Saturday, January 15, 2011

Koll, Gardner & Norman set facility records to open 2011 indoor season at the Dempsey...

The 2011 indoor track & field season began in earnest at the University of Washington's Dempsey Indoor facility as 2010 Bowerman Award finalist Lisa Koll (left/photo courtesy set a facility record in the featured women's 3000 meter run.

With Olympic 10000 meter bronze medalist and Oregon Track Club/Portland training partner Shalane Flanagan running interference for Koll, the Iowa State grad and reigning NCAA champion at 5000 and 10000 outdoors clocked 8:53.14, breaking the Dempsey record of 8:53.88 set by Colorado's Jenny Barringer in 2009.

Flanagan, who planned all along to be Koll's pace setter, led for close to 2100 meters before dropping off the track and letting Koll run the last 900 meters on her own.

Allie Kieffer was a distant second in 9:28.03, and Nike's Lauren Johnson out of Portland was third at 9:39.88.

Courtesy of media partner, here is video of Koll's race.

Oregon freshman English Gardner set a school and Dempsey facility record in winning the 60 meter dash in 7.29, eclipsing Amber Purvis' 7.30 set last year.

A few minutes later, pro sprinter Josh Norman turned heads quickly with a record 6.58 second run in the men's final to eclipse Ryan Bailey's 6.61 from last year.

2009 world championships team member Maggie Vessey opened up her 2011 campaign with an easy victory in the 800, running 2:09.14, with Lauren Johnson finishing second at 2:10.60.

Another 2009 world championships team member, Michael Mai of the US Army dominated the men's 35 pound weight throw, lobbing the weight 75-4 3/4 (22.98m).

Oregon's Brianne Thiessen, a member of Canada's world championship squad in Berlin two years ago, and the reigning NCAA multi-event champion both indoors and outdoors, won the 60 meter hurdles in 8.42, defeating California high schooler Trinity Wilson.

In the men's competition on the track, Nike's Andrew Bumbalough, the 3rd place finisher in the 5000 at last year's USA championships in Des Moines, won a thrilling duel with McMillan Elite's Aaron Braun, as both just missed dipping under 4 minutes.

Bumbalough was clocked in 4:00.14, while Braun, who finished one spot behind the Georgetown grad at the USA outdoors at 5000 last year, stopped the clock in 4:00.38.

Dempsey Indoor favorite and former Husky Norris Frederick appears back in form, as he won the long jump, with a mark of 25-7 1/4 (7.80m).

The men's pole vault competition, which featured three athletes with a combined total of five NCAA titles between them--Rice grad Jason Colwick (2), UW's Scott Roth (1), and Western Washington's Ryan Brown (2 in Division II) never materialized, as Roth was second to Levi Keller at 17-5 (5.31m) on fewer misses.

Washington's reigning Pac-10 champ Ryan Vu was third at 16-7.25 (5.06m), while Colwick, who is now training in Seattle under UW vault coach Pat Licari, was in a three-way tie for fourth with Brown, and Oregon's Austin Ouderkirk.

The women's pole vault had an exciting battle between Stanford's Katerina Stefanidi, and Oregon's Melissa Gergel. Stefanidi, who hails from Athens, Greece, took home the victory in an NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 14-5.5 (4.41m), with Gergel second, also with an NCAA auto qualifier of 14-1.75 (4.31m).

Complete results from the UW Indoor Preview can be accessed here.

Next up at the Dempsey is the UW Invitational, one of the premier meets anywhere in the country during the indoor season. The meet begins Friday, Jan. 28, with a number of the distance events as well as the first multi-event competition of the year. The bulk of the meet begins the next morning, Jan. 29, at 9 a.m.

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