Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Huskies dominate list of Washington affiliated athletes earning NCAA championship berths...

INDIANAPOLIS—Members of the University of Washington squad dominate the list of Washington-affiliated athletes accepted into next weekend’s NCAA Division I track & field championship meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The Huskies will have nine athletes competing in individual events, plus their women’s distance medley relay squad, which received the 12th and final spot into the national championship meet.

The top sixteen athletes in each event, plus the top twelve relay teams comprise the field competing for the national championships.

On the men’s side, the Huskies will have Izaic Yorks (mile), Colby Gilbert (3000), Aaron Nelson (5000), along with pole vaulters Jax Thoirs (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Lev Marcus.

Yorks, Nelson, and Thoirs each won MPSF conference titles in their events over the weekend.

Tacoma native Marcus Chambers of Oregon (distance medley), and Seattle native Darian Brooks of Stanford (triple jump) round out the men’s field of athletes with ties to the state.

Like their male counterparts, the Dawgs will send a pair of pole vaulters in MPSF champion Kristina Owsinski and last year’s Pac-12 outdoor champ Diamara Planell Cruz.  Also making the trip for the UW are Eleanor Fulton (mile), and Maddie Meyers (3000).  Fulton and Meyers will comprise half of the Huskies’ distance medley relay, along with Baylee Mires and Gianna Woodruff.

Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of Oklahoma (60), and Kirkland’s Tansey Lystad of the University of Portland (5000) round out the list of Washington affiliated athletes in the NCAA Division I championship meet.

In Division II, Seattle Pacific’s distance medley relay team of Jessica Rawlins, Becca Houk, Lynette Decker, and Anna Patti earned a spot in next weekend’s national championship meet in Birmingham, Alabama after running 11:47.33 at the Seattle Pacific Final Qualifier last Saturday.

Decker will also contest the 800 at the national championships.

Also accepted into the national championship meet are high jumper Tayler Fettig of Central Washington and distance runner Katelyn Steen of Western Washington, who will contest both the 3000 and 5000.

On the men’s side, Saint Martin’s, Western Washington, and Central Washington each qualified one athlete.

Saint Martin’s will be represented by Mikel Smith in the high jump, while sprinter Alex Donigian will represent Western Washington in the 60 dash.  Central Washington will send triple jumper Luke Plummer to Birmingham.

Athletes qualified for the NCAA Division II meet by exceeding an automatic qualifying standard, with the rest of the field filled by the top athletes who exceeded a provisional qualifying mark.

NOTE:  The NCAA contributed to this report.

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