Saturday, October 30, 2010

Eastern's Kyle King third at Big Sky; Gonzaga's Chris Boyle fourth at WCC...

CHENEY, Washington--The Eastern Washington University men's cross country team placed fifth and the women's team placed seventh at the 2010 Big Sky Conference Cross Country Championships Saturday.

Junior Kyle King (left/photo courtesy Eastern Washington University) led the men's team, placing fourth in the men's 8,000-meter competition and clocking a time of 22:11. King ran in the leading pack the entirety of the race, moving up to the third-place position until the last stretch, where he was out-kicked by junior Patrick Casey from Montana State, who finished in a time of 22:10.

"This was the race of the season, for sure -- top three races ever," said King. "The last two races I have gone out too hard, too early and so I am short at the end, but I just went for it today. That's the best I've felt all year, so I just went for it. I held third place for a long time, then got kicked at the end, but it's OK."

"Kyle ran awesome. There is no other way to put that," said head coach Chris Zeller. "I think his late start has been a real blessing. He has come along exactly the way you want a runner to do in the cross country season."

Northern Arizona had five finishers in the top-ten, including favorite David McNeill, who ran to his third-straight individual title in a blazing time of 21:29. Teammate Diego Estrada finished close behind with a time of 21:31, placing second overall. Both men averaged about 4:19 minutes per mile.

Senior Bowe Ebding was the Eagle's second finisher, placing 16th in the field of 64 competitors. He finished in a time of 23:08. Other finishers were junior Cody Barton (23:43), sophomore Simon Sorenson (24:02), freshman Connor Williams (24:31) and junior Drake DaPonte (24:47).

The Northern Arizona men claimed their fourth-straight team title, scoring an impressive 27 points. All seven Lumberjack-men finished in the top 15. Montana State finished second with 56 points, followed by Weber State (99), Sacramento State (134), Eastern Washington (137), Idaho State (151), Portland State (166), Montana (193) and Northern Colorado (250).

Senior Amy Kolin led the Eagle women, as she placed sixth in the 5,000-meter race, crossing the finish line in 16:07 and assisting the Eagles to secure a seventh-place finish.

"I'm feeling good, it was awesome having conference at home, having the entire track team here and feeding off of that positive energy helped," said Kolin. "The whole team did really well. Everybody is happy about their performance."

"The course was short so I took that time with a grain of salt. I felt like I was more competitive than I have ever been in a race. I felt I was battling the whole time and never gave up. If I lost track of the people I was with, I was able to catch back up with them quickly," said Kolin.

Other Eagle finishers were junior Stephanie Dye (17:11), freshman Angelica Rodriguez (17:34), freshman Monica Jaenicke (17:47), freshman Micaela Rasmussen (18:27), freshman Kimberly Macias (18:34), sophomore Jessi Johnson (19:04) and freshman Danielle Raschko (19:20).

Idaho State's Erica Wendt-Richardson crossed the finish line first in the women's competition in a time of 15:47. She was followed by Montana's Katrina Drennen (15:52) and Weber's Natalie Haws (15:53).

The Grizzlies from Montana took the team crown today, placing first overall while scoring 49 points. They were followed by Weber State (63), Idaho State (68), Sacramento State (105), Northern Arizona (124), Montana State (168), Eastern Washington (197), Portland State (213) and Northern Colorado (237).

In Belmont, California, Gonzaga University junior Chris Boyle set a school record for the West Coast Conference Cross Country Championships in earning his second straight All-WCC country honor Saturday, finishing fourth in the WCC Championships at Crystal Springs Course.

Boyle, 10th a year ago, finished fourth in 25:08 over the 8K layout, shaving 26 seconds off his time of a year ago and breaking the Gonzaga record of 25:28 last set by Joe Miller in 2006.

Gonzaga head coach Pat Tyson summed up the Bulldogs performance quite simply.

"It was a good day for Gonzaga, not a great day. But we're getting better in a much more competitive league," Tyson said.

The Bulldog men replicated their fifth-place finish of a year ago and the Bulldog women improved one spot to fifth. The Gonzaga men scored 107 points to finish 10 points behind Loyola Marymount for fourth and 11 points behind third-place Santa Clara University. As expected, the University of Portland won a 32nd straight title with 36 points and had the individual champion in junior Craig Hopkins who covered the course in 25:01.

Gonzaga's women scored 120 points, three points behind SCU for fourth. The University of San Francisco defended its team title with 38 points, while Loyola Marymount University's Tara Erdmann was the individual champion in 20:21.

Senior Laura Volcheff was the top Bulldog woman, finishing 20th in 21:58 for her first career sub-22 minute 6K.

Boyle turned in another strong performance.

"We have a top gun in Boyle who was in the hunt to win and ended up seven seconds out first, five seconds out of second and three seconds out of third. He showed a lot of moxie and was second early in the race," Tyson said.

In Edinburg, Texas, five Seattle University runners finished in the top 20 to allow the Redhawk men to finish in second place, while an All-Conference performance by freshman Cara Talty (Raritan, N.J.) helped the women post a fifth-place finish at the 2010 Great West Conference Cross Country Championships Saturday morning at the Los Lagos Golf Club.

Erik Barkhaus (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) again led the way for the Seattle U men, finishing in third place in the 8k race in 24:04, earning First Team All-Conference honors along the way. Sophomore Kelton Sears (Maple Valley, Wash.) crossed the finish line in eighth place in 24:24, and Matthew McClement (Bellingham, Wash.) finished in 14th place with a time of 24:49. Sears and McClement each earned Second Team All-Conference honors for their efforts, the second straight year McClement has been recognized in that way.

"To have three guys (Barkhaus, Sears, and McClement) earn All-Conference honors is fantastic and we had two more guys who were right on the cusp. That's what it takes to reach the goals we set for our season. We've shown that we are strong. That will feed into our upcoming track seasons as well," head coach Trisha Steidl said.

As a team, Seattle University finished with 56 points, well ahead of third place finisher Texas-Pan American. With four runners in the top ten, Utah Valley won the conference title with 34 points, with Wolverine runner Josh McCabe earning the individual title with a time of 23:50.

In her first conference championship competition, Talty maintained her position as Seattle U's top female runner this season, crossing the finish line in seventh place with a time of 17:20.26 over the 5k course. She was rewarded for her efforts with First Team All-Conference honors.
"Cara had a great race this morning. I'm proud of the fight she put up in the race today and thrilled that she earned All-Conference honors, especially as a freshman," Steidl said.

Sarah Bolce (Sacramento, Calif.) was the next Seattle U runner to finish the race, crossing the finish line in 20th place with a time of 17:58. Celeste Cassidy (Bellingham, Wash.) finished in 23rd place with a time of 17:59 followed closely by Lauren Hammerle (Seattle, Wash.) in 24th place in 18:01 and Hannah Mittelstaedt (Maple Valley, Wash.) in 27th place in 18:09. Allison Prather (Carpinteria, Calif.) finished in 53rd place in 19:23, and Ashley Dalton (Bellingham, Wash.) crossed the finish line in 59th place in 20:03.

The Seattle University women collected 90 points, just one point more than South Dakota to finish in fifth place behind the Coyotes. Utah Valley easily won the team competition with 39 points, while North Dakota's Lindsay Anderson earned the individual title after finishing the course in 16:47.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, and Seattle University contributed to this report.

Cardinal sweep Pacific-10 Conference cross country titles...

SEATTLE--A hotly contested Pacific-10 Conference women’s cross country championship came down to the wire as the Stanford Cardinal wrested the title away from the two-time defending champion Washington Huskies at Jefferson Park Golf Course in south Seattle.

The temperature at race time was 46 degrees with light rain falling intermittently during the women's race but throughout the entire men's race.

At the start of the women’s 6-kilometer race, a pack of eight were positioned in the front, led by Oregon’s Alex Kosinski, Cal’s Deborah Maier, Kathy Kroeger, Jessica Tonn and Stephanie Marcy of Stanford, with Oregon’s Jordan Hasay (left/photo by Paul Merca) close by stalking the lead pack.

The real race was situated behind the lead pack as runners from Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, and the Huskies positioned themselves behind their lead runners.

On the final lap, Hasay, a former US junior champ in cross country and a 2008 US Olympic Trials finalist at 1500 meters as a high schooler, began asserting herself, and pulled away from Kroeger, taking home individual honors in 19:45, five seconds ahead.

Maier hung on for third in 20:02, with Kosinski taking fourth at 20:10.

Stanford’s Stephanie Marcy took fifth at 20:13, with Washington freshman Katie Flood leading the way for the Dawgs in 6th at 20:14.

Arizona’s Jennifer Bergman led the Wildcat charge with her seventh place finish at 20:16, with Stanford’s Tonn in the eight spot (20:17), Lindsay Prescott of Arizona State in ninth (20:18), and the Huskies’ Mel Lawrence rounding out the top ten in 20:23.

Arizona packed three straight runners behind Lawrence, while the Huskies squeezed Justine Johnson (15, 20:32), Kailey Campbell (18, 20:34), and recovering Christine Babcock (19, 20:36) in the top 20, with the Dawgs the first team to have five across the line, giving the partisan Washington crowd hope that this year’s version of the Huskies could squeeze out a third straight conference crown, with a 22 second spread between lead runner Flood and final scorer Babcock.

Stanford’s Georgia Griffin in 21st (20:39), and 2008 Pac 10 10000 meter track champ Alex Gits (26, 20:44) sandwiched two runners each from Oregon and Arizona, and proved to be the difference in the ninth ranked Cardinal getting the team title with 62 points.

The sixth ranked Wildcats of Arizona took second with 65 points, and the #2 ranked Ducks tied with the 20th ranked Huskies for third with 68 points.

Washington State finished ninth with 252 points, led by Ruby Roberts, a freshman from Kingston, who was the top Cougar woman to cross the finish line at 37th place in a time of 21:07. The other WSU women scoring at the championships included Caroline Austin 48th (21:31), Sarah Bobbe in 58th (21:45), Allison Clark 63rd (21:57), and Courtney Zalud 72nd (22:16).

In the men’s 8k championship race, it was a runaway for the #1 ranked Stanford Cardinal, as they replicated their 1-2-3 finish from the Pre Nationals meet two weeks ago.

Minnesota native Elliott Heath (on the right/photo by Paul Merca) got credit for the win as his torso crossed the line first in 23:01, with Bellingham’s Jake Riley second and Chris Derrick finishing third in the same time.

Oregon’s Luke Puskedra was fourth in 23:06, and reigning NJCAA cross country champ Stephen Sambu of Arizona fifth in 23:07.

A trio of seniors—Cal’s Michael Coe (23:13); Oregon’s Matthew Centrowitz (23:17); and teammate AJ Acosta (23:44) went 6-7-8, while Gig Harbor’s Miles Unterreiner finished ninth at 23:49 for the Cardinal, and teammate JT Sullivan rounded out the top ten in 23:49, and the team title for Stanford.

Stanford took the win with 25 points, with the Ducks second at 56 points.

Cal was a distant third at 86 points, with UCLA fourth at 101 points.

Arizona State was fifth with 143 points, while Pete Julian’s Washington State squad took sixth with 158 points.

Jono Lafler, a junior from Maple Valley, was the first WSU man to cross the finish line, taking 20th place in a time of 24 minutes 3 seconds. The rest of the Cougar scorers included Andrew Kimpel in 32nd at 24:22, Justin Englund 36th in 24:30, David Hickerson 37th in 24:31, and Andrew Gonzales 41st in 24:40.

The Huskies were seventh with 181 points, running without junior Max O’Donoghue-McDonald, whose back problems kept him out of the meet, and Arizona was eighth with 195 points.

Rob Webster from Puyallup led the Huskies with his 27th place finish in 24:16. James Cameron finished 35th in 24:26, followed by Joey Bywater in 39th at 24:37. Michael Miller in 43rd at 24:44, and Cameron Quackenbush in 48th at 24:48 rounded out the Washington scorers.

All of the Pac-10 schools will look to qualify for the NCAA Championships in two weeks, as the University of Oregon will host the NCAA West Regional championships on November 13th in Springfield, Oregon.

Complete results from the Pacific-10 Conference championships are available here, while a replay of the meet can be viewed at media partner Flotrack.org.

Friday, October 29, 2010

All five Washington NCAA D-I schools in action at conference championship meets...

For Washington’s five NCAA Division I schools, Saturday is conference championship time, as the schools begin their trek to the ultimate destination, Terre Haute, Indiana for the NCAA cross country championships on Monday, November 22nd.

The Washington Huskies only have to travel seven miles from campus down I-5, as they host the Pacific 10 cross country championships at Jefferson Park Golf Course, with the women’s 6k race starting at 10 am, and the men’s 8k race at 11 am.

The two-time defending women’s champions enter the meet as underdogs behind Oregon, Arizona, and Stanford, all of whom are ranked in the top ten in the country entering this weekend, according to the most recent USTFCCCA polls.

Oregon is ranked #2, Arizona #6, and Stanford #9, after strong showings by the latter two schools at the Pre-Nationals meet in Terre Haute two weeks ago, and Oregon’s efforts at the Notre Dame Invitational on October 1st.

Individuals to watch include Oregon’s Jordan Hasay (3rd in 2009) and Alex Kosinski; Stanford’s Stephanie Marcy & Kathy Kroeger, Cal’s Deborah Maier, UCLA’s Shannon Murukami, Arizona’s Hannah Moen, and USC’s Zsofia Erdelyi.

Washington will have the services of 2008 NCAA 7th place finisher Christine Babcock Saturday, as she will make her 2010 season debut. Two weeks ago, she won the Charles Bowles Invitational at Willamette University in Oregon competing unattached, while the rest of the team ran in Indiana.

The Huskies, who started the season ranked #3, but saw their stock tumble after sub-par performances at both Notre Dame and Pre-Nationals, are looking to regain the swagger that took them to two straight conference titles, and a national championship two years ago

According to UW coach Greg Metcalf, "With Christine in there, she makes all the women around her better.”

"But most importantly, she's tough. With Kailey Cambell, Mel Lawrence (left/photo by Mike Scott) and the rest of our team, then all of a sudden. ... This team that on paper is the fourth-best in the conference, this team could do a little damage."

Washington will run three true freshmen Saturday in its ten-woman squad, led by Nike Cross Nationals champion Katie Flood from Iowa; Liberty Miller from California; and Mackenzie Carter from New York.

For the Washington State Cougars, coach Pete Julian hopes to get his women’s squad out of the basement after last year’s tenth place finish.

They’ll be led by true freshman Ruby Roberts from Kingston, who has finished as their top runner in every meet this season, despite getting a rude welcome to top-flight collegiate running two weeks ago at the Pre-Nationals.

“Ruby will tell you herself – she didn’t run her best race at the [recent] Pre-Nationals meet. But you have to remember, 70 of the strongest teams in the country were competing out there – I’m sure it was a bit of a rude awakening for her," Julian said.

"But you can’t get that kind of experience unless you go compete in these events – especially for a freshman. We can't forget that with these fall sports, the true freshman who are out there competing are only a few months removed from high school, from sleeping in their own beds and getting home cooked meals. It's a big adjustment. It’s a big spotlight, and there are lots of things to balance.”

WSU will run three other freshmen--Sarah Bobbe and Allison Clark from Vancouver, and Ramona Morshead from Kingston.

Both the Huskies and Cougars may consider themselves fortunate if they finish in the top five in the men’s 8-kilometer race, which starts at 11 am.

The race for the conference title will be a dual between #1 ranked Stanford, and #3 ranked Oregon, with #22 California, UCLA, and the two Arizona schools in the mix.

Stanford is led by NCAA All Americans Chris Derrick, Elliott Heath, and Bellingham native Jake Riley, who went 1-2-3 at the Pre-Nationals race two weeks ago, while the Ducks counter with Luke Puskedra, Matthew Centrowitz, Danny Mercado, and AJ Acosta.

Derrick is the defending Pac-10 champion.

Reigning NJCAA champ Stephen Sambu from Arizona, is perhaps the individual with the best chance to break up the Stanford trio, with possibly Cal’s Michael Coe sneaking into the mix.

Washington will be led by Joey Bywater from Lake Stevens, who finished 69th at the Pre-Nationals meet two weeks ago, and hope to get a strong performance from Spokane’s Cameron Quackenbush, who dropped out of the last two races this season.

The Huskies will send a trio of redshirt freshmen—Mike Miller from Alaska, Gareth Gilna from New Mexico, and Taylor Carlson from Texas into the race.

Washington State will be led by sophomore Andrew Kimpel, who was a member of the USA junior team at last spring’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Poland, along with junior Justin Englund from Federal Way, who was the Cougs’ top returning finisher from last season.

WSU coach Julian says, “We struggled mightily at the Pre-Nationals race. It was just one of those unfortunate days. Everything that could have gone wrong, did. However, we still did not execute like we were supposed to. But at the end of the day I still knew this was a very solid team and we know that we can compete with some of the better teams in the country, and certainly with some of the better teams in the Pac-10.”

Four freshmen, and a redshirt frosh will toe the line for WSU—Vancouver’s Kyle Boe, Redmond’s Mack Young, Nevada’s Richard Shroy, and Oregon’s Drew Jordan, with Kennewick’s Andrew Gonzales.

UW's release is here, while Washington State's release is here.  The Pac-10 release is available here.

For those unable to watch the race in person, media partner Flotrack.org will provide live streaming video of the Pac-10 championships.

EASTERN TO HOST BIG SKY CONFERENCE; GONZAGA TRAVELS TO WEST COAST CONFERENCE, AND SEATTLE U HEADS TO TEXAS FOR GREAT WEST

Across the state in Cheney, Eastern Washington prepares to host the Big Sky Conference championships at the Fairways Golf Course starting at 10 am with the men’s 8k championship, and the women’s 5k at 11 am.

Northern Arizona, currently ranked #11 in the USTFCCCA men’s poll, is the prohibitive favorite to walk away with both conference championships.

Eastern will be led by senior Amy Kolin and junior Kyle King.

Eagle coach Chris Zeller thinks that Kolin has a shot at a top-10 finish and an all-conference berth, while King, who battled mono earlier this season, and finished third in the open section of the Pre-Nationals race two weeks ago, is slowly rounding into form.

Eastern's preview of the meet is here.  The Big Sky Conference release is here.

Gonzaga travels to Belmont, California for the West Coast Conference championships, where Bulldog coach Pat Tyson hopes that one-or-both of his squads breaks 100 points in the conference dominated by perennial powerhouse Portland on the men’s side, and San Francisco on the women’s ledger.

"These are pretty exciting times. This is my third year under the leadership of the program and here we are 24 months later from our women being seventh, our men sixth 24 months ago and some pretty high scores”, he said. "Here we are with completely different abilities. The runners we have now are definitely more talented, more focused than any team since I've been here."

"If we can break 100 it's a nice goal for our team. Whatever place that gets us I don't know. It might get us in the top four," Tyson said.

Laura Volcheff and Seattle native Chris Boyle are the Bulldogs’ top female and male runners, with Boyle a top-10 finisher in last year’s WCC race.

You can read Gonzaga's release here.

While Seattle U is ineligible to compete in the NCAA championships for another season after making the jump from Division II last school year, they travel to Edinburg, Texas for the Great West Conference championship meet.

Last year, the men’s team came in second behind champion Utah Valley, and it is expected that they will again be challenging UVU as well as trying to open the gap with the teams behind them.

“Based on our season and theirs, they should still be on top, but we definitely have a fighting chance. Our men’s team is considerably stronger and more experienced this year,” said Seattle U coach Trish Steidl.

Freshman Cara Talty and junior Erik Barkhaus are the frontrunners for the Redhawks.

You can read Seattle U's release here.

Here is a link to the USTFCCCA's Conference Championship Central, where all of the results and recaps from the various conference championship meets are located.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

WWU's Sarah Porter wins Viking Invitational; Alaska Anchorage wins team titles...

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University's Sarah Porter (left/photo courtesy Western Washington University) broke her own course record in taking a third straight individual title in the women's run at the 37th annual Viking Invitational Cross Country meet Saturday at Lake Padden Park.

Porter completed the 6-kilometer course in 21:00. That was 24 seconds faster than the record she set in 2008.

"Sarah had been sick all week or she could probably have run even better," said Western coach Pee Wee Halsell.

In the women's division, Alaska Anchorage edged defending champion Club Northwest, 42 to 49. Victoria was third (53) and Western fourth (88).

Porter, a two-time All-American, has won seven of her last eight regular-season meets and finished among the top 10 in all 14 regular-season events during her four-year career. Earlier this season, she placed third at the Greater Louisville Classic, and last year finished second at the NCAA II national championships.

Alaska Anchorage had three top 10 finishers, led by runner-up Miriam Kipng'eno (21:11) and third-place Ruth Keino (21:14).

Seattle Pacific was led by junior Natty Plunkett’s 24th place finish in 23:11, as the Falcons finished fifth.

St. Martin’s was seventh with 222, while Central Washington was eighth at 231, and Northwest University ninth with 259 points.

Marko Cheseto and Micah Chelimo finished 1-2 to lead nationally ninth-ranked Alaska Anchorage to the men's team title Saturday.

The Western men were second in the 11-team field with 65 points. Alaska Anchorage, which placed five runners among the top 11, had a winning score of 33.

Club Northwest was fourth with 104, while St. Martin’s was seventh with 190 points. Seattle Pacific finished eighth at 207 points, and Central Washington ninth at 225 points.

The Vikings, whose five-year winning streak was snapped, had three runners among the top 10. Defending champion Jordan Welling was third in 31:36, with Bennett Grimes fifth (31:34) and Blake Medhaug eighth (31:45). It was the third consecutive top three finish for Welling in the meet, and the fourth straight top five placing for Grimes.

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

Western, Central, Seattle Pacific, and St. Martin’s next compete in the GNAC Championships in two weeks in Yakima, hosted by the Wildcats.

Complete results from the Viking Invitational cross country meet are available here.

NOTE: The sports information offices of Seattle Pacific and Western Washington University contributed to this report.

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 letsrun.com 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 letsrun.com 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 letsrun.com contributed to this report.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Polls take center stage...

NEW ORLEANS – The latest national cross country poll in Division I by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has, by no surprise, seen some shifts in its upper- to mid-ranks. The previous weekend provided some of the best looks of the teams to watch come November and championship season.

The University of Washington women’s team, which had high expectations thanks to a stellar recruiting class, started the 2010 season at #3, then dropped to #13 after the Notre Dame Invitational, is now at #20 after a ninth place finish in the Blue section of last week’s Pre-Nationals race in Terre Haute.

If there is one bright spot for the Huskies, as they prepare to host the Pacific-10 Cross Country Championships next week at Jefferson Park Golf Course in Seattle, is that there is a strong possibility that they will have both veterans Christine Babcock (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Lauren Saylor ready to run.

Babcock, who is coming off a foot injury suffered during the track season, won the Mike Hodges Invitational at Clackamas CC on October 15th, running 17:16 over the 5000-meter course, while Saylor ran 18:36.

Top frosh recruit Megan Goethels did not make the trip to Indiana for the Huskies, senior Kailey Campbell was forced to drop out, and Mel Lawrence and Katie Flood placed in the top 25, giving folks hope that the Huskies, will have all their weapons as they enter the crucial championship phase of the season.

Entering the championship phase, Oregon at #2, Arizona at #6, and Stanford at #9 are the three Pac-10 teams ahead of the Huskies in the national polls.

Washington’s men’s team is not ranked in the current poll, as Stanford is ranked #1, with Oregon #3, and California #22.


The USTFCCCA poll is available here.

On the pro circuit, Vancouver’s Kara Patterson and Washington State alum Bernard Lagat are two of the nine finalists for the USA Track & Field Jesse Owens Award, which is given to the country’s top male and female pro track & field athlete of the year.

The award is voted on by members of the media, with fan voting accounting for 10% of the total (disclosure: Paul Merca has a vote as a member of the Track & Field Writers of America).

Finalists include Christian Cantwell, Tyson Gay, Lagat, David Oliver & Chris Solinsky; Allyson Felix, Molly Huddle, Chaunte Lowe, and Patterson.

To vote, please click here. Note that voting ends Thursday October 21st at 11:59 pm, eastern time.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA & USA Track & Field contributed to this story.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Tough day for both UW & WSU at Pre-Nationals...

TERRE HAUTE, Indiana--Washington’s hopes for a top four finish in the Blue section of the Pre-Nationals race were derailed when senior Kailey Campbell was forced to drop out midway through the 6000 meter race at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course.

At the halfway point, Washington was fourth overall, but with Campbell out of the mix UW ended up ninth out of 38 teams in the field with 352 points. Third-ranked Florida State got the win with 115 points.

The Huskies, who ran without freshman Megan Goethals, were led by senior All-American Mel Lawrence (left/photo by Mike Scott), who finished 19th in a time of 20:44, then was followed by Nike Cross Nationals champ Katie Flood four spots back in 20:48 in her first official race as a Husky after running unattached two weeks ago.

Sophomore Lindsay Flanagan was 49th overall in 21:15, freshman Liberty Miller was 82nd in her first run over the national championship course in 21:32, and sophomore Allison Linnell was 179th to cap UW's scoring in 22:23. Linnell was racing for the first time in a month after suffering from bronchitis.

In the White section of the women’s race, Washington State showed that while they appear to have improved over last year, the squad is still a work in progress as they finished 34th .

Freshman Ruby Roberts was the first Cougar woman to finish in the 6000m White Race, placing 135th with a time of 22:09. Roberts was followed by Sarah Bobbe in 147th (22:16), Caroline Austin in 156th (22:21), Allison Clark in 162nd (22.22), and Emily Farrar in 226th (23:06). Finishing out of the scoring Saturday were Ashlee Wall Eskelsen (248th) and Courtney Zalud (271st).

The men's team was somewhat in flux for the second straight race in the men’s Blue section, as they competed again without junior Max O'Donoghue-McDonald, and junior Cameron Quackenbush gave it a go but was unable to finish, similar to the events of the Notre Dame Invitational over the 8000 meter course.

Sophomore Joey Bywater led the way for the second race in a row, finishing 69th in 24:38.

Several Huskies had their strongest outings of the season Saturday, as sophomore James Cameron was UW's No. 2 runner for the first time in his career, placing 103rd overall in a time of 24:56 over the 8,000-meters.

Sophomore Rob Webster made a strong showing in his first outing of the season, placing 155th as UW's third finisher in 25:27, just ahead of senior Jordan Swarthout who was 156th one second back. Redshirt freshman Gareth Gilna capped the scoring in 160th-place. As a team, the Huskies finished 26th out of 35 teams.

In the men’s White section, Washington State’s Jono Lafler was the first Cougar man to cross the finish line, placing 52nd in the White Race, running the 8000m course in a time of 24 minutes, 36 seconds. Justin Englund was the next WSU man to finish, taking 82nd (24:52), followed by David Hickerson 110th (25:09), Matt Cronrath 129th (25:19), and Drew Jordan 181st (25:56). Sophomore Andrew Kimpel stepped in a hole about 600m from the start, was taken off the course by the local medical personnel via cart but is walking on his own for the trip home and will be evaluated upon his return to Pullman.

In the open section, held after the four main races, redshirt freshman Justine Johnson led the way, placing fourth overall in a time of 21:53. That time would have placed her around 120th in UW's Blue Race. Freshman Mackenzie Carter was 14th in the open race and sophomore Breanna Huschka was 26th.

Eastern Washington’s Kyle King finished third in the men’s open race in 24:44, as he was the lone runner from the school to make the trip to Indiana.

Complete results from the 2010 Pre-Nationals meet hosted by Indiana State University are available here.

NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, and Indiana State University provided content for this report.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cougars and Huskies head to Terre Haute for crucial Pre-Nationals race...

TERRE HAUTE, Indiana – Final preparations are under way at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center where Indiana State University will host the biggest collegiate cross country invitational of the season with the 2010 Pre-National Invitational this Saturday.

Eighteen of the top 30 men’s cross country teams and 18 of the top 30 women’s cross country teams will be on hand this weekend, including the University of Washington and Washington State University, along with many other schools that have either been ranked or received votes during the 2010 season.

Pre-Nationals divides the massive men's and women's fields into a Blue Race and White Race, splitting the races evenly based on rankings. Both Husky squads are in the Blue Races, while both Cougar teams are in the White Races.

The men will run over a 8-kilometer course, while the women will race over 6-kilometers.

Once Saturday's races are complete, only three meets remain, starting with the Pac-10 Championships, which UW will host on October 30 at Jefferson Park Golf Course. From there it's on to NCAA West Regionals on November 13 and back to Terre Haute for the NCAA Championships on November 22.

The Cougar women will be led by freshman Ruby Roberts from Kingston, who has been the surprise of the season thus far for coach Pete Julian’s squad, as she’s been the first runner across the line for WSU in every meet to date.

For the 13th ranked UW women, leading the charge are seniors Kailey Campbell and Mel Lawrence (left/photo by Mike Scott). Campbell was 15th at Pre-Nationals last year in one of her best outings, while Lawrence was fifth in 2008 and did not run at the race a year ago. Campbell had an excellent run at Notre Dame, while Lawrence made her season debut in South Bend and is looking to take another step closer to her peak form.

While reigning Foot Locker national champ Megan Goethals will not make the trip to Indiana, Nike Cross Nationals champion Katie Flood will run Saturday in her official Husky debut. Two weeks ago, Flood finished third in the Emerald City Open race hosted by Seattle University.

Washington State will have the services of 2009 IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships competitor Andrew Kimpel from North Central HS in Spokane. The sophomore competed three weeks ago as an unattached runner at the Erik Anderson Invitational in Spokane Valley, finishing second behind Cougar teammate Justin Englund.

The Husky men will look for strong runs from junior Cameron Quackenbush and sophomore Joey Bywater. Last year, Bywater was 46th overall, helping the Huskies to an impressive fifth-place showing. Quackenbush will look for a strong bounce-back run after he was unable to finish at Notre Dame. The Huskies will be without Sundodger champ Max O'Donoghue-McDonald again this week as the junior recovers from a back injury, so UW will need everyone to step up in his absence.

Eastern Washington will send Kyle King to Terre Haute, where he will compete in the open section of the Pre-Nationals race to get some exposure running on the national championship course.

Media partner flotrack.org will provide live streaming video of the Pre-Nationals meet starting at 8 am, pacific time. Complete results will be posted here at the Indiana State University athletic department web site.

Those Washington State athletes not competing in Terre Haute will run at the Inland Northwest Classic meet in Cheney that features a women's 5k (10 a.m.) and men's 8k (10:45 a.m.) on the Eastern Washington University campus. Teams competing include Gonzaga, Whitworth, Lewis-Clark St., Spokane CC, Flathead Valley CC. Calgary, WSU and host EWU.

The complete University of Washington release can be read here, while Washington State’s release can be accessed here.

NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State University, Eastern Washington, and Indiana State University contributed to this report.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brie Felnagle moves back to Tacoma, and looks to resurrect running career...

Courtesy of media partner Flotrack, here is an interview with former Bellarmine Prep and University of North Carolina All-American Brie Felnagle (left/photo courtesy University of North Carolina).

Felnagle, who won two individual cross country titles and six state track titles at Bellarmine Prep, recently moved back to Tacoma, where she is reunited with her high school coach Matt Ellis.

At North Carolina, Felnagle earned All-American honors with her 22nd place finish at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, a feat she repeated at the NCAA Indoor Championships with her fifth place finish in the 3000m, before anchoring the Tar Heels to a victory in the DMR.

During the 2007 outdoor season, Felnagle won the ACC Championships in the 800m and 1500m, before capping off her stellar season with a victory in the 1500m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

In 2008, she broke the UNC school record in the 1500, running 4:08.54, then competed in the US Olympic Trials.

The last two seasons at UNC were rocky for Felnagle, as she underwent a coaching change and inconsistent performances.

In this interview, she reveals that she signed with agent Mark Wetmore of Boston-based Global Athletics, and earned a deal with adidas. She also talked about moving back home and being coached by Bellarmine coach Matt Ellis.

You can watch the interview here…

Carly Dockendorf ties for third in pole vault at Commonwealth Games...

DELHI, India--Former University of Washington pole vault standout and current Seattle Pacific University assistant track coach Carly Dockendorf earned a bronze medal for Team Canada Tuesday night in the women's pole vault at the Commonwealth Games at the Jawaharlal Nerhu Stadium.

Dockendorf, a native of Port Moody, British Columbia, and the runner-up in the 2010 Canadian national championships in Toronto, cleared 13-11 1/4 (4.25m) to finish in a three-way tie for third along with Canadian national champ Kelsie Hendry and England's Kate Dennison.

Australia's Alana Boyd won the Commonwealth Games title, with a season's best mark of 14-5 1/4 (4.40m) over Cyprus' Marianna Zachariadi, who cleared the same height.

Former UCLA middle distance runner Jon Rankin, who has been living and training in the Seattle area since April, finished tenth in the semis of the 1500 on Monday, running 3:46.12.

Rankin, who is now representing the Cayman Islands, also competed earlier in the meet in the 800, advancing to the semifinals, where he ran 1:51.10 on Saturday to finish eighth, after getting out of the first round with a fourth place finish in 1:51.4 on Friday.

Results from the Commonwealth Games are available here (click on the day).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Live (or something like that) from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon...


CHICAGO--Welcome to paulmerca.blogspot.com's somewhat live blog from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon!

We will try to give you as close to live updates as possible from our spot here in the press room at the Hilton Hotel near the finish line of the race.

A housekeeping note--we will be leaving the blog when the lead runners approach the 20 mile mark and make our way to the finish line, which is a little bit of a walk, especially with the detours.  We will do our best to do whatever updates we can through the use of our Twitter page (twitter.com/paulmerca70601).

Right now, (6:52 am, local time) the temperature is about 58 degrees, with winds about 4 mph out of the west.  By around 11 am (3:30 into the race), it's supposed to get to 76 degrees, and to 80 degrees by noon.

There are 112 runners entered from Seattle; don't have a breakdown by state yet from the organizers.  The organizers are anticipating close to 45000 runners on the line.

One runner we will be keeping close tabs of is Bellevue's Mike Sayenko, who is looking to run 2:12.  If you saw the video we posted yesterday, the weather may play a factor in whether or not he hits it.

Favorites: Defending champ Liliya Shobukhova of Russia (2:25:56 last year), and Germany's Irina Mikitenko are the women's favorites.  On the men's side, Kenya's defending Olympic champ Sammy Wanjiru along with countryman and Boston Marathon champ Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, plus Ethiopians Tsegaye Kebede and Deriba Merga are the ones to watch.

Keep checking back for updates...you can also watch the race live online at universalsports.com!

7:30 am--67 degrees with no breeze at the start of the race. Mike Sayenko is wearing a white top with the Strands logo.

In last year's race, Sammy Wanjiru went out at around 29:10 at 10k, and 62:01 with the pacemakers. At yesterday's technical meeting, they've asked the pacemakers to run around 62:30.

7:35 am--The pacemakers have gone through the first mile in 4:48, with the women through at 5:15.

7:46 am--Pacemakers have gone through 5k at 15:01, with a third mile close to 5 minutes.  Women are through 5k at 16:30; lead women are Shobukhova, Baysa, Magarsa, Konovalova & Daska.

7:55 am--23:52 with a group of 11 in the pack.  The usual group of suspects are here in the press room--David Monti, Phil Hersh, Amby Burfoot,  Larry Eder, Jim Gerwick, Mr Stats Ken Nakamura, et al.  26:39 at 5 miles for the women.

8:00 am--The leaders are on 2:05 pace. Through 10k, 29:32, with this 5k segment 14:29.

8:05 am--The women go thru 10k at 33:04; pace has picked up.

8:12 am--It's Wanjiru, Vincent Kipruto, Tsegaye Kebede and Deriba Merga in the lead men's group as they cross mile 9 in 42:54, a 4:48 last mile, and still on 2:05 pace.  On the womens side Shobukhova is up there.

The 15k split is 44:28 for the men; Wanjiru is getting a bit frustrated with the pacers.

8:20 am--The men cross ten miles at 47:39; KIrui, Muge, Kebede, Merga, Wanjiru are in the lead pack; projected finish time 2:04:52.

Remember we will be leaving the blog at 9 am local time to get to the finish line and photo duties.

8:27 am--The men run 57:13 at 12 miles; Tim Hutchings from the BBC, who is the press room commentator suspects that the second half of the race may be something special.  At 11 miles, the women are at 58:31, with three Ethiopian women and Shobukhova about 10 meters back.

8:33 am--62:35 at the halfway mark; 59:16 at 20k for the men.

8:40 am--Wanjiru, Kipruto, Kebede, Lilesa, Cheruiyot, Merga, Korir & Moiben in the lead men's group.  There's a bit of looking around between the combatants. Let's see who makes the move to break it open.

8:41 am--Women go through halfway at 69:45, a 5:19 mile, with Ethopians Mamitu Daska in the lead and Astede Baysa  just behind.

8:46 am--The women cross 14 miles in 1:14:28, a 5:17 mile.  1:14:29 for the men at 25 k.

8:50 am--Pacemakers have dropped out after the half marathon mark, except for one, Gudeta Tola of Ethiopia.  1:19:49 for the women at 15 miles.

Housekeeping note--we will be gone in about ten minutes.  I urge you to look to chicagomarathon.runnersworld.com, runblogrun.com, and (hopefully) our Twitter feed at twitter.com/paulmerca70601.

8:55 am--There's a ten second gap between the top two women; Cheruiyot, the men's winner in Boston has fallen off the pace.  1:26:31 at 18 miles, with Kebede & Wanjiru watching each other.

The 30 k split will be the last we'll have before we make our way to the finish line for photo duties.  We'll leave you in the capable hands of chicagomarathon.runnersworld.com, and runblogrun.com.

The 30k split is 1:29:36, a 15:06 last 5k.  The lead woman, Baysa went through the 17 mile mark at 1:30:31. 38132 runners at the start.

Signing off until after the race with a race recap...oh by the way, Merga has just dropped out.  It's now down to five men...

POST RACE--Kenya's Sammy Wanjiru's late race move in the last mile to overtake Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede proved decisive as the reigning Olympic champ took the victory on a warm day.

Wanjiru and the elite runners asked for a first half of around 62 minutes from the pace maker and went through in 62:35.

The real racing began after the 30 kilometer mark when a surge took the group of about 10 runners down to five, with Kebede and Wanjiru at the front.

There was a bit of a cat-and-mouse game between the two, but Wanjiru made a late move, dropping Kebede in the last half mile, opening up what ultimately was a 19-second gap, winning in 2:06:24, to Kebede's 2:06:43.

Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa was third in 2:08:10.

Former University of Oregon standout Jason Hartmann was the first American in eighth at 2:11:06, while former University of Washington runner Mike Sayenko (left/photo by Paul Merca) from Bellevue scored a personal best of 2:14:27 in finishing tenth.

In the women's race, Liliya Shobukhova of Russia retained her title, setting a personal best and new national record, clocking 2:20:25.

The Russian, who at one point was behind over 20 seconds, let Ethiopia's Astede Baysa and Mamitu Daska do most of the work, then took over the race shortly after the 20-mile mark.

Baysa hung on for second at 2:23:40, while Maria Konovalova of Russia was third in 2:23:50.

Former Arizona State runner Desiree Davila was the top American in a personal best 2:26:20 in fourth place.

American marathon legend Joan Benoit Samuelson finished in 2:47:50, missing the Olympic Trials standard of 2:46:00, but setting a new American age 50-54 record.

Complete results are available at chicagomarathon.com.


NOTE: Special thanks to Nike Media Relations for their assistance in covering the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sayenko ready to roll in Chicago...

CHICAGO--On the day before the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, paulmerca.blogspot.com caught up with former University of Washington and Sammamish HS runner Mike Sayenko (left/photo courtesy runsayenko.blogspot.com), who is one of the top American runners entered in Sunday's race.

As he says in his blog, "I can truly say I have prepared for this marathon better then any other one I have done."

The former Husky has averaged 100 miles per week over the last 32 weeks leading up to Sunday.

Sayenko set his personal best at last year's ING New York City Marathon, where he finished 14th in a time of 2:16:38.

In this video, Sayenko talks about the past eight months of training, which included a change of coaches to Eugene-based Brad Hudson, and his training venues, which included stints in Mammoth Lakes, California, and Eugene.

Sunday's weather, which may get up into the mid to high 70s, may play a factor in Sayenko's time goal of around 2:12.

Live streaming video of Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be available worldwide via universalsports.com. The race starts at 7:30 am, local time in Chicago.



NOTE: Special thanks to Nike Media Relations for their assistance in covering the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Former Oregon Duck Andrew Wheating talks about his high school days...

CHICAGO--In advance of Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and the concurrent Nike Running Media Summit, 2008 US Olympians Amy Yoder Begley from Portland, and Andrew Wheating (left/photo by Paul Merca) spoke to reporters on the Northside/Southside Challenge 2.62 mile race involving Chicago area high schools.

The Northside/Southside Challenge is a race that involves area schools, and finishes at the finish line of the marathon.

Participating runners from the teams will then have the opportunity to sit near the finish line and watch the finish of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, and be inspired by the throngs of runners crossing the line, and to watch what is traditionally one of the fastest marathon races in the world.

In this video, Wheating, a double NCAA champion this season at 800 and 1500 meters from the University of Oregon, and who ran 1:44.56, 3:30.09, and 3:51.74 this summer, talked about his humble beginnings as a runner at Vermont's Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, Vermont, where after competing in soccer, he was taken under the wing of original Nike employee Jeff Johnson, who eventually guided him to the University of Oregon.

Yoder Begley, who made the 2008 Olympic team and competed in last year's world championships in the 10000, also talked about her beginnings in the sport.




NOTE: Special thanks to Nike Media Relations for their hospitality in order to cover the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Joanie speaks to the media in Chicago...

CHICAGO--Twenty five years after setting an American record in the marathon, Joan Benoit Samuelson (left/photo by Paul Merca) is back here to run in Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

“The sport of marathon running does not have bigger legends than Joan Benoit Samuelson and Steve Jones,” said Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski in a press release. “These two athletes set the bar for world class performances at the Chicago Marathon 25 years ago, and they ushered the sport of distance running into a new era. We’re proud that they are returning to Chicago to add another exciting storyline to this year’s race.”

When American Joan Benoit Samuelson crossed the finish line of the 1984 Olympic Games Marathon in Los Angeles, she became the event’s first-ever female gold medalist, and as a result, a national hero. Benoit Samuelson brought her hero status to Chicago in 1985 to face one of the deepest women’s fields ever assembled, including world record holder Ingrid Kristiansen of Norway and Olympic bronze medalist and defending Chicago Marathon champion Rosa Mota of Portugal.

Benoit Samuelson won in 2:21:21 to establish a new course and American record, while missing the world record by just 13 seconds. Benoit Samuelson’s American record stood until 2003.

“It’s a true gift to return to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon after posting my fastest time ever in the same marathon 25 years ago,” said Benoit Samuelson. “I never thought that I would still be competing 25 years later and challenging myself with new goals. After the Olympic Trials in Boston in 2008, I said that I was finished with competitive marathon running, but the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on 10-10-10 is too great of an opportunity to pass up. My goal is to run as fast as I can for as long as I can and to challenge my best time over the age of 50.”

Benoit Samuelson’s time of 2:49:08 at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon made her the first America woman over the age of 50 to run sub 2:50. Last fall, she ran 2:49:09 at the New York City Marathon. If Benoit Samuelson manages to run under the 2:46:00 U.S. Olympic Trials standard, she would qualify to compete in a record fifth U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon. She has previously competed in the 1984, 1996, 2000 and 2008 Trials races.

Benoit Samuelson spoke to members of the media in advance of Sunday's race at the Chicago Hilton, with the BBC's Tim Hutchings moderating.



NOTE: Special thanks to Nike Media Relations for their hospitality in order to cover the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Washington women drop to 13th in latest USTFCCCA cross country poll...

Coming off a sixth place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday October 1st, the University of Washington women's cross country team, which was ranked third for the first few weeks of the season, dropped to #13 in the most recent USTFCCCA national poll released Tuesday.

Defending national champion Villanova stayed as the nation's number one squad thanks to its victory at the Notre Dame Invite, securing all twelve first place votes.

Among Pac-10 teams, Oregon jumped from fifth to second, while Arizona jumped to sixth from ninth.

Stanford is the only other Pac-10 school in the current top 30.


The USTFCCCA cross country poll can be accessed here.

Meanwhile, UW cross country coach Greg Metcalf gives his synopsis on last week's Notre Dame Invitational in this video, courtesy of the UW athletic department:



Former Husky Kendra Schaaf, now attending the University of North Carolina. was named ACC Performer of the Week after she took fourth at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational over the weekend, running 20:20 over the 6k course.


You can read the UNC release here.

Finally, former Washington Husky Mike Sayenko is listed as one of the elite invited runners for Sunday's Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  Another former Husky, Jake Schmitt, is also expected to make his marathon debut in Chicago.

paulmerca.blogspot.com will be in Chicago to cover the marathon, along with some of the events surrounding the race, starting late Thursday.


The elite entry field for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is available here.

Look for race updates here on this site, along with Twitter updates on our Twitter page, twitter.com/paulmerca70601.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Western's Sarah Porter gets third in Louisville...

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky - Western Washington University's Sarah Porter (left/photo courtesy Western Washington University) placed third among 302 runners in the Gold Division at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic on Saturday at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. It is the same venue that the NCAA Division II National Championships will be held on Dec. 4.

Porter ran the 5-kilometer distance in 16:58. Placing first was Neely Spence from Shippensburg in a course record 16:33, followed by Kristie Krueger from Georgia in 16:38. Another Viking, Lauren Breihof, was 35th in 17:47.

"Sarah looked really good," said Western coach Pee Wee Halsell. "She moved up to third early in the race and stayed there."

Western also had three competitors in the men's gold division. Jordan Welling placed 51st, having a time of 24:44 over the 8-kilometer distance. Bennett Grimes was 55th in 24:46, and Blake Medhaug 107th in 25:14. Meshack Koyiaki from Columbus State finished first among the 322 runners in 23:21.

"The main reason for coming here was to get these guys some really good competition and to see the national course," Halsell said. "It's a flat course, that's really hot and dry right now. But that will change when we come back."

"All of our people looked really good today."

That despite being a little travel weary as they flew all day Friday, arriving at their hotel at 11 p.m., and got up at 6:30 a.m.

The Vikings next compete on Oct. 9 in their own WWU Preview meet at Lake Padden Park.


Complete results from the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic are available here.

In Salem, Oregon, former O'Dea HS and University of Portland standout Michael Kilburg won the men's 8k Gold race in 23:54 at the Charles Bowles Invitational, hosted by Willamette University.

In the Cardinal section, featuring schools from around the Pacific Northwest, Marko Cheseto from Alaska Anchorage won the race in 23:19, followed by four runners from the University of Portland, led by 2009 US junior cross country champ Trevor Dunbar, who led the Pilots to the team title by running 23:23.

Whitworth, nationally ranked in NCAA Division III finished tenth with 269 points, with Whitman from Walla Walla 15th with 474, and Seattle Pacific 16th at 488.

The University of Puget Sound was 19th with 545, and Pacific Lutheran 20th with 576 points.

In the women's Cardinal race, Miriam Kipng'eno of Alaska Anchorage made it a sweep of the individual titles for the GNAC school, winning in 17:20.

Whitworth's women's team, led by Tonya Turner's 12th place finish, finished seventh with 257 points, as the University of Idaho won the title with 55 points.

Whitman was 15th at 449 points, while Puget Sound was 19th with 532 points, followed by Pacific Lutheran in 20th at 544, and Seattle Pacific 21st at 553.


Complete results from the Charles Bowles Invitational are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information offices at Seattle Pacific, Western Washington, and Willamette University contributed to this report.

Roberts finishes third at Montana Invitational...

MISSOULA, Mont. -- Washington State freshman Ruby Roberts (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished third and the Cougar women's cross country team was the runner-up Saturday at the Montana Invitational Cross Country meet at the University Golf Course in Missoula.

Roberts, from Kingston, Wash., ran a time of 17-minutes, 54 seconds for third place in the women's 5000m race, as Katrina Drennan of the host Grizzlies won in 17:41. Cougar sophomore Caroline Austin (Chehalis, Wash.) was seventh in a time of 18:16, and freshman Sarah Bobbe (Vancouver, Wash.) placed 10th in a time of 18:35.

The rest of the Cougar women scoring Saturday included Allison Clark (freshman, Vancouver, Wash.) 11th (18:39), Emily Farrar (junior, Bainbridge Island, Wash.) 18th (18:56), Courtney Zalud (sophomore, Colbert, Wash.) 22nd (19:00), and Ashlee Wall Eskelsen (Walla Walla) 30th (19:10).

For Gonzaga, Laura Volcheff was 14th in 18:43, Lauren Bergam was 18th in 18:55 and Emily Thomas 20th in 18:56 for the Bulldogs.

Eastern Washington placed eighth at the meet, led by senior standout Amy Kolin, who placed eighth overall, in a time of 18:21.

The host Montana women's team won with a score of 33 points, followed by Washington State with 49, Idaho State (73), Gonzaga (101), Montana State (128), College of Idaho (160), Carroll College (183), and Eastern Washington (203).

Complete results from the Montana Invitational are available here.

In Seattle, a pair of true freshmen showed tremendous promise Saturday as those members of the Husky cross country teams that did not make the trip to Notre Dame competed at the Emerald City Open, hosted by Seattle U. at Woodland Park.

Katie Flood, one of the nation's top recruits a year ago, competed for the first time Saturday and looked like a veteran over the hilly 6,000-meter course, placing third overall, while freshman Aaron Beattie, coming off a good run at the Sundodger two weeks ago, took second overall in the men's 8k.

Both Flood and Beattie competed unattached, Flood wearing a Redondo jersey supplied by teammate Chloe Curtis, the 2010 California 1,600m state champion, who also ran for the first time this year and took 10th overall.

Flood's time of 22:03 was a full minute faster than the winning time last year run by former Husky Mo Huber. Claudia Copeland from Olympia, who runs for Club Northwest took the win in 21:47.

Chelsea Orr, a freshman from Sammamish, was the second Husky finisher, clocking 23:02 which was also one second under the winning mark a year ago. Redshirt freshmen Breanna Huschka and Alison Ponce were seventh and eighth overall, followed by Curtis, then sophomore transfer Phoebe Merritt in 11th place in 23:33.

Courtney Lightfoot took 16th, Jacquelyn Komen was 26th, and Nicole Aurigemma and Laura Schmitt rounded out the UW contingent in 29th and 31st-place respectively.

SeattleU was led by freshman Cara Talty, who was 13th in 23:44. Celeste Cassidy finished 18th in 24:43 behind Talty, quickly followed by Sarah Bolce in 19th place with a time of 24:44. Hannah Mittelstaedt was 21st in 24:53, and Lauren Hammerle 24th in 25:07.

Washington's Aaron Beattie, a Naperville, Illinois native, chased after SeattleU's Erik Barkhaus for the last couple laps, but settled for second-place, just 11 seconds back in 26:11. The only other Husky competing in the men's race was sophomore Greg Drosky, who led early on before winding up in fifth-place in 27:01.

Host SeattleU had six men placing in the top twenty runners out of the largest field ever in the Open. Following Barkhaus was Hans Heitzinger in sixth in 27:04, Kelton Sears eighth in 27:16, Matthew McClement 11th in 27:34, Michael Van Nuland was 13th in 27:45, and Jeff Baklund finished 16th with a time of 27:59.

Complete results from the Emerald City Open are available here... 

In other significant NCAA Division I notes, former University of Washington standout Kendra Schaaf, now competing for North Carolina, finished fourth at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational in Verona, Wisconsin, hosted by the University of Wisconsin.

Schaaf, who is projected by Track & Field News as its early favorite to win the NCAA women's individual title,  covered the 6k course in 20:21, as Florida's Charlotte Browning took the win in 20:14.

The Tar Heels finished a surprising second with 98 points behind team champion Syracuse with 89.  Results from the Wisconsin adidas Invitational are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information offices at Washington State, Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, University of Washington and SeattleU provided information for this story.

Huskies finish sixth, 19th at Notre Dame Invitational...

SOUTH BEND, Indiana--Competing over a 5000 meter course, the third ranked University of Washington women's cross country team finished sixth in Friday's Notre Dame Invitational on the Notre Dame Golf Course.

Defending national champs Villanova got the team win, followed by No. 4 Oregon, No. 2 Florida State, No. 12 New Mexico, and Stony Brook. The Huskies posted 185 points for sixth.

Senior Kailey Campbell (left/photo by Paul Merca) from Ballard HS in Seattle was the top finisher for the women, placing 14th overall in 16-minutes, 54-seconds, followed by senior Mel Lawrence in 25th at 17:10.

Sophomore Lindsay Flanagan, the Sundodger Invitational champion, was 30th overall in 17:18, and sophomore Kayla Evans placed 48th in 17:30. Freshman Libby Miller capped Washington's scoring with a 68th-place effort in 17:42, giving the Huskies a 1-5 split of 48 seconds.

Miller was followed by redshirt freshmen Justine Johnson and Grace Green in 80th and 127th, respectively.

Freshman Megan Goethals, who was UW's No. 2 runner at the Sundodger, never felt well today but fought through to the finish, taking 165th. Fellow true freshman Mackenzie Carter also placed 133rd in 18:27.

"We had to battle today and rely on a lot of young women who are still adjusting to this whole process and there are going to ups and downs for sure," said head coach Greg Metcalf.

"Kailey Campbell I thought ran with a lot of poise, and Mel Lawrence was a little rusty and hasn't raced in a long time so this was just the tip of the iceberg for her. Lindsay, Kayla, and Libby all had solid days, and Megan will shake this off and still make a huge difference for our team this year."

In the men's 8000 meter race, the Huskies finished 19th overall, led by Joey Bywater, who placed 63rd in 25:05.

The Huskies were hampered by Metcalf's decision to hold out Max O'Donoghue-McDonald due to a back problem, and fellow junior Cameron Quackenbush, who was a DNF after three miles.

Redshirt freshmen Gareth Gilna and Taylor Carlson both stepped up with solid outings in their first career road trips, as Gilna placed 74th in 25:14, and Carlson was the third Husky across in 25:31, good for 95th overall. Senior Jordan Swarthout was 101st at 25:40 and sophomore James Cameron was 109th at 25:48 to cap UW's scoring and give the Huskies a 1-5 split of 43 seconds.

Redshirt freshman Michael Miller was 132nd at 26:15.

"Max wanted to go, and it pained him not to be out there, but it was not worth the risk today with a long season still ahead," said Metcalf. "I was proud of the efforts from Gareth Gilna and Taylor Carlson, but we have got to fix some things after today."

Washington returns to Indiana in two weeks for the Pre-Nationals meet at the Lavern Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, which will be their final test before the Pac-10 cross country championships at Seattle's Jefferson Park Golf Course on October 30th.

The women's results can be found here, while the men's results are available here.

NOTE: The University of Washington sports information office contributed to this report.

Blog Archive