Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Husky women ranked #8; Falcons ranked #17 in latest national poll...

NEW ORLEANS--In the latest USTFCCCA national collegiate indoor track & field poll released Tuesday, the University of Washington women's team was ranked #8.

The national poll has Clemson, Kansas and Oregon as the nation's top three teams.

Besides Oregon and Washington, other schools from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (the Pac-12 doesn't sponsor indoor track) ranked in the current national poll include #12 California, #13 Arizona, #16 Stanford, and #20 Arizona State.

In Division II, Seattle Pacific's women's squad is ranked #17 in the national poll.

The top three teams in the women's national poll are Grand Valley State, Adams State, and Lincoln (Missouri).

Speaking of the Huskies, Gregg Bell has a post on Washington's two-sport track & field athletes, including Kasen Williams (left/photo by Paul Merca).

Williams along with several Husky jumpers will travel to Albuquerque for this weekend's New Mexico Collegiate Classic.


Washington State, Eastern Washington, and Gonzaga will have athletes competing in Friday night's Vandal Indoor, and Saturday's Vandal Collegiate meet hosted by the University of Idaho at the Kibbie Dome.

According to WSU head coach Rick Sloan, the meets this weekend are ones that his squads are training through, with meets in Seattle and Albuquerque the emphasis the following weekend, due to the higher level of competition.

Courtesy of Washington State, here is Sloan's weekly press conference and his thoughts on this weekend, and on the new uniforms the Cougs will wear this season:

On the pro circuit, Cougar alum Bernard Lagat will stay in Europe to run a 3000 in Karlsruhe, Germany on Saturday.

Joining him will be the two men who joined him on the podium at last year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships – Augustine Choge and Edwin Soi, along with Ethiopia's Yenew Alamirew.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Washington, and Washington State University, along with the IAAF contributed to this report.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fresh off a victory at UW Invitational, Tacoma's Brie Felnagle enters USA cross country championships...

Fresh off a strong victory in Saturday's 3000 meter run at the UW Invitational, Tacoma's Brie Felnagle (left/photo by Mike Scott) has entered this Saturday's USA Cross Country Championships at Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri.

The 8-kilometer race also serves as the selection meet for those wishing to represent the USA in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships on March 24th in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

The top six finishers in the senior women's, senior men's, junior women's, and junior men's races are eligible to run for the national team.

Felnagle, who won the 2011 USATF national club cross country title at Seattle's Jefferson Park Golf Course, will face a field that includes Olympic medalists Deena Kastor and Shalane Flanagan, Olympians Kim Conley and Magdalena Lewy Boulet, defending champ Sara Hall, and recent world cross country team members Delilah DiCrescenzo, Alissa McKaig, and Neely Spence.

Flanagan led Team USA to a team bronze medal at the last two world championships, held in Bydgoszcz in 2010, and two years ago in Punta Umbria, Spain.

Also entered in the senior women's race is Eastern Washington alum and 2012 USATF national club cross country champ Mattie Suver and Western Washington alum and former NCAA Division II champ Sarah (Porter) Crouch.

In the senior men's 12k race, Bellingham native and Stanford alum Jake Riley, the 2012 USATF national club cross country champ, will attempt to make his first world cross country championship team.

Riley, who now lives in Michigan and competes for the Hansons/Brooks Distance Project, faces off against Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein and Matt Tegenkamp, along with defending champ Bobby Mack, and former world cross country championships team members Scott Bauhs, Max King, and Ben True.

Athletes with ties to the area entered include former Gonzaga assistant coach Forest Braden, and new Seattle area resident Matt Tebo, who just moved into the area with wife Jessica (Pixler), as she starts training with the newly-formed Brooks middle distance group.

In the junior women's race, University of Washington freshman Maddie Meyers, who ran a 4:43 1600m split on the Huskies' distance medley relay squad last Friday is entered, as she looks to earn her second career Team USA vest (she was on the 2011 world youth team in France, where she set a US high school record in the 2000m steeplechase).

Also entered in the junior women's race is Spokane's Katie Knight, the North Central HS senior and University of Washington commit, who finished third in last fall's Nike Cross Nationals, and has international cross country experience.  

Knight finished fourth at the 2012 BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country International junior women's race.

In the junior men's race, Mead/Spokane HS senior Andrew Gardner, who competed for Team USA at last weekend's NACAC cross country championships in Jamaica, where he was ninth.  

Gardner, the reigning Washington state 4A cross country champ, was fifth at the 2012 BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge meet, and 11th at last fall's Foot Locker nationals in San Diego.

Ballard HS alum Alex Bowns, who now runs for the University of Portland, is entered in Saturday's junior national championships.

The entry lists for Saturday's USA Cross Country Championships are available here (click on the specific race).  The race schedule for the championships are available through this link as well.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Felnagle wins UW Invitational 3000 with exciting stretch run...

SEATTLE--Tacoma native Brie Felnagle (far right, #1/photo by Paul Merca) used her closing speed, as the Bellarmine Prep and University of North Carolina alum outlasted Kate Grace to win the featured women's 3000 meter run at the UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor on the Washington campus.

After pacesetter Rose Wetzel led the group through the mile, Washington's Megan Goethals ran from the front until a pack of four that included Felnagle, Grace, Dartmouth's NCAA 5k champ Abbey D'Agostino, and Oregon's Jordan Hasay broke away from the pack.

The quartet were together entering the last lap until Felnagle, a former NCAA champ at 1500 made her move in the backstretch, and held on to wi in 8:54.74, with Grace second at 8:55.06.

D'Agostino was third in 8:55.41, with Hasay fourth in 8:57.46.

Goethals, making her season debut, finished eighth in 9:10.34, with comebacking Husky senior Christine Babcock, after struggling with injuries the past two seasons, finishing one spot behind in a time of 9:11.22. 

In the other invitational section of the 3000, Washington frosh Maddie Meyers finished a strong third, clocking 9:33.49 as she prepares for next week's USA Junior Cross Country Championships in St. Louis, 

In other action, Washington wide receiver Kasen Williams, a five time Washington 4A champion from Skyline HS, made his Husky track debut in the long jump, just losing out to Cal's Taylor Kientzel by half an inch, 24-5 3/4 (7.46m) to 24-5 1/4 (7.42m).

Oregon's Dakotah Keys, the Pac-12 decathlon champ, used a strong showing in the pole vault to overtake day one leader Dominic Giovannoni of UCLA, and held his lead in the 1000 meter run, the final event of the heptathlon, winning with a final score of 5589 to Giovannoni's 5540.


In Pullman, Washington State men's and women's teams won the dual competition over Idaho and Montana Saturday in the final day of the Cougar Indoor Invitational scoring meet at the Indoor Facility in Pullman. The WSU men defeated Idaho 96-25, and downed Montana 105-15. The Cougar women bested Idaho 73-48, and defeated Montana 92-31. Idaho defeated Montana with the men's score 59-51, and the women's score 79-42.

A trio of meet records were broken Saturday starting with Cougar Todd Wakefield's winning time in the men's mile of 4 minutes, 8.97 seconds, eradicating a 10-year old record time of 4:11.34 run by Danny Wolf. The men's 400m dash record was broken twice, with a photo finish by both winner Ben Ayesu-Attah (48.28) of Idaho and WSU's Jacob Sealby (48.29), taking away Sealby's 2012 set record time of 48.46. The WSU women's 4x400m relay of Bria'una Watley, Bree Winfrey, Dominique Keel and Shawna Fermin won in a time of 3:46.07 erasing the USC 2006 relay record time of 3:46.30.


In Glasgow, Scotland, WSU alum Bernard Lagat opened his 2013 campaign by winning the 3000 at the Five Nations Match in a time of 7:53.36 to beat Kenya's Augustine Choge by over a second, with Choge clocking 7:54.68 to come in second.

At the NACAC cross country championships in Mandeville, Jamaica, Mead High School's Andrew Gardner finished ninth over the 6km Manchester Golf Club course, running 19:26.

Mexico's Edgar Garcia took the win, running 19:10.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sharon Day posts US leading score of 4462 to win UW Invite pentathlon...

Washington frosh
Maddie Meyers in the DMR
(Paul Merca photo)

SEATTLE--Two time US Olympic team member Sharon Day won four of five events to easily win the pentathlon competition at the UW Invitational to highlight the first day of the two-day meet.

Day won the 60 hurdles in 8.51 (1015 points), the high jump in 5-11.25 (1.81 for 991 points), the shot put at 45-3 (13.79m for 780 points), and the long jump at 19-0 1/2 (5.80m for 789 points) to easily outdistance former University of Maryland standout Kiani Profit by a healthy 4462 to 4119 count.

Day, the Cal Poly/SLO grad who followed former Mustang and Seattle Pacific coach Jack Hoyt to Los Angeles when he took the jumps/multi events position at UCLA, nearly made it a clean sweep, almost catching Profit in the final straight in the final event, the 800 meters.

Profit took the win in the 800, 2:13.96 to 2:15.43, a 907-887 count over Day.

Pending the results from meets around the USA and the world this weekend, Day's score of 4462 is the third best in the world this season, and a US leader, though the mark won't be recognized due to the Dempsey's oversized track.

UCLA's Tatum Souza was the top collegian in fourth with a final score of 3888.

Washington's Jaleecia Roland was the top Husky in 15th at 3357, with Shelby Williams one place and seven points behind.

In other events, UCLA's Dominic Giovannoni leads the heptathlon after four events with a score of 3033 over Donovan Toban of Cal State Northridge, who had 3001 at the break.

Edmonds/Woodway grad Alec Fellows, who is being redshirted by the University of Oregon stands tenth with 2728 points, while two time GNAC champ Nate Johnson of Seattle Pacific is 12th at 2490, and Joe Cerne of the University of Puget Sound 14th at 2248 points.

Washington's Jeremy Taiwo scratched out of the event after suffering a minor groin injury in practice, and was advised not to compete by the team's medical staff.

Oregon's Michael Berry, a product of Seattle's Rainier Beach HS, won the 200 in a time of 21.61.

Thanks to a 4:43 1600m leg by freshman Maddie Meyers (above/photo by Paul Merca) the Huskies finished fourth in the distance medley relay, running 11:25.72, behind two Oregon teams, and a Stanford quartet, as the UO squad of Annie Leblanc, Phyllis Francis, Laura Roesler, and Anne Kesselring nearly grabbing the meet record, running 11:02.18.

The meet resumes Saturday beginning at 8:45 am.

NOTE:  Thanks to an initiative by the UW track and field staff and the sports information office, day one of the UW Invitational was streamed online via and the track and field page at  The meet will be streamed on Saturday as well.

The UW also announced that the Husky Classic and the MPSF Championship meet will also be streamed online via and

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Huskies primed for UW Invitational; Cougs host Montana & Idaho in scoring meet...

The University of Washington hosts one of the country's top indoor meets Friday and Saturday with the annual UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor,  featuring teams from Oregon, Cal, Stanford, UCLA, Colorado, along with numerous elite collegians and pro athletes.

Friday's session starts off at 1pm with the men's heptathlon, featuring the return to multi-event competition of Washington senior Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo courtesy University of Washington), the 2011 Pac-10 decathlon champ who missed all of 2012 recovering from two surgeries--one on his throwing elbow, and another on his hips to alleviate an osteitis pubis injury.

At the UW Preview two weeks ago, he showed signs of being stronger than ever, scoring a personal best of 8.10 in the 60 hurdles, and tying a personal best of 6-11 1/2 (2.12m) in the high jump.

In the heptathlon, Taiwo will face last year's Pac-12 champ Dakotah Keys from Oregon, along with runner-up Marcus Nilsson of UCLA and teammate Dominic Giovannoni, the 2012 fifth place finisher.  Edmonds native Alec Fellows, the eighth place finisher from last year's conference meet for the Ducks, is also entered, but is listed as an unattached athlete.

Also entered is two-time GNAC heptathlon champ Nate Johnson from Seattle Pacific and Derrick Harris of Cal State Northridge, who was fifth at last year's Big West championships in the decathlon.

The women's pentathlon features two time US Olympian Sharon Day going against former UC Santa Barbara standout Barbara Nwaba, last year's runner-up at the NCAA championships in the heptathlon, and two-time NACAC U-23 hep champ Kiani Profit, formerly from Maryland.

Also entered are former Hawaii All-American Annett Fleming, Pac-12 scorers Genny Mayden and Brianne Beemer from Colorado, and Tatum Souza of UCLA, and Samantha Balentine of Hawaii, last year's 3rd place finisher in the WAC conference multi.

Friday night track action includes the distance medley relay, 200 meters, and the 5000s for both men and women.

As usual, the distance races highlight Saturday action including a stellar women's 3000 featuring the Huskies' Megan Goethals and Christine Babcock going against local pros Katie Mackey and Brie Felnagle, along with Dartmouth's Abbey D"Agostino, who edged Goethals for the NCAA 5000 title last June, and Oregon's Jordan Hasay.

In the men's 3000, US Olympian Donn Cabral heads the field, along with Minnesota alum Hassan Mead, who was eighth in the 5000 at the US Olympic Trials.

The men's 800 features Olympic Trials finalist Mark Wieczorek from Tacoma against training partner Matt Scherer.

The women's pole vault features Greek Olympian and last year's NCAA champ from Stanford Katerina Stefanidi, while the men's field has Olympic Trials 3rd place finisher and Washington alum Scott Roth against Pac-12 champ JJ Julifs of the Huskies, former Pac-10 champ Ryan Vu, Western Washington alum and former NCAA D2 champ Ryan Brown, and NCAA runner-up Michael Woepse from UCLA.

The Huskies' James Alaka, the two-time Pac-12 champ at 200 meters makes his season debut, while Pac-12 scorer AJ Maricich goes in the high jump.  Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry of the University of Oregon will run the 200.

Washington sophomore wide receiver Kasen Williams, who won five career state 4A titles for Skyline HS in the long, triple and high jumps, makes his UW track debut in the long jump.

The time schedule for the UW Invitational is available here, while the start lists are available here.


In Pullman, the Washington State Cougars host the Cougar Indoor Scoring meet against Montana and Idaho Friday and Saturday.

Friday's events includes all five women's pentathlon events, the first four men's heptathlon events, both men's and women's weight throws, and the men's long jump and pole vault, starting at 2:30 pm, with the remaining events starting at 9 am Saturday.

Courtesy of Washington State University, here's Cougar coach Rick Sloan's meet preview:


Finally, Mead HS senior Andrew Gardner will represent Team USA in Saturday's NACAC Cross Country Championships at the Manchester Golf Club in Mandeville, Jamaica.

Gardner, who was the 2012 Washington 4A cross country champ, makes his second appearance in a Team USA vest, having competed at last year's Great Edinburgh Cross Country Challenge.

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lagat opens 2013 season in Glasgow; USTFCCCA rankings released...

Three-time World indoor champion Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) and World champions Dai Greene and Carmelita Jeter are among the stars set to feature at the British Athletics Glasgow International this Saturday.

The only world-class team competition of the indoor season, this year’s match will be held for the first time in the new Emirates Arena in Glasgow, having been staged for the past 21 years at the Kelvin Hall. The team format sees hosts Great Britain take on USA, Russia, Germany and a Commonwealth select team.

Lagat, who won his last World indoor title over 3000 meters in 2012, returns to Glasgow with fond memories, having won the 1500m at this meeting in 2007 and 2008. This time the Washington State alum will compete over 3000m where he faces the man who finished closest to him at last year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships, Augustine Choge of Kenya.


In this week's USTFCCCA poll, the Washington women's team is ranked number 8, after beginning the season at number 10.

Clemson, Kansas, and Oregon are the nation's #1, 2 and 3 teams in the latest poll.

On the men's side, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Florida are the nation's top three teams.

In the women's Division II rankings, Seattle Pacific is ranked #17, after starting the season at #15.

Both Washington and Seattle Pacific are in action Friday and Saturday at the UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor in Seattle.  Accepted entries for the meet are available here.

The USTFCCCA rankings are available here.


In a post on, Jim McDannald put up the Pac-12's reply on why the conference put a stop on Flotrack and RunnerSpace's ability to post video content from the UW Indoor Preview meet two weeks ago:

According to a statement from the Pac-12, "Beginning this year, the Pac-12 schools entered into an agreement in which their media rights were controlled by the Conference. With these rights, the Pac-12 Conference has launched the Pac-12 Networks – seven linear and one digital network – that is dedicated exclusively to covering Pac-12 sporting events. As part of the Pac-12 Networks, we have developed a platform to stream sporting events from our campuses live on, and our schools have the option to stream as many events through as they would like throughout the year. As the Pac-12 Networks continue to grow, our vision is to stream and archive more events for track and field fans on"

Essentially, if the schools wish to put their meets up, they can either produce it themselves or hire a third party to do it for them to post on or their own web site.

You can read the rest of McDannald's post here...

NOTE:  The IAAF and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Scott-Ellis, Roberts, and Parent among Cougar winners at Boise State...

NAMPA, Idaho--Washington State's track teams earned twelve victories at Saturday's Boise State Bronco Invitational meet at the Jackson's Track in the Idaho Center.

Among key winners for the Cougs were All-American Stephan Scott-Ellis, who won the long jump with a season best 24-3 (7.39m); Greg Hornsby in the 60 (6.85); Jacob Sealby in the 400 (48.20) and Ross VanZanten in the high jump in a personal best of 6-9 3/4 (2.08m).

On the women's side, Ruby Roberts (left/photo by Paul Merca) won the 800 (2:14.00); Holly Parent won the high jump with a leap of 5-7 (1.70m); Kristine Felix the pole vault with a jump of 12-4 3/4 (3.78m); and the women's 4 x 400 meter relay team of Bree Winfrey, Bria'una Watley, Shawna Fermin, and Erin Allen, in a time of 3:49.03.

"I'm very pleased with the effort of the Cougars today. It was a good meet here in Boise," WSU head coach Rick Sloan said. "There were a lot of positive things, a real step up from last week as people were competing in their events for the first time and coming out and preforming well. It was a good day for us in Moscow too. We need to keep everybody healthy and keep the season moving in the right direction."

Several Cougars competed at the Idaho Collegiate meet in Moscow Saturday, with Terrance Chambers winning the men's 200m dash in 22.27.Lucas Sealby won the 400m dash in a time of 49.06. Cougar men went first through fourth in the 3000m with Drew Jordan, running unattached, won in a time of 8:26.00 followed by Jono Lafler, Justin Englund and Forrest Shaffer. Multi-events specialist Spencer Wordell reached PRs in 60m dash of 7.16 and the 60m hurdles of 8.62.

In Reno, Nevada, several members of the University of Washington and Eastern Washington University pole vault squads, along with several post-collegians with Washington ties competed at the UCS Spirit National Pole Vault Summit meet at the Reno Livestock Events Center Friday and Saturday.

In the elite men's pole vault competition, University of Washington alum and 2012 US Olympic Trials third place finisher Scott Roth finished eighth with a jump of 17-0 3/4 (5.20m) as Olympic champ Renaud Lavillenie from France won with a world leading jump of 19-2 3/4 (5.86m).

In Saturday competition, Levi Keller of Seattle finished in a tie for sixth in the open 1 competition with a best of 17-6 1/2 (5.35m).

The College 1 competition saw reigning Pac-12 champ JJ Juilfs from the University of Washington finish fourth with a best of 17-4 1/2 (5.30m), with teammate Jax Thoirs fifth at 17-0 3/4 (5.20m), and Chris Williams clearing no height, as Kansas' Alex Bishop won with a best of 17-4 1/2 (5.30m).

In the College 2 section, Seattle University's Stephen Squatrito was 11th with a jump of 13-5 1/4 (4.10m).

In the women's College 1 section,  Washington's Kristina Owsinski finished in a tie for ninth with Eastern Washington's Robin Taylor, as both cleared 12-5 1/2 (3.80m).

The Huskies' Georgia Reynolds was 13th at 11-1 3/4 (3.40m), while the Eagles' Keisa Monterola, an NCAA scorer indoors in 2012, failed to clear a height for the second straight meet.

Kansas' Natalia Bartnoskaya won the women's College 1 section with a best of 13-9 1/4 (4.20m).

NOTE:  The sports information office at Washington State University and Boise State University contributed to this report.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Huskies get additional firepower in jumps in form of standout receiver Kasen Williams...

After Norris Frederick finished his University of Washington career in 2008 as one of the school's greatest all-around jumpers, there seemed to be a void in who might fill the gap for the Huskies in the jumps.

The void is about to be filled.

In a series of tweets on his account (@CoachMetcalf), University of Washington head track coach Greg Metcalf announced that standout wide receiver Kasen Williams (left/photo by Paul Merca) will join the Husky track team and make his 2013 debut at next weekend's UW Invitational.

The sophomore from Skyline High School did not compete in track during the 2012 season, but enters the University of Washington with personal bests of 24-5 1/2 (7.45m) in the long jump and 50-9 1/4 (15.47m), set as a senior in 2011 in winning the Washington state 4A championships, as well as the high jump, where he cleared 6-10 (2.08m), short of his personal best of 6-11 (2.11m).

During his high school career, Williams won five individual state titles, and was named the 2011 Gatorade track & field athlete of the year in Washington state.

In a text to, Metcalf stated that Williams would contest the long jump next weekend, but will take a wait-and-see approach on the triple jump.

This past season, Williams had 77 receptions for 878 yards and six touchdowns for the Huskies.

GEUBELLE TRACKS UNCHARTERED GROUND has a feature post on University Place resident Andrea Geubelle, the reigning national collegiate champ in the triple jump indoors.

Reflecting on 2012, and in particular, the NCAA outdoor championships--where she thought she won--and, the US Olympic Trials, where she got third, but didn't make the Olympic team, she said, "“I was really happy with myself but I was disappointed with the outcome of everything. I got [personal records] in both the long and triple jump but the outcome of my final two meets wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted an outdoor national championship and I wanted to make the Olympic Team.”


If you were expecting to see full videos of every race from last weekend's UW Indoor Preview from media partners Flotrack and, including Mary Cain's stunning 9:02.10 in the 3000 to set a national high school record, there's a good reason why you didn't.

According to Jim McDannald of TrackFocus, live webcasts and archived replays are no longer allowed, due to the conference's aggressive approach to controlling video content, though Ken Goe of the Oregonian posted that the UW is working with the Pac-12 to find a solution that would allow a third party to stream meets from the Dempsey.

Washington State hall of famer Samson Kimobwa passes away...

According to a report out of Kenya, Washington State University hall of famer Samson Kimobwa (also spelled Kimombwa according to the Washington State University sports information department) passed away on Wednesday at the age of 58, after complaining of a stomach ailment the previous day.

During his career at Washington State, Kimobwa (left/photo courtesy Washington State University) earned nine All-America certificates from 1975-1980, won the 1977 NCAA championship in the 10000 meters, won three Pac-8/Pac-10 conference titles and had eight NCAA top-five finishes in his career.

Kimobwa broke the world record in the 10000, running a time of 27:30.47 at the World Games on June 30, 1977 in Helsinki, Finland.  That record was broken a year later by Kenyan compatriot and Washington State teammate Henry Rono.

"We have lost a role model, a colleague and person who inspired many young athletes," Patrick Sang, an Athletics Kenya official in the Rift Valley Province and 1992 Olympic 3 000 meter steeplechase silver medallist told Reuters.

Kimobwa was inducted into the Washington State University Athletics Hall of Fame during campus ceremonies last September.

Here's a link to the Washington State release noting its 2012 Hall of Fame class.

Here is a video highlight of Kimobwa winning the NCAA 10000 meter title in 1977:

Meanwhile, the Cougars will have a split squad competing in two meets in the state of Idaho, with the majority of the squad off to Nampa to compete at the Boise State Bronco Invitational, and the rest staying closer to home, participating in the Idaho Collegiate I meet at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow.

Among the key athletes traveling to Nampa are All-American Stephan Scott-Ellis, who will contest the long jump, and high jumper Holly Parent.

Distance runners Justin Englund, Drew Jordan, and Jono Lafler are the key Cougs competing in Moscow.

Courtesy of Washington State University, here's a video interview with Cougar coach Rick Sloan previewing this week's meets:

NOTE:  The Washington State University sports information office contributed to this report.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Brooks to start Seattle-based middle distance program...

BOTHELL--Bothell-based Brooks announced in a release Thursday that it will deepen its commitment to the sport through continued support of the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Program (ODP) and the creation of a Seattle-based middle distance team.

Brooks’ increased dedication to the Hansons-Brooks ODP will allow the program to continue to develop up-and-coming talent and recruit rising stars. It will also expand its support of internationally successful athletes like Desi Davila, who qualified for the 2012 Olympics after training with the Hansons-Brooks team since 2005. The renewed commitment comes just shy of the program’s 10th anniversary.

Recent Hansons-Brooks signees include Neely Spence, the first American woman to win the Zatopek 10,000m run; Bellingham native and Stanford alum Jake Riley, who recently won the USA Track & Field Club Cross Country Championships; and Colby Lowe, whose impressive college running career makes him a strong addition to the team. The most recent addition, Bobby Curtis, is the 7th fastest U.S. male ever in the 10,000m with a 27:24 personal record (PR). Riley, Lowe, and Curtis all hope to add to the history and growing success of the Hansons-Brooks team.

Brooks will deepen its commitment to the sport of running by creating a Seattle-based middle distance team. This team will be modeled after the successful Hansons-Brooks ODP. While the Seattle program is in its infancy, four high-caliber athletes have already signed on to participate. Current Brooks’ athlete Katie Mackey and longtime runner Matt Scherer will join the team, along with former Seattle Pacific and Colorado All-American Jessica Tebo and Mark Wieczorek (left/photo by Paul Merca), who placed seventh at the 2012 Olympic Trials in the men’s 800m, and will no longer wear the multi-striped T-shirt this season.

“Investing in running and supporting athletes is part of the DNA at Brooks,” said Jesse Williams, Brooks’ sports marketing manager. “Our hope is to inspire people to run longer, faster, farther, and in order to do that we must help provide opportunities for athletes to practice and develop their talent. We hope that our professional athletes will help inspire other runners to set goals, push themselves and keep running.”

NOTE:  Brooks Sports media relations contributed to this report.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

High schooler Mary Cain steals show with one of the greatest performances by a US prep distance runner...

SEATTLE--Very rarely does a high schooler steal center stage in a meet that had the Olympic silver medalist in the 10000 as the headliner.

But Mary Cain (left/photo by Mike Scott) did.

Cain, a junior at Bronxville HS in New York took down not only the established national high school record of 9:17.4 set by Melody Fairchild in 1991, but also the the all-time outdoor best of 9:08.6 set by Lynn Bjorklund of Los Alamos HS in New Mexico way back in 1975 in Kiev in a USA/USSR dual meet as she won the women's 3000 in a time of 9:02.10 at the UW Indoor Preview meet at the Dempsey Indoor facility.

After Club Northwest's Rose Wetzel took pacing duties for the first mile, pro runners Treniere Moser and Tara Erdmann from the Nike Oregon Project took turns up at the front along with Canadian Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff.

Coming off the turn, Erdmann and Moser were battling it out with each other when Cain snuck by both to take the victory in a time of 9:02.10.

Cain last summer qualified for the US Olympic Trials in the 800 meters, and finished sixth in the 1500 at the IAAF world junior championships in Barcelona, setting an American high school record of 4:11.01.

Cain raised eyebrows this fall when she decided to leave her high school team to be coached by Nike Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar, who also coached Galen Rupp when he was a high schooler at Portland's Central Catholic.

Unlike Rupp, Cain is staying on the east coast, while having one of Salazar's associates oversee her workouts.

Speaking of Rupp, the Olympic silver medalist at 10000 coasted to an easy victory in his season opener, winning the mile run in 3:57.15, over Olympic steeplechaser Donn Cabral (4:00.56).

In other events, Washington's Maurice McNeal was impressive in setting a meet record in the rarely run 600m, running 1:17.74.

The men's pole vault saw the "Tuxedo Man", Paul Litchfield upset Olympic Trials 3rd place finisher Scott Roth and five other local vaulters, winning with a best of 17-3 3/4 (5.28m).

Jeremy Taiwo of the Huskies showed that he's back from injuries, winning the high jump with a best of 6-11 1/2 (2.12m), and scoring a personal best of 8.10 in the 60 meter hurdle prelims.

In Pullman, All-American Stephan Scott-Ellis broke his own meet record in the long jump Saturday at the 11th Annual Washington State Open Indoor track and field meet at the Indoor Facility on the Pullman campus.

Scott-Ellis, a senior from Tacoma, led a first through fourth-place Cougar finish in the men's long jump with a meet record leap of 23-feet 11 3/4 inches (7.31m), bettering his 2012 meet mark of 23-10 1/4 (7.27m). PJ Benedictus  was second with a lifetime-best distance of 22-8 1/2 (6.92m), Trevor Rogers (placed third (22-7), and Michael Bolligar finished fourth (22-1 1/2).

Holly Parent of the Cougars won the high jump with a strong showing at 5-8 1/2 (1.74m) after a year away from competition.

On Friday in Lawrence, Kansas, Curtis HS alum Andrea Geubelle won the long jump at the Jayhawk Challenge, soaring to a mark of 6.25 meters (20-6.25 ft.) on her second attempt of the day to not only break the Anschutz facility record by more than four inches, but to give her the NCAA-leading mark in the event.

NOTE:  The sports information department at the University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cougs set to open season with WSU Open Indoor this weekend...

PULLMAN--Washington State University’s indoor track and field teams open the 2013 indoor season with the 11th Annual WSU Indoor Open this Friday and Saturday, in the Indoor Facility on the Pullman campus.

The Cougs will compete against a field that includes athletes from the University of Idaho, Whitworth, Spokane Community College, along with clubs from Eastern Washington.

NCAA scorer and reigning MPSF and Pac-12 long jump champ Stephan Scott-Ellis (left/photo by Paul Merca) will open his 2013 season in his specialty, but will not compete in the triple jump, an event that he scored in at last year's NCAA indoor meet.

When asked about his expectations for this weekend's meet, WSU head coach Rick Sloan said, “The same thing I expect from the first meet every year.  We’ve been training since late August and I think we’re ready to get out and have some competitive feelings in our body rather than just training. Across the board there’s some good, new people coming in. I think that the people that we have returning have done a good job of preparing themselves."

Courtesy of WSU Athletics, here's a video interview with Sloan previewing the meet.

University of Washington junior Katie Flood was one of ten athletes named by the USTFCCCA on its 2013 Bowerman Award pre-season watch list.

Flood, the reigning NCAA outdoor champ at 1500 meters, is one of four Pac-12 athletes named on the initial Bowerman watch list, which includes Arizona's Brigetta Barrett and Georganne Moline; and Oregon's English Gardner.

In addition to the initial list of ten athletes, University Place resident Andrea Geubelle, the defending NCAA indoor champion in the triple jump, was one of six additional athletes that received a mention by the USTFCCCA.

On the men's side, Rainier Beach HS grad and University of Oregon junior Michael Berry was one of six athletes outside the initial ten athletes on the pre-season watch list to receive a mention.

The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.

NOTE:  The sports information office at Washington State University, and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Saint Martin's head coach Julie Sullivan steps down...

LACEY - Head cross country and track & field coach Julie Sullivan (left/photo courtesy SMU Sports Information) has stepped down from her position at Saint Martin's University as announced Wednesday by athletic director Bob Grisham.

"I am appreciative of Julie's hard work and respect the professionalism with which she approached her position and programs. She has definitely helped to move the track and cross country programs in the right direction," said Grisham.

Sullivan leaves the program having served as the head cross country coach for seven seasons and head track & field coach for six seasons. At the helm she had three nationals qualifiers each in cross country and outdoor track & field and an outdoor track & field All-American. 

She also coached John Riak during her tenure who won both the GNAC and NCAA West Regional cross country championships in 2007 and was named regional and conference athlete of the year.

Current assistant track & field coach Chad Colwell was named interim head coach and replaces Sullivan immediately.

NOTE:  The sports information office at Saint Martin's University contributed to this report.

Rupp and Centrowitz mile matchup highlights UW Indoor Preview...

Ninety nine times out of one hundred, a mile race featuring Oregon alums and Olympians Galen Rupp (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Matthew Centrowitz wouldn't be such a big deal to track and field fans in this part of the country, as after all, both have made regular appearances at the Dempsey Indoor facility as undergrads and post collegians.

But we're talking London Olympic 10000 meter silver medalist Galen Rupp and 2011 Daegu world championship 1500 meter bronze medalist Matthew Centrowitz!

Rupp and Centrowitz are the centerpiece of Saturday's University of Washington's Preview Meet at the Dempsey Indoor super speedway with its fast 307 meter Mondo surface.  The men's mile is tentatively scheduled to get underway at noon.

They'll be joined by Nike Oregon Project teammate and former NCAA champ Dorian Ulrey, along with Tacoma resident and US Olympic Trials 800 finalist Mark Wieczorek.

The field will be paced by Tacoma resident and rabbit du jour Matt Scherer, who according to a post on Flotrack, is supposed to take the field through 800 meters in 1:55, a pace that would easily break the current facility record of 3:54.52, set by Chris Solinsky at the 2011 Husky Classic.

Another Olympian and Nike Oregon Project runner, Dathan Ritzenhein, was entered in the men's 3000, but Flotrack reports that he's scratched.

Other intriguing matchups include Trenier Moser and Tara Erdmann of the Nike Oregon Project in the women's 3000, with a pair of nationally ranked high schoolers in New Yorker Mary Cain (who is now coached by NOP coach Alberto Salazar) and Husky commit Katie Knight from Spokane in the field; Olympic Trials finalist and NCAA outdoor scorer Logan Miller of the UW against NCAA indoor pole vault scorer Keisa Monterola from Eastern Washington;  a matchup in the men's pole vault featuring Olympic Trials third place finisher and UW alum Scott Roth versus Pac-12 champ JJ Julifs of the Huskies, former NCAA D2 champ Ryan Brown from Western Washington; former Pac-10 champ and UW alum Ryan Vu; and Husky newcomers Chris Williams and Jax Thoirs.

Williams, a highly touted freshman from Pennsylvania, is also entered in the 60 meter hurdles.

Another freshman to watch for the Huskies Saturday is Daje Pugh in the hurdles, who is one of Washington's top incoming recruits, after winning the California state meet in the 300 hurdles.  She's entered in the 60 hurdles.

Saturday's meet will be the season opener for many of the state's Division I and II schools, with entries from schools and clubs from Oregon, British Columbia as well as California and Hawaii.

The meet gets underway at 8 am, and lasts until approximately 6 pm.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Andrea Geubelle takes early national lead in triple jump...

LAWRENCE, Kansas--The 2013 indoor track season may only be one weekend old, but Andrea Geubelle (left/photo courtesy University of Kansas) is making folks around the country know that the road to the NCAA championship in the triple jump goes through her.

The University of Kansas senior from Tacoma's Curtis High School let everyone know that she is the one to beat, as the defending indoor collegiate champion won her specialty at the Bill Easton Classic at the Anschutz Sports Pavilion Saturday to open the Jayhawks' indoor track and field season.

Geubelle, who finished third at the US Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, after losing out on the outdoor NCAA title on a disputed call in Des Moines, won with a nation-leading mark of 43-2 1/4 (13.16m) on her second jump of the day.

Geubelle's jump Saturday was a career best season opener.

Earler in the meet, she ran 7.71 in the 60 meter dash to finish fifth overall behind four Jayhawk teammates.

Eastern Washington alum Mattie Suver earns podium finish for Team USA in Edinburgh...

EDINBURGH, Scotland--Eastern Washington University alum Mattie Suver (left/photo by Jim Estes, USA Track & Field) finished third in Saturday's BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge meet at Holyrood Park.

Running over a 6k course, Fionnuala Britton of Ireland took the victory in a time of 20:40, with Adrienne Herzog of the Netherlands second in 20:56, and Suver four seconds back.

In the three-team women's international challenge, Team Europe took the title with a low score of 35 points, with Great Britain second at 64, and the USA third at 75 points.

In the men's 8k race, Bellingham native and Stanford alum Jake Riley finished 7th in a time of 24:50,

USA teammate and past world cross country team member Bobby Mack took the victory, winning in a time of 24:27 over Spain's Ayad Lamdassem by a second.

The 1-7 finish by Mack and Riley led Team USA to the victory over Europe 49-65, with Great Britain third with 67 points.

The USA also scored a podium finish in the men's junior race, as Craig Nowak from Oklahoma State University finished third over a 6k distance, running 19:03 in a tightly contested race to lead the US juniors to a second place finish.

Results of the BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge are available here (thanks to USA team leader and Mercer Island HS grad Dena Evans for posting via her Twitter feed).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Local running companies Oiselle and Brooks make sponsorship moves with Fleshman & Scherer...

We start off the 2013 season with some news involving local running companies Oiselle and Brooks.

Seattle-based women's running apparel maker Oiselle announced that they have signed nationally ranked runner and Stanford alum Lauren Fleshman (left/photo by Paul Merca) to an endorsement deal, after being sponsored by Nike for ten years.

Fleshman, a three-time world championships team member and former winner of the Seattle Open Cross Country Classic, recently announced on her blog that she and her husband, pro triathlete Jesse Thomas, are expecting their first child in June.

We’ve been super fans of Lauren for quite a while. We’re not alone of course - she is admired around the world," said Sally Bergesen, CEO of Oiselle.  “For me, her appeal comes down to a mix of straight-up, world-class athleticism plus a very real, very down-to-earth persona. She makes anyone who follows her – young, old, fast, slow – feel connected, as we share in the ups and downs of not just running, but of life. We’re over the moon that we get to work with her; she is both a hero and friend.”

Meanwhile, former University of Oregon standout Matt Scherer, who has carved a niche for himself as a designated pacesetter for several of the world's leading middle distance runners, announced on his Twitter feed that he has picked up a sponsorship deal with Bothell-based Brooks Sports.

Scherer, who a few months ago moved to Tacoma to train with former Oregon TC Elite teammate and US Olympic Trials 800 meter finalist Mark Wieczorek, has been a mainstay on the pro circuit, rabbiting at distances from 800 to the mile on the Samsung Diamond League circuit.

Finally, Eastern Washington alum Mattie Suver and Bellingham native Jake Riley have been named to the Team USA roster for Saturday's BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge race at Holyrood Park in Scotland.

Both were named to the team based on winning last month's USATF National Club Cross Country Championships in Lexington, Kentucky.

The event features the international team challenge which includes senior and junior teams from Great Britain & Northern Ireland, the USA and Europe compete in four separate races with the aim of taking the overall team challenge title. The winning team is determined by the best aggregate finishing positions over the four races.

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