Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Washington's nine D1 & D2 schools scatter for meets this weekend...

All nine of Washington’s Division I and II schools are in action this weekend, as the majority of them are headed for warmer climes in pursuit of top marks all across the board.

Washington, Washington State, Eastern Washington, Seattle Pacific and Gonzaga will have representatives at the big Stanford Invitational Friday and Saturday at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto.

Much as Washington’s Dempsey Indoor has become a destination for the West Coast’s top distance runners, so too has Stanford’s Cobb Track for the outdoor distance races, with its numerous heats complete with pacemakers to help pull runners to fast times.

The majority of Washington’s distance runners who did not make the trip to Tempe for last week’s Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge meet, will make their outdoor season debuts Friday and Saturday, including All-Americans Maddie Meyers (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Baylee Mires, who will run the 1500. Neither All-Americans Colby Gilbert nor Izaic Yorks are entered at Stanford, but Aaron Nelson is entered in the 10000.

Eastern Washington’s Paula Gil Echevarria and Katie Mahoney are both entered in the steeplechase, as is Gonzaga’s Shelby Mills, who qualified for the NCAA championships in this event last year.

Several of Washington State’s athletes who ran in the NCAA cross country championships are entered at Stanford, including Sam Levora, Chandler Teigen and Nathan Tadesse in the 1500, and John Whelan & Michael Williams in the 10000m.  Levora is also entered in the 5000m.

Seattle Pacific will have a large contingent competing featuring several members of its NCAA indoor championships team entered, including All Americans Jahzelle Ambus, Lynelle Decker, and Chynna Phan.

Notable pros entered at Stanford include Washington alum Mel Lawrence in the steeple, and Jamie Cheever in the 5000.

In San Francisco, athletes from Seattle University, Seattle Pacific, and Washington State will compete in the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, hosted by San Francisco State University on Friday and Saturday. The SF State meet has quickly gained a national reputation for quality distance racing, and for accommodating teams and athletes who were shut out of the Stanford meet.

Gonzaga wlll also have athletes competing in Los Angeles at the Legends Distance Carnival Friday hosted by UCLA.

Western Washington will send several athletes to this weekend’s Texas Relays including high jumper Mirands Odaschey, discus thrower Megan Mortensen, and All-American javelin throwers Bethany Drake and Katie Reichert.  On the men’s side, javelin thrower John Haskin, sprinter Alex Donigian, and hurdler Travis Milbrandt will represent the Vikings.

Staying close to home are many of Washington State’s sprinters and field event athletes, who are competing at the Sam Adams Classic in Spokane on Saturday, hosted by Whitworth University.

Eastern Washington will send a contingent to Missoula, Montana for a four-way meet with Montana, Montana State, and Idaho on Friday-Saturday.

Central Washington will stay close to home and send a contingent to Lacey for the Saint Martin’s Open meet Saturday, hosted by Saint Martin’s University.  It’s expected that Western Washington and Seattle Pacific will send a small group of athletes who don’t make the trip to either Stanford or Texas.

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