LOS ANGELES--Both Washington and Washington State will have their work cut out for them at this weekend's Pac-12 track and field championships Saturday and Sunday at Loker Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern California.
The Ducks of Oregon are the favorites to retain their conference championship on the men's side, while it could be a battle between Oregon and Arizona for the women's team title.
Defending Pac-12 200m champ James Alaka (left/photo by Paul Merca) and pole vault winner JJ Juilfs lead the Husky charge, though they have not shown the form yet that won them the titles in 2012.
Other 2012 scorers for UW competing include javelin throwers Joe Zimmerman (2nd), Quinn Hale (4th), and Jimmy Brookman (5th); and high jumper AJ Maricich (2nd).
Decathlete Jeremy Taiwo, who finished second at last week's conference decathlon, is entered in the high jump and long jump.
For the Cougars, 2012 scorers entered include Jovan Vuckicevic (4th) in the high jump, Oliver Henry (6th) in the discus, Josiah Sims (7th) in the 110 hurdles, and Sam Ferenchak (8th) in the javelin.
Decathlete Spencer Wordell, who was sixth last week in a PR score of 7278 points, is entered in the 400 hurdles, and the 4 x 400 relay.
The Huskies' Maurice McNeal had his season ended with an injury in the WSU dual meet that required surgery.
The most curious non-entry in the meet is defending long jump champ Stephan Scott-Ellis, along with last year's third place finisher in the high hurdles, Ramsey Hopkins.
When inquiring with WSU as to Scott-Ellis and Hopkins' status, paulmerca.blogspot.com received a text from a school spokesperson stating, "Per NCAA rules, they have rendered themselves ineligible for post season competition."
Point scorers for the Huskies competing this weekend include pole vaulter (2nd) Logan Miller; 5000m runner (3rd) Megan Goethals; 400 hurdler (6th) Kayla Stueckle; 5000m runner (7th) Christine Babcock; and, 10000m runner (7th) Liberty Miller. 2009 Pac-10 steeple champ Mel Lawrence returns after being injured for much of the last several seasons.
Liberty Miller is entered in the meet in the steeple instead of the 10000.
Cougar scorers from 2012 returning include Shawna Fermin (2nd) in the 400; and Anna Adamko (7th) in the javelin. Past scorers include Caroline Austin (8th, 2011) in the steeple; Ashley Kenney (5th, 2010) in the discus; Courtney Zalud (8th, 2011) in the 800; and Holly Parent (4th, 2010) in the high jump.
Defending NCAA 1500 meter champ Katie Flood of Washington is being redshirted this season.
Notables entered in the meet with Washington ties include Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry of Oregon in the 400 and both relays; Bellingham's Becca Friday of Oregon in the 1500; and, Tacoma's Germe Poston of Arizona in the 100, 200 & 4 x 100.
The meet will be shown on a tape-delay basis starting Wednesday May 15th on the Pac-12 Network.
The list of entries for the meet are available here; the conference performance list is available here; and the live results link is coming soon via royalresults.com. Final declarations will not be available until late Friday.
paulmerca.blogspot.com will be on site at Loker Stadium for Sunday's final day of competition.
NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.