Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Katie Flood named Pac 10 women's cross country newcomer of the year...

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - University of Washington freshman Katie Flood (left/photo by Paul Merca) was named the Pac-10 Women's Cross Country Newcomer of the Year, it was announced Wednesday by conference commissioner Larry Scott.

Flood also earned All-Pac-10 First Team honors with her top-seven finish at the Pac-10 Championships.

A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Flood was one of the nation's top recruits after winning the 2009 Nike Team Nationals individual cross country title. But after an illustrious senior track season, Flood developed a stress fracture over the summer. Heading into the fall, she was initially expected to redshirt, but her recovery went faster than expected, and Flood made her UW debut at the Pre-National Meet on October 16, a month into Washington's season. She placed 23rd in that first race, second on the team.

Two weeks later, Flood stepped up huge with a sixth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships that the Huskies hosted at Jefferson Park Golf Course. She was the top finishing freshman, leading UW to a tie for third. At the NCAA West Regionals, Flood duplicated her sixth-place finish, again as the top freshman in the West, to lead the Huskies to the Regional victory and a spot at Nationals.

In her first NCAA Championships, Flood led the Huskies once again, placing 78th overall and was again the sixth-highest finisher out of the Pac-10.

Flood is the third Husky to earn the Newcomer of the Year honors, which were first awarded in 1999. Tori Tyler first earned the honor in 2005, and current UW junior Christine Babcock was named the conference's top newcomer in 2008.

In other news, former University of Washington head women's track & field coach Clyde Duncan was named to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) hall of fame.

A 1969 grad of Texas Southern University in Houston, he was a national champion in the 60 meters, an All-America sprinter all four years at TSU, and at one time a member of three world record holding relay teams. It's difficult to decide whether Duncan’s Hall of Fame resume is more impressive as an athlete or as a coach.

After several coaching stops, including recruiting Carl Lewis to the University of Houston, the Des Moines, Iowa native returned to his alma mater in 1995 and has been at TSU ever since. An instructor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology as well as track and field coach, Duncan has mentored numerous All-America student-athletes.

At the UW, he coached the school-record setting 4 x 100 meter relay squad of Dennis Brown, Sterling Hinds, Byron Howell, and LaNoris Marshall to a second place finish at the NCAA championships in 1983. That group, nicknamed the "Atomic Dawgs", ran 39.24 that season, and Hinds competed the following year in the Olympics in Los Angeles on Canada's 4 x 100 relay squad that earned a bronze medal.

On the women's side, the Huskies had perhaps its strongest sprint/hurdles/horizontal jumps squad under Duncan, as the 1985 4 x 100 relay squad of Meledy Smith, Shirley Walker, Zelda Johnson, and Donna Dennis set a school record of 44.74h. All four women are still in the UW top-10 lists in various sprint events.

Duncan was the sprint coach for the Huskies beginning in 1983, after coming to the UW from the University of Houston, where he worked with Lewis. He was the head coach of the women's squad in 1985 and left the UW after that season.

NOTE:  The University of Washington, the Southwest Athletic Conference, the Pacific 10 Conference, and Texas Southern University contributed to this report.

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