Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Final USTFCCCA rankings posted...

NEW ORLEANS—The USTFCCCA Tuesday announced its final regular team rankings for the 2017 outdoor track and field season, as teams prepare to compete in next week’s NCAA outdoor championships in Eugene.

On the women’s side, the top five teams are Oregon, Arkansas, LSU, USC, and Kentucky.

Arizona State at #20 is the only other Pac-12 squad ranked in the national top 25, at number 18.

Both Washington (#18) and Stanford (#20) dropped out of the national top 25, with the Huskies at number 28.

On the men’s side, the national top five are Texas A&M< Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Arkansas.

Teams ranked in the national top 25 include number 9 Oregon, number 14 USC, number 23 UCLA, and number 24 Colorado.

Washington State will have hammer thrower Brock Eager and 400 hurdler CJ Allen, along with heptathlete Alissa Brooks-Johnson (left/photo by Paul Merca), while Gonzaga will have steeplechaser Troy Fraley as its lone representative.

The University of Washington will have eight athletes compete in next week’s finals: pole vaulters Liz Quick and Kristina Owsinski; 1500 meter runner Amy-Eloise Neale; 10000 runner Izzi Batt-Doyle; 400 runner Laura Anuakpado; and the 4 x 400 relay of Whitney Diggs, Imani Apostol, Darhian Mills and Anuakpado.

The NCAA championships are June 7-10 in Eugene at Historic Hayward Field. 

If you can’t watch NCAAs in person, make sure to follow along with them across the ESPN family of networks starting June 7 at 3:30 pm ET on ESPN3 and throughout the weekend, culminating in the final day (June 10) showing in prime time at 6:30 pm ET on ESPN.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Husky quartet set school record in women's 4x400 relay, and headed to the 'ship...

AUSTIN, Texas—In a meet where twelfth place is just as good as first, the University of Washington women’s 4 x 400 relay team team of Whitney Diggs, Imani Apostol, Darhian Mills, and Laura Anuakpado (left/photo by Paul Merca) ran a school record 3:35.65 to get the 12th and final spot to the national championships Saturday night at the NCAA West Preliminary meet at Mike A Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

Thanks to a strong anchor by Anuakpado, who herself got the 12th and final spot in the women’s 400 Friday night, the Dawgs finished fifth in the first of three heats of the final event, won by USC in 3:26.09, then had to sweat out two other heats to find out if their tickets to Eugene for the national championships in two weeks were punched.

Both of the time qualifiers for the national championship came from the first heat (three heats, with the top three places obtaining the automatic qualifying spots).

The same quartet held the previous school record of 3:36.50, set at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 15th.

Another Washington native who scored the 12th and final ticket to Eugene was Seattle Prep graduate Joe Hardy, competing for the University of Wisconsin, as he earned the final spot in the men’s 5000, placing fifth in his heat, running 14:36.16.

In an earlier heat, Cobert native John Dressel from the University of Colorado punched his ticket to Eugene with a fourth place finish in his heat of the men’s 5000, running 14:15.23.

Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale comfortably qualified for the NCAA championships in the women’s 1500, running 4:18.82 to take fourth in the second of two heats, with the top five places advancing, plus the two fastest times.

Tacoma’s Marcus Chambers ran the anchor for Oregon’s 4 x 100 relay squad that ran the third fastest time of the day, as the Ducks ran 38.94.  Chambers qualified yesterday in the 400 meters.

Complete results of the NCAA West Preliminary round are available here.


On Friday's recap of the NCAA West Regional meet, we noted that Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of the University of Oregon was a scratch from the quarterfinal round of the women's 100, and the first round of the 200.

Oregon coach Robert Johnson issued a statement via the Oregon track web site stating that Cunliffe had some soreness in her hamstring after Thursday's first round of the 100, and could not loosen it up Friday.

This is the second season in a row that Cunliffe's season has ended at the regionals.

Viking senior Bethany Drake wins second NCAA Division II javelin title...

BRADENTON, Florida—Western Washington’s Bethany Drake won her second NCAA Division II national title Saturday in the javelin on the final day of competition at the IMG Academy Track & Field Complex Saturday.

Drake, a native of Sandy, Oregon who won the national title as a sophomore in 2014, threw a best of 169-11 (51.81m) on her fifth attempt. 

In fact, so dominant was her performance that any of her three fair throws on the day was good enough to win the title.

In the first round, Drake, who qualified for the US Olympic Trials in this event last year, took command with a toss of 163-6 (49.83m), then followed it up with an improvement to 161-1 (50.94m).

After two straight fouls, she got the spear out past the 51 meter mark, throwing her best of 169-11 (51.81m) before fouling her last attempt.

Saint Martin’s Deanna Avalos was fourth with a best of 157-5 (47.98m), while teammate Jona Spiller was 11th at 143-4 (43.68m), and Seattle Pacific’s Sammi Markham was 12th at 140-8 (42.89m).

Saint Martin’s Mikel Smith, the defending NCAA indoor and outdoor champion, finished fifth with a best of 6-10.75 (2.10m), as Cervantes Jackson of Albany State won with a best of 7-1 (2.16m).

In the women’s 5000, Vancouver native Georgia Porter, competing for Western State of Colorado was fifth in 16:33.63 after sitting in third for most of the race.

Her Western State teammate Alicja Koniezek won her second national title of the meet, in a time of 16:24.22, after winning the steeplechase Friday. 

Porter was third in the 10000 on Thursday, running 34:52.38.

Seattle Pacific’s Mary Charleson was 19th in 17:15.48.

In the women’s pole vault, Western Washington’s Anna Paradee was 11th with a best of 12-6.75, as Emily Presley of Missouri Southern won with a clearance of 13-2.5 (4.03m).

Reigning US champ Devon Allen takes third in 110 hurdles at Nike Prefontaine Classic...

EUGENE—Former Puget Sound resident and reigning US national champion Devon Allen (above/photo by Howard Lao), competing on his home track finished third in the 110 hurdles at the Nike Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Allen ran a time of 13.11, as reigning Olympic champion Omar McLeod of Jamaica won in 13.01, with countryman Ronald Levy second in 13.10.

Allen, who was in contention for most of the race, hit the final hurdle, losing whatever chance he had of catching McLeod on the run-in.

Allen spent some of his early childhood in the Seattle area before attending high school in Arizona, and attending the University of Oregon, where he was an outstanding wide receiver and a multi-time NCAA champ in the hurdles.  He was hurt during the football season after returning from the Olympics, then opted to turn pro in track after the start of 2017.

Former Emerald Ridge HS standout Hassan Mead, currently a member of the Nike Oregon TC Elite and a 2016 Olympian, finished 16th in a time of 13:19.16, in a race won by Nike Oregon Project’s Mo Farah of Great Britain, the reigning world and Olympic champion.

Farah (left/photo by Howard Lao)  ran 13:00.70 in what he said was his final track race on American soil, as he plans to transition to the marathon after the 2017 track season.

Highlights of the third stop of the IAAF Diamond League tour included reigning Olympic and world champion Christian Taylor winning the triple jump in a world leading 59-5 (18.11m) over former University of Florida teammate Will Claye, who jumped a wind-aided 59-2.75 (18.05m).

Taylor was given the Maria Mutola award for the most outstanding performance of the entire meet.

In the men’s international mile, Brazil’s Thiago Do Rosario Andre sprinted for the win in 3:51.99.  Back in 11th place, Jakob Ingebrigsten became the first 16-year old to break 4 minutes in the mile, running 3:58.07.

The women’s 200 saw Olympic 4x100 relay gold medalist Tori Bowie of the USA pull off a minor upset, winning in 21.77 over a field that included Rio Olympic 400 champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo (21.91), reigning Olympic 100 & 200 champ Elaine Thompson of Jamaica (21.98), and reigning world champion Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands (22.30).

So deep was this field that multi-time world and Olympic champ Allyson Felix was only fifth in 22.33. 

As a side note, this was the first time outside a major championship race that three women ran under 22 seconds.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Gonzaga's Troy Fraley runs fastest steeple time at NCAA West Regionals...

AUSTIN, Texas—Gonzaga’s Troy Fraley (left/photo courtesy Gonzaga Athletics) won his heat of the men’s 3000 meter steeplechase Friday night at the NCAA West Regionals at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas with the fastest time of the night to become the first male athlete in school history to advance to the NCAA national championships.

Fraley, who entered the meet as the nation’s collegiate leader at 8:39.30, ran near the front for most of his heat, before making a break for it along with Oklahoma’s Dylan Blakenbaker. With the top three in each of the three heats assured of competing in Eugene in two weeks, plus the three fastest on times, Fraley guaranteed himself a spot in the national championship by pulling away from Blakenbaker to take the win in 8:44.99.

Gonzaga coach Pat Tyson said, “I could not be prouder of this (redshirt) junior from Kalispell! Not bad for a kid who paved his way to Eugene by carving out a lane of deep snow last winter so he could chase today’s dream and his dream in two weeks!”

Fraley’s number one ranking was ended at the NCAA East Regionals in Lexington, Kentucky as Louisville’s Edwin Kibichiy ran 8:32.91 to lead five other runners under 8:40.

Washington State’s CJ Allen was a comfortable second in his quarterfinal heat of the men’s 400 hurdles to advance to Eugene for the second straight year, running 49.40, the fourth fastest time of the day, and the third fastest in school history.

Other qualifiers for Eugene Friday included Tacoma’s Marcus Chambers of Oregon, who won his heat of the men’s 400 in 45.03; Olympia native Brooke Feldmeier of Oregon, who ran 2:04.82 to place third in her heat; Newport native Aaron Castle of Arizona, who was a comfortable eighth in the men’s shot put, throwing 61-5 (18.72m); and Washington’s Laura Anuakpado, who snagged the final spot in the women’s 400, running a school record 53.00.

Washington State’s Kiana Davis was the heartbreak story of the day, as she was part of a seven-woman field jumping off for two spots to Eugene after clearing 5-8.5 (1.74m) on her first attempt.

After missing three times at 5-10.5 (1.79m), the seven women had a jump off at 5-8.75 (1.75m), of which five athletes cleared. Of the five remaining athletes, two—Nebraska’s Petra Luteran and Arizona’s Karla Teran cleared 5-9.75 (1.77m) to snag the finals spots to Eugene, leaving Davis in a 3-way tie for 13th place.

One of the big surprises of the day was Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of Oregon not starting either the 100 quarterfinal or the 200 first round.  There was no explanation given on Oregon’s web site recapping Friday’s competition.

The NCAA West Regionals conclude Saturday.


In Eugene, University of Washington alum Katie Mackey (above/photo by Howard Lao) finished second in the national section of the women’s 1500 Friday night on the third stop of the IAAF Diamond League tour, the Nike Prefontaine Classic at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Fellow Husky alum Eleanor Fulton was the pace setter for the race, leading Camas native Alexa Efraimson through before stepping off the track.

Efraimson led most of the way before Canada’s Gabriele Stafford and Mackey took over in the last 250, with Stafford getting the win in 4:07.43, and Mackey second in 4:07.79, just short of the world championship standard of 4:07.50. 

Efraimson faded to fifth, running a season best 4:09.03.

Vancouver native Kara Winger finished seventh in the javelin, throwing 202-3 (61.66m), as Tatiana Khaladovich of Belarus won with a best of 217-6 (66.30m).

Celesphine Chespol of Kenya ran the fiastest women’s steeple on American soil, running 8:58.78 to eclipse her own pending world under-20 record of 9:05.70, set earlier this month. In the process, she became the third fastest performer of all time.

Even more impressive was the fact that ran out of her shoe on the penultimate water jump, but had the presence of mind to calmly put it back on.

In that same race, Washington alum Mel Lawrence was tenth in 9:39.32.

Former Olympic champ Brittney Reese (23-0/7.01m) defeated reigning Olympic champ Tianna Bartoletta (22-5/6.83m) in an entertaining long jump, and Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia won the 5000 in 14:25.22.

Complete results of Joan Benoit Samuelson night at the Nike Prefontaine Classic are available here.

The Nike Prefontaine Classic resumes Saturday beginning at 12:40 pm on NBCSN and NBC Sports.

NOTE:  The Prefontaine Classic, the University of Texas, Washington State University, Gonzaga University, and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pac-12 champs Eager and Quick among those earning NCAA finals spots Thursday...

The road to Eugene and the NCAA championship finals began Thursday in Austin, Texas, as the NCAA West Preliminary round, commonly known as the West Regionals, began its three-day run at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

Pac-12 champ Brock Eager of Washington State (above/photo courtesy WSU Athletics) finished third in the men’s hammer with a toss of 223-10 (68.22m) to easily secure his spot to Eugene.

The redshirt sophomore from Renton opened the day with a foul, then threw 220-5 (67.18m) in round 2, before finishing the day with the 223-10 (68.22m) toss, less than two feet off his lifetime best of 225-3.

Washington’s Liz Quick and Kristina Owsinski were the first two Huskies to punch their tickets to Eugene for the national finals in two weeks, as they each cleared 14-1.25 (4.30m) to finish eighth and tenth overall, with a top 12 finish required to advance.

Both Quick and Owsinski cleared their first bar (12-11.5/3.95m) on their first attempt, then needed two attempts to clear 13-5.25 (4.10m).  

Both then cleared 13-9.25 (4.20m) on their first attempt.  Quick needed two attempts to clear 14-1.25 (4.30m), while Owsinski came through on her third attempt to avoid participating in a three-woman jump-off for the final two spots to Eugene.

The Huskies’ Izzi Batt-Doyle finished tenth in the women’s 10000, running 34:54.88 to get her spot in the national championship race in two weeks.

In the men’s 10000, Spokane native Tanner Anderson of Oregon, the Pac-12 runner up two weeks ago, finished third in a time of 29:52.26 to earn a spot on the line on his home track.

Washington State’s CJ Allen had the second fastest time of the day in the first round of the 400 hurdles, running 50.40 to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals.

Significant advancers to Friday’s quarterfinals included Eastern Washington’s Kalii Keefe (4:27.09) and Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale (4:28.59) in the women’s 1500; Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe (11.06w) of Oregon in the women’s 100; Washington State’s Ja’Maun Charles (10.24w) in the men’s 100; Washington’s Laura Anuakpado (53.73) in the women’s 400; Tacoma native Marcus Chambers (46.94) of Oregon in the men’s 400; Olympia native Brooke Feldmeier (2:09.52) of Oregon, and Washington’s Hannah Derby (2:10.17) in the women’s 800; and Washington’s Darhian Mills (59.82) & Washington State’s Alissa Brooks-Johnson (59.99) in the women’s 400 hurdles.

Brooks-Johnson is already assured of a spot in the national championships in the heptathlon, as the multi-events are based on the top 24 scores in the country, and are not contested at the regionals.

In Bradenton, Florida, Saint Martin’s Kirby Neale earned a fourth place finish to highlight the first day of competition at the NCAA Division II championships at the IMG Academy track & field complex.

Competing in the women’s hammer, Neale threw 194-8 (59.34m) to earn the highest finish by a female competitor in school history, and broke the school and GNAC conference record in that event.

Mel Herl of Chadron State took the national title with a throw of 214-1 (65.27m).

In the women’s long jump, Seattle Pacific’s Kyra Brannon finished 15th with a jump of 19-5.25 (5.92m).

In qualifying action, Central Washington’s Emily Bland was sixth in her heat of the 400 hurdles, running 61.11. Brittany Grant of Western Washington was 11th in her heat of the 3000 steeplechase in 11:49.98.

On the pro circuit, the Nike Prefontaine Classic stop on the IAAF Diamond League tour gets underway Friday with seven women’s events at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Vancouver native Kara Winger, the three-time US Olympian and American record holder, will throw in the javelin against a field that includes the reigning Olympic champ Sara Kolak of Croatia, and two time Olympic champ Barbora Špotáková of the Czech Republic.

Camas’ Alexa Efraimson will run in the national section of the 1500 against a field that includes former Huskies Eleanor Fulton and Katie Mackey.

Another former Husky, Mel Lawrence, fresh off her win at the USATF Distance Classic in Los Angeles last week, will run in the steeplechase against a field that includes American record holder Emma Coburn, the reigning world record holder and Olympic champion Ruth Jebet of Bahrain, and current world leader Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya.

NBC Sports will provide live coverage of the Nike Prefontaine Classic as well as streaming coverage ($) on

NOTE:  The NCAA, the University of Texas, Washington State University, and the Nike Prefontaine Classic contributed to this report.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Washington alum Gianna Woodruff ducks under 56 seconds in 400 hurdles in Tucson Saturday...

TUCSON, Arizona—The Tucson Elite meet is a low key gathering of many of the country’s top throwers and their coaches who assemble at Drachman Stadium on the campus of the University of Arizona for competition and a summit to assemble ideas on how they can get better for the rest of the season and beyond.

A few races are also staged at the meet, primarily for the benefit of some of the local post-collegiate athletes who train at the University of Arizona.

In a 400 meter hurdle race that was set up Saturday night for 2012 US Olympian Georganne Moline, University of Washington alum Gianna Woodruff (left/file photo by Paul Merca) made a major breakthrough, running a personal best of 55.76, to finish second behind Moline’s world leading time of 54.10.

More importantly, Woodruff’s time of 55.76 is comfortably under the IAAF world championships standard of 56.10, and all but assures her of a spot on the line in London in August as a member of Panama’s national team, as she holds Panamanian citizenship.  

Her time is currently the 13th fastest in the world this season, and is a new national record, eclipsing her mark of 56.05 that she set on May 5th at the Occidental College Invitational in Los Angeles, which was the former national record.

Another Washington alum, Kyle Nielsen, finished fifth in the men’s javelin, throwing a season best of 249-9 (76.13m), improving upon his season best of 244-1 (74.40m) that he threw in the Thursday portion of the meet.

In the women’s hammer, Spokane native Britney Henry finished sixth with a mark of 212-6 (64.41m).

In Kingston, Jamaica, Federal Way resident Jordin Andrade finished fifth in the 400 hurdles at the Jamaica International Invitational, as the 2016 Cape Verde Olympian ran 50.06, as he looks to get under the IAAF world championships standard of 49.35.

Complete results of the Jamaica International Invitational are available here.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Huskies and Cougars to each send 26 athletes to NCAA West Regionals...

Four of Washington’s five NCAA Division I schools will have athletes competing at next week’s NCAA West Preliminaries in Austin, Texas on May 25-27th, as those athletes look to qualify for the NCAA finals in Eugene June 7-10th.

The NCAA Outdoor Championships begin with the West Preliminaries and East Preliminaries, with 48 athletes in every event and 24 relays qualifying for each prelim site. The top-12 finishers at both prelim sites will advance, making for fields of 24 in each event, to the final site in Eugene, where competition resumes June 7-10.

The University of Washington goes into the regionals with 26 qualified individuals and 28 entries, including both of their 4 x 400 meter relay teams.

Leading the charge for the Huskies are Pac-12 champions Liz Quick (left/photo by Paul Merca) in the pole vault and Carson Fuller in the javelin.

On the women’s side, Huskies going into the regionals with top-12 rankings include Hannah Derby (7) in the 800; Amy-Eloise Neale in the 1500 (1) and 5000 (2); Izzi Batt-Doyle (7) in the 10000; and, Quick & Kristina Owsinski (t8) in the pole vault. 

Fuller is the lone Husky on the men’s side that will go into the regionals with a top-12 ranking, as he sits fifth.

Washington State goes into the regionals with 26 individuals, with Sam Levora (5000/10000), Devon Bortfeld (steeple/5000) and Kiana Davis (high jump/triple jump) doubling.

The Ccugars have Brock Eager (3) in the men’s hammer, CJ Allen (4) in the 400 hurdles, Atina Kamasi (7) in the women’s javelin; and Adam Mahama (12) in the men’s discus seeded among the top 12.  

Alissa Brooks-Johnson is entered in the 400 hurdles, and has already qualified for the national championships in the heptathlon.

Troy Fraley of Gonzaga goes into the NCAA regionals ranked #1 in the steeplechase. He will be joined at the regionals by Jesica Mildes in the 10000, and Jake Perrin in the men’s 5000.

Eastern Washington will send five athletes to the regionals—javelin thrower Samantha Baker, 1500 meter runner Kaili Keefe, and Sarah Reiter in the 5000 and 10000 on the women’s side, and long jumper Trenton Osborn and discus thrower Scott Miller on the men’s side.

The most notable athlete missing from the list is Washington’s Colby Gilbert in the men’s 5000.  Gilbert, who has the eighth fastest time in the country in the 5000, and was the 2016 Pac-12 champ in that event, did not compete in last week’s Pac-12 championship due to what was described as a “slight injury”.  That reported injury was serious enough for the UW coaching staff to not enter him in the meet.

Among notable Washington high school standouts qualified for the regionals ranked in the top 12 include Marcus Chambers of Oregon (5) in the men’s 400; Hannah Cunliffe of Oregon (5 in the 100; 6 in the 200); Brooke Feldmeier of Oregon (8) in the women’s 800; John Dressel of Colorado (10) in the men’s 5000;  and, Aaron Castle of Arizona (5) in the men’s shot put.


TrackTown USA conducted its draft of athletes for the TrackTown Summer Series meets Friday at the Oregon Convention Center, with general managers Bernard Lagat (Portland Pulse), Nick Symmonds (San Francisco Surge) and Sanya Richards-Ross (Philadelphia Force) announcing the picks in person, and Allyson Felix (New York Empire) making her selections via Skype.

Former Seattle area resident Devon Allen (110 hurdles) was the first pick of the Philadelphia Force, while Bernard Lagat selected former Puyallup resident Hassan Mead (3000m) in round 3.

Nick Symmonds of San Francisco went with two athletes from the Seattle based Brooks Beasts—Shaq Walker (800m) and Hannah Fields (1500 in the fourth round.  

They join contracted athletes McKayla Fricker (800/San Francisco), Cas Loxsom (800/New York), and Katie Mackey (1500/New York) as athletes who have committed to compete in the series, which will be contested in Palo Alto on June 29th, Gresham, Oregon on July 2nd, and the finals in New York on July 6th.

Teams can continue to fill their rosters with free agent athletes between now and the start of the series at the end of June.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Husky alum Mel Lawrence & Pasco HS standout Marisa Howard go under world champs standard...

LOS ANGELES—University of Washington alum Mel Lawrence (left/photo by Paul Merca) won the steeplechase Thursday night at the USATF Distance Classic at Jack Kemp Stadium on the campus of Occidental College.

Lawrence, who now resides in Bend, Oregon, led Pasco HS alum and Oiselle teammate Marisa Howard across the line, running 9:40.20, with Howard second in 9:40.40.

More significantly, both Lawrence and Howard dipped under the IAAF world championship qualifying standard of 9:42.00.

No other runners with Washington ties went under the USA outdoor qualifying standard, with only Washington alum Izaic Yorks coming close in the men’s 800, where he was 9/100ths short, running 1:47.59.

In Tucson, Washington alum Kyle Nielsen finished fourth in the javelin at the Tucson Elite throwers meet,  

The British Columbia native, who is looking for the world championship standard of 272-3 (83.00m), threw 244-1 (74.40m).

In the women’s hammer, Spokane native Britney Henry finished sixth with a best of 213-0 (64.93m), as she looks for the USATF outdoor championship standard of 219-9 (67.00m).

The Tucson Elite meet resumes Saturday. Results from Thursday’s session are available here.

USATF Distance Classic and Tucson Elite on the docket for Washington post-collegians...

Several Washington post-collegians are in action Thursday evening, as USA Track & Field has two events is staging two events for middle distance runners and throwers.

In Los Angeles, a host of athletes from the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts, along with Washington alums Mel Lawrence (left/photo by Paul Merca), Aaron Nelson, Eleanor Fulton, plus former Washington prep standouts Marisa Howard and Alexa Efraimson, are entered in the USATF Distance Classic, hosted by Occidental College.

Many of the athletes entered are flocking to Occidental to chase qualifying times for next month’s USATF Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Sacramento, as well as qualifying standards for the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in London.

NBC Sports Gold will offer live streaming coverage ($) of the meet online in the USA, while media partner ($) will stream the meet internationally, starting at 6pm, pacific.

In Tucson, USATF is assembling many of the country’s top throwers for the Tucson Elite meet at Drachman Stadium on the campus of the University of Arizona Thursday and Saturday.

Like the Distance Classic in Los Angeles, the Tucson Elite meet is designed for throwers to chase qualifying marks for both the USA and world championship meets later on.

Unlike the Distance Classic, the throwers at the Tucson Elite meet get two opportunities to compete—Thursday and Saturday.

Among those in the field are Spokane native Britney Henry in the women’s hammer, Western Washington alum Katie Reichert in the women’s javelin, and University of Washington alum Kyle Nielsen in the men’s javelin.

Henry and Nielsen are throwing both days, while Reichert is only throwing in the Saturday portion o the meet.


While we were at the Pac-12s in Eugene, the Portland Twilight meet was contested on Saturday May 12th at Lewis & Clark College.

Among the highlights: Jeshua Anderson was second in the 400 hurdles, running 50.81, while in the women’s 800, Baylee Mires of the Brooks Beasts was third in 2:03.44 in a race won by Olympian Kate Grace in 2:01.25.  Beasts teammate Claudia Saunders was eighth in 2:08.63.

Gonzaga’s Troy Fraley won the men’s 5000 in 13:57.58, while WSU alums Collier Lawrence (10:01.67) and Caroline Austin (10:04.91) went 1-2 in the women’s 3000 steeple. Inglemoor HS grad Tansey Lystad was third in that race in 10:14.43.

In Chula Vista, California on May 14th, Andrea Geubelle was second in the triple jump at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center (formerly the Olympic Training Center), where she jumped 44-2.5 (13.47m).

In the same meet, Jeshua Anderson ran a 14.30/50.19 110/400 hurdles double.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

NCAA announces Division II field for national championships in Bradenton next week...

INDIANAPOLIS—Led by 2014 national champion and US Olympic Trials qualifier Bethany Drake (left/photo by Paul Merca) of Western Washington, and reigning national indoor and outdoor champion Mikel Smith of Saint Martin’s, the NCAA Tuesday announced the field of athletes selected to compete at the Division II national championships in Bradenton, Florida next week.

Western Washington will have three athletes in the field: Drake, steeplechaser Brittany Grant, and pole vaulter Anna Paradee.

Smith from Saint Martin's is the only male athlete from the four Washington GNAC schools to qualify for the national championship. He will be joined in Florida by javelin throwers Deanna Avalos and Jona Spiller, along with hammer thrower Kirby Neale.

Central Washington will have two athletes in the field: reigning GNAC 400 hurdles champ Emily Bland, and javelin thrower Angelique Whistocken.

Seattle Pacific’s three qualifiers for the national championships are GNAC long jump champ Kyra Brannon, 5000 meter runner Mary Charleson, and javelin thrower Sammi Markham.


The University of Washington women’s track team, which finished fourth at the recently concluded Pac-12 championships in Eugene, remains ranked in the national top 25 rankings released earlier this week.

The Huskies dropped one spot from the previous week’s ranking to #24.

The national women’s top five teams are Oregon, Arkansas, LSU, Texas A&M, and Georgia.

Other Pac-12 teams in the top 25 include #6 USC, #19 Arizona State, and #20 Stanford.

NOTE:  The NCAA, USTFCCCA, and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference contributed to this report.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Liz Quick repeats as Pac-12 pole vault champion...

EUGENE—The University of Washington’s Liz Quick (left/photo by Paul Merca) successfully defended her title in the pole vault as the Pac-12 track & field championships concluded its two-day run at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon Sunday, clearing 13-8.5 (4.17m) on her first attempt.

Quick and teammate Kristina Owsinski, the 2015 champion, went back and forth with the lead after she made her opening height of 12-10.25 (3.92m), but needed a second attempt at the second height of 13-2.25 (4.02m), a bar cleared by Owsinski on her first.

The duo needed two attempts at the next height of 13-4.25 (4.07m), before Quick took control at the next two heights of 13-6.25 (4.12m) and the winning height of 13-8.25 (4.17m), needing only one attempt at both heights, while Owsinski needed two.

Both vaulters went out at 14-0 (4.27m) to give Quick the title based on fewer misses.

 "Like all of these competitions it all comes down to attempts," said Quick. "I made a lot on my second try, then towards the end I figured out some things and started making on my first. I think I competed well and it was really fun to go head-to-head with Kristina. We're just excited to be back here in four weeks (for NCAAs). I'm just really glad that I was here for four years and was able to place on the podium all four years."

In one of the most thrilling races of the afternoon, Washington State’s CJ Allen, who was looking for his third career Pac-12 title in the 400 hurdles, set a personal best of 49.54 seconds, but was nipped at the line by UCLA’s Rai Benjamin by 2/100ths of a second.

Allen was behind for most of the race, but took command over the final hurdle, only to get caught by Benjamin on the run-in less than five meters from the finish.

Defending conference 100 and 200 champion and Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of the University of Oregon, who had not run an open 100 or 200 all season long due to illness, finished third in both races, running 11.11 in the 100 and 22.60 in the 200.

Tacoma’s Marcus Chambers of Oregon, the defending Pac-12 400 champion, was second in 45.19 to USC frosh Michael Norman, who ran 45.15 to take the title.

Chambers ran the anchor leg on Oregon’s winning 4 x 100 relay to open the meet in 39.37, while Washington State was a surprising third in 40.36.

Discus thrower Gina Flint (170-6/51.98m personal best) finished a surprising second behind Pac-12 women’s performer of the meet Maggie Ewen of Arizona State, who threw 196-2 (196-2).

Until the dual meet against Washington State three weeks ago, Flint had not competed since last year’s Pac-12 meet in Seattle, due to a knee issue which put her 2017 season in doubt.

The Huskies’ Amy-Eloise Neale, who was one of the favorites in the 1500, got knocked down in a tangle of legs in a very tactical race, but got up to finish sixth in 4:25.87.  She then came back to take second in the 5000 in a drag race, 2/100ths short of the win, as Dani Jones of Colorado, the 1500 champ, also took the win here in 16:12.76 to 16:12.78.

Other podium finishes included Washington’s Onyie Chibuogwo in the women’s hammer, as she took second with a new school record of 201-5 (61.41m); the Huskies’ Casey Burns, who was third in the men’s triple jump (50-9.5/15.48m); the UW men’s 4x400 relay (3:08.42); Spokane native John Dressel of Colorado, who was third in the men's 5000 (14:01.69); and Washington State’s Lateah Holmes, who was third in the women’s high jump (5-7.75/1.72m).

Oregon swept both the men’s and women’s team titles, scoring 175, and 189 points respectively.  Washington was fourth in the women’s team race with 72, and seventh in the men’s, scoring 61. Washington State was sixth in the men’s race with 68.5 points, and tied for ninth in the women’s competition with 45.

The NCAA West Regionals in Austin, Texas is next on May 25-27, as the athletes and teams look to return for the NCAA championship meet back at Hayward Field June 7-10.

NOTE: The University of Washington, Washington State University, and the Pac-12 Conference contributed to this report.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

WEEKEND RECAP: Conference championship recap, plus Shanghai Diamond League...

While we are in Eugene covering the Pac-12 track and field championships, here’s a short recap of what’s happened with the other championships involving Washington schools:


In the women’s competition, the biggest surprise of the meet was the performance by the Central Washington squad, which turned in a surprising third place finish, scoring 85 points.

Two-time defending champion Seattle Pacific finished in fourth with 109.5 points, with Western Washington fifth at 90, and Saint Martin’s seventh with 46 points.  Alaska Anchorage won with 156 points.

Buoyed by Friday’s 1-2 finish in the 10000, and a mild upset win in the pole vault, the Wildcats had four scorers in the 100 hurdles, led by Mariyah Vongsaveng’s win in a school record 13.90, plus Tianna Banfro in fourth (14.85), Emily Bland in fifth (15.11), and Rose Walts in seventh (15.25).

They got a win in the 400 hurdles, as Bland (above/photo courtesy Central Washington University) took the title in 60.58, with Ali Anderson in second (61.69) and Erykah Weems in eighth.

Western Washington got a win from Olympic Trials qualifier Bethany Drake, who set a meet record in the javelin, throwing 171-11 (52.40m).  They collected a second victory in the triple jump, as Jasmine McMullin went 39-6.5 (12.05m) to earn her second title in the event.

The Western Washington men finished a close second to Alaska Anchorage by a 134-132 count, with the team championship decided in the final event,  the 4x400 relay, after the Vikings took the lead by five points going into the relay.

Central Washington was sixth with 85 points, while Saint Martin’s (22) and Seattle Pacific (16) brought up the rear.

The team championship for the UAA men marked the second time in the last three seasons that a margin of 2 points separated UAA and WWU at the GNAC Outdoor Championships as the Vikings had edged the Seawolves two years ago, 176-174, in claiming the 2015 team title. 

Western Washington kept the meet close with three individual titles, one that was expected and two that weere surprises. Sophomore Alex Barry was the expected title as he easily won the javelin with a mark of 198 feet, 11.75 inches.

Freshman Cordell Cummings took advantage of a trip on the final hurdle by Central Washington’s Trevaughn Scott to surge ahead over the final 40 meters to win the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.97 seconds. Junior Issac Derline, meanwhile, came out ahead in a cat-and-mouse game with Alaska Anchorage’s Dominik Notz and Edwin Kangogo on the final lap of the 5,000 meters with his winning time of 15:49.49. Notz was second in 15:19,75 while Kangogo placed third in 15:20.23.

Saint Martin’s junior Kauanoe Vanderpoel picked up the Saints’ lone championship of the meet, winning the hammer with a mark of 188 feet, 7 inches (57.49m).


Seattle resident Cas Loxsom finished tenth in the 800 meters at Saturday’s IAAF Diamond League meet in Shanghai, China.

Loxsom ran 1:49.44 as Kipyegon Bett of Kenya won in 1:44.70.

Katie Mackey of the Brooks Beasts was eighth in the 1500, as the Washington alum ran a season best 4:07.15.  Faith Kipyegon of Kenya won in a world leading time of 3:59.22.

The IAAF Diamond League tour moves to Eugene for the Nike Prefontaine Classic on May 26-27th.


Eastern Washington’s women’s squad finished eighth with 44 points, and their men’s team were 12th with 14 points.


Seattle University’s women’s squad finished fifth at the Western Athletic Conference meet Saturday with a final team score of 70 points, as the University of Missouri at Kansas City took the team title with 179 points.

The men’s team competition saw the Redhawks finish sixth with 19 points, as UMKC also won the team title with 226 points.

NOTE:  The IAAF, Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University and Seattle University contributed to this report.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

UW's Fuller and WSU's Eager win conference crowns on day 1 of the Pac-12 championships...

EUGENE—Washington’s Carson Fuller (above/photo by Howard Lao) uncorked a third round throw of 244-0 (74.38m) to win the javelin competition at the Pac-12 track & field championships at Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Oregon senior Cody Danielson shot to the lead in round one with his opening salvo of 230-3 (70.18m), then increased the lead to 238-11 (72.82m) in the second round.

Fuller, who started the day ranked #6 on the conference performance list, opened with a toss of 205-10 (62.75m) before improving to 223-9 (68.20m) in round 2.

The senior then tossed his third round bomb to eclipse his personal best of 241-0 (73.45m) that he set last season.

Fuller, who made the finals at the US Olympic Trials on this runway last year, entered the meet after coming back from a torn labrum suffered during the winter, and only started training in early April after a two-month recovery period.

"In all honestly I actually did not feel so hot today, but I guess that's what competing takes, you've just got to filter everything out and trust yourself and trust your training, and trust the work you've put in," said Fuller.

Washington’s Denham Patricelli was sixth at 211-11 (64.61m), while Washington State’s Cole Smith was eighth at 208-4 (63.51m).

In the men’s hammer, Washington State’s Brock Eager led from the start of the competition to win the conference crown, throwing a best of 221-1 (67.39m).

Eager’s performance on a wet and soggy day was so dominant that three of his other throws on the afternoon were good enough to win the competition.

Teammate Wyatt Meyring was fourth at 194-8 (59.35m).

"I knew coming in that I wanted to start this meet strong and try to put away the meet in the first round," Eager said. "I didn't quite do that but going into finals I had the meet secured. I'm very proud of how I competed today."

In other finals involving athletes from the state of Washington, Washington’s Blaise Black finished third in the men’s pole vault with a clearance of 16-3.5 (4.97m), in an event clearly affected by the weather.  Teammates Chase Smith and Zach Shugart were fourth and fifth with the same mark, while Jacob Bowler was eighth for the Dawgs at 15-11.75 (4.87m).

Spokane native Tanner Anderson of the University of Oregon finished third in the men’s 10000, running 29:21.43, passing Washington State’s Michael Williams and Sam Levora on the last lap.  Williams was fourth in 29:22.87 and Levora fifth at 29:22.90.

Washington State’s Kelsey Kehl was third in the finals of the women’s javelin with a toss of 160-0 (48.76m), while fellow freshman teammate Atina Kamasi was fifth at 156-11 (47.84m).

The women's steeple saw the Cougars' Devon Bortfeld (10:29.24) and Emily Dwyer (10:33.08) take sixth and seventh.

Washington’s Izzi Batt-Doyle finished fourth in the women’s 10000 in her debut at the distance, running 33:35.19. That mark is significant for her, in that she earned a qualifying time to be considered for nomination to Australia’s team for the World University Games this summer in that event.

In the men’s shot put, Newport resident Aaron Castle of Arizona was fifth at 60-3.25 (18.37m).

Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of Oregon, who is the defending conference champion in both the 100 and 200, easily advanced to Sunday’s final in both events, which was not a surprise.  Saturday’s races were her first at that distance outdoors all season, as she had been dealing with an undisclosed medical issue this spring.

Olympia native Brooke Feldmeier in the women’s 800 (2:06.05), Marcus Chambers from Tacoma & the University of Oregon in the 400 (46.55), and Washington State’s Matthew Swanson in the men’s 800 (1:50.51) had the fastest times in qualifying for their events, which will be contested Sunday.

After six events in the women's competition, Colorado leads with 44 points, while favorites USC & Oregon sit in fifth with 24 points.  WSU is tied for third at 25, while the Huskies are tenth with 7 points.

In the men's team race after nine events, Oregon leads with 69 points. The Huskies are fifth at 33, while the Cougars are seventh with 31.5.

Television viewers are reminded that Sunday’s finals will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network (Comcast Seattle channel 628) starting at 3:00 pm.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State University, and the Pac-12 Conference contributed to this report.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Eagles' Erin Clark wins Big Sky pole vault crown...

Day 1 of the Great Northwest, Western Athletic and the Big Sky Conference championships are in the books, and here’s a recap of what happened:

BIG SKY CONFERENCE (Sacramento, California)

Eastern Washington senior Erin Clark (left/photo courtesy Eastern Washington University) moved up one spot from her runner-up position in last year’s Big Sky Conference championship to capture her first conference crown in the pole vault Friday, clearing a personal best 13-0.75 (3.96m).

After clearing the first two heights on her first attempt, she cleared 12-6.75 (3.83m) on her second , and 12-10.75 (3.93m) on her first attempt, as Sacramento State’s Danielle Brandon was pushing her.

Both Clark and Brandon cleared the eventual winning height of 13-0.75 (3.98m) on their third attempts, before missing all three attempts at 13-2.5 (4.03m), with Clark winning the title based on her first attempt make at 12-10.75 (3.93m).

Javelin thrower Samantha Baker earned a second place finish in her specialty, throwing 144-8 (44.09m), as Whitney Fowers of Weber State won with a distance of 154-7 (47.11m).

After eight events in the women’s competition, the Eagles are in fourth place with 32 points.

In the mens’ competition, it was a slight disappointment in the men’s long jump for Eastern Washington, as Trenton Osborn (23-8.25/7.22m) and Keshun McGee (23-6/7.16m), who were expected to contend for the top three spots, only placed sixth and seventh.  

The Eagles’ only other point Friday was in the 3000 steeplechase, as Steaven Zachman was eighth in 9:23.60.

Eastern stands in tenth with 6 points.


The Wildcats of Central Washington are the surprise early leaders in the women’s competition at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship Friday on the campus of Western Oregon University.

Central is five points ahead of second place Alaska Anchorage with 52 points, while favored Seattle Pacific is in a tie for third with 46 points, and Western Washington is fifth at 45.

The Wildcats got a 1-2 finish in the 10000m from Alexa Shindruk (35:58.99) and Stephanie Rexus (36:42.87).  They also got a first place finish in the pole vault, as McKenna Emmert (12-0/3.66m) scored a mild upset, as Western Washington’s Anna Paradee, who set the conference record at last week’s Ken Shannon Invitational in Seattle of 13-1.75 (4.01m) was third at 11-6.5 (3.52m).

The pole vault finals were notable in that all eight scoring places went to athletes from Central, Western, and Seattle Pacific.

In other women’s finals, Brittany Grant of Western Washington won the steeplechase in 10:43.79. Samantha La Rue of Central Washington was third in the discus at 133-10 (40.79m).

Kyra Brannan of Seattle Pacific led a 1-2 finish in the long jump, as she won with a mark of 18-11.25 (5.77m), ahead of teammate Geneva Lehnert’s 18-4.25 (5.59m). Jasmine McMullin of Western Washington was third at 17-11.75 (5.48m).

In the men’s team competition, Western Washington stands third with 37 points, as favored Alaska Anchorage leads with 66 points, while Central Washington is fifth with 25 points.

Brandon Pless of the Vikings was second in the shot put finals with a toss of 52-1.75 (15.89m), and third in the discus at 168-6 (51.37m).

In the men’s high jump, reigning NCAA indoor and outdoor champion Mikel Smith of Saint Martin’s met disaster, as he failed to clear his opening height of 6-9.75 (2.08m).


One day after winning the heptathlon, Seattle University’s Mandie Maddux finished second in the javelin with yet another personal best throw, this time to 145-2 (44.25m).

New Mexico’s Kayli Farmer won the competition with a toss of 148-6 (45.27m).

After seven events, the Redhawk women are in fourth with 30 points. while the men are in sixth with 6 points after seven events.

The link to results is available here.


Katie Mackey of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts, and Seattle resident Cas Loxsom are both entered in Saturday's IAAF Diamond League meet in Shanghai.

Mackey is entered in the women's 1500, while Loxsom is entered in the men's 800, where he will face a field that includes reigning world and Olympic champ David Rudisha of Kenya.

The start lists for the IAAF Diamond League meet are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Seattle University, Eastern Washington University, the Big Sky Conference, and the Western Athletic Conference contributed to this report.

Conference championship weekend awaits Washington's eight Division I/II schools...

It’s championship week for eight of the nine NCAA Division I and II schools in the state of Washington and here is a short preview of what to expect (Gonzaga is in the West Coast Conference, which does not sponsor a championship in track; they will send a select group of athletes to Saturday’s Portland Twilight meet at Lewis & Clark College, primarily against post-collegiate athletes):


Western Washington, Central Washington, Saint Martin’s, and Seattle Pacific head down to Monmouth, Oregon for the GNAC championship meet Friday and Saturday on the campus of Western Oregon University.

In the women’s team competition, Seattle Pacific goes in as a slight favorite to win yet another conference title, led by freshman Scout Cai (left/photo by Paul Merca) who won the heptathlon title last week.

Cai is entered in the high jump, pole vault and javelin. The Falcons are also looking for big points from Kyra Brannan in the long jump and sprints; Geneva Lehnert in the high jump; Mary Charleson in the 5000; Lani Taylor in the 100, and Sammi Markham in the shot put and javelin.

Western Washington will be led by Olympic Trials qualifier and former NCAA D2 javelin champ Bethany Drake, who has yet to win a GNAC title in her final opportunity this weekend.  She will be joined by a trio of defending champions: pole vault champ Anna Paradee, triple jump champ Jasmine McMullin, and discus thrower Megan Mortensen.

Central Washington will look for points from long hurdlers Emily Bland and Ali Anderson, and from 100 meter hurdler Mariyah Vongsaveng.  McKenna Emmert looks for a top-3 finish in the pole vault, while the Wildcats look for podium finishes from Angelique Whistocken in the javelin, and Alexa Shindruck in the 5000 and 10000.

Saint Martin’s returns defending hammer champion Kirby Neale, and a pair of potential national championship qualifiers in the javelin in Jona Spiller and Deanna Avalos.

On the men’s side, Western Washington will look for big points from their field event specialists, namely from Brandon Pless in the shot put and hammer; Gordie Kordas in the pole vault; Mark Seely in the triple jump; and, Alex Barry in the javelin.

Western’s best chances on the track lie with Andrew Wise in the steeplechase, and Cody McCranie in the 800 and 1500.

Central Washington will lean on thrower Armando Tafoya in the hammer, shot and discus.  Tafoya goes into the championships with the leading mark in the hammer at 193-3 (58.91m).

The Wildcats also look for podium finishes from Kyler Ooley in the sprints, Kodiak Landis in the long jump, and Trevaughn Scott in the 400 hurdles.

Though he’s won both the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships in the high jump, Mikel Smith of Saint Martin’s has never won a GNAC outdoor title. The Saints are also looking for points in the hammer from Kauanoe Vanderpoel and Mitch Wilkens, who are ranked second and third in the conference in that event.

The link to live results from the GNAC is available here; the GNAC’s meet preview is available here, along with other related links.


Seattle University heads to Edinburg for Friday and Saturday’s Western Athletic Conference championship meet on the campus of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The Redhawks got off to a good start in the heptathlon, with Mandie Maddux winning her second straight title Thursday, as she scored 4999 points, missing 5000 meters by 2/100ths of a second in the final event, the 800.  In the 800, she ran a huge personal best of 2:26.27.

They also got a second place finish Thursday night from Olivia Stein in the women’s 10000, as she ran 37:31.40.  In the men’s 10000, Tyler Flannery finished eighth in 33:14.69.

Jacques Hebert goes into the meet as the defending champion in the men’s 1500.  Matt Seidel, who was second in the 10000 last year, finished a disappointing tenth Thursday in 33:38.87.  Seidel finished second in last year’s meet in the 5000 as well.

Lila Rice, who was third in the 1500 last year, looks to move up another step or two on the podium in that event.

The link to results from the WAC championships are available here.

BIG SKY CONFERENCE (Sacramento, California)

Eastern Washington University heads to Sacramento’s Hornet Stadium on the campus of Sacramento State University for the Big Sky Conference championships Friday and Saturday.

The multi-events portion of the meet concluded Thursday, and the Eagles’ Kendra Hamm finished seventh with a school record 4857 points.

Hamm started the day by long jumping 18-6.5 (5.65m), then threw the javelin 92-0 (28.04m).  She finished the day with a 2:21.22 800 meter run.

Teammate Dominique Butler was 15th with a two-day score of 4302 points. Elizabeth Venzon led a 1-2 Sacramento State finish with a score of 5322 points.

The Eagles return one defending champ on the men’s side in 100 meter man Jeremy VanAssche.  They also could get big points in the long jump from reigning indoor champ Keshun McGee and 2015 indoor champ Trenton Osborn.

On the women’s side, the Eagles will be led by indoor champs Tierra White in the high jump and Rebecca Tarbert in the 100.

The Eagles are also looking for big points from pole vaulters Erin Clark and Elizabeth Prouty, and from 2015 NCAA cross country qualifier Sarah Reiter in the 5000 and 10000, even though the senior has been fighting injuries over the last few months.

PAC-12 CONFERENCE (Eugene, Oregon)

Washington and Washington State head down Interstate 5 to Historic Hayward Field Saturday and Sunday on the campus of the University of Oregon for the Pac-12 championship meet.

Oregon State was originally scheduled to host the meet at the Whyte Track & Field Center, but with the seating and press box area still not complete, the main portion of the meet was moved down the road from Corvallis to Eugene. The Beavers did host the conference multi-events championship last week.

For the first time, the final day of the Pac-12 championship meet will be aired live on the Pac-12 Network Sunday (Comcast Seattle channel 628) starting at 3 pm, with Paul Sunderland (play x play), Tom Feuer & Jordan Kent (analysts), and Jill Savage (reporter) calling the action.

Both the Husky men and women look to finish in the top half of the conference, while the Cougars aim to improve their placing from last year’s meet in Seattle.

On the women’s side, the Cougars have started out well, with Alissa Brooks-Johnson winning her second heptathlon title last week.

Washington State’s lone returning defending champion from last year is CJ Allen in the 400 hurdles, where he looks to win his third career Pac-12 title. Besides Brooks-Johnson, the only other Cougar on the squad that’s won a conference title is pole vaulter Kristine Felix, who won in 2013 at USC.

The Huskies return Liz Quick (left/photo by Paul Merca) in the pole vault, along with 2015 vault champ Kristina Owsinski.  The duo are tied for the conference lead with a mark of 14-3.25 (4.35m).

2016 10000m champ Katie Knight will not defend, as she will only run the 5000. The Dawgs will be without the defending men’s 5000m champion Colby Gilbert, who is out with an injury.

Amy-Eloise Neale, the reigning Pac-12 cross country champion, has a legitimate shot at winning both the 1500 and 5000, as she goes into the meet ranked number one in the conference.  In a possible preview of the 1500 at last week’s Oregon Twilight, she beat #2 ranked Katie Rainsberger of Oregon, 4:11.02 to 4:11.53, in a race won by Canadian Olympian Sheila Reid.

Washington State’s Brock Eager has led the conference in the hammer from the start of the season, and is favored in that event.

Among Washingtonians who could contend for titles this weekend include Tacoma’s Marcus Chambers of Oregon in the 400; Olympia’s Brooke Feldmeier of Oregon in the 800; Cobert's John Dressel of Colorado in the 5000; and Newport resident Aaron Castle of Arizona in the shot put. Federal Way's Hannah Cunliffe of Oregon, the NCAA champ in the 60, has only run relay legs this season, but is listed an an entry on the Ducks' 4x100 team, as well as in the 100 and 200. She is the defending conference champion in both dashes.

The Pac-12’s meet preview is available here, while the link to live results is here.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Seattle University, Eastern Washington University, the University of Washington, Washington State University, the Pac-12 Conference, the Big Sky Conference, and the Western Athletic Conference contributed to this report.

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