Friday, January 13, 2012

Away from Houston, the indoor track season opens for the Washington schools...

While most of the country is focusing on the happenings at the Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston, the state's colleges and universities begin their 2012 indoor track season with two significant meets--the UW Indoor Preview at the Dempsey Indoor facility in Seattle, and the WSU Open meet in Pullman.

The University of Washington plays host to most of the schools from the west side of the state, with teams from Eastern Washington and Gonzaga making the trek from east of the Cascades. Additionally, squads from Stanford, Hawaii, along with schools and clubs from the Northwest will converge on the Dempsey.

Perhaps one of the best fields of the UW Indoor Preview will be the men's pole vault, featuring three NCAA champions--ex-Husky Scott Roth (left/photo by Mike Scott), former Western Washington standout Ryan Brown, and Rice's Jason Colwick, along with Husky frosh JJ Julifs, the reigning USA junior champion.

A pair of former Huskies in Norris Frederick (long jump) and Carly Dockendorf (pole vault) make their season debuts Saturday, with the latter going up against Stanford's Katerina Stefanidi, the bronze medalist at the World University Games, and Eastern Washington's Keisa Monterola, who was fifth in the Pan Am Games last October.

In the distance races, most of the Huskies' top guns, including NCAA All Americans Katie Flood and Megan Goethals will not race, but are projected to open in two weeks at the UW Invitational. Sub-4 minute miler James Cameron is still recovering from a foot injury from the outdoor season, and will most likely be redshirted in 2012.

IAAF world youth champion Trinity Wilson is entered in the 60 meter hurdles. Former Tennessee standout Jackie Areson is entered in the women's mile against Stanford alum Lindsay Allen. Others to watch include UCLA alum Jon Rankin in the men's mile; Shayla Houlihan in the women's 3000 against the Dempsey facility record holder, Lisa Uhl (formerly Koll), the 2010 NCAA champ in the 10000 from Iowa State and member of last year's world cross country team; and, Canadian Olympian Mike Mason in the men's high jump.

The start list for the UW Indoor Preview is available here.

In Pullman, Cougar head coach Rick Sloan is anxious to get the 2012 season going with the WSU Indoor Open, stating, "We’re anxious to compete. We have been training since late August and have been working very hard."

“As an all-comers meet we’ve had 60-year-old men running the 60-meter dash and junior high kids in some events. There is a wide range of talent that comes to the Open. I like the fact that there’s no pressure and no team outcome to worry about. The kids can get in there and just perform and then start stepping it up after this weekend. This is a get your feet wet competition."

You can watch highlights of his weekly press conference here.

Reigning NCAA and USA 400 meter hurdles champion Jeshua Anderson begins his quest for a spot in this summer's London Olympics at the WSU Indoor Open, as he will run in the 60 meter hurdles and the 600.

The start lists for the WSU Indoor Open are available here.

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