Track & Field Team Banquet Photos
SEATTLE - It was a good night to be a pole vaulter at the Husky track and field team banquet Monday night in the Don James Center. Head Coach Greg Metcalf honored the Washington seniors and then presented several awards for the 2013-14 year, highlighted by Team MVP awards for vaulters Jax Thoirs and Diamara Planell Cruz.
Joined by the parents of many Husky track athletes along with longtime officials and supporters of the program, Coach Metcalf recapped a season's worth of higlights, with many more still to come at the NCAA Outdoor Championships next week in Eugene, Oregon.
The team awards began with the men's and women's Newcomers of the Year. On the men's side, NCAA qualifier and four-minute miler Izaic Yorks was named the winner. Planell Cruz won the women's Newcomer of the Year award, starting a trend for the evening.
Looking back to the fall, All-American Aaron Nelson earned men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year honors and the women's award was given to Katie Flood, who will be in Eugene next week running the 1,500-meters.
The men's Track Athlete of the Year award went to junior Derrick Daigre, the Pac-12 champ at 800-meters who has reached his first NCAA final site. Gianna Woodruff was named the women's Track Athlete of the Year, as the junior is also off to Eugene next week in the 400m hurdles.
Planell Cruz and Thoirs were up to take the women's and men's Field Athlete of the Year honors. They both then were back to take the overall Team MVP honors. Planell Cruz, from Puerto Rico, and Thoirs from Scotland have both set National Records in the vault this season, both captured the Pac-12 titles, and are both heading to their first NCAA Outdoor finals.
For the departing seniors, Coach Metcalf had a mesasge of inclusion. "The goal is to stay connected," he said. "Stay involved, it's not just about us, it's about everyone who came before you and everyone who will come after you. It's a celebration about what all of you will do in the future."
The Huskies in the room with more meets ahead were challenged to make the most of that time. "The NCAA meet is in Eugene the next eight years," said Metcalf. "We have thirteen Huskies that will go compete. The goal for all the kids sitting here is that you're at that meet someday. What does it take to make that a reality?"