Friday, March 31, 2017

Darhian Mills breaks into UW top-10 in 400H at Texas Relays...

AUSTIN, Texas—Competing in the 400 hurdles for the second time ever, redshirt freshman Darhian Mills (left/photo by Paul Merca) broke into the University of Washington’s all-time top ten Thursday, as the main portion of the Texas Relays got underway at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

Mills ran 59.21, the 14th fastest time of the day, as she finished fourth in her heat, won by LSU’s Kymber Payne in 57.77.  Her time now ranks her #8 in school history.

The men’s 400 hurdles saw Husky freshman Oscar Herrera run 55.28 in heat 8.

In the women’s javelin, Eastern Washington’s Samantha Baker was fifth in Section B of her event, throwing a best of 143-5 (43.72m) as Kristyn Archuleta of North Texas won with a throw of 151-3 (46.10m).

Washington’s Lev Marcus cleared 16-7.25 (5.06m) in section B of the University/College men’s pole vault. as did the Huskies’ Blaise Black in section C. Teammate Zach Shugart cleared 16-1.25 (4.91m) in the same section.

Action involving Washington’s D1/D2 schools gets underway Friday at the Texas Relays, Stanford Invite, San Francisco State Distance Carnival, and the UCLA Bob Larsen Distance Carnival.

At the Florida Relays, Rainier Beach HS and University of Oregon grad Michael Berry finished seventh overall and third in his heat of the open 400 meters, running 46.44 Thursday.

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

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The guide to where your favorite Washington D1/D2 schools are competing this weekend...

Brock Eager of WSU was named the Pac-12 Men's Field Event
Athlete of the Week for last weekend. He and the Cougs are
in LA for the UCLA Legends meet (photo courtesy WSU Sports Info)
If you’re trying to figure out where your favorite Washington Division I or II school is competing this weekend, fear not—we will try to sort it out for you!

The UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON will send athletes to the Texas Relays in Austin Thursday-Saturday, and the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto Friday-Saturday, with predominantly distance runners and throwers heading to Stanford and sprinters and pole vaulters off to Texas.

WASHINGTON STATE sends their distance runners to the Bay Area to either the San Francisco State Distance Carnival in San Francisco on Friday or the Stanford Invitational Friday and Saturday, while the majority of their squad heads to Los Angeles Friday and Saturday for the UCLA Legends meet.

EASTERN WASHINGTON has three groups of athletes heading to Texas (two sprinters, a jumper and a javelin thrower), Stanford (two distance runners), and Missoula, Montana (everyone else) for the Al Manuel Invitational, hosted by the University of Montana Saturday.

In Division II, WESTERN WASHINGTON has athletes competing at both San Francisco and Stanford, with those not traveling will make the trip from Bellingham to Tacoma Saturday for the Shotwell Invitational hosted by the University of Puget Sound.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON & SEATTLE PACIFIC will have athletes participating at both the San Francisco State and Stanford meets.  Those athletes from Seattle Pacific not traveling will make the short trip to Tacoma for the Shotwell Invitational.

The only schools not splitting their team this weekend are SAINT MARTIN’S, which has their team competing in Tacoma at Saturday’s Shotwell Invitational, along with SEATTLE UNIVERSITY, which will send a group of distance runners to San Francisco for Friday’s San Francisco State Distance Carnival. GONZAGA sends their athletes to the UCLA Bob Larsen Distance meet Friday, held in conjunction with the UCLA Legends meet.

Here's the list of meets, along with links to either the host school's web site or to the live results page:

TEXAS RELAYS:  Washington, Eastern Washington
STANFORD Washington, Washington State, Eastern Washington, Western Washington, Central Washington, Seattle Pacific
SAN FRANCISCO STATE: Washington State, SeattleU, Western Washington, Central Washington, Seattle Pacific
AL MANUEL INVITE: Eastern Washington
SHOTWELL INVITE: Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Saint Martin’s

NOTE:  Check that particular school’s track & field web site for updated information.  Thanks to all of the SIDs of each school for providing information for this post.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Chelanga turns in top individual finish at IAAF World Cross Country Championships...

KAMPALA, Uganda—Sam Chelanga’s (left/photo by Paul Merca) 11th place finish in the senior men’s race was the top individual showing by Team USA at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships at the Kololo Independence Grounds Sunday.

Chelanga finished in a time of 29:13, as Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamwowor took home his second world cross country title in a time of 28:24. Leonard Barsoton of Kenya was second in 28:36, and Abadi Hadis of Ethiopia was third in 28:43.

For finishing inside the top 15, Chelanga earned an automatic IAAF qualifying standard in the 10000 for this summer’s world championships, provided he makes the U.S. team in that event.

In a close battle for the medals, Team USA finished fifth with a final team score of 78 points, as Ethiopia won with a low score of 21, followed by Kenya’s 22, and host Uganda’s 72 points.

Eritrea was fourth with 75, followed by Team USA’s 78 points.

Sunday’s racing began with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80s and 65% humidity, and stayed constant throughout the nearly four hours of racing.

Early in the senior men’s 10k race, Team USA had four runners positioned in the top 26, but several struggled with the heat.

Reigning USATF cross country champion Leonard Korir was among those running up front early, running in sixth at the end of the first lap, before he finished in 20th in a time of 29:36.

Likewise, Stanley Kebenei was third at the end of the first lap, before he faded to 26th in 30:03.

2016 US Olympian Shadrack Kipchirchir stayed relatively in the same position for most of the race, finishing 21st in 29:44.

On the other hand, Chelanga worked his way from 26th to 22nd at the end of the second lap, then to 18th and 14th, before picking off three more runners in the final lap to take eleventh.

Scott Fauble rounded out Team USA’s finishers, crossing the line in 36th in 30:20.  Trevor Dunbar did not start due to an illness shortly before the race.

In the senior women’s 10k, USATF champion Aliphine Tuliamuk finished 15th to earn an automatic qualifying standard to this summer’s IAAF world track & field championships in London, as she ran 33:43.

Like Chelanga, she also must make the U.S. team in the 10,000m at the USATF Outdoor Championships in Sacramento.

Her finish led Team USA to a surprising fifth place team finish, as they scored 90 points.

Irene Cheptai (31:57), Alice Nawowuna (32:01) and Lilian Rengeruk (32:11) took all three individual podium spots for Kenya.

Kenya scored a perfect 10 points to win yet another world championship, followed by Ethiopia’s 45 and Bahrain’s 59. Host Uganda was fourth with 68, comfortably ahead of Team USA’s 90 points.

Tuliamuk started the first of five laps in 19th place, then slowly worked her way up as the race progressed.  

Just behind Tuliamuk was Sarah Pagano in 33rd place, followed by Elaina Balouris in 40th and Stephanie Bruce one spot back.

As the race progressed, every runner on Team USA except for Balouris moved up spots, a fact that surprised many of the teams.

Behind Tuliamuk, Bruce finished 22nd in 34:42, with Natosha Rogers one place back in 34:47. Pagano was 30th in 35:18.

Rounding out Team USA’s finishers were Balouris in 48th in 36:26, and Emily Pritt, who was 74th in 37:58.

Bruce, who was just as surprised at her own finish, said in the mixed zone afterwards, “It was awesome! That was the most amazing, tough, and incredible race I’ve ever been a part of. The US team came out as wild cards and surprised some people. I wanted to get out and establish good position. The heat was oppressive, but there was a lot of energy from the crowd.”

The day of racing opened with the first ever 4 x 2k mixed relay, as the team of Cory Leslie, Eleanor Fulton, Marisa Howard, and Olympic 5000m silver medalist Paul Chelimo finished sixth in a time of 24:08.

With two-time Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop running an opening leg of 5:19 for Kenya, Team USA was put in a hole they could not dig themselves out of, as Leslie ran 5:44 on his leg.

Team USA dropped one place to ninth on the second leg, run by University of Washington alum Eleanor Fulton, who split 6:46.  Pasco native Marisa Howard kept Team USA in ninth with a split of 6:31, before handing the wrist band to Chelimo, who split 4:56 on the last lap to overtake three teams.

Kenya won in 22:22, with Ethiopia second at 22:30, and Turkey third in 22:37.

Team USA’s Under-20 men’s squad finished ninth over the 8k distance with 189 points, led by Paul Roberts’ 33rd place finish in 25:31.

Aidan Reed was 46th in 25:55 , followed by Hamza Ali in 52nd in 26:14.

Alex Haines was 58th in 26:28 to round out the scorers.  Isaac Harding was 61st in 26:37 , while University of Washington freshman Gavin Parpart was 86th in 27:55.

Jacob Kiplimo of host Uganda won in 22:40, followed by Amdework Walelegn of Ethiopia in 22:43. Richard Kimunyan of Kenya rounded out the individual medalists with his third place finishing time of 22:52.

Ethiopia (17), Kenya (28), and Eritrea (55) took the top three spots in the team competition.

Team USA’ Under-20 women’s squad finished 12th with a final score of 212 points.

USATF national champ Michelle Magnani led the team with her 37th place finish over the 6k course in a time of 21:32.

She was followed by Logan Morris in 45th place in 21:58 .  Aubrey Roberts was 56th in 22:18, followed by Madison Fruchey in 74th in a time of 22:54 to round out the scorers.

Sedro Wooley HS senior Kristen Garcia in 78th (23:04) and Megan Murray in 83rd (23:35) were Team USA’s final two runners across the line.

Incoming University of Washington freshman Shona McCulloch from Canada was 86th in 24:07.

Letesenbet Gedey led an Ethiopia 1-2 finish in a time of 18:34, followed by teammate Hawi Feysa in 18:57.  Celliphine Chespol of Kenya was third in 19:02.

In a close team race, Ethiopia edged Kenya by one point, 19-20, with Uganda third with 63 points.

Sunday's championship closes out cross country action for Team USA in 2017.  The next IAAF event for Team USA will be the IAAF World Relays, April 22-23 in Nassau, Bahamas.

NOTE:  This post was originally published on the USA Track & Field web site. publisher Paul Merca is in Kampala working as the press officer for USA Track & Field.

Team USA finishes final course preview ahead of Kampala 2017...

Mike Scott, Bill Roe, Eleanor Fulton, Brianna McLeod, Aretha Thurmond,
Gavin Parpart & Paul Merca are part of the Team USA delegation
at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships
(Jiro Mochizuki photo)
KAMPALA, Uganda—The 28 men and women representing Team USA previewed the Kololo Independence Grounds for the final time Saturday, as teams got one last look at the course where Sunday’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships will be contested.

While the course is mostly flat, the 2000-meter course that loops around the Kololo Independence Grounds has two sets of two logs laid out on the course that the athletes have to either step or hurdle over, along with a man made hill, a ditch, and two other small hills that the runners must traverse, with the final hill approximately 600 meters from the finish of the loop.

Though there are points on the course where meet organizers could’ve made it easier on the runners by incorporating long stretches in the straightaways, they have put in some short sharp left and right turns to break up the rhythm.

The championships begin at 2 pm, local time (7 am, eastern time) with the 4x2k relay, followed 30 minutes later (7:30 am, eastern time) by the women’s Under-20 6k race.

The Under-20 men’s race commences at 3:10 pm (8:10 am, eastern time), followed at 3:55 pm (8:55 am, eastern time) by the senior women’s 10k.

The championships conclude at 4:55 pm, local time (9:55 am, eastern time) with the senior men’s 10k.

The spotlight at these world championships will shine the brightest on Olympic 5000 meter silver medalist Paul Chelimo, who will team with Cory Leslie, University of Washington alum Eleanor Fulton and Pasco HS grad Marisa Howard in the inaugural 4 x 2k co-ed relay; reigning USATF cross country champions Aliphine Tuliamuk and  Leonard Korir; and, Shadrack Kipchirchir, who was on the Olympic team last year with Chelimo and Korir.

After the course preview, Chelimo, who stated that he will run the anchor leg on the mixed 4 x 2k relay team, said that the course is to his liking, except for the corners.

On the two double logs that the runners will have to step over or hurdle during the race, the Olympic 5000m silver medalist said that he had some initial concerns about the barriers being spaced too close together, but that the organizers have spaced the logs to a more reasonable distance.

Reigning USATF senior women’s cross country champion Tuliamuk said the man made obstacles equalizes the course and doesn’t favor any particular runner or running type.

She said that the weather Sunday (projected to be 78 degrees with a 20 percent chance of rain) may play a factor, as Kampala had some precipitation in the early hours of Saturday morning, making some spots less than ideal, including the man-made ditch the runners must cover.

“I think that what we went through in Bend (with the snowy conditions) will help our runners deal with the kind of adversity the course brings,” she said.

Kipchirchir said that training with fellow American Distance Project team members Korir and Sam Chelanga has been an asset, noting having them in Sunday’s 10k race will give each other someone to key off of. “We’ve been training as a group for almost a year, and our personal coach will be there, so being together will help.”

The University of Washington's Gavin Parpart will run in the Under-20 men's 8k for Team USA, while Sedro Wooley HS senior Kristen Garcia and incoming UW freshman Shona McCulloch will be in the women's Under-20 6k.  McCulloch will run for Team Canada.

At Saturday’s team meeting, Stephanie Bruce (senior women), Shadrack Kipchirchir (senior men), Madison Fruchey (U20 women) and Paul Roberts (U20 men) were selected by their teammates as the captains of their respective squads.

At the last world cross country championships two years ago in Guiyang, China, the senior women finished fifth, while the senior men were seventh.  Team USA’s Under-20 men were sixth, and the Under-20 women were eighth.

The IAAF World Cross Country Championships will be aired on a delayed basis on Universal HD online from 11:30am to 12:30pm, and broadcast from 9pm to 10pm, also on Universal HD.

Follow along with #USATF on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook using #Kampala2017.


While we are here in Kampala, there is action around the Pacific Northwest as the outdoor track and field season gets underway across the state.

Most of Washington’s nine Division I and II teams were competing at various meets, most notably at the Sam Adams meet hosted by Whitworth University in Spokane on Thursday and Friday, and at the Doris Heritage Distance Classic at West Seattle Stadium, hosted by Seattle Pacific.

At the Sam Adams meet, Brock Eager of Washington State won the hammer on Thursday with a throw of 225-1 (68.68m), the fourth best mark in school history, and a new personal best.

A small contingent of athletes from the University of Washington went across town to compete at the Doris Heritage Distance Classic Saturday at West Seattle Stadium, 

Those who did go collected eight wins, led by hammer throwers Carey Campbell and Onyie Chibuogwu, and 1500 meter runners Emily Hamlin and Andrew Gardner.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field contributed to this report. Paul Merca of is in Kampala working as the USATF press officer at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Also contributing to this post are the sports information offices at the University of Washington, Washington State, Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, and Seattle Pacific.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Team USA has podium in sight at Kampala 2017...

KAMPALA, Uganda—Team USA rolled into Kampala with hopes of bringing back to the United States a team medal of any color at this coming Sunday’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships at the Kololo Independence Grounds.

A return to the podium by either the senior men’s team or the women’s senior squad would mark the first time since the men did it at the 2013 championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland when the team earned a silver medal, and the first since 2011 for the women’s squad in Punta Umbria, Spain.

Adding to the intrigue is the first mixed relay featuring teams of two men and two women who will run a two-kilometer loop, in any order.  The runners will pass a wrist band that serves as the baton through the 20-meter exchange zone.

Team USA’s mixed relay team is led by Paul Chelimo (left/photo by Paul Merca), the reigning Olympic 5000 meter silver medalist from Rio, who recently won the USATF indoor two-mile title in Albuquerque in a time of 8:28.53. He will be joined by Ohio State grad Cory Leslie, best known as an 8:19.12 steeplechaser, along with University of Washington alum Eleanor Fulton, who was seventh in the 1000 meters at the USATF indoor championships, and Marisa Howard, who was an NCAA scorer in the steeplechase in 2015 at Boise State.

Reigning USATF Cross Country champion Leonard Korir enters these world championships with an undefeated record so far this year.  Korir started 2017 off with a victory at the Great Edinburgh X-Country race, defeating Great Britain’s Callum Hawkins in a thrilling finish, running the 8K course in 24:03. He then won the USATF title in Bend, Oregon last month by running the 10k course in 30:12.

The 2016 Olympian at 10000 meters will be joined on the team by second place finisher Stanley Kebenei; Korir’s 2016 Olympic 10000m teammate Shadrack Kipchirchir; former NCAA cross country champion Sam Chelanga; University of Oregon alum Trevor Dunbar, who has world cross country championship experience as an Under-20 athlete; and University of Portland grad Scott Fauble.

Multi-time USATF champion Aliphine Tuliamuk leads Team USA into Kampala, after her victorious romp over the snowy River’s Edge Golf Course in Bend, where she clocked 34:24 to win by 48 seconds.

Joining Tuliamuk are fifth place finisher Sarah Pagano, formerly out of Syracuse University; Pagano’s Boston AA teammate Elaina Balouris, who returns to the world cross country championships after finishing 64th in this meet two years ago in Guiyang; seventh place finisher Stephanie Bruce; ninth place finisher Emily Pritt, who ran in this meet in Amman, Jordan as an under-20 athlete; and, Texas A&M alum Natosha Rogers.

Paul Roberts from Division II Colorado State University/Pueblo returns to the national team after winning the men’s Under-20 title by four seconds over Isaac Harding, a freshman at the University of Michigan.  Roberts is the only athlete on the Under-20 squad with world cross country championship experience, as he placed 59th two years ago in Guiyang.

Also on this all-college freshman team are third place finisher Hamza Ali from the University of Minnesota; fourth place finisher Gavin Parpart from the University of Washington; fifth place finisher Aidan Reed from Southern Utah University; and seventh placer Alec Haines from Oklahoma State University.

The Under-20 women’s team is led by Oklahoma State freshman Michelle Magnani, who earned a hard fought 5-second victory in Bend over Northwestern freshman Aubrey Roberts.

Fourth place finisher Logan Morris from Clemson; fifth place finisher Megan Murray from Tennessee; sixth place finisher Kristen Garcia, the lone high school athlete from Sedro Wooley, Washington; and, seventh placer Madison Fruchey from Indiana University/Purdue University at Fort Wayne, round out the Team USA squad.

The coaching staff for Team USA is: Ed Eyestone (senior men’s coach); Dena Evans, a former state track champion from Mercer Island (senior women’s coach); Steve Placencia (Under-20 mens’ coach); and Melody Fairchild (Under-20 women’s coach).

At the last world cross country championships two years ago in Guiyang, China, the senior women finished fifth, while the senior men were seventh.  Team USA’s Under-20 men were sixth, and the Under-20 women were eighth.

The state of Washington is represented in Kampala by: Eleanor Fulton (Washington alum), Gavin Parpart (current Husky), and Kristen Garcia from Sedro Wooley HS.  University of Washington incoming freshman Shona McCulloch is competing for Team Canada in the U20 women's race.

The IAAF World Cross Country Championships will be aired on a delayed basis on Universal HD online from 11:30am to 12:30pm, and broadcast from 9pm to 10pm, also on Universal HD.

Follow along with #USATF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #Kampala2017.

NOTE:  This post was originally published on the USA Track & Field web site. publisher Paul Merca is in Kampala working as the press officer for USA Track & Field.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

We are off to Kampala for the world cross country championships!

Those of you who follow either myself or the blog (or both) on social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) probably know that I’m in transit to cover the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda, which will be contested on Sunday March 26th.

As I write this piece from Boston’s Logan International Airport, I’ve just been hit with the first surprise as the TSA has announced that flights from eight countries to the USA, including the United Arab Emirates, will not let passengers carry on board items such as laptops and cameras.  Now this would not be a big deal, except that I will be coming home via Dubai International Airport.

Needless to say, I’m not too happy about this turn of events, especially the speed in which the current administration has decided to enforce this.

I will be writing updates for USA Track & Field while I’m in Kampala, so I suggest you also visit for more information about Team USA at the championships, including the three athletes with Washington ties—Eleanor Fulton (above/photo by Paul Merca), Marisa Howard and Gavin Parpart.  Fulton and Howard will run in the first mixed 4 x 2k cross country relay, while Parpart will run in the men’s Under-20 8k race.

In addition, incoming University of Washington freshman Shona McCulloch will run for Team Canada at the world championships.

We will do our best to update you with coverage of meets involving our local teams competing during the spring break period this week.  I’d also encourage you to visit the track & field web sites of your favorite Washington college or university, and also check out the web site for results.

Our coverage begins from Kampala on Thursday!  See you on the other side of the world!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

WSU's CJ Allen and UW's Kristina Owsinski take early season collegiate lead at USC Trojan Invite...

LOS ANGELES—Washington State’s CJ Allen (left/photo by Paul Merca) opened the 2017 outdoor campaign at Saturday’s USC Trojan Invitational at Loker Stadium on the campus of USC, running the 400 hurdles in a time of 50.43.

One day after Miles Parish of Arizona took the early season collegiate lead in that event by running 51.56 at the Willie Williams Classic in Tucson, Allen let the country know that he will be a force to contend with in June at the NCAA championships with his 50.43 clocking, just short of his lifetime best of 50.16.

Washington’s Kristina Owsinski, the 2015 Pac-12 pole vault champion and NCAA scorer, who missed all of the 2016 outdoor season with an Achilles tendon injury, won her event with a clearance of 13-11.25 (4.25m) just ahead of teammate and reigning Pac-12 champ Liz Quick, who cleared 13-3.5 (4.05m).  Owsinski’s mark leads the NCAA for the time being, pending the outcome of several other meets around the country this weekend not posted on the site.

At USC, the Cougars got victories from Cole Smith in the mens’ javelin (216-7/66.01m), and freshman Atina Kamasi in the women’s javelin with a toss of 155-6 (47.39m).

Washington got wins in the women’s 800, as Hannah Derby missed her personal best, going 2:07.96, and redshirt freshman Connor Morello won the men’s 800 in 1:51.39.

Other Husky winners included Chase Smith in the men’s pole vault (17-0.75/5.20m); Darhian Mills in the women’s 400 hurdles (59.82), and Casey Burns in the men’s triple jump (51-5/15.67m wind aided).

In Sacramento, Seattle Pacific’s Scout Cai finished fifth in the heptathlon at the Hornet Invitational that concluded Saturday.

Cai scored a two-day total of 4781 points, as Karolin Anders from Alaska Anchorage won with a score of 5180 points.

Teammates Brooke Benner and Geneva Lehnert finished in eighth, and ninth places, respectively with scores of 4421 and 4407.

The Falcons’ 4x100 relay team of Becca Houk, Cheryl Hong, Kyra Brannan and Lani Taylor finished fifth in a time of 47.64, as Cal won in 46.05.

Brannan finished seventh in the long jump wt a mark of 18-4.25 (5.59m) as Brooke Whitburn of Chico State won with a best of 19-2 (5.84m).

On the men’s side, the Falcons’ Peyton Harris was third in his heat of the 110 hurdles, running 15.33, and Justin Ramsey was seventh in his heat of the 400, running 51.11.

In Portland, Western Washington’s prowess in the field events powered their mens’ team to victory in the Lewis & Clark College Spring Break Open meet in Portland Saturday.

Adam Thomas in the pole vault (15-1.5/4.61m), Kevin Yates in the long jump (23-4/7.11m), Brandon Pless in the shot put (52-1.75/15.89m), and Alex Barry in the javelin (192-5/58.66m) contributes to the Vikings’ final team score of 137 points to take the men’s team title.

On the women’s side, the Vikings finished second behind Oregon State, with the Beavers scoring 177 to WWU’s 82.5, just a half-point ahead of SeattleU.

Brittany Grant won the women’s 3000 steeple for the Vikings in 11:04.36. The Vikings won the 4 x 100 relay in 48.71, and Jasmine McMullin won the triple jump at 38-10.5 (11.85m).

Saint Martin’s Deanna Avalos led a sweep of the podium in the women’s javelin with a toss of 133-7 (40.73m), with teammates Kathryn Walker (130-4) and Jona Spiller (128-8/39.22m) taking second and third.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Washington State, Washington, USC, and Sacramento State contributed to this report.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Outdoor season goes into full swing for all nine Washington D1/D2 schools...

Washington’s nine Division I and II schools are in action Friday and Saturday as the 2017 outdoor track & field season gets underway.

Both Washington and Washington State are getting away from the rain and generally dreary weather of the Pacific Northwest as they head to sunny Los Angeles for Friday and Saturday’s USC Trojan Invitational at Loker Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern California.

The Huskies and Cougars are both sending close to 50 athletes to Los Angeles for the USC Trojan Invitational, with many of their long throwers getting their first taste of competition during the outdoor opener.

Among those competing are 2015 Pac-12 pole vault champion and NCAA scorer Kristina Owsinski (left/photo by Paul Merca), who missed the entire 2016 outdoor season after injuring her Achilles tendon.

A small contingent of athletes from WSU, along with athletes from Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, and Central Washington will head to Spokane for the Whitworth Buc Scoring meet, hosted by Whitworth University.

Central will also send athletes to Portland for the Lewis & Clark Spring Break Open meet hosted by Lewis & Clark College, along with Seattle University, Western Washington, Saint Martin’s, and Seattle Pacific.

The Falcons will also send a few select athletes to Sacramento this weekend for the Hornet Invitational hosted by Cal State Sacramento at Hornet Stadium. Those athletes include their three multi-event specialists—Scout Can, Brooke Benner and Geneva Lehnert, who will contest the heptathlon.  They’ll also send a women’s 4 x 100 relay team, plus long jumper Kyra Brannan, who will also run the 100.  Two male Falcons—hurdler Peyton Harris and 400 meter runner Justin Ramsey are also slated to compete in Sacramento.


Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of the University of Oregon was named by the USTFCCCA as its women’s national track athlete of the just completed indoor season.

Cunliffe had a solid outing at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships to help her Ducks squad win its 7th title in 8 years. The junior won the 60 meters with a time of 7.14, followed by a 2nd-place finish in the 200 meters at 22.53, behind teammate Ariana Washington. Washington and Cunliffe became the first teammates to finish 1-2 in the 200 meters at NCAAs since Auburn did so in 2010. During the regular season, the product from Federal Way, Washington broke the indoor collegiate record in the 60 meters with a time of 7.07 at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational. Cunliffe is the first sprinter to win the award since 2012 (Diamond Dixon, Kansas) and first from Oregon to win since 2011 (Jordan Hasay).

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

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Federal Way HS grad Hannah Cunliffe wins NCAA indoor 60m title...

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The University of Oregon’s Hannah Cunliffe (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, left no doubt in anyone’s mind who the fastest short sprinter in the country is.

The Federal Way HS grad, one month removed from claiming the collegiate all-time best over any conditions in Albuquerque by running 7.07 over 60 meters, cemented her claim as collegiate track & field’s best indoor sprinter by winning the 60 meter dash at the NCAA Division I indoor track & field championships at Gilliam Indoor Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M.

Though challenged by Kentucky’s Javianne Oliver, Cunliffe powered to victory, running 7.14 to Oliver’s 7.16.

Cunliffe’s teammates, Ariana Washington, and Deajah Stevens, finished third and fifth, respectively in times of 7.20 and 7.22.

In the 200, Washington flipped the script on Cunliffe, winning it in 22.42 to Cunliffe’s 22.53.

All told, Cunliffe scored 18 points for the Ducks as Oregon won yet another national title, scoring a meet record 84 points

One day after a disappointing 15th place finish in the 5000 meter run, Washington’s Colby Gilbert redeemed himself with a fifth place finish in the 3000, running 7:59.41.

Gilbert led for the first half of the race before Oregon’s Edward Cheserek took command, en route to his 17th career NCAA title, winning in 7:55.91.

Colbert native John Dressel of the University of Colorado earned his second podium finish of the meet, finishing in eighth place in a time of 8:01.93, after placing fourth in the 5000 Friday night.

The Huskies’ Liz Quick finished in a tie for seventh with 2016 US Olympian Lexi Weeks of the University of Arkansas in the women’s pole vault, with a clearance of 13-9.25 (4.20m).

Quick made her opening height of 13-3.5 (4.05m) on her first attempt, before clearing 13-9.25 (4.20m).  She then had three straight misses at 14-1.25 (4.30m) to end her day, as Alabama’s Lakan Taylor won with a clearance of 14-7.25 (4.45m). Quick became the fourth Husky pole vaulter since 2012 to score at the NCAA championships, joining Diamara Planell Cruz, Kristina Owsinski, and Logan Miller.

Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale finished ninth in the women’s mile, running 4:35.12, as Karisa Nelson of Samford was the upset winner in 4:31.24.

Washington opens up the 2017 outdoor track & field season next weekend, as the Huskies travel to Los Angeles for the Trojan Invitational, hosted by USC.

Porter, a native of Vancouver, ran 9:29.47, after being in the lead pack for the first 2400, as Alicja Konieczek of Western State (CO) won in 9:23.19.

Porter was able to beat out her sister Georgia, who also competes for Western State (CO). Georgia finished eighth in 9:32.42, to duplicate her finish two days earlier in the 5000, where she took the final podium spot over Shannon in that race.

NOTE:  The NCAA, University of Oregon, University of Washington, and Saint Martin’s University contributed to this report.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Saint Martin's Mikel Smith adds NCAA D2 indoor high jump title to trophy case...

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama—Saint Martin’s Mikel Smith (above/photo by Loren Orr, GNAC) added the indoor high jump title to the championship he won in the 2016 outdoor season Friday as day 2 of the NCAA Division II championships concluded at the Birmingham Crossplex.

Smith opened up the competition with two straight first attempt clearances at 6-10.75 (2.10m) and 7-1 (2.16m) before passing at 7-2.25 (2.19m).

Meanwhile, the two other jumpers remaining in the competition, Isaiah Kyle of Wingate, and Hunter Weeks of Grand Valley State battled it out at 7-2.25 (2.19m), with Kyle taking the lead with a clutch third attempt make at that height, while Weeks missed all three attempts.

Knowing he needed to top his personal best and GNAC conference record of 7-3 (2.21m) that he set at the conference championship meet three weeks ago to even win the national title, Smith did so in dramatic fashion, clearing 7-3.25 (2.22m) on his third and final attempt.

After winning, he took three shots at 7-6.5 (2.30m), one centimeter above the meet record of 7-6, jus to see what that height looked like.

SMU head coach Jim Brewer said that Mikel had a plan of taking six jumps to win the championship.

Brewer said “Mikel was a little nervous going into the meet but once it got started he told himself ‘I got this’. As always he represented himself and Saint Martin’s very well. This was truly a great day for Saint Martin’s”

In the men’s heptathlon, Central Washington’s Kodiak Landis finished third with a final two-day score of 5382 points, as he started the day with a 8.77 performance in the 60 hurdles, then followed it up with a 15-3 (4.65m) clearance in the pole vault, and ran 2:48.36 in the 1000.

Shakiel Chattoo of Azusa Pacific won the heptathlon with a final score of 5472, with teammate Corey Reid second at 5382, 40 points ahead of Landis.

Landis’ teammate McKenna Emmert finished in a tie for fourth in the women’s pole vault, clearing a personal best of 12-10.25 (3.92m).  Western Washington’s Anna Paraadee also cleared the same height, but finished seventh based on misses at lower heights.

The Seattle Pacific women’s distance medley relay team of Sarah Macdonald, Lani Taylor, Chynna Phan, and Mary Charleson finished eighth to give the Falcons the final spot on the podium and a First Team All-America honors, running 11:36.02, as Adams State won in a meet record 11:15.28.

In the men’s triple jump, Central Washington’s Luke Plummer finished 13th with a best of 48-9.5 (14.87m), as Michael Sandle of Minnesota State won with a best of 52-10.25 (16.11m).

Central’s Mariyah Vongsaveng finished second in her semifinal of the 60 hurdles in a time of 8.57, but did not advance to Saturday’s final.

The only Washington athletes remaining are Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter, as the Vancouver native competes in the 3000, along with her sister Georgia, who runs for Western State in Colorado.

In College Station, Texas, Colbert native John Dressel (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the University of Colorado finished fourth in the men’s 5000 at the NCAA Division I championships Friday, hosted by Texas A&M at the Gilliam Indoor Facility.

Dressel ran 13:47.84, as Oregon’s Edward Cheserek won his 16th career NCAA title, taking the victory in 13:41.20.

Washington’s Colby Gilbert, who was one of the favorites, and was in the lead group for the first 4000 meters, finished a disappointing 15th, in a time of 14:20.58.

Olympia native Brooke Feldmeier of Oregon ran an impressive 800 meter leg of 2:04 to keep the Ducks in contention in the women’s distance medley relay, before finishing third in an exciting finish, as Colorado came from behind to nose out Stanford and Oregon. The Buffaloes nosed out the Cardinal 11:00.34 to 11:00.36, with Oregon third at 11:00.68.

Washington’s Chase Smith, appearing in his first NCAA championship meet, finished in a tie for 11th in the pole vault with a best of 17-6.5 (5.35m), as Chris Nilsen of South Dakota won with a clearance of 18-8.25 (5.70m).

In semi-final action, Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of the University of Oregon was the top qualifier in the women’s 60 meter dash running 7.13 to win her heat over teammate Deajah Stevens, who ran 7.17.

Cunliffe had the second fastest time of the day in the women’s 200, running 22.74 to win her heat.

Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale ran the second fastest time in the semis of the mile, as she ran 4:35.38 to take second and easily advance to Saturday’s finals.

Tacoma native Marcus Chambers was nosed out of Saturday’s mens’ 200 meter final by 2/1000ths of a second as he ran 20.83 (20.827) to finish third in heat 4.  Maxwell Willis of Baylor earned the eight and final spot to Saturday’s two-section final, running 20.83 (20.825) to take second in heat 2.

Saturday, Cunliffe and Neale return to action in their respective events.  In addition, Washington’s Liz Quick competes in the finals of the women’s pole vault, and the Huskies’ Gilbert will run in the 3000, where he enters the meet as the national leader.

NOTE:  The NCAA, GNAC and the sports information offices of the University of Washington, Central Washington University, Saint Martin’s and Seattle Pacific contributed to this report.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

NCAA championships closes out the 2017 indoor track season...

The NCAA indoor track & field championships get started Friday at Gilliam Indoor on the campus of Texas A&M, with the Washington Huskies sending four athletes, and Federal Way’s Hannah Cunliffe among the key athletes in the University of Oregon’s attempt to repeat as national champions.

Washington sends to College Station pole vaulters Liz Quick (above/photo by Paul Merca) and Chase Smith, and distance runners Colby Gilbert and Amy-Eloise Neale.

For Gilbert, who will contest both the 5000 Friday night, and the 3000 Saturday, this marks his third straight NCAA indoor appearance, while Quick makes her second appearance at the national championships.  Smith and Neale, who will run the mile, are making their national indoor championship meet debut.

Smith competes in the finals of the men’s pole vault on Friday, while Quick jumps on Saturday.  Neale runs a semifinal in the mile Friday.

One of the big stories heading into the NCAA championships is whether or not Federal Way HS grad can withstand the pressure of being the #1 seeded sprinter in the 60 meter dash, after winning the MPSF title, and setting an all-conditions collegiate record of 7.07 on February 11th in Albuquerque, while helping the Ducks get the valuable points needed to help win another national indoor title.

Cunliffe is entered in the 200 meters as well, where she is ranked second behind teammate Death Stevens. Most knowledgeable track & field prognosticators project Cunliffe to contribute 18 points for Oregon’s cause.  Cunliffe will run a semi-final in both the 60 and 200 on Friday

Colbert native John Dressel of the University of Colorado runs in the finals of the men’s 3000 on Saturday.

After some withdrawals, Tacoma native Marcus Chambers of the University of Oregon was added to the field in the men’s 200.

ESPN3 will have live streaming coverage of the NCAA championships starting at 3:25 pacific time, and Saturday at 1:55 pm, wth a re-air of the meet on Sunday March 12 at 4pm on ESPN2.

Meanwhile, the NCAA Division II got underway Thursday at the Birmingham Crossplex in Birmingham, Alabama.

Central Washington’s Kodiak Landis stands third at the break in the heptathlon with a score of 2958 points, as Shakiel Chattoo of Azusa Pacific leads with 3242 points.

Landis ran a personal best of 7.07 in the 60, followed by two straight PBs in the long jump (23-1.75/7.05m) and the shot put (41-1/12.52m), before finishing the day by high jumping 5-11.25 (1.81m).

In the women’s 5000, sisters Georgia and Shannon Porter, who compete for Western State (Colorado), and Saint Martin’s, finished together, in eighth & ninth place, respectively.

Georgia ran 16:46.09, while Shannon finished in 16:51.76.  Alexis Zeis of U-Mary won the race in 16:23.22.

In the semis of the women’s mile, Mary Charleson of Seattle Pacific finished seventh in her heat, running 4:56.49, as Emilee Trost of Minnesota-Duluth took the race in 4:46.53.

Charleson, along with Sarah Macdonald, Chynna Phan and Lani Taylor, will compete in the distance medley relay Friday, while Landis finishes up in the heptathlon.

Also competing Friday are Central Washington’s Mariyah Vongsaveng (60 hurdles), pole vaulter McKenna Emmert and Luke Plummer (triple jump), Saint Martin’s Mikel Smith (high jump); and Western Washington’s Anna Paradee (pole vault).

NOTE:  The NCAA and the sports information offices of the University of Washington, Central Washington University, and Seattle Pacific contributed to this report.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Husky men only squad from Washington ranked in USTFCCCA D1/D2 top 25 entering NCAA champs..

NEW ORLEANS—With the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship meets for both Division I and II upcoming this weekend, the USTFCCCA released its final pre-championship computer rankings Monday.

The University of Washington men’s team is the only squad from the state of Washington ranked in either Division I or II going into the national championships, as the Huskies maintain their #20 ranking from the previous week.  The Dawgs are ranked in the national top 25, primarily on the strength of national leader Colby Gilbert (left/photo by Paul Merca), who is ranked #1 entering the national championships in the 3000, and #2 in the 5000. Gilbert is entered in both events this coming weekend.

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

Other men’s teams from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation include #9 Colorado, and #13 USC,

The top five women’s teams are Oregon, Arkansas, Georgia, LSU & Kentucky, with #6 USC, #17 BYU, #20 Colorado, and #22 Stanford the only other teams from the MPSF to earn a national ranking.

In Division II, the top five men’s teams going into the national championships are Ashland, Adams State, Tiffin, Grand Valley State, and Minnesota State. Western Oregon is the lone GNAC men’s team ranked at #15.

The top five D2 women’s squads are Pittsburg State, Grand Valley State, Adams State, West Texas A&M, and Chadron State. The lone GNAC school ranked is #25 Simon Fraser.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Monday, March 6, 2017

USATF Foundation awards grants to several Washington affiliated athletes...

PITTSBURGH—Several athletes with Washington ties were awarded grants Monday by the USA Track & Field Foundation to assist them with training and competitive expenses.

Athletes receiving grants from the Foundation include 2016 US Olympians Andrea Geubelle (left/photo by Paul Merca), Jeremy Taiwo, and Kara Winger.

Also receiving grants are 400 hurdler Jeshua Anderson, 800 meter runner Shaq Walker, and hammer thrower Britney Henry.

“One of the missions of the Foundation is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to elite and soon-to-be elite male and female athletes based upon both performance and need,” said Foundation Director Wayne Vandenburg.

“Our continuing goal is to increase our grant program’s reach each year through fund raising activities in order to promote and support track & field from youth programs through the ultimate goal of representing the USA and being an Olympic medalist,”

NOTE:  The USATF Foundation contributed to this report.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

WEEKEND WRAPUP: Whitworth's Andrew Bloom throws early season NCAA D3 leader in javelin...

While most of Washington’s schools took the weekend off after the conclusion of the regular indoor track & field season (the NCAA championships are upcoming March 10-11th), Seattle Pacific, Western Washington, Whitworth, and Saint Martin’s opened up their 2017 outdoor season in Tacoma at the Ed Boitano Invitational hosted by the University of Puget Sound.

From a national perspective, the best mark of the day came from Division III Whitworth’s Andrew Bloom (left/photo by Paul Merca) in the javelin.

The reigning NCAA D3 champion opened up with a winning toss of 218-1 (66.48m), just short of his personal best of 219-2 (66.80m) to take the national lead in D3.

The women’s javelin was also a highlight of the meet, as Saint Martin’s Deanna Avalos threw 143-5 (43.71m) to score an NCAA D2 provisional qualifier.

Brooks Beasts rookie Brannon Kidder finishes second in 1000m at USA Indoors...

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico—Newcomer Brannon Kidder (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts finished a strong second in the men’s 1000 at the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships Sunday afternoon.

The Penn State alum started in seventh place through the first 400, just behind fellow Beast Drew Windle, as Oregon alum and two-time Olympian Andrew Wheating controlled the front.

At the 600 mark, he was still in seventh, but made a move to second at the 800 mark. Meanwhile, 2016 Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy overtook Wheating before the 800 mark and opened up a gap, with Murphy using Wheating as a screen to make his getaway.

Once past Wheating, Kidder tried to close the gap on Murphy, drawing to about a step behind Murphy.  However, Murphy put on a burst coming off the final curve to salt away the victory, running 2:18.60, to Kidder’s 2:19.10

Windle finished fifth in 2:21.64.

Reigning world 600 meter record holder Cas Loxsom of the Brooks Beasts was second in the event, running 1:15.18 behind Erik Sowinski, as Loxsom reacted too late .  Teammate Shaq Walker was third in 1:15.39.

In the women’s 1000, Hannah Fields of the Beasts finished third in 2:40.10, as Charlene Lipsey won in 2:37.97.  Washington alum Eleanor Fulton, who will run for Team USA in Uganda in three weeks at the world cross country championships along with Olympic 5000m silver medalist Paul Chelimo and Pasco HS alum Marisa Howard as part of the first co-ed cross country relay, was seventh in 2:44.66

Claudia Saunders (2:45.12) and Baylee Mires (2:46.38) of the Beasts were eighth and ninth, respectively.

In the men’s mile, Garrett Heath of the Beasts was third in 4:00.31, as Minnesota alum Ben Blankenship of the Nike Oregon TC Elite won in 3:59.22.

Washington alum Katie Mackey of the Brooks Beasts was fourth in the women’s 2-mile, running 10:22.78 in a very tactical race in which the leader at the halfway mark ran under 5:40.  US Olympian Shelby Houlihan won the race in 10:19.14.

Brooks Beasts coach Danny Mackey was pleased with Kidder’s performance, noting, “He beat 2 Olympians and Murphy didn't pull away after he reacted so that is a fantastic first pro championships for him.  Kidder has a great mentality for this level.”

Mackey was very positive about the overall results of his group, noting that the Beasts had six athletes medal at the national indoor championships. 

“Given the fact we are the only group that has not done any altitude training and these champs were at altitude means the Beasts really had to dial in mentally.  I'm very happy for them, this is reflective of their attitude and professionalism this season.”

The only hiccup for the Beasts in Albuquerque was the fact that Washington alum Izaic Yorks wasn’t able to compete in the men’s two-mile because of a administrative snafu with his entry, even though he was qualified to race.

Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker finished sixth in the women’s 600, running 1:27.72, in a race won by Ajee Wilson in 1:23.84. Former Issaquah standout Katie Burnett was third in the 2-mile race walk in 15:03.36.

On the field, WSU alum Blessing Ufodiama finished third in the triple jump with a best of 43-8.75 (13.33m), while University Place resident Andrea Geubelle was fifth at 43-3 (13.18m).  Tori Franklin took home the national title with a best of 45-5.75 (13.86m).

Evergreen State alum Zeb Hoffman was tenth in the mens’ weight throw with a best of 62-1 (18.92m), as Alex Young won with a mark of 78-9.75 (24.02m).

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Numerous athletes advance into Sunday's finals at USATF Indoor Nationals...

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico—Advancing to Sunday’s finals was the order of the day for those competing at the USATF Indoor Championships Saturday at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

In the women’s 1000, University of Washington alums Eleanor Fulton (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Baylee Mires all advanced, as did Hannah Fields and Claudia Saunders of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts.

Fields was second in her heat, running 2:42.63.

In the second heat, Fulton finished second in 2:43.69, followed by Saunders in 2:43.73, while Mires got the last spot, running 2:43.90.

In the men’s 1000, Brannon Kidder of the Brooks Beasts won his heat in 2:22.13, while teammate Drew Windle was third in 2:24.24.

The women’s 600 saw Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker win her heat in 1:27.38, the third fastest time of the day.

In what may potentially be one of the meet’s highlights Sunday, Cas Loxsom of the Brooks Beasts, the current world record holder at this distance, won his heat of the 600 meters in 1:16.14, the fifth fastest time of the day.  Teammate Shaq Walker was second in his heat, running 1:16.07.

Camas’ Alexa Efraimson was fifth in the finals of a very tactical women’s mile, running 4:48.49 in a race won by Olympian Shelby Houlihan in 4:45.18.

Club Northwest’s Levi Keller failed to clear his opening height of 18-2.5 (5.55m) in the pole vault.

The meet concludes Sunday starting at noon online at ($), then switches over to NBCSN (Channel 626 on Seattle Comcast) starting at 2:30pm.

Janke & Gray help Team USA win titles at NACAC Cross Country Championships...

BOCA RATON, Florida—Washington State University freshman Justin Janke (Ieft/photo by Mike Scott) helped lead Team USA to the victory at the NACAC U20 Cross Country Championships Saturday at Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park Saturday morning.

Janke was Team USA’s first runner across the line, finishing fourth in 19:23 over a 6.5k course.

After some initial confusion in which the runners were sent off course, according to a tweet from Athletics Canada, Kiernan Lumb of Canada and Arturo Reyna Tristan were given a tie for the win in 19:20, with Janke fourth in 19:23.

Behind Janke, Team USA’s three other runners—Aidan Reed, Isaac Harding and Nicholas Rink finished 6-7-8 to give the Stars & Stripes a final team score of 25 to outdistance Mexico by 6 points, with Canada third at 42.

In the senior men’s 8k race, Lakes HS graduate Joe Gray finished third, as Team USA took the first five spots to score a perfect 10 points (4 runners score in international cross country).

Gray ran 22:51, as Abbabiya Simbassa won in a time of 22:41.

In the senior women’s 8k, Inglemoor HS grad Tansey Listed finished ninth in a time of 28:11, as Canada’s Sasha Golish won in 26:49, eleven seconds ahead of Team USA’s top runner, Amy Van Alstine.

The USA and Canada finished with identical scores of 18, with Canada winning the tie breaker, as their fourth runner finished 7th to the USA’s 8th.

Sedro Wooley HS standout Kristen Garcia, who will also run for Team USA at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda in three weeks, finished 14th in the Under-20 women’s 5k race, clocking 18:20, as Canada’s Brogan Macdougal won in 16:40.

Incoming University of Washington freshman Shona McCulloch finished ninth for Team Canada, in a time of 17:41.  McCulloch will also compete at the world cross country championships for Canada in three weeks.

The Canadians took the team title over Team USA 12-36, with Mexico third at 49.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Slew of Washington affiliated athletes head to New Mexico for USATF Indoor Champs...

A host of athletes with Washington ties are headed south to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the 3-day USA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center that starts Friday with the heptathlon and pentathlon.

Unlike last year’s national indoor track & field championships in Portland where spots for the world championship team were at stake, USATF will contest non-traditional championship meet distances, so instead of the 400, 800, 1500 & 3000, athletes will run the 300, 600, 1000, mile, and two-mile.

Cas Loxsom (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts, who set a world record in the 600 at the Penn State National Open in late January, will contest that distance along with Beasts teammate Shaq Walker.

Washington alum Eleanor Fulton, who was named to the first-ever mixed relay team that will be contested at the IAAF world cross country championships in Kampala, Uganda later this month, is entered in the 600, 1000 and mile at the indoor nationals.  In the 600 and 1000, she will be joined by her training partner and Seattle Pacific grad McKayla Fricker.

Also entered in the women’s 1000 are Baylee Mires, Claudia Saunders and Hannah Fields of the Brooks Beasts.  Brannon Kidder of the Brooks Beasts is entered in the men’s 1000.

The men’s mile features Garrett Heath of the Brooks Beasts, while Camas’ Alexa Efraimson is slated to run the women’s mile.  Heath is entered in the men’s 2-mile as well, while Beasts teammate Katie Mackey is in the women’s’ 2-mile.

On the field, Club Northwest’s Levi Keller is entered in the men’s pole vault, while Olympian Andrea Geubelle and WSU alum Blessing Ufodiama are in the women’s triple jump.  Zeb Hoffman is entered in the men's weight throw. Olympic Trials 3rd-placer Katie Burnett rounds out the list of Washington athletes entered in the USA indoor champs, as she’s contesting the 2-mile racewalk.

NBCSN and will provide TV and streaming coverage of the championships.  The list of entries are available here, while the link to live results is available here, as well as the TV schedule.


Washington State freshman Justin Janke (left/photo courtesy USATF), Sedro-Wooley HS student Kristen Garcia, Lakes HS alum Joe Gray, and Inglemoor HS grad Tansey Lystad will represent Team USA at the NACAC Cross Country Championships at the South County Regional Park in Boca Raton, Florida on Saturday, featuring teams from North America, Central America & the Carribbean.

In addition, incoming University of Washington freshman Shona McCulloch will represent Team Canada at the NACAC championship race.

Garcia and McCulloch will run in the Under-20 women’s 5 kilometer race at 9 am, eastern time, while Janke races in the Under-20 men’s 5k race at 9:40 am.

Lystad runs in the senior women’s 8k race at 10:20 am, while Gray caps off the championship meet in the men’s senior 8k race at 11 am.

Garcia earned her spot on Team USA with a sixth place finish at the USA cross country championships last month in Bend, Oregon. Lystad finished tenth in the senior women’s race.

Janke was eighth in the under-20 men’s race, while Gray was ninth in the senior men’s race.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

NCAA announces fields for both Division I and II indoor championships...

INDIANAPOLIS—The NCAA announced the list of accepted competitors for both the Division I and Division II indoor track & field championships Tuesday evening.

The Division I meet will be held March 10th & 11th in College Station, Texas, while the Division II championships will be contested in Birmingham, Alabama.

The University of Washington has four qualifiers for the meet—Amy-Eloise Neale (left/photo by Paul Merca) in the mile, Liz Quick in the pole vault, Colby Gilbert in both the 3000 and 5000, and Chase Smith in the pole vault.

Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of the University of Oregon is entered in both the 60 and 200.  Cunliffe recently won the MPSF indoor title at 60 meters, after setting a all-conditions collegiate record in the 60 in Albuquerque a few weeks ago.

Cobert resident John Dressel, who attends the University of Colorado, is entered in the 3000.

In Division II, all four Washington schools will have entries in the championship meet.

Central Washington will send Kodiak Landis (heptathlon) and Luke Plummer (triple jump), along with pole vaulter McKenna Emmert and hurdler Mariyah Vongsaveng.

Saint Martin’s will be represented by high jumper Mikel Smith and distance runner Shannon Porter, who is entered in both the 3000 and 5000.

Seattle Pacific’s entries are Sarah Macdonald, Chynna Phan, Lani Taylor and Mary Charleson in the women’s distance medley relay.  Charleson is also entered in the mile.

Western Washington’s lone entry is pole vaulter Anna Paradee.

NOTE:  The NCAA contributed to this report.

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