Latest Track Posts
One of the most talented athletes at UW, Christine Babcock's college career started off just how her high school career ended, with fast times and championships. She took seventh overall at the 2008 NCAA Cross Country Championships to lead the Huskies to the NCAA title, then went on to run the second-fastest mile in school history indoors and make the finals at 1,500-meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
After earning All-America honors again in the fall of 2009, Babcock's career hit a big hurdle. Pain in her foot became unbearable, and she went months without running as different doctors gave differeng opinions on just what the problem was. Finally the proper diagnosis was made and Babcock made a return in the fall of 2010 despite running for just a couple weeks, and she still was able to help UW return to the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Now she is training again and looking towards the outdoor season to run her first track race since the 2009 NCAA Championships. As this Flotrack.org video shows, it has taken a lot to persevere...
Husky great Amy Lia, the 2006 NCAA Champion at 1,500-meters, is in the midst of a return to the sport and has signed a contract with local company Brooks. Lia, as well as former Husky Katie Follett, are part of a new group of elite women's runners nicknamed the Brooks Beasts. As part of a new campaign encouraging athletes to tell stories about their "PRs" (Personal Records), Lia talks about her breakthrough race, which also happened to be in the NCAA final. Not a bad time for the fastest race of her life!
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Venerable track and field publication Track & Field News is currently running a multi-part interview with legendary American pole vaulter Jeff Hartwig. In it, Hartwig discusses several of the current top American vaulters, including current Husky senior Scott Roth, and former Dawg and World Champion Brad Walker.
Here is the section of the interview concerning Roth in which Hartwig says, "of the young up-and-coming guys, he's doing the most right of anybody." Hartwig then goes on to analyze the speed that Roth uses to make up for his relatively small stature.
Talking about Walker, Hartwig says "If he gets his health back, he definitely is the guy to beat--not only in the U.S., but probably the world," though he admits that commenting on Walker is tough considering his recent struggles with injury.
Another fascinating read for Husky track fans is this blog entry from former UW All-American Martin Bingisser, who continues to train towards the 2012 Olympics in the hammer throw while vocally advocating for the sport on his website. In the post, Bingisser lays out the reasons for adding the hammer to the 13-14 year old age group in USATF youth competition. Bingisser lays out several compelling arguments and asks for support in calling for the rule change.
Definitely inspiring to see someone still so passionate about their sport and working hard to improve its standing! Bingisser's blog is a great place to visit regularly for insight on the sport.
On Friday, Sports Radio 950 KJR AM -- the flagship station for the Washington ISP Sports Network -- held its KJR Kares A-Thon at Anthony's on Pier 66.
Several Huskies -- including hoops star Isaiah Thomas, men's crew coach Michael Callahan, men's tennis coach Matt Anger and cross country and track coach Greg Metcalf -- all made the trek to downtown Seattle for an appearance. The annual event, hosted by KJR personality Mike Gastineau, is held to raise money for several Seattle-area charitites.
Under an unusual interview format, all four Husky representatives took the stage at the same time for the interview. The segment started with all three coaches making their argument for which of their sports Thomas would be best suited to play if Lorenzo Romar let him tryout.
It was discovered that Isaiah played tennis while in prep school, so I think Matt Anger won out on the argument.
Each coach gave an update of their sports and what's going on this fall and Thomas talked about his team. There was a nice amount of purple being donned by the crowd in attendance, so the Huskies were well-represented off stage as well.
Also in attendance were former Husky basketball great Mike Hayward, UW quarterback legend Hugh Millen and football and hoops play-by-play announcer Bob Rondeau. It was a great time had by all and a good opportunity for the Husky family to help out their flagship station in the community.
For more info on KJR Kares A-Thon ... click here.
To listen to the interview and other segments from Friday ... click here.
One of the top websites covering the sport of track and field and cross country, Flotrack.org finished up a countdown of the top-five women's teams to watch in the current season, ranking the Husky women No. 2 on that list.
The video does a nice job showcasing some of the returning Huskies as well as a few newcomers with interview and race highlights from the Flotrack archives.
Flotrack's Teams To Watch list began with No. 5 Florida, moving on to No. 4 Oregon, No. 3 Florida State, the Huskies at No. 2, and the defending champs from Villanova at No. 1.
Freshman sprint standout James Alaka headed across the North Sea from his native London to Gothenburg, Sweden this past weekend to compete in the Folksam Grand Prix, which attracted a number of the world's top track athletes.
Alaka, an NCAA Championship participant in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes in his first year at UW, ran the 200 in Sweden and took third in the top heat. Alaka crossed the line in 21.18 seconds, with American Rae Edwards winning in 21.05.
Also competing in Gothenburg was former Husky Ingvill Makestad, who set a new PR and a Norwegian national record in the 800-meters, as she ran 2:00.82.
Ever a favorite of Flotrack, recently graduated track and cross country standout Katie Follett has joined the track video site's roster of bloggers. Follett's first entry concerns her first trip to Europe to compete in a series of meets in Belgium called the Flander's Cup.
An eight-time All-American and school record-holder in the mile and 1,500-meters, Follett is running professionally now for Brooks. The photo at the right has her in the middle in the bright yellow Brooks jersey.
The Husky men's track and field squad was honored today as an All-Academic team by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The Huskies maintained an overall grad point average of 3.05 for the full team, one of just three teams out of the Pac-10 to earn the distinction, which requires a team-wide GPA of 3.00.
Arizona State and Stanford were the only other Pac-10 teams honored. Nation-wide, 73 men's teams earned the honor. Last week, the USTFCCCA honored Scott Roth, Ryan Vu, Jordan Swarthout, Jeremy Taiwo, Jimmy Brookman, and Joe Zimmerman for individual academic prowess as all six carry a GPA of better than 3.25.
The Husky men were the outdoor scholar team of the year back in 2008.
Women's team awards will be announced on Wednesday.
Senior Katie Follett recently wrote a piece for GoHuskies looking back on her record-setting career and also how she rebounded from the disappointment of the NCAA final earlier this month. She does the same for Flotrack.org this week, as the site features Follett for a 10-minute interview right outside of Drake Stadium where the U.S. Championships were held last week.
Follett admits that she may have put too much pressure on herself heading into the final and that negatively affected her performance. She then touches on her USA effort where she placed 13th, and discusses signing with Brooks Running, a local Seattle company, to be able to run professionally.
"I'm so optimistic about the future and them as a company," Follett says about her new partnership.
UW alum Ryan Brown will compete in the 800-meters at the USA Track & Field Championships this week in Des Moines, Iowa, with the first round this afternoon. Brown won two NCAA titles in the 800m as a Husky, and has since made a name for himself on the pro circuit.
Brown's biggest professional moment was taking third at USAs last year to make Team USA for the World Championships in Berlin. But while he hoped that World Championship appearance would propel him on to another level, Brown describes this past year as a "roller coaster" with allergy problems and the departure of his longtime training partner Austin Abbott, who decided to give up the sport after graduating last year as a six-time All-American.
Despite having only three races under his belt this outdoor season, Brown thinks he'll be able to compete well this weekend, and talks about his body going into auto-pilot for races.
It's an insightful interview on the challenges of training as a pro track athlete without attaching oneself to the few professional groups that dot the country.
Soon-to-be Husky Kayla Stueckle has been named the Tacoma News Tribune's High School Athlete of the Year across all sports. Stueckle, the state's top hurdler while also a standout soccer player, will bring her many talents to UW this fall.
Stueckle, an Emerald Ridge graduate, collected five 4A state track titles during her career, including three wins this season in the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, and the long jump, while also taking third at 200-meters.
Husky track recruits Sean Krinik and Mackenzie Carter joined Megan Goethals as national champions this weekend as the Newbalance Outdoor Nationals concluded in Greensboro, North Carolina. Goethals won the 2-mile run Friday with the second-fastest time in history.
Krinik, the U.S. leader at 800-meters this season and California State Champion, proved his poweful finishing kick works just as well on the East Coast, as he won the top heat in a time of 1:49.57. Krinik stayed patient through the first lap, then moved up on the outside and blew past the field down the stretch.
Carter ran the third leg for her high school, Fayetteville-Manlius (New York), in the 4x800-meter relay. Her split was timed at 2:10.48 and put FM in position to post an upset win over another New York squad, Garden State, which had defeated Fayetteville-Manlius at the state meet. Carter's crew finished in 8:46.98, the second-fastest time in U.S. history and a new meet record.
Carter's time gives UW four incoming women who have run 2:10 or faster this year in the 800, along with Goethals, Katie Flood, and Chloe Curtis. Curtis also competed in Greensboro this weekend, anchoring Redondo Union to second-place in the 4xMile relay on Saturday morning with a sub-five-minute mile split, before coming back to take 11th in the 800-meter final later that night in 2:10.18.
One other future Husky in competition this weekend was Ashley Schnapp in the women's pole vault. Schnapp tied for 9th with a clearance of 11-10.
UW recruit Megan Goethals has collected a third national title in her senior season, as she won the 2-mile run at the New Balance Nationals on Friday in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Rochester, Michigan native posted the second-best 2-mile time in U.S. history, running 10:01.16, barely missing the national record of 10:01.08 set in 2002 by Molly Huddle, one of the top women's professional runners.
Here's an interview with Goethals after the race. She talks about how excited she is to join the rest of UW's stellar recruiting class, and says why she chose UW. Here is the complete race footage thanks to Flotrack.
Goethals says that win will be her final prep race and she'll now start getting ready to run cross country for the Huskies in the fall. It caps an epic senior year in which she won the Footlocker Cross Country National Championship in the fall, then won the 2-mile title at Nike Indoor Nationals in March. She was named the Gatorade National Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Also just a week ago Goethals won two titles at the Midwest Meet of Champions, lowering her 1600m PR to a U.S.-leading 4:43.05 and her 800m PR to 2:10.58.
There was much debate as to the merits of the new Regional format for track and field which made its debut this season, but athletes will have the same system in place for at least one more season, as the NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet ruled that the proposed new system needed more evaluation.
This year, the country was split in two with the West gathering in Austin, Texas and the East in Greensboro, North Carolina for NCAA preliminary rounds. Athletes had to finish in the top-12 in their respective region to move on to the semis or finals in Eugene, Oregon. Arguments against the system included travel costs, and a heavy workload on some athletes, especially distance runners.
The NCAA Cabinet was considering a proposal termed "24/8" which would send the top-24 athletes in every event straight to NCAAs based on best marks from the year, just as NCAA Indoor qualifying works. Then the top-eight conference champions not among the top-24 in each event would be added to round out the field. But that proposal will have to wait at least another year.
Schools will now bid to host the 2011 West and East NCAA Preliminary sites in advance of the NCAA Championships next year in Des Moines, Iowa.
A number of Husky track recruits closed out their careers with big bangs over the weekend, led by state titles for Sean Krinik and Chloe Curtis in California and a trio of titles for Megan Goethals in Michigan.
Krinik of Valencia High in Yorba Linda, Calif. astonished with a new U.S.-leading mark in the 800-meters of 1:48.20, nearly a full second faster than the time he posted just a week ago which also led the country at the time. That time is the eighth-fastest high school mark ever run, and earned him his second-straight state title at the distance. If Krinik merely matches that time next season, he would rank sixth in UW history.
"Seeing that time makes me feel so accomplished," said Krinik to OCVarsity.com. "I never thought I would be there and it felt awesome to run that time."
Curtis, out of Redondo Beach, also led the nation at 800-meter on the women's side for much of the year but chose to focus on the 1,600m at state. She did not have the top time coming in, but she again proved to be the class of California's mid-distance crew as she turned in a new PR of 4:46.63 to take the win.
Curtis told local paper The Dailiy Breeze that her runner-up finish from 2009 fueled her all season and especially in Saturday's final.
"This year, I came a lot more focused. I was desperate to win that title. This was my last race," Curtis said. "There was no way I was letting someone run away with this race. In that last 200, no one was going to run with me. I had a year of boiling over it in my head to think about this race."
Also turning in fantastic finishes at the CIF finals were Liberty Miller (Canoga Park, Calif.) and Megan Morgan (Del Mar, Calif.) in the 3,200-meters. The future U-Dubbers were the top two senior finishers at the longest distance. Miller was second in 10:23.00 while Morgan was right behind in third in 10:29.70.
In Michigan, Megan Goethals closed her record-setting career in proper fashion, winning state titles in the 1,600-meters, 3,200-meters, and on the 4x800-meter relay. Every one of her runs resulted in a new state meet record. She won the 1,600m in 4:47.37, six seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. She took the 3,200m in 10:22.75, breaking a 14-year-old record, and led off the 4x8 relay with a 2:11 split.
Goethals gave the following interview to MileSplit last week following her incredible 10:00.15 3,200-meter effort.
One side note to how the Huskies finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships next week is that as long as they score on both sides, both the men's and women's team should be in line for another impressive finish in the USTFCCCA Program Of The Year standings.
The awards, named for John McDonnell on the men's side and Terry Crawford on the women's side, are in their second year of existence, and average out a school's finish at the NCAA Championships in cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track, to show which overall program earned the most distinction over the full year. The only requirement is competing and scoring at all three championship events; two out of three doesn't cut it.
Last year the UW women's program took ninth in the final standings. Right now they sit in 10th place following a 3rd-place finish in cross country and a 28th-place finish in indoor track. They are second among Pac-10 teams behind Oregon.
The Husky men are 12th overall heading to Eugene, following a 10th-place Program Of The Year finish in 2009. The men's cross country squad was 18th at nationals, followed by a 20th-place finish in indoor track. Oregon and Arizona State are the only Pac-10 teams ahead of the Dawgs.
New weekly outdoor rankings were also released by the USTFCCCA prior to next week's showdown at Oregon. The men's team moved up two more spots to 18th in the nation, boosted by PRs from James Alaka in the 200m, Zack Midles in the hammer, and Joe Zimmerman in the javelin. The women ticked up one spot to 41st as Mel Lawrence and Falesha Ankton made NCAAs with season-bests.
One of the most legendary days in Washington track and field history, and all of UW athletics history for that matter, was the 1963 Modesto Relays, 47 years ago this week. At that meet, within an hour of each other, Husky teammates and roommates Phil Shinnick and Brian Sternberg each set new world records in the long jump and pole vault, respectively.
But as this AOL Fanhouse story by John Hickey details, the day has had a black cloud lingering over it since. Sternberg, who cleared 16-7 in the pole vault at the meet and later raised the record to 16-8, was paralyzed in a trampoline accident just five weeks after Modesto. Shinnick's record-setting jump of 27-feet, 4-inches, has been seeking ratification for decades, as there was no wind reading taken for his jump. Wind requirements had just been instated that year, and as this excerpt explains, the officials simply weren't expecting to need one.
"Shinnick's Pac-8 credentials weren't enough that anyone in Modesto had any real clue who he was. He was a sophomore at the University of Washington and hadn't competed in his freshman year -- the NCAA didn't allow freshmen to compete in any collegiate sports in those days. So he was in just his fourth or fifth competition since graduating from high school in Spok ane almost two years earlier. Most of the jumpers knew him, but the officials didn't. He certainly wasn't somebody who should be breaking world records. All of a sudden, instead of celebration time it was inquisition time.
The story is a must-read for all fans of Husky history. Both Sternberg and Shinnick have been enshrined in the Washington Hall of Fame. As the story details, Shinnick's mark was eventually recognized as an American record, but the governing body of international track continues to hold out.
For what it's worth, Shinnick's spot on the Washington Top-10 is secure. Whereas new technology has taken vaulters up above 19-feet, including American record-holder Brad Walker, another UW alum, Shinnick's mark would still rate among the best in the world event today. 27-4 would have won this year's Pac-10 Championships by a foot and a half, and taken second at the Beijing Olympics, as the story points out.
As mentioned in the previous track post, this weekend was a big one for a number of UW track and field recruits, and the local season culminated with the Washington state meet at Mt. Tahoma. Flotrack.org was on hand to cover the meet, filming all running events and a number of interviews.
High school state track meets continued around the country this weekend and future Huskies continued to post some jaw-dropping times. Megan Goethals, who has kept a relatively low profile at least on our "blawg" since her national indoor 2-mile victory, is back in the headlines, as she ran one of the greatest 3200-meter times in U.S. history Friday night at the Oakland County Championships in Milford, Michigan. While not yet to her state meet, Goethals saw this race as her best chance to chase some records.
Goethals, the Gatorade National Cross Country Athlete of the Year, was going after the 10-minute mark, a rarely-touched barrier for any high school girl. As a reference point, current UW sophomore Christine Babcock, herself one of the greatest prep runners in history, came to Washington with a PR of 10:04 in the 3200. Goethals came up just one stride short of the barrier, crossing in 10:00.15, and in an interesting twist she continued for another 18 meters to reach the 2-mile mark which she hit in 10:03.2.
That 3200-meter time lifts her to the lead in the nation this year by a full seven seconds, and is the No. 7-mark in U.S. history. No surprise it's also a state record. The nearest finisher to Goethals was 55-seconds back. This ESPN RISE feature details Goethals' race plan, how her outdoor season has been structured, and how her U.S.-leading time came with a twinge of disappointment. (Photo by Dave McCauley)
At the California D-I Southern Sectional Finals, Sean Krinik continued to roll in the 800-meters, as he won the finals in a U.S.-leading time of 1:49.18. The No. 10 mark in UW history is 1:48.84, so Krinik's prep marks are coming close to that with a few races still to go. At the same meet, Liberty Miller of Simi Valley posted the No. 6 mark in the girls 3,200 this year, running 10:21.72. Redondo's Chloe Curtis also won the D-II finals at 1,600-meters in 4:48.97. The dyestat.com results page has videos for all D-I races.
Turning to the local products, the Washington State Meet wrapped up in the wind and rain at Mt. Tahoma High School on Saturday, with the 2A, 3A, and 4A levels all competing
AJ Maricich out of Mead in Spokane took the boys 4A high jump title with an impressive 7-foot clearance that was just an inch off the 30 year old state record. Only one other competitor was within eight inches of the senior. Maricich's Mead teammate, Tasha Clark, got the victory in the girls pole vault, clearing 12-feet and winning the tiebreaker on fewest attempts.
Hurdler extraordinaire Kayla Stueckle of Emerald Ridge swept the 100- and 300-meter hurdle titles, running a particularly dominant 42.34 in the 300 hurdles that won by more than a second. But she decided to do even more damage, also dominating the girls long jump with a best of 18-1, and taking third in the 200-meters in 25.60. This Tacoma News Tribune story talks about her busy day and also touches on Maricich. Right behind Stueckle in the 100-hurdles was fellow signee Tate Latimer of Tahoma, who took second in the 100 and fourth in the 300.
At the 3A level, Michelle Fero of Holy Names took fourth in the 200-meter finals in 26.08 and was third at 400-meters in 56.86.
A pair of incoming multi-eventers both had impressive overall weekends. Kale Schmidt of Stanwood was fourth in the 4A long jump at 22-5 ?Ľ while Shelby Williams was third in the 2A girls 100m dash (13.10) and third in the shot put (39-7 ?˝).
Finally, down in Oregon at Hayward Field, where UW's NCAA finalists will soon be heading, Ontario's Matt Anthony repeated as 100-meter dash champ in 10.72 seconds. He complemented that with a repeat title at 200-meters in a state meet record of 21.90 seconds. In the 4A girls pole vault, Husky recruit Ashley Schnapp cleared 12-feet same as her future teammate Clark. That put her in a three-way tie for first; it's unclear if the tie was broken or if all their makes and misses matched up.
The Washington 2A-3A-4A state track and field meet is underway at Mount Tahoma High School, with a number of future Huskies competing during the three-day competition which began on Thursday.
Highlights of Thursday's action included the prelims of the women's 100m hurdles at the 4A level, where Kayla Stueckle of Emerald Ridge and Tate Latimer of Tahoma each won their qualifying heats with the two fastest times of the day. Stueckle went 14.48 and Latimer clocked 15.06 so the UW-bound pair will battle for the state title later this weekend.
Also running well was Michelle Fero of Holy Names, who led off her 4x4 relay which advanced with the second-best time of the day at the 3A level.
Also looking back and out of the region on some outstanding performances that have gone unmentioned on this site ... Kasen Covington was once again crowned Idaho State Champion in the long jump and triple jump last weekend. Covington's triple jump of 49-10 1/4 is off his 52-foot PR, but still broke his own state meet record, while he saved the PR for his winning long jump of 24-5 1/4, his first time over 23-feet ... meanwhile at the California Southern Sectional Finals, Sean Krinik of Valencia broke the 1:50 barrier in the 800-meters for the first time, running 1:49.77 to dominate the race by 3.5 seconds. At the same meet, Chloe Curtis was a double winner in Div. 2 in the 1,600m and 800m, and Liberty Miller took second in the Div. 1 1,600-meters and 3,200-meters.
Lastly, here is a recent feature in the Del Mar Times on UW-bound senior Megan Morgan and one of her teammates.
In Tuesday's Seattle Times, columnist Jerry Brewer writes a terrific piece on Husky senior Katie Follett and Seattle Pacific's Jessica Pixler, who each own the fastest times at 1,500-meters in Division-I and Division-II, respectively, this season. The pair ran the times side by side at the Mt. SAC Relays back in April in Walnut, California.
Despite their proximity and shared skills, the two had never really spoken until Mt. SAC. Brewer looks at how the pair viewed each other leading up to that race, and how things have changed since.
"At that moment, Jessica Pixler and Katie Follett had no idea this was a precursor to excellence, a little moment that would swell in significance, a hint they were about to be united even though they had spent four years dancing around each other."
GoHuskies was at Gasworks Park when the Times set up the above photo. Check out the previous post for some behind the scenes shots.
Iowa's Katie Flood, heading to Washington this fall, cemented her legacy by dominating her final state championships, winning four titles while breaking her own state record in the 3,000-meters with a U.S.-leading time of 9:27.25. That 3k time would rank in UW's top-10 both indoors and outdoors.
Here is an excerpt from the above article, in reference to her 3k time: "One thing was missing from her resume that really cements prep distance stars from the rest of the pack: a standout performance on the track, the kind that makes jaws drop around the country. That distinguishing mark has now been met, and she will undoubtedly go down in history as the greatest prep distance runner that the state of Iowa has ever produced."
Flood's 3k time was 15 seconds under her previous PR which was already the fastest in state history. Later that same day she came back to anchor a win for Dowling Catholic in the 4x800m relay. Two days after that Flood surprised with a win in the open 800 with a big PR of 2:09.76, then she finished off the quadruple with a victory in the 1,500-meters in 4:31.33.
The win in the 3,000-meters was the fourth in a row for Flood. Her lengthy list of achievements this year also includes a victory at Nike Cross Nationals in the fall and a few more individual titles at the Drake Relays earlier this season.
The Pac-10 Conference sent out an updated broadcast schedule for the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships on Wednesday and one of the changes included pushing back the first Seattle area broadcast to Friday.
The Championships will now air tomorrow on FSN Northwest at 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. They will then play a second time on Saturday, May 22, as 12 noon.
Three-time Olympian Aretha Thurmond traveled to Doha, Qatar this past weekend to compete in the first meet of the 2010 Diamond League track & field series, which is a collection of 14 elite meets spanning the course of the summer.
Thurmond took fourth in the discus throw with a season-best mark of 204-feet, 3-inches. She finished ahead of compatriot Stephanie Brown-Trafton, who won gold in the last Olympics in Beijing.
Another former Husky who continues to make a name for herself on an international stage is Ingvill Makestad, a mid-distance letterwinner for UW in 2004 who left school early to return home to Norway. Makestad clocked a stellar career-best time of 4:06.08 in the 1,500-meter run, taking sixth overall. Her goal is the European Championships later this summer.
Ingvill keeps a very detailed blog with photos and videos, but you may want to brush up on your Norwegian first.
Although the surprise of Ryan Vu winning the pole vault was spoiled by this very website, you can still tune in to watch for yourself when FSN airs the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships next week.
The two-hour broadcast will first run on FSN Northwest this Friday, May 21, at 11 a.m. Pacific. The show will then re-air on Saturday, May 22, at 12 noon.
Calling the meet down in Berkeley are Barry Tompkins and Olympic gold medalist Joanna Hayes, while color commentary will be provided by Tom Feuer.
The men's track squad moved up two more places on Tuesday when the newest team rankings were churned out by the USTFCCCA. Washington now comes in at No. 20 on the men's side, while the women are at No. 42 but could be in for a big jump with some good Pac-10 performances.
The men's climb was thanks mostly to two performances. The first was Ryan Vu's clearance of 17-7 in the pole vault at the Ken Shannon Invite on Saturday. That sent him up the vault rankings to 12th to where he is now bringing in 9.65 points out of the men's 97.68 point total. Also factoring in was the new PR in the decathlon set by sophomore Jeremy Taiwo at the Pac-10 Multi-Event Championships. Taiwo scored 7,521 points, the best effort in 24 years by a Husky, and now ranks 10th in the nation.
Head track and cross country coach Greg Metcalf has previously been featured on Flotrack talking about "The Mental Edge" of track and field, and now the track website has another segment up with Coach Metcalf where he discusses his recruiting strategies and advises potential recruits to be proactive in their search.
Coach Metcalf talks about finding diamonds in the rough such as 400-meter school record-holder Jordan Boase, as well as targeting the local prep stars like Norris Frederick.
It was a beautiful day for a photo op at Seattle's picturesque Gasworks Park on Friday, but senior Katie Follett was tucked away among the heavy machinery along with Seattle Pacific's Jessica Pixler, rather than soaking up the sun.
The Seattle Times will be featuring the two local stars sometime in the next two weeks, and brought them together at Gasworks, a nice middle ground between the two campuses. Check out a couple behind-the-scenes shots with Follett and Pixler taking direction from Times photographer John Lok
Follett and Pixler have been blazing separate record-setting careers in Seattle over the past few years, with Follett leading the emergence of Washington's outstanding women's distance program, and Pixler collecting an armfull of national titles at the Division-II level. Recently, their paths have begun to cross more, and the last two times have resulted for school records for both in the mile and 1,500-meters.
Follett was able to get the better of Pixler at the Mt. SAC Relays and posted an NCAA-leading time of 4:10.66 that broke the UW school record and ranks fourth in Pac-10 history. Pixler meanwhile leads D-II in the 800m, 1,500m, and 5,000m. After Mt. SAC, the two ran a cool down together and started talking for really the first time, despite Pixler being a frequent competitor at the Dempsey during the indoor season.
Now the two will focus on going after conference and national titles at their own level, and won't see each other on the starting line again until possibly the USA Championships in July. But each are hoping they could be friendly rivals at the professional level soon.
GoHuskies will keep you updated on the status of the feature.
The Daily talked to a couple Husky seniors in advance of the Ken Shannon Invitational this Saturday at Husky Stadium. One senior, Zack Midles, won't be competing this weekend as he rests up for Pac-10s, but senior pole vaulter Ryan Vu is set to go and very much looking forward to it.
"It's a lot of fun," Vu said. "There's a lot more people that can come to this meet, because it's local. My high-school coaches and friends can come by and watch. The way it's set up is very cool, and you get a chance to jump in Husky Stadium where you watch the football games, which is a really cool feeling."
Vu is a safe bet to make it to Austin for the first rounds of the NCAA Championships this season, but so far this year he's six inches off his PR which he vaulted at Husky Stadium nearly a year ago to the day. Look for Vu to chase 17-feet plus this Saturday with the men's vault starting at 1 p.m. on the East Field.
Two of Washington's most prominent track and field alumni have been working out in the Dempsey this week, both working their way into shape for the current outdoor season that is just starting to pick up steam.
Ryan Brown, 2009 World Championships participant, is no stranger to the Dempsey as he trains full time with Coach Metcalf and serves as a volunteer assistant for the Huskies. Tuesday saw Brown doing some work down at the south end of the Dempsey, while down at the northeast corner, former World Champion pole vaulter Brad Walker was working through a series of fitness drills.
Walker, the American record-holder and 2008 Olympian, is targeting the USA Championships (June 23-26 in Des Moines, Iowa) for his season-debut, after an injury cut his 2009 season short. Brown is planning a competitive run at the Occidental Invitational in Los Angeles next Saturday, May 8, before moving on to USA's and some meets in Europe later in the summer.
The two men wracked up four NCAA titles and 13 All-America honors between them in their time at Washington. Just another day in the Dempsey!
WIth the Husky track squad in Pullman to battle the Cougars today, it marks a homecoming of sorts for a number of Huskies who hail from the Spokane area. One such Husky is freshman Joe Zimmerman, who has had a fantastic start to his UW career as he ranks 15th in the NCAA in the javelin throw.
John Blanchette of the Spokane Spokesman-Review talked to Zimmerman this week and submitted the following piece: Zimmerman Threw In With Dawgs. A subscription is required, however, to read the full article.
Tom Sinclair, one of the great throwers in Washington track & field history, is the subject of a feature in the Seattle Times today along with his son Brian. Three years ago, Tom suffered a ruptured aneurysm that nearly cost him his life, but Brian found his father in their home and was able to get medical help that wound up keeping his father alive.
Now Tom is back coaching at Lake Washington High School where Brian is a senior javelin thrower, and they're able to share their love for the sport thanks to Brian's quick work. Tom has also started competing again in master's events for the first time in several decades after having an old shoulder injury surgically repaired.
The elder Sinclair won the 1979 NCAA Championship in the javelin with a throw of 261-feet, 3-inches. He also won the Pac-10 title that year and was a two-time All-American. Sinclair's best mark ranks sixth in Washington history with the old javelin implement which is no longer in use.
One week after competing for the International All-Stars at the Kansas Relays, former Husky great Jordan Boase of Bothell renewed his allegiance with the red, white, and blue, as the quarter-miler ran for Team USA at last weekend's Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
Boase was part of a very prestigious distance medley relay that included 2008 Olympian and U.S. Champion Nick Symmonds. Symmonds, Boase, Jacob Hernandez, and David Torrance made up the USA Blue team that went against Kenya, Morocco, Australia, Canada, and another USA squad, the "Red" team, as part of the USA vs. the World series at Penn.
Symmonds led off for 1200-meters, handing to Boase in second-place. Boase recorded the second-best 400-meter split of anyone, clocking 45.40 seconds at the handoff to Hernandez. The USA Blue team wound up taking second in 9:25.02, just a fraction of a second behind Kenya in at 9:24.97.
Boase has now made two-straight appearances at the legendary meet, as he helped the UW sprint medley to a second-place finish at the 2009 meet.
Over in Iowa at the 101st Drake Relays, the other legendary meet held last weekend, UW recruit Katie Flood followed up her 3,000-meter four-peat with a U.S.-leading 1,500-meter run on Saturday. She lowered her own Iowa state record with a victory in 4:28.30, which was also a new Drake Relays record for a prep.
Flood ran the time despite having already anchored another win earlier Saturday, as her Dowling Catholic crew won the 4x800-meters in yet another meet record.
Here are a few Flood-related videos from Drake. Check out the 1,500m win where she leads wire to wire and shows a great kick down the stretch, after already running 800-meters earlier!
The Everett Herald today named freshman heptathlete its College Athlete of the Week. Schireman, an Everett native and graduate of Archbishop Muphy High School, completed her first college heptathlon last weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays. Her total of 4,458 points was the ninth-best mark in school history.
The Herald asks Schireman about her final year of high school, when she was competing in four different events at the state meet, thus making the heptathlon a natural fit for her in college. They also discuss how the heptathlon might be spiced up ...
If you were to make up a heptathlon of non-athletic events you enjoy away from track, what would some of the events be?
Also, The Daily ran a nice preview of the Brutus Hamilton Invitational today, focusing on senior Falesha Ankton getting a chance to compete close to her family's home in Benicia, California. The story was reproduced on GoHuskies but here is the link to the story in The Daily: Ankton excited to run in front of family, friends
With all the attention devoted to the future Huskies making their way to campus next fall, it's time to take a look around what some of the alumni are up to in their professional careers.
A number of former UW standouts joined the current crop of athletes at the Mt. SAC Relays last weekend. Nine-time All-American Norris Frederick won the men's long jump title with a best mark of 26-4 1/4, one of his best career outdoor jumps that ranks him third among Americans this year indoors or out.
2006 grad and top-20 New York Marathon finisher Mike Sayenko clocked a 13:57.43 time in the invitational 5k. Former All-American Martin Bingisser also placed seventh in the hammer throw invite with a best of 216-2. Sean Williams, part of UW's school-record 4x400m team from 2005, also ran 47.11 to win his open 400-meter section.
Down at Auburn University, three-time Olympian Aretha Thurmond won the women's discus with a toss of 199-feet, 8-inches on her fifth attempt. Thurmond now holds the U.S. lead. Training partner and UW grad Will Conwell also won the men's discus with a mark of 185-3.
2009 grad and 400-meter record-holder Jordan Boase has been training at Florida State, and he got his outdoor season going at the Kansas Relays last week. Boase was part of a 4x400m relay squad dubbed the International All-Stars which closed the meet with a victory in 3:08.30. He also took fourth in the open 200-meters in a time of 21.05 seconds.
Finally, 2009 World Championships competitor and current volunteer assistant coach Ryan Brown started his outdoor season along with a number of other Huskies at the Mondo Invitational at Sacramento State last weekend. Brown won the 800-meters in a time of 1:50.16.
Husky track and cross country recruit Katie Flood made history today with her fourth consecutive victory in the high school girls 3,000-meter run at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.
Flood, who attends Dowling Catholic of West Des Moines, broke her own personal meet and stadium record with a winning time of 9:43.39. That bettered the time she ran as a freshman in 2007 of 9:44.96. Flood topped her own teammate, Ashlie Decker, by nine seconds for the win.
According to the Des Moines Register, Flood is the third girl to win an individual event four times at the meet. Abby Emsick of Council Bluffs Lewis Central took the discus from 1999 to 2002 and Debbie Carroll of Collins won the 100-yard dash from 1971 to 1974.
Flood was the Nike Cross National Champion in the fall and a Top-10 finisher at Footlocker Cross Country Nationals as well.
(Photo taken from Des Moines Register)
California meets have been the headliners for the Husky track recruits in recent weeks, and while there was another big to-do down in Southern California at the Mt. SAC Relays, a number of future UW tracksters competed this weekend at the Larry Eason Invitational Track and Field Meet at Snohomish High School.
Hurdler extraordinaire Kayla Stueckle of Emerald Ridge won both the women's 100m and 300m hurdles in times of 14.84 and 44.30, respectively. Stueckle won by more than three seconds in the 300m hurdles. Michelle Fero of Holy Names also ran the state's best 400-meter dash this year at 57.10.
Back down in Caliornia, Chloe Curtis was one again involved in a dramatic finish, as the Redondo Union star anchored a state-record time in the girls 4x1,600m relay. Flotrack.org has some nice footage of the future Husky gutting it out across the finish line.
Also at Mt. SAC, Megan Morgan of Torrey Pines High was the anchor on the winning girls distance medley relay, which blew away the competition by 18 seconds to win in a national-leading time of 11:41.84, which surpassed the time of Redondo Union and Curtis from the Arcadia Invite a few weeks back. Torrey Pines' time ranks it as the 12th fastest team in U.S. history.
Here is Flotrack footage of Morgan anchoring for Torrey Pines. She takes the baton at around the 6:50 mark, and you'll have to forgive a mispronunciation of her name.
With Brooke Pighin winning the Pac-10 Women's Field Athlete of the Week award earlier this week, it marked the first time in twelve years that a Husky women's field athlete earned the conference honor.
Such a drought seems hard to figure, considering the Huskies have had their share of great field event athletes in that time, including 2005 NCAA pole vault champion Kate Soma. But it just goes to show how competitive the Pac-10 honors really are, as you can generally count on the winners to have set some sort of NCAA-leading mark or school record. The men's track winner this week, for example, was Oregon's Ashton Eaton, who is the world record-holder in the indoor heptathlon.
But Pighin's clear-cut victory in the javelin throw at the Pepsi Team Invitational last Saturday, with a throw of 166-6 that ranks sixth in the NCAA thus far, was strong enough for the honor this week.
Here is a look at the other Husky women who have won the Pac-10 weekly award on the track or in the field. It's a very select group.
Brooke Pighin: Women's Field; Javelin; April 12, 2010
Anita Campbell: Women's Track; 5,000m; April 20, 2009
Ashley Lodree: Women's Track; 400m Hurdles/4x400m Relay; April 25, 2005
Aretha Hill: Women's Field; Discus/Shot Put; April 6, 1998
Aretha Hill: Women's Field; Discus/Shot Put; April 29, 1996
Seven-time All-American Katie Follett talked with the media at Oregon's Hayward Field after she won the 1,500-meters at the Pepsi Team Invitational last Saturday, defeating a couple Oregon All-Americans in the process. Trackfocus.com transcribed the full interview, which reveals that Follett and her longtime UO rivals have developed into friends over the years.
One of the year's most prestigious high school track meets, the Arcadia Invitational, was held over the weekend at where else but Arcadia High School in Arcadia, California. A number of Washington's top recruits for the 2010-11 school year were running in Saturday night's invitational section, with some local recruits also making the trip down to SoCal.
A couple weeks after posting the nation's No. 1 time at 800-meters, Redondo's Chloe Curtis was part of another national-leading mark, as she anchored the winning distance medley relay team in a time of 11:54.75. Earlier in the day, Curtis was upset with herself for taking second in the 800-meters in a slower time than she'd run previously, and she told The Daily Breeze that she was ready to atone for it shortly thereafter.
"My blood was boiling after that 800," Curtis said. "It was not as well as I wanted to do, and I felt I could run faster. I was excited to go out again, and I had my team behind me so I wasn't going to wimp out.
"I wanted an Arcadia title. And it's even better with the team."
She took the baton in eighth-place but then split approximately 4:51 for the final 1,600-meters, taking the lead after one lap and running uncontested the rest of the way.
Elsewhere, Puyallup's Kayla Stueckle, one of the top returning 300m hurdlers in the nation, took third in that event in a time of 43.70 seconds. In the top heat of the women's 3,200-meters, Husky recruits Libery Miller (Canoga Park, CA) and Megan Morgan (Del Mar, CA) took second and third, respectively, in times of 10:31.05 and 10:37.51.
Sean Krinik, who took the national boys 800-meter lead at the same meet where Curtis posted the best girls time, move up to the mile run and took fourth in 4:14.15. Spokane's A.J. Maricich also cleared 6-11 in the high jump, which was the best clearance of the day though he ranked second on attempts.
Runnerspace.com also was in attendance and filmed every race. Here is the link to the women's DMR with Curtis running the anchor leg, and all additional races are on the left side of the screen.
One additional note on a soon-to-be Husky: All-American Katie Flood out of Des Moines, Iowa, ran the nation's top 1,500-meter time at the Jim Duncan Invitational in Iowa, crossing in 4:31.38. That broke the Iowa state record formerly held by Flood's older sister, Betsy.
Continuing to shape up to be quite the class!
GoHuskies.com ran a story yesterday about several former UW student-athletes who will be honored this summer as inductees into the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame.
Thanks to Marc Blau of the Hall of Fame for providing some biographical information on a couple of the inductees. Click on the link above for date, time and ticket information for the annual induction banquet.
RAMON "RAY" BARNES
Ray Barnes was an exceptionally successful wrestling coach at Puyallup High School from 1956-70. His Vikings teams won 115 dual matches with 36 losses and four ties. They won the South Puget Sound League championship five times and the West Central District title six times.
Barnes was inducted into the state wrestling coaches hall of fame in 1986.
Barnes became the athletic director for the Puyallup School District and the SPSL Wrestling Commissioner. He was inducted into the state Athletic Directors Hall of Fame in 1991.
Born May 27, 1931 in York, Nebraska, Barnes graduated from Puyallup High School in 1949. He played two seasons of football at the University of Washington before transferring to Pacific Lutheran to finish his athletic career. A left guard and nose tackle, Osborne was an honorable mention Little All American at PLC. He also coached football at Puyallup for 12 years
Joe was a 1955 graduate of Lincoln High School where he earned 9 letters--3 each in football, basketball, and track and field. Joe actually earned two letters in football and basketball at Marion High School in Iowa as a 6'4" freshman before the family moved to Tacoma.
After entering Lincoln High School in 1952, Joe and Luther Carr became the first sophomores to earn varsity letters in football. Joe also went on to letter in Basketball and Track that year and qualified for a Decathlon letter.
Rumored to have been the first player in the state to duck two basketballs with one hand--but not in a game!! He even sang bass in an a cappella choir for 3 years and performed in a quartet as well. Known for his legendary strength, when a 400-pound grand piano needed to be moved across the state for a school play, Big Joe crawled underneath it, put it on his back and walked it across the stage.
In the fall of 1955 Joe went to the UW along with four other Abes players (Luther Carr, Duane Lowell, Jack Walters, and Dennis Adler) on scholarships to play football for Johnny Cherburg. Joe participated in frosh football & crew at the University of Washington. He later received an offer to tryout for the Los Angeles Rams. But, had already started his career with the Washington State Highway Patrol, where he retired after 27 years of service.
A number of UW's recent track and field signees have wasting little time making names for themselves early in the outdoor season. Several members of the group have already established themselves atop the national leaderboards.
Mid-distance standouts Chloe Curtis of Redondo Beach, California and Sean Krinik from Yorba Linda, California, each posted the nation's top times at 800-meters at the Azusa Distance Meet of Champions on March 28. Curtis won in a new personal-best of 2:09.07, while Krinik posted a 1:50.16 for the victory. Curtis also doubled back and won the 3200-meter run in 10:31.24.
Curtis' exploits earned her a feature interview on dyestat.com, one of the main hubs of prep track and field. The following is an excerpt on her #1 800-meter time:
"I just ran hard down the backstretch to make sure I was separated from the pack, and closed in a 63 last 400 for my 2:09. I was pretty happy with the race, and I got a PR, but I feel like I'm ready to go much faster right now. When I found out I had the US #1 time I was really happy about it, and it makes me feel good knowing that I'm already running fast this early in the season."
As for Krinik, the defending California state champion in the 800, his coach Pat Hadley told the OC Register, "He's faster at this time of year than he was this time last year, so that's really exciting."
Still, perhaps the most impressive mark thus far was just turned in by Boise, Idaho's Kasen Covington, who won the triple jump at the Reed Sparks Rotary Invitational in Nevada this past Saturday, April 3, with a new lifetime-best jump of 52-feet, 4-inches. If Covington were to duplicate that mark at UW, he would shoot to second in school history. Covington also won the long jump with a mark of 23-4 3/4. His triple jump marks currently ranks second in the country, just a quarter-inch out of first.
Finally, of Del Mar, California currently ranks second on the athletic.net national list at 3200-meters with a time of 10:30.05. Add that to Megan Goethals' indoor national title at 2-miles from last month and it has already been quite a track season for the future Dawgs with much more to come!
The quintet of throwers down at the Texas Relays weren't the only Husky field athletes to see action this weekend. Another group headed down I-5 to Tacoma to the JD Shotwell Invitational, hosted by the University of Puget Sound at Baker Stadium. The meet even produced a new UW Top-10 mark on the women's side.
Most of the UW entrants stood up very well against the local colleges in competition. Freshman Ally Mueller stood out in the women's javelin, as she took second with a mark of 134-feet, 1-inch, that ranks seventh in school history with the new implement.
Anyka Ozog also took second in the discus with a best of 117-7, and another rookie, Jordin Seekins, was sixth in the javelin at 122-0.
On the men's side, sophomore Richard Anderson won the shot put with a mark of 50-9 1/2, close to his personal-best. Recent addition Jimmy Brookman also won the javelin with a throw of 200-9.
Finally, sophomore Jeremy Lashinske was second in the pole vault with a clearance of 15-5.
Starting today with the Texas Relays, the UW throws group will be hoping to make a major impact on the national scene. Five Huskies will be in action over the next few days in Austin, including All-Americans Zack Midles, Kyle Nielsen, and Brooke Pighin. Sophomore Angus Taylor and freshman Joe Zimmerman will also be taking part.
The UW Daily talked with Midles and throws coach Reedus Thurmond for a piece that previews the group's unity and high expectations
"We all try and push each other," Midles explained. "From day one, the coaches teach us team unity, and we really have that. The most important thing is winning."
Always a favorite of Flotrack.org, senior Katie Follett took some time to talk with the website as part of its "KWIK-E" interview series. In Follett's case, the title is something of a misnomer, as the transcript of the chat winds up anything but quick. The seven-time All-American talks about the outdoor season ahead, looks back on her runner-up finish in the mile at NCAA Indoors, and touches on her training, teammates, and some local hiking destinations.
Here are a couple snippets from the interview. Click here for the full feature.
After being the runner-up indoors, is the ultimate goal a national championship?
Well, definitely being the runner-up, I feel kind of hungry going towards outdoor nationals. The goal whenever you're at NCAAs is to win a national championship. To be right behind her and to see her throwing her hands up in the air and to know I was the next girl, definitely I'll be thinking about that and how that felt going into the outdoor season. I wasn't disappointed with my race. That's the best finish I've ever had. I felt like it was a good race for me. I guess we'll see. That's all you can say! I said that you get three days of the year to get to go for a national title and you just really hope that you're not injured and that you feel good on those days. The goal is to get to that day outdoor and just be feeling good. I felt pretty good indoors, so hopefully I can do that again.
What does it feel like to have been a huge part of Washington's distance success in the past four years?
I've had a great experience here at Washington. I wouldn't change a thing. I've loved it here. I feel really blessed to have had great girls to train with and obviously there's Anita Campbell, Mel Lawrence, Kendra Schaaf, Kailey Campbell and Christine Babcock. I get to go to practice with these girls everyday. Multiple All Americans! They've done really great things and have a great attitude at practice and everyone wants to work hard. I feel like going to practice every day with them has made me a better distance runner than I could have been on my own training. Obviously Coach Metcalf is a big part of that. I love him as a coach. He's very enthusiastic and he really believes in each of us, in our potential and what we can accomplish. I think the combination of that with girls that I train with has just been awesome and a great experience.
An insightful and in-depth Q&A with freshman mid-distance specialist Justine Johnson was posted recently on Flotrack.org. Johnson, a native of Victoria, B.C., redshirted the fall cross country season and then ran very well on the Dempsey oval during the indoor season. She lowered her mile times in every outing, eveutally clocking 4:47.90 at the UW Final Qualifier which was less than a second off the NCAA Provisional qualifying mark.
Here is an excerpt from the piece, with Johnson considering her long-term goals:
"My overall long-term goal would be having the opportunity to compete for my country (Canada) some day. I have dreamt about going to the Olympics since I was a freshman in high school. By my final year at UW, I would love to have helped the team to a XC NCAA title. I was excited coming into the cross-country season in the fall, watching the older girls on the team train and prepare for nationals. It has given me lots of motivation to try to get there myself someday, and be part of a NCAA championship team. Being able to train with such talented and hard working teammates like Katie Follett, I have seen a lot of improvement in myself already. I think a lot of big things could happen by senior year."
Click here to read the rest of the interview.
Future Husky Megan Goethals is making a habit out of jaw-dropping finishes to win national titles. The 2009-10 Gatorade National Cross Country Runner of the Year from Rochester, Michigan surged to a victory in the two-mile run at Nike Indoor Nationals held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston this past Saturday.
Goethals, the 2009 Footlocker National Cross Country Champion who will join the Washington program in the fall, erased a 25-meter gap heading into the final lap to nip Emily Sisson at the line in a time of 10:10.14 compared to 10:10.21 for Sisson. Goethals had trailed by 40-50 meters just a few laps earlier.
According to Runnersweb.com, Goethals was already thinking about putting forth her best effort for Husky head coach Greg Metcalf.
"I did not want to tell Coach Metcalf, 'Oh yeah, I kind of fell behind a little and got third,'" she said.
Goethals' winning time also broke the meet record, set just last year by Jordan Hasay, a current freshman All-American at Oregon.
The win was amazingly similar to the finish at Footlocker Nationals in the fall, where Goethals came from seemingly nowhere to catch Chelsey Sveinsson at the finish to take the cross country title.
Here is the full race video from Saturday: Goethals Wins National Indoor 2-Mile Run
And here is the bio for Goethals from her UW signing: Megan Goethals
With more than a hundred years of tradition and more than a hundred athletes on the roster year-by-year, there are certainly a huge number of Washington track and field alumni scattered around the world. Last Saturday, after the MPSF Championships wrapped up in the Dempsey, approximately one hundred members of the extended UW track family gathered for a reunion in the Conibear Shellhouse.
Among the alumni in attendance were 2006 NCAA 1,500m champion Amy Lia, 1976 Pac-10 shot put champion Russ Vincent, 2000 Pac-10 shot put champion Ben Lindsey, 2000 decathlon All-American Jacob Predmore, 1982 800-meter All-American Rob Webster with his son, current Husky Rob Webster Jr., plus many more. Also making an appearance was the legendary coach of many of the alums, Ken Shannon, who coached the men's team from 1968-97.
Head Coach Greg Metcalf addressed the alumni, family and friends, and current UW All-Americans Katie Follett and Jeremy Taiwo both spoke about their experiences on the team.
Taiwo talked about how foot surgery in high school led to his development as a decathlete.
"I still wanted to score points for my team, so I thought I'd try shot put or discus, and I'd go out on crutches and then throw the discus, and I actually beat some people which was kind of sad," he said to a big laugh. "Senior year I thought maybe this injury was for a reason, so I tried a bit of the hurdles, and the javelin, and ... it took a while but a lot of things started clicking, and it's just the most fun thing I've ever done, I have fun every time I do a multi-event because there's ups and downs and you've just got to keep working to get that finished product."
The Renton, Wash. native and Newport grad was asked about why he settled on Washington, especially when his father Joseph was an All-American at Washington State.
"When I was on my recruiting trip here, I had a great time with the team, but just knowing that these (coaches) were here and fired up about track, and supporting their athletes, I've never felt that kind of love from anyone," said Taiwo. "I knew I wanted to compete for these guys because I know they want me to be the best and they're going to help me get there."
(Coach Ken Shannon holds court)
Follett then took the microphone from her coach and talked about her role in building the women's distance program into a national powerhouse.
"I knew that (Coach Metcalf) believed in me, and he thought I could be great. I wanted that kind of positive atmosphere," Follett said. "At that point there were a few really good girls who had just come onto the team, and it was a young team. I wanted to help that get going and help the program. I just feel really blessed by the atmosphere that's on the team. All the girls when they come to practice every day, they bring their hard hats, they're excited to be here and they want to work hard. I've never been on another team that has that attitude, and it's why we've been able to experience so much success as a team the past few years."
Metcalf then asked Follett to recount the feeling of being handed the NCAA Championship trophy for the first time after the Huskies took the 2008 cross country title in Indiana.
"I cried because every time I got to the state meet in high school, I thought that our team was going to win or that I was going to win and something terrible happened and I never won, ever. So when they handed me the trophy I just was like, 'We won? It actually came true?'
Follett also credited her dad with turning her into a runner, saying how he would let her run with him on the last mile of his runs, and he would always let her win, until the point came where she could actually beat him. She ended her talk saying that although she has all her prerequisites finished for physical therapy school, she will hold off a few years before applying to continue running, and that Metcalf would continue as her coach as she tries to compete at the next level.
"I'm going to try and keep running, because this is what I really love to do and I'm passionate about it. I just want to ride it through until the end and see where it can take me," said Follett.
The night was certainly a success, with old Dawgs hearing from the athletes they helped pave the way for, and the current Huskies seeing that UW track is a lifelong membership. Metcalf closed by urging those in attendance to try and round up more of their teammates to the next reunion, sooner rather than later.
If you haven't been around Husky Stadium since the Dawgs knocked off Cal 42-10 to end the season, you haven't had a chance to see the massive construction project taking place in what, for years, was the E-11, E-17 and E-12 parking lots on the south side of the stadium. (Click on the photos to see larger versions)
Every season ticket holder and Tyee Club member has received information through the mail, email, internet and, in many cases, by telephone regarding the significant impact the voter-approved Sound Transit project will have on Husky athletics for the next six years.
The Reader's Digest version (for you younger generation folks, this means "condensed") is: A six acre construction zone for the next six years has eliminated approximately 600 spaces in parking lots E11, E12 and E17. The project to build a UW Sound Transit Station for light rail was approved by King County voters and has caused some major changes in the way the UW handles parking for major events on campus - most notably Husky football games.
With an upheaval in parking assignments, the athletic department is looking to help alleviate some of the inconvenience with an expansion of its popular free Metro bus transportation system throughout the Puget Sound (a roughly $600,000 annual expense to UW athletics) and the addition of buses, carts and vans to shuttle fans to and from the stadium to the various parking lots.
Chris Fetters of Sports Washington wrote this piece in late November that described many of the changes.
If you are looking for specific information regarding your season tickets or Tyee membership and how that affects your parking, please visit this website or call the Tyee Office at (206) 543-2234.
Gail Wood, a sports writer from The Olympian, has just released a new book titled Saved Twice. The book is about the inspirational stories of 13 athletes and sports figures that have overcome life-threatening moments to succeed.
Among the Huskies represented are Lorenzo Romar, Kayla Burt and Brian Sternberg.
Here is a little excerpt provided by the author:
Lorenzo Romar felt the barrel of the pistol push against his forehead. "What would happen if I pushed the trigger?" snarled a member of a notorious gang. Growing up in Compton, Calif., Romar learned about the jagged edge of life.
Before Romar became the Pac-10 coach of the year at the University of Washington, he had to learn about surviving gangs. Romar shares his story in Saved Twice, a recently released book about 13 athletes.
The book is written by sportswriter Gail Wood, who was named Gannett's columnist of the year and won a Blethen Award from the Seattle Times for feature writing.
Two other former UW athletes - Brian Sternberg and Kayla Burt - also share their stories.
Marty Tadman, the All-American defensive back from Boise State, talks about the night he considered suicide.
"We all love a comeback," Wood said. "These stories are about the best comebacks ever. The bring hope and inspiration."
With their real-life drama as a backdrop, their stories are inspirational.
Head track coach Greg Metcalf, a perennial favorite of Flotrack.org, is currently featured on the site as part of a series where prominent coaches discuss the mental aspect of the sport.
Coach Metcalf discusses the approach he takes with mental preparation and shares some anecdotes about 2009 World Championships participant Ryan Brown as well as praising the stability of current All-American Christine Babcock.
Watch the full video by clicking this link.
The voter-approved Sound Transit project to construct a light rail station outside Husky Stadium jumped quickly into its first phase recently. A quick look at the E-11 and E-12 parking lots just to the South of Husky Stadium shows a flurry of construction activity. (Click on the photo to the right for a larger version).
GoHuskies.com has setup a great website that provides in-depth information on the project and its six-year impact on Husky athletics.
Also, Chris Fetters of Sports Washington wrote a good explanation of the project and its impact on Husky football parking in November.
We'll have more updates throughout the spring, leading into next year's 2010 Husky football season. So, keep tuned to GoHuskies.com.
Head track & field coach Greg Metcalf sat down in front of the Flotrack.org cameras recently and gave a pair of interviews. In the first he looks back on the recently concluded cross country season focusing mostly on the women's team where the Husky women placed third led by Kendra Schaaf's runner-up efforts.
Watch the XC recap here.
The next clip looks forwards to the upcoming track season, with Coach Metcalf giving a rundown of the top athletes that the Dawgs will look to for points at the two NCAA Championships this season.
Here's the link to the track outlook.
With the demise of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer last winter, many wondered about the future of the annual Sports Star of the Year Awards. After all, the event had been around since former P-I sports editor Royal Brougham started the awards in 1935.
However, the Sports Star of the Year Awards are alive and well and now is in its 75th year.
The Seattle Sports Commission and Seattle Children's Hospital have teamed up to continue the awards, which will take place on Jan. 19 at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle.
The UW's Jake Locker, Nick Taylor, Lorenzo Romar and the IRA national champion men's crew are nominees for the Male Sports Athlete of the Year.
On the women's side, Washington's Tamari Miyashiro, Kendra Schaaf and the NCAA national champion softball team are among the nominees.
Todd Dybas with SeattlePI.com wrote this great summary of this year's event.
Site preparation for Sound Transit's UW Station construction will start at the E11 parking lot (SW parking lot adjacent to the Husky Stadium) on January 4, 2010 at 7 a.m.
Here is a quick look at the work activities scheduled for January 2010:
? Fencing off a portion of the southwest parking lot of Husky Stadium;
Visit the Tyee website for more information.
Sophomore standout Kendra Schaaf is a fast rising star in the NCAA but perhaps even moreso in her native Canada, where she won the Canadian Cross Country National Championships last month just a few days after taking second in the NCAA Championships.
On the Athletics Canada website, the home site of Canada's national team for track and field, Schaaf was named the Mondo Top Performer of the Month, complete with a large photo of Schaaf that dominates the home page.
Look for Kendra to make her mark on the track this indoor season at UW's Dempsey Indoor facility, which hosts five major meets from January through March.
One of the best success stories in the past decade for Washington track and cross country was Mark Mandi, a walk-on who evenutally became a two-time All-Pac-10 First Team selection in cross country and led the men's cross country team to NCAA's in 2003 and 2005. Mandi earned a degree in engineering in 2006, but when Northwest University was seeking a head coach for track and cross country, he chose to stick with his passion. Only 26, Mandi is now heading the NAIA track program. Larry Hendry of the Everett Herald profiles the great response Mandi has received and the great experience he can impart on his student-athletes.
Here's one excerpt from one of Mandi's current runners, Tyler Hart.
"He's awesome," Hart said. "In college, he put in the work to accomplish things that didn't seem possible. Here, we're having people improve just because Mark believes in them. He sees himself in a lot of our shoes because he was a back-of-the-pack runner at one time."
Click here to read more.
The day before the NCAA Championships, the UW women's cross country team was featured in a number of race previews around the web. Here's a rundown to get ready for Monday morning.
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times profiled the team and what makes it tick in this column.
NCAA.com has a race preview here along with a link to the live stream for Monday.
Flotrack.org brought Coach Metcalf in for a video interview at the course Sunday morning. Click here to get Metcalf's thoughts.
And finally our own entry on UW's involvement in the official NCAA press conference.
The NCAA released its annual report of graduation success rates among Division I instititions and, once again, the University of Washington showed it ranks second in the Pac-10 and second among all public institutions on the West Coast. Washington's football federal graduation rate is just two percent shy of the rate for all Division I student-athletes. For the complete story and links to the NCAA reports, visit this piece posted yesterday on GoHuskies.com. The Associated Press also wrote a good story on the topic, which you can find here.
A couple of facts that were not widely reported included the graduation success rate (GSR) among football programs in the Pac-10. Among scholarship athletes, the Huskies rate second in the league in both graduation success rate and the four-year rolling federal graduation rate average. Below is a chart showing how the UW fares against league rivals.
A couple of other key facts that the report revealed about the academic success of various UW sports programs:
? The graduation rate for UW scholarship student-athletes who exhausted their eligibility at the school during this reporting period was an impressive 90 percent. A total of 503 student-athletes fit into this category.
Wednesday's KING-5 sports feature on senior Katie Follett is up online now for those who may have missed it. Lisa Gangel came out and met the Huskies for an early morning run through the nature preserve behind Husky Ballpark before the sun even threatened to show up. Don't be deceived by the enhanced light in the shots of the team running, it was pretty dark out there!
Watch the full segment here.
KING-5 News sports anchor Lisa Gangel and a trusty cameraman rose early this morning to meet the Husky women's cross country squad at 6:45 a.m. in the nature preserve off Lake Washington behind the Husky Ballpark.
The women had already warmed up in the Dempsey then went for a few loops around the trails and did some strides before heading back indoors for a brief interval workout. KING-5 filme the women running outdoors prior to sunrise, then later sat down for interviews with senior Katie Follett, as well as head coach Greg Metcalf and Assistant Coach Kelly Strong.
Make sure to watch for the feature on this evening's news. It is scheduled to run first on the 5 o'clock broadcast.
Senior cross country All-American Katie Follett has a lengthy chat with Runners World now up on their website. Follett talks about the current state of the top-ranked Huskies, her training regimen and future in the sport, and how she has been able to go from a solid high school runner to a five-time All-America collegian.
Follett will lead the Huskies to Springfield, Ore. this Saturday for NCAA West Regionals at the Springfield Country Club.
Here's an excerpt, where Follett talks about the pressure of holding the No. 1 ranking:
"KF: Most of the pressure comes from what we put on ourselves. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves because we want to work really hard and we want to run well and every single girl on the team wants to reach her potential. And if we put that together, we know we can count on each other every time we step on the line, that every single person is going to give 100 percent. And that's the kind of pressure I think we feel, more than the bullseye that's on our back."
Former Husky Mike Sayenko, a 2006 graduate and native of Bellevue, Wash., finished 14th today at the New York Marathon, one of the world's premier races.
Sayenko, a Sammamish High alum, has developed into one of the top marathoners in the world over the past few years, and was the eighth-best American finisher today in New York, running a personal-best time of 2-hours, 16-minutes, and 38-seconds. American Meb Keflezighi won the race in 2:09:15, becoming the first American man to win the race in 27 years.
At UW, Sayenko ranks fifth on the school's all-time 10,000-meter list with a time of 29:07. In his last cross country season in 2006, he was 65th at the NCAA Championships, helping UW to a 12th-place finish, its best finish since 1993. He became the first Husky since 1992 to run at three NCAA XC Championships. In November of 2007, Sayenko was 29th at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
Here are the full results.
Recently, Washington Husky athletic department officials and student-athletes showed their appreciation to its scholarship donors at its annual luncheon in the Don James Center. Husky student-athletes Victor Aiyewa and Danielle Lawrie presented thanks to the benefactors on behalf of all of the UW's scholarship student-athletes.
Check out this great photo gallery from the event.
Women's soccer coach Lesle Gallimore gave a passionate speech that outlined the tremendous responsibility each coach accepts as they makes decisions on who and when to award athletic scholarships.
"As a coach I am entrusted with the task of awarding scholarships to young women whom my staff and I determine are worthy of your generosity," said Gallimore. "This is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I have done nothing for the dollars that I am doling out. It is not my hard work that has made these scholarships possible and yet it is my duty to select people that will live up to their commitment of striving for athletic and academic excellence.
Washington junior All-American Mel Lawrence talked with the Pac-10 last week as part of the conference's Pac-10 Championships preview podcast. Lawrence, the Pac-10 Cross Country runner-up last year to teammate Kendra Schaaf, will be one of the driving forces behind UW's quest for back-to-back titles on the conference and national level.
Click here to download the podcast which begins with an interview of Stanford men's runner Jake Riley. Lawrence's segment begins right about the 11-minute mark.
Senior cross country runner and Mukilteo, Wash. native Kelly Spady was chosen as the Everett Herald's Athlete of the Week following his win at the Sundodger Invitational last Saturday in West Seattle.
The Herald spoke with Spady about the team's early season success and which Huskies might get the best book deal. Click here to read the full interview.
Husky assistant coach Andrea VanderLende checked in from New Zealand for GoHuskies.com after day 10. Here are reports and a photo gallery from days seven through 10 of the 11 day trip.
? Check out the latest photos in the updated Photo Gallery!
Today we played Waikanae Golf Club. We were supposed to have terrible weather but once again the golf gods were with us. It was a bit chilly, but the wind and quick greens made this course very challenging. Waikanae is a traditional club, having one of the largest memberships in all of New Zealand. We also learned that Steve Williams, Tiger Wood's caddy, spent most of his childhood learning the game of golf at Waikanae Golf Club. There were tons of photos of Steve and Tiger displayed around the club.
The day has finally come!! We are off to play the highly anticipated Cape Kidnappers in Hawke's Bay. Cape Kidnappers is the host to the 2009 Kiwi Challenge PGA Tour Event. The defending champion Hunter Mahan and last year's runner-up Anthony Kim will be joined by Sean O'Hair and Camilo Villegas for a 36-hole stroke play event. This event will take place just around the corner on Nov. 11 and 12.
This course lived up to all of its expectations. Once you made your way past the gate you had about a five mile drive that involved many hills and winding roads to reach the club house. On the drive we saw many sheep running around freely in the fields; in fact, our bus actually had to slow down to make sure we didn't hit one. We had a terrible forecast for the day but we lucked out because it turned out to be a beautiful day. Once again, it was a picturesque day and we had our cameras out on every hole.
Our next round in Lake Taupo was at Wairakei International Golf Course. This was a beautiful and challenging golf course that is ranked in Golf Digest's Top 100. It is a classic country club style course aligned with several trees and some hidden bunkers. It is a challenging course off the tee and placement was necessary in order to avoid severely sloped bunkers. The course was in great shape with fast greens that definitely challenged the girls on the team.
It's Saturday back in Washington and Sunday in New Zealand. We are in Taupo sitting around the breakfast table following the Washington USC football game on our iPhones. The team was excited to played Taupo Golf Club, but to be honest we were definitely more excited about Washington beating USC!!! Karinn's dad was giving us play-by-play and we all screamed when he finally said HUSKIES WIN!!!!! Now, off to play some golf and for the team to compete in our first qualifying round of the season.
The newest edition of the venerable Track & Field News magazine is out now and contains a look ahead at the NCAA cross country season. Under the headline "Huskies In A Pack All Their Own", T&F News lists the Dawgs as the preseason favorites to hoist the championship trophy once again this November in Terre Haute.
The capsule on the Huskies reads: "At last year's nationals, Greg Metcalf's Huskies sealed their first national title with their 3-4-5 runners--Mel Lawrence, Katie Follett & Amanda Miller--only 4 seconds apart. Their 79-point total gave them a huge 52-point margin of victory."
West Virginia is slotted No. 2, while the rival Oregon Ducks are ranked third. Oregon took second behind the Huskies at Pac-10's, Regionals, and NCAA's last year.
The feature also takes a stab at predicting the Top-10 individual finishers at nationals, and three Huskies are forecast in the Top-10, starting with Christine Babcock at No. 3, Kendra Schaaf at No. 5, and Mel Lawrence at No. 10. The feat would seem hard to fathom for most teams but Washington's top-four all return (senior Katie Follett also has surefire Top-10 talent) and have all finished in the Top-25 at NCAA's.
On the men's side, after the Top-10 team capsules, a group of "other challengers" is listed, and includes the Husky men. Six of UW's top-seven competitors from last year's NCAA meet return on the men's side, while redshirt freshman Joey Bywater and a healthy Max O'Donoghue-McDonald should greatly help the men earn a third Top-20 finish over four years.
The official USTFCCCA preseason rankings are still a few weeks away on September 16.
Flotrack.org had the following interview with Husky alum Ryan Brown shortly after he wrapped up his World Championships prelim in the 800-meters. Brown was hindered by a runner falling in front of him and finished fifth, but as the video shows he doesn't mention that once, not one to make excuses, and he's already looking ahead for 2010!
1998 Washington alum and Husky Hall of Famer Aretha Thurmond squeaked into the women's discus finals today at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Thurmond got the 12th and final qualifying spot, and did so with the last of her three throws.
Thurmond, competing in the fourth World Championships of her career, is already assured of her best career finish, as she had never reached the finals before. On her last attempt, Thurmond surpassed the 200-foot mark, going 200-feet and 4-inches to advance.
A relieved Thurmond told the media, "I think I just gave my high school coach some grey hairs today. It's been my m.o. unfortunately my whole career. I'm the type of a competitor that takes a while to get into a groove."
The final will take place this Friday, August 21st.
"The point was to get out there and make it through to the finals. (Team USA has) two Americans in the finals and now we can go see if we can put two on the podium," said Thurmond.
Tomorrow, former UW NCAA Champions Brad Walker and Ryan Brown will compete for the first time. Walker is the defending world champ in the pole vault, while Brown makes his World Championships debut in the 800-meters. You can read about Brown's early Berlin experience here.
Thanks to Paul Merca for the photo and quotes.
Today the USATF posted the race footage of the men's 800-meter final from this past Sunday at the USA Track & Field Championships. Former Husky Ryan Brown squeezed in for the third spot, earning a trip to his first World Championships coming up in August in Berlin.
Watch as Brown stays patient through the first lap, and then early in the second lap has to cut behind Tyler Mulder in order to get to the outside, where he starts to move up on the pack. Down the home stretch Brown outkicks 2008 Olympian Christian Smith for third.
Brown is wearing a white jersey and knee-high socks and starts out in lane four.
Visit 2009nationals.usatf.org for more Videos
As mentioned in the recap on GoHuskies, former Husky Brad Walker captured the U.S. pole vault title today at the USA Track Championships in Eugene. However, that was not the only national title won today by a Husky track (and in this case field) star.
Kyle Nielsen, a junior-to-be, claimed the javelin title at the Canadian National Championships in Toronto today. Nielsen threw 236-feet, 3-inches on his second attempt, just barely short of his lifetime best, and won by nearly six feet.
A native of Langley, B.C., Nielsen earned his first All-America honor two weeks ago with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Another current Husky, Ryan Vu, will compete in the pole vault finals tomorrow in Toronto.
Redshirt frosh Mel Lawrence advanced to the final of the women's steeplechase this evening at the U.S. Track Championships, while 2007 grad Ryan Brown moved into the final in the men's 800-meters.
Brown was up first in the 800 semis at Oregon's Hayward Field. A nine-time All-American out of Renton, Wash., Brown placed second in the first section in a time of 1:47.81 which was the third-fastest overall. A two-time NCAA champ, Brown will now shoot for a top-three finish and a World Championships big on Sunday. The race, set for 1:53 p.m. will air live on NBC.
Lawrence ran in the second of two steeplechase prelims. The top four from each heat advanced to the final automatically, and Lawrence sat in fourth throughout most of the race and coasted to the finish in 9:56.42 to earn the auto bid. The Pac-10 record-holder in the event will be one of 14 remaining women vying for the national title on Sunday at 1:14.
Representing the Dawgs in the discus throw were head throws coach Reedus Thurmond and volunteer assistant Will Conwell. Conwell placed 14th while Thumond was 20th.
Tomorrow's action includes 2007 World Champion Brad Walker in the pole vault, competing in the same field as junior-to-be Scott Roth, who was runner-up at NCAA's two weeks ago. 2008 grad Norris Frederick will also battle in the long jump.
Freshman phenom Kendra Schaaf showed she's in fine form despite redshirting the track season this year as the Craven, Saskatchewan native took second in the 5,000-meter run at the Canadian Track & Field Championships last night.
Schaaf lowered her PR to 15:52.74, finishing just behind Tara Quinn-Smith who won in 15:50.35. Quinn-Smith has won multiple Canada national titles in the 10k and marathon and is 10 years older than Schaaf. Third-place went to Danette Doetzel, who won the 10,000-meters at the NCAA Chamiponships earlier this month running for Providence.
Fellow Canadian Anita Campbell (Vancouver, B.C.) was sixth in the same 5k final, running 16:21.17. Campbell just earned her first track All-American at the NCAA Championships as she placed third in the 10,000-meter final won by Doetzel.
Husky pole vaulter Ryan Vu, also a Canadian native, will compete in the prelims today. The meet runs through Sunday at the Varsity Centre at the University of Toronto.
Three-time Olympian Aretha Thurmond will soon be a four-time World Championships participant as well, as the Husky legend placed second in the discus throw at the USA Track & Field Championships last night at Hayward Field in Eugene. Though Thurmond fell just short of a fifth national championship, she did secure a spot on Team USA for the 2009 World Outdoor Championships held August 15-23 in Berlin.
Thurmond placed 10th in the discus at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Last night her best throw came on her final attempt, as she tossed the disc 205-feet and 1-inch.
In other action last night, two-time NCAA 800-meter champion Ryan Brown advanced through the first round of competition with a second-place finish in the second of four heats. Brown's time of 1:48.17 was fifth-fastest in the field of 36. He will run in the semis tonight at 6:10 p.m. in a race that will be televised live on ESPN. The network will broadcast from 5-7 p.m. tonight.
Additional Huskies in action included senior-to-be Katie Follett, who ran a season-best 4:17.70 in the 1,500-meters but did not advance. She placed 16th overall. Recent grad Austin Abbott was fourth in his heat in the men's 1,500-meters, but his was the slowest overall heat and none but the two auto qualifiers moved on out of his section. Abbott was 28th overall in 3:46.82.
Former Husky Justin St. Clair was 18th in the javelin throw, while recent grad Jordan Boase was unable to advance in the 400-meter dash, and 2006 grad Mike Sayenko did not finish in the men's 10,000-meters.
Highlighting today's action is Pac-10 record-holder Mel Lawrenec in the women's steeplechase. Having just finished her redshirt freshman season, Lawrence has the sixth-fastest time this year by an American woman. She'll run at 7:20 tonight.
The U.S. Track & Field Championships have begun this afternoon in Eugene, Ore. at Hayward Field, the site of last year's Olympic Trials. There will be a lot of Huskies to watch today, and fans can follow all the races with a high-quality live stream available at the following link:
There were a couple notable changes to the start lists since yesterday's story on GoHuskies. Most importantly in the women's 1,500m run, current Huskies Katie Follett and Kailey Campbell were both added to the field and will compete in the prelims tonight at 6:45. Follett made the semis of the 1,500 last year at the Trials.
Also on tap today are Jordan Boase in the 400 dash at 6:20 and Austin Abbott in the 1,500-meters at 7:05. Austin especially faces an extremely tough challenge to make the final, as there are four heats of 12-13 athletes and only the top two in each heat plus the next four best times advance. Abbott's head includes 2008 Olympian Lopez Lomong.
Aretha Thurmond will go for her fifth national title in the discus today at 6:45. Former NCAA champ Ryan Brown will run the 800 at 5:35, and 2006 grad Mike Sayenko is slated to run the 10k at 8:30. The first Husky in action is javelin thrower Justin St. Clair at 3:30.
Redshirt freshman Mel Lawrence looked like the future of the women's steeplechase tonight, placing third in the final behind two seniors and running a massive lifetime best of 9:40.98.
Lawrence, a Reno, Nev. native, adds her first track All-American honor to the one she earned in cross country in the fall. She was the only woman in the field to set a PR.
A full recap will come later tonight.
UPDATE: All running events have been pushed back about one hour, and the CBS College Sports TV window has been moved back as well. The show will now air from 7-10 p.m. Central time. All field events have also been moved to tonight, but the weather looks like it should hold for the rest of the day.
For the third time in the four days that the Huskies have been in Fayetteville, a large thunderstorm passed over the area, dropping rain in sheets and prompting tornado warnings. Morning action at NCAA's was delayed once again, and while the worst of the storm seems to have passed, conditions are still very wet and gray. It remains to be seen if the start times for any of the Huskies will be affected. Washington's first participants today were to be Jared O'Connor and Scott Roth in the men's pole vault final, beginning at 3:45 p.m. Central.Today is the first day of action that will be televised live, as the CBS College Sports channel broadcasts from 6-9 p.m. Central time. That window covers all running events today, so there are still several hours for the weather to clear and the meet to be televised as planned. Huskies competing on the track this evening will include Mel Lawrence in the steeple final at 6:25 Central, Jordan Boase in the 400m semis at 7:25, and Katie Follett in the final of the 5,000-meters at 8:15. For Comcast subscribers in the Seattle area, CBS College Sports is channel 412.
Looking back at yesterday's action, the following photo gallery has been updated, and a post-race interview with Anita Campbell following her third-place finish in the 10,000-meters will be up shortly
Here is the video interview with Anita Campbell after last night's 10,000-meters run:
School mile record-holder and five-time All-American Austin Abbott had one of the best races of his already storied career this evening at the NCAA Championships, as he broke the 22-year-old school record in the 1,500-meter run.
Running in the first of three semifinal heats, Abbott placed second in 3:39.63, which was the second-best time among all 27 prelim runners. That time eclipsed Bruce Stirling's 1987 school record of 3:39.89. Abbott had been shooting for that record for much of the year, and thought his best chance might have passed at the Mt. SAC Relays. He had been held in check in tactical, crowded races at Pac-10's and Regionals, but found room to run today.
In a nine-man field, Abbott was in the back of the pack early, but continually moved up and positioned himself at the back of the lead pack that included about five athletes. Around the final turn, Abbott continued to pick off runners, and kicked to the finish on the outside to finish just behind Wisconsin's Craig Miller. After seeing his time, Abbott raised his arms in triumph. Abbott's previous PR was 3:41.62 set in a win at the Stanford Invite this season.
Just a few minutes earlier, freshman Christine Babcock also advanced to the final of the women's 1,500-meters, running a PR of 4:16.10.
We'll have a post-race video interview with Abbott later tonight.
***UPDATE: While the rain continues and lightning can still be seen as of 8:45 Central time, the sky turned a dazzling shade of orange as the storm gave way to a reflected sunset. Check out the new photo below. A decision is coming soon on whether tonight's events will resume.***
The NCAA Track Championships have been put on hold as a major thunder and lightning storm rolled over Fayetteville at around 7 p.m. Competitors retreated to the nearby Bud Walton Arena, the home of the Razorbacks basketball teams, for cover.
Before the rains hit, Husky vaulters Scott Roth and Jared O'Connor made it through qualifying with clearances of 17-6 1/2. Two runways were set up, and Roth and O'Connor were split between the two, so coach Pat Licari was hustling back and forth along the grandstand to advise both athletes, and also try to keep track of the dwindling number of entrants. Only five vaulters cleared that bar (Roth and O'Connor included), and nine more from a lower height advanced on a tiebreaker, bringing the number of finalists to 14 from the original field of 27. Washington is the only school with two vaulters left, and O'Connor was the only vaulter in the field to clear each height on his first attempt.
Andrea Peterson had been warming up for the women's vault when the meet was halted. Also still left to compete this evening are senior Jordan Boase and Gudaitis in the 400-meters, junior Katie Follett in the 5,000m, and redshirt freshman Mel Lawrence in a wetter than usual steeplechase. Sophomore Kyle Nielsen was also slated to compete in the men's javelin qualifying tonight. Brooke Pighin finished up her throws in the women's javelin, but is still waiting for the event to finish to see if she qualifies.
The first track events are about an hour away at the NCAA Track Championships this afternoon at the University of Arkansas. Hammer throw qualifying was the first event up this morning, and although junior Zack Midles barely missed out on the final, he did earn his first career All-American honor in his first trip to nationals.
Midles placed 13th in the qualifying rounds, and was eighth-best among Americans. Unfortunately, Midles' best throw of an even 210-feet was three inches shy of the last spot in Friday's final.
Midles will be UW's first All-American in the hammer, and first in any men's throws event, since Martin Bingisser in 2007. The Olympia native was seeded just 21st coming into the event, so even coming so close to the final was a bit of an upset. Midles joins his older brother Adam as All-American hammer specialists. Adam earned the honor three times at USC, with a best finish of fifth.
Live video and results are available on the NCAA's site. Seven more Huskies and one more relay are scheduled to compete this evening.
The 20 Husky track & field student-athletes on hand in Fayetteville, Arkansas are currently resting up before the NCAA Outdoor Championships kick off tomorrow morning. Junior Zack Midles and sophomore Elisa Bryant will be the first Huskies in action tomorrow, each competing in the hammer throw qualifying rounds, with Midles starting at 10:30 a.m. (Central) and Bryant beginning at 1 p.m. The first track event for UW is the semifinal of the men's 4x100m relay.
The Huskies flew to Dallas then hustled over to their connecting flight to Tulsa, before driving on to Fayetteville, arriving around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. The Dawgs got in about an hour-long workout at the track this afternoon, highlights of which can be viewed in the video below. A steady breeze helped ward off the humidity, but temperatures are expected to be in the 90s on Wednesday.
Many of the Huskies are still coping with final exams. Junior Katie Follett, running in the 5,000-meter prelims tomorrow, got back from practice and headed straight to take a Nutrition 405 exam, while senior sprinter Kenjamine Jackson sat in the lobby before dinner poring over an unidentified multiple-choice exam proctored by Academic Coordinator Rod Jones. 1,500-meter entrants Christine Babcock and Kailey Campbell have sociology and psychology finals to manage over the next couple days, and will try to create additional finals for themselves by advancing through the prelims on Thursday.
GoHuskies.com will have photos and videos from each day of the championships in addition to a full recap. Live results should be available tomorrow on the NCAA's website
Seniors Joe Turner, Kenjamine Jackson, Randy Bacon, and junior Jeff Gudaitis pulled off a minor upset in the 4x100m relay to nab the third and final automatic qualifying spot for the NCAA Championships. Turner, the only returnee from the 2008 Pac-10 Championship 4x1 group, anchored the Huskies to a season-best time of 40.18 seconds. It could have been the final meet for the three seniors, yet now they'll get to continue on to Fayetteville, Arkansas in two weeks.
Senior All-American and Pac-10 Champion Jordan Boase got out quick in the 400m dash final and took the title in 45.94 seconds. A hamstring cramp in the 200m final at Pac-10's had forced Boase to pull up two weeks ago, but he looked to be feeling just fine today. Gudaitis, meanwhile, earned his first ever individual NCAA bid just an hour after the relay, as he placed fourth in the 400m in a season-best 46.90. Gudaitis was seeded just sixth entering the final and ran in the outside lane next to Boase.
A full recap will be posted later this evening.
In what could have been the last meet of her collegiate career, senior pole vaulter Andrea Peterson made sure she would stick around through NCAA's, as she turned in the performance of her life today to place second at NCAA West Regionals. Peterson turned in the second-best pole vault in school history today, setting new personal-bests on back-to-back vaults to qualify for her first ever NCAA Championships.
The first day of Regional action is still ongoing at Oregon's Hayward Field, but it will be hard to top Peterson's performance as the highlight. Her clearance of 13-feet, 9.75 inches is the second-best in school history, behind only former NCAA Champion Kate Soma.
A full recap will be posted to GoHuskies.com later tonight, but here are a few of the beaming Peterson's comments after she received congratulations from several family members and friends.
On moving to 2nd on UW's all-time Top-10: "I'm in so much shock right now. My idols have pole vaulted at UW. Absolutely phenomenal female vaulters, and to be second all-time is ridiculous, I don't even know how that happened! It's been really, really fun. It was a really good day."
On her day: "I peaked at the right time and I'm so excited that happened. I've been battling injuries all year. I'm in awe, I had no idea this was going to happen. I had it in the back of my mind that this could because I'd been practicing really well, so as long as practice played over to the meet I felt this could happen."
On the specific vaults: "I was just really focused, I knew I could do it. I looked at the crossbar and I knew I could clear it. And then one PR after another it feels really good. I had so many people here, we're close just right across the border."
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