Tuesday, January 9, 2018

World record holder Aries Merritt and reigning world long jump champ Brittney Reese headline UW Indoor Preview...

The meet is only happening in a few days, but this Saturday’s UW Indoor Preview has all the feel of a mid-winter meet at the Dempsey, partially because of the early date of next month’s USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships, which is the qualifying meet for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England.

2012 Olympic champions Aries Merritt (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Brittney Reese are the headline performers, with Merritt entered in the men’s 60 meter hurdles, while Reese, who has traditionally opened her season in Seattle the last few years, will run the 60 meter dash instead of long jumping, where she is the reigning world champion.

Merritt, who won the Olympic title at 110 hurdles in 2012, and is the current world record holder at that distance at 12.80, finished fifth at last year’s world championships in London.  He will use the UW Indoor Preview as a starting point for a possible run at making the world indoor championship team.  Merritt won the world indoor title in 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey, and has a personal best of 7.43 in the 60 hurdles.

The USATF indoor championship meet happens February 17th & 18th in Albuquerque, New Mexico, while the IAAF world indoors is March 1st-4th.

Two time Olympic triple jump silver medalist and former world indoor champ Will Claye is entered in the men’s 200 meters where he is scheduled to face former Pac-12 400 meter champions Marcus Chambers of Tacoma, and Seattle native Michael Berry.

Other Olympians and/or world championships competitors entered include Deajah Stevens and Ariana Washington (60m); Sara Vaughn (3000); Alycia Butterworth (mile); Erica Bougard (60 hurdles); Kendell Williams (60 hurdles); Elizabeth Patterson (high jump); Diamara Planell Cruz (pole vault); Drew Windle (400 & 1000); and Darrell Hill (shot put).

The list of accepted entries for Saturday's UW Indoor Preview is available here.  As always, entries are subject to change between now and meet day,

paulmerca.blogspot.com will have a full preview of Saturday’s UW Indoor Preview later this week.

NOTES:  paulmerca.blogspot.com has learned that Eastern Washington standout Colton Johnsen, who was the Eagles’ top runner during the cross country season, has transferred to Washington State University.  Johnsen, a native of Bellingham, was 37th at last fall’s Big Sky Conference championship meet, and 66th at the NCAA West regionals.  He also finished 10th at the Sundodger Invite, and won the Montana Invitational.

A text from WSU track & field sports information director Linda Chalich confirmed Johnsen’s transfer, which was rumored shortly after the conclusion of the cross country season. He is entered in Saturday's UW Indoor Preview in the 3000.

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