Thursday, May 19, 2011

NCAA West preliminary round entries released; multi media featuring Anna Layman & James Alaka...

The declared entries for next week's NCAA west preliminary championships at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon were released Thursday.

The University of Washington will be led into Eugene by double Pac-10 sprint champ James Alaka, along with decathlon champ Jeremy Taiwo, who will contest the 110 hurdles in Eugene.

With the multi-events the only event not contested in the preliminary championships, Taiwo has a spot in the NCAA championship meet in Des Moines, Iowa on June 8-11 at Drake University.

For the Washington State Cougars, leading the way into Eugene are 400 meter hurdler Jeshua Anderson, its men's 4 x 100 meter relay squad, triple jumper Stephan Scott-Ellis, 800 meter runner Anna Layman (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki,, and javelin thrower Marissa Tschida, all of whom won titles at last week's Pac-10 championships in Tuscon.

Other notables from Washington that will compete in next week's meet in Eugene include Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry, the Pac-10 400m champ from Oregon; Eastern Washington's Brad Wall, the Big Sky 400m champ; Eastern's Erica Chaney, the Big Sky shot put champ; Stephanie Marcy from Sequim, the Pac-10 10000m champ; and Tacoma prep standout Andrea Geubelle from Kansas in both the long and triple jumps.

The complete NCAA west regional men's declared list is available here, while the women's list is available here.


Below are a couple of multi-media links featuring Washington State University senior Anna Layman, and University of Washington sophomore James Alaka, both of whom emerged victorious at the Pac-10 championships last weekend.

Layman talks in this video about her race, in which she snuck past Arizona's Christina Rodgers to garner the victory.

Alaka was interviewed by KIRO FM 97.3/'s Bill Swartz, who describes the "Flash Man" as a running contradiction.

The native of London, England searched the internet for a place to attend college. He picked rainy Seattle. He chose the University of Washington, a program with little success when it comes to track and field sprinters.

As James explained, "If I had stayed in London, I would have been running in the rain. Why not go overseas, get a new experience, enjoy the new lifestyle, get a good education. I could also compete against top quality competition every week. That's like a no brainer."

To read the full interview, please click here (there is a link within the story to the audio interview).

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