DES MOINES, Iowa--As part of the lead up to this weekend's Drake Relays, several members of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts will run in Tuesday night's USA 1 Mile Road Championships, hosted by the Grand Blue Mile through the streets of downtown Des Moines.
The Beasts' Garrett Heath (above/photo courtesy Brooks Sports) will attempt to defend his national road title, against a field that includes 2012 Olympians Leo Manzano and former Bellingham resident Donn Cabral.
In 2013, Heath used a furious kick to edge Jeff See, winning his first national title 4:02.79-4:02.91. Heath is coming off a very strong indoor season, where he finished third at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships over 1,500m and ran an indoor best mile mark of 3:54.59.
University of Washington alum Katie Mackey kicks off her 2014 outdoor racing season coming off of an incredible 2013 season, where she set personal bests from 800m up through 5,000m.
Fellow Beast and former NCAA champ Angela Bizzari is also in the field.
USA indoor 3,000m champion Gabriele Grunewald and 2013 USA 1 Mile Road Championship runner-up Sara Hall rank as the pre-race favorites.
In the latest USTFCCCA Division I computer rankings released Tuesday, the University of Washington women's squad has dropped to #19 from #13 in the last rankings.
The nation's top five women's teams are Texas A&M, Florida, Texas, Oregon and Georgia.
Other Pac-12 teams in the top 25 are USC (7), Arizona (11), UCLA (13), Stanford (15), and Arizona State (20).
On the men's side, Oregon, Florida, Texas A&M, Arkansas, ad Florida State are the nation's top five ranked teams.
Pac-12 teams in the top 25 include USC (12), UCLA (16), Arizona (20), and California (25).
NOTE: USA Track & Field and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.