Thursday, February 26, 2015

Host of Washington athletes head east for USA Indoor Track & Field Championships...

While the collegians have their conference championships, the professionals return to Roxbury Crossing outside of Boston for the USA Indoor Track & Field championships beginning with Friday’s multi-event competition.

University of Washington alum Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo by Paul Merca) is the top seed in the heptathlon, after scoring a personal best and 2015 world best 6344 points at the UW Invitational at the end of January (the IAAF lists Adam Helcelet of the Czech Republic as the world leader with 6164 because of the Dempsey Indoor’s oversized track).

With no world championship team on the line for this year’s meet, USA Track & Field has taken the step of running non-traditional championship meet distances, so instead of the 400, 800, 1500 & 3000, meet management is offering the 300, 600, 1000, mile and two-mile.

Going in the men’s 300 heats on Saturday will be Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry, who will face a pair of world indoor 4 x 400 relay gold medalists in Clayton Parros, and Manteo Mitchell.

Seattle Pacific alum McKayla Fricker, along with Seattle resident Phoebe Wright and Megan Malasarte of the Brooks Beasts are entered in the 600.  Cas Loxsom and Mark Wieczorek of the Beasts are entered in the men’s 600.

Camas HS senior Alexa Efraimson is entered in the women’s 1000.

Washington alum Katie Mackey of the Brooks Beasts is entered in the mile on Saturday, along with teammate Amanda Mergaert, as they face current world leader Shannon Rowbury of the Nike Oregon Project.

Riley Masters of the Beasts is entered in the men’s mile, as he faces current world leader Matthew Centrowitz of the Nike Oregon Project.

Mergaert is also entered in the women’s two mile, along with Tacoma native Brie Felnagle, who is sharpening up for her appearance at next month’s IAAF world cross country championships in China. Garrett Heath of the Beasts is entered in the men’s two mile against national cross country champ and former Stanford teammate Chris Derrick.

In the field events, the only athlete with Washington ties entered is Washington State alum Blessing Ufodiama in the triple jump.  Katie Burnett, who attended middle and high school in the Puget Sound area, is entered in the two-mile race walk.

Start lists for the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships are posted here.  NBCSN and will provide live coverage of the meet on Saturday and Sunday, while the multi-events will be available for on-demand viewing online at  The official hashtag for the event is #USATFind.

In other USA Track & Field News, several athletes with Washington ties were named recipients of training grants from the USA Track & Field Foundation.

Among those receiving grants are Brad Walker, Garrett Heath, Jeremy Taiwo, Britney Henry, and Kara Winger.  Winger and Henry were two of 23 athletes who received USATF Foundation grants via the John W. James Endowment fund for athletes in the throwing events.  Walker, Heath and Taiwo were among 45 athletes, primarily in the running and jumping events, who got Elite Athlete Development grants from the foundation.

USATF’s releases announcing the grants are available here and here.

Multi-event specialist Mandie Maddux of Seattle University finished second in the pentathlon as the Western Athletic Conference championship meet got underway in Colorado Springs.

The junior from Gresham, Oregon compiled a final score of 3287 points, as she finished 45 points behind winner Mindy Stapel of Utah Valley.

She started the meet with a personal best of 9.72 in the 60 hurdles, then cleared 5-3.75 (1.62m) in the high jump.  Maddux won the shot put with a toss of 35-6.75 (10.84m), then set a personal best in the long jump of 15-11 (4.85m), before running 2:32.75 in the 800.

The Seattle University release is available here.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field and the sports information office of Seattle University contributed to this report.

No comments:

Blog Archive