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Pac-10's Elite Join Huskies, Northwest Rivals for 2003 UW Indoor Invitational
Release: 02/12/2003
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Feb. 12, 2003

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On the Track: Washington track and field opens the Dempsey Indoor doors this weekend to many of the Pac-10's top track and field athletes, as well as elite competitors from the Northwest region, in the 2003 UW Indoor Invitational. The meet, to be contested primarily Sat., Feb. 15, is the third of five indoor meets on the UW campus this season. A handful of events will be run Fri., Feb. 14, including the men's and women's distance medley relays at 8 p.m., and the women's 5,000-meter run at 8:35 p.m. Saturday's competition will begin with the women's weight throw at 9 a.m., with events on the track to commence with the women's 60-meter hurdles preliminary heats at 10 a.m. The last scheduled event is the men's 5,000-meter run, at 4:30 p.m.

The Field: The 18th-ranked Washington men's team will be one of four top-25 squads on display at the UW Indoor Invitational, which will include fourth-ranked Stanford, 15th-ranked Oregon, 17th-ranked USC, as well as athletes from Arizona State, Cal, Kentucky, Portland, Portland State, San Diego State, and many of the Northwest's top small-college programs. Highlighting the individual entries will be 2000 U.S. Olympian Michael Stember, one of just 13 Americans ever to break 1:47 for 800 meters indoors, as well as 2001 NCAA 5,000-meter champion Lauren Fleshman, of Stanford. For more information, including a complete list of entries, visit www.directathletics.com.

Event Schedule: Following is a schedule of events for Saturday's Husky Invitational. The distance medley relays will be conducted Friday night, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m., with the women's 5,000-meter run to follow at 8:35 p.m.

9:00 a.m. -- Weight Throw (W/M)
9:30 a.m. -- Long Jump (W/M)
10:00 a.m. -- Pole Vault (W/M)
10:00 a.m. -- High Jump (M/W)
10:30 a.m. -- 60m H Prelims (W)
10:50 a.m. -- 60m H Prelims (M)
11:10 a.m. -- 60m Dash Prelims (W)
11:30 a.m. -- 60m Dash Prelims (M)
11:45 p.m. -- Master's 60m Dash (M)
12:00 p.m. -- Mile (W)
12:20 p.m. -- Mile (M)
12:30 p.m. -- Shot Put (M/W)
12:30 p.m. -- Triple Jump (W/M)
12:35 p.m. -- 60m H Consol. Final (W)
12:40 p.m. -- 60m H Final (W)
12:50 p.m. -- 60m H Consol. Final (M)
1:05 p.m. -- 60m H Final (M)
1:20 p.m. -- 400m (W)
1:35 p.m. -- 400m (M)
1:55 p.m. -- 60m Dash Consol. Final (W)
2:00 p.m. -- 60m Dash Final (W)
2:05 p.m. -- 60m Dash Consol. Final (M)
2:10 p.m. -- 60m Dash Final (M)
2:20 p.m. -- 800m (W)
2:30 p.m. -- 800m (M)
2:40 p.m. -- 200m (W)
3:00 p.m. -- 200m (M)
3:20 p.m. -- 3000m (W)
3:35 p.m. -- 3000m (M)
3:50 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (W)
4:00 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (M)
4:30 p.m. -- 5000m (M)

Meet Results: Results will be posted periodically throughout the meet on a board at the south end of Dempsey Indoor. Following the conclusion of the meet, packets of results will be available at the finish line for coaches and meet officials only. Please allow 5-10 minutes following the conclusion of the final event for results to be processed and approved. Final results will be faxed to all local media and participating schools roughly 30 minutes following the conclusion of the meet, and will be posted to the official site of Husky athletics, www.gohuskies.com, within an hour. Any coach or SID wishing to have results e-mailed should send a special request to the UW Sports Information office at the e-mail address listed on the following page.

Huskies on the Airwaves: 'On Campus with the Huskies,' a half-hour program featuring Washington's Olympic sports teams, debuted this fall on Fox Sports Northwest. The weekly program, hosted by former Husky athlete Elise Woodward, features event highlights and profiles of Husky athletes and coaches. 'On Campus' airs each Thursdayat 6:30 p.m. PT.

Rankings Report: Washington's men's team is tied for 18th this week in the Trackwire 25 power rankings, which attempt to predict team scoring at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The Huskies received 10 points in the rankings, equaling the score given to Texas, Texas A&M and Manhattan, while Arkansas leapt over Louisiana State for the No. 1 spot with 49 points. Washington's women went unranked by Trackwire, which gave LSU top billing at 74 points. The Husky women were, however, listed at No. 25 in the U.S. Track Coaches' Association Dual Meet Power Rankings, which simulate dual-meet competition between the nation's elite college teams. Washington's point total of 229.67 was second among Pac-10 squads only to the 244.17 points of 13th-ranked Washington State. LSU claimed the top spot in the USTCA rankings as well, totaling 295.69 points, a performance matched by the school's top-ranked men's team, which scored 261.62 points in the USTCA rankings. Washington's men were 26th with a 215.08-point total.

Head Coach Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf enters his first year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross-country, and his sixth year overall at the University. In five seasons as a UW assistant, Metcalf guided the women's cross-country team to five-straight NCAA appearances, including a UW-best ninth-place finish in 1998. Metcalf has coached eight All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 57 NCAA qualifiers and 10 school-record setters. A 1993 graduate of Washington, Metcalf was a two-time All-American for the Huskies in the steeplechase.

Top Dawgs: Three seniors and one junior, distance runner Todd Arnold, were selected to be captains for the 2003 season by a vote of their teammates. Arnold, a Pac-10 qualifier at 1500 meters in 2002 will be joined by senior All-American Brad Walker, the 2002 NCAA runner-up in the pole vault, as captains on the men's side, while a pair of school-record holders - Kameko Gay in the hammer and Courtney Inman in the mile - will lead the women.

Dempsey Indoor Draws World's Best: If Washington's home indoor meets this season have seemed to shimmer in gold, it is likely due to the numerous current and former Olympians who have highlighted the fields at Dempsey Indoor. The Feb. 1 Husky Invitational featured four Olympic athletes, including former Husky and 2000 U.S. Olympian Ja'Warren Hooker, who set a facility record in the 60m dash with a blistering time of 6.63 seconds. Hooker was joined by fellow U.S. Olympians John Godina and Seilala Sua, and distance runner Bolota Asmeron, who competed in 2000 for his native Etruria. Godina, a two-time Olympic medalist, heaved the shot 65-6 3/4 in a winning effort, while Sua took the women's shot with a throw of 56-8, besting her own facility record. Asmeron, however, highlighted the competition, clocking the world's sixth-fastest indoor 3,000-meter time of the 2003 season with a mark of 7:49.68 which, at the time it was run, was the world's best this season. Hooker also ran at the Husky Indoor Preview, and fellow 2000 Olympian Michael Stember, a middle-distance star, will be on hand for this weekend's UW Indoor Invitational.

Resourceful Recruiting: Washington's coaches in 2003 have found a creative way to add numerous elite athletes to the squad without having to give up any scholarships - cull the most talented athletes from the UW's other sports. This season's Husky roster, therefore, features nine players from the Husky football team, one UW gymnast, and one better known for her exploits on the basketball court. Those to make the biggest impact so far in 2003 are the football players, two of whom lead the team in their events and one - sophomore safety James Sims - who is a Pac-10 qualifier in the triple jump. Freshman sprinter Shelton Sampson, a tailback, nearly defeated defending Pac-10 100m champion Anson Henry in his track debut, trailing the former Cougar by just .09 seconds in the 60m final at the Husky Indoor Preview. Those two are joined on the UW roster by wide receivers Reggie Williams and Matt Williams, cornerbacks Roc Alexander and Derrick Johnson, tailback Chris Singleton and linebacker Will Conwell. This spring, former Husky basketball player Heather Reichmann will seek a fourth-career top-10 Pac-10 finish in the javelin, and redshirt freshman gymnast Carly Dockendorf - who as a guest last season posted a mark of 12-2 in the pole vault that, if duplicated, would rank third in school history - will make her debut.

You Might Recall: While the 11 athletes on the roster from sports other than track or cross-country are more than Washington has had in recent years, the practice of mining athletic talent from other UW programs has unearthed countless gems for the Husky track and field squad in the past. In fact, a glance at Washington's career top-10 charts reveals numerous outstanding two-sport 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. Other names which highlight 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. 5, 400m) and Tony Parrish (No. 5, triple jump). That's not to say that multi-sport success is limited just to the football team. Former UW All-American volleyball star Makare Desilets boasts the school's fifth-best high jump mark, while basketball standout Tara Davis is the school-record holder in the triple jump, and ranks second all-time in the long jump. And, of course, current Husky and former hoopster Heather Reichmann is the school's all-time record-holder in the javelin (new implement). This list doesn't even include Huskies Herman Brix and Paul Jessup, who starred for Washington's football teams in the 1920s before establishing world records in the shot put and discus, respectively.

Palo Alto, Here We Come: Washington's best have wasted no time in 2003, with 11 Husky athletes combining for 12 Pac-10 qualifying marks through the season's first two competitions. Last year, Washington boasted 40 Pac-10 qualifiers, two of whom - pole vaulter Brad Walker and steepler Mike Hill - left Pullman, Wash., with conference titles. Now a senior, Walker placed himself back on the list with a mark of 17-8 1/2 at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev. The Pac-10 appearance would be the fourth in as many years for Walker, who in addition to his championship in 2002 was also a top-10 finisher in 2000. Senior Courtney Inman has already notched qualifying marks in both the 800-meter run and the mile; the indoor school-record holder in both events earned top-10 finishes in both the 800- and 1,500-meter events at last year's conference meet. The women's shot put in Palo Alto will be loaded with purple and gold, as senior Kameko Gay (43-11 1/4), sophomore Mary Beeman (44-9 1/2) amd redshirt freshman Cherron Davis (44-9) have all bettered the conference standard. Davis won't be the only UW freshman at the Pac-10 meet, however, as true freshman Ryan Brown ran 1:51.41 for 800m in just the second race of his UW career, at February's Husky Invitational. Sophomore pole vaulter Kate Soma posted a Pac-10 qualifying mark for the second-straight year, clearing 12-11 1/2 to equal the indoor school record at the Pole Vault Summit. A pair of Husky triple jumpers - sophomore James Sims (48-4 3/4) and junior Brittiny Roberts (40-0) - also bested the qualifying standard, as did sophomore miler Lindsey Egerdahl (4:55.12) and senior 5,000-meter ace Kate Bradshaw (17:21.23), the conference's 10,000-meter champ in 2000. Pac-10 teams are allowed to bring a maximum of 24 athletes to the conference championships, and in addition may place one athlete in each event for which the school has no qualifier. Thus, some athletes who post qualifying marks over the course of the season may not make the trip to Palo Alto, while other athletes not on the qualifying list may be entered in certain events.

International Blend: In addition to athletes from other sports on the track and field squad this year, the 2003 roster features several individuals from outside the United States. Most prominent among them is senior Courtney Inman, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, who last year placed 10th in the 1500m at the NCAA Championships. Not surprisingly, Canada is the foreign nation with the most athletes on the UW roster, including Inman, freshman Gaelle Banini (Richmond, B.C.), redshirt freshman pole vaulter Carly Dockendorf (Port Moody, B.C.) and sophomore thrower Jeff Wallis (Duncan, B.C.). For Banini, however, Canada is just the most recent nation of residence. The freshman was born in Cameroon, Africa, where her father still resides, moved to France in 1987, and finally settled in Canada in 1994. Joining the Canadian quartet is freshman Vinh Chung, who will rack up plenty of frequent flyer miles while traveling between Seattle and his hometown of Hamilton, New Zealand, as well as freshman Mike Sayenko, born in the Ukraine, and senior Elena Popovskaya, a native of Russia.

'Note' Worthy: Team-leading weight competitor Brendan Tuohy is doing his best to debunk the stereotype of the oafish thrower. The junior, whose mark of 50-0 3/4 at the Husky Invitational leads all UW competitors in 2003, is majoring in music at the UW and boasts a fine tenor voice. When not performing in the throwing circle, Tuohy can be heard performing such works as Bach's Oratorio for the UW School of Music, and in performances with the Tacoma Opera and the UW Chambersingers. Tuohy plans on continuing his musical education upon earning his degree in the spring of 2004.

Rewriting the Record Books: If the Huskies don't stop soon, they may render the indoor school records section of the 2003 UW Track and Field Media Guide completely obsolete. At the Feb. 1 Husky Invitational alone, Husky athletes posted 14 marks that rank among Washington's top-10 all-time, adding to the nine such marks achieved at the season-opening Husky Indoor Preview meet in January. Included among the top-10 marks are a pair of school records, in the 800 meters by Courtney Inman and in the men's distance medley relay. Inman, who already boasts Washington's indoor mile record, added the half-mile to her collection with a mark of 2:10.56 at the Preview meet, bettering the previous record of 2:11.06 (converted from 880 yards) set by Sarah Bolender in 1987. While Inman, one of the top middle-distance runners in school history, surprised few with her record mark, the Huskies' distance medley relay squad caught many off-guard with a time of 9:44.97 at the Husky Invitational that was nearly eight seconds better than the previous UW best. Washington had gone since 1996 without breaking 10 minutes in the DMR before senior Jeremy Park, sophomore Sean Williams and juniors Todd Arnold and Eric Garner teamed up for the record time on Jan. 31. Perhaps even more stunning than bettering the previous indoor record by eight seconds is that the quartet's mark was 21 seconds faster than the UW's best in 2002. Williams had a hand in two of the UW's 14 top-10 marks at the Husky Invite, running the second leg of the team's 4x400m relay squad, whose time of 3:12.42 was fifth-best all-time. Of the remaining marks, three rank among the top-three in UW history, including freshman Ryan Brown's mark of 1:51.41 in the 800m (No. 3 all-time), junior Brittiny Roberts' mark of 40'-0" in the triple jump (No. 3) and junior Alexis Jaime's mark of 12-1 1/2 in the pole vault. (No . 3)

Freshmen to Watch: While Washington returns 19 of its 27 Pac-10 competitors from the 2002 season, expect to see several first-year athletes make a run at the top of the performance lists. Leading the charge will be a pair of freshman sprinters - Brynne Steward and Shelton Sampson. Steward, the 100m hurdles champion at the 2000 USATF Junior Nationals, won her debut race in the 60m hurdles at January's Husky Indoor Preview, and ranks second on the squad at 60m. Sampson, meanwhile, clocked a time of 6.84 for 60m in his debut at the same meet, just .03 seconds off the school's 10th-fastest mark all time. Two Husky freshman already boast Pac-10 qualifying marks, with middle-distance runner Ryan Brown leading the charge. Brown ran 1:51.41 for 800m at the Husky Invitational in February - the third-fastest indoor 800m mark in school history - and ran the third leg of the team's 4x400m relay squad whose time of 3:12.42 was fifth-fastest in UW history and just two seconds off the NCAA provisional standard. Joining Brown at the conference meet will be redshirt freshman Cherron Davis, who became one of three UW women to qualify in the shot put with a throw of 44-9 at the Husky Invitational. Also expected to make an impact are sprinter Lauran Dignam - a nine-time prep state champion in Hawaii - and distance runners Gaelle Banini, Laura Hodgson, Noelani Kaneko and Alison Tubbs, the latter the national prep leader during the 2000 cross-country season. In the field events, expect to see pole vaulter Eric Dormaier - a prep teammate of two-time All-American vaulter Brad Walker - and prep All-American Tiffany Zahn, a spear specialist, near the top of the charts.

Dempsey Indoor: The 80,000-square foot home of Husky indoor track opened in September of 2001 to rave reviews. 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. Already in 2003, Dempsey Indoor has already played host to four former Olympians, and witnesseded three top-10 world marks, one top all-time U.S. mark (though not officially a record), two UW indoor school records and dozens of NCAA-qualifying marks. In its debut season, the facility played host to six collegiate meets, including the UW Last Chance Qualifier on Mar. 2, which featured three indoor school records and 48 NCAA qualifying performances. In addition to its competitive use, the building is utilized as an indoor practice facility for Washington's football, softball, baseball and men's and women's soccer teams, and is considered one of the premier indoor facilities on the West Coast. The facility is named for California businessman Neal Dempsey, a 1964 Washington graduate. Dempsey and his wife, Janet, made the largest individual contribution ever to the University in January of 2001. The Dempseys announced a gift of $10 million to be split between the School of Business' "Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation" and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Washington's 2003 NCAA Championships Competitors

Courtney Inman
Mile
Senior, Abbotsford, B.C. (W.J. Mouat)

Boasts a provisional-qualifying mark of 4:45.78 in the mile that is tied for 11th in the nation in 2002.

Clocked the provisional-qualifying time in a victory at the 2003 Husky Invitational on Feb. 1.

Nearly eclipsed own school record of 4:45.40, set at the 2002 UW Indoor Qualifier at Dempsey Indoor.

Placed 10th in the 1,500 meters at the 2002 NCAA Championships, posting a preliminary time of 4:17.53 that was three seconds faster than her previous best, and was the second-fastest time in UW history.

A top-10 finisher in both the 800m and 1,500m events at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships.

Was a double NCAA qualifier in 2002, with a provisional mark of 2:06.46 in the 800m that was less than fourth tenths of a second out of the 18th and final spot in the NCAA Championships field.

Career-best mark of 2:06.46 for 800m is just seven tenths shy of Sarah Bolender's all-time school record of 2:05.73.

Placed 14th in the mile run at the 2002 NCAA Indoor Championships in 4:46.83.

Kate Soma
Pole Vault
Sophomore, Portland, Ore. (Grant)

Cleared 12-11 1/2 at the Jan. 17 Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev., equaling her own indoor school record and bettering the NCAA's provisional qualifying standard.

Provisional mark of 12-11 1/2 is tied for 15th in the nation in 2003.

As a true freshman in 2002, shattered Washington's indoor and outdoor pole vault records.

Indoor mark of 12-11 1/2 broke by nearly a foot the record of 12-0 3/4 set by MerryJane Bendico in 2000.

Became Washington's all-time outdoor pole vault record holder in 2002 with a provisional-qualifying vault of 13-1 1/2 at the Oregon Dual that tied for 18th in the nation.

Won the pole vault at the 2001 Junior Olympics in Eugene, Ore.

Brad Walker
Pole Vault
Senior, Spokane, Wash. (University)

Cleared 17-8 1/2 at the Jan. 17 Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev., bettering the NCAA provisional qualifying standard.

Season-best indoor mark of 17-8 1/2 is tied for second in the nation in 2003.

Is the top-returning collegiate pole vaulter in America after capping an outstanding 2002 season with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships.

Earned second All-America honor with a vault of 18-2 1/2 at the NCAA Championships, at the time a school record.

Shattered own school record with a vault of 18-6 to earn a sixth-place finish at the U.S. Senior Nationals.

Earlier in the season, broke Garth Willard's 10-year-old school record of 18-0 1/2 with a vault of 18-1, at the May 4 dual meet with Washington State in Pullman.

Earned first Pac-10 title on May 18, also in Pullman, with a vault of 18-0 1/2, routing the field by a full five inches.

Was named Pac-10 Field Athlete of the Week on May 7.

Had offseason surgery in 2001 to repair a stress fracture in his foot suffered sometime during the 2001 season.

Despite the fracture, tied for 12th at the 2001 NCAA Outdoor Track Championships in Eugene, Ore. with a vault of 16-10 3/4.

Earned 2001 Indoor All-American honors by placing seventh with a personal-best vault of 17-11 3/4 at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, three inches better than his previous best.

Indoor vault PR shattered the school record of 17-10 held for 22 years by Steve Cravetz.

Jeremy Park, Sean Williams, Todd Arnold, Eric Garner
Distance Medley Relay

Bested NCAA provisional qualifying standard with a time of 9:44.97 at the Jan. 31 Husky Invitational.

Provisional-qualifying time currently ranks ninth in the nation in 2003.

Shattered the school record of 9:52.65, set in 1996, by nearly eight seconds.

Relay featured Park (1,200m), Williams (400m), Arnold (800m) and Garner (mile), who competed together in a relay for the first time in the record race.

Garner, who ran the anchor (mile) leg of the relay, is the school's indoor record holder in his event with a PR of 3:58.93.

Mark was 21 seconds faster than team's 2002 season-best, and was just the third time in school history that a UW DMR team broke the 10-minute mark.

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