March 31, 2010
ON THE TRACK: In this case it's only "on the field" as the Husky throwers will generate the headlines this week at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas. After letting the sprinters and distance runners do their thing at Stanford last weekend, Washington's top throwers will open their season this week.
The first Huskies to see action will be hammer throwers Zack Midles and Angus Taylor on Thursday, April 1. Midles, now in his senior season, is looking to improve on a 13th-place finish from the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the hammer, which netted him his first career All-America honor. Taylor was a Regional qualifier as a freshman last season and this year will hold goals of scoring at the Pac-10 meet and reaching the NCAA Championships in Eugene. Midles ranks fourth on UW's all-time hammer list while Taylor is 10th. The competition is set to start at 1:30 p.m. Pacific time.
Next up will be a trio of javelin standouts, competing on Saturday, April 3. Kyle Nielsen and Brooke Pighin, both All-Americans last season, will throw, as will freshman Joe Zimmerman of Spokane, who was the 2009 Washington State 4A Champion. Nielsen, now a junior, was sixth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last season, while Pighin, also entering her junior year and second at UW, was seventh at NCAAs on the women's side. The women's javelin begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with the men at 11:30 a.m.
LAST TIME OUT: Washington kicked off the outdoor season at the Stanford Invitational last weekend. It didn't take long for a number of Husky athletes to place their names near the top of the national descending order lists. Senior Katie Follett, just two weeks removed from a runner-up finish in the mile at NCAA Indoors, ran to a second-place finish in the 1,500-meters, with a new PR of 4:15.04 that ranks second nationally early this season. In the same heat, steeplechase All-American Mel Lawrence dropped down to 1,500-meters and cut three seconds off her PR, running 4:21.89. Senior Kailey Campbell also made her 2010 debut in 4:20.82. Both times will likely qualify Campbell and Lawrence for the NCAA Championship prelims, but there's a long ways to go before that top-48 takes shape. In one of the last events of the night, senior Jake Schmitt dipped under 29-minutes in the 10,000-meters for the third time in his career, placing 10th in 28:56.21, just off his PR. Junior Jordan Swarthout also had a great race in his first 10k on the track, running 29:27.88, that was just a few hundredths of a second short of 10th on the UW top-10 list. Freshman sprinter James Alaka made an impressive outdoor debut, taking third in the 100-meter dash in a time of 10.63 seconds. He ran the same time in the prelims as well. Alaka was the highest-finishing collegiate competitor. Sophomore Ryan Hamilton took seventh in the final though his best time came in the prelims where he ran 10.89. The final day of action was highlighted by senior Falesha Ankton in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles, as she clocked 13.65 seconds to take third overall in a time that would have been well under the old Regional qualifying marks.
2010 INDOOR IN REVIEW: Another indoor track season is in the books, with Washington serving once again as a focal point for the entire sport with the series of meets at the Dempsey Indoor. But the story of UW's indoor campaign begins with junior pole vaulter Scott Roth, who captured the first individual NCAA track title for the Huskies since 2007. Roth was undefeated all season, and turned in the best clearance by an American man this year when he cleared 18-9 1/4 to win the MPSF Championships. Roth won his first national title at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas with a clearance of 18-4 1/4. His was one of three All-America honors achieved by the four Huskies that made it to Fayetteville. Senior Katie Follett had her best showing ever at a national meet, placing second in the mile run to earn her fourth indoor All-America honor. Sophomore Mel Lawrence was ninth in the 3,000-meter run to earn her first indoor honor. Junior Colton Tully-Doyle was one spot away from his first All-America award, as he took 12th in the 5,000-meter run. Roth's ten points helped the Husky men tie for 20th overall at NCAAs, while the women were in a tie for 28th. Follett and Tully-Doyle were the two record-setters indoors for the Dawgs. Follett smashed her own record in the mile, running 4:34.98 at the Husky Classic, while Tully-Doyle broke the school's 5k mark with a time of 13:48.86. All told, there were 26 new marks written into the UW indoor Top-10 list, and impressively, freshmen accounted for nine of them. The Dempsey again sent dozens if not hundreds of athletes to the NCAA Championships, as it dominated the descending order lists for every event from the mile to 5,000-meters. Looking at the Top-10 marks in the mile, 3,000m, and 5,000m, 20 of the 30 best times came from the Dempsey on the men's side, while 14 of the top-30 times on the women's side were posted on the Dempsey oval. At the MPSF Championships, the indoor conference meet for UW and many other Pac-10 squads, the Husky men took ninth while the women placed eighth. Roth won the pole vault title while Lawrence captured the 3k.