Neilson eclipse the Huskies' national-championship prowess in the spear, which has featured more UW All-Americans (27) than any other event. Five Husky javelin throwers qualified for the 2004 NCAA Regional Championships, including senior finisher Spriestersbach, who followed up a second-place regional finish with a fourth-place effort at the national meet, tops by a UW woman in the event since 1987. The senior set a UW record and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials with her final collegiate toss, a 173 foot-7 inch monster that broke her own UW benchmark by more than six feet, and was the third-best ever in Pac-10 history. Already two Huskies are qualified for NCAA Regional competition in the javelin in 2005, including junior Tiffany Zahn and senior Rigel Wise.

Island Fever: Don't be surprised if Seattle seems tropical this spring-- with three Caribbean sprinters on the UW roster, there's a distinct island flavor to the 2005 season. Grenada's Shane Charles joins Jamaica's Patrick Davidson and Davaon Spence on the Husky roster this year, giving the UW three sprinters with international experience. Charles led all of his countrymen in the 400-meter hurdles in 2003 and 2004, and debuted fifth in UW history in the event last weekend. Grenada's national champion in the 400-meter hurdles in 2003, and the junior national record holder in the event, Charles earned All-America honors at Central Arizona JC in 2004 with a best of 50.95 seconds that would have qualified him for last year's NCAA Championships. Spence and Davidson, meanwhile, teammates at Kingston, Jamaica's St. Jago High School, teamed for a world youth record in the 4x400m at the 1999 World Youth Games in Poland, and led Jamaica's relay to a silver medal at the 1999 Pan Am Games. The two split up to attend junior colleges in the U.S. before reuniting at UW last season, each setting Pac-10 qualifying marks before injuries cut their seasons short in May.

Everett Connection: Washington junior Mark Mandi and senior Andy Fader have come a long way from the days when Mandi flipped burgers at a McDonald's in Everett, Wash., and Fader was one of his regular customers. Back then, Mandi was an aspiring high-school distance runner who had not picked up the sport until his junior year at Everett's Mariner High School, and was admittedly in awe of the local prep stars, including Fader, who patronized the Everett McDonald's where he then worked. Cascade alum Fader, meanwhile, was one of the state's top prospects, with four-career top-10 state track finishes and a pair of WesCo league titles to his credit. Four years later, the Everett tandem are two of the nation's fastest competitors at 5,000 meters, with Mandi clocking an NCAA Regional-qualifying time of 14:05.99 at Stanford in March, and Fader two seconds behind in 14:08.07. While Fader was among UW's top recruits in 2001, Mandi enrolled at Washington as a student, before walking on to the UW cross country squad in the fall. Just a year later, Mandi was running in UW's top-seven at every varsity competition, while Fader earned a second-straight top-10 finish in the 1,500 meters at the Pac-10 Championships. In 2003, the two united to lead Washington's men's cross country squad to its first NCAA Championships since 1993, with Mandi leading all Huskies in 67th overall, less than three years after barely cracking the top-50 at the state cross country meet as a high-school senior. The two have since ensured that their remarkable story will not soon be forgotten, with Mandi clocking the UW's seventh-fastest 10,000-meter mark all-time, and Fader earning marks among UW's top-10 all-time indoors in the 5,000 meters and mile, while anchoring the UW's distance medley relay to All-America honors and a fifth-place finish at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships.

The `Lo' Down: Sophomore Ashley Lodree is off to a fast start in 2005, with an NCAA Regional qualifying mark in the 100-meter hurdles, three times among the top-10 in UW history, and an All-America honor indoors. Lodree placed 10th in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships, earning her first All-America honor and the first by a UW women's hurdler since Claudine Robinson in 1994. The Richmond, Calif., native was a one-woman whirlwind in 2004, placing 14th in the hurdles at the 2004 NCAA indoor meet before bettering UW's 100-meter hurdles record seven times during the 2004 outdoor season. Lodree's wind-aided best of 13.39 seconds and her legal best of 13.41 were both well below Robinson's old record of 13.55, and ranked the freshman No. 7 in the world among junior-age runners in the 2004 IAAF World Rankings, and No. 2 among U.S. juniors. More than just a hurdler, however, Lodree scored in four events at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships, and boasts marks among UW's all-time top-10 in six different events. At February's MPSF Championships, Lodree lowered her own school 60-meter hurdles record to 8.15 seconds, eighth-fastest by any collegiate woman in 2005. The sophomore also boasts marks this year in the 60-meter dash (7.44 seconds) and 200-meter run (24.81) that rank among UW's best all-time, and finished the indoor season tied for the world lead in the hurdles for athletes under the age of 20.

Passing the Baton: Eight years passed between the last two times a UW men's 4x400-meter relay earned All-America honors at the NCAA Championships. It's possible UW fans won't have to wait so long again. Three of the four Huskies who led UW's relay to third at the 2004 NCAA Regional, and a berth at the NCAA Championships, return in 2005, including senior Sean Williams and junior Bruce Jackson. Both were on the relay that placed second at February's MPSF Championships, clocking a time of 3:07.94 that ranks second in UW history, and was 12th-fastest in the nation during the 2005 indoor season. The relay is also off to a fast start in 2005, with three NCAA Regional qualfiying times this year, including a best of 3:08.37 from last month's Stanford Invitational. While Williams, Jackson, relay newcomer Ryan Brown and alternate Jordan Boase all hail from the Seattle area, having respectively attended Lake Washington and Juanita High Schools in Kirkland, Renton High School in Renton, and Bothell High School in Bothell, it takes a little longer to reach the hometown of the relay's fourth full-time member, Grenada native Shane Charles. Grenada's national 400-meter hurdles champ, Charles earned All-American honors at Central Arizona JC in 2004 with a best of 50.95 seconds that would have placed third at the 2004 West Regional. With the addition of Charles and Brown, UW's relay -- which clocked a best of 3:06.41 in 2004 to rank 15th in the nation, and third in UW history -- is a legitimate threat to become the first Husky 4x400m to earn All-America honors since Ja'Warren Hooker, B.J. Dawson, Scott Anabel and Derek Prior in 1998.

Leading From the Front: After consecutive sixth-place finishes in the 1,500 meters at the NCAA West Regional in each of the last two seasons -- one spot shy of an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships -- senior Lindsey Egerdahl understands the value of an NCAA berth. So when finally granted the opportunity to run at the NCAAs after a personal-best 4:42.27 in the mile at the Mar. 5 UW Last Chance Qualifier, the Auburn, Wash., native made the most of it. Egerdahl's eighth-place finish in the mile at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships earned the senior her first-career All-America honor, and was the first ever by a UW woman in the event. The honor was a fitting reward for an athlete who has consistently put the team ahead of the individual, leading the Husky women to consecutive NCAA cross country berths in 2003 and 2004. Her outdoor season is off to a fast start as well, having clocked a personal-best time of 4:19.07 in her 1,500-meter debut in April that is fifth-fastest ever at UW, and the fourth-fastest by a collegiate woman this year. Egerdahl also ranks among UW's top-10 all-time in the indoor mile (3rd, 4:42.27) and indoor 3,000 meters (4th, 9:35.08), and has run legs of four of UW's 10-fastest distance medley relays, including the school-record of 11:23.12.

Multi-Talented: Senior multi-eventer Grace Vela is nothing if not determined -- witness her performance at last year's Pac-10 Championships, where the Toronto native competed in the heptathlon, long jump, triple jump, 100-meter hurdles and 4x100-meter relay, ultimately toeing the line 11 different times. Vela has been just as successful in 2005, crushing UW's indoor pentathlon record with a score of 3,915 points that included marks in the high jump and 60-meter hurdles which were each among UW's all-time top-10. The Husky senior, born in Zimbabwe but currently boasting Canadian citizenship, ranked among Canada's top-10 competitors in 2004 in the heptathlon (sixth), long jump (seventh), 100-meter hurdles (ninth) and triple jump (ninth), while her bests of 5,225 in the heptathlon and 3,915 in the pentathlon are both all-time bests for a Zimbabwe-born woman. Velawill earn her economics degree this spring, with plans to return to Zimbabwe and work to improve the nation's economic condition.

Ridiculous Records: Washington's athletes kept the Huskies' record-keepers busy during the 2005 indoor season, combining for 72 marks among the team's top-10 all-time indoor bests, just one year after totaling 47 new top-10 marks in 2004. Washington's highly-acclaimed indoor facility, Dempsey Indoor, has certainly had an effect on the Huskies' indoor list, with 21 school records and an eye-popping 176 marks among UW's all-time top-10 having been achieved since the start of the 2002 season, UW's first in the facility. For a full list of updates to UW's top-10 lists, see the box above.

2005 NCAA Indoor Championships Recap: A record 10 Huskies earned All-America honors at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships. Senior Kate Soma (second, pole vault), junior Ashley Wildhaber (fifth, pole vault) and senior Lindsey Egerdahl (eighth, mile), combined to earn 13 points and a tie for 16th for UW, its best NCAA Indoor finish since 1988. Freshman long jumper Norris Frederick placed sixth, tops for a UW long jumper since 1965, and the UW's distance medley relay of Austin Abbott, Sean Williams, Ryan Brown and Andy Fader placed fifth, helping the Huskies tie for 28th overall Freshman Amanda Miller (ninth, 800 meters) and sophomore Ashley Lodree (10th) also earned All-America acclaim, while pole vaulters Stevie Marshalek and Carly Dockendorf placed 14th and 17th, respectively.

Northwest Honors: The Feb. 5 weekend may have been a week off from competition, but that didn't stop the Huskies from making headlines. Women's assistant coach Kelly Strong and former Husky Brad Walker were recognized for their 2004 accomplishments with Pacific Northwest Track and Field's Athlete of the Year honors, announced Feb. 4. The fifth-place steeplechase finisher at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, and the ninth-ranked steepler in U.S. history, Strong was nominated alongside UW senior Kate Soma and 2004 UW alum Megan Spriestersbach, both All-Americans and Olympic Trials participants in 2004. Walker, meanwhile, captured his third-straight PNTF honor after winning his second-straight NCAA indoor pole vault title, placing sixth at the Olympic Trials, and closing the year with a No. 6 world ranking.

Head Coach Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his third year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross country, and his eighth year overall on the UW staff. In his first two-plus seasons at the helm, Metcalf has led the UW women to three top-30 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including 18th outdoors in 2004 and a tie for 16th indoors in 2005, and has guided the Husky men to consecutive top-30 indoor finishes in each of the last two years. Individually, 12 UW distance runners have earned NCAA berths, with four grabbing All-America accolades, a list which does not include the team's All-America distance medley relay in 2005. In addition, Metcalf has led the Huskies' women's cross country team to the NCAA meet in each of his eight years atop the UW distance program, marking the sixth-longest active streak of NCAA appearances in the nation. In all, Metcalf has coached 17 All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 16 school-record setters and 71 NCAA qualifiers. 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: Washington's assistant coaching staff in 2005 is in no way short on accolades. Ninth-year vaults/jumps coach Pat Licari has directed 10 All-Americans, including two-time NCAA champion Brad Walker. Third-year throws coach Bud Rasmussen founded the prestigious Iron Wood Thrower Development Camp, has mentored two All-Americans in two years at Washington, and in seven years at North Idaho College coached 82 NJCAA All-Americans, 18 national champions and five NJCAA record holders. First-year sprints/relays coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr. mentored Ashley Lodree to All-America honors in 2005, after leading eight Eastern Kentucky sprinters to Ohio Valley Conference titles in 2004, and coaching athletes to 13 school records in four years at Marshall University. Fourth-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 third-year distance coach Kelly Strong, who graduated from Arizona State in 2002 with five All-America honors and three Pac-10 titles, and is largely credited with putting together a women's recruiting class in 2003 that was ranked sixth in the nation by Track and Field News. Ironically, the most accomplished member of the Husky coaching staff is one of the team's volunteer assistants -- former Olympian Duncan Atwood. A UW All-American, two-time Olympian and three-time U.S. champion, Atwood has helped Husky women's javelin throwers earn All-America honors in each of his two seasons with the team, and mentored freshman Brian Harris to an IAAF Junior World Championships berth in 2004.

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