University of Washington head track & field coach Greg Metcalf (above/photo by Paul Merca) was named by the Pac-12 Conference as its men’s track & field coach of the year, after leading both the men’s and women’s teams to its highest finish in conference history over the weekend.
This marks the first time that Metcalf has won the honor, which is voted on by his fellow head coaches. The last time a UW coach won this award was in 1976, when Ken Shannon was voted co-coach of the year when the Husky men’s team finished second at the conference championship meet in Berkeley.
That 1976 season also happened to be the only other time that the Husky men finished second at the conference championships up until this past weekend at Husky Track. In the first Pac-12 Championships in Seattle since 1997, the Husky men’s team shattered its record for points scored and placed second behind Oregon. The Dawgs scored 122 points, the first time UW has ever scored over 100. The women’s team also tied its best ever team finish in fourth-place and scored its second-most points ever with 82.
The Huskies scored 60 points in the men’s distance events, which Metcalf directly oversees, and includes the 800, 1500, steeple, 5000 & 10000.
“This is a huge honor and a testament to the commitment and hard work that our men and women have been putting in,” said Metcalf, now in his 14th season as head track & field coach. “It was a tremendous weekend for us here in Seattle and the team is excited to carry that success into the upcoming NCAA rounds. They have a feeling that we are taking the right steps as a program.”
As a result of Washington’s strong performance over the weekend, the Dawgs are ranked # 17 in the country in the most recent USTFCCCA National Computer poll on the men’s side, and #22 on the women’s side.
In Beijing at the IAAF World Challenge Meeting at the Bird’s Nest, Nick Symmonds of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts finished seventh in the 800, clocking 1:47.82 in a race won by Kenya’s Kipyegon Bett.
In the women’s 1500, ex-Husky Ingvill Måkestad Bovin was ninth in 4:10.76, as Hellen Obiri of Kenya won in 4:02.11.
The NCAA men’s and women’s track & field committees announced the list of accepted entries for the NCAA Division II championships, scheduled for May 26-28 in Bradenton, Florida at the IMG Academy.
On the women’s side, CENTRAL WASHINGTON will have three entries—Tayler Fettig (high jump) and steeplechasers Dani Eggleston and Erin Chinchar. SAINT MARTIN’S will have two athletes in Deanna Avalos (javelin) and Shannon Porter (1500 & 5000).
SEATTLE PACIFIC will have five athletes—Jahzelle Ambus (400), Lynelle Decker (800/1500), Geneva Lehnert (high jump), Maliea Luquin (100H), and Jalen Tims (400H). WESTERN WASHINGTON’s entries include javelin throwers Bethany Drake, Mariah Horton, Anosi Laupola, and Katie Reichert; Brittany Grant (steeple/5000); Megan Mortensen (discus); and, Miranda Osadchey (high jump).
The men’s accepted entries include CENTRAL WASHINGTON’s Armando Tafoya (hammer); SAINT MARTIN’s Mikel Smith (high jump); and WESTERN WASHINGTON’s Alex Barry & John Haskin (javelin); Alex Donigian (100/200); Matthew Lutz (steeple); and Travis Milbrandt.
Finally, we don’t pop athletes from either NCAA D3 or NAIA schools very often only because I don’t have enough time to scour results, but Evergreen State’s Zebuliah Hoffman won the Cascade Conference hammer throw with a national leading mark of 212-9 (64.84m), a mark that would have finished second at last weekend’s Pac-12 championships.
Thanks to eagle-eyed blog reader and hammer advocate Martin Bingisser for pointing this out!
NOTE: The Pac-12 Conference, the University of Washington, and the NCAA contributed to this report.