March 6, 2008
ON THE TRACK: With both Husky track and field teams now ranked in the Top-20, Washington closes out the Dempsey Indoor season with the Last Chance Qualifier this Saturday. With the NCAA Indoor Championships just over a week away, this weekend's meet will literally be the last opportunity for athletes to achieve NCAA qualifying times, or improve their national standing in hopes of making the cut. The meet is one of just eight NCAA-sanctioned last chance meets in the nation. After NCAA's in Fayetteville, Ark., it will be two more weeks before the Huskies are back in action, moving outdoors to Husky Stadium at the end of the month. Competition is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Admission is free for all spectators.
The field is much smaller than a typical meet at the Dempsey, with many schools only sending their few athletes who have a legitimate shot at nationals, and the athletes that have already qualified taking the week to rest before NCAA's. Still, multiple entrants will be on hand from Pac-10 schools such as Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, UCLA, California and Washington State, plus competitors several Big-12 schools including Kansas, Nebraska, Texas Tech and Colorado.
Start time for the meet is 10:30 a.m. for the field events and 11 a.m. for the track events. Action should run until 3 p.m.
Scheduled to compete for the 11th-ranked Husky men are Jake Schmitt in the 5,000-meters, who ranks 24th in that event. Washington's 23rd-ranked 4x400-meter relay team of Jeff Gudaitis, James Fredrickson, Jordan Boase, and Alex Harcourt will also be running in an attempt to make it to Fayetteville. For the No. 20 women, Michelle Turner in the 800-meters and Falesha Ankton in the 60-meter hurdles have both achieved NCAA provisional times but are currently on the outside looking in for inclusion at NCAA's. They will both be running to prolong their indoor seasons.
Others to watch include record-breaking freshman weight thrower Elisa Bryant, and the men's and women's mile runs which feature a number of current Huskies.
Updated Results!: Results of all UW home indoor track and field meets are posted live throughout the meet to the official site of UW athletics, www.GoHuskies.com. A link to a complete event schedule and live results will appear on the track and field sport page the morning of each meet, allowing fans the opportunity to follow along with the action as events conclude. Simply go to GoHuskies.com, and click on "track" from the "sports" pull-down menu to find the live results link on each meet day.
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. Please allow 5-10 minutes following the conclusion of the final event for results to be processed and approved. Final results will be posted to the official site of Husky athletics, www.gohuskies.com, within 30 minutes of the last event's conclusion. Any coach or SID wishing to have results e-mailed should send a special request to the UW Sports Information office at the e-mail address listed on this page.
Freshman Elisa Bryant is only three meets into her Husky track and field career, and yet she is already a school record-holder ... by a long shot. At the UW Invitational on Feb. 2, Bryant smashed the 10-year-old school record in the 20-lb weight throw held by former Olympian Aretha Hill. Bryant's throw of 59-7 3/4 was well past Hill's 1999 mark of 55-2, which in turn was three feet farther than Soozie Shanley's former second-place mark. Bryant has since expanded her record up to 61-1 1/2.
Washington's No. 2 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.
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.
The UW men's seventh-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships was the team's best-ever indoors, and equaled its third-best NCAA finish overall since 1930.
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.
Washington has sent a total of 64 athletes to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championship since 2005, the most prolific stretch in team history. Of those 64, 45 have returned home with All-America honors, also obliterating all previous three-year records.
HUSKIES PACING NCAA LEADERS: With the NCAA Indoor Championships less than two weeks away, three Huskies can already confirm their Fayetteville itineraries. Senior Norris Frederick took over the NCAA lead with authority in the long jump with his school-record jump of 26-7 3/4 at the MPSFs. Sophomore Katie Follett and senior Amanda Miller picked up UW's first two NCAA Automatic marks at the Husky Classic. Amazingly, they did it in the same race, the women's mile. Follett won the mile with a school-record 4:37.22, and Miller placed fifth in a time of 4:39.93 that would have been a record itself if not for Follett. It is believed to be the first time two Huskies have ever achieved auto marks in the same event, let alone in the same race. Several other Huskies can feel safe in their standby status for NCAA bids. Frederick strengthened his "B" standard in the high jump, clearing 7-3 at MPSFs, currently tied for the fifth-best mark. Kelley DiVesta is looking solid in the pole vault with her mark of 13' 8 1/4" that ranks sixth, while Amanda Miller's school-record 800m time of 2:06.69 set at the UW Invitational ranks 10th nationally. Jordan Boase jumped into the thick of the descending order lists with his outstanding MPSF showing. Boase's school-record 400m time of 46.37 ranks fifth, while his 200m run of 21.08 is tied for 12th. Also looking strong is UW's women's distance medley relay, which ranks ninth after cutting an additional seven seconds off the school record at MPSFs, and sophomore pole vaulter Scott Roth, who ranks 7th with a vault of 17-8 1/4. Out of UW's other provisional qualifiers, Jake Schmitt will need to better his time in the men's 3K where he currently ranks 24th, and Andrea Brown will also need to surpass her mile time of 4:45.94 if she wants to be the third Husky in the women's mile. One second could make all the difference as well for the men's 4x400 relay, which is 23rd in the nation with a time of 3:09.74. Also ranking in the Top-40 are Follett in the 3K and Michelle Turner in the 800m, but both would need faster times this weekend to make the cut. Only the top 16-18 individuals and 10-12 relays earn NCAA bids. For a complete rundown of UW's NCAA qualifiers, see page four of this release.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: For the first time this season, both of the Husky men's and women's squads are ranked in the USTFCCCA poll. The closer the calendar gets to NCAA's on March 15, the better predictor the rankings become, as the rankings are based on current marks in each event, and at this point most athletes with the potential of scoring will be somewhere near the top in their events. The Husky men's team made the second-largest jump in the country from last week's rankings, going from 31st to 11th, their highest regular season ranking this year. The men were the preseason No. 2, but dropped out of the rankings as certain key returners worked themselves back from injuries. Big improvements last week from Norris Frederick, Scott Roth, and Jordan Boase fueled the men's rise. The Husky women, meanwhile, slipped four spots from 16th to 20th. The women were unranked in the preseason, but jumped to 16th following automatic qualifier times in the mile from Katie Follett and Amanda Miller, and a Top-10 pole vault from Kelley DiVesta. The women's DMR improved their standing last weekend, garnering additional rankings points. Washington is one of only 11 schools with both teams ranked in the Top-20, with the Pac-10 and SEC leading the way with four each.
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 last Friday 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 to move into fifth in the NCAA rankings. Prior to Friday, Frederick had only broken the 26-foot mark once before, and that was a wind-aided outdoor mark a full seven inches shorter than his MPSF jump. This season Frederick is going hard after his first NCAA Championship, coming off his third-place finish at NCAA Outdoors in June. He is a three-time All-American indoors but has not finished higher than sixth. Frederick's long list of credential includes a Pac-10 championship, three MPSF championships, an NCAA West Regional championship plus four long jump All-American awards and one All-American high jump honor, but that first title is what drives him. Frederick is seeking UW's first-ever NCAA long jump crown, and to better former world record holder Phil Shinnick's all-time UW best third-place long jump finish (1964).
MILLER A RARE TRIPLE THREAT: Senior Amanda Miller already has proven to be an invaluable weapon in the mid-distances, boasting one All-American honor in the 800-meters from 2005, and another in the mile last year. She now finds herself in position to duplicate both feats in her final indoor season. 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. The Wenatchee native is currently 12th nationally in the mile, but despite only owning a provisional time, Miller ranks 10th in the 800-meters, where she bettered her own school record at the UW Invitational on Feb. 2. In 2005, Miller became UW's first female All-American in the 800-meteres since 1985. This season, Miller decided that excelling at two indoor events just wasn't engaging enough, and she has led UW's distance medley relay into position for a first ever NCAA berth. Miller runs the opening 1200-meter leg of the relay which has 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.
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 past month 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 has not run the mile since, but still ranks seventh in the NCAA. Running as the anchor leg of UW's distance medley relay, Follett has finished off two school-record runs on the only two occasions the Huskies have ran their DMR. 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. She will look to add track All-American distinctions to her cross country award in a week's time in Fayetteville.
ROTH MAKES UP FOR LOST TIME: Sophomore Scott Roth had the best freshman season for a Husky pole vaulter in history last year, and when the competition for that distinction includes current World Champion Brad Walker, it becomes clear just how good Roth was. Injuries prevented Roth from picking up right where he left off--an eighth-place NCAA Outdoor finish and second All-American award--but since making his season debut at the Husky Classic, Roth has shown that he is back at full strength. In his first meet, Roth cleared 17-1, then all but sewed up an NCAA Indoor berth with a 17-8 1/4 vault at the MPSF Championships where he finished second behind NCAA leader Graeme Hoste of Stanford. If Roth qualifies as expected, it will make three NCAA appearances in three chances for the Granite Bay, Calif. native. At the 2007 Last Chance Meet, Roth posted an outstanding 18-1 3/4 clearance, good for second among collegiate vaulters during the 2007 indoor season. That Roth succeeded right from the start is little surprise. He led all U.S. prep pole vaulters in 2006 and 2007, and boasted a prep-best clearance of 17-4 that was among the best in U.S. prep history. Each of Roth's achievements add to UW's already-impressive pole vault legacy -- including NCAA champions Brad Walker and Kate Soma, and numerous All-Americans.
MONSTER PR OF THE WEEK: Senior Trisha Rasmussen, who has found her best track success in the steeplechase, competed indoors for the first time this season last week at the MPSF Championships, placing seventh in the 5,000-meters. Rasmussen's time of 16:49.35 was a personal best by exactly 34 seconds, and it was the first time she ever scored in the indoor conference meet. Rasmussen's time also ranks sixth on the UW all-time indoor Top-10 list. The native of Phoenix, Ariz. was a key cross country contributor for UW in the fall, running fifth on the Huskies' eighth-place squad.
LAST TIME OUT - HUSKIES TAKE FIVE AT MPSF CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Washington men's and women's track teams each turned in solid fifth-place finishes at the MPSF Championships in the Dempsey Indoor Facility. Five Husky records went down over the two-day meet. Senior Norris Frederick broke through with the second-farthest long jump by an American this year. Frederick, who had never broken 26-feet indoors, turned in his best jump of the season on his second attempt with a mark of 25'-10", but then flew past that by more than nine inches on his next attempt, registering 26' 7 ¾" to assume the new NCAA lead. It is Frederick's third-consecutive MPSF long jump crown. The mark was also a Washington indoor, MPSF meet, and Dempsey facility record, and ranks Frederick sixth in the world this year. Junior Jordan Boase captured the men's 400-meter dash title in a school record time of 46.37. Boase's win followed up his second place finish in the 200-meters on Friday. Coupling that with his No. 3 leg on UW's fourth-place 4x400-meter relay, and Boase was a major factor in 23 of Washington's 66.5 total points. Even more impressive was the fact that his winning time came out of the seventh out of nine heats, and two of his competitors got tangled up and did not finish, leaving Boase to come around the final turn and down the straightaway virtually by himself. The 12th-ranked Oregon men won the MPSF title with 90 points, followed by Cal with 84.5, No. 24 Stanford with 83, No. 1-ranked Arizona State with 77, and then the Huskies. It is the first MPSF title for the Ducks, who snapped the UW men's streak of conference titles at two. Second-ranked Arizona State held off No. 3 Stanford to take the women's crown for the second year in a row. No. 20 Oregon was third with 72 points, Cal placed with with 65.5, and 16th-ranked Washington was right behind in fifth with 61.5. The two days of competition produced 17 NCAA Automatic qualifying marks, 103 NCAA Provisional marks, eight MPSF Championship records, and five Dempsey Indoor facility records. Katie Follett's 3k time of 9:25.09 is a school record by more than seven seconds, despite being her first attempt at the distance this season. It is also an NCAA Provisional mark. With the Dempsey still buzzing about his 26' 7 ¾" long jump, Norris Frederick put on an impressive encore in the high jump. For the second-straight day, the Roosevelt High product turned in a career-best performance, clearing 7' 3" to finish second. Additional NCAA times were turned in by Michelle Turner in the 800, who ran 2:08.97, and Scott Roth in the pole vault, who took second place with a season-best clearance of 17' 8 ¼", which ranks the sophomore No. 5 in the NCAA this season.