April 24, 2008
ON THE TRACK: The Husky track and field team will send a full squad to the Oregon Relays this weekend in Eugene. Upwards of 60 Huskies will make the trip, easily the largest band of athletes the UW has trotted out so far in the outdoor season. The meet runs Friday and Saturday at Oregon's Hayward Field, with distance runs highlighting Friday's competition and the sprints, mid-distances, and field events primarily taking place Saturday. A full event schedule can be found on www.goducks.com and heat sheets will be posted when available.
LAST TIME OUT: A small group of current and former Huskies traveled to Walnut, Calif. to compete in the Mt. SAC Relays last weekend. Senior Norris Frederick was the only Husky to come away with season-highs as he had a solid showing in both the long and high jumps. Frederick jumped a wind-aided 25-2 3/4, his best outdoor mark this season. 2004 Olympic gold medalist Dwight Phillips took first in the event, jumping 27-feet, the best by an American this year. Frederick cleared seven feet in the high jump to qualify for NCAA Regionals. The mark was just one inch shy of his outdoor career best. Sophomore Zack Midles was seventh in the hammer throw, with a best mark of 195-1. Junior Jared O'Connor cleared the regional mark for the second week in a row, placing fourth in the pole vault with a clearance of 16-6 3/4. Senior women's pole vaulters Kelly DiVesta competed in the pole vault but struggled on the day, finishing up at 12-7 3/4, well short of the All-Americans season-best.In earlier action at the California Multi-Events, junior Liz Fuller and freshman Andrew Ferleman completed their first multi-events of the outdoor season. Fuller was fourth in the women's heptathlon with 4,789 points, while Ferleman was eighth with 5,845 points in the men's decathlon. Also on Sunday, former Husky NCAA Champion Ryan Brown won the men's 800m Invitational, defeating long-time Pac-10 rival Duane Solomon of USC in a time of 1:47.18. Brown currently runs for Asics. Other notables in action included former Husky Carly Dockendorf, who cleared 13-1 1/2 in the pole vault competing for Nike Canada, and current UW assistant coach Kelly Strong, who ran 4:23.77 in the 1500-meter invitational competing for Asics.
The final period was placed on Washington's indoor season earlier this week, as 27 Huskies were named to the MPSF All-Academic team. The Huskies were second to Stanford in total honorees out of the 10 schools (eight from the Pac-10 and two from the Big West). Team member must be at least a sophomore academically and have maintained a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or better.
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 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 already covered every area indoors save for throws, long distance and hurdles.
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.
Washington has boasted at least one Pac-10 champion in eight-straight years, and at least one NCAA champ for five-straight seasons. Senior Ryan Brown extended both streaks in 2007, winning NCAA indoor and Pac-10 800m crowns.
NCAA SELECTION PROCESS: Automatic NCAA Championships berths will be granted to the top-five finishers in each individual event, and top-three relays, from each of the four Regionals contested nationwide May 25-26. Athletes qualify for Regionals by meeting pre-determined standards, or by winning their conference title. The NCAA then supplements the Championships field with the highest-ranking competitors (6-7 per individual event and 5-6 per relay) from the national performance lists, provided the athlete competed in their event at a Regional meet 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.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Husky men's team heads into the weekend ranked 40th, but with a long way to go before they reach their peak. Jordan Boase ranks first in the nation in the 400-meters after his school-record 44.82 run at the Sun Angel Classic. Husky men also rank in the Top-25 nationally in six other events, including Norris Frederick (18th, long jump; 23rd, high jump), Jake Schmitt (16th, 10000m), David Nyland (14th, javelin), Austin Abbott (17th, 800m), and James Fredrickson (23rd, 400m HH). The Husky women are currently 49th, but are just beginning to take shape much like the men, after unkind conditions sabotaged early season meets. The women also suffer in the rankings due to the fact that the USTFCCCA does not count Katie Follett's 13th-ranked 5000m time, instead awarding points for her 7th-ranked 1500m time, judging that it would be unlikely for her to run both at NCAA's. Amanda Miller ranks just behind Follett in the 1500m, sitting ninth nationally, while Michelle Turner is also 31st in the event. All three finished in the Top-10 in the mile at NCAA Indoors. Kelley DiVesta also ranks 22nd in the women's pole vault. All told the Huskies have 17 NCAA Regional qualifying marks thus far. For a complete list of qualifiers and NCAA rankings turn to page four.
BOASE RIPS OFF RECORD RUN IN TEMPE: 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 considered himself a 200m specialist coming into the season, and is still mastering the intricacies of the 400. Boase was named Pac-10 Track Athlete of the Week for his efforts, and by achieving the U.S. Olympic Trials "A" standard, has guaranteed 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 LEAP: 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 what's more ranks as the second-best jump by an American this year, and the sixth-best jump in the world. The next day, Frederick turned in another personal-best, this time clearing 7-3 in the high jump. 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. 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 outdoor campaign.
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-Americna 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 twice ran the 1500-meters, and last weekend at the Sun Angel Classic she went under 4:20 for the first time, finishing in 4:19.49, the ninth-best time in the NCAA thus far, and easily a regional qualifying mark.
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. Following the standard rest period for cross country athletes prior to track season, Follett has 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,finishing off two school-record runs on the only two occasions the Huskies ran their DMR during the regular season. After cutting three seconds off the school record the first time out, the Huskies demolished that record once again at MPSFs, running 11:12.77 to move into the Top-10 of the NCAA this season. 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 this season, and shattered that indoor record by more than seven seconds as well. Follett placed second to Stanford's Arianna Lambie in a time of 9:25.09 that gave her three NCAA qualifying marks, and three school records in less than three weeks. Already this outdoor season, Follett has placed herself among the Top-10 nationally in both the 1500m and 5000m, running consistenly great races every time out.
WOMEN'S VAULT TRADITION SWELLS: With one NCAA title, one Pac-10 title, and seven All-America honors over the past five 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 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 Stevie Marshalek, who only had outdoor eligibility remaining and is just rounding back into form as she cleared the Regional qualifying mark last week in Tempe. Marshalek is a four-time NCAA participant. Fellow senior Kelley DiVesta benefited from a full indoor season, and it turned out to be the best of her career. DiVesta did what every coach dreams of--setting a personal-best at the NCAA 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. DiVesta is off to a solid start in the outdoor season as well, clearing the regional mark in her last two outings with higher vaults sure to come, perhaps as soon as this weekend in Eugene.
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.
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.