Friday, October 22, 2010

Nationally ranked Western Washington teams ready to host WWU Invitational...

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University's Sarah Porter is looking for her third straight individual title in the women's run and the Vikings' Jordan Welling will defend his men's title at the 37th annual WWU Invitational Cross Country meet Saturday at Lake Padden Park.

The men's 10-kilometer race begins at 10 a.m., followed by the women's 6-kilometer run at 11:15 a.m.

The 14-team field is composed of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Fairbanks, Academy of Art, Central Washington, Club Northwest, Eastside Track Club, Humboldt State, Northwest, Saint Martin's, Seattle Pacific, Seattle Running Club, Trinity Western, Victoria and Western.

The Vikings rank No.11 in the men's division and No.8 in the women's division in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division II Top 25 polls. Alaska Anchorage is No.4 in the women's poll and No.9 in the men's rating.

The Alaska Anchorage women lead the West Region ranking, with its men second. Western is third in both regional ratings.

"It's going to be a very competitive meet," said Western coach Pee Wee Halsell. "Club Northwest is bringing their top teams and Alaska Anchorage is very good and is running very well right now."

"This meet will tell us how we're coming along and show us where we need improvement."

OTHER NOTES--The University of Washington women’s cross country team had the opportunity Thursday to meet President Barack Obama at Husky Stadium before he went inside Edmundson Pavilion to speak at a political rally for incumbent US Senator Patty Murray, who appears to be in a heated battle against Republican challenger Dino Rossi.

Here is a link to an Associated Press photo of Obama with from left--Anita Campbell (member of '08 championship team); Greg Metcalf (partially blocked), Kailey Campbell, Mel Lawrence, Christine Babcock, Lauren Saylor, Allison Linnell (in grey sweatshirt), Courtney Lightfoot.

Here is a photo of Obama admiring the Washington cross country team t-shirt given to him (photo courtesy Jason Drake/University of Washington).

And, here is a link to a Seattle Times photo of Obama with the UW team.

The two-time defending champion Huskies are preparing for next weekend’s Pacific 10 Conference championships at Jefferson Park Golf Course in Seattle, in which Flotrack will provide live streaming video.

On October 20th, former USA Track & Field CEO Doug Logan filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Indianapolis, claiming that he was wrongfully terminated.

In a statement released by USATF, president Stephanie Hightower said, "USATF looks forward to the resolution of the lawsuit, which we vigorously will defend against,"

"The filing of this suit and its ultimate resolution will not affect USATF and how we serve the sport.”

"Although we cannot speak to the specifics of pending litigation, we can assure you that USATF is open for business and more committed than ever to achieving our strategic goals and serving all our constituents."

Our friends at has the details of his lawsuit and his two employment contracts.

The web site says, “One of the beauties of the American legal system is when a suit is filed, a lot of information enters the public record. Logan's suit is no different. Logan's initial filing of the suit has revealed USATF offered him $500,000 in severance when it terminated him.”

Here is the link to the story.

Here are links to his employment contracts and the lawsuit, which are now public record since he filed the suit—first the original contract he signed when Bill Roe was the president, and the current contract, which he signed a few months ago.

Finally, here's a video, courtesy of the University of Washington on what the non-distance runners are doing as they prepare for the upcoming indoor and outdoor track & field seasons.

NOTE: The sports information office of Western Washington, the University of Washington, and contributed to this report.

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