Friday, May 16, 2014

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.

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