Feb. 16, 2008
SEATTLE - Sophomore Katie Follett shattered the Washington mile school-record at today's Husky Classic, running a stunning 4:37.22 that is the fastest in the NCAA this year coming into the weekend and 12th fastest by an American runner at any level. The run highlighted a huge day at the Dempsey Indoor facility, during which over 100 collegiate athletes headed home with NCAA qualifying marks.
More than a dozen Top-25 track and field squads were represented Saturday, and the loaded field resulted in four facility records, 14 NCAA automatic qualifying marks, and 98 NCAA provisional marks. A whopping 11 new marks found their way onto the UW Top-10 lists as well.
In the women's mile, Follett trailed 15 meters behind Stanford All-American Arianna Lambie with less than a lap to go before kicking mightily and passing Lambie down the stretch. Follett's time is a full three seconds faster than the previous UW record, set by Courtney Inman in 2003 with a time of 4:40.24.
Not to be overlooked was senior Amanda Miller, who posted an automatic qualifying time of 4:39.93 in the mile as well. Miller already posted a provisional time in the 800-meters that ranks sixth in the NCAA as of two weeks ago. It is the first time in history that two Huskies have posted NCAA auto marks in the same race.
"Katie Follett was sensational today," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "To run that well against that field, and to track down and pass a runner of Lamie's caliber, just shows that the sky is the limit for what Katie can accomplish. It was simply one of the best runs in Husky history. And Amanda Miller just continues to excel every time out as well. It was a thrilling race to watch."
All told, the women's mile produced five NCAA Automatic times, four by college athletes, and given that the NCAA Championships invite 16 competitors, one quarter of the NCAA field was determined at the Dempsey today.
The pole vault witnessed some excellent performances from current and former Huskies. Senior Kelley DiVesta turned in a career-best pole vault of 13' 8 ¼", which puts her in fourth place nationally this year. On the men's side, sophomore Scott Roth made his long-awaited 2008 debut, and promptly made an NCAA provisional clearance of 17' 1". Former Husky and 2005 NCAA Champ Kate (Soma) Conwell tied her career best vault of 14' 2", a height that places her seventh in the U.S. in 2008.
Standout Husky distance runner Jake Schmitt was one of a number of provisional qualifiers in the men's 5K. Schmitt made his run in 14:04.40, third-best all-time at Washington.
"We like where we're at right now, but it's getting close to crunch time when everyone needs to give their best efforts to put together the strongest NCAA group we can," Metcalf said. "It was great to see Scott turning in a strong first vault, and Jake was very solid as well.
Former Husky and two-time NCAA 800-meter Champion Ryan Brown was back competing for Asics, and Brown won the 800 in a terrific time of 1:47.94. That time is the fastest this year by an American.
Four Dempsey facility records went down on Saturday. Washington State's Ebba Jungmark eclipsed the old women's high jump record, clearing 6' 1 ½", a top-five NCAA clearance this year. The men's 200-meter record, which had stood since 2003, was broken by Chris Dykes of Texas A&M. Dykes ran 20.97.
The two men's throws facility records were also erased. Russ Winger of Idaho overtook former Olympic Silver Medalist John Godina's shotput record, throwing 66' 6 ½". In the weight throw, James Parker of Team XO broke a five-year old record with a 76' 5 ½" throw.
The Huskies now have a week off to prepare to host the MPSF Championships, from Feb. 29 through March 1. The Husky men are the two-time defending MPSF Champions.