Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dawgs open outdoor season in Arizona, while SPU hosts Doris Heritage Distance Festival...

With spring break on the agenda this weekend, most of the state’s nine Division I and II schools will be in action this weekend.

The University of Washington opens its outdoor season Friday and Saturday in Tempe, Arizona at the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge meet hosted by Arizona State University at Sun Angel Stadium, featuring Arizona, Cal, and host ASU along with Big Ten teams from Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska & Penn State.

This meet marks the Huskies’ second straight season opening meet at Sun Angel Stadium, but their first appearance in this specific conference showdown.  The meet will be scored as a dual between the Big Ten and Pac-12, but with eight places scoring in each event (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1).

The Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge marks the season debut of the Husky javelin crew, featuring All-Americans Curtis Clauson, Carson Fuller, and Quinn Hale (left/photo by Paul Merca).  Fuller and Hale redshirted in 2015, while Clauson returns after a ninth place finish at nationals last season.

Washington will travel most of their squad to Tempe, with the exception of their top distance runners, who will open up at Stanford next week.

Friday’s schedule starts with the women’s hammer at 1pm, with the men to follow.  The men’s javelin starts at 4:30pm, with the women to follow.  The only running events contested Friday are the 5000 meter runs.

The Saturday portion of the meet starts at 2:30pm, and the first running event begins at 6:20pm to avoid the heat.

With the exception of Saint Martin’s, Washington’s three other Division II schools will compete at West Seattle Stadium on Saturday as Seattle Pacific hosts the first Doris Heritage Distance Festival.

This meet, formerly known as the Club Northwest Spring Break Meet, will be managed by Seattle Pacific, though the meet records from the former meet will roll over into the new meet.

The new meet was tweaked toward that of a distance festival, with the 800, 1500, 3000 steeplechase, 5000, and 10,000. The only sprints on the docket are the 200 and 400, and the 4x400 relay. A limited number of field events also will be offered.

The men’s javelin kicks off the meet at 10 am, with the first running event getting underway at noon.  

A limited number of athletes from Gonzaga and Washington State will make the trek to Moscow, Idaho for the Mike Keller Invitational on Saturday, hosted by the University of Idaho.

The first running event gets started at noon, while the first field events begin at 10 am.

Seattle University and Eastern Washington are idle this weekend.

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