Jan. 26, 2007
SEATTLE - Washington's men's and women's distance medley relays kicked the two-day UW Indoor Invitational off in style Friday night, each posting NCAA qualifying marks and clocking times among the 10-fastest in UW history. The two-day meet, featuring dozens of elite collegiate teams, as well as current and former U.S. Olympians, continues all day Saturday at Dempsey Indoor.
While Husky fans will have to wait until Saturday for the much-anticipated appearances by reigning Olympic 400-meter gold medalist Darrold Williamson and current world No. 1 pole vaulter Brad Walker, plenty were on hand at Dempsey on Friday for the night's marquee event, the distance medley relay.
Running in a loaded field including two relays currently ranked among the top-10 in the nation by Trackwire magazine, the Husky women more than held their own. Junior All-American Amanda Miller and senior Kinyatta Leonhardt kept pace with No. 5 Baylor's Nichole Jones and Lauren Tillman through the first two legs, before sophomore Dani Schuster and junior All-American Amy Lia closed the race with oustanding runs of their own. Washington's finish time of 11 minutes, 24.45 seconds was good for second in the race and third all-time in UW history, just over one second shy of the school record of 11:23.12 set in 2004.
Perhaps inspired by their female counterparts, the Huskies' men's DMR followed suit with an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark and an all-time top-10 effort of their own. The foursome of All-American Austin Abbott, junior Kyle Still, freshman Brian Govier and All-American Carl Moe -- running together for the first time in competition -- finished fifth overall in 9:43.40, sixth-best ever at UW. Both Abbott and Moe ran on UW's DMR at last year's NCAA Championships, leading the team to a second-straight fifth-place national finish.
Non-Huskies also made waves on day one, with former ASU All-American Victoria Jackson winning the 5,000 meters in 15:57.18, one of the fastest times in the world this year, and Hawaii's Annette Wichmann taking the women's pentathlon with 4,039 points.
The Dempsey will certainly be rocking Saturday as numerous top-25 teams and Olympic-level athletes converge for what has become one of the Northwest's largest annual indoor meets. More than 1,000 athletes representing over 100 colleges, clubs and professional organizations will compete Saturday, including the aforementioned Williamson and Walker, and several other 2008 Olympic hopefuls.
To view heat sheets for Saturday's events, or for full results from Friday's action, visit www.gohuskies.com.