Thursday, February 14, 2013

THE WEEKEND PREVIEW: Idaho, GNAC & Millrose...


Most of the state's Division I schools will be in action this weekend in Moscow, Idaho, as they compete at the Idaho Collegiate and Idaho Open meets on Friday and Saturday.

Washington, Washington State, Gonzaga and Eastern Washington will have athletes represented at the Kibbie Dome.

The Huskies will only send throwers to the meet, while the other three schools will have most of their squads in attendance.

Spokane CC and Whitworth will also have athletes in the meet.

For those on the bubble to try and qualify for either the Mountain Pacific (UW/WSU) or the Big Sky championship meet (EWU) next week, this is a last chance for those to try and move up the performance lists.

Eastern women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg said it best when she said, "At this point, I really feel like there are athletes in every event area that can still qualify. They all have potential and they need to get it done this weekend.”

The start lists for the Idaho Collegiate meet and the Idaho Open are available here.

GNAC CHAMPIONSHIPS THIS WEEKEND

In Division II, all eyes are on Jacksons Track in Nampa, Idaho, as Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Central Washington, and St. Martin's compete in the GNAC indoor championship meet Friday and Saturday.

On the women's side, Seattle Pacific aims to win its tenth straight GNAC crown, but will be pressed by both Alaska Anchorage and Western Washington.

Seattle Pacific returns three defending champions in Katy Gross in the pentathlon, Kishia Mitchell in the 60 meters and McKayla Fricker in the 800 meters, with Gross looking to win her third GNAC undercover crown.

Mitchell is the top seed in both the 60 meters and 200 meters with season-best times of 7.73 and 25.66, respectively. 

Fricker, meanwhile, has the nation’s third best time in the 800 (2:11.11) but just the second in the GNAC.  Simon Fraser’s Helen Crofts is the national leader in the event with a time of 2:07.34.

Among former champions entered in the meet include  Western Washington’s Tanya Bjornsson in the 60 hurdles and teammate Emily Warman in the long jump.

Becki Duhamel of Central Washington is the No. 1 seed in two events – the shot put (44-3 ½/13.50m) and weight throw (53-11 ¾/16.45m). 

In the men's competition, defending champs returning include heptathlete Nate Johnson of Seattle Pacific, teammate Seth Pierson in the mile, Sam Washington of Saint Martin's in the weight, and Scott Hunter of Central Washington in the pole vault.

Washington is the #1 seed in the weight throw at 55-8 1/2 (16.98m), but Central Washington's Quinton Agosta has the same mark this season.


MILLROSE SATURDAY AT THE ARMORY

On the pro circuit, most of the attention will be focused on the Armory in New York, as the Millrose Games takes place Saturday at the New Balance Track & Field Center.

Bellingham's Donn Cabral (left/photo by Paul Merca), a 2012 US Olympian in the steeplechase, faces a field in the Wanamaker Mile that includes headliner and Olympic Games 4th place finisher Matthew Centrowitz, along with Ryan Hill of NC State, and Olympic teammate Lopez Lomong.

Tacoma's Mark Wieczorek is entered in the event, but is expected to be the pace setter.

In the men's two mile, Washington State alum Bernard Lagat leads a field that includes Evan Jager and Canadian Cam Levins.

Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford is entered in the 60 meter hurdles.

The meet will be shown live online on ESPN3.


NOTE:  The GNAC, the University of Idaho, and the Millrose Games contributed to this report.

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