Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekend wrapup: December 6-7...

A small band of Huskies gathered in the Dempsey Indoor facility Saturday to jumpstart the 2008-09 indoor track season with the UW Winter Preview. Several freshmen got their first crack at college competition while a handful of veterans got some early marks under their belts.

All-American pole vaulter Jared O'Connor, the 2nd-place finisher at last spring's NCAA meet, had a solid day, clearing 16-feet, 6 ¾-inches, as did junior Ryan Vu. Both O'Connor and Vu took three shots at the NCAA provisional mark of 17-0 ¾ but could not get over.

Newcomer Kelly McNamee from Ferris High School in Spokane could give the women's team a major boost in the high jump, as she won the event with a clearance of 5-feet, 8-inches. That mark was better than any Husky posted indoors or outdoors in all of 2008, and McNamee has all season to better it. In fact, McNamee's clearance already ties her for fourth on the UW indoor Top-10 list.

The day's most impressive performance was turned in by Amanda Miller, now falling under the Husky alum category after she completed her collegiate career at NCAA Cross Country two weeks ago, helping the UW women to their first national championship with a top-40 finish. Miller, a four-time track All-American during her career, won the 3,000-meter race in 9:22.25, defeating Western Washington cross country All-American Sarah Porter, who ran 9:47.86.

The time would have broken UW's indoor school record, and was 32-seconds faster than her personal best.

Washington hosts five more major indoor meets this season, beginning with the UW Indoor Preview on Saturday, January 17.

Meanwhile, back in Reno, USA Track & Field CEO Doug Logan unveiled "Project 30" in his state of the sport speech to those attending the USATF Annual Meeting.

He laid out clear goals for the next seven years: 30 medals in London, a $30 million budget by 2012, increasing membership by 30 percent and hosting the 2015 IAAF World Outdoor Championships.

You can read the full text of his speech here.

In addition to the presidency, several key committee positions were voted upon at the convention, as Pullman's John Chaplin was re-elected chairman of the powerful men's track & field committee. Sue Humphrey of Texas was elected chair of women's track & field, replacing newly elected president Stephanie Hightower.

Retired sprinter Jon Drummond was elected chair of the Athletes Advisory committee, while the committee selected Aretha Thurmond of Federal Way, along with marathoner Deena Kastor and walker Philip Dunn to serve on the new 15-member board of directors of USATF, joining Hightower and IAAF Council member Bob Hersh.

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