Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Olympic pole vault silver medalist Toby Stevenson named associate head track coach at Washington...

SEATTLE—The University of Washington announced the hiring of 2004 Olympic pole vault silver medalist Toby Stevenson (above, with Tim Mack at 2004 Olympics/photo by Paul Merca) as the school’s associate head coach in charge of the jumps and multi-events.

Toby Stevenson (photo courtesy
University of Kentucky)
In a released statement, Washington track & field and cross country program director Maurica Powell said, "Toby Stevenson is a tremendous addition to our staff, and we are incredibly excited for him to begin working with our student-athletes at Washington.”

"Toby is in rare company, having coached both a men's and women's individual champion at the 2018 NCAA Championships in two different events, and having also won an individual NCAA title as a competitor. Toby is charismatic and fiercely competitive, and he will make an immediate impact with our men's and women's jumpers and multi-event athletes."

Powell’s husband, Andy, who is the head track & field coach for the Huskies, was a teammate of Stevenson’s at Stanford when the Cardinal won the 2000 NCAA outdoor track & field championship.

Stevenson comes from Kentucky, where he coached junior Olivia Gruver to her second straight NCAA outdoor title, as well as coaching decathlete Tim Duckworth to both the NCAA decathlon and heptathlon crowns this season.

Before Kentucky, Stevenson had a three year stint at Stanford, highlighted by his work with Katerina Stefanidi, the 2012 NCAA outdoor women's pole vault champion who went on to win the 2016 Olympic title for Greece as well as 2017 IAAF World Championships gold.

Athletes under Stevenson’s direction have won five individual NCAA crowns in his seven years coaching at the college level.

"I am excited to be a part of the UW family," Stevenson said. "I would like to thank Maurica and Andy for the opportunity to be a part of such a program and for their confidence and trust in me. There is a rich tradition at UW and their vision for the future of the program is inspiring and passionate. I am looking forward to pushing that vision alongside them."

"I need to thank (former University of Kentucky) Coach Edrick Floreal for his leadership, guidance and friendship over the past 20 years and his trust in me as a coach. Thank you for everything. I would also like to thank all the administration, staff and student athletes at the University of Kentucky for making my time there an amazing experience. I wish them all the best of luck."

Stevenson reached rarefied air himself, as he was the 10th man in history to clear the 6.00-meter mark in the pole vault. He qualified for Team USA for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, and won the Silver Medal with a clearance of 19-4.25 (5.90m).

The successful pro career came after a record-setting collegiate career at Stanford. He won the 1998 NCAA Championship and was runner-up in 2000 in Stanford's team title season. Stevenson was a six-time All-American and won the 2000 Pac-10 title clearing 18-9.25 (5.72m) for a meet record that still stands today.

During his pro career, Stevenson set the Dempsey Indoor facility record, clearing 19-0.75 (5.80m). Stevenson was famous for being one of the few pole vaulters to wear a helmet in competition.

In-between college coaching stops, Stevenson lived in Sweden where he was the Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director of the Hammarby Track & Field Club in Stockholm, overseeing a large staff and handling budgeting, expenses, travel, compliance standards and other daily operations to help develop elite athletes.

Stevenson’s hire officially ends Pat Licari’s twenty-one years of service at the University of Washington. Licari was hired in 1997 by former head coach Orin Richburg.

Licari leaves Washington after coaching athletes to seven NCAA titles, 15 Pac-12 titles, and 62 All-America awards during his tenure at UW.

Husky alum Jeremy Taiwo, who was coached by Licari, reacted by saying, “I’m hoping that these incredible coaches (the past UW staff) that have believed in me and that have taken the time to invest in me and other incredibly successful athletes at the collegiate and Olympic level, find the incredible opportunities that they deserve."

“I hope to see a competitive Husky track and field team, so I hope for (the Powells) decision making abilities in developing a balanced team with an equally strong focus on the field event athletes and sprinters/runners as it will directly correlate to the future success of Husky athletes at the conference and national levels.”

If Stevenson’s hire is any indication, it is assumed by people around the program that sprints coach Eric Metcalf and throws coach Jason Schutz will not be retained, and that the Powells are starting fresh.

Washington’s release is available here.


At the Meeting Internazionale Di Atletica Leggera in Lignano, Italy, Drew Windle of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts finished third in the 800 meters in his first race since the Portland Track Classic in June.

Windle ran 1:46.88, as Joshua Ralph of Australia won in 1:46.68.

Camas’ Alexa Efraimson finished second in the women’s 1500, as she ran 4:08.39.

NCAA indoor mile champ Elinor Purrier took the win in 4:07.79.

Tacoma's Marcus Chambers was second in his section (3rd overall) in the men's 400 running 45.56. Kenya's Emmanuel Korir was the overall winner in a meet record 44.52.

The results are available here.

In Barcelona, David Ribich of the Brooks Beasts finished twelfth in the 1500 meters at the Míting Internacional Ciutat de Barcelona Wednesday.

Ribich, the Western Oregon grad, ran 3:42.58, as Ronald Musagala of Uganda won in 3:36.78.

Results of the Míting Internacional Ciutat de Barcelona are available here.

In an announcement on Twitter last week, Utah State University All-American Dillon Maggard announced that he’s signed a contract to run for the Brooks Beasts.

The native of Kirkland, Washington, recently competed at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, where he placed 13th in the finals of the men’s 5,000-meter run with a time of 13 minutes, 55.06 seconds.

Maggard (left/photo by Paul Merca), who graduated from Lake Washington HS with times of 1:56 for 800 and 4:19 in the mile, was a nine-time All-American at Utah State. He finished sixth at the NCAA cross country championships.

Indoors, he was part of the Aggies’ distance medley relay that finished fifth, and also took fifth in the 3000.

At the NCAA outdoor championships in Eugene, he placed third in the 10,000 meters with a school-record time of 28:38.36. Just two days later, he finished sixth in the finals of the 5,000 meters with a time of 13:57.40.

NOTE:  The University of Washington, Utah State University and the University of Kentucky contributed to this report.

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