Saturday, April 4, 2009

Washington at Jim Click Shootout in Tuscon; Washington State at Texas Relays...

The outdoor track season enters the second week for Washington, which will travel to Tucson, Ariz. for the Jim Click Shootout hosted by the University of Arizona. The meet gets underway at 10 a.m. this Saturday, April 4, at Roy P. Drachman Stadium.

The Jim Click Shootout field is limited to just six select teams, and will be scored as a dual meet, so team bragging rights will be on the line in addition to NCAA Regional qualifying marks. Washington and Arizona will be representing the Pac-10, while Kansas and Nebraska out of the Big 12 will send full squads, as will Wisconsin and Penn State from the Big 10.

The Washington men are ranked 15th in the first USTFCCCA Outdoor rankings. Nebraska is the top-ranked men's team in Tucson at No. 11. The Penn State women are fifth nationally, followed by 22nd-ranked Arizona and No. 25 Nebraska.

While the distance events took center stage at last week's Stanford Invitational, most of UW's distance crew will take this week to rest, as the focus shifts to the Husky sprinters, jumpers and throwers.

Senior Jordan Boase will lead the men's sprinters after running on UW's 4x100m relay last week. Senior Joe Turner, Randy Bacon, and Kenjamine Jackson give the Dawgs a number of sprint options, and quarter-miler specialist Jeff Gudaitis will look to start his return trip to Regionals, where he was sixth in the 400m in 2008.

Junior hurdlers Falesha Ankton and Syreeta Martin are joined by freshmen Bianca Greene, Joi Glass, and Amber Finley in the women's sprints. Ankton ranks sixth nationally in the 100m hurdles, after running 13.55 seconds last week at Stanford.

The Huskies could potentially rack up the points in the pole vault, as the Dawgs qualified three men and two women for Regionals last week and all five will make the trip to Arizona. Scott Roth currently has the nation's best outdoor vault, as he cleared 17-8 ½ last week in his first UW outing in over a year. Senior Jared O'Connor is right behind Roth, tied for second, while junior Ryan Vu earned his first Regional qualifier last week. Seniors Lara Jones and Andrea Peterson both cleared 12-7 ½ in their first outdoor meets to clinch Regional spots and will look to climb the national rankings this week.

All-American weight thrower Elisa Bryant and Korede Oyetuga will represent the women's throwers, while the men bring a large group featuring sophomore Kyle Nielsen, currently ranked 8th in the javelin, plus Angus Taylor, Peter Follmer, Zach Woods, and Richard Anderson.

Outstanding freshman jumpers Jeremy Taiwo and Kelly McNamee could compete in several events. McNamee has already qualified for Regionals in the high jump. An All-American indoors in the heptathlon, Taiwo has the ability to score in the hurdles or all three jumps, so his plate could be full on Saturday.

A few Huskies that could contend in the distances on the men's side include junior Brian Govier and freshmen Ryan Soberanis and Max O'Donoghue-McDonald on the men's side, and juniors Mo Huber and Lindsey Kirschman, and sophomore Bailey Schutte on the women's side.

Meanwhile, selected members of the Washington State University track and field teams will compete at the 82nd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, April 1-4, at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas Austin campus, while another group of Cougs will compete at the Sam Adams Classic, April 4, at Whitworth University in Spokane.

NOTE: The University of Washington and Washington State University sports information departments contributed to this report.

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