Catching up on some news from the last few days here…
The NCAA announced Wednesday that Eugene will host the next eight editions of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field championships at Hayward Field.
“We are excited that Hayward Field will remain the dream destination for every Division I athlete and we plan to turn the NCAA Championships into the hottest ticket in the sport,” said University of Oregon Senior Associate Athletic Director and President of TrackTown USA Vin Lananna. “It took a remarkable partnership of entities from not only from the Eugene-Springfield community, but the entire State of Oregon to make this commitment to the sport of track and field.”
The NCAA meets give the Eugene-Springfield community an unprecedented number of high caliber events in the coming decade with the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships coming to Eugene next summer, the USA Championships on the slate for 2015 and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials returning to TrackTown for the third consecutive time.
Additionally, the University of Washington was announced as the host school for the 2015 and 2017 NCAA West Regional cross country championship meets, which will be contested at the Jefferson Park Golf Course on Beacon Hill.
Courtesy of the NCAA, here is the video of the national championship site announcements:
Eastern Washington's Keisa Monterola was named the Big Sky indoor track & field athlete of the week for winning the pole vault competition at the Candy Cane VI invitational in Cheney last Saturday.
Monterola entered the competition with the bar at 13-5 1/4 (4.10m) and cleared it on her second attempt, qualifying for the Big Sky Championships in Pocatello, Idaho on Feb. 27-Mar. 1. That mark sits atop the Big Sky performance list and third in the nation on the young season.
This is the fifth time the Venezuelan-native has been named Athlete of the Week since joining the squad as a junior-college transfer in the 2011-12 season. Monterola is competing in her final indoor season for the Eagles and has exhausted her outdoor eligibility.
The country's biggest open cross country championship race happens Saturday in Bend, Oregon as the USA Track & Field National Club Cross Country Championships are contested featuring the nation's top cross country teams. More than 1,200 competitors and 100 teams are entered in the event, which features a 10-kilometer men’s race and a 6-kilometer women’s race. Clubs will compete for a total prize purse of $25,000.
Returning to the women’s field are 2012 champion Mattie Suver, the Eastern Washington alum and 2013 world cross country team member who led Boulder Running Company to a second-place finish a year ago, crossing in 20:01.
She'll be challenged by a slew of runners familiar to Washington fans, including 2011 champ Brie Felnagle of the Beasts TC, and former NCAA champ Angela Bizzari.
The Seattle based Beasts TC will also have in their arsenal Jamie Cheever, Deborah Maier, and Jessica Tebo to give the Beasts a legitimate shot at winning the national team title.
Seattle based Oiselle will run two squads, with one group consisting of its Project Little Wing team featuring Lauren Fleshman and Washington alums Mel Lawrence and Christine Babcock, and another group with runners from the Seattle area, including Seattle Pacific alum Natty Plunkett.
The Greater Bellingham RC, featuring Oregon alum Bronwyn Crossman and Western Washington alums Sierra Brisky and Courtney Olsen will have a squad in Bend, as will the Seattle Running Club and Club Northwest.
Among the big names entered on the women's side include Olympian Shannon Rowbury and Oregon alum Jordan Hasay of the Nike Oregon Project.
The men's race will be led by Bellingham native and defending champion Jake Riley of the Hanson's/Brooks Distance Project.
He'll be challenged by former Olympians Matthew Centrowitz and Alan Webb, along with German Fernandez.
One of the most interesting team entries in the men's race is from the newly formed Palouse Pirates squad which features David Hickerson, Drew Jordan, Jono Lafler, Andrew Kimpel & Justin Englund, all of whom have ties to Washington State University.
Also entering teams in Bend are the Greater Bellingham RC; Seattle RC with 10-time Seattle Marathon champ Uli Steidl and SeattleU alum Erik Barkhaus; the Tacoma City RC with UCLA alum Alex Crabill; the Spokane Distance Project; and Club Northwest.
USA Track & Field's release is available here; the entries for Saturday's National Club Cross Country Championships are available here.
NOTE: The NCAA, USTFCCCA, USA Track & Field, and the sports information offices of the University of Oregon and Eastern Washington University contributed to this report.