Saturday, May 31, 2014

Washington adds three more NCAA qualifiers; McNamara shines in international mile at Nike Pre Classic...

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas--On the final day of the NCAA West Preliminary round at John McDonnell Field on the campus of the University of Arkansas, 1500 meter runners Izaic Yorks, Nick Harris and Katie Flood (left/photo by Paul Merca) assured themselves spots in the national championship meet at Hayward Field in Eugene.

In the first heat, Harris finished fourth to get an automatic berth to Eugene, running 3:45.71, as Oregon's Mac Fleet won in 3:44.67.

The second heat saw Pac-12 champ Lawi Lalang of Arizona win in 3:40.35, the fastest time of the day, with Yorks sixth in a season best 3:42.29, as the two time qualifiers both advanced out of heat 2 (top 5 in each heat, plus two fastest times).  

2012 NCAA champ Katie Flood of the Huskies finished second in her heat, running a season best  4:17.76, behind Arkansas' Stephanie Brown, who won in 4:15.94, the fastest time of the day.

Stanford's Darian Brooks, a product of Burien's Kennedy Catholic HS, finished sixth overall with a wind-aided mark of 52-0 3/4 (15.87m).

The University of Oregon, with Washington prep products Marcus Chambers and Michael Berry, won their heat of the men's 4 x 400 relay in a time of 3:04.10.

Washington will head to Eugene with 13 athletes, while Eastern Washington will go with three athletes, and Washington State two.

At the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, the third stop on the IAAF Diamond League circuit, Auburn/Riverside HS alum Jordan McNamara finished second in the international section of the men's mile in 3:52.89, behind Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano, who won in a short lived world leading time of 3:52.41.

In the Bowerman Mile, the meet's final event, Djibouti's Ayanieh Souleiman (above/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport), the bronze medalist in the 800 at last year's world championships in Moscow, and the reigning world indoor champ at 1500,  ran a world leading and meet record time of 3:47.32, taking five other runners under 3:50.  Souleiman's mark was the fastest mile run in the world since 2007.

University of Washington alum Brad Walker tied for fifth in the men's pole vault with a clearance of 18-1 3/4 (5.53m) as world and Olympic champ Renaud Lavilenie won with a jump of 19-0 1/4 (5.80m).

Washington State alum Bernard Lagat was 14th in the men's 5000 in 13:31.23 won by Kenya's Caleb Ndiku in a world leading time of 13:01.71.

Tacoma's Brie Felnagle was 15th in the women's 2-mile in a time of 9:54.61, as Mercy Cherono of Kenya won in 9:13.27.

Seattle's Phoebe Wright handled pace setting chores for winner Hellen Obiri's world leading time of 3:57.05, as five women ducked under four minutes.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Dawgs add four, while Cougs and Eags each add two to NCAA finals roster...

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas--The University of Washington track & field team added four athletes to its NCAA finals roster in two weeks, while Washington State and Eastern Washington qualified two athletes each as day 2 of the NCAA West Preliminary Round concluded at John McDonnell Track on the campus of the University of Arkansas.

400 meter hurdlers Gianna Woodruff (above/photo by Paul Merca) and Kayla Stueckle, running in heat two of three, finished third and fourth in identical times of 57.72, with Woodruff across the line first in 57.713 to 57.717.

With the top three finishers in each heat assured of advancing to the national finals in Eugene, plus the three fastest times from the three heats, Stueckle had to wait for the results of the third heat to learn her fate.

As it turned out, the third heat was the slowest of the three heats, with Iowa's Montayla Holder finishing third in 58.19 to grab the last automatic spot to Eugene, thus making Stueckle the fastest time qualifier.

This was a big turnaround for Stueckle, who set a new personal best Friday, after finishing a disappointing eighth two weeks ago at the Pac-12 meet in Pullman.

University of Oregon senior Michael Berry from Rainier Beach HS in Seattle won his heat in 45.39, which was the third fastest time of the day to easily advance to the national championships on his home track.

The mens' 800 saw Pac-12 champ Derrick Daigre of Washington and MPSF indoor champ Jesse Jorgensen of Washington State advance.  Daigre set a new personal best of 1:48.03 to finish third in heat 3 and grab an auto qualifier, while Jorgensen ran 1:49.05 to take third in heat 2.

In the men's steeplechase, Washington State's Andrew Gonzales set a new personal best, running 8:47.14 to place fourth in heat 2.  In the process, the senior was the fastest time qualifier out of the three heats.

The women's steeple saw Washington's Liberty Miller and Eastern Washington's Catie Arrigoni punch their tickets to Eugene.  Miller ran a personal best 10:07.52 to finish second in heat 3, while Arrigoni, a junior from tiny class B Oroville HS via Everett Community College, finished fifth in the same heat in a school record 10:14.99 to grab the final qualifying spot to the national championships.

On the field, the Eagles' Jordan Arakawa earned the twelfth and final spot in the men's hammer with a throw of 202-4 (61.68m).

The recaps for Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, University of Washington and Washington State are available by clicking on each school's name.

At the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, University of Oregon alum Galen Rupp broke the American record in the men's 10000 to highlight the first night of competition.

Rupp ran 26:44.36 to break his own American record of 26:48.00 set at the 2011 Van Damme Memorial meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

In other events, Croatia's Sandra Perkovic set a meet record in the discus, with a toss of 227-5 (69.32m).  Ivana Spanovic of Serbia won the women's long jump with a co-world leading leap and new national record of 22-7 (6.88m), the same mark as Russia's Darya Klishina.

Reese Hoffa won yet another Pre Classic shot put competition, with a toss of 71-0 (21.64m) to lead an American sweep of the first four places.

In the first of two sections of the women's USATF high performance 800, Seattle's Phoebe Wright finished fifth in 2:03.37.

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

Dawgs qualify pairs in pole vault, javelin & 10000, while Eagles' Murillo surprises again...

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas--For the Huskies, it came in pairs, while Eastern Washington's Emma Murillo (above/photo courtesy Eastern Washington University) continued her fast ascent by earning a trip to Eugene for the NCAA track & field championships at the West Regional Preliminary Round at John McDonnell Track on the University of Arkansas campus.

Murillo, who shocked the field at the Big Sky Conference meet two weeks ago by winning the conference title with a 20-foot PR toss of 158-2 (48.20m), answered the doubters with the second best toss of her career, launching the spear 156-11 (47.82m) in the second round and watched it hold up as the tenth best throw of the day, punching her ticket to Eugene.

In the men's pole vault, Pac-12 champ Jax Thoirs of the University of Washington was one of seven competitors to clear 17-7 (5.36m) to clinch a spot to the national finals.  UW teammate JJ Juilfs tied for 20th with a best of 16-9 1/4 (5.11m).

Fellow Pac-12 pole vault champ Diamara Planell Cruz only needed three jumps to advance to Eugene, clearing a best of 13-7 (4.14m), while Washington State's Kristine Felix and Washington's Kristina Owsinski each cleared 13-3 (4.04m), but were left on the outside looking in, because neither cleared the height on their first attempt.

The Huskies' Liz Quick finished 21st at 12-9 (3.89m), while Washington's Ashley Schnapp and Eastern Washington's Courtney Bray tied for 36th at 12-3 1/4 (3.74m).

In the men's javelin, Washington's Quinn Hale had the fourth best toss of the day, throwing 223-4 (68.09m),  while teammate Carson Fuller used a sixth round throw of 219-3 (66.84m) to finish eighth.  Fuller's throw pushed fellow Husky Curtis Clauson down to a non-qualifying13th, as he was sitting in 12th at the time with a best of 213-4 (65.02m).  

Tahoma HS grad Derek Eager of UCLA finished 14th with a best of 211-7 (64.51m), while Seattle University's lone competitor, WAC champ Dylan Burnett was 18th at 206-8 (62.99m).

Washington State's Kyle Stevens was 30th at 199-5 (60.79m), while Eastern Washington's Joey Payne was 47th at 175-4 (53.45m).

Eight-time All American Megan Goethals, who was sick two weeks ago at the Pac-12s in Pullman, finished seventh in the 10000 in 34:17.29, with fifth-year senior teammate Lindsay Flanagan tenth in 34:18.25, as both comfortably earned their spots to the national championship meet.

In first round qualifying, Washington's Nick Harris ran 3:42.84,  the fastest time of the day in the first round of the men's 1500.

Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry of the University of Oregon had the fourth fastest time in the men's 400, as he ran 45.88.

Washington's Katie Flood (4:21.66) and Eleanor Fulton (4:21.91) ran the third and fifth fastest times of the day in the women's 1500.

In the men's 800, Jesse Jorgensen of Washington State (1:48.86) and Derrick Daigre of the Huskies (1:49.18) had the fourth and fifth fastest times of the day.

The women's 400 hurdles saw Washington's Gianna Woodruff finish with the 10th fastest time of the day at 58.44.

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

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Nike Prefontaine Classic set to roll Friday and Saturday in TrackTown USA...

EUGENE--The world's best track and field athletes make their annual visit to Hayward Field for the annual Nike Prefontaine Classic that gets underway Friday night at Hayward Field with the meet's main portion on Saturday afternoon.

Three IAAF Diamond League events will be contested Frida night--the women's discus, the women's long jump, and the men's shot put, while 14 events are on the docket for Saturday's extravaganza that starts just after noon and ends before 3 pm.

Friday night's action will be streamed on starting at 7:15pm, and Saturday's portion will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports.

All three of Friday night's Diamond League events features at least one reigning world or Olympic champion--Tomasz Majewski in the shot put, Brittney Reese in the long jump, and Sandra Perkovic in the discus.

On the track, Friday's "Distance Night in Eugene" features an international section of the men's 800, and two heats of the USATF high performance women's 800, of which Seattle's Phoebe Wright is entered.  

Friday's session finishes with the men's 10000 featuring Olympic silver medalist and Oregon alum Galen Rupp (above/photo by Paul Merca), who is one of six sub-27 minute runners in the field, with Moscow world championship silver medalist Paul Tanui of Kenya, and compatriot Bedan Karoki, who was fifth in the London Olympics at this distance.

Every event in Saturday's main session is stacked with world and Olympic medalists, making the Nike Prefontaine Classic by far the best track meet to watch in the country.

Washington State alum Bernard Lagat is entered in the men's 5000, where he'll go against Moscow  world championship silver medalist Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia, countryman and Shanghai Diamond League winner Yenew Alamirew, along with defending Pre Classic champ Edwin Soi of Kenya.

American record holder and UW alum Brad Walker is back in the men's pole vault, where he'll face world and Olympic champ Renaud Lavillenie of France, Germany's Raphael Holzdeppe and Malte Mohr, and Greece's Konstantinos Filippidis.

In the women's steeplechase, Jamie Cheever of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts will face reigning world champ Milcah Chemos of Kenya, 2013 world cross country silver medalist Hiwot Ayalew of Ethiopia, and US Olympians Emma Coburn and Bridget Franek.

Tacoma's Brie Felnagle will run in the women's 2 mile against Olympic medalists Maryam Jamal of Bahrain and Sally Kipyego of Kenya, along with fellow Americans Jordan Hasay and Shannon Rowbury.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Survive & Advance: NCAA West Preliminary Rounds begin Thursday in Fayetteville...

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas--Survive and get to Eugene.

That's the mantra that the athletes from all five Washington schools are taking for the three-day competition at John McDonnell Track on the campus of the University of Arkansas known as the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds.

This meet, along with the corresponding East preliminary meet in Jacksonville, Florida hosted by the University of North Florida, mark the start of the NCAA championships.

48 individuals in each event, along with 24 relay teams face off against each other, with the best 12 advancing to the national finals in Eugene in a fortnight.

The top seeds in each of the two regions will naturally try to advance to Eugene with as little effort as possible.  For those spectators trying to follow the meet, this is often one of the most frustrating parts of the regional championship experience, making it at best, difficult to follow.

In the field events, only one round is contested, with throwers and horizontal jumpers each getting three preliminary attempts to cut the field to 16, with the top 16 getting three more attempts to get to the 12.  The vertical jumps will keep going up in height until 12 athletes remain.

The individual races from 100 to 1500 meters consist of a first round and a quarterfinal to get to twelve, while the relays, steeple, 5000 & 10000 will have only one round to decide who goes to Eugene.

Washington will bring 32 athletes to Fayetteville, led by Pac-12 champs Diamara Planell Cruz (above/photo by Paul Merca), Jax Thoirs, Derrick Daigre, and Aaron Nelson. Washington State takes 29 led by Pac-12 champs Charlotte Muschamp and CJ Allen.  

Eastern Washington has 11 athletes qualified, led by Big Sky champs Zack Nielsen, Courtney Bray, Emma Murrillo, and Catie Arrigoni, while Gonzaga has two in 5000 meter runner Willie Milam and steeplechaser Nick Roche.  Seattle University will be represented once again by WAC javelin champ Dylan Burnett.

Top 10 seeded men with Washington ties competing in Fayetteville include Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry of Oregon in the 400; the Huskies'  Derrick Daigre in the 800; Washington's Aaron Nelson in the steeple; Jax Thoirs of UW in the pole vault;  Jordan Arakawa of Eastern Washington in the hammer; and Washington's Quinn Hale and Carson Fuller in the javelin.

On the women's side, Megan Goethals and Lindsay Flanagan of Washington (10000), Gianna Woodruff of UW (400H), Charlotte Muschamp of WSU (HJ), and Diamara Planell Cruz of the Huskies (PV) are seeded in the top ten going into the start of the meet.

Here are the preview releases for the five Washington schools competing (click on the name of the school):

Coaching search ends as Washington State names Idaho coach Wayne Phipps to lead Cougar program...

While all five of Washington's Division I schools were making their way to Fayetteville, Arkansas for the start of the NCAA West Preliminary Round on Thursday, the biggest news came out of Pullman where Washington State University announced the hiring of University of Idaho director of track & field/cross country Wayne Phipps (above/photo courtesy Washington State University) as its director of track and field/cross country on Tuesday.

Phipps will be the fifteenth coach to take the reins of the Cougar men's program and the second to coach the combined men's and women's squads.  Phipps replaces Rick Sloan, who announced his retirement following the conclusion of the current season back in August.

The hiring of Phipps takes effect on July 1st.

“I am most happy to welcome Wayne to the Cougar family,” said WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos. “I have watched his good work from afar and have been impressed with not only his success in regards to competition but also how he has managed his program. I believe he is a great ft and I am excited for the future of our Cougar Track and Field programs.”

“I want to thank Bill Moos and Anne McCoy for giving me this amazing opportunity,” Phipps said. “I also want to thank Mike Keller who gave me my start at Idaho as well as Rob Spear and my staffs at Idaho for all of their support. It is an absolute honor and privilege to be the next director of track and feld and cross country at Washington State University. The Cougars have a legendary past in track and field; and the teams and athletes that coaches such as John Chaplin and Rick Sloan have produced will go down in track and field history. I could not be more excited about the opportunity to keep this tradition alive, to make Cougar nation proud, and to represent Washington State University at the highest level possible.”

The 45-year old has been the University of Idaho’s Director of Track & Field/Cross Country for the past four seasons and has been with the Vandals program for the past 19 years. He served as co-head coach from 2000-09, after serving as an assistant coach from 1995-99. In his time at Idaho, he has been honored 14 times as a conference coach of the year and has led the Vandals to a record 16 total conference titles.

The native of Prince George, British Columbia ran collegiately at the University of Montana and the University of British Columbia, where he earned his degree in exercise science in 1991.  He earned his masters of science in 1994 from the University of Oregon with a sports medicine major and minors in biomechanics and exercise physiology.

Phipps currently coaches two-time Canadian Olympian and surprise 2013 world championships 100 hurdles finalist Angela Whyte, who is currently an assistant coach on the Idaho staff. Among the notable athletes Phipps has coached include Tawanda Chiwira of Zimbabwe, and Sherwin James of Dominica.   Both competed for their countries at the Olympics.

Since 2000, the Vandals have produced five Olympians, two IAAF world track & field championship finalists, and a world cross country championship participant.  The Vandals have been the dominant program in the Western Athletic Conference, as they just won both the men's and women's outdoor title this season, two straight women's cross country crowns in 2012-13, and two men's indoor titles in the last three seasons.

The questions that many people close to the WSU program have asked is why the process of naming a head coach/director took so long, when Sloan announced his intent to retire back in August, and also whether or not Phipps can fire up the alumni base of a program that, with the exception of several individuals over recent years, is nowhere near what it once was.

According to several sources close to the program, the intent was to name Sloan's successor in April, but the WSU coaching search was put on the back burner when the school fired men's basketball coach Ken Bone and replaced him with former Oregon coach Ernie Kent.

Those sources then said that Arizona associate head coach James Li, who was the WSU distance coach when Bernard Lagat attended the school, was offered the job, but turned it down because of financial concerns for himself and his staff.

As John Blanchette wrote in the Spokane Spokesman-Review on May 19th, the search then focused on Phipps and former WSU decathlete Rodney Zuyderwyk, currently the associate head coach at New Mexico,  best known for coaching Kara Patterson at Purdue to her first Olympic team in 2008.

It's expected that several of WSU's current assistant coaches will not be back for the 2014-15 season.  It also remains to be seen which of Phipps' current staff will join him in Pullman.

The new WSU staff will have the challenge of signing prep athletes to national letters of intent, as the Cougs only have three announced signees--sprinter Jonnie Green from Ephrata, sprinter Zach Smith from Bremerton, and distance runner Sam Levora from Sandpoint, Idaho.  It's presumed that any athletes who were recruited by the current Cougar staff are taking a wait-and-see approach until the new staff is in place.

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

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mackey helps Team USA to silver in 4x1500 relay at IAAF World Relays...

NASSAU, Bahamas--Despite a collision as she began the second leg of the 4 x 1500 meter relay, University of Washington alum Katie Mackey (left/photo by Paul Merca) helped Team USA to a second place finish at the IAAF World Relays meet at Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.

With Kenya's lead runner Mercy Cherono pulling away from the four-country field, USA lead-off runner Heather Kampf, who was in third at the exchange, handed the baton off to Mackey.  Mackey, who runs for the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts, took about two steps before she ran right into the back of Australia's lead-off runner and Oregon alum Zoe Buckman who was slowing down after finishing her leg.

Fortunately, neither runner was injured in the crash, and Mackey got up to run a leg of approximately 4:20.

Third leg Kate Grace, who is sponsored by Seattle-based Oiselle, caught Australia on her leg, before handing the baton to Brenda Martinez on the anchor.

Kenya won in a world record time of 16:33.58, with the USA second in 16:55.33, and Australia third in 17:08.65.

“I just did what we did in practice,” Mackey said afterward. “Looked back at Heather, and moved up a little bit to the inside, and next thing I know — the Australian is right in front of me, so I kind of tripped and went down."

Courtesy of, here is a video interview with Mackey and the USA 4 x 1500 team:

In Tuscon, Vancouver native Kara Patterson won the javelin on day two of the Tuscon Elite throwers and jumpers meet at Roy P. Drachman Stadium on the campus of the University of Arizona.

Patterson threw 196-9 (59.97m) in round 1 to defeat Leigh Petranoff, the winner of Thursday's competition.  Petranoff finished with a best of 182-6 (55.62m).

Club Northwest's Monika Gruszecki was sixth with a best of 164-6 (50.15m).

In the women's hammer, Spokane native Britney Henry, who competes for Oiselle, finished fourth with a best of 228-8 (69.70m).  

Canada's Sultana Frizell, who set a national record of 248-5 (75.73m) in Thursday's competition, won again with a toss of 243-11 (74.35m).

NOTE:  The IAAF, USA Track & Field,, and the University of Arizona contributed to this report.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Western's Bethany Drake and Katie Reichert go 1-2 in javelin at NCAA D2 championships; SPU's Fricker wins 800...

ALLENDALE, Michigan - The Western Washington duo of Bethany Drake (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University) and Katie Reichert, who were seeded 1-3 going into the national championships, finished  1-2 in the women's javelin Saturday as the NCAA Division II track & field championships concluded at Grand Valley Track & Field Stadium.

After a slow start by Drake, in which she found herself in fourth at the end of the second round with Mary Riley of Central Missouri in the lead with a first round throw of 161-10 (49.33m),  Drake got going with a third round throw of 161-2 (49.13m) to climb back to second after the three preliminary throws.

In round four, Drake, the sophomore from Sandy, Oregon, unleashed a toss past the 50-meter mark, as the javelin sailed 165-3 (50.36m), with that throw holding up as the winner.

Meanwhile, teammate Reichert, the junior from Longview, Washington who attended Kelso HS, was struggling after the first three stanzas, with a best of 142-9 (43.52m) that was only good for eighth after the preliminary throws.

In round four, she had a marginal improvement of 144-6 (44.04m), but found herself in ninth after the round, one spot out of a scoring position.

In the final round, Reichert exploded with a personal best of 165-2 (50.34m), eclipsing her previous PR of 162-8 (49.59m) set last month at the Beach Invitational, only one inch (2 cm) short of teammate Drake's winning mark.

Saint Martin's Kalli Walker finished 14th with a best of 136-2 (41.51m).

"I came into this meet just trying to stay relaxed," said Drake. "I couldn't imagine having anyone better beside me (Reichert) and we stayed right there with each other. It was exciting."

"It was a joke (between us). We wanted to tie," said Reichert. "I think that was about as close as we could get," added Drake.

Drake becomes Western's fourth national champion in the javelin and 15th overall.  Monika Gruszecki was the last Viking to win the national title in the javelin in 2011.

Courtesy of Western Washington University and Seattle Pacific track SID Mark Mochetti, who conducted the interview for WWU, here's a video interview with Drake and Reichert.

Meanwhile, Seattle Pacific senior McKayla Fricker (above/photo courtesy USTFCCCA) closed out her career in grand fashion as the native of Canby, Oregon, won the women's 800 title by pulling into the lead in the backstretch in the second lap, and win going away in a personal best of 2:06.18.

"It's unreal. I just can't believe it just happened," Fricker said after tasting a national title for the first time. "It's what I've been determined to do ever since I set foot at SPU – just to persevere and stay determined after everything I've been through in the last four years."

Division II indoor champ Shawnee Carnett of Concord (W.V.) took the lead on the first lap, taking the field through in about 62 seconds, before Fricker took command, surging to the front and keeping the lead.

"I saw the shadow of Shawnee behind me, and did not let her get close to me. I just kept going," Fricker said. "I don't know where she's at coming down that last stretch. I kind of checked a little bit and kind of just kept running for it, running scared all the way through the finish."

Courtesy of Seattle Pacific, here's a video interview with the winner:

In the men's javelin, Western Washington junior Slater Hirst and sophomore John Haskin finished fourth and eighth, respectively, to earn All-America honors.

Hirst threw 216-7 (66.02m) in the third round to break his own school record while Haskin threw 204-11 (62.47m) in round 5, which was three inches short of his personal best.

In other events, Western Washington sophomore Frank Catelli finished third in the men's shot put with a toss of 60-10 1/2 (18.55m).  Teammate Alex Donigian finished fifth in the men's 100 in a time of 10.61.

The women's high jump saw Central Washington's Tayler Fettig finish sixth with a leap of 5-7 (1.70m).

In the final team scoring, Western's women finished 11th with 23 points, with Seattle Pacific tied for 23rd with 10.  The Viking men's squad finished 15th with 16 points.  Lincoln of Missouri and St. Augustine's were the NCAA Division II women's and men's team champions.

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

Friday, May 23, 2014

Vikings' Steen finishes fourth in NCAA D2 women's steeple finals...

ALLENDALE, Michigan - Western Washington University junior Katelyn Steen (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University) finished fourth in the finals of the women's 3000 steeplechase as day 2 of the NCAA Division II track & field championships concluded at Grand Valley Track & Field Stadium.

Steen, a junior from Sammamish,  was clocked in 10:20.66, bettering her own school record by nearly 14 seconds. She was third among the field of 12 runners for most of the race before being passed in the final lap by Hannah Osborn from host Grand Valley State, who finished third in 10:17.86.

"It was really tough, there were some very fast girls in this race," said Steen. "I was really thankful to be with them and having them pulling me along ... I could not have run a second faster."

Defending champion Alicia Nelson from Adams State CO shattered her meet record in the event with a winning time of 9:54.02, over 19 seconds better than runner-up Kyle Blakeslee from Augustana SD, who was clocked in 10:13.93.

In the other final, WWU's Frank Catelli was 13th in the men's discus with a toss of 168-3 (51.29m), getting his only fair throw in the third round.

Seattle Pacific senior McKayla Fricker ran the fastest time of the day in the semis of the women's 800, winning her heat in 2:07.52.

"Prelims are so interesting. You get pretty nervous, and you have the pressure built on going into prelims," Fricker said. "Once it's over, it's a huge relief. It's like, 'OK, I know how to race, I can do this – no big deal.'"

Courtesy of SPU, here's a video interview with Fricker.

In the same heat, teammate Lynelle Decker finished sixth in a time of 2:10.82, her second fastest time this season, but did not advance to Saturday's final.

In the women's 4 x 400 relay, the Falcons' team of Kishia Mitchell, Jasmine Johnson, Tasia Baldwin, and Fricker did not advance to the finals, running 3:46.30 to finish sixth in their heat.

Saturday, Fricker will run in the finals of the 800, along with Western Washington's Alex Donigian in the finals of the men's 100.

On the field, Frank Catelli of Western Washington comes back to throw in the men's shot put finals, while teammates John Haskin and Slater Hirst are in the finals of the men's javelin.

The Western Washington duo of Bethany Drake and Katie Reichert are in the finals of the women's javelin, as is Saint Martin's Kalli Walker.  Central Washington's Tayler Fettig competes in the women's high jump.

The meet will be webcast live on

Mark Wieczorek of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts is in the pool of Team USA's 4 x 800 meter relay team, while teammate and Washington alum Katie Mackey is in the 4 x 1500 pool for Team USA.

Brooks Beasts coach Danny Mackey said Heath was assured a spot in the lineup weeks ago, and had adjusted his competition schedule and training accordingly.

Team USA distance coach Frank Gagliano changed his mind after Patrick Casey of the Oregon TC Elite ran 3:35.95 at the USATF High Performance meet at Occidental College last week.

The meet will be shown on Universal Sports Saturday and Sunday.

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

Thursday, May 22, 2014

WWU's Katelyn Steen posts top steeple time in semis at NCAA Division II champs...

ALLENDALE, Michigan - Western Washington University junior Katelyn Steen (above in center/photo courtesy Western Washington University) was the top qualifier in the women's 3000-meter steeplechase prelims and the Vikings' Alex Donigian broke his own school record to qualify in the men's 100 in first-day action Thursday at the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships at Grand Valley State University Stadium.

Steen's winning time in her steeplechase heat was 10:39.10. She pulled away with just over two laps remaining and ran away from the field.

Steen entered the competition ranked fifth nationally in the steeplechase with a school record and Great Northwest Athletic Conference meet winning time of 10:34.40.

In the same heat, Central Washington's Dani Eggleston finished eighth in 11:11.88 and did not advance to the 12-woman final.

Courtesy of Western Washington via Seattle Pacific track SID Mark Moschetti, here's a video interview with Steen:

Donigian had a 10.46 clocking in the 100 as he placed second in his heat to advance to Saturday's finals.

"To have that time and not have ideal form is the best thing that I could have hoped for," said Donigian. "There is definitely room for improvement. I stumbled out of the blocks the first two steps."

In the women's 1500 meter semis, Central Washington senior Connie Morgan was ninth in her heat in 4:43.72 and did not advance to the finals.

In the finals of the women's hammer, three-time GNAC champ Lindsay Wells placed 12th with a mark of 169-5 (51.64m).

Friday sees the entire Seattle Pacific team in action as third-seeded McKayla Fricker and Lynelle Decker go in the semis of the women's 800.  Their 4 x 400 meter relay squad comprising of Tasia Baldwin, Kishia Mitchell, Jasmine Johnson and Fricker will also look to advance to the finals on Saturday.

Additionally, Steen will run in the finals of the steeplechase, and her teammate Frank Catelli goes in the finals of the men's discus.

In Tuscon, Britney Henry finished fourth in the hammer at day 1 of the 2-day Tuscon Elite throwers meet at Drachman Stadium on the campus of the University of Arizona.

The former Spokane prep standout, who competes for Seattle-based Oiselle threw 227-5 (69.33m), as Sultana Frizell of Canada won at 248-5 (75.73m).

In the women's javelin, former Western Washington thrower Monika Gruszecki finished fifth with a best of 161-10 (49.34m).

The Tuscon Elite meet resumes Saturday. Day 1 results are available here.

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NCAA Division II meet begins Thursday in Michigan with all four Washington schools represented...

ALLENDALE, Michigan--All four of Washington's Division II schools are in action for the final time during the regular season beginning Thursday in Allendale, Michigan as Grand Valley State University hosts the NCAA Division II track & field championships beginning on Thursday.

On Thursday, Central Washington's Dani Eggleston and Western Washington's Katelyn Steen will run in the semis of the women's steeplechase, and look to advance to Friday's finals.  The Vikings' Alex Donigian will compete in the semis of the men's 100 for a shot at moving to Saturday's finals, while his teammate Lindsay Wells will throw in the finals of the women's hammer.

Finally, Connie Morgan of the Wildcats will run in the semis of the women's 1500 for an opportunity to advance to Saturday's finals.

Friday sees the entire Seattle Pacific team in action as McKayla Fricker and Lynelle Decker go in the semis of the women's 800.  Their 4 x 400 meter relay squad comprising of Tasia Baldwin, Kishia Mitchell, Jasmine Johnson and Fricker will also look to advance to the finals on Saturday.

Western's Frank Catelli will compete in the finals of the men's discus.

On Saturday, Catelli comes back to throw in the men's shot put finals, while teammates John Haskin and Slater Hirst are in the finals of the men's javelin.

Two of the top three women in Division II are in action on the final day, as the Western Washington duo of Bethany Drake (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University) and Katie Reichert are in the finals of the women's javelin, as is Saint Martin's Kalli Walker.

The meet will be webcast live on  The link to live results is located here, and the time schedule is available here.

In Beijing, Rainier Beach HS grad Ginnie Crawford began her comeback from an injury that took her out of the 2013 outdoor season by finishing eighth at the IAAF World Challenge meet Wednesday at the Bird's Nest Stadium, which will host next year's world track & field championships.

Crawford ran a modest 13.66 to finish eighth as reigning world champion Brianna Rollins of the USA won in 12.58.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dawgs' Derrick Daigre & Diamara Planell Cruz; Cougs' CJ Allen win Pac-12 titles...

PULLMAN--University of Washington junior 800 meter runner Derrick Daigre (left/photo by Paul Merca) led from wire to wire to win his first conference title at the Pac-12 track and field championships at Mooberry Track on the campus of Washington State University.

After a 56.50 first 400 in which he led, he upped the pace with a 53.37 second lap, crossing the line in 1:49.86, holding off the charge of UCLA's Nick Hartle, who finished in 1:50.40.

Washington State's Jesse Jorgensen was fourth in 1:51.01, with the Husky duo of Izaic Yorks and Brad Whitley went 6-7 in 1:51.56, and 1:51.95.

Daigre admitted he was practically running for his life up front. It was crazy. “I got out a little harder than I expected to and I just got stuck in the front,” he said. “I just had to run that race scared and get to the line as quick as I could. There wasn’t really any thought into it. Do anything to get to that line – that was the only strategy I had.”

“It’s a blessing,” Daigre said. “I honestly can’t believe it. I crossed the line first and I was just in disbelief that I was there. I’ve beat up my hamstring a lot over the years and had a lot of setbacks. To come out here and win a race after everything – it’s everything I’ve ever wanted. It feels awesome. I’m happy to be here.”

In the men's 400 hurdles, Washington State freshman CJ Allen ran a strong race to win in a time of 51.14, holding off Oregon frosh Devon Allen, who ran 51.19.  WSU's Daniel Zmuda was eighth in 55.04.

The race featured five freshmen and three sophomores in the finals, which will make this event even more competitive in the years to come.

“Champion. That sounds perfect, that’s exactly what I have been working so hard for all year,” Allen said. “When you get to big meets its (fast race) going to happen. PRs are going to happen, just the competitive edge for this group of guys, I mean, coming in we are pretty much all freshmen, I think two sophomores in the bunch. To know those guys are going to be there for the next three years is just awesome.”

Rainier Beach HS alum and Oregon senior Michael Berry decisively won the men's 400 in a time of 45.05 in what was supposed to be a showdown between himself and Australian Olympian Steven Solomon of Stanford, who was well back in second in 45.75.

Tacoma freshman Marcus Chambers of Oregon was eighth in 47.42.

Washington's Diamara Planell Cruz broke her own Puerto Rican national record to win the women's pole vault in a back-and-forth battle with UCLA's Natasha Kolbo with a jump of 14-0 1/2 (4.28m). Kolbo cleared 13-10 1/2 (4.23m), with Husky freshman Liz Quick third at 13-4 1/2 (4.08m).

Defending champ Kristine Felix of Washington State tied for sixth at 13-0 3/4 (3.98m).

Courtesy of, here is a video interview with Planell Cruz:

On his final jump, Seattle native Darian Brooks of Stanford won the men's triple jump with a leap of 52-6 3/4 (16.02m) to beat Arizona State's Josh Dixon, who jumped 51-1 3/4 (15.59m).

Defending champion Kasen Covington of the University of Washington was fourth at 50-10 (15.49m).  Washington State's PJ Benedictus was sixth at 48-11 1/2 (14.92m), and teammate Tay'lor Eubanks was seventh 48-6 1/4 (14.79m).

Brooks had been limited in competition this season due to a heel injury.  He only triple jumped once this season at the Stanford Invitational.

 “I thought to myself, I spent all this time since September working for this moment,” Brooks said. “It wasn’t about PR’s. It was about showing support for the all the friends and family who have stood by me."

In the final men's team standings, Washington finished fifth with a final team score of 75.25.  The Cougars finished ninth with 66.5 points, as Oregon took the title with 163.25 points.

On the women's side, the Huskies were seventh with 53 points, and the Cougars eighth with 46.5.  Oregon completed the sweep of both team titles by scoring 176 points.

Results from the Pac-12 Championships are available here.

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

A trio of Eagles take home victories at the Big Sky Conference championships...

FLAGSTAFF, Arizona--Eastern Washington athletes earned three victories in the final day of competition at the Big Sky Conference track & field championships at Lumberjack Stadium on the campus of Northern Arizona University.

Senior Zack Nielsen (above/photo courtesy Eastern Washington) won the hammer with a toss of 203-5 (62.01m) over teammate and conference leader Jordan Arakawa's 202-11 (61.84m).

The Eagles' Sean Ferriter finished fourth at 196-6 (59.50m).

“This means a lot to me because I was a walk-on as a freshman so to come this far and improve is awesome,” said Nielsen. “None of this would have been possible without my teammates because Jordan has been in front of me most of the season and I had something to aim for. Me, Jordan and Jon are all real close so this win is a team effort.”

“Zack moved into the spotlight with his breakthrough win,” said Kerr. “And like the indoor championships, he shared the spotlight with Jordan and Jon. That trio has just been phenomenal this year.” 

Freshman Courtney Bray continued the Eagles' recent tradition of excellence in the pole vault, as she won the title with a clearance of 13-5 3/4 (4.11m).  Teammate Anandae Clark was fifth with a vault of 12-4 (3.76m).

“I honestly cannot believe it because coming in to the championships as a freshman, I knew I was going to face some tough competition,” said Bray. “I knew I was going to give it my all, but more importantly I wanted to have fun because it’s the Big Sky Conference and everyone has worked so hard to get here. I just felt blessed to get here so to win it feels really good.”

In one of the most surprising outcomes of the meet, Emma Murillo stunned the field with her win in the javelin, sending the spear skyward as it landed 158-2 (48.20m) later, a 20-foot personal best.

“It is a huge shock for me to win because I came in the first flight and I was not expecting to win,” said Murillo. “I knew I was going to go out and try my hardest and attack. After the season I have had, it came as a big shock but I tried really hard and it paid off.”  

In team scoring, the Eastern women were fifth with 84 points, finishing behind fourth-place Portland State (89) and comfortably ahead of Northern Colorado (60). The Eagle men had 68 points to tie for sixth with Idaho State. Northern Arizona won the team titles on both the men’s (151) and women’s (135) sides. 

In Orem, Utah, Wenatchee native Hannah Kiser of the University of Idaho added the 5000 title to the 10000 crown won earlier in the meet, as she helped lead the Vandals to the team title at the Western Athletic Conference championships at Hal Wing Track & Field on the campus of Utah Valley University.

Kiser won the 5000 going away in a time of 17:43.30, almost ten seconds ahead of runner-up Ivie Gonsalves of the host school's 17:53.00.

SeattleU's Sophie Curatilo (18:07.41) and Hannah Mittelstaedt (18:12.83) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Seattle U men finished in sixth place with 56 points, while the women ended up in seventh place with 41 points.

In Ponce, Puerto Rico, Washington State alum Jeshua Anderson finished second in the 400 hurdles at the Ponce Grand Prix de Atletismo meeting Saturday night.

Anderson ran 49.22 to finish behind national hero Javier Culson's 48.69.

In the men's 800, Cas Loxsom and Mark Wieczorek of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts finished fifth and seventh, respectively.  Loxsom ran 1:46.79, while Wieczorek finished in 1:47.27.  

American Duane Solomon won in a meet record 1:44.79.

Curtis HS grad Andrea Geubelle finished fourth in her outdoor season debut in the triple jump, as the reigning national champ jumped 44-11 (13.69m).

Reigning world champ Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia won with a best of 48-9 1/2 (14.87m), the best in the world this season.

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

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Jax Thoirs, Aaron Nelson & Charlotte Muschamp win titles to end first day of Pac-12 championships...

PULLMAN--University of Washington pole vaulter Jax Thoirs (left/photo by Paul Merca), teammate Aaron Nelson, and Washington State high jumper Charlotte Muschamp all earned victories in the first full day of competition at the Pacific-12 Conference track & field championships at Mooberry Track on the campus of Washington State University.

Thoirs had a bit of a shaky start, needing three attempts to clear the opening height of 16-8 3/4 (5.10m).  He passed 17-0 3/4 (5.20m), then needed two attempts to make the next height of 17-4 1/2 (5.30m) to assure himself of a top-5 finish.

The Scottish national took command of the competition, clearing 17-8 1/2 (5.40m) on his first attempt, then was the only one to clear 18-0 1/2 (5.50m) to salt away the victory.   He then took a couple of shots at a Scottish national record of 18-6 1/2 (5.65m).

2012 Pac-12 champ JJ Juilfs of Washington was fifth with a clearance of 17-4 1/2 (5.30m), while WSU's Austin Sodoroff was sixth at 16-8 3/4 (5.10m).  Washington's Chris Williams tied for eighth at 16-2 3/4 (4.95m).

Nelson, the Walla Walla native, bided his time and hung near the middle of the pack until the halfway point of the race then worked his way to the front with a kilometer to go, battling Colorado's Blake Theroux for the lead with a lap to go.

A 64.17 final lap was more than Theroux could take, and Nelson cruised to a new personal best of 8:49.09.

Nelson's long time high school and collegiate rival Andrew Gonzales of Washington State took third in 8:57.40, and WSU teammate Forrest Shaffer was sixth in 9:06.92.  Washington's Tim Cummings, who was in the lead pack for most of the race, failed to finish after taking a spill at the water barrier.

In one of the upsets of the meet, Washington State's Charlotte Muschamp defeated pre-meet favorites Chancey Summers of Oregon, Alexis Walker of UCLA, and Lauren Crockett of Oregon, clearing a personal best of 5-11 1/2 (1.82m).

The native of New Zealand was clean over the first three bars she cleared, opening at 5-7 14 (1.71m), 5-9 1/4 (1.76m), and 5-10 1/2 (1.79m).

With Summers and Walker having made 5-10 1/2 on their third attempts, the pressure was on the duo to get an early clearance at 5-11 1/2, which neither achieved.  Meanwhile, Muschamp salted the victory away with a second attempt clearance at 5-11 1/2, before ending the competition with three misses at 6-0 3/4 (1.85m).

In other finals involving athletes with state of Washington ties, the University of Washington's Liberty Miller finished third in the women's steeplechase in 10:18.56.  Teammate Lindsay Flanagan finished fourth in the 10000 despite losing a shoe in a time of 34:47.32.  In the women's javelin, Husky freshman Ashley Alexander was eighth with a toss of 148-6 (45.28m).

The men's javelin saw Washington's Quinn Hale finish second at 231-6 (70.56m), with Washington State's Kyle Stevens third at 224-9 (68.50m), the Huskies' Carson Fuller fourth at  221-10 (67.63m), and his teammate Curtis Clauson seventh at 214-2 (65.29m).

In the long jump, the University of Oregon's Alec Fellows, a graduate of Edmonds-Woodway HS was sixth with a best of 24-3 3/4 (7.41m).

After eight events in the men's team scoring, the University of Washington sits in second with 40.25 points, behind Oregon's 70.25.  Washington State is currently in tenth with 18 points.

In the women's team standings after seven events, Oregon leads with 64 points.  Washington State is tied for seventh at 19 points, while Washington is tenth with 12 points.

Anderson, Wieczorek, Loxsom, Scherer and Geubelle entered in Ponce GP in Puerto Rico...

PONCE, Puerto Rico--Several athletes with Washington ties are entered in Saturday night's Ponce Grand Prix at the Estadio Francisco Montaner, which is part of the IAAF World Challenge Meetings.

Washington State University alum and 2011 USA national champ Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Paul Merca) is entered in the 400 hurdles against a field led by national hero Javier Culson, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time world championship silver medalist.

Anderson will also face Cuba's Omar Cisneros, who was fourth in the 400 hurdles at last summer's world championships in Moscow, and Reggie Wyatt, the USC alum who was last year's NCAA champ at this event.

Two runners from the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts are entered in the men's 800, led by Mark Wieczorek and Cas Loxsom.  Pace setter du jour Matt Scherer of the Beasts is on the start list, but is questionable.  They'll face Olympic fourth place finisher Duane Solomon, who has the fastest time in the world this year so far at 1:43.88, set at the Mt. SAC Relays.

In the women's triple jump, University Place resident and 2013 USA national champion Andrea Geubelle is entered, where she'll face long time rival Amanda Smock and reigning world champion Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia, who won last week at the Doha Diamond League meet.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Eagle steeplers go 1-3-5 at Big Sky, while SeattleU javelin thrower Dylan Burnett wins WAC title...

FLAGSTAFF, Arizona--Eastern Washington's distance crew racked up 20 points in the steeplechase to highlight competition at the Big Sky Conference championship meet at Lumberjack Stadium on the campus of Northern Arizona University.

Catie Arrigoni (above/photo courtesy Eastern Washington University) won the steeple in a time of 10:58.30, in a race where the altitude played a big role in the times.  Teammates Katie Mahoney (11:07.24) and Paula Gil-Echevarria (11:11.79) went 3-5 behind Arrigoni.

“The race was really hard,” said Arrigoni. “Within the second lap, I noticed (the altitude) and realized it was going to be difficult. I love steeplechase though and it’s really competitive. It’s a change from the doing the 1,500 or the 5K and to win was really big for me. I didn’t think it was possible but I kept telling myself it was. It’s a big accomplishment and I’m really proud.”

In the men's shot put, Eagle senior Jon Buchanan earned the top spot on the podium with his victory, throwing 57-11 3/4 (17.67m).

“It feels really good; it’s the first (gold medal) I’ve won,” said Buchanan. “The competition started a little slow but it started to pick up when finals started and it took me a while to get into it. It’s mixed feelings because I didn’t throw what I wanted to throw, but I’m still really happy that I won.”

In team scoring through seven events, the EWU women sit third with 38 points behind Northern Arizona (71) and Montana State (39). The Eagle men are currently fifth with 24 points. The Montana State men lead with 50 points and Northern Arizona is second with 45.

The meet concludes Saturday with field events starting at 10 a.m. and track events at noon (PST).

In Orem, Utah, Seattle University senior Dylan Burnett and teammate Malaki Seanoa finished 1-2 in the men's javelin to highlight the Redhawks' day at the Western Athletic Conference championships at Hal Wing Track & Field on the campus of Utah Valley University.

Burnett won with a season best of 221-7 (67.53m), while Seanoa threw 186-7 (56.88m).

“I’m thrilled for Dylan getting another championship win, especially back where he did it the first time,” Seattle U head track and field coach Trisha Steidl said. “Going 1-2 in the men’s javelin was awesome, as Malaki did a good job making that happen today.”

The Seattle U men are currently in fifth place with 24 points, while the women are in seventh place with 15 points. Idaho leads in both the men’s and women’s team standings, with Utah Valley behind by almost 20 points in both cases.

The fourth and final day of the WAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships is scheduled to begin Saturday, May 17, at 9 a.m. local time (8 a.m. Pacific time) with the men’s hammer throw.

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

PAC-12 CONFERENCE PREVIEW: Welcome to the Palouse...

PULLMAN--Despite losing a hubcap somewhere between Seattle and here, the trusty Toyota Corolla has rolled into the Palouse for this weekend's Pac-12 track & field championships at Mooberry Track on the campus of Washington State University.

All signs lead to Oregon winning both the men's and women's team titles, even with an average effort.  Assuming this happens, the Men of Oregon would win their eighth straight conference crown, while the women will make it six in a row.

Washington finished fifth in last year's men's meet in Los Angeles, while the women finished seventh.  Washington State was ninth in the men's competition, while their women were eighth.

The Huskies will have two defending conference champions step to the line in triple jumper Kasen Covington (left/photo by Paul Merca) and 5000 meter runner Megan Goethals.

Washington State's lone defending conference champ is sophomore pole vaulter Kristine Felix.

Returning scorers in individual events for Washington in addition to Covington and Goethals  include Chris Williams (110HH/PV), Aaron Nelson (steeple), JJ Juilifs (PV), Quinn Hale (JT) on the men's side, and Lindsay Flanagan (5000/10000), Kayla Stueckle and Gianna Woodruff (400H), Liberty Miller (steeple), & Kristina Owsinski (PV) for the women.

2012 NCAA 1500 meter champ Katie Flood is back this season, and showed signs that she's coming close to the form that won her the national title, as she anchored the Huskies to two Drake Relays titles.  800 meter runner Baylee Mires, who was fourth last year is being redshirted.

For Washington State, 2013 individual scorers returning besides Felix include Jesse Jorgensen (800), and Tay'lor Eubanks (TJ) on the men's side, and Ruby Roberts (1500), Holly Parent (HJ), Kelsey Bueno (PV), & Celena Ward (JT) for the women.

Javelin thrower Anna Adamko, who was the runner-up last year, is being redshirted.

Notable entries with Washington ties entered include Oregon senior Michael Berry in the 400: Tacoma's Germe Poston of Arizona in the 100/200, plus 4x100;  and Darian Brooks of Stanford in the triple jump.

The meet will be shown on a tape-delay basis on the Pac-12 Network beginning May 25th, with Paul Sunderland, Tom Feuer and Ato Boldon on the call.

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

Mackey finishes fourth in top section of women's 1500 at USATF High Performance Distance Classic...

LOS ANGELES--Fresh off a big personal best at the Payton Jordan Invitational nearly two weeks ago, Washington alum Katie Mackey (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts finished fourth in the top section of the women's 1500 at the USATF High Performance Distance Classic at Jack Kemp Stadium on the campus of Occidental College.

Mackey, who was named to USA Track & Field's pool in the 4 x 1500 relay for next weekend's IAAF World Relays meet in Nassau, Bahamas, dropped her outdoor season best time to 4:07.19 from 4:08.78 that she ran at the Drake Relays at the end of April, as Canadian world championships competitor Kate Van Buskirk took the victory in 4:06.97.

Mackey's training partner Brie Felnagle from Tacoma finished sixth in 4:07.42.

In section 3 of the women's 1500, Seattle Pacific alum Jessica Tebo finished second in 4:14.87, with her Brooks Beasts teammate Angela Bizzarri third in 4:15.15.  Gonzaga alum Lindsey Drake was fourth in 4:17.16, followed by Bellingham native Becca Friday in 4:17.46.  Seattle resident Laura Carlyle of Oiselle was seventh in 4:19.06.

Lauren Johnson of the Nike Oregon TC Elite won that section in 4:14.83.

The top section of the men's 1500 saw Garrett Heath of the Brooks Beasts finish fifth in 3:36.88, as world championships medalist Matthew Centrowitz of the Nike Oregon Project won in 3:35.44.

Auburn/Riverside HS alum Jordan McNamara won section 2 in 3:37.39, while Riley Masters of the Brooks Beasts was ninth in 3:39.71.

In the women's 800, Phoebe Wright was eighth in 2:02.66.

Replays of the meet are available via

In Orem, Utah, Wenatchee native Hannah Kiser of the University of Idaho won the women's 10000 as the Western Athletic Conference championship meet opened at Hal Wing Track & Field complex on the campus of Utah Valley University.

Kiser crossed the line in a time of 36:53.96

Seattle University's Graham Kinzel-Grubbs finished sixth in the men's 10000 in a time of 34:14.88.

The main portion of the Western Athletic Conference championship meet gets underway Friday.

In Flagstaff, Arizona, Eastern Washington University multi-event specialist Jozie Kimes finished sixth in the heptathlon with a personal best score of 4825 points.

Kimes, a sophomore from Cashmere, started the two-day, seven event competition on Wednesday, by running 15.22 in the 100 hurdles, high jumping 5-3 (1.60m), throwing the shot 31-8 (9.65m), and running the 200 in 26.41.  The marks in the latter two events were personal bests for Kimes.

Thursday, Kimes started with a personal best of 17-10 1/4 (5.44m), riding a 6.1 meter per second wind.  She followed with a toss of 110-4 (33.63m) in the javelin, and finished her day by running a personal best of 2:23.41 in the 800.

“It was phenomenal, Jozie came in with the mindset that she was going to PR in almost every event,” said EWU jumps/multi-events coach Erik Rasmussen. “She’s just a testament that if you put in the work then there’s no limit to what you can achieve.” 

Her final score of 4825 is the second best in school history, and was 39 points shy of fifth place CeCe Jackson of Portland State, a freshman from Seattle's Holy Names Academy.

Montana's Lindsey Hall won the Big Sky heptathlon title with a final score of 5401 points.

The link to live results from the Big Sky championship meet is available here.

The main portion of the Big Sky championship meet begins Friday.

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Brooks Beasts Mark Wieczorek, Garrett Heath & Katie Mackey named to USA World Relays squad...

INDIANAPOLIS--Three members of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts are among the 55 athletes selected for the inaugural IAAF World Relays Championships on May 24-25 at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas.

Mark Wieczorek (left/photo courtesy Brooks Sports) will be on the Team USA men's 4 x 800 relay squad, while Garrett Heath will be on the men's 4 x 1500 relay team.

University of Washington alum Katie Mackey will run on the women's 4 x 1500 team.

The first competition of its kind, the IAAF World Relays Championships consist of the 4x100, 4x200, 4x400, 4x800 and 4x1500 relays on both the men’s and women’s sides. Scheduled for primetime, the World Relays provide the only major world championship for the 2014 outdoor season.

Nearly 50 countries will send squads to Nassau for the World Relays, which is expected to qualify some teams for next year's IAAF world track & field championships in Beijing, China, and for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

NCAA announces field for Division II championships in Michigan next week, plus USATF HP meet field...

INDIANAPOLIS--The NCAA announced the field Tuesday for next weekend's (May 22-24) Division II national championships in Allendale, Michigan, hosted by Grand Valley State University.

Reigning GNAC men's champions Western Washington will have four athletes in the field:  100 meter sprinter Alex Donigian; Frank Catelli in both the shot put and discus; and John Haskin and Slater Hirst in the javelin.

Catelli (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University) is ranked fifth in the shot after breaking his own GNAC record with a put of 59-7 (18.16m) last weekend in the GNAC Championships at Monmouth. 

Hirst is seeded seventh in the javelin on the current national list with a best of 214-8 (65.44m) set at last week's conference championship meet.

On the women's side, the Vikings' Bethany Drake, who missed last week's GNAC championship meet, is the #1 seed in the javelin with her 169-6 (51.66m).  She will be joined in that event by Katie Reichert.

Western, currently ranked #18 in the latest USTFCCCA Division II computer rankings, will also send steeplechaser Katelyn Steen, and hammer thrower Lindsay Wells to Michigan to compete in the national championship.

Seattle Pacific qualified 800 meter runners McKayla Fricker and Lynelle Decker, along with its 4 x 400 meter relay team comprising of Tasia Baldwin, Jasmine Johnson, Kishia Mitchell and Fricker.

The Wildcats of Central Washington will have three athletes in the national championship meet--steeplechaser Dani Eggleston, 1500 meter runner Connie Morgan, and high jumper Tayler Fettig.

Saint Martin's Kalli Walker, who is the school's fourth woman to ever qualify for the national championships, will contest the javelin.

A number of athletes with Washington ties will run in Thursday night's USATF High Performance Distance Classic at Jack Kemp Stadium on the campus of Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Brie Felnagle and Katie Mackey
(Paul Merca photo)
The Brooks Beasts will have a large presence, led by Washington alum Katie Mackey, fresh off a big personal best in the 5000 at the Payton Jordan meet at Stanford on May 4th.  Mackey is entered in the 1500, along with her training partner and Tacoma resident Brie Felnagle.

Also entered in the women's 1500 are Angela Bizzarri and Jessica Tebo of the Beasts, Bellingham native Becca Friday, and Seattle resident Laura Carlyle.

Phoebe Wright and Erica Moore of the Beasts are entered in the 800.

In the men's 1500, Garrett Heath and Riley Masters of the Beasts are entered, as is Auburn/Riverside alum Jordan McNamara.  Former Bellingham resident and 2012 US Olympian Donn Cabral is entered in the steeplechase.

The USATF High Performance Distance Classic will be webcast on Thursday beginning at 6:15pm, pacific.

NOTE:  The NCAA, USA Track & Field, Occidental College, and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference contributed to this report.

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