Monday, June 4, 2018

NCAA championships to close out ninety-nine years of track & field at Hayward Field...

The 2018 collegiate track and field season and 99 years of running, jumping, and throwing comes to a close with the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field (above/photo courtesy University of Oregon) on the campus of the University of Oregon beginning Wednesday and concluding Saturday.

The NCAA championships will be the last track meet contested at Hayward Field before the wrecking ball takes down (barring any court-ordered work stoppages) the West and East Grandstands.  In its place will be a newly-configured track and field stadium built with the 2021 IAAF World Track & Field Championships in mind.

Assuming there are no work stoppages, the new Hayward Field (assuming that the venue will still be called Hayward Field), which is largely financed by a major donation from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, will reopen in April 2020. If indeed that’s the case, Eugene could be in line to host the 2020 US Olympic Track & Field Trials, after USA Track & Field pulled the plug on Mt. SAC.

Nonetheless, Washington State and Washington are sending six, and four athletes, respectively, to Eugene for the NCAA championships.

Using the successful format initiated in 2016, the Wednesday and Friday sessions are devoted strictly towards the men’s competition, while the Thursday and Saturday sessions are for the women’s competition.

Washington State’s Brock Eager kicks things off Wednesday at 2 pm in the men’s hammer throw, as the former Pac-12 champion looks to improve from his 14th place finish last year.

Wenatchee HS standout Isaiah Brandt-Sims of Stanford will be part of the Cardinal’s two relay teams, as he will run in both the 4 x 100 semis at 4:32pm, and the 4 x 400 relay semis at 7:48 pm.

At 4:46 pm, Washington State’s Chandler Teigen runs in the first of two semis in the men’s 1500, where he’ll look to finish in the top five to automatically advance to Friday’s final (top five in each of the two heats, plus the two fastest advance).

At 5:02, Washington senior Andrew Gardner, making his second NCAA championship appearance, runs in the semis of the steeplechase. Like the 1500, it’s top five from each of the two semi heats advancing to Friday’s final, plus the two fastest.

At the same time the steeplechase semis get underway, Washington State’s Pac-12 champ Sander Moldau gets going in the finals of the pole vault.

Thursday, the women take to the track, with Washington State’s Kaili Keefe, the transfer from Eastern Washington, getting things underway in the women’s 1500 at 4:16 pm (top five in each of the two heats, plus the two fastest advance).

Sixteen minutes later, Washington’s Emily Hamlin makes her NCAA track & field championship debut in the 3000 steeplechase, as she looks for a top five finish to automatically advance, or a time qualifier, to Saturday’s final.

At 6 pm, Washington State junior Stephanie Cho runs in the second of three heats in the 400 hurdles, where she’ll need to place in the top two to automatically advance to Saturday’s finals, or get one of the two time qualifiers.

Friday, Washington State’s Alissa Brooks-Johnson makes her third NCAA championship appearance, as she begins the first day of competition in the heptathlon at 12:30 pm.

Also competing Friday is Washington’s Colby Gilbert in the men’s 5000 meter final at 7:25 pm.

Saturday, Brooks-Johnson finishes up in the heptathlon, while the Huskies’ Amy-Eloise Neale closes out the Washington contingent, as she runs the 5000 at 5:25 pm.

Here is the complete list of athletes with Washington ties competing in the championships along with their start times:

Wednesday

M Hammer (2:00 pm)—Brock Eager
M 4 x 100 semis (4:32 pm)—Isaiah Brandt-Sims
M 1500 semis (4:46 pm)—Chandler Teigen
M Pole Vault finals (5:00 pm)-Sander Moldau
M Steeple semis (5:02 pm)—Andrew Gardner
M 4 x 400 semis (7:48 pm)—Isaiah Brandt-Sims

Thursday

W 1500 semis (4:16 pm)—Kaili Keefe
W Steeple semis (4:32 pm)—Emily Hamlin
W 400 hurdles semis (6:00 pm)—Stephanie Cho

Friday

W Heptathlon (12:30p first event)—Alissa Brooks-Johnson
M 5000 finals (7:25 pm)—Colby Gilbert

Saturday

W Heptathlon (12:30p first event)—Alissa Brooks-Johnson

The ESPN family of networks offers live coverage of the NCAA championships both over-the-air and online each day.  The television schedule is available here.

paulmerca.blogspot.com will be in Eugene to cover the NCAA championships.

GNAC HONORS CENTRAL’S CORBIN CARLTON AND BRAYDON MAIER, ALONG WITH WESTERN WASHINGTON’S RAQUEL PELLECER AND SEATTLE PACIFIC’S RENICK MEYER AND KARL LERUM…

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference bestowed its special end-of-the-season awards to its outstanding track and field athletes Monday.

Central Washington distance runner Corbin Carlton was named by the conference as its men’s newcomer of the year, while decathlete Braydon Maier was named the men’s freshman of the year.

Carlton finished fourth in the steeplechase and seventh in the 5,000 meters at the GNAC Championships, while Maier won both the pole vault and decathlon at the conference championships.

Western Washington’s javelin thrower Raquel Pellecer was selected as the women’s newcomer of the year while Seattle Pacific’s multi-event standout Renick Meyer was the unanimous selection for freshman of the year. Falcons’ head coach Karl Lerum was tabbed as the women’s coach of the year.

Pellecer continued the line of great javelin throwers to compete for Western Washington. The sophomore earned All-American honors with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Pellecer finished second at the GNAC Championships.

Meyer, who earned All-America honors in both the heptathlon and long jump with identical seventh-place finishes at the NCAA D2 championships, won both events at the GNAC title meet.

Lerum earned his 15th GNAC Women’s Coach of the Year in track and field and his eighth during the outdoor season. He led the Falcons to their ninth GNAC outdoor championship with 154.5 points, winning the title by 33.5 points. In addition to Meyer’s three titles, Lerum coached Grace Bley to a conference title in the 200 meters and saw the Falcons’ 4x100-meter relay team win with a meet record time of 46.60 seconds. Seattle Pacific sent four athletes to the NCAA Championships.

The GNAC release is available here.

NOTE:  Additional Friday and Saturday competitors will be updated after the semi-final rounds on Wednesday and Thursday.

The GNAC, the NCAA, and the sports information offices of the University of Oregon, University of Washington, Stanford University, and Washington State University, contributed to this report.

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