Sunday, May 8, 2011

Athletes bid farewell to Husky Stadium track & field venue at Ken Shannon Invitational...

Turn out the lights
The party's over
They say that
All good things must end
Call it tonight
The party's over
And tomorrow starts
The same old thing again

If the late Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dandy Don Meredith were still alive, he would've grabbed the announcers' microphone and crooned those lines, as the University of Washington and the athletes running, jumping, and throwing around Husky Stadium bid farewell to 91 years of track and field history at the Ken Shannon Invitational.

With predominantly local schools and clubs providing the competition at the Ken Shannon Invitational, none of the stadium records, the majority of which were set at the 1990 Goodwill Games, were challenged during the afternoon of competition.

Throughout the course of the meet, announcers Bill Roe and Paul Merca talked about the history of track and field at the stadium, which will be refurbished and reconfigured to be a football-only facility.

Some of the highlights:

A trio of recent Husky alums--Norris Frederick in the long jump (24-9.25/7.55m); Katie Follett (left/photo by Paul Merca) in the 800m (2:07.36); and Falesha Ankton in the 100 meter hurdles (13.61) helped close out Husky Stadium with victories.

Two-time All-American senior Kyle Nielsen of the UW took a few throws in the javelin in his final home appearance, slightly upping his season-best on his first throw which traveled 239-11, which also gives him back the team lead by two inches over All-American Joe Zimmerman.

Watching Nielsen was former Husky Tom Sinclair, the 1979 NCAA Champion in the javelin, who got to take one last throw in the stadium during warm-ups.

In the women's pole vault, Seattle Pacific's Melissa Peaslee and the Huskies' Logan Miller tied with a mark of 12-6.75 (3.83m), with the Falcons' Terra Schumacher third in a PR 12-2.75 (3.83m). That puts both Peaslee and Schumacher in the top ten in NCAA D2, pending the results of meets around the country.

In the men's pole vault, former Husky Ryan Vu won in a jumpoff over Husky junior Robby Feagles, as the Lane CC transfer set a PR of 16-9.5;

SPU's Brittany Aanstad finished second with a mark of 159-4 (48.58m) in the javelin behind Canadian Krista Woodward (171-7/52.30m) to extend her NCAA D2 lead in that event.

In a meet named after one of America's premier throws coaches, it was fittingly a Washington thrower that concluded 91 years of track and field at Husky Stadium, as discus thrower Richard Anderson (left/photo by Paul Merca) closed the meet by winning the event, spinning the platter 166-0 (50.61m) .

Washington track and field will move to a brand new facility located north of Husky Soccer Stadium, with the complex expected to be ready for the 2012 outdoor season.

Complete results from the Ken Shannon Invitational are available here.

NOTE: The University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University contributed to this report.

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