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.
COUGS HOST MONTANA & IDAHO IN SCORING MEET
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:
GARDNER TO REPRESENT TEAM USA AT NACAC CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPS IN JAMAICA
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.