April 6, 2005
On the Track: One of the nation's oldest track rivalries heats up again this weekend as Washington's track and field squads head to Oregon's hallowed Hayward Field for a team-scoring battle with Indiana, Missouri and Oregon at the 2005 Pepsi Invitational in Eugene. The meeting between Oregon and Washington, both sporting top-20 national rankings on at least one side, is the 94th all-time in the storied rivalry, which began with a Ducks victory in Seattle in 1900. Events on Saturday begin with the men's javelin at noon, with the first event on the track, the women's 4x100 meters, commencing at 2:40 p.m. Prior to the main event, the Ducks will host the Oregon Mini-Meet, open to competitors of all ages, at which some Huskies may compete. Mini-meet events begin at 9 a.m., and conclude at 11:30 a.m.
Dawgs-Ducks History: Those Huskies who compete Saturday will be seeking to break a four-year streak of victories for the Ducks in the long-running rivalry, contested 93 times in the previous 105 years. Oregon's recent run of success has extended the Ducks' lead in the all-time head-to-head men's series to 61-32, and has staked Oregon to a 22-6 lead in 28 years of women's competition. This season is the seventh-straight in which the two teams have met in Eugene, with Oregon last making the trip to Husky Stadium in 1998 for what was the first of two consecutive sweeps by Washington's men and women. Last year's Pepsi Invitational (the two teams have not met in a two-team dual since 2001) featured wins by the Ducks on both sides, with Washington's women placing second, and the UW men third. That streak of sweeps could come to an end this year, however, with Washington's women boasting a No. 20 national ranking. Oregon's men are tied for seventh nationally, while Indiana and Missouri are unranked on both sides.
Event Schedule: Following is a schedule of events for Saturday's Pepsi Invitational in Eugene. All times are Pacific and subject to change:
12:00 p.m. -- Javelin (M)
12:05 p.m. -- Hammer (W)
12:15 p.m. -- Long Jump (W)
1:00 p.m. -- Pole Vault (W)
1:25 p.m. -- Javelin (W)
1:30 p.m. -- High Jump (W)
1:35 p.m. -- Hammer (M)
1:45 p.m. -- Long Jump (M)
2:15 p.m. -- Triple Jump (W)
2:35 p.m. -- Discus (W)
2:40 p.m. -- 4x100m Relay (W)
2:45 p.m. -- 4x100m Relay (M)
2:45 p.m. -- Shot Put (M)
2:50 p.m. -- 1,500m Run (W)
2:55 p.m. -- 1,500m Run (M)
3:10 p.m -- 100m Hurdles (W)
3:15 p.m. -- 110m Hurdles (M)
3:15 p.m. -- High Jump (M)
3:25 p.m. -- 400m Dash (W)
3:30 p.m. -- 400m Dash (M)
3:30 p.m. -- Pole Vault (M)
3:35 p.m. -- 100m Dash (W)
3:40 p.m. -- 100m Dash (M)
3:40 p.m. -- Triple Jump (M)
3:45 p.m. -- 800m Run (W)
3:50 p.m. -- 800m Run (M)
3:50 p.m. -- Discus (M)
3:50 p.m. -- Shot Put (W)
3:55 p.m. -- 400m Hurdles (W)
4:00 p.m. -- 400m Hurdles (M)
4:05 p.m. -- 200m Dash (W)
4:10 p.m. -- 200m Dash (M)
4:15 p.m. -- 3,000m Run (W)
4:30 p.m. -- 3,000m Run (M)
4:45 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (W)
4:50 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (M)
Meet Results: Results from the Pepsi Invitational will be posted to www.goducks.com immediately following the meet's conclusion. A full recap of UW action, including highlights and quotes, will be posted to GoHuskies.com shortly thereafter.
Rankings Report: Washington's women debuted in a tie for 20th this week in the first outdoor release of the Trackwire 25, which predicts the order of finish at the 2005 NCAA Championships. The 16th-place team at the 2005 NCAA indoor meet, the Husky women scored 11 points in the ranking, matching North Carolina for 20th overall. Indoor champ Tennessee claimed the No. 1 spot with 51 points, ahead of South Carolina's 49. The women matched their No. 20 ranking in the USTCA Dual Meet Power Rankings, which simulate head-to-head competition between all participating Division-I squads. Washington scored 218.94 points in the USTCA ranking, while Cal claimed No. 1 with a 331.64 score. The Husky men, meanwhile, fell eight points shy of a Trackwire ranking with two points, but scored 255.72 points in the dual-meet rankings to earn a No. 17 nod. NCAA indoor champion Arkansas ranked No. 1 in the Trackwire poll with 85 points, while BYU claimed the USTCA's top honor with 358.85.
Just Dandy, Thank You: In addition to its top-20 ranking of UW's women's team, Trackwire also included several Huskies in its weekly Dandy Dozen, 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 by Trackwire to match that effort outdoors, while junior All-American Ashley Wildhaber is ranked sixth in the same event. Rounding out the top-10 efforts for the UW women is freshman All-American Amanda Miller, picked ninth at 800 meters, while senior Lindsey Egerdahl is Trackwire's pick for 11th in the 1,500 meters. Freshman sensation Norris Frederick is the Huskies' lone representative on the men's side, picked by Trackwire to place seventh in the long jump, one spot lower than his All-America effort at the indoor championships in March.
Monster PR of the Week: Numerous Huskies deserve this week's honor for their performances at the 2005 Stanford Invitational, but sophomore Kevin Peters' run in the 10,000 meters stands as the meet's most impressive effort. Running the event for just the second time in his college career, Peters clocked a time of 29:31.43 at Stanford that is UW's seventh-fastest all-time, and is the second-best by any Husky since 1987. Peters' mark was well below the NCAA's provisional-qualifying standard, and was one of three sub-30 minute efforts by Husky competitors in the race.
Schedule Note: Washington's April schedule includes two changes of note. The team will not travel to the Texas Relays, scheduled Apr. 6-9, instead sending a full squad to Oregon for the Pepsi Invitational on Apr. 9. The following weekend, Washington will send a sizeable contingent to the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz., and selected athletes only to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. The Sun Angel Classic replaces the originally scheduled State Challenge Cup in Pullman, Wash., on Apr. 16.
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.
Pac-10 Format Change:, For the first time ever, Pac-10 athletes will no longer qualify for the conference 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.
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. For more notes from UW's history-making run, see "Amazing All-Americans" on page 8 of this release.
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 will make her UW track debut at Oregon this weekend. 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. Track isn't the only sport to benefit from this athlete interchange -- Husky jumper J.R. Wolfork is helping out the football team this spring, suiting up at wide receiver during spring practice.
You Might Recall: While the six competitors on the UW roster from sports other than track or cross country may seem like a lot, 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 some lingering injuries, Conwell exploded back onto the front page in 2004, earning an NCAA Regional bid in the discus with a throw of 173-5, before topping the 170-foot mark again in 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 175-2, 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 track accomplishments. A five-year letterwinner in track and field at Washington, the elder Conwell climbed as high as fourth on the UW's all-time shot put list, and earned All-America honors in the event with a fifth-place finish 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. At the Feb. 12 Husky Classic, Soma broke her own UW indoor record with a clearance of 14-3 1/2, equaling the seventh-best by a collegiate vaulter all-time, and tops in the nation in 2005. The Portland, Ore., native is tied for third among American women in the 2005 IAAF World Rankings, and is the 21st-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 is already halfway to repeating the feat this season, having placed 17th in the pole vault at March's NCAA Indoor Track Championships.
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 last month 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 Ellis, 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: All eyes were on freshman Norris Frederick at January's UW Indoor Preview, and the Seattle native did not disappoint. Frederick swept high- and long-jump titles at the meet, his winning mark of 25-4 1/2 in the latter a six-inch personal best. Two weeks later, Frederick launched four more jumps over 25 feet at the UW Invitational, the last a 25-foot, 6 1/4-inch monster that ranked sixth in the nation during the 2005 indoor season, and is the third-best legal mark in the world this year by a jumper aged 19 or under. The freshman's sixth-place finish in the long jump at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships was tops by a UW competitor in the event since 1965, and earned the Huskies' first All-America honor by a UW frosh since 1999. Success for Frederick, currently America's 15th-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. The Roosevelt High School graduate 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. Frederick's 2005 long jump best is just 1/4-inch shy of the UW indoor record held by former world-record holder Phil Shinnick, while his high jump best of 7-0 1/4 equals UW's second-best ever indoors.
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 ½
3. Norris Frederick, United States, 25-6 ¼
4. Adrian Vasile, Romania, 25-4 3/4
5. Zutao Jin, China, 25-4
6. Sebastian Bayer, Germany, 25-3 1/2
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. Husky junior Tiffany Zahn is carrying on the tradition this year with an NCAA Regional-qualifying mark of 154-9 that ranks 20th in the nation.
Husky Greats Give Back: Looking for a reason for UW's remarkable javelin success? Look no further than former U.S. Olympian Duncan Atwood, now in his third year volunteering his time to his alma mater as a javelin coach, working with assistant coach Bud Rasmussen. The results speak for themselves: in 2003, the first-year coach guided Heather Reichmann to All-America honors and a No. 10 national USATF ranking; in 2004, he mentored senior Megan Spriestersbach to fourth-place at the NCAA Championships and a berth at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, and led freshman Brian Harris to a berth at the IAAF World Junior Championships. Since Atwood's hiring, the UW women's javelin record has fallen four times, and has increased by more than 15 feet. Atwood joins two fellow Huskies on the UW staff, including second-year head coach Greg Metcalf -- a two-time steeplechase All-American at UW and a participant at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials -- and two-time Husky All-American David Bazzi, now a UW assistant coach.
The `Lo' Down: She's not even halfway through her 2005 collegiate season, but already sophomore Ashley Lodree boasts three times among the top-10 in UW history, and an All-America honor in the 60-meter hurdles. But then, everything the 19-year-old does is fast. Lodree placed 10th in the 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 60-meter hurdles at the 2004 NCAA indoor meet before bettering UW's 100-meter hurdles record in her first collegiate final just two weeks later. Lodree's wind-aided 13.43-second mark was well below the UW benchmark of 13.55 set by Robinson in 1994, and was the first of seven record-breaking runs for the UW freshman, who closed her rookie season with a wind-aided best of 13.39 at the Texas Relays, and a legal record of 13.41 seconds at the Drake Relays. Despite just missing an NCAA outdoor berth with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA West Regional, Lodree's efforts 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, and four hundredths of a second below the mark of 8.19 seconds she set in 2004 to lead all collegiate freshmen. 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 tied for the world lead in the hurdles for athletes under the age of 20.
2005 IAAF 60-Meter Hurdles Rankings (Under-20 Only)
Name, Country, Mark
1. Ashley Lodree, United States, 8.15
1. Yvonne Mensah, Canada, 8.15
3. Jospehine Onyia, Nigeria, 8.22
4. Monique Morgan, Jamaica, 8.24
5. Stephanie Lichtl, Germany, 8.26
6. Lucie Martinkova, Czech Republic, 8.27
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.
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 Husky 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 an NCAA Regional-qualfiying mark of 3:08.37 from last month's Stanford Invitational that is the nation's seventh-fastest, and is the second-fastest among West Region compettiors. While Williams, Jackson and relay newcomer Ryan Brown all hail from the Seattle area, having respectively attended Lake Washington and Juanita High Schools in Kirkland, and Renton High School in Renton, it takes a little longer to reach the hometown of the relay's fourth 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 placed eighth in the event at the NCAA indoor meet in 1998.
Island Fever: Don't be surprised if Seattle seems a little 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 significant international experience. Charles, who led all of his countrymen in the 400-meter hurdles in 2003 and 2004, crushed UW's indoor 800-meter record by nearly half a second in January, before seeing his mark broken two weeks later by teammate Ryan Brown. 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.
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. Since arriving at UW in 2001, Egerdahl has soared to third in school history in the mile, and to seventh in the 1,500 meters, with a best of 4:22.38. The senior also boasts a mark of 9:35.08 for 3,000 meters that ranks fourth indoors at UW, 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 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. So it was little surprise that a banged-up Vela, nursing an injury that had kept her from any serious running or jumping all week, dominated at the 2005 MPSF Championships, crushing the UW 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. Vela in 2004 was one of Canada's most prolific performers, earning top-10 national rankings in the heptathlon (sixth), long jump (seventh), 100-meter hurdles (ninth) and triple jump (ninth). The junior became UW's first NCAA Championships competitor in the heptathlon since Sonja Forster in 1994, while her season-best score of 5,225 points -- set in a fourth-place Pac-10 finish -- ranked second in UW history only to Forster's record of 5,266. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Vela moved to Toronto in 1995 with her family, before attending Division-II Lewis University in Chicago. Vela won five events at the 2003 Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships, and earned Division-II All-America honors in the 4x100-meter relay before transferring to Washington in 2004. The senior will earn her economics degree this spring, with plans to return to Zimbabwe and work to improve the nation's economic condition. When she does return, she will do so as the country's all-time top performer in the pentathlon and heptathlon, her personal bests in both events unmatched by any other woman in Zimbabwe's history.
Record Rookies: If the last three months are any indication, UW's Class of 2008 is one for the ages. Three UW freshmen earned All-America honors indoors in 2005, a feat just six had accomplished, indoors or out, since 1990.. Seattle's Norris Frederick capped an outstanding indoor season with a sixth-place finish in the long jump, tops by a Husky in the event since 1965, and is already qualified for the NCAA Regional meet in both the long and high jumps. Chehalis native Austin Abbott ran a strong opening leg in the distance medley relay en route to a fifth-place team finish at the national meet, and is the nation's seventh-fastest 800-meter competitor through the first few weeks of the outdoor season. Rounding out the All-American trio is Wenatchee native Amanda Miller, who broke her own UW 800-meter record at the NCAA meet with a time of 2:06.76, good for ninth place overall. The three have run rampant through UW's records all season, including Miller's indoor 800-meter record, and indoor marks by Frederick of 25-6 1/4 in the long jump and 7-0 1/4 in the high jump that each rank second all-time at UW. Abbott, too, clocked a UW freshman-record of 4:02.25 in the mile, and debuted fifth on UW's outdoor 800-meter list with a time of 1:48.57 at Stanford, currently the seventh-fastest time in the nation. Freshman Jordan Boase has gotten in on the action as well, running on both UW's NCAA-qualified 4x100-meter and 4x400-meter relays, helping the latter to the sixth-fastest mark in UW history.
Walker Wins U.S. Gold: While his former UW teammates were pursuing MPSF titles at Dempsey Indoor on the last weekend of February, former Husky All-American Brad Walker earned his first USA indoor title, clearing 18-6 1/2 to win the pole vault at the 2005 USA Indoor Championships in Boston. The victory bookended an outstanding indoor season for the Spokane native, who began the year with a victory in January at the prestigious National Pole Vault Summit, his mark of 19-1 1/2 the world's fifth-best in 2005. Walker has always been at his best indoors -- the 2004 UW alum won consecutive NCAA indoor titles in 2003 and 2004, with a best collegiate clearance of 19-0 1/2 that ranks sixth in NCAA history.
One More (Inter)national Crown: One week after Walker's U.S. title, former Husky Sabrina Monro kept the UW in the international track headlines with a victory at the 2005 NACAC Cross Country Championships in Clermont, Fla. The meet, which featured international teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean, marked the international debut for the former NCAA cross country runner-up, who completed her collegiate career in 2003.
And Don't Forget: Between Brad Walker's U.S. indoor pole vault title in February, and Sabrina Monro's win at the 2005 NACAC Cross Country Championships, it's been a good year to be a former Husky. Discus thrower Mat Schwinn has kept the UW's success rolling during the 2005 outdoor season, launching the discus a lifetime-best 199 feet, 1 inch at the Apr. 2 USATF Throws Series meet in Vancouver, Wash., third-best by an American this year and 14th in the current IAAF World Rankings. The 20th overall finisher in the discus at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, Schwinn has continued to train at UW since concluding his collegiate career in 2003 with a third-place finish at the Pac-10 meet, and a sixth-place effort at the NCAA West Regional. He will next compete at Mt. SAC on Apr. 17, before heading to San Diego Apr. 23
Parlez-Vous Francais?: Husky freshman Jeremy Mineau received a crash course in French at March's IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships. The Menlo Park, Calif., led Team USA to a seventh-place finish in the junior men's race in Saint Galmier, France, covering the 8,000-meter course in 27:10, fifth among U.S. competitors and 68th overall. Mineau, who in February clocked the fourth-fastest indoor 5,000-meter mark in UW history, was the first current Husky to compete at the World Championships since Laura Hodgson in 2003, and the first active Husky men's runner to do so since Christian Belz in 1993. Belz made his third-career appearance at the meet this year for his native Switzerland, placing 28th in the men's short race to lead all European finishers. Former Husky Courtney Inman also competed, placing 56th in the women's short race for Team Canada.
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.
Ridiculous Records: Washington's athletes kept the team's indoor record-keepers busy this season. Husky athletes combined for 19 marks among the team's top-10 all-time at February's MPSF Championships, and achieved a stunning 72 such marks this season, 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 complete list of the top-10 indoor marks set in 2005, see the box on page eight of this release.
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.
Historic Husky Stadium: When the weather warms up, Washington's track and field teams head outdoors to 72,500-seat Husky Stadium, the largest on-campus track and field facility in the Pac-10 Conference. On the shores of Lake Washington and with vistas of Mount Rainier, Husky Stadium provides competitors with a unique combination of world-class competition and breathtaking natural scenery. The facility has hosted some of the world's most prestigious meets, including the 1990 Goodwill Games, the 1971 NCAA Championships and the 1990 and 1997 Pacific-10 Conference Championships, and will be the site of four collegiate events in 2005, including the 98th running of the UW-WSU Dual. For more Husky Stadium history and records, visit the History/Records page at www.GoHuskies.com.
Dempsey Indoor: In only three full seasons, Washington's Dempsey Indoor has already earned a reputation as one of the nation's top indoor competition venues. The facility includes a permanent 307-meter MONDO track (six lanes on the straightaway, five on the oval) and a full 100-yard FieldTurf infield equipped to host the shot put, weight throw, long jump, triple jump, high jump and pole vault events. Dempsey Indoor has hosted 11 Olympians, witnessed 16 top-10 world marks, 13 UW indoor school records and hundreds of NCAA qualifying marks, and is the host site of the MPSF Championships. In addition to its competitive use, the building serves as an indoor practice facility for many UW teams.
Distance Dominance: Dempsey Indoor cemented its reputation as America's fastest indoor distance track at the Feb. 12 Husky Classic. Seven collegiate men and six collegiate women bested the NCAA automatic qualifying standard in the meet's 5,000-meter races, including an NCAA-leading mark by Wisconsin's Matt Tegenkamp. In fact, of the NCAA's 15 automatic men's qualifiers at 5K, nine achieved their mark on the Dempsey Indoor oval, as did six of the event's 10 automatic women's qualifiers. The facility's influence even extends to the 2005 IAAF World Rankings -- 16 of the 39 men's indoor 5,000 meter times ranked by the IAAF were achieved at one of UW's three home invitationals this season, including Tegenkamp's oversized-track world leader of 13:36.48.