Seattle's elite middle distance running scene just got interesting with the announcement on various social media outlets that University of Tennessee alum Phoebe Wright and University of Minnesota alum Jamie Cheever will move to Seattle to train under Brooks Beasts coach Danny Mackey.
Wright (left/photo courtesy USA Track & Field), who is currently sponsored by Nike, comes to Seattle with a personal best over 800 meters of 1:58.22 set in 2010. She won the 2011 USA indoor championship at 800, and won the 2010 NCAA indoor and outdoor titles at Tennessee.
At the 2012 US Olympic Trials, she was third with 100 meters to go, and finished fifth in 1:59.72.
This season, Wright didn't finish the semis at the USA championships in Des Moines. but ran a season best of 2:00.20 in Lignano, Italy on July 16th.
Cheever (above/photo by Mike Scott) had her most successful season in 2013 as she finished fourth in the USA national championships in the steeplechase, running 9:53.01. She comes to Seattle with a personal best of 9:29.13, set this spring at the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford. Cheever, who ran for Team USA Minnesota before making the move to the Pacific Northwest, was tenth at the USA Cross Country Championships in St. Louis in February.
The two join a training group that includes Katie Mackey, Jessica Tebo, Deborah Maier, Lindsey Allen, and Brie Felnagle.
UPDATE--Wright also posted on her Twitter account shortly after the original post that her training partner, Erica Moore, will also make the move to Seattle.
Moore is a graduate of Indiana State University, where she started out as a heptathlete and a hurdler before going to the 800 meters.
Moore, who is also sponsored by Nike, has a personal best outdoors of 2:00.05, set in 2012. Her most significant achievement was a third place finish in the 800 at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, where she ran 1:59.97. She was the 2012 USA indoor champ, beating Wright, 2:01.08 to 2:03.07 in Albuquerque.
AROUND THE TRACK: With the resignation of 1976 Olympic discus gold medalist Mac Wilkins in late August from Concordia College in Portland to take a coaching position at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California, Marysville-Pilchuck HS alum and two-time US Olympian Jarred Rome was named to replace Wilkins.
In addition to his coaching duties at Concordia, Rome will manage the Concordia University Throw Center, which under Wilkins' guidance, has become a haven for many of the country's top throwers to train.
Speaking of the US Olympic Training Center, University of Washington alum Jeremy Taiwo, who is currently rehabbing after surgery to repair a meniscus tear in the knee he injured in Moscow at the IAAF World Track & Field Championships, announced on his blog that he's been accepted into the residency program at the USOTC in Chula Vista.
Taiwo will move to Chula Vista in November where he will train full-time.