Thursday, February 24, 2011

MPSF Championships brings West's top collegiate squads to the Dempsey...

SEATTLE--Many of the West Coast's top collegiate track & field teams will assemble at the Dempsey Indoor for the annual Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor track & field championships that begins its two-day run on Friday.

This meet serves as the conference championship meet between the eight Pac-10 schools excluding Oregon State and USC, along with Big West squads from Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge, with the addition of UC Irvine's women's squad.

Defending champ Oregon is a heavy favorite to win the women's team title, while the team crown may come down to a battle of depth between #7 Stanford, #12 Oregon, #15 Arizona and #16 Washington.

UCLA enters the meet as the defending men's team champions.

On the men's side, key matchups to watch include Washington State's Jeshua Anderson (above/photo by Paul Merca) against Stanford's Amaechi Morton in the 400; the Cougars' Joe Abbott and Arizona's James Eichberger in the 800; the Oregon trio of Matthew Centrowitz Elijah Greer and Mac Fleet against Stanford's Andrew Berberick & Elliott Heath.

Heath will be a factor in the 3000 against the Huskies' Colton Tully-Doyle, while in the 5000, look out for Stanford's Chris Derrick, who has not competed yet this season, but was an NCAA scorer in the 10000 outdoors last year.

Nick Ross of Arizona in the high jump and the Huskies' Scott Roth in the pole vault are strong favorites to win their events, as Ross is #4 in the collegiate ranks this season at 7-4.5 (2.25m), and Roth is #1 at 18-1 (5.51m).

Oregon's Amber Purvis is a solid favorite to defend her 60m title, while Arizona State's Jasmine Chaney is the favorite in the 200 and 400m.

Defending 800 champ Anne Kesselring of Oregon will face teammate Zoe Buckman, but the Ducks' Jordan Hasay could steal the race (timed-final format) despite the fact that she's running in the first of three heats. However, the 800 will be after the mile, an event in which Hasay is the defending champ.

The NACAC junior cross country champion, Chelsea Orr of Washington, will contest the mile.

In the women's 3000, Husky fans will get to see Megan Goethals on the track in purple and gold for the first time after running 9:18.09 two weeks ago at the Flotrack Husky Classic as an unattached athlete.

Goethals, the 2009 Gatorade national high school runner of the year will face Oregon's Alex Kosinski, who has a NCAA automatic qualifier in the 5000m. 

Goethals will be joined by teammate Katie Flood, who is preparing to run as a member of Team USA at the IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Spain next month.

Perhaps the best field event matchup will be in the pole vault, as it pits defending MPSF champ Katerina Stefanidi from Stanford against Oregon's Melissa Gergel in their third matchup of the indoor season, with the Stanford star from Greece besting Gergel both times.

Oregon's Brianne Theisen, who holds the collegiate best in the pentathlon, will compete in three individual events--60 hurdles, high jump, and shot put, in which she will be a major factor in the hurdles and high jump.

In the high jump, Thiesen, who won the Pac 10 title last year, will face NCAA leader Brigetta Barrett of Arizona (6-3.25/1.91m) and Washington State's Holly Parent (6-0/1.83m).

Action gets underway Friday at 12:30 pm with the finals of the men's 35 pound weight throw, and concludes at 6:55 with the final event of the pentathlon, the 800.

The meet resumes Saturday at 11am with the heptathlon 60 hurdles, and ends four hours later with the women's 4 x 400 meter relay.

The start lists for the MPSF Championships are posted here; the conference news release, including the time schedule is available here.

No comments:

Blog Archive