Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bernard Lagat adds American road record in 5k to his resume...

CARLSBAD, California--He already owns American track records outdoors at 1500, 3000 and 5000, along with indoor records at 1500, mile, and the 2000 in his career, not to mention two Olympic medals and a slew of world indoor and outdoor titles in his career.

What else can Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) add?

The Washington State University alum,  running in his first competitive 5000 road race, broke the American record at that distance in finishing second in the elite men's race at the Carlsbad 5000 Sunday.

Lagat was aiming for the American road 5k record of 13:24, set by Marc Davis in 1996, and the pace was well under that when he, along with three time defending Carlsbad 5000 champ Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia, took off at the gun, with Northern Arizona alum and Mexican Olympian Diego Estrada.

In the final half mile, Gebremeskel used his course experience to trump Lagat, pulling away to a 13:13 win to give him the four-peat.

The Tuscon resident took home $11000--$3500 for second, $2500 for top American, and $5000 for the American record.

Augustine Choge (13:22) and Edwin Kipyego (13:26) went 3-4, while Estrada finished fifth in 13:31.

“It’s a big advantage [for him],” Lagat said of Gebremeskel’s course experience. “I knew from history that this course would be a challenge. It’s not that easy even though it looks flat. I went in with the mindset to have fun, stay relaxed as much as possible. Dejen was right there pushing the first mile, and at halfway I couldn’t even see him, but he was right behind us. He was basically taking a breather at the back—he was waiting. And when he took the turn, he just unleashed it, so experience matters a lot on this course.”

In the women's elite race, Julia Bleadsdale won in 15:06, well clear of Iowa State alum Betsy Saina (15:22).  

Ethiopia's Etalemhu Habtewold was third in 15:23, while Brenda Martinez was fourth in 15:25 as the top American, and USA cross country champ Amy Van Alstine was fifth in 15:30.

NOTE:  The Competitor Group contributed to this report.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Throws highlight Club Northwest Spring Break meet...

SEATTLE--Despite rainy conditions at West Seattle Stadium, the throws were the highlight of the Club Northwest Spring Break meet Saturday.

Western Washington senior Lindsay Wells (left/photo courtesy Western Washington University) broke the school record she set last year in the hammer, flinging the ball and chain 171-1 (52.15m), improving upon her NCAA Division II provisional qualifying mark.

Wells' toss is currently the eighth best throw in NCAA Division II so far this season.

The Vikings' Emily Stralser won the javelin, as she threw an NCAA D2 PQ mark of 140-2 (42.72m), making it the ninth best mark in Division II, but only the third best on her team.  

Seattle Pacific's Michaela Farner got the NCAA D2 PQ mark as well with her second place finish, throwing 133-7 (40.72m).

Stralser, a multi-event specialist, won the 100 hurdles in a time of 15.9h.

Western's Frank Catelli was a double winner in the shot put, throwing 54-2 3/4 (16.53m), and the discus 153-3 (46.72m).  He's currently ranked #3 in NCAA D2 this season in the discus with his mark of 165-4 (50.40m) set last week in Eugene.

In Tacoma, Whitworth University swept both the men's and women's competition at the Joe Peyton Scoring meet hosted by the University of Puget Sound Saturday.

Washington State University alum Princess Joy Griffey had the best marks of the meet, winning the 100 and 200 in 11.98, and 24.59w.

Whitworth's Dakota Kilamovich threw a NCAA D3 national leading mark in the hammer, with a toss of 174-11 (53.31m).

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Western Washington University and Seattle Pacific University contributed to this report.

EWU alum Mattie Suver finishes 36th at IAAF world half marathon championships...

COPENHAGEN, Denmark--Eastern Washington University alum Mattie Suver (left/photo by Mike Scott) finished 36th at the IAAF world half-marathon championships Saturday through the streets of the Danish capital.

Suver  ran a  season best time of 1:12:41 and was the fourth runner across the line for Team USA, which was led by Annie Bersagel's 13th place finish in 1:10:09.

Other Americans included Lauren Kleppin in 14th (1:10:15), Clara Santucci in 34th (1:12:21), and Wendy Thomas in 1:14:06.

The USA earned a fifth place team finish

Kenya's Gladys Cherono won the world title with a time of 1:07:28, leading the Kenyan squad to an unprecedented 1-5 finish and the world title.  Ethiopia and Japan took the other two podium spots, followed by Italy in fourth.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Kara Patterson opens 2014 season with win at Texas Relays...

AUSTIN, Texas--Kara Patterson (above/photo by Paul Merca) is back.

The Vancouver native, who threw a limited number of meets in 2013 after rehabbing a knee that she injured at the 2012 US Olympic Trials, opened her 2014 season by winning the women's javelin competition at the Texas Relays Friday.

On her first throw of the day, the two-time Olympian launched the spear past the 60-meter mark, taking it 198-4 (60.45m), well past her 2013 season best of 187-5 (57.12m), a mark that is the ninth best in the world so far this season.

Her second throw of the day of 187-10 (57.26m) also went past her 2013 best.

All in all, all six of her throws Friday went over the 180-foot mark.

According to a tweet posted by her coach Ty Sevin, Patterson threw using a short approach.

University Place native Andrea Geubelle finished second in the triple jump with a best of 42-9 1/2 (13.04m) in her 2014 outdoor season debut.

In the B section of the women's pole vault, reigning Pac-12 pole vault champion Kristine Felix of Washington State cleared a best of 13-1.5 (4.00m) to finish tied for fifth.

Shaquana Logan ran 13.71 in the 100 meter hurdles to finish fifth in her heat, the 17th best time overall, but not enough to make the finals.

In the men's 110 meter hurdles, the Cougars' Josiah Sims ran 14.42 in his heat to finish second, while teammate Garrett Gerling ran 14.61 to finish third in his heat.  Neither made the finals.

The women's 100 meter heats saw WSU's Dominique Keel run 11.87, and Danielle Darden 12.05, with neither advancing to the finals.

Washington State's Erin Allen ran in the finals of the women's 400 meter hurdles, and finished sixth in a time of 60.64, as Texas' Danielle Dowie won in 57.52


The Track & Field Athletes Association, the organization representing numerous athletes, primarily from the USA, posted an open letter on its web site addressed to current sponsors, asking them to recognize them as the "collective voice of elite and professional athletes", protect the athletes' rights, and not to "penalize your athletes for participating in collective action that may preclude them from competing in a sanctioned event, and that you agree to identify alternative events, if necessary, to satisfy any sponsor obligations."

Both Seattle based companies Oiselle and Brooks have gone on board with the TFAA, along with Saucony and CEP Compression.

Jesse Williams, Brooks' sports marketing head, said in a statement, "Brooks recognizes the power of teamwork on and off the track. We're excited to see the Track & Field Athletes Association step up to help give all athletes a voice, and support their desire to work collectively to better the sport. We stand behind our athletes' participation in the association and look forward to their leadership in track and field."

The statement from the TFAA implies that they and USA Track & Field could be headed for a showdown at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the end of June in Sacramento.

Tensions between the two organizations have been heightened in light of USATF's handling of the Gabe Grunewald and Andrew Bumbalough disqualifications at last month's USA indoor championships in Albuquerque, the perception that USATF sponsor Nike exerted extra influence in getting Grunewald DQ'd, and the national governing body's stonewalling actions towards TFAA which included canceling a conference call to discuss the situation, not to mention a written statement by USATF president Stephanie Hightower saying she was appointing a working group to study it, a process that will "take place over weeks and month."


Spring break is the word for many of the Washington colleges and universities this weekend, but that won't deter them from competing this weekend.

Several schools, including Seattle Pacific and Western Washington, will participate in Saturday's Club Northwest Spring Break meet at West Seattle Stadium on Saturday.  

Eastern Washington heads to Montana to face Montana and Montana State at the Al Manuel Invitational meet in Missoula.

On the roads, Eastern Washington alum Mattie Suver will run in Saturday's IAAF world half-marathon championships in Copenhagen, Denmark as a member of Team USA.

Sunday, Washington State alum Bernard Lagat will run in the Carlsbad 5000 as he takes a shot at the long standing American road 5k best mark of 13:24 set in 1996.

Among those entered in the Carlsbad race are three-time champion and Olympic silver medalist Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia, Olympic bronze medalist Tariku Bekele (also of Ethiopia), and Kenyan standout Augustine Choge.

You can read more about Lagat's bid here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

WSU's Brooks-Johnson scores heptathlon personal best at Texas Relays...

AUSTIN, Texas--Freshman Alissa Brooks-Johnson (above/photo courtesy Washington State University) moved up two places to finish 17th in the 24-woman field in the heptathlon at the Texas Relays Thursday, as she accumulated a personal best score of 4987 points.

Brooks-Johnson started the day in 19th place and opened her final three events with a long jump leap of 17-feet 4 1/4 inches (5.29m). She threw the javelin a PR distance of 113-4 (34.55m) and then wrapped up the two-day competition with an 800m PR time of 2 minutes 19.37 seconds. 

Lindsay Vollmer of Kansas won the women’s heptathlon with a score of 5,640 points.

In the University/College Men Section B javelin event, junior Sam Ferenchak  threw a season-best distance of 208-4 (63.50m) for fifth place while senior Kyle Stevens finished sixth with a throw of 197-7 (60.23m).

Erin Allen advanced from the prelims of the University/College Women’s 400m hurdles with a time of 59.92 seconds which was ninth-best among the 62 women competing. Shaquana Logan ran a time of 1:00.21 for 12th place in the prelims. Allen, who ran her PR time of 59.05 in winning the event at the WSU at UCLA dual meet last weekend, will compete in the final Friday evening at 4:50 p.m. PT.

The meet continues Friday, with Vancouver native Kara Patterson making her 2014 season debut in the javelin, and University Place resident and reigning USA outdoor triple jump champ Andrea Geubelle opening up her 2014 outdoor campaign.

Washington State will have athletes competing in the women’s 100m hurdles, men’s 110m hurdles, women’s 400m hurdles final, and the women’s pole vault. Competition concludes Saturday afternoon.

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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

USA Track & Field finally releases statement regarding way championship meets are administered...

In the iconic 1980s movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", one of the most memorable scenes is when the economics teacher, played by Ben Stein (left/photo courtesy Paramount Pictures), calls roll.

When he calls Bueller's name three times,  Simone answers, " Um, he's sick. My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious."


Ferris Bueller's Day Off

The Track & Field Athletes Association, which was supposed to have a conference call with USA Track & Field officials a few weeks ago to discuss the Gabe Grunewald and Andrew Bumbalough disqualifications at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, must feel like that econ teacher.

After a release from the TFAA earlier on Wednesday in which they accused USATF of "shutting out THE ATHLETE VOICE" in the discussion, and stated that "It is unacceptable for the collective voice of the athletes to be disrespected and dismissed…and our calls for action and change fall on deaf ears,", the federation finally came out with a prepared statement. 

USATF president Stephanie Hightower said, "CEO Max Siegel and I have engaged in a discussion of how best to address these issues in a deliberate, thorough and thoughtful manner. As USATF President and Chair with oversight of governance, I have asked USATF Board Member and IAAF Senior Vice President Bob Hersh, one of international track & field’s foremost experts on competition rules and governance, to lead a USATF working group that will look into these matters. We will announce other members of this group in coming weeks. Athletes will be a very important part of this process, as well as others in our organization. We appreciate the passion of all our stakeholders. Because it is far-reaching, this process will take place over weeks and months."

The statement from Hightower does not address the two disqualifications, the TFAA petition and cancelled conference call, or the enhanced video evidence used to DQ Grunewald and Bumbalough.

Just from reading Hightower's statement, you get the sense the athletes are getting the same answer Simone gave.

Buckle up.  This could be a while.

In other news, Washington State freshman Alissa Brooks-Johnson is in 19th place in the women’s heptathlon after the first day’s competition at the 87th Annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin.

Brooks-Johnson, scored 2,952 points in the first four events. She ran the 100m hurdles in a wind-aided time of 14.90 seconds, high jumped 5-feet 3 inches (1.60m), threw the shot put a lifetime-best distance of 35-0 1/4 (10.67m), and ran the 200m in a wind-aided time of 26.11. Brittney Howell of Penn State leads the 24 women in the heptathlon with a first day total of 3,442 points.

WSU freshman Dino Dodig from Serbia strained his back while warming up for the decathlon’s first five events Wednesday morning. Dodig ran the 100m dash in a wind-aided time of 11.23, fouled all three attempts in the long jump, and threw the shot put 38-6 3/4 (11.75m). He tried to high jump but the back pain shot down into his takeoff leg and after several warm-up attempts he dropped out of the decathlon.

The Texas Relays, held at Mike A. Myers Stadium, continues Thursday with Cougars competing in the women’s 400m hurdles and the men’s javelin as well as Brooks-Johnson in the heptathlon. Competition goes through Saturday.

NOTE:  The Track & Field Athletes Association, USA Track & Field, and the sports information offices of the University of Texas and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Wednesday's hot reads: GNAC Athletes of the Week, TFAA, Texas Relays, USTFCCCA rankings...

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference announced that McKayla Fricker (above/photo courtesy GNAC) of Seattle Pacific and Katie Reichert of Western Washington were the conference's women's track and field event athletes of the week for the week ending March 22nd.

Fricker finished second in the 800m at last Saturday's Oregon Preview meet, running a time of 2:08.00, a personal best, and the sixth fastest mark in conference history.  Her mark also earned her an automatic spot in the NCAA championships, and is the current NCAA Division II leader.

Reichert won the javelin at the Oregon Preview, throwing the spear 162-1 (49.40m), which was also an NCAA automatic qualifier, and a NCAA Division II leading mark this season.

On the men's side, Western Washington's Frank Catelli was named the GNAC men's field athlete of the week after winning the shot put at the Oregon Preview at 57-2 1/2 (17.43m), and taking fourth in the discus at 165-4 (50.40m).  His shot mark leads the NCAA Division II rankings and his discus ranks number 2 in the country so far this season.


It's been over a month since the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico concluded, and there's been no resolution regarding the disqualification of Andrew Bumbalough from the men's 3000, and the Track & Field Athletes Association (TFAA) isn't letting USA Track & Field brush this under the table and hope everyone forgets it.

In a post on the organization's web site, the TFAA contends that USATF backed out of a conference call to discuss having athlete representatives from the TFAA available to observe protest and appeals procedures at future national championships.

The TFAA asks, "Why would our national governing body ignore the athletes association, their own athletes advisory committee (which is required by the Ted Stevens Act) and the 1000 athletes, coaches, agents, sponsors and fans who signed the petition calling for change?"

"It is unacceptable for the collective voice of the athletes to be disrespected and dismissed…We are aligned with our fans in our quest to improve our sport. We cannot sit idly by while its integrity is compromised and our calls for action and change fall on deaf ears."

Additionally, Bumbalough's agent, Tom Ratcliffe, is still waiting for an answer on why his client was disqualified, in a blog post written by the Oregonian's Ken Goe.


Washington State University is sending a small group of athletes to Austin for the Texas Relays, which begins Wednesday with the multi-events.

The Cougars have decathlete Dino Dodig and heptathlete Alissa Brooks-Johnson competing Wednesday, while the rest of the group begins competition Thursday.

The group primarily consists of sprinters and hurdlers, with reigning Pac-12 pole vault champ Kristine Felix, hurdlers Shaquana Logan and Erin Allen, high jumpers Charlotte Muschamp and Holly Parent,  and javelin throwers Sam Ferenchak and Kyle Stevens the most notable of the 12 athletes on their travel squad.


Finally, the USTFCCCA released this week their national pre-season computer rankings.

The University of Washington's women's team is ranked #19 in the pre-season poll, while in Division II, the Western Washington men are ranked #10, and Central Washington is ranked #25.

On the women's side, three Washington schools make the national top 25, with Western Washington #11, Central Washington #13, and Seattle Pacific #22.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cougs 'C' LA by sweeping Bruins in dual meet; Planell Cruz sets national record at USC...

LOS ANGELES--The Washington State Cougars opened the 2014 outdoor season by sweeping the UCLA Bruins in a dual meet at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA, with the women prevailing 87-75, and the men by a 85-78 count.

In his pre-meet press briefing, WSU coach Rick Sloan expressed some concerns with the 400 meter hurdlers, citing a lack of practice outdoors.

Sloan's concerns were alleviated, as the Cougars went 1-2 in both races.  On the women's side, Erin Allen (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport) took the victory in 59.05, with Shaquana Logan second at 59.89.

On the men's side, CJ Allen and Rashaun Johnson also went 1-2, with Allen stopping the watches at 52.20, and Johnson at 53.12.

In the men's competition, the Cougs got 1-2 finishes in the 200m (Andre McBride & Terrance Chambers 21.58 & 21.74); the 5000 (Andrew Kimpel & Drew Jordan 14:11.70 & 14.11.75); the steeple (Andrew Gonzales and Forrest Shaffer 8:58.11 & 9:06.98); and the triple jump (Tay'lor Eubanks in 49-0.25/14.94m and PJ Benedictus 48-7.5/14.82m).

The Cougar women swept the 800 with Abby Regan (2:09.78) leading the charge, with veterans Ruby Roberts (2:09.88) and Courtney Zalud (2:09.92) behind, and went 1-2 in the javelin with Celena Ward winning at 144-2 (43.95m) and Kelsie Taylor second at 144-0 (43.90m).

“I think we competed hard as a team today,” Sloan said. “Everyone had everyone else’s back and I couldn’t be more proud of the competitive efforts our kids made. Our coaching staff had everybody prepared and we came out and competed like Cougars throughout the meet. There were moments when we could have faded and folded but we didn’t. There’s a lot to be excited about.”


Across town at the USC Trojan Invitational, Washington's Diamara Planell Cruz led a 1-2-3 Husky finish in the women's pole vault, clearing 14-0 (4.27m), becoming the third woman in school history to clear 14 feet or better, and claiming a Puerto Rican national record in the process.

Planell Cruz' mark is currently the second best jump outdoors in NCAA Division I so far early in the season.

Kristina Owsinski (13-3.5/4.05m) and Liz Quick (12-5.5/3.80m) finished behind Planell Cruz.

Reigning Pac-12 triple jump champ Kasen Covington just missed his outdoor personal best as he jumped 50-5 1/2 (15.38m) to handily win the event, while Julian Bardwell took third in a PR 49-0 1/2 (14.95m).

JJ Juilfs won the men's pole vault, with a clearance of 16-4 3/4 (5.00m).


In Eugene, former NCAA 1500 champ Katie Flood of the University of Washington led most of the way before dropping to fourth in the 1500, running a solid opening time of 4:20.57, as NIKE/OTC Elite's Anne Kesselring won in 4:18.99.

Teammates Megan Goethals (4:23.05) and Katie Knight (4:23.28) finished in fifth and sixth.

One of the biggest PRs of the day came from Husky redshirt freshman Nick Harris, who rolled to a 1:50.75 in the 800-meters, taking fourth overall and second among collegiate athletes.

NCAA Division II All-American McKayla Fricker of Seattle Pacific earned an automatic qualifying mark of 2:08.00 in finishing second to Shannon Leinert of NIKE/OTC Elite, who ran 2:05.92.  Fricker's mark is a Division II national leader so far this season.

Western Washington's Katie Reichert (162-1/49.40m) and Bethany Drake (157-10/48.11m) went 1-2 in the women's javelin, with Reichert's mark an automatic NCAA D2 qualifier, and the national D2 leader, taking over from Drake, who was the national leader going into the weekend.

In the men's long jump, the Vikings'  Nathaniel van Tuinen took the victory, riding a 3.2 meter per second wind 22-9 1/4 (6.94m).

Spokane native Britney Henry of Oiselle won the women's hammer with a best of 220-7 (67.24m).

NOTE:  The sports information office of the University of Washington contributed to this report.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Huskies' Quinn Hale pops early national leader in javelin at USC Trojan Invite...

LOS ANGELES--The University of Washington's javelin crew, which was itching to compete after seeing their fellow teammates run, jump, and throw during the indoor season, opened up the 2014 season in grand style as the USC Trojan Invitational got under way Friday night.

The Huskies' Quinn Hale (above/photo by Randy Miyazaki, got things going by winning with a collegiate leading throw of 235-7 (71.82m), the eighth best performance all time in Husky history.

Teammate Carson Fuller also threw 225-10 (68.83m) for the Huskies, which would be the third longest in NCAA Division I so far this young season.

In the women's javelin, Ashley Alexander and Brooke Brown went 1-2 for the Dawgs, as they threw 140-0 (42.68m) and 132-9 (40.47m), respectively.

The men's long jump saw the Huskies' Kasen Covington finish second with a leap of 23-10 1/4 (7.27m), as Viktor Fajoyomi of the host Trojans won with a jump of 24-7 (7.49m).  UW teammate Julian Bardwell was seventh at 22-6 1/4 (6.86m).

Washington's only other competitors were Jack Scheideman in the men's hammer, who finished seventh with a toss of 175-10 (53.60m), as Remy Conaster of USC won with a national-leading distance of 238-8 (72.76m).  The Huskies' Bev Coleman was tenth in the women's hammer at 161-4 (49.17m), as the Trojans' Lauren Chambers won with a throw of 198-0 (60.35m).

The USC Trojan Invitational resumes Saturday at Loker Stadium on the campus of USC.

In the "things that make you go hmmm" department (or my answer to the 5-3 high jumper video)...

I don't know if it's the grumpy old man in me, but both Flotrack and RunnerSpace posted on their sites a video of a 5-3 (1.60m) high jumper from Benet Academy in Illinois clearing 6-4 (1.93m) or 6-5 (1.96m) in a recent indoor meet.

While I am not here to slam the kid or diminish his performance, the reality is that the jump is okay, and not mediocre or spectacular.

(By the way, Flotrack has the jump at 6-4, while the YouTube title says he jumped 6-5.  What I'd like to know is the kid's name, the date of the meet, and the results of this competition.  Please feel free to post it in the comments section or on our Facebook page).

Here's the video:

If we're using height over head differentials to compare this jump, this isn't even close.

On May 12, 1984, Rick Noji (above, competing at 1992 US Olympic Trials/photo courtesy Getty Images) from Seattle's Franklin High School jumped 7-4 1/2 (2.25m) at the Seattle Metro League championship meet at Husky Stadium.  Noji, who I worked with in an advisory capacity for most of his career, was 5-8 (1.73m), which made the height-over-head differential at 20 1/2 inches (52 cm) versus 14 inches (36 cm).

The true measure is this little nugget from high jumper Stefan Holm's web site, in which he lists the names of the 48 jumpers who have cleared 50 centimeters (19 3/4 inches) or higher.  If you're still locked in to inches, lets go check out the list of folks who have cleared 51 centimeters (20 inches) or better.

Noji finished his career with a personal best of 7-7 (2.31m), and competed for Team USA three times at the IAAF world track & field championships.  He won the Pac-10 high jump title in 1990, and is the school record holder at the University of Washington at 7-6 1/2 (2.30m).

I've posted this video several times over the years, but thought I'd post it again.  This is Rick jumping at the 1991 IAAF world track & field championships in Tokyo, where he finished eighth with a jump of 7-5 3/4 (2.28m).

After all this, I just gotta say...C'MON, MAN!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cougars and Huskies head to Los Angeles to open outdoor season...

With the indoor season firmly in the rear view mirror, Washington and Washington State opens their outdoor season Saturday in Los Angeles.

The Cougars head to Westwood for a dual meet against the UCLA Bruins in newly renovated Drake Stadium, led by NCAA scorer and MPSF 800 champion Jesse Jorgensen (above/photo courtesy Washington State University).

Nearly all of Washington State's front line athletes will be in action.  On the women's side, Ruby Roberts will double in the 800 and 1500; Shaquana Logan, who has outdoor track eligibility remaining, will go in both the 100 and 400 hurdles; and Charlotte Muschamp is entered in the triple and high jumps.

Sophomore pole vaulter Kristine Felix, the reigning Pac-12 champion, looks to have a strong start to the outdoor season, after finishing second in the MPSF indoor championships in Seattle.

Besides Jorgensen, the men's squad will have Jacob Sealby, the fourth place finisher in the 400 at the MPSF indoor meet in action.  Drew Jordan and Andrew Kimpel, who finished fifth and sixth in the 5000 at the MPSF, will run that event against the Bruins.  PJ Benedictus will double in the long and triple jumps, while multi-event specialist Dino Dodig is entered in the long jump, 110 hurdles, and discus.

Courtesy of Washington State, here is WSU coach Rick Sloan's preview of the meet.

Washington will split their team, with a predominantly sprint and field event group heading across Los Angeles to USC and the USC Invitational, and a group primarily composed of distance runners and a few sprinters and multi-eventers head down Interstate 5 to Eugene for the Oregon Preview meet at Hayward Field.

At USC, javelin throwers Carson Fuller and Quinn Hale make their 2014 season debuts for the Dawgs, along with Ashley Alexander and Brooke Brown on the women's side.  NCAA 400m hurdle semifinal qualifiers Kayla Stueckle and Gianna Woodruff make their season debut over the long hurdles at USC.

NCAA indoor pole vault qualifiers Jax Thoirs and Diamara Planell Cruz will be in action in LA, along with reigning Pac-12 and MPSF triple jump champ Kasen Covington.

In Eugene, distance runners Aaron Nelson, Katie Flood, and Megan Goethals are expected to make their outdoor debuts on Saturday.

Besides the Huskies, Western Washington, Seattle University, Seattle Pacific, and Gonzaga will send athletes to the Oregon Preview meet.

The USC Invitational will be televised by the Pac-12 Network, while the Oregon Preview meet will be streamed online via

Other schools in NCAA Division II in action this weekend include Saint Martin's at the Lewis & Clark Spring Break Open meet in Portland, and Central Washington in Hermiston, Oregon for the Eastern Oregon Team Challenge meet.

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

Oiselle does it again--Kara Goucher joins the flock...

In a blog post by founder and CEO Sally Bergesen on their corporate web site, Seattle based women's running apparel company Oiselle announced that they have signed Kara Goucher (above/photo courtesy Oiselle), the two-time US Olympian and 2007 world championships bronze medalist at 10000 meters.

Goucher's deal with Nike expired at the end of the 2013 season, and with her move to Boulder from Portland to reunite with college coaches Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs, and the fact that she would not be coached by a Nike-funded coach gave her the power to explore other options.

While she listened to other offers from traditional shoe companies, she asked husband Adam to reach out to Bergesen and the Oiselle group, knowing that what they would offer would be less than what the shoe companies would offer.

"I am so grateful to be joining Oiselle," said Goucher in a press release. "The last few months have been an incredible journey for me. I was able to truly ask myself what I believe and search to partner with a company who shares those beliefs. I feel so incredibly lucky to have found a company who is empowering women to be stronger. Oiselle supports women runners from beginners to Olympians, and celebrates the journey we all take together. Meeting Sally was extremely inspiring to me. She made me want to be a better version of myself and align with people who share the same vision. I honestly feel like I have found a home in Oiselle, and look forward to helping other women find their wings."

According to, Nike had a right of first refusal, and had to release Goucher before signing with Oiselle.  Goucher was released by Nike on Wednesday.

In the same post, Goucher is still looking for a shoe deal, along with an eyewear and timing company sponsorship.

Bottom line?  As Goucher said in her blog, "In the end, the choice was really quite easy.  I belong with Oiselle. My heart knew it all along and I am so glad that it was speaking loud enough to finally reach my head. With Oiselle I can’t wait to improve the sport, reach my own performance goals, and help women around the world take flight. I have found my home.

You can read Goucher's account of joining Oiselle here.

NOTE:  Oiselle and contributed to this post.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Eagles and Zags opened outdoor season in Spokane; Eugene 2014 looking for volunteers...

Here's some stuff we missed over the weekend, with our emphasis on the NCAA indoor championships in New Mexico and North Carolina…

Eastern Washington and Gonzaga opened their outdoor season Saturday at the Dusty Lane Open meet hosted by Spokane Community College.

The best marks of the meet came in the men's and women's hammer, as Big Sky weight throw champ Jordan Arakawa of Eastern Washington picked up where he left off indoors by winning with a mark of 209-6 (63.86m). The Eagles took three of the top four places in that event.

The women's hammer went to the Eagles' Olivia Midles (above/photo courtesy Eastern Washington), as she threw 179-5 (54.70m).

Complete results from the meet are available here, along with the recaps from Eastern Washington and Gonzaga (click on school name).

Most of Washington's Division I and II schools will be in action this weekend, as the Huskies and Cougars head to Los Angeles.  Washington will run at the USC Invitational, while WSU has a dual meet against UCLA.  

The majority of Washington schools will head to Eugene for Saturday's Oregon Preview meet at Hayward Field.

Courtesy of, here is some information for those of you interested in volunteering your time for this summer's IAAF world junior track & field championships in Eugene.

According to the release, the goal is to sign up 900 volunteers for this historic event in a variety of capacities: athlete hospitality, event operations, accreditation, bicycle valet, guest services, media services, doping control, transportation support and others.

By visiting, you can create a volunteer profile and browse the various positions available for the IAAF World Junior Championships. All volunteers will receive apparel and hospitality during their work day. Please note that all volunteers must be at least 15 years old and sign up for a minimum of four shifts.

Speaking of Eugene, this release from the Nike Pre Classic folks announced the events that will be featured at the IAAF Diamond League meet on May 30-31 at Hayward Field.

Friday's “Distance Night in Eugene” will showcase the strongest men's 10,000 Meter field anywhere in the world. Complementing the 10k, three IAAF Diamond League events will also be staged on Friday night: the women's Long Jump and Discus Throw, and the men's Shot Put, always a crowd favorite at Hayward Field, which has seen more 70-foot throws than any other venue on the planet. Admission on Friday evening is once again free, thanks to the support of longtime title sponsor, Nike.

Saturday's main menu features 13 IAAF Diamond League events, including the men's 100, 800, 5000, High Hurdles, Pole Vault, Triple Jump and Javelin Throw. The men's 400 and legendary annual Bowerman Mile will be contested as well. The women's IDL events are the 200, 400, 1500, Steeplechase, 400 Hurdles, and High Jump.  An Olympic-level 3k or 2-Mile race will also be run as an additional event.

NOTE:  The sports information departments at Gonzaga and Eastern Washington, along with and the Nike Prefontaine Classic contributed to this report.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Berry takes fourth in 400 at NCAA as Oregon wins national indoor crown...

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico--Michael Berry of Oregon, a graduate of Seattle's Rainier Beach HS (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport) finished third in his section of the men's 400 and fourth overall in the 3-section final, running 45.64 at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Berry, positioned in lane 4, was third coming off the break, as eventual winner Deon Lendore of Texas A&M (45.21) and third place finisher Arman Hall (45.52) got to the pole first, and maintained their positions for the duration of the race.

Berry also ran a 46.02 anchor leg on Oregon's 4 x 400 meter relay team that finished seventh in 3:06.51. Tacoma freshman Marcus Chambers ran an opening leg of 46.79 for the Ducks, as their points clinched the national title for the Men of Oregon.

Jesse Jorgensen of Washington State finished eighth in the men's 800 meters to earn All-America honors.  The junior from Puyallup ran 1:50.33, as Brandon McBride of Mississippi State took the victory in 1:48.17.

Jax Thoirs of Washington finished in a tie for eighth in the pole vault, clearing 17-8 1/2 (5.40m), as he also earned All-America honors.

Fricker of SPU and Fettig of Central Washington earn NCAA D2 All-America honors...

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina--Seattle Pacific's McKayla Fricker (above/photo courtesy USTFCCCA) made a big move in the final two laps on Saturday afternoon, reeling in everyone except top seed and favorite Shawnee Carnett of Concord University to finish second in the 800 meters at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships.

The Seattle Pacific senior came across the finish line at JDL Fast Track in 2 minutes, 9.25 seconds. Carnett, also a senior, clocked 2:08.76.

The finish for Fricker was her best ever. She was fifth as a sophomore in 2012 in Mankato, Minn., and fourth last year in Birmingham, Ala.

Fricker and Carnett both were running near the back of the pack through the first half of the four-lap race on the 200-meter flat surface, while Monique Thompson of Lincoln (Mo.) set the pace.

Fricker and Carnett started making a move midway through the third lap, and by the start of the bell lap, Carnett had surged in front, with Fricker running third. Carnett opened up a gap, but Fricker, having taken over second place, kept closing. Carnett had just enough left at the finish line to fend off Fricker's closing kick.

Fricker earned All-America status for the third year in a row, and now has earned five career All-America awards.

Another athlete earning All-America honors was Central Washington's Tayler Fettig, who finished sixth in the women's high jump.

Fettig cleared 1.73 meters (5-feet, 8-inches) on the day, just a shade off of her personal best of 1.77 meters (5-feet, 9 ¾-inches) she cleared at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Championships last month.

"She jumped really well," CWU jumps coach Tony Monroe said. "We thought she could be anywhere between third on down. We're really excited to have an All-American on our team this year."

Fettig got on a roll early, making the first three heights on her first try.

"We wanted to get no worse than sixth," Monroe said. "She threw the hammer down this season, and making All-American, you can see there is a whole new confidence in her for the outdoor season.

Western Washington's Frank Catelli finished 17th in the shot put, with a toss of 52-4 1/2 (15.96m).

St. Augustine's won the men's team title with 84.5 points, while Adams State won the women's crown with 67 points.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Seattle Pacific, Central Washington, and Western Washington University contributed to this report.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Huskies' distance medley relay squad earns All-America honors with eighth place finish...

Meron Simon, Quadelle Satterwhite, Derrick Daigre &
Blake Nelson (l to r) earn NCAA All-America
honors (photo courtesy Univ of Washington)
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico--The University of Washington distance medley relay squad of Blake Nelson, Quadelle Satterwhite above/photo courtesy University of Washington), Derrick Daigre, and Meron Simon finished eighth in the finals, running a time of 9:44.75 to earn All-America honors in day 1 of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

The Huskies' Nelson found himself in about seventh or eighth in the 1200 leg, running 2:59.06  before handing the baton off to Satterwhite, who got the Dawgs back in the thick of things with is 47.89 400 leg, getting Washington into fifth.

Daigre ran a strong 800 meter leg of 1:50.19, moving the Huskies up a spot before handing the baton off to Meron Simon, who ran an anchor leg of 4:07.62 for 1600.

Stanford took the victory in a time of 9:37.63, with Oregon second in 9:40.47, and Indiana third in 9:41.23.

In the women's pole vault, the Huskies' Diamara Planell Cruz missed a top eight finish, as she cleared 13-11 1/4 (4.25m) to finish ninth.

Texas' Kaitlin Petrillose set a collegiate and meet record, clearing 15-1 (4.60m).

Washington State's Jesse Jorgensen qualified for the finals of the men's 800 meters by finishing fifth in the first of two semifinal heats, running 1:50.79.

The Puyallup HS product was in the middle of the pack through the first two laps, and stayed there through the course of the race, going through 400 in 53.93.

Iowa State's Edward Kemboi won the heat in 1:48.37, which was the fastest of the two heats.  In contrast, Ryan Schnulle of Florida won heat 2 in 1:51.36, as only the top three finishers in each of the two heats advanced to the finals, plus the two fastest on times, which came out of the first heat.

“I’m really proud of Jesse tonight,” Cougars distance coach Dr. Tim Riley said. “He slipped out of the gates and looked a little tight in the middle but got the job done and advanced. Tomorrow is anyone’s race and it will probably come down to who races smart and wants it the most.”

Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry of the University of Oregon finished second in his heat of the 400, running 46.10, the seventh fastest time of the day, and good enough to advance to Saturday's final, which will be contested in two sections.

In the men's mile, Washington's Izaic Yorks did not advance to the finals, as he finished seventh in his heat, running 4:13.17.


At the NCAA Division II championships in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, McKayla Fricker of Seattle Pacific advanced to the finals in the women's 800, winning her semifinal race in 2:10.00.

Her Falcon teammate Lynelle Decker was fifth in her heat in 2:11.86, and did not advance to the finals.

Western Washington's Tanya Bjornsson finished ninth in the finals of the long jump with a mark of 18-7 (5.66m).  

Pole vaulter Cheyenna Pinley finished 15th overall with a best of 11-7 3/4 (3.55m).

Chip Jackson of WWU and teammate Alex Donigian did not make the finals in the mile and 60 dash.

Jackson ran 4:16.56 to finish sixth in his heat of the mile, while Donigian finished sixth in his heat of the 60 meter dash in 6.86.

Saturday, Western will send out shot putter Frank Catelli, while Central Washington's Tayler Fettig goes in the finals of the women's high jump.

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

Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's NCAA indoor championship time for UW, WSU, WWU, Central & SPU...

It's the end of the collegiate indoor track & field season as Washington, Washington State, Western Washington, Central Washington, and Seattle Pacific travels to the NCAA indoor track & field championships, which gets underway on Friday.

The Huskies and Cougars are off to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Division I championship meet at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Washington State will be represented by Jesse Jorgensen (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport), the upset winner of the MPSF 800 meters in Seattle two weeks ago.

Jorgensen will run in the first of two semi-final heats Friday night at 7:45 pm (6:45 pm pacific time), with the top 3 out of each heat plus the 2 fastest advancing to Saturday's final.

Washington has four entries in the meet, with eight athletes in the travel party, none of which have yet scored at an NCAA Championship event, so this meet could be a huge step in many of their careers. Only sophomore Quadelle Satterwhite, who will run the 400m leg on the distance medley relay, has been to an NCAA final site, earning All-America honorable mention last year on the 4x100m relay team outdoors. It is the first NCAA Indoor appearance for each of the Dawgs in attendance.

The Huskies will be represented by pole vaulters Diamara Planell Cruz and Jax Thoirs, and by Izaic Yorks in the mile run, as well as the men’s distance medley relay.

With Yorks competing in the prelims of the mile Friday at 6 pm local time (5 pm in Seattle), Husky coach Greg Metcalf will take him out of the distance medley relay, where he ran a 3:59 1600m anchor leg to lead the Dawgs to the MPSF title.  Metcalf will decide between either Blake Nelson or Nick Harris to run the anchor at 9:15pm (8:15 pm in Seattle) Friday night.

Should Yorks survive Friday's prelims, the finals of the mile will be contested Saturday at 5 pm, pacific time.

The first three legs of Washington's DMR remain the same, with Meron Simon opening, Satterwhite on the 400 leg, and Derrick Daigre on the 800 leg.

Friday night, Diamara Planell Cruz will jump in the finals of the women's pole vault.  Planell Cruz sat out the MPSF meet while recovering from a wrist injury, and hasn't jumped in a month.

Saturday, pole vaulter Jax Thoirs, who has been bothered by an Achilles tendon issue since the MPSF meet, will give it a go in the finals.

Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry of the University of Oregon looks to improve upon his second place finish in last year's 400 meter dash.  Berry is also on Oregon's 4 x 400 meter relay team

The NCAA Division I championships will be streamed live on ESPN3.

Meanwhile, athletes from Western Washington, Central Washington, and Seattle Pacific head out to Winston-Salem, North Carolina for the NCAA Division II championships that begin Friday at the JDL Fast Track.

Western Washington will be led by sprinter Alex Donigian, the outstanding performer at the GNAC championships.

Also competing for the Vikings are long jumper Tanya Bjornsson, shot putter Frank Catelli, miler Chip Jackson, and pole vaulter Cheyenna Pinley.

Seattle Pacific sends 800 meter runners McKayla Fricker and Lynelle Decker, while Central Washington will be represented by high jumper Tayler Fettig.

The link to live results from the NCAA Division II championships is available here.

The releases for Seattle Pacific, Western Washington, and Central Washington is available by clicking the school name.

The NCAA Division II championships will be streamed live via

NOTE:  The sports information departments at the University of Washington, Washington State University, Central Washington University, Seattle Pacific University, and Western Washington University contributed to this report.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

WEEKEND RECAP: Falcons, Vikings, Saints & Wildcats open 2014 outdoor season at OSU/PLU Invites...

Several of the state's Division II schools opened up the 2014 outdoor season Saturday, and here's a roundup:

In Corvallis, Seattle Pacific's Kishia Mitchell (above/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific University) set a personal best in winning the 400 meter dash at the Oregon State Invitational, running 57.09 to set an automatic qualifying mark for the GNAC championship meet in May.

Mitchell also ran the second leg of the Falcons' winning 4 x 100 meter relay team that stopped the clock in 47.43, along with BryAnne Wochnick, Kyra Brannan and anchor Tasia Baldwin.

In Tacoma, Western Washington, Central Washington, and Saint Martin's stayed close to home as they competed at the Pacific Lutheran University invitational Saturday.

The Vikings' Katie Reichert won the javelin with a mark of 139-2 (42.43m) to get an NCAA D2 provisional qualifying mark.

Central Washington's Connie Morgan (38:31.48) and Megan Rogers (38:42.79) went 1-2 in the women's 10000, while Dani Eggleston won the 5000 in 18:02.63.

In the men's 10000, Saint Martin's went 1-3-4, led by Joe Berger's win in 31:52.77.

The complete results from the PLU Invitational are available here.

The links to the recaps from Western Washington, Saint Martin's and Central Washington are available by clicking the school name.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Central Washington, Saint Martin's, Seattle Pacific, and Western Washington Universities contributed to this report.

Lagat gets silver in 3000 at world indoors in Sopot...

SOPOT, Poland--Washington State University track & field hall of famer Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport)  finished second in the finals of the men's 3000 meter run Sunday, as his attempt to win a fourth world title just fell short at Ergo Arena.

A relatively slow first kilometer of 2:48.83 saw the group of twelve athletes bunched, with Lagat positioning in the middle of the pack, making sure that he had enough space to cover any moves.

A second kilometer of 2:43.53 did little to shake the order, as New Zealand's Zane Robertson went to the front to try and keep the pace honest.

With all the major players towards the front in the last five laps, eventual winner Caleb Ndiku of Kenya got himself to the front of the pack with Lagat, the defending champion, positioned just to the outside.

When the real racing began, Lagat, just as he was at the world outdoor championships in Moscow last summer, was positioned perfectly, but as they entered the home straight for the last 50 meters, the 39 year old just could not find that final gear needed to overtake Ndiku.

Ndiku stopped the watches in 7:54.94, with Lagat second in 7:55.22, and Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel third in 7:55.39.

Oregon alum Galen Rupp, who was among those contending, finished fourth in 7:55.84.

After the race, he told USA Track & Field, “The game plan was that we envisioned the race to go like that and to run the last 6 laps, maybe 5. So I was prepared to run hard and I didn’t want to get boxed in. That’s why I ran a bit of an unusual race on the outside, because I didn’t want to get boxed in. That’s why I wanted to run on the outside when it was the right time. I wanted to be on the outside and I stuck to that plan. I left it too long but I could have gone even closer to them. It was tough maneuvering through to try to get to the guy in front.”

Here is a video interview with Lagat, courtesy of the IAAF:

NOTE:  USA Track & Field and the IAAF contributed to this report.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lagat easily advances to Sunday's finals in the 3000 with third place effort...

SOPOT, Poland--Washington State University alum Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca) advanced to the finals of the mens 3000 meter run Friday night with a controlled third place finish in the second of two semifinal heats at Ergo Arena.

As is his trademark, Lagat let the field do the work for most of the race, and let heat winner Caleb Ndiku of Kenya take off with two laps to go.

Ndiku crossed the line in 7:42.75, with Ethiopia's Hagos Gebrhiwet, the silver medalist in the 5000 at last year's world championships in Moscow second at 7:42.95, and Lagat third at 7:42.98.

Afterwards, Lagat said, "I liked the pace. The race drains out, there is no boxing around. Hopefully the guys who did the work in the front made it in. Without them, the race would have been slow. I made it because of them. In the final, I am going to rely on my experience, on the belief that I have been here before, that I have been successful. I will take it the way it comes. If it is fast, like tonight, I welcome that. If if is slow, I am going to be ready again. It is a matter of being ready and do the best I can. I won last time and I feel also I am ready, just like I was last time."

He also disclosed that he was just getting over an illness, and was happy with his performance considering the circumstances.

Lagat joins fellow American Galen Rupp, who was third in the first heat in a time of 7:45.23.

The finals of the mens 3000 occurs Sunday at 4:10 pm local time.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field and the IAAF contributed to this report.

Nick Symmonds runs season best, but does not advance to finals at world indoors...

SOPOT, Poland--Nick Symmonds of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts finished fourth in his heat of the men's 800 meters Friday afternoon at the Ergo Arena, and did not advance to Sunday's final.

Symmonds, the silver medalist at the world outdoor championships in Moscow last summer, wasn't a factor in his heat, as he finished in a season best time of 1:47.29, as Andre Olivier won the heat in 1:46.18, with Marcin Lewandowski of the host country second at 1:46.26, and Thijmen Kupers of the Netherlands third at 1:46.55, with all three advancing to Sunday's final.

By his own admission, he stated that he was about a month behind where he would've like to have been going into the world championships.  Nonetheless, he ran the eighth fastest time of the 19 men in the field, with only six (winner of each heat, plus the three fastest on time) advancing.

Courtesy of the IAAF, here is video of the race:

After the race, he told USA Track & Field, “I knew it was going to be fast. Glad to have been here. (This is) the only championship race available for an American this year. So I said even if I’m not quite ready for it, I want to be out there. So here I am. I ran a season’s best by almost a second, so I’m pleased with that. I’m a good month away from where I would need to be to be competitive with these guys. I’m very, very excited to watch the final on Sunday. They’re very fit and there are three guys who have already broken 1:45 indoors, and that would’ve been the American record if I was that fit. It’s going to be a very interesting final."

Later this evening, Washington State alum Bernard Lagat will run in the semis of the men's 3000.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field and the IAAF contributed to this report.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Symmonds and Lagat begin quest for world titles Friday in Sopot...

SOPOT, Poland--Nick Symmonds (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts, along with the ageless wonder Bernard Lagat begin their quest for a world title Friday as the IAAF World Indoor Track & Field championships get underway at the Ergo Arena.

Symmonds, who won a silver medal at the IAAF world outdoor championships last summer, begins his run towards a world title early Friday morning, as his semi-final in the men's 800 meters gets underway at 1:30 pm local time (4:30 am in Seattle).

Symmonds is in the second of three semi-final heats, with only the winner, plus the three fastest non-winning times from the three heats advancing to Sunday's finals.  He has a season best of 1:48.48, which is only the fifth fastest time in his heat.  Among those in his heat include Andre Olivier of South Africa, with a season best of 1:44.99, and Polish favorite Marcin Lewandowski.

Washington State alum and Team USA captain Lagat, the oldest competitor at the world indoor championships, is looking to earn his fourth career world championship at 3000 meters, having won in Budapest in 2004, Doha in 2010, and Istanbul two years ago.

Lagat is running Friday in a field of ten runners in the second of two semi-finals, with the top four advancing to Sunday's finals, along with the four fastest times from the two heats not in the top four.  His race gets underway at 8:25 pm local time (11:25 am in Seattle).

Should both advance to Sunday's finals, Symmonds would run at 5:20 pm local time (9:20 am in Seattle), and Lagat at 4:10 pm local time (8:10 am in Seattle).

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Vikings to send five to NCAA D2 champs; SPU and CWU will also have athletes in meet...

INDIANAPOLIS--The NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee has announced the participants for the 2014 NCAA Division II Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 14-15 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at JDL Fast Track.

Western Washington qualified five athletes for the national championships, led by sprinter Alex Donigian (above on right/photo courtesy Great Northwest Athletic Conference), who was the outstanding performer at the GNAC meet in Idaho two weeks ago.

Also competing for the Vikings are long jumper Tanya Bjornsson, shot putter Frank Catelli, miler Chip Jackson, and pole vaulter Cheyenna Pinley.

Seattle Pacific will send 800 meter runners McKayla Fricker and Lynelle Decker, while Central Washington will be represented by high jumper Tayler Fettig.

Portions of the meet will be streamed live on

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Seattle Pacific and Western Washington University contributed to this report.

Washington's DMR leads Husky entries into NCAA champs; Jorgensen lone Coug...

INDIANAPOLIS--The NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Track & Field Committee announced Tuesday the participants for next weekend' s NCAA Division I indoor track & field championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The University of Washington will have six athletes participating, led by its men's distance medley relay squad of South Puget Sound natives Meron Simon, Quadelle Satterwhite, Derrick Daigre, and Izaic Yorks, which won the MPSF title last week in 9:31.82, the second fastest time in school history, and the fastest ever run by a Husky squad at the Dempsey.

Yorks, the fifth man in Washington school history to break four minutes in the mile, is also entered in the mile, thanks to his 3:59.04 mark set at the Husky Classic in mid-February.

Washington's pole vaulting duo of Jax Thoirs and Diamara Planell Cruz (above/photo courtesy University of Washington) also made the cut for next week's nationals.

Thoirs is tied for sixth nationally with a best of 18-0 ½ (5.50m), which he set in the same Albuquerque Convention Center that will host the finals. Planell Cruz posted her season-best of 13-11.25 (4.25m) back at the first meet of the season in mid-January, and she missed the MPSF Championships with a wrist injury, but will hope the wrist is strong enough to let her compete on meet day. 

Thoirs is the first Husky in the men’s vault field since teammate J.J. Juilfs in 2011, while Planell Cruz is the first female to make it since Kelley Divesta earned All-America honors in 2008.

Washington State's Jesse Jorgensen, the upset winner of the men's 800 at last week's MPSF championship meet, made the cut in the 800.

Other notables in the NCAA title meet with Washington ties include Bellevue HS grad Michael Williams of Princeton in the mile, and Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry in the 400 and the 4 x 400 meter relay.

With no qualifying standards in place, the top 16 individuals and the top 12 relay teams advanced to the national championships.

ESPN3 will stream the meet live on March 14 starting at 7:55 p.m. Eastern and March 15 starting at 7:50 p.m. Eastern. A tape delay of the championship will air Saturday, March 22 starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU.

NOTE:  The NCAA and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

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