Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Links of the day...

Some good stuff has crossed my desk as championship week begins for the state's universities and colleges:

First is a note on the University of Washington's "Track Blawg" about an upcoming Seattle Times story on the Huskies' Katie Follett, and Seattle Pacific's Jessica Pixler.

Follett and Pixler met on May 7th at Seattle's Gas Works Park for a photo shoot with Times photographer John Lok.

Here's a behind-the-scene photo of Follett, the two-time defending Pac-10 1500-meter champ, and Pixler, who has numerous NCAA titles in both track and cross country at the Division II level, shot by UW track sports information director Mike Bruscas.

Look for the story in the Seattle Times in the days to come...

Next is a story that I first posted on my Facebook page written by Washington Post Olympic writer Amy Shipley on the comeback of track & field in this country.

Part of the reason for the comeback of the sport has something to do with the fact that, "They say years of Web-based communication and an emphasis on social media have allowed the sport to foster a strong, under-the-radar connection to a large audience of track geeks while continually welcoming curious Web explorers, some of whom eventually become new fans."

Shipley cites the fact that track & field athletes, as well as those close to the sport, have embraced the use of social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter to engage their fans.

According to Shipley, the sport has arguably "the most sophisticated Web and blog coverage of any non-major U.S. sport through powerhouse sites such as http://www.letsrun.com and http://www.flotrack.org. Robert and Weldon Johnson, brothers who began letsrun.com in 2000, say Web traffic has increased every year -- especially recently. Last year, unique visitors to increased 24 percent over 2008, and the first four months of this year have shown an even bigger boost: 52 percent over 2008. "

You can read the article here...

Seattle Pacific junior Crystal Sims, the winner of the heptathlon at last week's GNAC multi-event championships in Nampa, Idaho, was named GNAC women's track & field athlete of the week by the conference Monday.

Sims posted the top marks in the 100-meter hurdles (14.95 seconds), shot put (36 feet, 9¾ inches), the 200 meters (25.87) and the long jump (17-7). Her total of 4,769 points was a personal best and gave her a 442-point bulge on runner-up Raquel Gonzalez of Central Washington. Her time in the 100 hurdles was the first of her career below 15 seconds.

Western Washington's Ryan Brown, who tied for first with UW's Ryan Vu at the Ken Shannon/Ken Foreman Invitational, was named GNAC men's track & field athlete of the week.

Brown, the reigning NCAA Division II indoor pole vault champ, broke his own school and Great Northwest Athletic Conference records as he tied for first place by clearing 17-7 (5.36 meters) last Saturday at Husky Stadium.

Brown now ranks 14th among all collegians this season and is the leader in NCAA Division II.

Here's the link to Seattle Pacific and Western's releases announcing the honor...

Finally, here's a link to videos of the ten worst track & field fails of all time, according to bleacherreport.com, if you're looking for some good quality track & field humor...

We're working on a couple of posts for later Tuesday/Wednesday on a retrospective on high jumper Rick Noji, and the 26th anniversary of Joan Benoit's epic victory in Olympia at the 1984 US Olympic Marathon Trials...

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