Sunday, February 26, 2017

WEEKEND RECAP: Eagles' Clark & McGee win individual titles at Big Sky indoor champs...

In Pocatello, Idaho, the Eastern Washington University men’s and women’s track teams earned identical eighth place finishes at the Big Sky indoor track & field championships hosted by Idaho State University.

The women scored 40 points while the men tallied 38. Northern Arizona swept the conference championship with 114 points on the women's side and 129.5 on the men's.

Eastern Washington athletes won two individual conference championships—one in the women’s pole vault on Friday, as Anandae Clark (above/photo courtesy Big Sky Conference) won the competition with a best of 13-7 (4.14m), and freshman Keshun McGee won the long jump with a mark of 25-0 (7.62m).

McGee came back on Saturday and placed second in the triple jump, bounding 51-1 (15.57m).

Defending Big Sky 60 meter dash champion Rebecca Tarbert finished third in her event in a time of 7.60.  Tierra White was second in the women’s high jump with a clearance of 5-7 (1.70m).

Defending Big Sky men’s pole vault champ Larry Still of the Eagles was not able to compete, as he sustained an injury during the pre-meet warmups.

In Nampa, Idaho, Seattle University’s men’s and women’s track & field teams both finished in fifth place at the Western Athletic Conference indoor championship meet.

The men scored 35 points, while the women scored 49 points, as Grand Canyon University swept the team titles, scoring 221 points in the mens’ competition, and 204.5 in the women’s meet.

The Redhawks’ Jacques Hebert won the men’s mile run in a time of 4:15.05.

In the women’s mile, Johanna Erickson was second in a time of 5:02.88.

Mandie Maddux took third in the women’s high jump with a leap of 5-3.75 (1.62m), to add to the gold medal she won in the pentathlon.

SeattleU’s distance medley relay team of Shannan Higgins, Mandy Rusch, Siobhan Rubio and Rebecca Lassere took third in a time of 12:27.85.

Matthew Seidel was third in the 5000m, running 14:59.10.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Cunliffe ties Dempsey Indoor and MPSF 60m meet record...

SEATTLE—The 2016 Dempsey Indoor season ended with a flourish, as the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships closed the curtain on yet another great winter of meets and performances.

In the women’s 60 meter dash, Federal Way HS graduate Hannah Cunliffe (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the University of Oregon tied the Dempsey facility record by running 7.15, while breaking the meet record of 7.19 that she tied in Friday night’s preliminary heats.

Tacoma native Marcus Chambers of Oregon set a indoor personal best in the 400, winning in a time of 46.40.

Spokane native John Dressel of the University of Colorado used a strong finish over the last two laps to win the men’s 3000 in a personal best 7:51.44.

Washington’s Casey Burns finished second in the men’s triple jump with a best of 49-5.75 (15.08m), as USC’s Dominic Smallwood won with a mark of 51-0.75 (15.56m).

In the women’s mile, Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale’s bid to steal the event with a late charge fell short, as she finished third in a time of 4;36.40, as Oregon’s Katie Rainsberger won in 4:35.60.

The two-day, seven event heptathlon saw Washington’s Cole Jensen finish fourth with a final score of 5424 points, as Oregon’s Mitch Modin won with 5747 points.

While they were not able to improve upon their school record time of 3:42.58, the women’s 4 x 400 relay team of Whitney Diggs, Imani Apostol, Hannah Derby & Laura Anuakpado finished fourth in 3:43.22 as USC tied the meet and facility record of 3:32.54 set by Arizona last year.

The final team results in the women’s competition had USC winning with 125 points, followed by Oregon (105) and Stanford third (57).  Washington was seventh with 41 points, while Washington State was eighth at 33.5.

In the men’s team competition, Oregon won by a 89-83 count over USC with UCLA third at 70.  Washington was eighth with 44.5 points, while Washington State was tenth with 41.

The 2017 indoor season concludes with the NCAA indoor championships March 10-11th in College Station, Texas.  The NCAA will announce the qualifiers for the meet next week.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Quick wins dramatic jump-off as Huskies sweep top spots in men's & women's pole vaults...

SEATTLE—In dramatic fashion, Washington’s Liz Quick (above/photo by Paul Merca) successfully defended her Mountain Pacific Sports Federation pole vault championship by winning a three-way jump-off to highlight Friday’s first day of competition.

Quick, along with Cal State Northridge’s Gardenia Centanaro and Cal’s Lauren Martinez were in a three way tie through 13-6.25 (4.12m), with all three jumpers having no misses at lower heights.

The bar was raised to 14-0 (4.27m) and those three all missed their three shots at that height along with UCLA’s Greta Wagner, who had one miss at a lower height.

To break the tie, Quick, Centanaro and Martinez got a fourth attempt at 14-0, with Quick taking the victory as the only one to clear that height.

The official results show that Quick won the competition with a best of 13-6.25.

It was a sweep of the top spot on the pole vault podium for the Huskies, as a few hours after Quick’s win, Chase Smith won the men’s vault with a personal best clearance of 17-11.25 (5.47m).

Washington State’s Liz Harper won the pentathlon competition with a 5-event score of 4014 points, with UCLA’s Kendall Gustafson second at 3958, and Oregon State’s Kara Hallock third with 3914 points.

In Friday’s qualifying rounds, Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of the University of Oregon tied the meet record in the 60 meter dash set by Jenna Prandini of Oregon in 2015, by running 7.19.

The men’s distance medley relay saw Washington State’s Chandler Tiegen bring the Cougars back with a strong 1600 meter leg to take third in 9:49.78, with Washington fifth at 9:50.99, as Cal took the win in 9:34.11.

Colorado won the women’s distance medley relay, running 10:58.68, while the Huskies, with Amy-Eloise Neale running the leadoff 1200m leg, finished third in a season best 11:14.37.

In the team competition, USC leads the women's competition after seven events with 51 points, with the Huskies in sixth at 18 points, and Washington State seventh with 16.5 points.  After six events, UCLA leads the men's competition with 32 points, while the Huskies are fourth with 25.5 points, and Washington State ninth with 11 points.

The meet resumes Saturday beginning at 10:30 am.  The link to the results page is available here.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Championship weekend under way for state's Division I schools...

The final weekend of February means that it’s championship weekend for four of Washington’s five Division I schools, as they ramp up to compete for league titles and for certain individuals, aim to secure a top 16 spot (top 12 in relays) for the NCAA championships in two weeks in College Station, Texas.

Conference championship action got started Thursday in Nampa, Idaho at the Western Athletic Conference meet as Seattle University senior Mandie Maddux (above/photo courtesy Seattle University Athletics) repeated as champion in the pentathlon.

Maddux broke her own school record by scoring 3512 points, running 9.17 in the 60 hurdles, clearing 5-5.75 (1.67m) in the high jump, throwing 39-2.25 (11.94m) in the shot put, long jumping 16-4.5 (4.99m), and running 2:37.25 in the 800 meters.

All in all, Maddux won the high jump and the shot put, and set school record marks in the hurdles, high jump and shot.

“Starting off the day with three personal and school records set the tone for the day. She was focused, but did a great job of staying relaxed. That was our biggest focus for coming into this meet.”, said SeattleU assistant coach Chad Pharis.

Across the state in Pocatello, Idaho, Eastern Washington got started Thursday at the Big Sky Conference championships.

The Eagles’ Kendra Hamm finished 13th in the pentathlon, scoring 3201 points, as Montana’s Erika McLeod took the title with 3955 points.

In the heptathlon, Eagle sophomore Aaron Pullin stands 14th at the break with 2540 points.

In Seattle, the University of Washington hosts the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship meet starting Friday at the Dempsey Indoor.

With the Pac-12 conference not sponsoring an indoor track & field championship, this is the de facto Pac-12 championship meet, as all 12 schools will have representatives in the meet, along with schools such as Long Beach State, Hawaii, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Portland, and BYU, making it the biggest Division I conference meet in the country.

Curiously missing from the meet is Gonzaga, which like Portland and BYU, are in the West Coast Conference, which does not sponsor indoor track.

The most notable entry missing from the MPSF championships is Oregon’s Edward Cheserek, who has opted to go to Boston to run the mile Sunday at the Boston University Last Chance meet against a pro field.  Oregon’s distance medley relay team currently sits #8 on the NCAA performance list, and in theory, he could run a 1600 or 1200 leg in Friday night’s DMR if needed.

Washington affiliated athletes ranked in the national top ten entering conference championship weekend competing in the MPSF include Federal Way’s Hannah Cunliffe of Oregon (60), Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale (mile), the Huskies’ Colby Gilbert (3000), and Spokane native John Dressel of Colorado (#5 in 5000, but opting to drop down to 3000m).

Within the last hour, the University of Washington released the final heat sheets for this weekend’s meet, after the traditional coaches’ scratch meeting earlier Thursday evening.  The heat sheets are available here.

Friday action gets underway at noon, and continues Saturday at 10:30 am.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Eastern Washington, Seattle University, Washington State University and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Dawgs move up in latest men's USTFCCCA national computer rankings in advance of MPSF champs...

NEW ORLEANS—With many of the conferences in NCAA Division I entering championship weekend this week, the University of Washington men’s track team was one of the big movers in the latest USTFCCCA national indoor computer rankings released Monday.

The Huskies, who were ranked #23 after last weekend’s Husky Classic, moved up to #19 after pole vaulter Chase Smith (above/photo courtesy UW Athletics) scored a personal best 17-11 (5.46m) at the Air Force Open meet last Friday in Colorado Springs to move him up to a 4-way tie for 11th in the current NCAA D1 descending performance list, and #1 in the MPSF entering this weekend’s conference title meet at the Dempsey Indoor.

The country’s top five D1 teams are Florida, Arkansas, Oregon, Georgia, and Texas A&M.

Other MPSF schools ranked in the national top 25 include #7 Colorado, #17 USC & #22 Stanford.

The top 5 women’s teams are Oregon, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU & USC.

Other teams from the MPSF ranked in the national top 25 include #17 BYU, #20 Arizona, #22 Colorado, and #23 Stanford.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Yorks gets USATF indoor champs qualifier at Harvard Sunday...

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts—After a knee injury and a sub-par performance at the Millrose Games last weekend, University of Washington graduate Izaic Yorks (above/photo by Paul Merca), who now competes for the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts, finished fourth in the invitational 3000m Sunday at the USATF-New England indoor championship meet at Harvard University.

Yorks, who was aiming to qualify for the USATF indoor championship meet in the two mile in two weeks in Albuquerque, ducked under the standard of 8:00.00 by running 7:58.17, as Caleb Hoover of Asics Furman Elite won in 7:52.07.

The day before the race, Yorks wrote a blog post on what transpired leading up to the Millrose Games, and his thoughts on moving forward from that experience. You can read his post here.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

It came down to the wire, but Falcons win another women's GNAC indoor title...

NAMPA, Idaho—Thanks to a victory by Geneva Lehnert in the high jump, some major points in the pole vault, and a third place finish in the climactic 4 x 400 relay, the Seattle Pacific Falcons (above/photo courtesy GNAC) reclaimed the Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s indoor track & field championship Saturday at Jacksons Track at the Ford Idaho Center.

In what was the closest team race in conference history, the Falcons, who were projected to finish either second or third behind defending champion Alaska Anchorage and Simon Fraser, scored 124 points to Simon Fraser’s 120.5 and Alaska Anchorage’s 113 to take yet another team title.

Central Washington was fourth with 84 points, with Western Washington sixth at 51.5 points, and Saint Martin’s was eighth with 35 points.

The Falcons finished atop the team pile for the 11th time since the conference began sponsoring indoor track in 2004. They won the first nine (2004-12), and prevailed again in 2015. Anchorage, which came into the weekend as the defending champion, had won the other three.

Lehnert cleared 5-5.25 (1.66m) on her third attempt to stave off the challenge of Western Washington’s Miranda Osadchey, who cleared 5-3.25 (1.61m), but had identical clearances with Lehnert until 5-5.25.

Though Western’s Anna Paradee (12-6.75/3.83m) and Central Washington’s McKenna Emmert (12-0.5/3.67m) went 1-2 in the pole vault, the Falcons went 3-4-t5, as Michaella Kahns and pentathlon winner Scout Cai cleared identical heights of 12-0.5/3.67m, and Emma Lambert (10-10.75/3.32m) tied with Rachael Roberts of Western Washington for fifth, giving Seattle Pacific 14.5 points.

Brooke Benner was second in the triple jump with a mark of 38-4.75 (11.70m), and Mary Charleson (5:07.11) was third in the mile.

Other top-3 finishes by Washington athletes at the GNAC included Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter, who won the 3000 (10.01.86) and was second in the mile (4:53.29).

In the men’s competition, Alaska Anchorage successfully defended its team title, winning convincingly with a score of 154 over second place Western Oregon’s 82.

Central Washington was sixth with 65, followed by Western Washington at 64 in seventh.  Saint Martin’s was eighth wit 36 points, and Seattle Pacific tenth with 11 points.

The Wildcats’ Kodiak Landis won the heptathlon with a final score of 5269 points. Teammate Luke Plummer became the first 4-time winner of the triple jump in conference history, bounding 49-5 (15.06m), while Western Washington’s Somit Chhim was second at 46-7.5 (14.21m).

Western Washington’s Brandon Pless was second in the shot put at 51-4.5 (15.66m).  

Other top 3 finishes from Washington based athletes included a second place finish by Kyler Ooley of Central Washington in the 60 (6.94); and a third place finish by Peyton Harris of Seattle Pacific in the 60 hurdles (8.42).


In Birmingham, England, Cas Loxsom (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts won the men’s 800 at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix meet Saturday in a indoor personal best and world leading time of 1:46.13.

Washington alum Katie Mackey set an indoor personal best in the 3000 as she finished 13th in the 3000. Mackey ran 8:59.53 as Kenya’s Hellen Obiri won in a world leading time of 8:29.41.

Brooks Beasts teammate Garrett Heath finished seventh in the 1500, running 3:39.72 in a race won by Nike Oregon TC Elite’s Ben Blankenship in 3:36.42.

In Montreal, Camas’ Alexa Efraimson finished second in the women’s 1600 pursuit race at the Grand Prix d'Athletisme Montreal Saturday.

Efraimson ran 4:40.46 behind winner Sasha Gollish of Canada’s 4:40.19.

Baylee Mires of the Brooks Beasts was fifth in 4:51.12, while Beasts teammate Claudia Saunders was sixth in 4:52.83.

In the mens’ 1200 pursuit race, Drew Windle of the Beasts was third in 3:12.78, as Canada’s Charles Philibert-Thiboutou win in 2:52.08.

In New York City’s Ocean Breeze Track & Field Athletic Complex on Staten Island Saturday, French Olympian Justine Fedronic, who trains with the Beasts TC, finished second in the women’s mile at the Ocean Breeze Grand Prix meet, running 4:44.59, as Rolanda Bell won in 4:44.40.

Shaq Walker of the Beasts won the men’s 600 in 1:16.11, while teammate Brannon Kidder was third in 1:18.10.

Former Brooks Beast Megan Malasarte, who moved back to Atlanta and now competes for the Atlanta TC, won the women’s 600 in 1:29.91.

NOTE:  The Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Athletics Canada, and the Ocean Breeze Track & Field Athletic Complex contributed to this report.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Falcons' Cai, Penner & Lehnert sweep podium in pentathlon as SPU takes first day lead in GNAC indoor...

NAMPA, Idaho—The Seattle Pacific women’s team ended the first day of competition at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference indoor track & field championships with the lead, thanks to a 1-2-3 sweep of the podium in the pentathlon.

At the break, the Falcons’ lead stands at 48 points, with Central Washington second at 36 points. Pre-meet favorites Alaska Anchorage and Simon Fraser are fourth with 23 points and fifth with 22 points. Saint Martin’s is tied for sixth with 11 points, and Western Washington is eighth with 10 points.

Freshman Scout Cai (above/photo courtesy SPU Athletics) scored 3499 points to win the pentathlon title, followed by fellow freshman Brooke Penner, who scored 3461 points, and sophomore Geneva Lehnert, who was third with 3411 points.

Cai won the pentathlon despite not winning a single event.  She started her day by running 9.49 in the 60 hurdles for 810 points, then took the overall lead for good after the high jump, where she cleared 5-5.25 (1.66m).

In the shot put, she threw 31-10.25 (9.70m) for 510 points, then jumped 16-8 (5.08m) in the long jump, before running 2:22.33 for 792 points.

Lehnert won both the high and long jumps, clearing 5-6.5 (1.69m) and going 18-5.25 (5.62m) in the long jump in her first ever multi-event competition.

Penner tied Cai for second in the high jump, and was second in the 800 in 2:22.14.

The winner said afterwards, "We came in wanting to (go 1-2-3), and it's just amazing that we did that. I just came into each one focused on that event, and didn't think about the next events coming up. I think that helped me with my nerves. I just listened to the coaches and what they had to tell me."

Ali Anderson (3378) and HarLee Ortega (3271) of Central Washington finished fourth and fifth in the competition.

The Falcons got ten more points from long jumper Kyra Brannan, as the senior broke the 19-foot barrier for the first time indoors, jumping 19-0.5 (5.80m) to beat teammate Lehnert, who went 18-3.25 (5.57m).

Central Washington got points in the long jump, as Anderson (17-8/5.38m), Ortega (17-5.25/5.31m) and Juliana Joy (17-2.75/5.25m) went 3-5-t6 in the competition.

In other women’s finals, Central’s Stephanie Rexus was third in the 5000, running 17:56.30. Seattle Pacific’s distance medley relay took third in a time of 12:23.31. Kirby Neale of Saint Martin’s was third in the weight throw with a best of 54-1.75 (16.50m).

The men’s team competition has Saint Martin’s tied for second at the break with 25 points, as pre-meet favorite Alaska Anchorage was 48.  Western Washington stands fourth with 23 points, and Central Washington is fifth with 21 points.  Seattle Pacific is tenth with 1 point at the end of day one.

Saint Martin’s Mikel Smith set a conference record in winning the high jump with a clearance of 7-3 (2.21m), which gives him the national lead in Division II.

In other finals, Saint Martin’s Craig Boyle was third in the pole vault with a clearance of 14-10 (4.52m). Luke Plummer of Central Washington was third in the long jump with a best of 23-10.75 (7.28m). Armando Tafoya of Central won the men’s weight throw with a best of 57-0 (17.37m) with Kauanoe Vanderpoel of Saint Martin’s second with a throw of 56-1.25 (17.10m), and Western Washington’s Brandon Pless third at 55-5.5 (16.90m).

In the heptathlon, Central’s Kodiak Landis leads after four events with a score of 2893.

At Colorado Springs, Chase Smith of the University of Washington won the pole vault competition at the Air Force Open meet on the campus of the US Air Force Academy.

Smith vaulted 17-11 (5.46m) to take the MPSF conference lead in that event, along with the victory and a new personal best.

The Huskies’ Liz Quick was second in the women’s pole vault with a best of 12-11.75 (3.96m).

In Flagstaff, Arizona, Washington State’s Brock Eager won the men’s weight throw at the NAU Tune Up meet with a personal best toss of 66-8.5 (20.33m), while teammate Travis Pickett was third with a best of 59-8.25 (18.19m).

Eager’s mark ranks him #2 in the MPSF heading into next weekend’s conference championship meet at the Dempsey Indoor in Seattle.

NOTE:  The GNAC, Seattle Pacific, and the US Air Force Academy contributed to this report.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

GNAC Championships headlines meets this weekend...

All four of Washington’s Division II schools are off to Nampa, Idaho for Friday and Saturday’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference indoor track & field championship meet at Jacksons Track at the Idaho Center.

Western Washington, Central Washington, Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin’s will all have to contend with the defending champion Alaska Anchorage Seawolves if they want a shot at winning either the men’s or women’s conference crown, with Simon Fraser and Western Oregon providing healthy competition as well.


For Saint Martin’s, their best hope of capturing their first individual championship lies with Shannon Porter (left/photo by Paul Merca) in the 3000. The senior automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships with a time of 16:29.89 in the 5,000 meters at the Husky Classic and is the conference leader in the 3000.

Seattle Pacific will have to rely on defending pole vault champ Michaella Kahns, conference long jump leader Kyra Brannan, 400 meter runner Lani Taylor and distance runners Mary Charleson and Sarah Macdonald if the Falcons want to take a serious shot at dethroning the Seawolves.

Defending 60 hurdles champ Mariyah Vongsaveng of Central Washington, who has run 8.70 this season, returns after winning the closest race in conference history, where the top three were separated by 3/1000ths of a second.  HarLee Ortega of the Wildcats comes into the conference meet as the leader in the pentathlon with a score of 3348 points.

Western Washington’s best hopes lie with distance runner Brittany Grant, who is ranked #4 in the 3000, and pole vaulter Anna Parades, ranked #2 in the conference.


Central Washington’s Luke Plummer stands to become the first four-time GNAC indoor men’s champion in the triple jump. The senior enters the meet with a best of 49 feet, 3 inches, more than three feet better than teammate Zach Whittaker, who is ranked #2 in the conference. Kodiak Landis enters the meet for the Wildcats with the GNAC’s best marks in both the 60 meters (6.83 seconds) and the heptathlon (5,143 points).  Central also has a strong contender in conference leader Armando Tafoya in the weight throw.

Saint Martin’s Mikel Smith, who won the NCAA D2 high jump title outdoors last year, returns to defend his indoor conference title.  Sophomore Jackson Hand leads the conference in the 200 meters entering the championships.  David Durden goes into the championship meet with the #3 mark in the 60 hurdles.

Western Washington will be led by shot putter Brandon Pless, who is the conference leader with a mark of 52-0.5 (15.86m). Bryan Lee is #2 in the conference in the weight throw. Gordie Kordas ranks #3 in the pole vault, while distance runner Andrew Wise is #3 in the 3000, and #4 in the 5000.


Washington State’s Travis Pickett and Brock Eager are entered in Friday’s NAU Tune Up meet hosted by Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.


Several members of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts are competing Saturday in the Müller Indoor Grand Prix meet in Birmingham, England.

The meet, which is part of the IAAF’s World Indoor Tour, has as its headliner reigning world and Olympic 5/10k champion Mo Farah of the Nike Oregon Project. The Brit is entered in the men’s 5000.

Competing for the Beasts in Birmingham are Katie Mackey in the 3000; Garrett Heath in the 1500; and Cas Loxsom in the 800.

NOTE:  The Great Northwest Athletic Conference, the Air Force Academy, Northern Arizona University and British Athletics contributed to this report.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

WEEKEND WRAPUP: Canadian Olympian Bruchet doubles back to win mile at UW Open...

Apologies for the delay in posting, but here are some highlights from Sunday’s UW Open meet at the Dempsey Indoor:

—Canadian Olympian Luc Bruchet (left/photo by Paul Merca) from Vancouver doubled back from Saturday’s Husky Classic 3000 to win the mile in 4:04.12, as the Huskies’ Blake Nelson (4:04.38) and Andrew Gardner (4:06.85) went 2-3 in an attempt to become the third runner to go under 4 minutes at the Open (Washington’s Izaic Yorks was the first in the 2015 Open); 

—In the women’s weight throw, Washington’s Onyie Chibuogwu exceeded her old personal best of 57-10.5 (17.64m) four times, throwing a best of 59-10.5 (18.25m);

—The best race of the day was in the men’s 400, as Cal State Los Angeles’ Khallifah Roster ran 46.56 to gain an automatic qualifying mark for the NCAA Division II championships, running 46.56, the second best mark in the country this season.  In the same race, Mobolade Ajomale of San Francisco’s Academy of Art also ducked under the NCAA D2 standard of 47.30, running 47.25;

—Central Washington’s Mariyah Vongsaveng set a school record of 8.70 in the women’s 60 hurdles to win the overall title and put herself in contention for a possible NCAA D2 championship berth.  Triple jumper Luke Plummer was third in that event, jumping 48-4.75 (14.75m) the day after jumping a season best of 49-3 (15.01m) at Saturday’s Husky Classic.

The University of Washington men’s team dropped two places, but are ranked #23 in the latest USTFCCCA Division I national computer rankings released Monday.

The nation’s top five men’s teams are Florida, Oregon, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and LSU.

Other MPSF schools ranked include #7 Colorado, and #15 USC.

On the women’s side, there was a lot of shuffling as marks from the current season took precedence in the ranking of teams.

The Washington women dropped out of the national top 25 for the first time this season.

The nation’s top five teams are Oregon, Georgia, Arkansas, USC, and LSU.

Stanford, Arizona, and Colorado are the only other teams from the MPSF ranked in the top 25, at #18, #21 and #22, respectively.

NOTE:  The University of Washington, Central Washington, and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Federal Way's Hannah Cunliffe breaks collegiate record in 60 meters at Don Kirby Elite...

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico—Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe (left/photo by Paul Merca) took advantage of the rarified air to set a new collegiate record in the 60 meter dash at the Don Kirby Elite meet.

Cunliffe ran 7.07 to win the race at the Albuquerque Convention Center over University of Oregon teammates Deajah Stevens (7.21) and Makenzie Dunmore (7.25), to break the collegiate record of 7.08 set by Remona Burchell of Alabama two years ago, and the American collegiate record of 7.09 set by Angela Williams of USC in 2001, and tied by Kya Brookins of South Carolina in 2011.

In the qualifying round, Cunliffe, who entered the meet with a season best of 7.13, ran 7.20 to easily win her heat and clock the fastest time of the three heats.

Tacoma native Marcus Chambers, who also competes for the University of Oregon, won the men’s 400 in 46.45 in a hotly contested race with Arizona’s Miles Parish, who finished in 46.50.

Washington State sent a squad of sprinters and hurdlers to the Don Kirby Elite meet, with Ja’Maun Charles finishing sixth in the men’s 60 in a personal best 6.75, while freshman Sam Brixey was 4th overall in the 60 hurdles, running 7.96.

At the Dempsey Indoor in Seattle, two time US Olympian Lopez Lomong (#897/photo by Paul Merca) won a hotly contested mile run over Bowerman TC teammate and 2016 Olympic steeple silver medalist Evan Jager to highlight competition at the Husky Classic Saturday, hosted by the University of Washington.

Lomong took command over the last lap and held off the charge of Jager, as both were credited with identical times of 3:56.55, taking six other runners under the 4 minute mile mark.

In the previous heat, Oklahoma State’s Craig Nowak just squeaked under the 4 minute mark, winning in a time of 3:59.98 for a total of 9 men under 4 minutes on the day.

The women’s mile saw Penn State’s Danae Rivers hanging on to win in 4:32.55, as the Huskies’ Amy-Eloise Neale came from fourth place on the final lap to take second in 4:34.15, the second fastest time in UW school history.

The Huskies’ Kennadi Bouyer set a meet record in winning the women’s 60 dash in 7.28.

Oregon’s Katie Rainsberger won the women’s 3000 in 9:01.21, the fastest collegiate time this year.

On the field, the most impressive mark of the day was placed by Concordia/Oregon’s McKenzie Warren, who broke the NCAA Division II all-time indoor record in the shot put with a throw of 57-9.75 (17.62m).

US Olympian Andrea Geubelle from University Place won the triple jump with a best of 43-1 (13.13m) to beat WSU alum Blessing Ufodiama, who jumped 42-8.25 (13.01m).  Both achieved the USA indoor qualifying mark of 13 meters (42-8). Geubelle was particularly happy with her jump considering that this meet was like a training session, due to the bad weather and the lack of access in the South Sound area to an indoor jump runway.

Action at the Dempsey Indoor continues Sunday with the UW Open meet, featuring many of the area’s Division I and II schools, with community college and high school competitors mixed in.

In New York, Brannon Kidder of the Brooks Beasts upset teammate Cas Loxsom to win the men’s 1000 meters at the NYRR Millrose Games Saturday at the Armory.

Shaq Walker of the Beasts was sixth in a time of 2:23.70.

Camas’ Alexa Efraimson was ninth in the women’s Wanamaker mile, running 4:29.54, while UW alum Katie Mackey of the Brooks Beasts was tenth in 4:33.59.

In the women’s 800, Stanford alum and French Olympian Justine Fedronic, who trains with the Beasts TC, finished fourth in 2:01.36.

In the men’s Wanamaker mile, Washington alum Izaic Yorks was tenth in 4:01.64.

NOTE:  The University of Oregon, University of New Mexico, University of Washington, and the New York Road Runners contributed to this report.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Cheserek & Gilbert run two fastest times in the world this season over 5000m at Husky Classic...

SEATTLE—The invitational men’s 5000 meter run lived up to its pre-meet billing, as Oregon’s Edward Cheserek (left/photo by Paul Merca) ended Washington’s Colby Gilbert’s undefeated streak at home this indoor season, as the reigning NCAA champion at this distance scored the victory by a 13:32.59 to 13:34.85 count to open the first day of competition at the Husky Classic at the Dempsey Indoor Friday night.

With Jeremy Elkiam serving as the pacer, he, Cheserek and Dan Huling, a 4-time USA world championships team member in the steeplechase representing the Portland based Bowerman TC, tried to break away early, while Gilbert bided his time in the chase pack.

As the race progressed, Gilbert slowly worked his way up to the front and eventually traded the lead or was a step behind Cheserek, the 15-time NCAA champion at various distances.

With less than a mile to go, Gilbert and Cheserek gapped the chase pack, which included Spokane native John Dressel, competing for the University of Colorado.

On the final lap, Cheserek opened up a gap on Gilbert, using a kick that looked something out of the Bernard Lagat bag of tricks to take the victory in 13:32.59, the fastest time in the NCAA and the world this season.

Gilbert’s effort got him a time of 13:34.85, the second fastest time in the world this season, and a new University of Washington school record.

Behind those two, Dressel finished in fourth in 13:42.57, while Fred Huxham of the Dawgs was 11th in 13:51.87.

In an exciting women’s 5000, sophomore Tessa Barrett of Penn State held off Harvard freshman Judy Pendegrast to win in 15:51.32 to 15:52.64, the fourth and fifth fastest NCAA D1 times this season.

Evergreen State College alum Zeb Hoffman won the men’s weight throw with a toss of 67-11.75 (20.72.m).

The Husky Classic resumes Saturday at the Dempsey Indoor beginning at 10 am.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

King Cheserek preps for NCAA title defense with 5000/mile double at Husky Classic...

All nine of Washington’s Division I and II schools will be in action Friday, Saturday and Sunday as the University of Washington hosts the biggest meet of the indoor season on the West Coast, the two-day Husky Classic on Friday-Saturday, and the UW Open on Sunday at the Dempsey Indoor.

Action gets underway Friday at 4 pm, with the invitational 5000 the feature event of the evening session at 5:50pm, with reigning NCAA champ Edward Cheserek (left/photo by Paul Merca) making his season debut at that distance.

Cheserek will face off against the Husky duo of Colby Gilbert and Fred Huxham. and Bowerman TC’s Dan Huling, with Butler’s Erik Peterson & Colorado State’s Jerrell Mock in the mix.

The women’s invitational 5000 at 5:25pm could be a battle between Tennessee’s Chelsea Blaase, Canadian Rachel Cliff, New Mexico’s Alice Wright, and Tessa Barrett of Penn State, with Gig Harbor native Brenna Peloquin of Boise State thrown in for good measure.

In both races, athletes will be positioning themselves for those top 16 spots to get into the NCAA Division I championship meet in early March.

The men’s mile Saturday at 3:45 pm features 2016 Olympic steeple silver medalist Evan Jager dropping down in distance to face two time Olympian and Bowerman TC teammate Lopez Lomong. Cheserek will double back from the 5000 Friday night in what is presumed to be a simulation of what may happen at the NCAA championships. Cheserek won the 3000, 5000 and anchored Oregon’s distance medley relay to the national indoor title last year.

The women’s mile is headlined by Penn State frosh Danae Rivers, with the Huskies’ Amy-Eloise Neale the main contender, No one in the fastest section has run slower than 4:43, so this could be an dandy!

The men’s 3000 features recent Portland grad and Olympic Trials finalist Woody Kincaid going against Canadian Olympian Luc Bruchet, while the women’s 3000 features two former Colorado prep sensations in Katie Rainsberger of Oregon, and Elise Cranny of Stanford.

Field events to watch include the women’s triple jump with US Olympian Andrea Geubelle going against Olympic Trials finalist and WSU alum Blessing Ufodiama; the mens’ high jump with former world champion Jesse Williams going against reigning NCAA D2 champ Mikel Smith of Saint Martin’s; the women’s high jump featuring two-time US Olympian Sharon Day-Monroe against Arizona alum Elizabeth Patterson; the women’s pole vault with the last three Pac-12 champs—Kristine Felix of WSU, Liz Quick of the UW, and Kristina Owsinski of UW, who only has outdoor eligibility remaining for the Huskies.  

Don’t sleep on the men’s shot put with USC’s Nicholas Ponzio, Arizona’s Viktor Gardenkrans and Aaron Castle, against Darien Moore and David Pless of the Iron Wood TC.

Media partner Flotrack ($) will provide streaming coverage of the Husky Classic.

In other action, Washington State will split their team between the Husky Classic and the Don Kirby Elite/Invitational meet on Friday and Saturday in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with sprinters, hurdlers, and horizontal jumpers traveling to New Mexico to take advantage of the high altitude.

The Cougs will be led by 2016 NCAA multi-events qualifier Liz Harper,  who is entered in the 60 hurdles, high jump, and long jump, while two-time Pac-12 400 hurdles champ CJ Allen leads the mens’ squad, as he’s entered in the 60 hurdles, 200, 400 and 4 x 400 relay.

Several members of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts are off to New York for Saturday’s Millrose Games at the Armory.

Among those entered are Cas Loxsom, Brannon Kidder and Shaq Walker in the 1000; Izaic Yorks in the Wanamaker Mile; Garrett Heath in the 2-mile; and, Katie Mackey in the women’s Wanamaker Mile.

Other athletes with Washington ties entered in the Millrose Games include Tacoma native Brie Felnagle in the 3000; Justine Fedronic in the women’s 800; and, Camas’ Alexa Efraimson in the women’s Wanamaker Mile.

NBCSN will have live coverage of the Millrose Games from 1-3 pm Saturday, with USATF.TV providing streaming coverage from 9am-1pm.

NOTE:  The University of Washington, Washington State University, and the New York Road Runners contributed to this report.

Monday, February 6, 2017

WEEKEND RECAP: Cougs take home ten titles at Cougar Indoor Meet in Pullman...

While the focus of the past weekend was on the USA Cross Country Championships in Bend, here’s what happened with the state’s collegiate track & field teams:

In Pullman Saturday, Washington State athletes earned ten victories at their own Cougar Indoor/ Multis meet at the Indoor Practice Facility on the WSU campus.

Freshman Sam Brixey (above/photo courtesy WSU Athletics) continued his roll in the 60 hurdles, winning that event in a time of 7.99 to lead two other Cougars—Abu Kamara (8.10) and Christapherson Grant (8.19) over the line for a 1-2-3 finish.

Greer Alsop had the top women’s performance of the meet, winning the triple jump in a meet record 41-6.5 (12.66m) to give her a tie for second on the current MPSF conference performance list.

The day before, Eastern Washington and Gonzaga competed at the Idaho Duals in Moscow, Idaho hosted by the University of Idaho.

On the mens side, Aaron Cunningham was a double winner for the Eagles, taking both the shot put (56-3/17.14m) and the weight throw (55-0/16.76m). Jonah Matthews won the 200 in 22.14, while Logan Stahl won the mile in 4:15.11. Larry Still won the pole vault with a clearance of 16-2.75 (4.95m), and Keshun McGee won the triple jump at 48-6 (14.78m).

Gonzaga’s lone victory came in the 5000, won by Bennett Gagnon in 15:27.47.

Anandae Clark highlighted Eastern’s performances in the women’s portion of the meet, leading the Eagles to a 1-2-3 finish in the pole vault, clearing 12-8.25 (3.87m).

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Eastern Washington University and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Washington's Gavin Parpart & Sedro Wooley HS standout Kristen Garcia earn Team USA spots in Bend...

BEND, Oregon—University of Washington freshman Gavin Parpart (left/photo by Paul Merca) earned a fourth place finish in the USA Cross Country Championships men’s under-20 8-kilometer race at the River’s Edge Golf Course to secure a spot on the national team that will compete in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in late March in Kampala, Uganda.

Parpart was part of a group that ran in the front of the pack, led by Washington State University freshman Justin Janke.  

Though it wasn’t Janke’s intention to lead at the end of the first of four 2k laps, he did so anyway.  Meanwhile, Parpart stayed patient and was third at the end of the second lap.

He was in a tight group of three, as 2015 world U-20 team member Paul Roberts of Colorado State-Pueblo took command, and eventually won the race in 26:05.

Isaac Harding took second in a time of 26:09, followed by Hamza Ali in third at 26:17, two seconds ahead of Parpart.

Janke finished eighth in 26:41.

Parpart’s Husky teammate Ryan Gregory finished 15th in 27:30.

Sedro Wooley HS standout Kristen Garcia, who competes for the Whatcom Tesseract club out of Bellingham, earned the sixth and final spot on the U20 women’s team, as she ran the 6k course in 23:43.

In the senior women’s 10k race, Inglemoor HS alum Tansey Lystad ran to a surprising 11th place finish, clocking 37:11 on a course that earlier in the week was buried in at least two feet of snow, before a herculean effort by volunteers from the Bend community cleaned up the course to make it manageable for the athletes to run.

Pasco HS and Boise State alum Marisa Howard ran to a 16th place finish, running 37:52.

Aliphine Tuliamuk took home the women’s national title in a time of 34:24 over the challenging course.

In the senior men’s 10k race, Lakes HS graduate Joseph Grey finished ninth in a time of 31:04, and could be in line for one of the six spots to the world championships, assuming at least three of the finishers ahead of him decline their spots on the team to Uganda.

Leonard Korir, an Iona College alum and 2016 US Olympian at 10000 meters, continued his early season hot streak to win his first national cross country championship, running 30:12.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Score of Washington athletes gather in Bend for USA Cross Country Championships...

For one weekend in February, cross country takes the stage, as Bend, Oregon plays host to the USA Cross Country Championships at the Rivers Edge Golf Course Saturday, with this meet the selection trials for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda late next month.

There is a significant Washington presence here in Bend for these national championships, with the top six finishers in the mens and women’s under-20 and senior races earning trips to Kampala for the world championships.

The Huskies will be represented at the under-20 8-kilometer championships by Gavin Parpart (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Ryan Gregory, both of whom redshirted last fall.  Also competing in the U-20 mens race is Eastern Washington’s Colten Johnsen, and Washington State’s Justin Janke.

Four runners from the Bellingham-based Whatcom Tesseract club are racing in the women’s U-20 6-kilometer race, led by Sehome HS senior Ruby Watson, and Sedro Wooley HS standout Kristen Garcia.

One of the most significant changes in the senior men’s and women’s races is the fact that the distances for both sexes are now 10 kilometers instead of 8k for women and 12k for men.

In the women’s senior race, athletes with Washington ties entered include former Brooks Beasts runner Jamie Cheever, who has moved back home to Minnesota; Pasco HS alum Marisa Howard; Washington State alum Collier Lawrence; and, former Inglemoor HS standout Tansey Lystad.

Lakes HS alum Joe Gray is entered in the men’s 10k race, as is former Husky All-American Tyler King, and Western Washington alum Jordan Welling.

In Pullman, Liz Harper of Washington State won the pentathlon at the Cougar Indoor/Multis meet that got underway Friday at the WSU Indoor Facility.

Harper won with a score of 3876, followed by teammate Lindsey Schauble at 3413.

Harper opened with a 60m hurdles time of 8.62 seconds, high jumped 5-feet, 5 3/4 inches (1.67m), threw the shot put a PR distance of 37-11 1/2 (12.57m), long jumped 17-7 1/2 (5.37m) and ran the 800m in a time of 2 minutes 23.93 seconds. Schauble clocked in a 60m hurdles time of 9.19, cleared 5-2 1/4 (1.58m) in the high jump, threw the shot put 32-10 1/4 (10.01m), long jumped 17-3 1/4 (5.26m), and ran the 800m in a time of 2:31.95.

In the concurrent heptathlon, Ray Littles of the Cougars Ray Littles leads after the first day of competition with a score of 2808 points.

Washington State’s release is available here.  That meet continues Saturday with a full slate of events.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field and the sports information office at Eastern Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Washington men's team moves up in latest USTFCCCA computer rankings; Cunliffe on Bowerman Watch list...

Some quick notes before we head to Bend, Oregon for Saturday’s USA Cross Country Championships, which is the selection meet for next month’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda:

Both University of Washington track teams remain in the USTFCCCA national top-25 computer rankings released earlier this week.

Thanks in part to Colby Gilbert’s (left/photo by Paul Merca) stellar 7:45.71 3000 meter run at last Saturday’s UW Invitational, the Husky men’s squad moved up five places to #20 in the latest computer rankings.

Gilbert’s run puts him at number one on the current NCAA Division I rankings at that distance, while fellow Husky Fred Huxham stands #22 in the national rankings after his 8:05.23 performance in the same race.

The nation’s top five men’s teams are Florida, Oregon, LSU, Arkansas, and Texas A&M.  

Other teams from the MPSF that are ranked include #8 USC, and #13 Stanford.

On the women’s side, the Huskies dropped two spots in the national computer rankings to #23.

The top five schools are Oregon, Arkansas, Georgia, USC & Florida.

The Huskies are the only other MPSF school ranked in the top 25.

Meanwhile, the USTFCCCA announced its February edition of the Bowerman Watch List, and Federal Way HS grad Hannah Cunliffe is on the initial list of ten women selected by the USTFCCCA.

Cunliffe, who competes at the University of Oregon, holds the collegiate lead in the 60 meter dash, after winning the East-West Challenge meet last weekend in New York, hosted by Columbia University, where she ran 7.13.

At the same meet, she ran 23.00 for 200 meters, where she was second behind Duck teammate and 2016 US Olympian Deajah Stevens, who ran a collegiate leading time of 22.65.

Cunliffe and Stevens are two of a record five women from the University of Oregon on the Bowerman Watch list.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

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