Thursday, January 25, 2018

Olympic marathoners Shalane Flanagan and Galen Rupp return to the Dempsey for UW Invitational...

All nine of the state’s NCAA Division I and II schools will be represented at Friday and Saturday’s UW Invitational meet at the Dempsey Indoor, hosted by the University of Washington.

The headline professional athletes in the meet include TCS New York City Marathon champion Shalane Flanagan (left/photo by Paul Merca), who returns to the Dempsey two weeks after winning the 3000 in a time of 8:55.11, which was a world-leading mark, but is now the 12th fastest in the world this season.

Flanagan, who is preparing for the Boston Marathon in April, will race against a field that includes Sifan Hassan of the Nike Oregon Project. Hassan is looking to defend her IAAF world indoor title in the 1500.  Hassan was originally scheduled to run at the UW Preview two weeks ago, but pulled out.

Hassan is also entered in the mile, where she’ll face Canadian world championships competitors Annie LeBlanc and Lindsey Butterworth, along with Emily Lipari of the Boston AA, and Huskies Anna Maxwell and Maddie Meyers.

Ethiopia’s Yomif Kejelcha of the Nike Oregon Project, who returns to the Dempsey after winning the mile in 4:02.70 two weeks ago.  He’ll have a rematch with two-time US Olympian Lopez Lomong, with the Huskies’ Colby Gilbert and Western Oregon’s David Ribich, an NCAA D2 All-American in the field.

In Friday’s opening session, Kejelcha will run the 5000 against a field that includes fellow NOP teammate, Oregon alum, and two-time Olympic medalist and 2017 Bank of America Chicago Marathon winner Galen Rupp (left/photo by Paul Merca).

Also in Friday’s session, the Washington women take aim at a mark good enough to qualify for the NCAA championships in the distance medley relay, with Anna Maxwell, Texas transfer Raquel Tjernagel, Hannah Derby, and Amy-Eloise Neale on the anchor, with Cal, Stanford, Utah, and Simon Fraser also looking for qualifying marks.

The Husky men are also taking aim at a qualifying mark in the DMR, as they’ve entered a team with Gilbert, Andrew Gardner, and freshman Talon Hull. Washington State counters with a team that includes Chandler Teigen and Justin Janke, while Western Oregon will have a team with Ribich.  Cal and Stanford along with Western Washington, Eastern Washington, Portland, and Simon Fraser have teams entered.

2017 Bowerman Award winner Raevyn Rogers opens her 2018 campaign in the 400 against Washington alum and 2017 world championships competitor Gianna Woodruff.

On the field, Washington alum Kristina Owsinski (pole vault), Stanford world championships competitor Valarie Allman (weight), Eastern Washington’s Keshun McGee (long/triple jump), and a big matchup in the men’s shot put between USATF finalist David Pless against Arizona freshman and Pan-Am junior champ Jordan Geist are some of the headliners to watch.

A women’s pentathlon and a men’s heptathlon will also be contested at the UW Invitational, with Central Washington’s Kodiak Landis, currently ranked #4 in Division II, looking to improve upon in 5244 score from the Candy Cane Invitational in Cheney last month.

The meet gets underway at 1 pm Friday with the heptathlon 60 dash, and the pentathlon 60 hurdles at 1:30, with the first open running event starting at 4 pm.

Saturday’s competition starts at 9 am, with the final event slated for approximately 5:35 pm.

If you can’t make it to the Dempsey, media partner Flotrack ($) will offer live streaming coverage of the UW Invitational.

As always, entries are subject to change, scratches, etc.

NOTE:  The University of Washington contributed to this report.

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