May 7, 2009
ON THE TRACK: The final home meet of the 2009 Washington track season is just around the corner, as the Huskies and Seattle Pacific co-host the Ken Shannon-Ken Foreman Invitational this Friday evening at Husky Stadium.
Washington's annual outdoor finale was named in honor of former head coach Ken Shannon in 2002. Last season, UW agreed to join the meet with SPU's annual Ken Foreman Invite, named after its own legendary former coach. In addition to being the final home meet of the season, this is also the final regular season meet of the year, as the Pac-10 Championships are just over a week away, held in Eugene, Ore. on May 16-17.
The start time of the meet has been moved up half an hour this week, and now begins at 3 p.m. with the women's discus and women's pole vault, while the first track event, the women's steeplechase, goes off at 4:15 p.m. The evening's final event, the men's 4x400m relay, is slated to begin at 8:20 p.m. Admission is free for all fans.
This year's Shannon-Foreman meet will feature mostly Northwest student-athletes, with teams from Central Washington, Eastern Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, Portland State, UPS, Pacific Lutheran, and Seattle U. joining the Huskies and Falcons.
With Pac-10's on the horizon, many Huskies expected to compete in Eugene will be resting up this weekend, however several Regional qualifiers are still scheduled to compete on Friday. Senior Austin Abbott is slated to run the 800-meters in what would be his final home appearance as a Husky. Expect Abbott to shoot for a PR in his final run and also to work with junior Brian Govier and freshman Ryan Soberanis to try and get the two to Regionals.
All five of UW's Regional pole vault qualifiers are expected to compete, including seniors Jared O'Connor, Andrea Peterson, and Lara Jones in their farewell home competitions. Junior Ryan Vu will also be looking to build off his huge day last weekend against the Cougars, when he raised his PR by a foot, clearing 17-6 ½.
In the sprints, UW's main 4x100m women's relay will take another shot at the Regional mark. Falesha Ankton, Dominique Lauderdale, Jordan Carlson, and Bianca Greene ran 45.95 last week to beat the Cougars, a season-best and 0.25 seconds off a Regional mark. Junior Syreeta Martin will also try and improve on a big season-best ran last week in the 400m hurdles.
Washington will enter a large group in the men's 1,500-meter run, including Chris Ahl, Kelly Spady, Colton Tully-Doyle, Faisal Abdullahi, David McCary and Cameron Quackenbush, to compete alongside former stars Eric Garner and Mike Sayenko.
Two Huskies within spitting distance of Regional marks will be in action in the throws, as Peter Follmer tosses the discus and David Nyland throws the javelin along with Zach Woods who PR'd last week. Regional qualifier Angus Taylor will take part in the hammer throw tomorrow afternoon in West Seattle as well.
Ken Shannon HISTORY: Washington renamed its annual spring invitational in 2002 to honor former head coach Ken Shannon, the second-longest tenured coach in University of Washington history. In 29 years as head coach of Washington men's track and field team, from 1968-97, Shannon guided the Huskies to seven top-12 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including a best of sixth in 1972. Under Shannon's tutelage, Husky athletes combined to earn 81 All-America certificates, 38 Pac-10 titles, and 18 NCAA championships, while setting 10 NCAA records. After stepping down as Washington's head coach following the 1997 season, Shannon remained on staff as the UW's throws coach, mentoring seven more All-Americans over the next four years, including 2000 U.S. Olympian Aretha Hill, before retiring for good in 2001.
MULTI-TALENTED DAWGS LEAD OFF PAC-10'S: Washington will look to get a leg up in the Pac-10 Championships this weekend as the Pac-10 Multi-Events take place at Oregon's Hayward Field this Saturday and Sunday. Freshman Jeremy Taiwo and sophomore Andrew Ferleman will represent the men while senior Liz Fuller will look to pick up some points for the Husky women. None of the three have completed a multi outdoors this season, however Taiwo placed 12th in the indoor heptathlon at NCAA's, earning All-America honors and Fuller looked strong in the UW-WSU dual last week so both should be looking to score some points and potentially an NCAA qualifier. Multi-event results can be tracked online at www.goducks.com.