Top-Ranked Walker Leads Husky Quartet to NCAA Indoor Championships
March 12, 2003
On the Track: Four Husky athletes were accepted into the field of more than 500 at the 2003 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, this Friday and Saturday at the University of Arkansas' Randall Tyson Indoor Track Center. The 12th-ranked UW men will feature pole vaulter Brad Walker, ranked No. 1 in the NCAA this season, and 3,000-meter competitor Jeremy Park, the nation's fifth-ranked qualifier. Washington's women's squad, meanwhile, will be represented by senior miler Courtney Inman, ranked ninth among athletes in the NCAA field, and sophomore pole vaulter Kate Soma, the 11th-ranked pole vaulter entering the NCAA meet.
The Field: All of the nation's top collegiate athletes will converge on Fayetteville this weekend, as teams look to position themselves for success during the 2003 outdoor season. Top-ranked Arkansas is seeking to win its first men's title since 2000, and its 17th in the last 20 years. On the women's side, No. 1 LSU will attempt to repeat as champion, a feat the team accomplished four times from 1994-97. Washington's representatives will see stiff competition in their events as well. While Brad Walker leads all other competitors by five inches in the pole vault, he will have to be at the top of his game to hold off challenges by Nebraska senior Eric Eshbach and Idaho State's Paul Litchfield, the only vaulters other than Walker to clear 18 feet during the 2003 regular season. In the 3,000 meters, Jeremy Park will try to keep up with 2001 NCAA cross-country champion Boaz Cheboiywo of Eastern Michigan, as well as the talented Arkansas tandem of Alistair Cragg and Daniel Lincoln. Senior Courtney Inman will also be battling a terrific Razorbacks' duo, as Christin Wurth and Londa Bevens set the pace in the mile, along with second-ranked Tiffany McWilliams of Mississippi State. In the pole vault, meanwhile, Kate Soma will face Pac-10 conference foes Amy Linnen of Arizona - the Pac-10 record holder in the event - and Oregon's Becky Holliday and Nikki McEwen.
Event Schedule: The two-day meet begins Fri., Mar. 14 and concludes Sat., Mar. 15. Below is a schedule of those events featuring UW athletes. All times are Pacific.
Friday, Mar. 14
3:35 p.m. -- Pole Vault (M), Final
4:15 p.m. -- Mile (W), Prelims
Saturday, Mar. 15
3:30 p.m. -- Pole Vault (W), Final
4:05 p.m. -- Mile (W), Final
5:40 p.m. -- 3,000m (M), Final
Meet Results: Live results of the 2003 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships will be posted to www.ncaasports.com, and to the official site of the host University of Arkansas, www.hogwired.com. Results will be posted to www.gohuskies.com approximately one hour after conclusion of UW competition on each day.
A Look Back at the 2002 NCAA Indoor Championships: Husky milers Eric Garner and Courtney Inman were the lone Washington representatives at the 2002 NCAA Indoor meet, with each qualifying on the strength of school-record mile marks set during Dempsey Indoor's debut season. Garner boasted a time of 3:58.93 entering the Championship meet, the third-fastest time in the nation during the 2002 regular season. Unfortunately, Garner's heat - the first of two - set only a moderate pace, which was bettered by every athlete in the second heat, and Garner's time of 4:07.76 was not fast enough to advance. Inman, meanwhile, entered the meet ranked 17th nationally, and finished 14th overall, nearly matching her school record of 4:45.40 with a 4:46.83 in the women's mile final.
Numerologists Predict Success: This week marks the 25th anniversary of perhaps the most outstanding indoor NCAA performance in UW track history. It was at the 1978 NCAA Indoor Championships that junior thrower Scott Neilson won his second of three-consecutive national titles in the weight throw, with a heave of 68 feet, 7 3/4 inches. Neilsen's heroics helped lift the Husky men's team into a tie for 14th, its third-highest finish in school history. Additionally, it was exactly five years ago, in 1998, that the Huskies achieved their highest-ever team score at the NCAA Indoor meet. Washington's 1998 squad, led by freshman sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker, tallied 16 points, good for a 13th-place finish. Hooker earned three All-American accolades indoors that season, and was the national champion at 55 meters, the Huskies first indoor titlist since ... Neilson, in 1979.
Rankings Report: Washington's men's team fell out of the top-10 in Tuesday's U.S. Track Coaches' Association Dual Meet Power Rankings, settling in 12th. This week marks the first time the Huskies have been ranked out of the top-10 in the USTCA Rankings, which simulate dual meet competition between the nation's elite collegiate teams, since late January. Washington's total of 259.05 points matched its ninth-ranked total of a week ago, and trailed top-ranked Minnesota by just 24 points. Washington also earned a top-25 nod in the Trackwire 25 power rankings, which predict team scoring at the 2003 NCAA Championships. Washington's total of 10 points tied several teams for 21st, one spot below the team's ranking of a week ago. NCAA host Arkansas held the top spot for the third-straight week, totaling 59 points. The Husky women, meanwhile, matched their season-best 243.39 points in the USTCA Rankings, placing 33rd overall, and second only to 13th-ranked WSU among Pac-10 teams. Defending indoor national champion LSU slipped to second behind South Carolina in the USTCA Rankings, but were able to hold off all challengers in the Trackwire rankings, placing first with 60 points. The Husky women were unranked by Trackwire.
Just Dandy, Thank You: NCAA competitors Brad Walker, Jeremy Park, Courtney Inman and Kate Soma each earned top-10 individual rankings in this week's Trackwire Dandy Dozen, which predicts order of finish at the NCAA meet. Factoring in seed marks, injury history, and past performance in major competitions, Trackwire ranks Walker No. 1 overall in the pole vault, Inman ninth in the mile, Park ninth in the 3,000 meters and Soma 10th in the pole vault . All four have established school records in their respective events this season, including a clearance of 18-6 1/2 in the pole vault by Walker that leads all NCAA competitors by five inches.
2003 Indoor Season Recap: The 2003 indoor season will long be remembered as one of the most exciting in UW history, with school records, American records, and top-10 world marks falling left and right. In all, eight school records were set during the team's five weeks of competition at Dempsey Indoor, including a pair of records by Courtney Inman in the 800m and mile runs, and a pole vault mark by Brad Walker that is among the world's 25-best this season. In fact, a glance at the IAAF World Rankings for 2003 reveals dozens of marks set on the blistering Dempsey Indoor track. As many as 2,500 spectators packed the facility each week, creating a highly-charged atmosphere that attracted such luminaries as two-time Olympic medalist John Godina, and fellow Olympians Seilala Sua, Bolota Asmeron, Michael Stember and Ja'Warren Hooker. The Huskies also didn't discriminate by age, as a pair of Masters' Division athletes, Tony Young and Harold Morioka, combined for three all-time U.S.-best marks, and the Northwest's top preps filled the facility on three weekends.
Resourceful Recruiting: Washington's coaches in 2003 have found a creative way to add numerous elite athletes to the squad without having to give up any scholarships - cull the most talented athletes from the UW's other sports. This season's Husky roster, therefore, features nine players from the Husky football team, one UW gymnast, and one better known for her exploits on the basketball court. Those to make the biggest impact so far in 2003 are the football players, two of whom lead the team in their events and one - freshman tailback Shelton Sampson - who was an NCAA qualifier, in the 200 meters. Sophomore safety James Sims, a Pac-10 competitor last season, is a Pac-10 qualifier again in the triple jump. Those two are joined on the UW roster by wide receivers Reggie Williams and Matt Williams, cornerbacks Roc Alexander and Derrick Johnson, tailback Chris Singleton and linebacker Will Conwell. This spring, former Husky basketball player Heather Reichmann will seek a fourth-career top-10 Pac-10 finish in the javelin, and redshirt freshman gymnast Carly Dockendorf - currently the UW's fifth-best indoor pole-vaulter all-time - will join the track team on a full-time basis.
Double-Duty Dockendorf: Freshman football/basketball star Nate Robinson may be Washington's most celebrated two-sport athlete in 2003, but even Robinson isn't trying to compete in two sports at once. That's the feat currently being accomplished by Port Moody, B.C., native Carly Dockendorf, who is competing simultaneously for the Huskies' gymnastics and indoor track and field teams. The weekend of Mar. 1 may have marked the most impressive display of Dockendorf's athletic ability. On Friday night, Feb. 28, with the Husky gymnasts needing a big performance from Dockendorf to extend their undefeated home season, the redshirt freshman scored a perfect 10 on the floor exercise, just the sixth perfect 10 in school history. Barely 12 hours later, Dockendorf pulled on her track spikes and soared 12-feet, zero inches in the pole vault at the Pac-10 Indoor Track Invitational, the fifth-best mark all-time by a UW woman. A provincial pole vault champion as a prep, Dockendorf was named Rookie of the Year by the Husky gymnastics team in 2002.
You Might Recall: While the 11 athletes on the roster from sports other than track or cross-country are more than Washington has had in recent years, the practice of mining athletic talent from other UW programs has unearthed countless gems for the Husky track and field squad in the past. In fact, a glance at Washington's career top-10 charts reveals numerous outstanding two-sport performers, including 110m hurdles record-holder Spider Gaines, a tailback for the UW football team in the 1970s, and sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker, the UW record-holder at 100m, 200m, and 400m and a Husky wide receiver from 1997-98. Other names which highlight the list include football players Ernie Conwell (No. 5, shot put), Dana Hall (No. 3, 110m HH), Sterling Hinds (No. 3, 100m/200m), Pete Kaligis (No. 6, shot put), Orlando McKay (No.2, 400m), Brent Merritt (No. 5, 400m) and Tony Parrish (No. 5, triple jump). That's not to say that multi-sport success is limited just to the football team. Former UW All-American volleyball star Makare Desilets boasts the school's fifth-best high jump mark, while basketball standout Tara Davis is the school-record holder in the triple jump, and ranks second all-time in the long jump. And, of course, current Husky and former hoopster Heather Reichmann is the school's all-time record-holder in the javelin (new implement). This list doesn't even include Huskies Herman Brix and Paul Jessup, who starred for Washington's football teams in the 1920s before establishing world records in the shot put and discus, respectively.
Monster PR of the Week: Through the first four meets of the season, freshman long jumper Katelyn Waterhouse had improved her mark consistently - from 16-5 1/4 at the season-opening Indoor Preview Meet, to 17-4 1/4 at the Husky Invitational, and to 17-6 at the Pac-10 Invitational. On Mar. 8, however, Waterhouse threw steady improvement out the window, choosing instead to soar leaps and bounds beyond her previous best. The Snohomish, Wash., native's mark of 18-3 1/4 at the Last Chance Qualifier gave her the team lead in 2003, and the first victory of her UW career. The mark was more than seven inches beyond her previous best, and was an improvement of nearly two feet over her first effort in 2003.
Palo Alto, Here We Come: Washington's best have wasted no time in 2003, with 16 Husky athletes combining for 18 Pac-10 qualifying marks. Last year, Washington boasted 40 Pac-10 qualifiers, two of whom - pole vaulter Brad Walker and steepler Mike Hill - left Pullman, Wash., with conference titles. Now a senior, Walker placed atop the list with a mark of 18-6 1/2 at the UW Invitational on Feb. 15. The Pac-10 appearance would be the fourth in as many years for Walker, who in addition to his championship in 2002 was also a top-10 finisher in 2000. Senior Courtney Inman has already notched qualifying marks in both the 800m run and the mile; the indoor school-record holder in both events earned top-10 finishes in both the 800- and 1,500m events at last year's conference meet. Additionally, sophomore Sidney Brown is a double-qualifier, boasting marks in both the triple and high jumps. Following is a list of all UW athletes currently qualified for the 2003 Pac-10 Championships. Pac-10 teams can bring a maximum of 24 athletes to the meet, and in addition may place one athlete in each event for which the school has no qualifier. Thus, some athletes to post qualifying marks may not compete, and others not qualified may be entered in some events.
Name, Event, Mark
Todd Arnold, Mile, 4:06.65
Ryan Brown, 800m, 1:50.97
Warren Eickhoff, High Jump, 6-9 1/2
Shelton Sampson, 200m, 21.18
James Sims, Triple Jump, 49-3 3/4
Brad Walker, Pole Vault, 18-6 1/2
Name, Event, Mark
Mary Beeman, Shot Put, 44-9 1/2
Kate Bradshaw, 5,000m, 17:09.06
Sidney Brown, Triple Jump, 39-4 1/2
Sidney Brown, High Jump, 5-7
Cherron Davis, Shot Put, 46-1 1/4
Lindsey Egerdahl, Mile, 4:55.12
Kameko Gay, Shot Put, 44-11 3/4
Courtney Inman, 800m, 2:08.39
Courtney Inman, Mile, 4:40.24
Sabrina Monro, 5,000m, 16:22.13
Brittiny Roberts, Triple Jump, 41-4 1/4
Kate Soma, Pole Vault, 13-3 3/4
It's Not the Size of the Dog in the Fight...: ... it's the size of the fight in the dog. Sophomore pole vaulter Kate Soma may stand only an inch above 5'-0', but the Portland, Ore., native towers over all UW female vaulters, past and present. Soma is the only Husky woman ever to clear 13 feet in the pole vault, having done so both indoors and outdoors. In fact, only five UW women have ever cleared 12 feet in the event, a feat Soma has accomplished in 16 of her 20-career pole vault finishes. At the Mar. 1 Pac-10 Invitational, Soma broke her own school record with a clearance of 13-3 3/4 that is nearly a foot beyond the UW's all-time second-best indoor mark. As a freshman, Soma improved her personal best by more than a foot with a school-record clearance of 13-1 1/2, and added nearly a foot to the UW's indoor record with a best mark of 12-11 1/2.
World-Class Walker: When Husky senior Brad Walker cleared 18 feet, 6 inches in a sixth-place finish at the USA Senior National Championships last June, he sent a message to the rest of the NCAA that the nation's top returning vaulter was primed for a big season in 2003. After a slow start to the indoor season, Walker broke out in a big way at the Feb. 15 UW Invitational, clearing a height of 18-feet, 6 1/2 inches on his first attempt to move into the top-10 of the IAAF World Rankings for the 2003 season. Though Walker has since been bumped into a tie for 23rd in the world this year, his mark continues to lead all NCAA competitors by five inches, and has the two-time All-American primed to challenge the Pac-10 record of 18-9 1/4. A non-scholarship athlete who never cleared 17 feet at University High School in Spokane, Walker blossomed during his sophomore season at UW, improving his personal best by more than a foot en route to an indoor school record and All-America honors indoors. An undiagnosed foot injury hampered Walker during the outdoor season, but he still finished 12th at the NCAA meet before undergoing offseason surgery. After redshirting the 2002 indoor season, Walker posted one of the top seasons in UW track and field history, shattering the school's outdoor vault record on three occasions while earning the UW's first conference pole vault title in 30 years. A second-place finish at the NCAA Championships and the sixth-place finish at the USA meet followed. While 2003 will be Walker's final season outdoors, he has one year of eligibility remaining indoors and has indicated a desire to return to UW in 2004.
Queen of the Mile: It seems impossible, but for the past two seasons, senior Courtney Inman has been setting school records nearly every time she steps on the track. This season, Inman calmly shaved five seconds off her own school record in the mile, lowering to 4:40.24 a record which stood as high as 4:48.36 barely 12 months ago. After having lowered the mile record on three separate occasions in 2003, the British Columbia native set her sights on Sarah Bolender's 800-meter record of 2:11.06. On her first try, Inman lowered that mark to 2:10.56, before taking off another two seconds with a time of 2:08.39 at the Mar. 8 Last Chance Qualifier.
Park Central to UW Success: Perhaps no Husky has risen as quickly this season as senior distance runner Jeremy Park, who boasts an NCAA automatic-qualifying time at 3,000m and was one of four members of the school's provisionally-qualified distance medley relay team. A graduate of Klamath Falls (Ore.) High School, Park attended Portland State University for two seasons before transferring to UW in the fall of 2001. Last season, Park earned an eighth-place finish in the 1,500m at the Pac-10 Championships, and entered 2003 among Washington's top-three competitors at 1,500m and 5,000m. It was in the 3,000m where Park made his splash, however, shaving 16 seconds off of his personal best with an NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 7:54.13 at the Feb. 15 UW Invitational that currently ranks fifth in the nation in 2003. In the process, Park became the first UW runner ever to clear 8:00.00 indoors in the 3,000m, shattering the school record by more than eight seconds. Remarkably, it was the second school record in as many meets for Park, who ran the first leg of Washington's record-setting distance medley relay squad at the Husky Invitational on Feb. 1. The team's time of 9:40.82 was 12 seconds beyond the previous best, and bettered the NCAA provisional standard.
Ridiculous Records: The Huskies in 2003 have rendered the indoor school records section of the UW Track and Field Media Guide completely obsolete. At the Mar. 1 Pac-10 Invitational alone, Husky athletes posted 11 marks that rank among Washington's top-10 all-time, following a performance at the Feb. 15 UW Invitational in which 15 such marks were set. In five indoor meets in 2003, Husky athletes posted 39 marks among the top-10 in school history. Included among the top-10 marks are no fewer than eight school records, or one more than Husky athletes set in 2001 and 2002, combined. Senior Jeremy Park has had a hand in two such records, shattering the school's 3,000m mark by eight seconds with a time of 7:54.13, and teaming with sophomore Sean Williams and juniors Todd Arnold and Eric Garner to set a record of 9:40.82 in the distance medley relay that was 12 seconds better than the previous best. Senior pole vaulter Brad Walker crushed his own record of 17-11 3/4 in the pole vault by clearing 18-6 1/2 at the UW Invitational, sophomore Kate Soma broke her own pole vault record of 12-11 1/2 with a clearance of 13-3 3/4 at the Pac-10 Invitational, and junior Brittiny Roberts raised the school's triple jump record by nearly a foot with a mark of 41-4 1/4 at the UW Invitational. Also, Sabrina Monro lowered the 5,000-meter record by 11 seconds with a time of 16:22.13, and senior Courtney Inman lowered her own mile record to 4:40.24. Inman also established the UW's all-time best indoor 800-meter mark this season, posting a time of 2:08.39 on Mar. 8. At least the record-keepers can rest assured that no more records will fall - all four UW athletes competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships already own the school records in their respective events. See the box above for a full list of the athletes who have cracked the UW's all-time top-10 indoor rankings in 2003, as well as a list of Washington's indoor school records.
Triple Threat: Junior triple jumper Brittiny Roberts entered rare air on Feb. 15 when she leapt 41-4 1/4 at the UW Invitational, nearly 10 inches farther than any Husky to come before. Roberts' success should come as no surprise, given that her cousin, U.S. track legend Ralph Boston, won the gold medal in the long jump at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. Maybe Roberts learned a thing or two from Boston - in addition to the triple jump, she currently leads all Huskies in the high jump, and is ranked third on the team in the long jump. A graduate of Bullard High School in Fresno, Calif., Roberts is making an assault on the school outdoor record of 41-7 3/4 set by Tara Davis in 1995. Prior to 2003, Roberts had already joined an elite class of triple jumpers, clearing 40-8 3/4 in a fourth-place finish at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships to rank third all-time at UW. Roberts is one of just five Huskies ever to cover 40 feet in the triple jump outdoors, and one of just three to accomplish the feat indoors. Roberts was outstanding as a prep, competing in the California state championship meet for four consecutive seasons, with four top-10 finishes, including two each in the high and triple jumps. Roberts continued to succeed as a UW freshman, placing 10th in the triple jump at the 2001 Pac-10 Championship meet.
They're Automatic: Washington automatically qualified three individuals for this week's NCAA Indoor Championships, the team's highest total of indoor automatic qualifiers in the past decade. Since 1993, the Huskies have had as many as two automatic qualifiers just once, in 2001, when Ja'Warren Hooker (100m, 200m) and David Bazzi (5,000m) bettered the automatic standards. This season, Courtney Inman (mile), Brad Walker (pole vault) and Jeremy Park (3,000m) have all posted automatic-qualifying marks, and each rank among the top-10 nationally in their respective events.
'Note' Worthy: Junior Brendan Tuohy is doing his best to debunk the stereotype of the oafish thrower. The Tacoma, Wash., native, whose marks of 49-2 1/4 in the shot and 53-8 1/4 in the weight lead all Husky competitors in 2003, is majoring in music at the UW and boasts a fine tenor voice. When not performing in the throwing circle, Tuohy can be heard performing such works as Bach's Oratorio for the UW School of Music, and in performances with the Tacoma Opera and the UW Chambersingers. Tuohy plans on continuing his musical education upon earning his degree in the spring of 2004.
Dempsey Indoor: The 80,000-square foot home of Husky indoor track opened in September of 2001 to rave reviews. The facility includes a permanent 307-meter MONDO track (six lanes on the straightaway, five on the oval) and a full 100-yard FieldTurf infield equipped to host the shot put, weight throw, long jump, triple jump, high jump and pole vault events. Already in 2003, Dempsey Indoor has played host to five former Olympians and witnessed five top-10 world marks, three top all-time U.S. marks (though not officially records), eight UW indoor school records and dozens of NCAA-qualifying marks. In addition to its competitive use, the building is utilized as an indoor practice facility for Washington's football, softball, baseball and men's and women's soccer teams, and is considered one of the premier indoor facilities on the West Coast. The facility is named for California businessman Neal Dempsey, a 1964 Washington graduate. Dempsey and his wife, Janet, made the largest individual contribution ever to the University in January of 2001. The Dempseys announced a gift of $10 million to be split between the School of Business' 'Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation' and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Dempsey Indoor Draws World's Best: If Washington's home indoor meets this season seemed to shimmer in gold, it was likely due to the numerous current and former Olympians who highlighted the fields at Dempsey Indoor. The Feb. 1 Husky Invitational featured four Olympic athletes, including former Husky and 2000 U.S. Olympian Ja'Warren Hooker, who set a facility record in the 60m dash with a blistering time of 6.63 seconds. Hooker was joined by fellow U.S. Olympians John Godina and Seilala Sua, and distance runner Bolota Asmeron, who competed in 2000 for his native Etruria. Godina, a two-time Olympic medalist, heaved the shot 65-6 3/4 in a winning effort, while Sua took the women's shot with a throw of 56-8, besting her own facility record. Asmeron, however, highlighted the competition, clocking the world's sixth-fastest indoor 3,000-meter time of the 2003 season with a mark of 7:49.68 which, at the time it was run, was the world's best this season. Hooker also ran at two other UW home meets, and fellow 2000 Olympian Michael Stember set a facility record in the mile at the Feb. 15 UW Indoor Invitational.
Top Dawgs: Three seniors and one junior, distance runner Todd Arnold, were selected to be captains for the 2003 season by a vote of their teammates. Arnold, a Pac-10 qualifier at 1,500 meters in 2002, is joined by senior All-American Brad Walker, the 2002 NCAA runner-up in the pole vault, as captains on the men's side, while a pair of school-record holders - Kameko Gay in the hammer and Courtney Inman in the mile - lead the women.
International Blend: Washington's 2003 roster features several individuals from outside the United States. Most prominent among them is senior Courtney Inman, a native of Abbotsford, B.C., who last year placed 10th in the 1,500 meters at the NCAA Championships. Not surprisingly, Canada is the foreign nation with the most athletes on the UW roster, including Inman, freshman Gaelle Banini (Richmond, B.C.), redshirt freshman pole vaulter Carly Dockendorf (Port Moody, B.C.) and sophomore thrower Jeff Wallis (Duncan, B.C.). For Banini, however, Canada is just the most recent nation of residence. The freshman was born in Cameroon, Africa, moved to France in 1987, and finally settled in Canada in 1994. Joining the Canadian quartet are freshman Vinh Chung, who will rack up plenty of frequent flyer miles while traveling from Seattle to his hometown of Hamilton, New Zealand; freshman Mike Sayenko, born in the Ukraine; and senior Elena Popovskaya, a native of Russia.
Head Coach Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his first year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross-country, and his sixth year overall at the University. In five seasons as a UW assistant, Metcalf guided the women's cross-country team to five-straight NCAA appearances, including a UW-best ninth-place finish in 1998. Metcalf has coached eight All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 13 school-record setters and 62 NCAA qualifiers. A 1993 graduate of Washington, Metcalf was a two-time All-American for the Huskies in the steeplechase, and competed in the 1996 U.S. Olympic trials.
Star-Studded Staff: Washington's coaching staff in 2003 is in no way short on accolades. Seventh-year vaults/jumps coach Pat Licari has directed three All-Americans, and last year coached both Brad Walker and Kate Soma to school records in the pole vault. First-year throws coach Bud Rasmussen founded the prestigious Iron Wood Thrower Development Camp, and in seven years at North Idaho College, mentored 82 NJCAA All-Americans, 18 national champions and five NJCAA record holders. First-year sprints/relays coach Dion Miller last year led Texas Tech sprinters to 13 All-America accolades, and a Big 12 title in the 4x100-meter relay. Second-year distance coach David Bazzi, a Husky alum, was the 2001 Pac-10 champion at 10,000 meters, and still holds three all-time school records. Rounding out the all-star cast is first-year distance coach Kelly MacDonald, who graduated from Arizona State in 2002 with five All-America accolades and three Pac-10 titles.
Washington's 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships Competitors
Courtney Inman, Mile
Senior, Abbotsford, B.C. (W.J. Mouat)
* Boasts an automatic-qualifying mark of 4:40.24 in the mile that ranks ninth among those in the NCAA field.
* Clocked qualifying mark in a victory at Mar. 1 Pac-10 Invitational at Dempsey Indoor, shattering own school record of 4:43.43 set just two weeks prior at UW Invitational.
* Also owns UW's indoor 800m record with a time of 2:08.39, set at the Mar. 8 Husky Indoor Preview.
* Placed 10th in the 1,500 meters at the 2002 NCAA Championships, posting a preliminary time of 4:17.53 that was three seconds faster than her previous best, and was the second-fastest time in UW history.
* A top-10 finisher in both the 800m and 1,500m events at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships.
* Was a double NCAA qualifier in 2002, with a provisional mark of 2:06.46 in the 800m that was less than four tenths of a second out of the 18th and final spot in the NCAA Championships field.
* Career-best mark of 2:06.46 for 800m is just seven tenths shy of Sarah Bolender's all-time school record of 2:05.73.
* Placed 14th in the mile run at the 2002 NCAA Indoor Championships in 4:46.83.
Jeremy Park, 3,000m
Senior, Klamath Falls, Ore. (Klamath Falls)
* NCAA automatic-qualifying mark of 7:54.13 for 3,000 meters ranks fifth in the nation in 2003.
* School-record 3,000m mark was 16 seconds faster than previous personal best of 8:10.78.
* Is only Husky ever to run the 3,000 meters indoors in under eight minutes.
* Ran the opening leg of Washington's provisionally-qualifying distance medley relay team, whose time of 9:40.82 ranked 14th in the nation this season, but was the second team left out of the 12-team NCAA field.
* Distance medley relay mark of 9:40.82, clocked at the Mar. 1 Pac-10 Invitational, broke own UW school record of 9:44.97 set exactly one month earlier, and was 12 seconds faster than school record entering the 2003 season.
* Placed eighth in the 1,500 meters at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships.
* Transferred to Washington in fall of 2001 after spending two seasons at Portland State University.
Kate Soma, Pole Vault
Sophomore, Portland, Ore. (Grant)
* Provisional-qualifying mark of 13-3 3/4 currently ranks 11th in the nation this season.
* At the Mar. 1 Pac-10 Invitational, became first Husky woman to clear 13 feet in the pole vault indoors with a mark of 13-3 3/4 that shattered own school record of 12-11 1/2 by more than four inches.
* As a true freshman in 2002, broke Washington's indoor and outdoor pole vault records.
* 2002 indoor mark of 12-11 1/2 broke by nearly a foot the record of 12-0 3/4 set by MerryJane Bendico in 2000.
* Became Washington's all-time outdoor pole vault record holder in 2002 with a provisional-qualifying vault of 13-1 1/2 at the Oregon Dual that tied for 18th in the nation.
* Is only Husky female ever to clear 13 feet in the pole vault, and one of just five ever to clear 12 feet.
* Won the pole vault at the 2001 Junior Olympics in Eugene, Ore.
Brad Walker, Pole Vault
Senior, Spokane, Wash. (University)
* School-record mark of 18-6 1/2 ranks in a tie for 23rd in the world in the 2003 IAAF World Rankings.
* Currently leads all NCAA competitors by five inches, and is the eighth-ranked vaulter in the 2003 USATF Rankings.
* Shattered own indoor school record of 17-11 3/4 with vault of 18-6 1/2 at the Feb. 15 UW Invitational.
* Is the top-returning collegiate pole vaulter in America after capping an outstanding 2002 season with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships.
* Earned second All-America honor with a vault of 18-2 1/2 at the 2002 NCAA Championships, then a school record.
* Broke own outdoor school record with a vault of 18-6 to earn a sixth-place finish at the 2002 U.S. Senior Nationals.
* Earlier in the season, broke Garth Willard's 10-year-old school record of 18-0 1/2 with a vault of 18-1, at the May 4 dual meet with Washington State in Pullman.
* Earned first Pac-10 title on May 18, also in Pullman, with a vault of 18-0 1/2, routing the field by a full five inches.
* Was named Pac-10 Field Athlete of the Week on May 7, 2002.
* Had offseason surgery in 2001 to repair a stress fracture in his foot suffered sometime during the 2001 season.
* Despite the fracture, tied for 12th at the 2001 NCAA Outdoor Track Championships in Eugene, Ore. with a vault of 16-10 3/4.
* Earned 2001 Indoor All-American honors by placing seventh with a vault of 17-11 3/4 at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, three inches better than his previous best.
* 2001 indoor vault PR shattered the school record of 17-10 held for 22 years by Steve Oravetz.