|Defending MPSF 5000m champ|
Aaron Nelson of Washington
(Paul Merca photo)
It’s championship weekend for four of Washington’s Division I schools, as Washington, Washington State, Eastern Washington, and SeattleU compete in their respective conference championship meets.
Close to home, Washington once again hosts the MPSF Indoor championship meet at the Dempsey Indoor, featuring all 12 Pac-12 teams, plus BYU, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Hawaii, Long Beach State, Portland, and UC Irvine. Cal State Fullerton, Hawaii, Oregon State, UC Irvine, and Utah feature women’s teams only.
In the current USTFCCCA national rankings, Oregon heads the MPSF squads, as its men are ranked No. 2 nationally and its women are ranked No. 1. The USC men rank No. 9, while the Huskies are No. 12, and Stanford ranks 19th. USC’s women are ranked 10th nationally with the Huskies also ranked 17th.
The majority of events contested at the MPSF championships have at least one athlete who is ranked in the national top ten. National leaders competing at the MPSF include Raevyn Rogers of Oregon (w 800), Blake Haney of Oregon (m Mile), Edward Cheserek of Oregon (m 3000/5000), the Stanford women’s distance medley; and Eric Simon of USC (m TJ).
The Huskies return three defending champions in Izaic Yorks (mile), Aaron Nelson (5000), and Jax Thoirs (pole vault), but lost Kristina Owsinski (pole vault) due to a season-ending injury at the Husky Classic two weeks ago. Diamara Planell Cruz and Liz Quick are ranked 1-2 in the pole vault, and Anna Maxwell is the conference leader in the 3000 entering the meet.
For Washington State, their best hopes for an individual conference champ lie with Alissa Brooks-Johnson in the pentathlon and Audrey Ketcham in the high jump. The Cougars have three athletes ranked in the top five in the high jump in Brooks-Johnson, Ketcham, and Kiana Davis, while Brooks-Johnson and Liz Harper are 1-2 in the pentathlon.
Washington high school standouts Hannah Cunliffe (60m), Marcus Chambers (400) and Brooke Feldmeier (800) of Oregon are in contention to win an individual conference title.
The heat sheets for Friday and Saturday’s MPSF meet are available here, while the time schedule is available here. Flotrack will provide live streaming coverage of the meet for those who have a Flotrack Pro subscription.
EAGLES AT BIG SKY CHAMPS
Eastern Washington heads to Bozeman, Montana for the Big Sky Indoor championship meet, hosted by Montana State Friday and Saturday, with the multi-events kicking off the meet on Thursday.
Josie Kimes, who was among the top pentathletes in the conference entering the meet, finished a disappointing 13th with a final score of 3131 points, well below her school record mark of 3499 points set earlier this season.
Aaron Pullin, who entered the meet ranked #3 in the conference in the heptathlon, re-aggravated a hamstring injury in the first event, the 60 meter dash, and dropped out of the competition.
Three Eagles enter the meet as favorites to win conference titles—Kaytlyn Coleman (weight throw), Rebecca Tarbert (60 meters), and Jeremy VanAssche (60 meters), with NCAA cross country qualifier Sarah Reiter (3000/5000), Katie Mahoney (mile/3000), defending champ Tierra White (high jump), Dominique Butler (triple jump), both distance medley relay squads, and pole vaulters Anandae Clark and Nick Stearns strong contenders.
The regular portion of the meet begins on Friday at 10 a.m. Pacific time with field events, and running events start at 3:15 p.m. The meet concludes Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. for field events and 11:20 a.m. for running events. The meet is scheduled to conclude at approximately 3:30 p.m.
Events are being broadcast via watchbigsky.com. The results link is available here.
SEATTLEU AT WAC CHAMPS
In Nampa, Idaho, Mandie Maddux (above/photo courtesy WAC) won the pentathlon crown to kick off SeattleU’s participation in the Western Athletic Conference championship, scoring a school record 3508 points.
In the first event of the day, the 60 meter hurdles, Maddux ran a time of 9.36, close to her personal record in the event.
Next up, Maddux broke the six-year-old indoor school record in the high jump, and claimed first place in the event with a height of 1.67m (5’-5.75”).
Maddux claimed first place in the shot put with a throw of 11.92m (39’-1.25”), just barely breaking the indoor school record she had already set three times – twice this season alone.
She finished her day with a mark of 4.84m (15’-10.5”) in the long jump, then finished with a personal record time of 2:30.86 in the 800 meter run.
The rest of the Redhawks begin their quest to improve upon their fifth place finish at last year’s WAC championship meet on Friday.
SeattleU will be led be defending high jump champ Shaddye Melu, who will also contest the 400, where he is ranked #2 in the conference.
Gus Arroyo is entered in both the 3000 and the 5000, where he’s ranked in the top three in both events.
After winning the pentathlon, Maddux will be entered in the high jump, shot put, and 60 hurdles.
SPU HOSTS LAST CHANCE MEET AT DEMPSEY AFTER MPSF
One significant meet happening Saturday is the Seattle Pacific Last Chance meet at the Dempsey Indoor on the UW campus, immediately upon the conclusion of the MPSF meet.
With this weekend the final weekend to attain marks for the NCAA Division II championship meet in two weeks, many athletes who are on the bubble will try to improve upon their marks.
Making this meet even more interesting is that the Seattle Pacific coaching staff has received inquiries from post-collegiate athletes looking for a last chance to qualify for the USA indoor championships in Portland in two weeks, as Sunday is the last day to qualify for the nationals.
Entries and a time schedule for the meet have not been posted as of Thursday night.
NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Seattle University, Eastern Washington, and Washington State contributed to this report.