Thursday, April 15, 2010

California Dreamin' for Dawgs, Cougs, Eagles, Falcons & Vikings

Washington, Washington State, Eastern Washington, Seattle Pacific and Western Washington will all send athletes to California for various meets, headlined by the Mt. SAC Relays at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, California, east of Los Angeles.

The Mt. SAC Relays are an annual highlight on the outdoor track schedule, where a number of the world's top athletes compete along with top collegians down to high school competitors. Seventeen Huskies in all will be at the Hilmer Lodge track to compete this weekend, as will a number of American and international pros.

At the main site, four-time All-American and NCAA Indoor Champion Scott Roth will be in action in the pole vault for the second week in a row, vaulting on Saturday afternoon. Roth has won every meet this year but will be going against a few pros that have cleared 19-feet in their careers. Senior Ryan Vu will also vault in the University Open flight on Friday.

Women's field even participants include vaulters Kelly Mudlo and Logan Miller, and high jumper Kelly McNamee.

The distance events should be fast and furious. Senior Katie Follett will race a number of pros in the top heat of the 1,500-meters on Friday. Follett is also entered in the 800-meters on Saturday. Senior Kailey Campbell will be in the Olympic Development section of the 1,500, and freshmen Justine Johnson and Courtney Lightfoot will also run in 1,500m open heats.

Senior Anita Campbell is entered in both the top invitational heats of the 5k and the 10k, though she will certainly only compete in one or the other. An All-American and Pac-10 champ in the 10k last year, Campbell just opened her final outdoor season last week.

In the men's distance events, junior Colton Tully-Doyle will move back up to the 5,000-meters after consecutive runs at 1,500m and compete in the Olympic Development heat late Friday night at 11:25 p.m. Also running the 5k in Tully-Doyle's heat is senior Jake Schmitt, who ran under 29-minutes in the 10k in his last outing at Stanford. In the top open 5k heat is junior Jordan Swarthout, who just had a huge PR of 14:08 a week ago in Oregon and is clearly running the best of his career right now.

Sophomores Ryan Soberanis and Ryan Styrk, and freshman James Cameron will all run in the open heats of the men's 1,500-meters as well.

Among notable Washington-affiliated post collegians competing in the Mt SAC Relays include former Husky hammer thrower Martin Bingisser.

Among the large contingent the Cougars will send to Mt. SAC include sprinter Princess Joy Griffey, middle distance runners Lisa Egami & Anna Layman, high jumper Holly Parent, vaulter Kendall Mays & javelin thrower Courtney Kirkwood.

On the men's side, NCAA 400 hurdles champ Jeshua Anderson, All-American Trent Arrivey (high jump), US junior champ Joe Abbott (800), and freshman triple jumper Stephan Scott-Ellis headline the Washington State entries.

Seattle Pacific’s entry list features senior distance runner Jessica Pixler in the 1,500-meter invitational on Friday night with an approximate starting time of 7:20. The last time Pixler was in California at the Stanford Track & Field Invitational on March 26, she ran the 5,000 meters in 15 minutes, 44.07 seconds, the top time in the country and the fifth-fastest in the world at this early stage of the outdoor season.

Seniors Jane Larson and Kate Harline are in the open 1,500. Senior Lisa Anderberg is entered in the open 800, seeking to drop the final 98 hundredths of a second that she needs to reach the NCAA Division II automatic qualifying time of 2 minutes, 10.00 seconds.

Senior Latasha Essien having won her fourth consecutive GNAC indoor title in the 60-meter dash in February, makes her outdoor season debut in the 100 meters. And junior Melissa Peaslee is in the pole vault, aiming for her first clearance of 12 feet this spring.

Washington will have athletes compete in a meet at Sacramento State on Saturday, while Washington State, Eastern Washington and Seattle Pacific will have athletes at the Beach Invite hosted by Long Beach State at Cerritos College in Norwalk.

A small contingent of Seattle Pacific and Western Washington athletes will stay close to home and participate in the Spike Arlt Invitational in Ellensburg, hosted by Central Washington University.

For more information, including updated heat sheets, and live results, please click here to go to the Mt. SAC Relays web site. Media partner will carry a webcast of the meet.

NOTE--The Mt. SAC Relays, the University of Washington, Washington State University, Seattle Pacific, Eastern Washington, and Western Washington all contributed to this report.

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