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Huskies Compete With Elites At Mt. SAC Relays
Release: 04/13/2011
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April 13, 2011

April 14-16 - Walnut, Calif.
Hilmer Lodge Stadium


  • Alaka Wins Pac-10 Athlete Of The Week Honors

    ON THE TRACK: A large contingent of Huskies is off to Walnut, California this week for the annual Mt. SAC Relays, one of the nation's largest and most prestigious outdoor meets, attracting dozens of elite professionals along with top college competitors and on down to hundreds of high school athletes. Held at the Hilmer Lodge Stadium, the event kicks off Thursday evening and will feature strong fields in every event area for the Dawgs to play in.

    Kicking off the week, however, will be the multi-event group, competing in the California Invitational/Mt. SAC Relays Decathlon and Heptathlon, hosted by Azusa Pacific at the Cougar Athletic Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday. Junior All-American Jeremy Taiwo will be competing in his first decathlon of the season in the top flight, alongside a number of familiar faces that he just went up against at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Freshman Kale Schmidt will go in his first college decathlon and senior Andrew Ferleman looks to start strong as well. In the women's heptathlon, look for sophomore Sarah Schireman to chase a PR and freshman Shelby Williams to get her feet wet.

    Returning to the main meet, Thursday's action will be limited to the track, and several heats of the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 10,000-meter runs will be contested. UW has a number of entries in the steeple, including multiple All-American Mel Lawrence, who could be competing this week for the first time since the NCAA Cross Country Championships in the fall. Freshman Mackenzie Carter is also slated to steeple Thursday for the women, and on the men's side, sophomore Michael Miller will look to build on a strong first steeple just last week in Eugene, and will be joined by freshman Aaron Beattie, a newcomer to the event, and veteran Greg Drosky.

    Friday on the track features a wide range of events with 200m and 400m dashes plus 1,500m and 5,000m top sections, and short and long hurdle races. There will be a lot to watch on Friday, but the race of the day could be the invitational section of the men's 1,500-meters, which features sophomore James Cameron in a massively talented field that features American record-holders Matt Tegenkamp and Chris Solinsky and a number of current and former NCAA Champions.

    In the evening, senior Colton Tully-Doyle will run his first 5k since posting the No. 2 time in school history at the Stanford Invitational. Junior Ryan Hamilton will line up at both 100- and 200-meters on Friday, and freshman Maurice McNeal looks to impress in the 400-meters. Ranked in the top-50 in the West region, junior Ryan Styrk will look to break 1:50 in the 800-meters leading four Huskies. Sophomore Joey Bywater is also in the fast heat of the open 1,500-meters and could be in store for a season-best.

    Highlights on the track for the women on Friday will be senior Dominique Lauderdale in the open 200-meter dash as the Bakersfield native runs in front of friends and family. Junior Jordan Carlson looks to break 55-seconds in the 400-meters, and sophomore Justine Johnson looks to improve her national standing at 1,500-meters.

    In the women's 5k, freshmen Katie Flood and Megan Goethals are entered in a loaded heat that should easily produce some sub-16-minute times if conditions are favorable. Flood posted the fourth-best 1,500-meter time in the NCAA thus far just last week in Oregon, and Goethals already ranks No. 2 nationally in the 5k from the Stanford Invite with a UW freshman record time of 16:06.64. Also entered is Lawrence, who could focus on the 5k if she does not run the steeple on Thursday. In the Elite Invitational 5k, former Husky and current volunteer assistant Katie Follett will make her 2011 track debut against some of the top U.S. distance runners including American record-holders Jenny Barringer and Molly Huddle.

    Washington's javelin army will be the highlight of the Friday field events. Newly minted school record-holder Amanda Peterson looks for a strong encore performance in a talented women's field, and All-Americans Kyle Nielsen and Joe Zimmerman will also look to go big along with sophomore Jimmy Brookman, coming off a PR throw last week at Oregon.

    More Huskies to watch on Friday include Kelly McNamee in the high jump, Logan Miller in the pole vault, Taylor Nichols and Shaniae Lakes in the triple jump, and Elisa Bryant in the hammer throw.

    For the men, Scott Roth has some elite professional pole vaulters to contend with in Friday's Elite Invitational section. A.J. Maricich will high jump and Kasen Covington and Clayton Johnson will triple jump towards season-bests.

    Saturday will be a big day for sophomore James Alaka. The reigning Pac-10 Men's Track Athlete of the Week is the only collegiate sprinter entered in the invitational section of the 100-meter dash. The field includes Mike Rodgers, the 2009 U.S. Outdoor Champion at 100-meters. Alaka also is slated to run in the invitational section of the 200-meters, and also run a leg of UW's 4x100-meter relay which took the title at the Pepsi Team Invite last week.

    Also Saturday, current volunteer assistant and UW All-American Falesha Ankton competes for Brooks in the 100-meter hurdles. And one of the final field competitors Saturday will be junior Angus Taylor, currently ranked 25th in the West in the hammer throw.

    HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The Husky women made an impressive jump in the week two rankings produced by the USTFCCCA. Bolstered by the school record from Amanda Peterson in the javelin and a top-five national mark from Katie Flood in the 1,500-meters, the women climbed 12 spots to a season-best No. 20 ranking. The men slipped a few spots to No. 31 after being ranked 21st in the preseason. Most of the rankings data is still carried over from the 2010 season. Early additions for the men are Colton Tully-Doyle and James Cameron, who are both ranked in the Top-10 thus far in the 5k. The men return all of their point scorers from the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships at which they finished 15th. The men are also receiving a large chunk of points from Scott Roth, who ranks second in the pole vault after opening at 18-0 1/2 at the Pepsi Team Invite. Based on last year's season-bests, Kyle Nielsen ranks eighth and Joe Zimmerman 23rd in the javelin, but the two went three-four at NCAAs last year, stepping up in the clutch, and Zimmerman had a bigger PR over the summer at the Junior World Championships. The women have added sizeable points so far thanks to Megan Goethals in the 5,000-meters as she ranks second nationally, and Lindsay Flanagan who is 15th in the 10k. Preseason points come from sophomore Christine Babcock and junior Elisa Bryant who were NCAA qualifiers in 2009 but redshirted last season. Junior Mel Lawrence is ranked in the Top-10 in both the 5,000m and 3,000m steeplechase and senior Brooke Pighin is 11th in the javelin but both of them are coming off injuries.

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