Thursday, May 4, 2017

Here's what to watch for in the final regular season collegiate meets involving Washington schools...

This weekend marks the end of the regular track & field season for all nine of Washington’s Division I and II schools, with the conference championships upcoming next weekend.

For seven of the nine schools that are competing in a conference championship meet next weekend (Gonzaga the exception, as the WCC doesn’t sponsor outdoor track; WSU is off), this weekend marks the last time athletes on the brink of qualifying or not qualifying can convince their coaches to put them on the travel squad by demonstrating competitiveness.

Friday, Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale (left/photo by Paul Merca) is scheduled to run the 1500 meters at the Oregon Twilight meet in Eugene. She will face a field that includes 2016 UW grad Eleanor Fulton and Oregon freshman Katie Rainsberger, in what might be a preview of next week’s Pac-12 championship in that event.

Also scheduled to compete at the Oregon Twilight is Cape Verde Olympian Jordin Andrade in the 400 hurdles, along with Devon Allen in the 110 hurdles.

The meet will be telecast on the Pac-12 Network.

Also scheduled for Friday is the Final Qualifier meet hosted by Central Washington University at their facility in Ellensburg, starting with the women’s hammer at 1:30, and the first running event at 2:30 pm.

Eastern Washington will send a partial squad to Ellensburg as those athletes attempt to make a case to the coaches to take them to next week’s Big Sky championship meet in Sacramento.

In Seattle, the University of Washington hosts the Ken Shannon Invitational Saturday (women’s javelin and both hammer throws on Friday), with all four Washington D2 schools sending athletes, plus Seattle University.

A large contingent of athletes from the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts are scheduled to run in Friday night’s Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto on the campus of Stanford University.

Among those entered are: Shaq Walker (800/1500); Brannon Kidder, Izaic Yorks and Drew Windle (1500); Garrett Heath (5000); Katie Mackey, Baylee Mires and Natalija Piliusina (800); and, Claudia Saunders (1500).

Other pros with Washington ties entered at Stanford include Justine Fedronic (800); Mel Lawrence (steeple); Brie Felnagle (5000); Aaron Nelson (steeple); and Cas Loxsom, who is a late add to the men’s 1500. Gonzaga's Troy Fraley is the only Washington collegian entered in the meet.

Finally, the Pac-12 conference championship gets underway Saturday and Sunday, as Oregon State hosts the conference multi-events championship at the Whyte Track & Field Center in Corvallis.

The Huskies will send one athlete to the meet in decathlete Josh Gordon, while Washington State will send three in 2015 heptathlon champion Alissa Brooks-Johnson, last year’s third place finisher Liz Harper, and Lindsey Schauble.

NOTE:  The University of Oregon, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Stanford University, the University of Washington, and the Pac-12 Conference contributed to this report.

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