Lost in the afterglow of the University of Washington's second straight team title in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor track and field championships on February 23rd-24th was the fact the Huskies won the title without one of their key components, junior 400-meter runner Alex Harcourt.
Harcourt, a junior from Kent, Washington, made headlines a month earlier at the UW Indoor Invitational, where he was responsible for creating one of the loudest roars ever heard in the Dempsey Indoor facility, not to mention one of the biggest upsets, when he ran a Washington school record time of 46.43 seconds to defeat none other than Darold Williamson, the anchorman on Team USA's 4 x 400 meter relay team at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and a former NCAA champion from Baylor University, now running professionally for Nike.
Sure, the Huskies won the 4 x 400 meter relay at the MPSF meet in an NCAA provisional time of 3:09.28. Harcourt most likely would've won the open 400 (it was won in 47.59). And, given the way that Husky coach Greg Metcalf was loading up his athletes at the meet, Harcourt probably would've run the 400m leg on the distance medley relay team that ended up second.
In that DMR (1200-400-800-1600) race, the Huskies could not overcome a superb 1600-meter anchor leg from Cal's Kevin Brown, despite the heroics of NCAA champ Ryan Brown on the 800-meter leg, who ran a 1:46+ split.
It's my understanding from non-UW track sources who know Alex, that the young man may have some off-the-track issues. Additionally, according to folks close to the UW track program, Harcourt repeatedly failed to return phone calls and text messages sent by the coaching staff the week of the meet.
Alex, if you're reading this blog, there's a lot of folks on the Husky track team that want you. You have the opportunity to be one of the greats in Washington track and field history. You can use the momentum and confidence gained by defeating an Olympic gold medalist to do something greater than what you did in late January.
And don't forget, there's a little track meet in late June 2008 just four and a half hours away by car down Interstate 5 known as the US Olympic Track & Field Team Trials, where you can earn a ticket to Beijing.
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