Saturday's dual meet against WSU is the first time since before 1920 Washington track has hosted anywhere but inside Husky Stadium. "It's finally in," coach Greg Metcalf said of a track-only facility 20 years in the making.
The bioresearch science major has set and matched his PR in the hurdles at the first two outdoor meets
Husky 4x400m relays close out the meet with top times in several years.
The record-setting career of one of the toughest athletes to wear the W has been a stirring, and painful, trip around the track.
Three of Washington's distance running recruits were ranked in the top-20 nationally for 2012.
Highlights from the 2012 Flotrack Husky Classic in the Dempsey Indoor.
Raul Sheen heads into his fifth season at Washington, continuing to foster a burgeoning sprints and hurdles group that has become more dynamic each year under his influence. Sheen joined the Husky staff in the fall of 2008 following a one-year stint at Long Beach State where he was named the 2008 West Region Assistant Coach of the Year. In just four seasons, Sheen's athletes have won four Pac-12 titles, and combined for 17 All-America honors.
Sheen's fourth season in 2012 was the strongest all-around performance yet for his sprinters. Junior James Alaka became the first Husky sprinter ever to successfully defend a Pac-12 title, as he won a second-straight 200-meter dash title in a PR of 20.45 seconds. He also took second at 100-meters in 10.22 seconds. Alaka would reach the NCAA Outdoor Championships in both sprint events. He also ran on the Husky 4x100m relay, which made it to NCAA Outdoors for the third time in Sheen's four years, placing 19th overall. The men's 4x400m relay also made its first NCAA Prelims appearance under Sheen. Both relays finished top-five at Pac-12s.
On the women's side, Jordan Carlson left no doubt she was the greatest quarter-miler in school history, as she repeatedly broke her own 400m school record, dropping it to 53.03 seconds. Carlson ran the 400m leg on UW's NCAA Champion distance medley relay indoors, then took third at the Pac-12 Championships. She just missed the NCAA final site by .01 seconds, taking 13th at West Prelims. Also coming into her own was sophomore Kayla Stueckle, who made her first Pac-12 final and placed sixth in the 400m hurdles. Her new PR of 58.52 seconds is sixth in school history, and she advanced to the NCAA quarterfinal round after making the first round as a freshman.
In season three of his tenure, Sheen coached sophomore James Alaka to some history, as the London native won a pair of Pac-10 titles at 100-meters and 200-meters, becoming the first Husky to sweep the short sprints since 2000. Alaka was named the Pac-10 Athlete of the Meet for scoring the most individual points. He was also part of UW's 4x100m relay, which placed third at Pac-10s in a season-best time of 39.62 that ranks fifth in school history. The relay, including Ryan Hamilton, Colton Dunn, and Maurice McNeal, went on to qualify for NCAAs for the second time in Sheen's three seasons, placing 16th at NCAA Outdoors to earn the group All-America Second Team honors.
McNeal enjoyed a sensational freshman season as one of the top quarter milers on the West Coast. He ran a freshman record 45.60 in the 400-meters and was fifth at Pac-10s in the 400-meters and 200-meters, advancing all the way to the NCAA semifinals in the 400m. Alaka also made the semis in the 200-meters at NCAA outdoors, and then went on to have a fantastic summer, winning gold in the 100m and silver in the 200m at the European U23 Championships and lowering both of his PRs.
Leading the women in 2011 was senior Dominique Lauderdale and junior Jordan Carlson. Lauderdale posted the No. 2 time in school history in the 60-meter dash indoors at 7.37 seconds. She made a second Pac-10 final in the 100m outdoors and advanced to NCAA West Prelims, running a career-best 11.57. Carlson, meanwhile, crushed the school record at 400-meters, clocking a 54.18 to win the UW-WSU dual. Unfortunately a hamstring injury prevented her from competing at West Prelims. Freshman Kayla Stueckle also gave UW a big boost in the long hurdles, making NCAA Prelims with a best of 59.84 seconds.
In 2010, Sheen had equal success with a freshman sensation in Alaka, and a fifth-year senior who improved down to her last meet in Falesha Ankton. Alaka was arguably the nation's top freshman in 2010, qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes and placing in the top-15 in both. His 10.32 100-meters ranked fifth in UW history. Alaka also ran on UW's 4x100-meter relay, which included two freshmen and two sophomores, and gelled in its last race, running a season-best 40.14 at NCAA Prelims to place 15th in the West after coming in seeded just 24th as the last team to qualify.
Still, the story of 2010 was the postseason performance of senior Falesha Ankton, who carried a 100-meter hurdles PR of 13.46 seconds into her final season. Ankton qualified for NCAA Prelims, then earned the 12th and final spot to NCAAs with a new personal-best of 13.37. In the semis at NCAA Outdoors, it all came together for Ankton, who crushed her PR once again with a time of 13.18 seconds, good for ninth overall to earn her first hurdles All-America honor in her final Husky race. Also stepping up was junior Dominique Lauderdale, who became the first Husky woman to make the Pac-10 100-meter dash final in three years and qualified for NCAA Prelims.
In his first season as a Husky, Sheen helped lay some groundwork while also seeing successes on the national stage. Senior Jordan Boase wrapped up his exceptional career with a fifth All-America award in the 400-meters as he placed third at the NCAA Indoor meet and outdoors won Pac-10 and West Regional titles at the distance.
The men's 4x100m relay brought back just one of the four legs responsible for UW's Pac-10 title in 2008, but the reconstituted group came through with a season-best at Regionals to earn a spot at NCAAs. It marked the first NCAA appearance for seniors Kenjamine Jackson and Randy Bacon. Junior Jeff Gudaitis ran on the relay and also reached the NCAA meet in the 400-meters with a fourth-place Regional finish despite being seeded just 13th entering the meet.
Sheen's sprinters had a remarkable amount of success during his one year at Long Beach State in 2008. Brent Gray earned All-America honors in the 200-meter dash with a 5th-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships, and won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the West Regional meet. Gray was named the 2008 Big West Track Athlete of the Year, and also won the MPSF 200m Championship at Washington's own Dempsey Indoor in a facility record time of 20.93 seconds.
All told, four of Sheen's sprinters qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2008, competing in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay. Sheen's athletes won 10 Big West Conference titles to lead Long Beach State to the team championship. He also guided LBSU's sprint medley relay to a victory at the prestigious Drake Relays.
A native of Rupert, Idaho, Sheen was a four-year member of the Idaho State University track and field team, then served as assistant coach in charge of sprints and relays from 2005-07. During that time he led the Bengal women's team to its first ever Big Sky Conference Championship in 2007, as well as the 2006 Indoor Big Sky title for the men. His athletes won six conference titles, and garnered 25 All-Big Sky Conference honors.
Sheen received his bachelor's degree from in physical education from Idaho State in 2002, and followed that up at ISU with a master's in athletic administration in 2003. While completing his studies, Sheen was a graduate assistant at Idaho State. That was followed by one year as a volunteer assistant at the University of New Mexico, before Sheen returned to ISU on a full-time basis in 2005.