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 ncaa.com.

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.

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