Thursday, January 26, 2012

Distance races take center stage at this weekend's UW Invitational...

One of the biggest indoor meets of the young season takes place Friday and Saturday as the University of Washington hosts the UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor Facility.

The distance races will take center stage, as several members of the Oregon TC/Portland group will run this weekend.

2010 NCAA 10000m champ Lisa Uhl, who won the 3000m at the UW Preview two weeks ago will run in Friday's 5000 against Colorado alum Renee Metivier Baillie, a veteran of several USA world cross country teams, and the 2010 USA indoor 3000m champ.

2008 US Olympians Matt Tegenkamp and Ian Dobson will face rising star Andrew Bumbalough and UCLA alum Jon Rankin in the mile.  

Lopez Lomong (above/photo by Paul Merca), an Olympian at 1500m and the flagbearer for Team USA in the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing, will drop down to the 800m.

The women's 3000 is headlined by world championships 10000m silver medalist Sally Kipyego, who faces OTC/Eugene teammate Bridget Franek, veteran Malindi Elmore of Canada, the Brooks duo of Angela Bizzarri and UW alum Katie (Follett) Mackey, along with UW cross country All-Americans Katie Flood and Megan Goethals.

The men's 3000 is just as loaded as well, with OTC/Eugene standouts Chris Thompson, the Euro 10k bronze medalist, and Liberty alum Sam Chelanga facing the challenge of one of America's rising distance stars in Miles Batty of BYU.

Canadian Ruky Abdulai, a two time world championships competitor in the long jump and heptathlon, is entered in several individual events, but not in the pentathlon.

In Friday's multi-event competition, 2008 US Olympian Sharon Day is the headliner in the women's pentathlon, going against Seattle Pacific's reigning GNAC multi-event champ Ali Worthen, while Seattle Pacific alum Chris Randolph is the man to watch in the heptathlon, a field which will miss Pac-10 decathlon champ Jeremy Taiwo, who is still recovering from off-season Tommy John surgery.

In the pole vault, look for a matchup between UW alum Carly Dockendorf and Venezuelan standout Keisa Monterola of Eastern Washington and Cal alum Allison Stokke, and on the men's side, 2010 NCAA champ Jason Colwick goes against 2011 NCAA D2 champ Ryan Brown, the Western Washington alum, along with former Pac-10 champ Ryan Vu and US junior champ JJ Julifs of the host Huskies.

Tacoma native Andrea Geubelle makes a rare appearance at the Dempsey, as the University of Kansas All-American will contest both the long and triple jumps.  Arkansas alum Nkosinza Balumbo highlights the men's triple jump.  Canadian Olympian Mike Mason and Pac-10 scorer Obum Gwacham from Oregon State, along with Princeton alum and NCAA scorer Justin Frick are the ones to watch in the high jump.

Friday's action gets underway at 2pm with the pentathlon 60 hurdles, and ends at 8:15 with the pentathlon 800.

Saturday action gets underway at 10 am, with the top sections of the meet getting underway at 2:45pm.  

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