Jan. 14, 2006
SEATTLE - Olympians and NCAA Champions highlighted the fields Saturday at the UW Indoor Preview track and field meet at Seattle's Dempsey Indoor, but it was Washington's track and field teams which came away happiest, combining for seven victories and three NCAA Championships qualifying marks in the Huskies' 2006 season-opener.
The meet is the first of eight to be held this season at UW's Dempsey Indoor facility, considered one of the premier indoor track and field venues in the western United States.
The Dempsey's reputation drew a stellar field Saturday for what in the past has typically been a low-key meet to ease the UW's teams into the coming track season. No so on Saturday, as athletes from Washington and other West Coast colleges found themselves competing against some of the world's elite athletes, including 2004 Olympic silver medalist Toby Stevenson and U.S. Olympic hurdler Jenny Adams, two of seven former Olympians in the UW Indoor Preview field.
Husky junior McKane Lee was among those unfazed by the stars in attendance, placing third in the pole vault behind former Husky and current world No. 1 Brad Walker and Stevenson, and ahead of two-time NCAA pole vault champion Tommy Skipper of Oregon. Lee's clearance of 17 feet, 4 ½ inches was the sixth-best in Washington history, and nearly four inches beyond the NCAA's provisional-qualifying standard.
Sophomore Norris Frederick also put his name on the NCAA `s provisional-qualifying list with a winning mark of 24-5 ¾ in the long jump, while simultaneously competing in the high jump on an adjacent pit. An NCAA Championships competitor in both events in 2005, and an All-American in the long jump, Frederick took second in the high jump, his best of 6-10 ¾ just one-half inch shy of his UW career-best.
Junior Ashley Lodree completed the UW's NCAA-qualifying trifecta, her winning time of 7.44 seconds in the 60-meter dash equal to the second-fastest mark in UW history. Redshirt freshman Liz Fuller also cracked UW's top-10, clearing 5-7 in the high jump to tie for seventh all-time, while sophomore Kelley DiVesta (12-5 ½) and senior Myrriah Swango (11-11 ¾) moved to sixth and seventh, respectively, on UW's all-time list in the pole vault.
"I thought that for as good as some folks looked today, we left a lot out there on the track," said fourth-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "But these are the first real races most of these folks have had in at least six or seven months, and we held a few folks back. We'll have a full arsenal going at our UW Invitational in two weeks, though, and I expect to see some big marks."
Washington's teams will return to the track en force in two weeks, hosting the UW Invitational on Jan. 27-28, and the UW Open #2 Jan. 29. For complete results, visit www.gohuskies.com