Dec. 6, 2008
SEATTLE - A small band of Huskies gathered in the Dempsey Indoor facility today to jumpstart the 2008-09 indoor track season with the UW Winter Preview. Several freshmen got their first crack at college competition while a handful of veterans got some early marks under their belts.
This is the second year that Washington has hosted a meet in December, as the indoor season does not really pick up steam until the calendars turn to January. Still, the meet gives UW student-athletes a chance to head into winter break knowing where they're at with plenty of time to build. The Huskies shared the Dempsey with several local colleges such as Western Washington, SPU, Seattle U., Central Washington, and Western Oregon.
Several top field event returners saw action today for Washington. All-American pole vaulter Jared O'Connor, the 2nd-place finisher at last spring's NCAA meet, had a solid day, clearing 16-feet, 6 ¾-inches, as did junior Ryan Vu. Both O'Connor and Vu took three shots at the NCAA Provisional mark of 17-0 ¾ but could not get over.
Newcomer Kelly McNamee from Ferris High School in Spokane could give the women's team a major boost in the high jump, as she won the event with a clearance of 5-feet, 8-inches. That mark was better than any Husky posted indoors or outdoors in all of 2008, and McNamee has all season to better it. In fact, McNamee's clearance already ties her for fourth on the UW indoor Top-10 list.
Senior Liz Fuller looks poised to have a strong season as one of the conference's top returning multi-event competitors. Fuller won the 60m hurdles in 9.28 seconds and also did well in the long jump and shot put.
In the men's 5,000-meters, three of Washington's top-seven competitors from the recent NCAA Men's Cross Country Championships competed unattached. The race was won by Kelly Spady in 14:21.72 and Jordan Swarthout was second in 14:31.80. Spady and Swarthout were UW's second and third finishers at NCAA Cross Country, helping the men to an 18th-place finish. Alec Bromka, UW's No. 7 runner at NCAA XC, was fifth in the 5K in 14:42.21.
The day's most impressive performance was turned in by Amanda Miller, now falling under the Husky alum category after she completed her collegiate career at NCAA Cross Country two weeks ago, helping the UW women to their first national championship with a top-40 finish. Miller, a four-time track All-American during her career, won the 3,000-meter race in 9:22.25. The time would have broken UW's indoor school record, and was 32-seconds faster than her personal best.
Washington hosts five more major indoor meets this season, beginning with the UW Indoor Preview on Saturday, January 17.