Thursday, May 28, 2015

Three day extravaganza known as NCAA West Prelim Champs start buffet of elite track & field action...

AUSTIN, Texas—The NCAA West Preliminary Championships, AKA the West Regionals, begin what is considered a giant buffet table of high level track and field action this weekend, between this meet, the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, and the Gotzis multi-events meeting in Austria.

All five Washington Division I schools will have athletes in action Thursday, beginning with the men’s long jump, with Eastern Washington’s Trenton Osborn vying for one of the 12 spots that will advance to the national finals in Eugene two weeks later.

Also competing in early field events Thursday are Washington’s Frank Catelli in the discus, Carson Murray in the high jump, and Kennadi Bouyer in the long jump.  Murray will be joined by Washington State’s Thane Pierson, and Seattle University’s Shaddye Melu, the reigning Western Athletic Conference champ in that event, and SeattleU’s lone NCAA regional qualifier.

On the track, the Washington State trio of Liz Harper, Erin Allen, and Pac-12 heptathlon champion Alissa Brooks-Johnson, along with Washington’s Gianna Woodruff start their bid for Eugene in the 400 hurdles.  Brooks-Johnson already has a ticket punched to Eugene in the heptathlon, but looks to qualify in an individual event as well.

In the men’s 1500, Washington has a trio of runners in Pac-12 champ Izaic Yorks, Nick Harris and Johnathan Stevens, along with Gonzaga’s Andy Phillips.  Washington’s Eleanor Fulton and the Cougars’ Abby Regan go in the first round of the women’s 1500.

Tacoma’s Marcus Chambers (above/photo by Paul Merca) of Oregon, the reigning Pac-12 champ in that event, goes in the first round of the men’s 400, along with the Huskies’ Andrew Brown.

Pac-12 champ Jesse Jorgensen of Washington State competes in the opening round of the men’s 800.  Washington’s Baylee Mires and Rose Christen, both of whom made the finals in the women’s 800 at the Pac-12s, run in their opening round heats Thursday evening.

Jeremy Vanassche of Eastern Washington will have his hands full to try and qualify for the quarterfinal round in the men’s 100, as he goes against one of the deepest fields in the entire meet.

The first group of athletes to advance from the track will come from the women’s and men’s 10000.  In the women’s 10, four Washington schools will have athletes running, in the form of Big Sky cross country champ Sarah Reiter of Eastern Washington; Washington State’s CharLee Linton; Gonzaga’s Jessica Mildes; and Washington’s Kaylee Flanagan.  John Whelan of Washington State and Tyler King of Washington round out Thursday’s competitors in the men’s 10000 semifinals.

The link to the live webcast is available here beginning at 9:30 am, pacific time Thursday.

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