Friday, February 10, 2012

Flotrack Husky Classic highlights a busy weekend on the college & pro circuit...

Many of the country's top collegiate track and field teams will descend upon the Dempsey Indoor Facility this weekend for the Flotrack Husky Classic beginning Friday, for what perhaps may be one of the country's most competitive meets and a preview of things to come at next month's NCAA indoor championships in Nampa, Idaho.

Nearly all the major teams on the West Coast will have some presence at the Dempsey, as well as teams from Clemson, Florida, Georgetown, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Most of the Pac-12 schools will have a presence at the Dempsey as well.

The distance races will take center stage, with stacked fields featuring a litany of Olympians and world championship competitors.

In the women's mile, Sally Kipyego, the silver medalist in Daegu at 10000, faces Washington's Katie Flood and Canadian Olympian Malindi Elmore.

Elmore is also entered in the women's 3000, where she'll face 2010 NCAA 10000 champ Lisa Uhl, along with another US Olympian in Alice Schmidt, along with the UW's Christine Babcock and rising freshman and Gatorade high school cross country runner of the year in 2010, Aisling Cuffe.

Kipyego is also entered in Friday night's 5000 against Oregon's Jordan Hasay and Alex Kosinski, steeplechase specialist Bridget Franek, the Huskies' Megan Goethals, Georgetown's Emily Jones, Cal's Deborah Maier, and UTEP's Risper Kimaiyo.

In the men's mile, Olympian Matt Tegenkamp faces Nathan Hale HS alum Abdi Hassan of Arizona, UW's Joey Bywater, and former Cal standout Mark Matusak.

The men's 5000 on Friday features British star Chris Thompson against collegians Jake Riley of Stanford, Donn Cabral of Princeton, Oregon's Trevor Dunbar, and 2008 Olympic Trials qualifier Michael Kilburg, formerly of Seattle's O'Dea HS.

Both pole vaults feature quality fields, with Eastern Washington's Keisa Monterola facing former Husky Carly Dockendorf, Katerina Stefanidi of Stanford, and former Idaho All-American Melinda Owen.

On the men's side, former NCAA champs Jason Colwick, Scott Roth, and Ryan Brown head the fields, with decathlete Ashton Eaton (above/photo by Paul Merca) thrown in for good measure.

Eaton, the world record holder in the indoor heptathlon, is also entered in the high jump and the shot put.

Some others to watch:

--Norris Frederick in the men's long jump;

--Washington's James Alaka, the reigning Pac-10 100 & 200m sprint champ is entered in the 60;

--Olympian Sharon Day is entered in her specialty, the high jump, where she'll go against Canadian Olympian Ruky Abdulai, who will also contest the long jump. In the long jump, Abdulai will face former Tacoma prep standout Andrea Geubelle.

The start lists for the Husky Classic are available here.

Media partner Flotrack will provide a live webcast, as Flotrack will go live on Friday from 5-6 p.m. to show the distance medley relays and the invitational heats of the 5,000-meters, then resume broadcasting for the invitational track races on Saturday, scheduled for 3-6 p.m.

GoHuskies.com will provide a live video feed for the races outside the Flotrack broadcast window.

A pair of Washington State University standouts in Pac-10 triple jump champ Stephan Scott-Ellis and high jumper Shawn Swartz will compete at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas this weekend, which is part of USA Track & Field's Visa Championship Series.

Results and start lists are available at flashresults.com.

On the pro circuit, WSU alums Bernard Lagat will run the 5000 and Jeshua Anderson will run the 500 at the Millrose Games at the Armory in New York. Washington alum Katie Mackey will run the 1500.

The start lists for the Millrose Games are available here.

On the Australian pro circuit, Olympians Aretha Thurmond and Kara Patterson open their 2012 season at the Perth Track Classic. Thurmond faces reigning Olympic champ Stephanie Brown-Trafton, and former world champ Dani Samuels, while Patterson is the lone foreigner in the javelin field.

The start list for the Perth Track Classic is available here (downloadable .pdf file).

Finally, the USA Cross Country Championships will be contested Saturday in St. Louis. With 2012 an Olympic year, plus the fact that there are no world championships being contested, the fields, particularly in the open divisions, are not as strong as in previous years.

American 5000m record holder and reigning US 5000 champ Molly Huddle is the headliner at the USA championships at Forest Park in St. Louis.

Media partner runnerspace.com will provide a live web cast of the meet beginning at 9:45 am on Saturday.

The start lists for the USA cross country championships are available here.

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