Wednesday, February 27, 2013

AROUND THE TRACK: Taiwo on Bowerman list; NCAA D2 field; Last Chance meets; Jungmark in Euros...


The USTFCCCA named Washington's Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo courtesy University of Washington) to its Bowerman Watch List for the month of March.

The Bowerman is collegiate track & field's version of the Heisman Trophy and is awarded to the nation's top male and female athlete at the end of the year.

Taiwo, a senior from Renton, was one of ten men named to the Bowerman Watch List based on scoring a collegiate-leading and then-world-leading 6,156 in the heptathlon at the Boise State Team Challenge, including a then-all-time world best clearance of 7-4½ (2.25m) in the heptathlon high jump. Ranked as the third-best collegiate performer in the heptathlon in history, his score was the fifth-best in collegiate history. He also ranks No. 7 on the U.S. all-time list.

Two weeks after that effort in Nampa, Taiwo competed in the MPSF championships heptathlon in an effort to win in his final home meet at the Dempsey, but had a slight hamstring injury than forced him to withdraw.

Three-time NCAA pole vault champ Scott Roth was the last Husky to be in the mix for the Bowerman, when he was named a semi-finalist at the end of the 2011 collegiate season.  Current Husky Katie Flood has been on the women's Watch List on several occasions.

In Division II, Western Washington announced that pole vaulters Karis Anderson and Cheyenna Pinley, along with long jumper Emily Warman will represent the school at next week's NCAA D2 indoor championships in Birmingham, Alabama.

Seattle Pacific will have six athletes heading to Birmingham--McKayla Fricker and Lynelle Decker (800m), Katy Gross (pentathlon); and the 4 x 400 relay team of Fricker, Emily Quatier, Kishia Mitchell, and Jasmine Johnson.

Decker and the Falcon relay team were the last ones to get into the national championships, along with the Vikings' Pinley.


In Division I, this weekend marks the last chance for teams and individuals to qualify for next weekend's national championship meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Washington State, led by MPSF 3000 and 5000 champs Todd Wakefield and Drew Jordan, will head to South Bend, Indiana to run the distance medley relay along with Jacob Sealby and Jesse Jorgensen at the Alex Wilson Invitational hosted by Notre Dame, where they hope to run at least 9:36 to have a shot at qualifying for nationals.

The Huskies will host its annual last chance meet Friday night at the Dempsey beginning at 6 pm.

Among notable pros entered in the meet include Chris Solinsky, the former American record holder in the 10000, who is entered in the 3000, while the other members of his Portland-based training group race Friday in New York at the Armory.

The men's mile appears to be a set-up for the Huskies' Joey Bywater, as the senior from Lake Stevens looks to break 4 minutes in the mile, a mark in which he was short of by .37 seconds.

Bywater will need to run 3:58 and change if he's to have a shot at advancing to Fayetteville.

Other events of note include the women's 800, mile & 5000; and men's 400, high jump, pole vault, and triple jump.


While the focus among the pros will be on this weekend's USA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, former Washington State standout Ebba Jungmark (left/photo by Paul Merca) will contest the high jump at the European indoor championships in her hometown of Goteborg, Sweden.

The qualifying round of the women's high jump is Saturday, with the finals on Sunday.

European Athletics will offer video streaming of one of the world's top indoor meets this season via www.european-athletics.org.

Courtesy of Goteborg 2013, here's a video featuring the former Cougar (in Swedish with English subtitles)



NOTE:  The USTFCCCA, University of Washington, Washington State University, and the Goteborg 2013 organizing committee contributed to this report.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Husky commit Amy-Eloise Neale wins mile at Brooks PR Invitational...


SEATTLE--University of Washington commit Amy-Eloise Neale from Glacier Peak HS in Snohomish, twice a runner-up in this meet, finally got the victory to highlight the Brooks PR invitational at the Dempsey Indoor at the University of Washington Sunday.

Neale took to the front from the start and controlled the action for the first 1300 meters, with a group of four runners biding their time.

With a little over 200 meters to go, Michigan native Haley Meire made a move on the outside and took the lead entering the final turn, but upon exiting, found a burst of speed down the homestretch to take the win, 4:45.89 to 4:46.56.

Neale will head to Birmingham, England in two weeks to run in the British world cross country team trials, and attempt to make their squad for the world championships on March 24th in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Two Washington athletes who are going to Poland for the world championships next month also competed in the Brooks PR meet, as North Central HS/Spokane standout Katie Knight (above, #6/photo by Paul Merca) finished fourth in the girls 2 mile, as world junior championships teammate Erin Finn from Michigan took the win in a meet record 10:08.24.

Alexa Efraimson from Camas HS in southwest Washington was third in 10:15.82.

Mead HS senior Andrew Gardner, who earned the final spot on the USA junior team in St. Louis three weeks ago, was fourth in the boys' 2 mile in 9:06.52, as Bernie Montoya from Arizona took the win in a meet record 8:54.63.


NOTE:  Special thanks to Katy Klein of Brooks Sports media relations for her assistance in the coverage of the Brooks PR Invitational.

Preps set to take over the Dempsey at Brooks PR Invitational...


SEATTLE--In just a few hours, some of America's top high school talents will report to the Dempsey Indoor for the third annual Brooks PR meet.

Several Washington preps are entered in the field, including University of Washington commits Amy-Eloise Neale from Glacier Peak, who was twice the runner-up in this meet in the mile; Katie Knight from North Central in Spokane, who will run the two-mile; and Andrew Brown from Tumwater, who's entered in the 400.

During Saturday's pre-meet media gathering, Neale revealed that she will fly to England to run in the British world championship cross country trials on March 9th in Birmingham, which will select the squad to compete in the world championships in Bydgoszcz.

Three members of Team USA's junior squad are participating Sunday--Michigan's Erin Finn; Knight, and Spokane's Andrew Gardner.  All are running the two-mile.

After the high school media session, US world cross country team members Neely Spence Gracey (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Ryan Vail spoke to the media about how their preparation is going on the road to Bydgoszcz.

Vail, who is making his fourth appearance on a USA cross country team, will run in the US 15 k road race in early March in Jacksonville before heading to the Czech Republic to visit his wife's family and get in some quality training in Europe before the rest of the team arrives in Poland.

Spence is using the meet as a build-up to what she hopes will be a successful season on the track.

In Bozeman, Montana, the Eastern Washington University track and field team brought its all-conference performance total to four Saturday at the Big Sky Indoor Championships. In team standings, the men finished seventh with 46 points and the women took ninth with 26 points.

Highlighting the day for the Eagles was Jordan Arakawa, who had a huge personal-best toss of 65-4 in the weight throw to place second.

Brad Michael finished second in the 400 meters, running a time of 47.84. He was the runner-up behind the winning time of 47.57 from Weber State’s Matt White.  Michael also was fifth in the 200 at 21.84.


NOTE:  Special thanks to Katy Klein at Brooks Sports media relations for their cooperation.  The sports information office at Eastern Washington University contributed to this report.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's deja vu all over again as Cougs get another distance win at MPSFs...


SEATTLE--The legendary New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra once described back to back home runs hit by Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris as being "deja vu all over again", and also was famous for saying that "you can observe a lot by watching".

Washington State's Australian import, Todd Wakefield (left/photo by Paul Merca), who most likely may not have heard of Berra before coming to America, must have taken a little bit of Yogism to heart, as for the second day in a row, the Cougars stole a race that on paper never should have been theirs, with Wakefield winning the MPSF 3000 meter run at the Dempsey Indoor on the campus of the University of Washington Saturday, one night after teammate Drew Jordan's upset win in the conference 5000.

Wakefield ran a lifetime-best time of 8 minutes 2.06 seconds. He had the 40th-best time nationally of 8:04.27 coming into the meet. Wakefield's win over an elite field was the second of the meet for a member of the Cougar distance corps.

"When we get in meets like this, it's nice to go fast and jump high and throw far but what it comes down to is how many points did you score for the Cougs? Drew and Todd each put ten big points on the board for WSU men's team," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said.

Those 20 points from unexpected sources helped Washington State to a fourth place finish in the MPSF championship meet, as the Cougs scored 70 points, the most by a WSU squad since 2009.

The Washington Huskies finished eighth with 37 points, as Arizona State repeated as conference champs with 125.5 points.

In the women's team competition, Oregon took the conference crown with 112 points.  The Huskies were sixth with 48 points, while the Cougs were seventh at 34 points.

For the Dawgs, it was the sprinters who shined the most, with recent football addition Greg Ducre coming up with a second place finish in the 60 behind Colorado's Joe Morris, 6.72 to 6.81.

Senior Jordan Carlson from Spokane, who had been dealing with a hamstring issue entering the meet, broke the school record in the 400 again, running 53.75 to take fourth, as Oregon's Phyllis Francis broke the meet and facility record with a run of 52.03.

In the women's 3000, Oregon's Jordan Hasay did most of the early work, before mysteriously dropping out, leaving the Huskies' Megan Goethals and Christine Babcock up front.  

However, Oregon's Alexi Pappas, who at one point was about 40 meters down on the Washington duo, chipped away to take the win in 9:07.97, with Goethals, the 5k champ from Friday night second at 9:09.74, and Babcock third at 9:11.02.

In the men's 400, Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry won the conference crown with a time of 46.86.



In Albuquerque, New Mexico, SeattleU capped off the 2013 Western Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships by breaking the school records in both the men's and the women's 4x400 relays Saturday.

The Redhawks' 4x400 meter relay quartet of Austin Thummel-Gravitt, Zach Stanfield, Shaddye Melu, and Zachary Schlachter finished sixth in their event in 3:18.98, 3.43 seconds faster than the previous mark set on Jan. 31, 2009.

The women's 4x400 meter relay team of Katie Tougas, Meeghan Bergmann, Becca Lassere, and Candice de Sauvage put together a time of 4:01.59, 56/100ths of a second faster than the previous record set Feb. 13, 2011.

Individually, Stanfield scored for the Seattle U men's team, finishing sixth in the finals of the 400 meter dash with a time of 48.82 seconds. The Redhawk men would end up seventh in the team standings with 16 points, while the women finished eighth in their standings with five points. UTSA won the men's conference championship, but finished just behind Texas State for the women's title.


NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State University, and Seattle University contributed to the report.

Friday, February 22, 2013

WSU's Drew Jordan pulls surprise in 5000; Scott-Ellis, Goethals & UW DMR win at MPSFs...


SEATTLE--Washington picked up two victories from its vaunted distance crew, while the Cougars' Stephan Scott-Ellis repeated as champion in the long jump, along with a surprise win in the men's 5000 by junior Drew Jordan (left/photo by Paul Merca) as day one of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor championships concluded at the Dempsey Indoor on the campus of the University of Washington.

Jordan won the 5k with a personal-best time of 13 minutes 54.35 seconds which ranks in the top 25 nationally based on times coming into this weekend of conference championships. 

When the field of 21 men reached the halfway point of the race, Jordan moved forward with the front pack of seven which included a trio of Stanford distance specialists. Jordan made his move on the final lap, sprinting to the front of the pack and not looking back, winning by a solid margin. Stanford's Erik Olson finished second in a time of 13:55.66.

"This was a huge race and a great job by Drew," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "He ran so smart and so strong. Coach Tim Riley has done a great job of bringing that distance corps along and ready to compete at this level."

Continuing his long-time battle with Arizona State's Chris Benard, Scott-Ellis, the senior from Tacoma, took the lead in the long jump with his first round mark of 25-0 3/4 (7.64m), then extended it in round three to the eventual winning leap of 25-4 3/4 (7.74m), just short of his all time legal best of 25-6 1/2 (7.78m).

Benard once again finished second, as the Sun Devil jumped 25-0 1/2 (7.63m).

Washington junior Megan Goethals, the NCAA runner up outdoors last year at 5000 meters, took the MPSF indoor crown in a season best of 15:58.62.

Goethals and Stanford All-American Kathy Kroeger broke away, with Kroeger doing most of the work up front, with Arizona's Jennifer Bergman joining the duo with four laps to go.

With two laps to go, Goethals moved into the lead for the first time. Kroeger tried to regain the lead but Goethals dug in and pulled away over the final lap to win by about ten meters, 15:58.62 to 16:00.29.

Bergman hung on for third in 16:00.66, while the Huskies' Lindsay Flanagan was fifth in 16:34.80.

Running in her first race of the season, the Huskies' Katie Flood, who was the anchor for last year's national championship team, led off, running a solid leg and kept the Dawgs in fourth through the 1200 segment.

Kayla Stueckle took the baton for the 400 meter leg, but was still in fourth when she handed off to Baylee Mires for the 800 leg.

Mires took UW from fourth to first with an impressive carry, and gave senior Christine Babcock a five meter lead for the final 1,600-meters. Babcock only extended the lead, and wound up winning by a large margin. The Huskies' time of 11:08.09 was 14-seconds faster than runner-up Stanford. It's the No. 3 time in school history and puts the Huskies in the mix for an NCAA bid.

Senior All-American Jeremy Taiwo was hoping to build on his incredible heptathlon from two weeks back, and he got off to an impressive start in the 60-meter dash with a personal-best of 6.97 seconds. He then long jumped 24-3.5 (7.40m) on his first attempt, just an inch off his PR. But on his third long jump, he tweaked his hamstring and was forced to withdraw from the competition.

Earlier in the day, Taiwo lost his world record in the heptathlon high jump, as Indiana's Derek Drouin, who was a bronze medalist in the London Olympics in the high jump for Canada, soared 7-6 1/2 (2.30m).

The meet continues Saturday at the Dempsey.  Results from day one are available here.

BIG SKY RECAP

After day one of the Big Sky Indoor in Bozeman, Montana, both Eastern Washington squad sit in seventh with the women earning 18.5 points, and the men's squad at 12.

In the women’s weight throw, Emma Murillo finished third with a personal-best toss of 58-8 1/2 (17.89m), earning all-conference honors. Vania Tauvela was fourth with a throw of 56-8 3/4 (17.29m). Murillo’s mark tied her with Tauvela for third all-time in school history.

Senior Marlyn Anderson capped off his final indoor season with an all-conference performance, finishing third with a personal best of 56-11 1/4 (17.35m).

In an event that the Eagles were expected to score big, Eastern walked away with three points in the women's pole vault, as Anandae Clark and Robin Taylor were in a four-way tie for sixth at 11-9 3/4 (3.60m).

Defending champ Keisa Monterola once again failed to clear a height, which puts her chances for returning to the NCAA championships in danger, unless she can put herself in the top 16 at one of the last chance meets next weekend.


MC CLEMENT NABS THIRD IN WAC 5000

In Albuquerque, Matthew McClement finished third in the men's 5000, as the SeattleU senior crossed the line in a time of 15:17.11 at the Western Athletic Conference championships.

The Redhawks' team of Collin Overbay, Austin Thummel-Gravitt, Nathan McLaughlin and Ryan Dennison finished fifth in the men's distance medley relay in 10:27.35, while their women's squad, consisting of Sophie Curatilo, Candice de Sauvage, Madison Davis, and Hannah Mittelstaedt also took fifth in 12:30.41.


NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, and Seattle University contributed to this report.

Friday notes: MPSF start lists; WSU announces recruiting class; Bateman ninth for SeattleU in pentathlon...


With the MPSF championships starting up in a few hours, here is the link to the start lists and the time schedule.


Washington has entered Katie Flood (left/photo by James Kirby, thenextleveliowa.com), the 2012 NCAA champion in the 1500 in both the mile and the 3000, in her 2013 indoor season debut.

She is also listed on the Washington entries for the distance medley relay, an event in which the Des Moines, Iowa native anchored to a national title in 2012.

Some other links:


Among its notable adds are jumper Charlotte Muschamp from New Zealand, who has a wind-aided triple jump personal best of 41-10 (12.75m), and a legal best of 39-9 1/4 (12.12m).

She was the U-20 national champion in the triple jump and finished third in that event in New Zealand's national championships last year.

Muschamp enrolled at WSU last month and is entered in the MPSF meet.

Her teammate Greer Alsop will also make the move from New Zealand to the Palouse.  At the New Zealand Championships Alsop won the under-20 long jump and was the runner-up in both the senior and under-20 triple jump where she leaped a PR distance of 41-3 3/4 (12.59m).

The Coug's top in-state recruit is Craig "CJ" Allen out of North Mason HS in Belfair.  Allen is the defending Washington 2A champ in the 110 hurdles, where he has a PR of 14.60, and was second last year in the 300 hurdles in a best of 37.89.


Bateman started the day with a personal-best time of 9.51 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles, followed by another personal best in the high jump, clearing 1.55 meters (5'1"). She earned her third personal best of the day in the shot put with a top throw of 9.95 meters (32' 7.75").

After a jump of 4.95 meters (16' 3") in the long jump, Bateman bested her personal mark in the 800 meters by three seconds, crossing the finish line with a time of 2:27.94. The senior finished the pentathlon with 3,275 points, 319 points more than her previous PR set last year.

Zoe Meade of New Mexico State took the WAC crown with a final score of 3735 points.

The live results from the WAC meet are available here.



USA Track & Field announced the roster for next month's IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, and it will have a strong Eastern Washington influence.

Based on their top six finishes at the USA junior championships, Mead HS senior Andrew Gardner, who will attend the Air Force Academy next fall, and North Central HS senior Katie Knight (center/photo by Mike Scott), who announced her intent to attend the University of Washington, will run in Poland.

Eastern Washington alum Mattie Suver, who finished seventh at the national championships, will make the trip to the world championships, as national champ Shalane Flanagan declined her spot in order to prepare for the Boston Marathon in April.

Gonzaga University assistant coach Patty Ley will serve as the senior women's team leader.  She served as the junior women's team leader in 2010 when the world championships were held in Bydgoszcz.


NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State University and Seattle University contributed to this report.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's conference championship weekend for Redhawks, Eagles, Cougars & Huskies...


For four of the state's Division I schools, this weekend marks conference championship time, as Seattle University travels to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Western Athletic Conference meet at the Albuquerque Convention Center, Eastern Washington goes to the Big Sky Conference meet in Bozeman, Montana, and Washington State travels across the mountains for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation meet hosted by the University of Washington.

In its first year as a member of the WAC, the Redhawks go to New Mexico with Matthew McClement ranked in the top six in both the 3000 and 5000 performance lists, along with freshman high jumper Shaddye Melu.   Additionally, both their men's and women's distance medley relay squads are ranked third heading into the championship meet.


EAGLES OFF TO BOZEMAN FOR BIG SKY...


Eastern Washington, which was voted by the Big Sky Conference coaches to finish fifth in the men's competition and ninth in the women's pre-season poll, looks to improve upon their ranking at this weekend's meet in Bozeman, hosted by Montana State.

The Eagles will be led on the women's side by pole vaulter Keisa Monterola (above, with EWU vault coach Eric Allison; photo courtesy EWU), the Venezuelan national record holder and NCAA indoor All-American, who has cleared 12-9 1/2 (3.92m) this season, but has been wildly inconsistent, with several no-heights this year.

Other key competitors for EWU ranked in the top six include Brad Michael and Michael Okoro in the 200; Michael in the 400; Vince Hamilton in the 5000; Jacob Clizbe in the long jump; Marlyn Anderson in the shot put; and, Zach Nielsen in the weight throw

On the women's side, Robin Taylor and Anandae Clark in the pole vault; Alyssa Neal in the long and triple jumps; and Vania Tauvela in the weight throw, are ranked in the top six in the conference entering the championships.


MPSF THE BIG MEET OF THE WEEKEND ON THE WEST COAST

The Huskies host the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation meet Friday and Saturday at the Dempsey Indoor, with all Pac-12 teams except USC & Oregon State, plus BYU, Cal State Northridge, Hawaii, Long Beach and UC Irvine involved.

The Oregon women are strong favorites to take the conference crown, while the men's championship could be between Arizona, Oregon, and Arizona State.

National heptathlon leader Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Huskies is expected to compete in individual events, which from a team perspective, could make matters interesting for the two Arizona schools in particular.

UPDATE (8:25 am, Thursday 2/21)  The University of Washington pre-meet release states that Taiwo will contest the heptathlon in his final home meet.  Taiwo won the event as a freshman.

Look for the start lists for the meet later Thursday evening.

The Dawgs could also make some noise in the pole vault, the men's 400 with Maurice McNeal, the long jump, and the 60 hurdles with Shayne Moore & freshman Chris Williams.


On the women's side, Washington looks for strong performances from their vaunted distance corps, along with 400 runner Jordan Carlson, while WSU high jumper Holly Parent and sprinter Cindy Robinson are ranked in the top six in the conference entering this weekend.

The start lists for the MPSF meet are traditionally not released until after the Thursday night coaches' meeting.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Brad Walker on the US vault scene, Lagat's 1/2 marathon debut & Baylee Mires...


Pole vaulter Brad Walker (left/photo by Paul Merca) has been relatively quiet on the indoor scene this winter, opening up on Sunday in Fresno at the Run for the Dream meet using a short six-step approach, and clearing 18-0 1/2 (5.50m) to win.

But it's been outside the runway where he's been active, as the two time Olympian and 2007 world outdoor champion has moved to the Phoenix area from Chula Vista and the Olympic Training Center to join forces with former world class vaulter Dean Starkey to start up the Atlas Training Center, a place where aspiring vaulters of all levels can train.

The physical facility is still in the works, but Walker and Starkey have collaborated on online coaching sessions and webinars, and have a camp scheduled for March 13-15.

In this piece written by Red Shannon of Bleacher Report, Walker talks in detail about what he's been up to since the Olympics, the state of the men's pole vault in the United States, the struggles the post-collegiate vaulter faces in finding coaching, access to facilities, etc.

Walker talks about how the University of Washington has been a hotbed for vaulters, with coach Pat Licari at the helm.

"In my opinion, Pat has grown into the best technical coach of the pole vault in the US. I still chat with him regularly about my jump. He has a unique ability to see and understand how small positions and movements can lead to very important weaknesses or strengths. Pat addresses things like the pole carry or dropping of the pole while most other coaches overlook those "small" details. His success speaks for itself."



Here's some other links:

Bernard Lagat talks to Runner's World writer Peter Gambacchini after setting the American record in the two mile at Saturday's Millrose Games in New York; 

Just breaking as we post this:  Lagat has signed on to run the New York Half-Marathon on March 17th, in an announcement made by New York Road Runners president/CEO Mary Wittenberg.


“I’m excited to be running a half-marathon,” said Lagat, 38, who re-claimed his U.S. indoor two-mile record at Saturday’s Millrose Games with his winning time of 8:09.49. “It’s a big step up in distance, but I think I’ll be well prepared. Of course, there’s a bit of uncertainty—‘can I cope with the distance?’—but that makes it exciting; the challenge is what really appeals to me.”


Unless you were paying real close attention, not many people may have realized that Washington's Baylee Mires (left/photo by Paul Merca) threatened the school record in the 800 meters at the Husky Classic on February 9th, as the sophomore from Spokane ran 2:06.73, just short of Amanda Miller's mark of 2:06.69.

Entering this weekend's conference meets around the country, Mires is ranked #18 in the 800, just outside the top sixteen needed to get into the NCAA championships (top 16 individuals on the performance lists get in; there are no more automatic and provisional qualifiers).

Mires will be a factor in this weekend's MPSF meet, where she's behind Oregon's Laura Roesler (2:04.66), BYU's Kelsey Brown (2:04.94), Arizona State's Shelby Houlihan (2:04.94), and Stanford's Amy Weissenbach (2:05.83).


Sunday, February 17, 2013

SATURDAY AROUND THE TRACK: Lagat reclaims American record in the two-mile at Millrose; Falcons finally dethroned at GNAC...


NEW YORK--After dominating the mens mile for a number of years, Washington State alum Bernard Lagat (left/photo courtesy Ross Dettman, Armory Track) moved up to double the distance as the eight time Wanamaker Millrose champion broke the American record Saturday night, winning in 8:09.49 at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory

Wearing cheetah-patterned spikes designed by son Miika and daughter Gianna,  the 38-year-old Lagat pulled away from American 3000-meter steeplechase record-holder Evan Jager with two laps remaining and, in a gutsy solo effort, reclaimed his indoor American record from Galen Rupp when he broke the tape in 8:09.49. Rupp’s mark, set last year, was 8:09.72.

Lagat now holds five indoor American Records: 1500 meters, the mile, 3000 meters, two-mile, and 5000 meters, a mark he set at this same meet last year. He was named Performer of the Meet.

“I was more concerned about getting the time than in winning, because when it comes down to the last two laps, 400 meters, I was going to hold off anybody. When we are doing our training back in November, there is one important race, and that is the Armory.”

In the men’s NYRR Wanamaker Mile, Lopez Lomong passed defending champion Matthew Centrowitz at the bell and held off the 2011 World Outdoor Championships bronze medalist for the victory, 3:51.21 to 3:51.34. Both times were under Bernard Lagat’s meet record of 3:52.87, set on the slower boards of Madison Square Garden in 2005.

London Olympic steeplechase finalist Donn Cabral, now based in Bellingham, finished ninth in 4:00.21, while Tacoma's Mark Wieczorek did the early pacesetting for the field, taking them to 1000 meters.

Rainier Beach alum Ginnie Crawford finished second in the women's 60 hurdles, running 7.97 behind Yvette Lewis' 7.84.


FALCONS DETHRONED AS GNAC CHAMPS; VIKINGS WIN MEN'S TITLE

Micah Chelimo of Alaska Anchorage and Tanya Bjornsson of Western Washington were selected the Most Outstanding Performers Saturday in the 11th annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at Jacksons Track.

Chelimo scored 30 points by winning three events including the mile (4:12.46) and 5000 (14:55.17) Saturday after claiming the 3,000 title Friday in a time of 8:29.35

Bjornsson swept the women's 60 (7.84) and 60 hurdles (8.79) Saturday and also finished second in the long jump Friday (18-8/5.69m) and third in Saturday's 200 (25.50) in scoring a meet-high 33 points.

Both outstanding meet performers led their teams to second-place team finishes.

Western Washington won the men's team title outscoring Chelimo's squad 152-134.  Western Oregon, which had won the previous five men's team titles, finished a strong third with 120 points.

Alaska Anchorage won the women's team title with 147 points ending Seattle Pacific's nine-year title reign.  WWU finished second with 117 1/2 points and SPU was third with 99 points.

In addition to Chelimo's three wins and Bjornsson's two victories, Western Washington's Alex Donigian, and Becki Duhamel of Central Washington were among those who won two events.

Donigian swept the 60 (in a meet record time of 6.85) and the 200 in a time of 21.96.  After setting a meet record Friday in the women's weight throw of 54-2 (16.51m), Duhamel won the shot put Saturday with a put of 43-5 1/4 (13.24m).

Two other meet records were set as Western Washington's foursome of Jonathon Poolman, Nathaniel Schmidt, Jason Nokes and Devon Smith set a record in the men's 4x400 relay in a time of 3:18.17.

Sam Washington of Saint Martin's won the weight throw with a mark of 57-0.25 (17.38m) and took second in the shot put at 52-8 (16.05m)


COUGS GET SEVEN WINS AT IDAHO OPEN II

In Moscow, Washington State competitors won seven events Saturday at the Idaho Open II indoor track and field meet at the Kibbie-ASUI Center in Moscow, Idaho.

Cougar women won six events at the meet being used as a tune-up before the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in Seattle next weekend.

Victorious for WSU were Shantae Young in the triple jump (38-feet 2 inches/11.63m); Kristine Felix in the pole vault (12-3.5/3.75m); Essence White in the long jump (17-7/5.36m); Shaquana Logan in the 60 hurdles (8.79); Amanda Henderson in the 800 (2:22.77); and CharLee Linton in the 3000 (10:37.78).

Trevon Rogers was the lone WSU male taking home a win, taking the long jump with a best of 22-10.5 (6.97m).


NOTE:  The Armory Track & Field Center, USA Track & Field, the GNAC, and the sports information office at Washington State University contributed to this report.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Seattle Pacific's Katy Gross wins third GNAC pentathlon title...


NAMPA, Idaho--Seattle Pacific senior Katy Gross (left/photo courtesy Great Northwest Athletic Conference), who went into the GNAC indoor championship meet without a score due to not getting into the UW Invitational pentathlon last month, took her third straight conference title at Jacksons Track Friday to become the ninth woman to win the same event three times.

Gross broke her own meet record in the event scoring 3,505 points.  She also tied the meet record for the best high jump mark in a pentathlon with a leap of 5-4 1/2 (1.64m). 

On the day, Gross won four of five events, taking the 60 hurdles (9.19), high jump (5-4 1/2, 1.64m), shot put (36-5 1/2/11.11m) and long jump (17-9 1/2/ 5.42m), and ran 2:40.04 in the 800 for sixth.

Becki Duhamel of Central Washington set a meet record with a winning throw of 54-2 (16.51m)  in the weight throw, while Emily Warman of Western Washington tied the meet record of 18-9 3/4 (5.73m) in winning the long jump.  It was Warman's second career win in the long jump.  She also won the event in 2010.

Duhamel and Warman's records broke and tied two of the three oldest remaining women's meet marks.  Duhamel eclipsed the record of 53-9 1/4 set by Kristin Hepler of Western Oregon in 2004, while Warman tied SPU's Danielle Ayers-Stamper's 2005 record.

The Viking women, who got wins from Warman and Karis Anderson in the pole vault (12-4), lead Alaska Anchorage by 15 1/2 points, 63 1/2-48.  Northwest Nazarene is third with 33 points and nine-time defending champion Seattle Pacific is fourth with 31.

Western Washington leads five-time champion Western Oregon 46-39 in the men's division.  Alaska Anchorage is just 10 points back in third place with 36 points.

The Vikings got wins Friday from Logan Meyers (6-7)in the men's high jump and Kevin Yates (23-4) in the long jump.

In qualifying, the Falcons' Kishia Mitchell ran the fastest time in the 60, running 7.80, to lead three Falcons and three Vikings into Saturday's finals; the Vikings' Tanya Bjornsson had the leading time in the 60 hurdles at 8.84, as two Vikings and one Falcon are in the finals.

In men's qualifying, Western's Alex Donigian led runners along with Northwest Nazarene's Rimar Christie in the 60 dash, clocking 6.91. Kent McKinney of Central Washington (7.04) and Western's Anthony Do (7.11) also advanced to Saturday's final.  

The Vikings will have three men in the finals of the 60 hurdles, while the Wildcats will have one.


DREW JORDAN LEADS COUGS IN MILE VICTORY IN KIBBIE DOME

In Moscow, Washington State junior Drew Jordan won the men's mile in a lifetime-best time and led four additional Cougars to lifetime or season-best times Friday at the Idaho Collegiate II meet at the Kibbie Dome.

Jordan's winning time was a PR of 4 minutes 4.64 seconds followed by Todd Wakefield's runner-up time of 4:05.13, a season-best for the Aussie junior. Lee George finished third with a PR time of 4:05.99 and Justin Englund finished fifth in a PR time of 4:08.98.

Shaquana Logan, a senior from Tacoma, won the women's 60m hurdles with a season-best time of 8.72 with Morgan Clem, running unattached, second in 8.90 and Andrea Smith third in a season-best time of 9.11.

The Huskies' Hannah Sherrill finished fourth in the discus (139-11/42.66m) and freshman Alyx Toeaina was sixth with a toss of 125-10 (38.36m).

Whitworth's Carter Comito took a shot/discus double, winning the shot with a toss of 54-6 3/4 (16.63m) and spinning the disc 184-6 (56.25m) at one of the few venues in the country where the discus is thrown indoors.

In the men's 3000, Gonzaga's Conor McCandless led seven of the first ten Bulldog runners across the line, winning in 8:35.59.

It was yet another erratic performance by NCAA indoor scorer Keisa Monterola in the pole vault, as the Eastern Washington senior no-heighted yet again.


NOTE:  The media relations office of the GNAC, and the sports information office at Washington State University contributed to this report.

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.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jeremy Taiwo receives USATF national athlete of the week honors as well...


INDIANAPOLIS--University of Washington multi-event specialist Jeremy Taiwo (Illustration created by Paul Merca using PicStitch; photos courtesy University of Washington) received one more national honor Wednesday, as he was named by USA Track & Field as its athlete of the week for his brief world leading score of 6156 points in the heptathlon at the Boise State Team Challenge meet in Nampa, Idaho over the weekend, highlighted by a world heptathlon record in the high jump of 7-4 1/2 (2.25m).

The Renton native's mark is the fifth-best in NCAA history, and puts him as the third-best NCAA performer only behind Olympic gold and silver medalists Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee. The score is also the current US leading mark, facility record and school record.

Taiwo did not compete for 19 months after the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. At that event he managed to finish 15th in the decathlon, in spite of competing with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Since then he underwent Tommy John surgery and has made a full recovery.

He also underwent surgery on his hips to correct osteitis pubis.

“It is honestly the biggest 180 ever,” Taiwo said to USATF's Katie Branham. “When I was going through everything last year, I was just telling myself that everything happens for a reason, and tried to stay positive.”

Taiwo is the first UW athlete to win the weekly honor from USATF, which honors youth, high school, collegiate, professional, and masters athletes.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

adidas launches Boost cushioning system in new running shoe...


NEW YORK--At a global launch event Wednesday that featured defending former world and Olympic champ Maurice Greene, two time Olympic 10000m champ Haile Gebreselassie of Ethiopia, and world 100 meter champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica (from left/photo courtesy adidas), adidas unveiled a new running shoe featuring Boost, a new cushioning technology that the company touts will render shoes that use ethyl vinyl acetate obsolete.

Ethyl vinyl acetate, or EVA foam, is the industry standard foam used to make midsoles of current running shoes.  According to adidas, the new Boost running shoe features a midsole comprised of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) developed in conjunction with BASF, the world's leading chemical company.

In the process that adidas developed with BASF, TPU  is literally blown up and turned into thousands of small energy capsules which make up the footwear's distinctive midsole. With their unique cell structure, these capsules store and unleash energy more efficiently in every stride.


adidas claims that not only does its Boost cushioning midsole return energy better than EVA, but that the Boost foam is three times more temperature resistant than standard EVA material.

"With our new Boost foam, we are addressing a fundamental insight: everyone wants more energy. Whether you're running a marathon, training for an upcoming season or just trying to get back in shape, our revolutionary Boost cushioning foam provides the highest energy return in any running products," says Eric Liedtke, adidas Head of Sport Performance, "Energy Boost will reset the running industry and pave the way for all future performance footwear."

In the years to come, the company plans to utilize the Boost cushioning technology across all of its performance products, including its basketball and soccer lines.

The new Energy Boost running shoe will be released worldwide on February 27th at a retail price of $150 at adidas Sport Performance stores, select retail outlets, or via adidas.com.

NOTE:  adidas media relations contributed to this report.  All photos courtesy adidas.

AROUND THE TRACK: Huskies announce recruiting class; WSU competes in Idaho this weekend...


The University of Washington officially released its list of thirteen track & field recruits, with emphasis on distance runners and throwers, with eight of the 13 in state products.


On the men's side, Washington signed Sumner Goodwin, from Spokane's Lewis & Clark, who was seventh at Nike Cross Nationals last fall; Jamie Coughlin from Garfield/Seattle, who was fifth at the Washington 4A meet; and AJ Yarnall from Saugus HS in Santa Clarita, California.

Washington signed four athletes in the throws:  Dan Boyden from Arlington; Carey Campbell from Lake Stevens; Beau Brosseau from Oregon City, Oregon; and Gina Filint from Bellingham's Squalicum HS.

One notable signee not announced by the coaching staff on NLI day is pole vaulter Diamara Planell Cruz (above/photo courtesy University of Washington) from Los Altos HS in California.

Planell Cruz (listed as Diamara Planell on the IAAF database) won the California State JC title while competing for San Jose CC, and represented Puerto Rico at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, and has a personal best of 12-11 1/2 (3.95m).


With next week's MPSF championships coming up next week in Seattle, a limited number of athletes from Washington State will compete this weekend at the Idaho Collegiate meet on Friday, and Saturday's Idaho Open.

Courtesy of WSU, here's coach Rick Sloan with his review of last weekend's competition and this week's meets.



NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Jeremy Taiwo earns USTFCCCA national D1 men's track & field athlete of the week award...


NEW ORLEANS--For the second week in a row, an athlete who attended high school in the state of Washington has received the top weekly honor given by the USTFCCCA this indoor season.

The University of Washington's Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo courtesy University of Washington), a product of Newport HS in Bellevue, received the USTFCCCA's Division I athlete of the week award for his scintillating performance in the heptathlon at the Boise State Team Challenge meet in Nampa, Idaho last Friday and Saturday.

Taiwo scored 6156 points, a Washington school record, a US leading mark this season, and for one day, the best score in the world, until Eelco Sintnicolaas of the Netherlands topped that mark by scoring 6341 points in his national championship meet on Sunday.

He was competing in his first multi-event since the 2011 NCAA outdoor meet, after surgeries on his elbow and hips kept him out in 2012.  Taiwo was scheduled to compete in the heptathlon at the UW Invitational in late January, until he came up with a minor injury in training after the season opening UW Preview meet on January 12th.

The Husky senior's score was topped by a world record in the heptathlon high jump, as he cleared 7-4 1/2 (2.25m), topping the previous world hep high jump mark of 7-4 1/4 (2.24m) shared by Arizona's Nick Ross and Kansas State's Scott Sellers.

Taiwo's high jump mark is also the second best all time indoors or outdoors as a Husky behind hall of famer Rick Noji's 7-6 1/2 (2.30m) set in 1990.

This is the first year that the USTFCCCA has given national weekly honors, making Taiwo, the son of two-time Nigerian Olympian and WSU standout Joseph Taiwo, the first Husky to earn the award. Given to six collegiate track and field athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions), the National Athlete of the Week Award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings.

Last week, Curtis HS grad Andrea Geubelle of the University of Kansas received the USTFCCCA women's Division I honor for her nation-leading long jump of 21-11 1/2 (6.69m) at the Armory Collegiate Invitational in New York on February 1st.

Courtesy of Scott Gordon, here is video of Taiwo's world heptathlon high jump  in Nampa.


NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tommy Schmitz and Catherine Street post top marks at UW Open meet...


SEATTLE--Former Marquette University standout Tommy Schmitz (left/photo courtesy Tommy Schmitz) and recent Linfield College graduate Catherine Street had the top marks of the day as the University of Washington played host to nearly a thousand post-collegiate, collegiate, and high school athletes at the UW Open meet at the Dempsey Indoor.

One day after running the 3000 at the Husky Classic in 8:01.28, Schmitz, who currently resides in Santa Barbara, California, ran a solo effort with help from pacesetter Macklin Chaffee in winning the mile in 4:03.83, nearly eight seconds clear of Harris Emmons of the University of Washington, in an effort that he called "effortless".

As she did last year, Street had the best women's mark of the meet, clearing 13-11 1/4 (4.25m) to win the pole vault, and earn a qualifying mark to the USA indoor championships in Albuquerque on March 2-3.

Among the top high school competitors in the meet was University of Washington signee Amy-Eloise Neal, as the Glacier Peak HS senior and reigning Washington 3A cross country champ ran 2:09.15 to finish third overall in the 800 meters.

Links to releases from Seattle Pacific and Western Washington are available by clicking on the school name.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Taiwo finishes heptathlon with world leading score of 6156 points...


NAMPA, Idaho--University of Washington senior Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo courtesy University of Washington) won two of three events and six of seven overall to score a school record 6156 points to win the heptathlon at the Boise State Team Challenge meet at Jacksons Track.

Taiwo, who set a heptathlon world record in the high jump of 7-4 1/2 (2.25m) to wrap up day one Friday night, began day 2 with a strong 8.08 clocking in the 60 hurdles, worth 962 points, 2/100ths better than the personal best of 8.10 he set on January 12th at the UW Preview meet.

He then took a very conservative approach in the pole vault, only clearing 13-11 1/4 (4.25m), worth 688 points, to finish third, then finished the two days of competition by winning the 1000 in a time of 2:34.44, worth 936 points.

Taiwo's mark is the best in the world so far this season, topping Eduard Mikhan of Belarus' score of 6145 points set on January 23-24. It also makes him the seventh best American performer all time, behind Ashton Eaton, Dan O'Brien, Bryan Clay, Tom Pappas, Steve Fritz, and Trey Hardee.  He also laid claim to the third best mark by an American collegian, behind only Eaton and Hardee.


Back in Seattle at the Husky Classic, seven men broke 4 minutes in the mile, led by Andrew Bumbalough's winning mark of 3:56.12, edging OTC Elite/Portland teammate and 2012 steeplechase Olympian Evan Jager (3:56.14).  

Bellingham resident and fellow US Olympic team steepler Donn Cabral was third in 3:56.41.

The other heat of the men's invitational mile was won by OTC Elite/Eugene's Ben Blankenship, as the University of Minnesota alum ran 3:58.66 for the win.

Four time world champ, and reigning Olympic long jump champion Brittney Reese opened her 2013 season by jumping 21-6 (6.55m) using a shorter than normal approach, a mark that tied the Dempsey Indoor facility record set by Grace Upshaw back in 2004, and set a new meet record.

In the women's mile, Olympian Geena Gall of OTC Elite/Eugene took the win in 4:31.75, while Husky senior Christine Babcock, who has had a snakebitten track career, set a personal best of 4:37.57 in 11th place.

In the other section, freshman Maddie Meyers bounced back from a seventh place finish at last week's USA junior cross country championships in St. Louis, as she ran a personal best 4:41.72 to take sixth in her heat.

Another Husky, Baylee Mires, took second in the first section of the invitational 800 meter run, as the member of last year's national championship distance medley relay squad ran a personal best 2:06.73.


Sunday, the Huskies will host the UW Open meet back at the Dempsey Indoor beginning at 9 am, featuring primarily Division II and top high schoolers, with some Division I and post-collegians thrown in that competed at the Husky Classic.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Washington State's Stephan Scott-Ellis jumped 52-0 1/2 (15.86m) to take second in the triple jump at the Don Kirby Open meet hosted by the University of New Mexico behind Joshua Honeycutt of Phoenix Eiite, who had a winning mark of 53-1 1/2 (16.19m).

In Friday night's Don Kirby Elite meet, Scott-Ellis squeezed out a victory in the long jump with a best of 24-11 1/4 (7.60m).

Friday, February 8, 2013

Washington's Jeremy Taiwo sets world heptathlon high jump record en route to 3570 first-day score...


NAMPA, Idaho--While his teammates were back home in the familiar confines of the Dempsey Indoor, the University of Washington's Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo courtesy University of Washington) traveled to compete in the heptathlon at the Boise State Team Challenge meet at Jacksons Indoor Track, after missing a chance to compete in the UW Invitational heptathlon two weeks ago with a slight injury suffered in training.

En route to a first day score of 3570 points, Taiwo set a world heptathlon high jump record, as he soared 7-4 1/2 (2.25m) in the day's final event, a mark worth 1041 points, eclipsing the previous world heptathlon high jump best of 7-4 1/4 (2.24m) set by Arizona's Nick Ross in Fayetteville, Arkansas last year, and shared with Kansas State's Scott Sellers.

Taiwo, the 2011 Pac-10 decathlon champ who missed the 2012 season with injuries, won all four individual events Friday, with marks of 7.02-seconds in the 60-meters, 24-4.25 (7.42m) in the long jump and 46-6.25 (14.18m) in the shot put in addition to his high jump win to end day one with a score of 3570 points.

"I woke up this morning and felt completely normal," said Taiwo. "Got to the track and I started feeling great in warm-ups. The 60 felt great, I had kind of a bad start but tried to finish well. Then it was awesome to get my first long jump in there and finally get over 24-feet. Rolled around to the shot put, I was nice and relaxed, and had a great warm-up throw around 15-meters. I ended up a little bit shy of that in but I know there's a lot more in there."

Taiwo's high jump mark is also the second best all time as a Husky behind only Rick Noji's 7-6 1/2 (2.30m) set in 1990.

That mark also puts Taiwo eighth on the season's NCAA performance list in the event entering this weekend.


Meanwhile in Seattle, Oregon's Jordan Hasay led eight women under sixteen minutes in a fast 5000 meters to highlight day one of the Husky Classic, winning in 15:46.30, with Western Washington alum Sarah Crouch sixth in 15:56.50, and the Huskies' Megan Goethals seventh in 15:59.20.

Other day one winners included Olympian Keshia Baker in the women's 200 (24.10); Washington State's Byron Howell in the 200 (21.78); Oklahoma's Kevin Williams in the men's 5000 (13:38.57); Spokane native Britney Henry in the women's weight throw (68-6/20.88m); and Idaho's Kyle Rothwell in the men's weight throw (62-10/19.15m).

The Husky Classic resumes Saturday.  Results of the meet are available here.

NOTE:  The University of Washington and Boise State University contributed to this report.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Knight and Neal head Husky track recruiting class...


A pair of in-state distance runners lead the University of Washington's incoming freshman class as they made their collegiate choice known on Wednesday's national letter of intent day.

Katie Knight (#61/photo by Paul Merca) and Amy-Eloise Neal, the last two Washington state 3A cross country champs from North Central HS in Spokane and Glacier Peak HS in Snohomish, join a very strong women's distance group that includes NCAA 1500 champ Katie Flood and NCAA 5000m runner-up Megan Goethals.

Knight last week finished fourth at the USA junior cross country championships in St. Louis, and will compete at next month's IAAF world cross country championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

Neal, who competed for Great Britain at the 2011 IAAF world youth championships in the 2000 steeplechase, won her third Washington 3A cross country title in November over Knight, the 2011 champ.

Joining the duo in the distances are Kelly Lawson from La Costa Canyon HS in California, who ran 10:40.84 for 3200m last year; and, Kaylee Flanagan from Roselle (Lake Park) HS in Illinois, a two-time Foot Locker finalist and younger sister of current Husky Lindsay Flanagan.

Other Husky commits announced include Washington state 2A 400m champ Andrew Brown from Tumwater, who has a PR of 48.35; shot putter Carey Campbell from Lake Stevens, who was third in the state 4A meet with a PR of 56-6 1/4 (17.23m); Dan Boyden from Arlington, a 181-8 (55.37m) performer in the discus, and the top returning Washington prep this season; and Beau Brosseau from Oregon City HS in Oregon, the state 6A shot put champ with a PR of 61-1 3/4 (18.63m).

Another thrower signing with the Huskies is Gina Flint from Squalicum HS, the state 2A champ in the shot and discus, who has PRs of 45-7 3/4 in the shot and 153-4 in the discus.

NOTE:  The school has not sent out an official release announcing the signings; information was gathered via the official Twitter page of the UW track team and throws coach TJ Crater.

Reigning world and Olympic champ Brittney Reese headlines Husky Classic...

SEATTLE--Reigning world and Olympic champion Brittney Reese (left/photo by Paul Merca) is the featured entry in this weekend's Husky Classic at the Dempsey Indoor on the campus of the University of Washington.

Reese, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist, winner of four career world titles--two indoors and two outdoors, as well as the American record holder indoors in the long jump at 23-8 3/4 (7.23m), will contest both her specialty as well as the 60 meter dash on Saturday, according to a note sent to paulmerca.blogspot.com by her agent, Mark Pryor.

In order to get sharp for next weekend's Millrose Games in New York, Reese will take three jumps, and run the 60, an event that the University of Mississippi alum contested last weekend in Saskatoon, where she ran a season best of 7.30, just off of her personal best of 7.24.

The long jump will be contested early at 10 am, with the preliminary heats of the 6 at 1:20, and the finals opening the invitational portion of the meet at 3:05 pm.

The facility record in the long jump is 21-6 (6.55m) set in 2004 by US Olympian Grace Upshaw, and the meet record is 21-2 1/2 (6.46m) set by Canadian Olympian Ruky Abdulai.

In a quick glance of accepted entries, notable US Olympians entered include Oregon TC/Eugene's Geena Gall in the mile; new Bellingham resident Donn Cabral in the mile against fellow steeplechase Olympian Evan Jager; and, Lopez Lomong in the 800 in a great matchup against Tacoma's Matt Scherer and Mark Wieczorek. 

As always, the distance races for both men and women will provide lots of excitement as many of the top collegians converge upon one of the nation's fastest tracks to chase those top-16 marks needed to qualify for the NCAA championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas next month (the NCAA abandoned automatic and provisional qualifying marks in Division I, with the 16 best marks from the season advancing to the nationals).  

The mens mile could potentially see enough competitors break four minutes to bring the number of times the mark's been broken to 100--the number stands unofficially at 86, with Galen Rupp the latest at the season opening UW Preview last month.

Monday, February 4, 2013

University Place resident Andrea Geubelle nabs weekly USTFCCCA athlete of the week honors...


NEW ORLEANS--Curtis High School graduate and University of Kansas senior Andrea Geubelle (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com) was named by the USTFCCCA as its NCAA Division I female athlete of the week on Monday.

Geubelle, a resident of University Place, had a career-day at the Armory Collegiate Invitational long jump this past weekend with a mark of 21-11½ (6.69m), breaking not only the Kansas school record but also the meet record. Her mark is just a quarter of an inch shy of the collegiate all-time top 10 performers list, and broke the previous Kansas indoor record by 11 inches.

Her jump is the second best by an American so far this season, the best in the NCAA, and is the seventh best in the world so far.

Her jump also exceeds the IAAF B standard of 21-10 (6.65m) and is six centimeters short of the A standard of 22-1 3/4 (6.75m) for this summer's world championships in Moscow, a mark exceeded by nine women last year.

With Brittney Reese assured a spot on the team as defending world champion, the USA can enter up to three additional athletes that have the standard.

In its first year of existence the National Athlete of the Week is awarded to six collegiate track & field and cross country athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions) each Monday by the USTFCCCA office. The award spotlights exceptional performances by student-athletes from around the nation.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

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