SEATTLE – Husky track and field Head Coach Greg Metcalf and staff has put together a talented and diverse first wave of recruits for the 2014-15 season, with ten standout athletes signing their letters of intent last week. The group includes several of the top returners in the nation at a variety of events.
“While we expect to continue adding to this class in the coming weeks and months, these ten athletes are a tremendous start and should instantly impact our team in a number of areas,” said Metcalf.
The four men and six women in the class include five Washingtonians, three athletes from California, one from South Dakota, and one all the way from Italy by way of Utah.
Four of the ten recruits will bolster the women’s distance group, especially the mid-distance crew. Hannah Derby from Tacoma and Rose Christen of Poulsbo are two of the state’s top 800-meter runners, with Derby also winning three state titles at 400-meters, so expect both to also help on 4x4 relays.
Megan Beauchene of Kennewick ranked in the top-10 in the U.S. last year at 1,600-meters and gained plenty of experience battling against current Husky freshmen Amy-Eloise Neale and Katie Knight, as Beauchene was second to Neale at state last year at 800-meters and 1,600-meters.
Anna Maxwell completes the women’s distance class, and the Northern California standout already has a pair of Team USA competitions to her credit. Maxwell, the state cross country champion for Division IV this past fall, was chosen to run for the U.S. at the 2014 Great Edinburgh Cross Country Race just last month. She also qualified for the 2013 World Youth Championships and made the final at 1,500-meters in the Ukraine.
Sierra Peterson comes to Washington from Woodland Hills, Calif. as one of the state’s top sprinters. Peterson is a former teammate of current Husky junior Gianna Woodruff, and her sophomore year 200-meters time ranked 14th in the nation.
The sixth women’s signee is Lyndsay Leatherman, a do-it-all thrower from ArlingtonHigh School in SnohomishCounty. The best returning thrower in the state, Leatherman finished third at the 2013 Washington 4A state meet in the javelin, shot put, and the discus, while her javelin PR ranks her ninth nationally among returners.
Assessing the women’s class, Coach Metcalf said “Sierra Peterson is a big addition to our team, and gives us some instant firepower. The four middle distance girls, we have two of the best returning milers in the country in Anna and Megan, and Hannah and Rose are two rising middle distance stars, so I’m incredibly excited about that group and what they can do. Then we get Lyndsay who can throw everything so it’s a group that helps in many ways.”
Two more talented throwers will add to UW’s ever-increasing depth in the men’s throws. Jack Lembcke of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is certainly one of UW’s top throwing recruits in years, as he is the nation’s No. 1 returner in the shot put, having thrown 63-10 ½ last year. Denham Patricelli from MapleValley is the returning state champion in the javelin, and won the U.S. World Youth Trials last year, as UW looks to continue its outstanding javelin tradition.
After last year’s recruiting class was especially geared towards men’s distance runners, this year there’s just one, but Fed Huxham of Ross, Calif. has proved himself as one of the state’s top cross country runners and is poised for a big senior track season.
The last new Husky will be traveling the farthest to reach Montlake. Jacopo Spano, a native of Baveno, Italy, got a taste for the U.S. as a foreign-exchange student last year at a high school in Utah, where all he did was win the state 100m, 200m, and long jump titles and break a few state records before returning home. He should help the Huskies in a number of ways next year.
“For the men, Jack was a big early commit for us,” said Metcalf. “The rest adds some balance. Jacopo is a great sprinter and jumper, Denham brings another in-state javelin standout, and Fred has a lot of upside on the track.”
Click below for bios and coach quotes on each new Husky.
Megan Beauchene - Kennewick, Wash. - Mid-Distance
Rose Christen - Poulsbo, Wash. - Mid-Distance
Hannah Derby - Tacoma, Wash. - Mid-Distance
Fred Huxham - Ross, Calif. - Distance
Lyndsay Leatherman - Stanwood, Wash. - Throws
Jack Lembcke - Sioux Falls, S.D. - Throws
Anna Maxwell - Felton, Calif. - Distance
Denham Patricelli - Maple Valley, Wash. - Throws
Sierra Peterson - Woodland Hills, Calif. - Sprints
Jacopo Spano - Baveno, Italy - Sprints