Action Packed Husky Track Week In L.A. Area
April 18, 2012
BEACH INVITATIONAL - APR. 20-21
ON THE TRACK: A huge week of track and field takes the Huskies to Southern California, where temperatures are expected to reach into the 90s. Washington will look to battle the heat and some loaded fields at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. and the Beach Invitational in Long Beach.
The prestigious Mt. SAC Relays at Hilmer Lodge Stadium get underway Thursday afternoon, and are dominated by heat after heat of the 1,500-meter runs, 3,000-meter steeplechases and the 10,000-meter runs into the night. All field events and the remainder of the track events are spread out through two marathon days on Friday and Saturday. Washington has 24 women and 26 men entered in the Relays.
Long Beach State hosts the Beach Invitational at Cerritos College on Friday and Saturday, where another group of Huskies will compete, and some may make the trip from Walnut to compete a second time. A small group of women's heptathletes are also set to compete today and tomorrow at the Mt. SAC multis in Azusa.
PURPLE AND GOLD PERSPECTIVE: The Mt. SAC Relays typically produce many of the NCAA's fastest times on the track in the distance events, though the expected high temperatures could temper that this year. Still, look for the Husky distance crew to drop some season-bests this weekend, and the sprinters, jumpers, and throwers should be more than happy with the warm conditions.
The 1,500-meter runs precede the 800-meter runs which mostly fall on Saturday, so many mid-distance runners are entered in both, while they may end up competing just once. As has been the frequent case in 2012, sophomore Katie Flood will be one to watch, as she runs in the invitational heat of the 1,500-meters, her first time at the distance this season. A great group of Justine Johnson, Chelsea Orr, Eleanor Fulton, Christine Babcock, Mackenzie Carter, and Baylee Mires are all entered in the open heats at 1,500-meters as well. Flood, Babcock, Fulton, and Johnson are also entered at 800-meters, as is Laura Schmitt.
The men's mid-distances will similarly be loaded with Huskies. Gareth Gilna, Derrick Daigre, Charlie Williams, and Meron Simon are all in the 800m fields, and Brad Whitley, Kyle Blume, Ryan Soberanis, and Sean Krinik all find themselves in the same 800-meter heat. Junior Joey Bywater, an NCAA quarterfinalist last year, runs the 1,500-meters for the first time this season. Michael Miller is also slotted at that distance, while Soberanis, Simon, Williams, Whitley, and Blume could double.
All-American sophomore Megan Goethals will run her first outdoor 5k, coming off a huge PR at 1,500-meters in Oregon. Liberty Miller and Phoebe Merritt are both entered in the 5k, looking to lower their PRs and get into the mix for an NCAA prelim bid. Miller already ranks 26th in the West.
Junior Rob Webster, Jr. is entered at both 5,000- and 10,000-meters, while Tyler King goes in the 5k. Aaron Beattie is also entered solely in the 10k, which would be a first foray at the distance for the sophomore. Miller, entered in the 1,500m, is also in the top open heat of the steeplechase.
School record-holder Jordan Carlson looks to lower the record further in the 400-meter dash, while freshman Haley Jacobson runs at 100-meters and senior Bianca Greene goes at 200-meters. Freshman Naivasha Sophusson Smith goes in the 100m hurdles, with Kayla Stueckle and Gianna Woodruff working the 400-meter hurdles.
Senior Ryan Hamilton will push the pace in the 100-meters, while junior James Alaka is entered in the invitational heat of the 200-meter dash. Shayne Moore will attack the 110m hurdles and Dan Sanders has 400m hurdle duty.
In the Mt. SAC field will be junior Logan Miller, coming off her outstanding 14-foot clearance in the vault two weeks back in Eugene. Kelly McNamee had a season-best 5-6 clearance in the high jump two weeks ago and will look to raise that. Senior Taylor Nichols and junior Shaniae Lakes will be triple jumping, and Elisa Bryant will throw the discus and Amanda Peterson flexes her muscles in the javelin.
Sophomore A.J. Maricich will look to crack the seven-foot barrier for the second time this season in the high jump, while Robby Fegles and J.J. Juilfs will vault on the runway where 2011 grad Scott Roth set the school record last year. Juilfs is coming off a win at the Pepsi Team Invite. Sophomore Kasen Covington also goes in the triple jump.
Meet entries for the Beach Invitational have yet to be posted.