Jan. 17, 2009
SEATTLE - The indoor track season is officially in full swing at the Dempsey Indoors as Washington played host to the UW Indoor Preview today. The Huskies welcomed in several hundred athletes, including a number of 2008 Olympians, and set the stage for a thrilling 2009 season.
Washington's sprinters led the way for the team as a whole, with the team getting nice performances from returning Pac-10 4x100m Champion Joseph Turner, and freshman Jordan Polk, a wide receiver on the UW football team making his college track debut. Polk ran the fastest 60m dash time in prelims, leaning across the line in 6.93 seconds. Turner was fourth in the 60m final in 6.95 seconds.
In the night's final race, Turner ran the third leg on UW's winning 4x400m relay, along with Sam Rucker, Miles Timpe, and 2008 sixth-place Regional finisher Jeff Gudaitis. The foursome finished in 3:17.82. Another Husky transitioning from the gridiron is freshman Adam Long, a cornerback who redshirted the fall. Long tied for the day's fastest 200-meter dash time, running 21.12 seconds.
"There was a lot to be excited about today and we just have to continue to build from this point," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "Our men's sprinters showed a lot of promise and could be a very deep group."
The Dempsey frequently lures some of America's top professionals as it has proven to be one of the fastest indoor tracks in the nation. Saturday, fans were treated to American Olympians Kara Goucher and Amy Yoder-Begley, two of the world's best distance runners. Goucher was 9th in Beijing last summer in the 5,000-meters and 10th in the 10,000-meters, and displayed her world class ability in winning both the mile (4:39.51) and the 3,000-meters (9:03.47). Yoder-Begley, also an Olympian in the 10k, placed just behind Goucher in the 3k in 9:08.01.
"That's one of the great things about our facility, is our student-athletes routinely get to watch athletes at the pinnacle of the sport compete on the same track where they train on a daily basis," said Metcalf. "Our women's distance runners got a great chance today to observe two of the very best; how they prepare and carry themselves."
Freshman Joey Bywater out of Snohomish highlighted UW's distance performances, as he finished third in the 3,000-meteres in 8:16.39, just about 10 seconds away from an NCAA provisional mark. Leading the way in the throws was Angus Taylor, a freshman out of Richmond, B.C., who won the weight throw with a mark of 59-feet and ¾-inches.
Looking strong in her first meet of the year was Falesha Ankton (Benicia, Calif.), an NCAA participant last season in the 100m hurdles. Ankton was second in the 60m hurdles in 8.98 seconds, and also placed third in the 200m in 25.53. Also for the Husky women, Daria Amiad-Pavlov took second in the triple jump, and Korede Oyetuga was second in the weight throw.
Former Husky Ryan Brown, a 2007 grad, and current senior Austin Abbott led the way in a 600-meter run. The two, with 14 All-America awards between them, finished in 1:18.39 and 1:18.98, respectively. Finishing close behind was Brian Govier, Ryan Soberanis, and Miles Timpe.
Washington will next host the UW Invitational, on January 30-31 back at the Dempsey Indoors.