Thursday, February 27, 2014

It's conference championship weekend for SeattleU, Eastern, WSU & UW...

For four of the state's NCAA Division I schools, it's championship week, as SeattleU, Eastern Washington, Washington State, and the University of Washington compete in their conference championship meets.

SeattleU got things underway Wednesday at the Western Athletic Conference meet in Moscow, Idaho, as Amanda Maddux (above/photo courtesy Seattle University) finished 11th in the pentathlon, with a final score of 2935 points.

Maddux’s day started with a time of 10.19 seconds in the 60 meter hurdles. She then tied for the third-best performance among the 19 competitors in the high jump, clearing 1.55 meters (5’ 1”). She posted the third-best mark in the shot put at 9.99 meters (32’ 9.5”) to move into ninth place after three events and within striking distance of the top eight that would score points for the Redhawks.

The sophomore posted a top mark of 4.34 meters (14’ 3”) in the long jump to slide into 11th place in the overall standings, where she would remain after the 800 meter run. She ran a personal-best time of 2:32.42 in the final event of the day, seventh-best among the participants. Maddux finished with 2,935 points in the competition.

The bulk of the competition continues Thursday, with the meet concluding on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Washington Eagles head to Pocatello, Idaho for the Big Sky Championships hosted by Idaho State.

At last year’s indoor meet in Bozeman, Mont., the Eagle men finished seventh with 46 points, while the women were ninth with 26. In the preseason poll of Big Sky coaches, Eastern’s men were voted to place sixth (67) and the women were picked ninth (46).

The Eagles will send 19 men and 19 women to the championships, with their strongest events the men's weight throw, and the women's pole vault.

In Seattle, the Huskies host the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor championships, with 11 of the Pac-12 schools in action, plus teams from the Big West and West Coast Conferences, as none of those conferences sponsor indoor track.

The common denominator for athletes competing in Moscow, Pocatello, and Seattle is that the push for NCAA qualification is on everyone’s mind this weekend. To reach NCAA Indoors in Albuquerque, athletes must finish the season ranked in the top-16 in their event nationally.

Based on the current rankings, there are 24 athletes currently ranked in the NCAA top-10 that are scheduled to compete in the Dempsey this weekend, including several NCAA leaders.

Friday’s action begins at 12 noon with the women’s weight throw final and the first event of the pentathlon. Both pole vaults will take place Friday, as will both men’s and women’s long jumps, as well as the men’s weight throw. The pentathlon will complete all five events, while the heptathlon will do four of seven. Track finals on Friday include the 5,000-meters, the 200-meters, and the distance medley relays which wrap up the day at 7:10 p.m. Prelims in the 60m hurdles and dashes also take place.

Saturday is a great day of track with one final after another starting at 10:30 a.m. All remaining track finals take place Saturday, along with the conclusion of the heptathlon, and the men’s and women’s high jumps, triple jumps, and shot puts. The 4x400m relays wrap things up at 2:25 p.m.

Flotrack will provide streaming video ($) of the meet with subscription to Flotrack Pro.

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

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