Thrilling Dempsey Season Comes to a Close With UW Last Chance Qualifier
March 1, 2005
On the Track: Two months of thrilling competition at Dempsey Indoor come to a close Saturday as Washington hosts the UW Last Chance Qualifier, one of just eight NCAA-approved 'Last Chance' meets being contested around the country this weekend. In addition, the team's men's 4x400-meter and distance medley relay squads will compete at a Last Chance Qualifier at Notre Dame. With less than a week remaining before final field selections for the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships, the qualifiers are guaranteed loaded fields, as the nation's top collegiate athletes seek to cash in on their final opportunity to set or improve NCAA qualifying marks before the close of the qualifying period on Sunday. Field events at Dempsey Indoor begin at 9 a.m., with events on the track tentatively scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Admission is free to all spectators.
Harding Competes for USA: While his teammates bid this weekend for the opportunity to represent the purple and gold at next week's national meet, Husky freshman Jon Harding will instead don the red, white and blue of the U.S. National Team at Sunday's North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships in Claremont, Fla. A graduate of Issaquah (Wash.) High School, Harding was selected for the meet - which matches the top young athletes from across the continent - following a 13th place finish in the junior men's 8,000-meter race at the 2005 USA Cross Country Championships in February. For a complete schedule and results of the 2005 NACAC Cross Country Championships, visit www.usatf.org.
Event Schedule: Following is a tentative event schedule for Saturday's UW Last Chance Qualifier. All times are Pacific and subject to change after the close of entries Wednesday. Visit GoHuskies.com after 5 p.m. Thursday for a finalized event schedule.
9:00 a.m. -- 20-lb Weight Throw (W)
9:30 a.m. -- Long Jump (W)
10:00 a.m. -- Pole Vault (W)
10:30 a.m. -- 35-lb Weight Throw (M
)11:00 a.m. -- Long Jump (M)
11:00 a.m. -- 60m Hurdles Prelims (W)
11:10 a.m. -- 60m Hurdles Prelims (M)
11:20 a.m. -- 60m Dash Prelims (W)
11:30 a.m. -- 60m Dash Prelims (M)
11:40 a.m. -- Mile Run (W)
12:00 p.m. -- Mile Run (M)
12:00 p.m. -- High Jump (M)
12:00 p.m. -- Shot Put (W)
12:20 p.m. -- 60m Hurdles Final (W)
12:25 p.m. -- 60m Hurdles Final (M)
12:30 p.m. -- Triple Jump (W)
12:30 p.m. -- 5000m Run (W)
12:50 p.m. -- 5000m Run (M)
1:00 p.m. -- Pole Vault (M)
1:10 p.m. -- 400m Dash (M)
1:20 p.m. -- 400m Dash (W)
1:30 p.m. -- Shot Put (M)
2:00 p.m. -- Triple Jump (M)
1:30 p.m. -- 60m Dash Final (W)
1:35 p.m. -- 60m Dash Final (M)
1:40 p.m. -- 800m Run (W)
1:50 p.m. -- 800m Run (M)
2:00 p.m. -- 200m Dash (W)
2:05 p.m. -- 200m Dash (M)
2:10 p.m. -- 3000m Run (W)
2:25 p.m. -- 3000m Run (M)
2:45 p.m. -- DMR (W)
3:00 p.m. -- DMR (M)
3:15 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (W)
3:25 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (M)
Meet Results: Results are posted throughout the meet at the south end of Dempsey Indoor. Following the meet, packets of results will be available at the finish line for coaches and meet officials only. Final results will be faxed to all local media and participating schools roughly 30 minutes following the meet, and will be posted to GoHuskies.com within an hour. Any coach or SID wishing to have results e-mailed should send a special request to the UW Sports Information office at the e-mail address listed on the following page.
NCAA Championships Selection: Official start lists for the 2005 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships will be announced Monday on NCAASports.com, with a full list of those Huskies qualified to be posted to GoHuskies.com shortly thereafter. All athletes achieving automatic qualifying standards will be qualified for the NCAA Championships, Mar. 11-12 at Arkansas' Randall Tyson Center. In the event that there are not enough automatic qualifiers to provide full fields, athletes will be added, in descending order, from the list of those who have met the NCAA's provisional-qualifying standard. Final fields will consist of roughly 15 athletes per individual event, and 12 teams per relay.
MPSF Championships Redux: The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships returned to Dempsey Indoor in 2005, and Washington's athletes kept the home fans happy. Senior vaulter Kate Soma won her first MPSF title, while pentathlete Grace Vela and sophomore hurdler Ashley Lodree each set UW indoor records, leading the Husky women to a second-straight third-place conference finish. On the men's side, junior Shane Charles earned matching second-place finishes in the 800 meters and the 4x400-meter relay, setting a UW record in the former, while freshman Norris Frederick earned a pair of top-five finishes in his MPSF Championships debut. The Husky men placed sixth, as UCLA rolled to its second-straight MPSF title. Stanford captured its third-straight title on the women's side, behind facility-record performances in the 60-meter dash (Janice Davis) and triple jump (Erica McLain). For a complete list of UW's 2005 MPSF Championships scorers, see the box on page five.
Monster PR of the Week: Several Huskies stepped up their efforts at last weekend's MPSF Championships, but few did so as dramatically as junior high jumper Warren Eickhoff. The Snohomish High School graduate, who had never cleared higher than 6-9 1/2 in competition, cleared 6-10 1/4 on his second attempt, then went a step further with a third-attempt clearance at 7-0 1/4. A sixth-place finisher at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships, Eickhoff took fourth in the MPSF meet, while becoming just the 11th Husky high jumper - and the first since 2001 - to top the prestigious seven-foot mark.
Rankings Report: Fresh off a third-place finish at the MPSF Championships, Washington's women shot into the top-20 in both national rankings, including a No. 17 ranking from Trackwire, and a No. 11 dual-meet power ranking. Trackwire awarded 13 points to the Huskies in its poll, which predicts order of finish at the NCAA Championships, leading UW to its highest Trackwire ranking this year. Meanwhile, the Huskies' record-breaking performances at the MPSF meet earned 288.11 points in the USTCA Dual Meet Power Rankings, which simulate head-to-head competition between the nation's elite college teams. Stanford continued to lead the Trackwire rankings with 50 points, while Nebraska claimed top honors from the USTCA at 318.88. The Husky men, meanwhile, fell three spots to No. 18 in the USTCA rankings, and were unranked by Trackwire. UW scored a season-high 277.47 points in the ranking, which put Indiana No. 1 for the second-straight week, at 340.41. In the Trackwire ranking, defending NCAA outdoor champ Arkansas saw its lead cut to just six points by Florida, whose 47 points are just behind the Hogs' 53.
Just Dandy, Thank You: In addition to its lofty ranking of UW's women's team, Trackwire also saw fit to include several Huskies in its weekly Dandy Dozen, which predicts the order of finish in each event at the 2005 NCAA Championships. Senior vaulter Kate Soma, the NCAA runner-up in 2004 and current NCAA leader, earned the magazine's No. 1 ranking for the first time in 2005, three days after claiming her first MPSF vault title. Freshman sensation Norris Frederick, who currently boasts the fourth-best long jump by a collegian in 2005, earned a matching ranking in the event from Trackwire, while the magazine expects Husky sophomore Ashley Lodree to take sixth at the meet, one spot her current place on the national performance list. Last but not least, the Huskies' men's 4x400-meter relay made its Dandy Dozen debut this week, fresh off a second place finish at the MPSF Championships. Trackwire picks the Huskies to place 10th in the event, matching their current national standing.
Walker Wins U.S. Gold: While his former UW teammates were pursuing MPSF titles at Dempsey Indoor last weekend, former Husky All-American Brad Walker earned his first USA indoor title, clearing 18-6 1/2 to win the pole vault at the 2005 USA Indoor Championships in Boston. The victory bookended an outstanding indoor season for the Spokane native, who began the year with a victory in January at the prestigious National Pole Vault Summit, his mark of 19-1 1/2 the world's third-best in 2005. Walker has always been at his best indoors - the 2004 UW alum won consecutive NCAA indoor titles in 2003 and 2004, with a best collegiate clearance of 19-0 1/2 that ranks sixth in NCAA history.
Distance Dominance: If there was any doubt before, Dempsey Indoor cemented its reputation as America's fastest indoor distance track at the Feb. 12 Husky Classic. Seven collegiate men and six collegiate women bested the NCAA automatic qualifying standard in the Classic's 5,000-meter races, including an NCAA-leading mark Wisconsin's Matt Tegenkamp. In fact, of the NCAA's 12 automatic men's qualifiers at 5K, nine achieved their mark on the Dempsey Indoor track, while six of the event's 10 automatic women's qualifiers did so in Seattle. The Dempsey's influence even extends to the 2005 IAAF World Rankings - 18 of the 31 men's 5,000 meter times ranked by the IAAF were achieved at one of UW's three home invitationals this season, including Tegenkamp's oversized-track world leader of 13:36.48.
Ridiculous Records: Washington's athletes have certainly been keeping the team's indoor record-keepers busy this season. Husky athletes combined for 19 marks among the team's top-10 all-time at last week's MPSF Championships, and have achieved a stunning 61 such marks this season, after totaling 47 new top-10 marks in 2004. Washington's highly-acclaimed indoor facility, Dempsey Indoor, has certainly had an effect on the Huskies' indoor list, with 19 school records and an eye-popping 165 marks among UW's all-time top-10 having been achieved since the start of the 2002 season, UW's first in the facility. For a complete list of the top-10 indoor marks set in 2005, see the box on page six of this release.
It's Not the Size of the Dog in the Fight: Three-time All-American pole vaulter Kate Soma may stand only an inch above 5'-0', but the Husky senior cuts a towering figure in collegiate pole vaulting history. At the Feb. 12 Husky Classic, Soma claimed the 2005 NCAA lead and broke her own UW indoor record with a clearance of 14 feet, 3 1/2 inches, equaling the seventh-best by a collegiate vaulter all-time. Currently 18th in the 2005 IAAF World Rankings, and No. 2 among U.S. women only to American record-holder Stacy Dragila, Soma has gone undefeated in the vault this season at Dempsey Indoor, including a win at last week's MPSF Indoor Championships. The Portland, Ore., native has broken UW's pole vault record in each of her seven collegiate 'seasons,' including four indoors and three outdoors. In clearing 14-3 1/2, Soma backed up her UW outdoor record clearance of 14-2 at last year's Pac-10 Championships, a vault which won Soma her first Pac-10 title and qualified her for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials. Soma followed up her conference crown with a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships to earn her third-consecutive All-America award. Only five other women in UW history have earned as many All-America honors as Soma's three, while just four others have captured at least two in the same season, something Soma did in 2004 with a second-place NCAA finish outdoors, and a tie for fifth indoors. Perhaps it's her support system - Soma's mother, Donna, boasts an U.S. vault age-group record, while Soma's high school coach designs shoes worn by elite vaulters Dragila and Dmitri Markov.
All-Time NCAA Division-I Pole Vault Top-10
Name, School, Year, Mark
1. Chelsea Johnson, UCLA, 2004, 15-0
2. Amy Linnen, Arizona, 2002, 14-10 1/4i
3. Thorey Elisdottir, Georgia, 2001, 14-9 1/2i
4. Becky Holliday, Oregon, 2003, 14-8
5. Lacy Janson, Florida State, 2003, 14-7 1/4i
5. Tracy O'Hara, UCLA, 2000, 14-7 1/4
7. Kate Soma, Washington, 2005, 14-3 1/2i
7. Melissa Price, Fresno State, 1998, 14-3 1/2
9. April Steiner, Arkansas, 2003, 14-3 1/4i
9. Tamara Diles, Wash. State, 2002, 14-3 1/4i
Moving On Up: Currently the NCAA's pole vault leader in 2005, senior Kate Soma has the chance to continue an impressive streak. The three-time All-American has improved her NCAA standing in each of her five-career appearances at the meet, having placed 16th outdoors in 2002, 12th indoors in 2003, seventh outdoors in 2003, fifth (tied) indoors in 2004 and second outdoors in 2004. Should that trend continue, Soma would become just the third NCAA champion in UW women's history, and the first since 1988.
Vault Supremacy: There is little doubt that Washington reigns supreme in the world of collegiate women's vaulting. Four UW women cleared 13 feet in 2004, a feat matched nationally only by Nebraska. Washington, however, one-upped the Huskers in the category of NCAA qualifiers, with the UW sending three competitors to the NCAA field, while Nebraska managed just two. The Huskies backed up their bids at the NCAA meet, with Kate Soma placing second, Carly Dockendorf 11th, and Stevie Marshalek 14th. In 2005, the results could be better - all three of the UW's NCAA qualifiers return, as does seventh-place West Regional finisher Ashley Wildhaber, currently eighth on the 2005 NCAA performance list. Additionally, the accomplished quartet welcomes freshman Kelley DiVesta of Colorado, whose prep best of 12-6 1/2 is higher than the prep bests of all but one of the UW's returnees.
Dazzling Debut: All eyes were on freshman Norris Frederick at January's UW Indoor Preview, and the Seattle native did not disappoint. Frederick swept high- and long-jump titles at the meet, his winning mark of 25-4 1/2 in the latter a six-inch personal best. Two weeks later, Frederick launched four more jumps over 25 feet at the UW Invitational, the last a 25-foot, 6 1/4-inch monster that ranks fourth in the NCAA, and is the fourth-best mark in the world this year by a jumper under the age of 20. Success for Frederick is certainly to be expected - he ranked second among U.S. prep high jumpers in 2004 with a best of 7-1, and was the United States' fourth-ranked prep long jumper at 24-10 1/2. The Roosevelt High School graduate literally jumped out of his shoes at July's IAAF World Junior Championships in Italy, tearing apart the footwear which had guided him to five state titles during his four-year prep career. With borrowed shoes, Frederick managed to place 19th in both events at the world meet, and closed the 2004 season ranked among the top-35 under-20 athletes in the world. Frederick's 2005 long jump best, just 1/4-inch shy of the UW record held by former world-record holder Phil Shinnick, is tied for 11th among U.S men in the IAAF World Rankings, and is tops among U.S. juniors.
2005 IAAF World Junior (Under-20) Long Jump Rankings
Name, Country, Mark
1. Viktor Kuznyetsov, Ukraine, 26-11 3/4
2. Godfrey Khotso Mokoena, Russia, 26-0 3/4
3. Marcin Starzak, Poland, 25-8 1/4
4. Norris Frederick, United States, 25-6 ¼
5. Adrian Vasile, Romania, 25-4 3/4
6. Dmytro Bilotserkiv'kyy, Ukraine, 25-3 1/4
The `Lo' Down: She's only four meets into her 2005 season, but already Ashley Lodree boasts NCAA qualifying marks in the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles, and a 200-meter best of 24.81 seconds that ranks second in UW history. But then, everything the 19-year-old does is fast. Lodree was a one-woman whirlwind in 2004, placing 14th in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2004 NCAA indoor meet before bettering UW's 100-meter hurdles record in her first collegiate final just two weeks later. Lodree's wind-aided 13.43-second mark was well below the UW benchmark of 13.55 set by All-American Claudine Robinson in 1994, and was the first of seven record-breaking runs for the UW freshman, who closed her rookie season with a wind-aided best of 13.39 at the Texas Relays, and a legal record of 13.41 seconds at the Drake Relays. Despite just missing an NCAA outdoor berth with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA West Regional, Lodree's efforts ranked the freshman No. 7 in the world among junior-age runners in the 2004 IAAF World Rankings, and No. 2 among U.S. juniors. More than just a hurdler, however, Lodree also set all-time top-10 UW marks in the 100 meters and indoor long jump, and scored in four different events at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships. At last week's MPSF Championships, Lodree lowered her own school 60-meter hurdles record to 8.15 seconds, equaling the NCAA automatic-qualifying standard in the event to clinch her second-straight NCAA indoor berth. Lodree placed 14th in the hurdles at the NCAA indoor meet in 2004, and was the nation's top-ranked collegiate freshman with a then-UW record best of 8.19 seconds.
2004 IAAF Junior Women's 100-Meter Hurdles Rankings
Name, Country, Mark
1. Ronetta Alexander, United States, 13.22
2. Sally McLellan, Australia, 13.30
3. Stephanie Lichtl, Germany, 13.36
4. MaKeatha Cooper, United States, 13.37
5. Sabrina Altermatt, Switzerland, 13.39
,5. Shantia Moss, United States, 13.39
7. Ashley Lodree, United States, 13.41
8. Amy Menlove, United States, 13.45
Passing the Baton: Eight years passed between the last two times a UW men's 4x400-meter relay earned All-America honors at the NCAA Championships. It's possible Husky fans won't have to wait so long again. Three of the four Huskies who led UW's relay to third at the 2004 NCAA West Regional, and a berth at the 2004 NCAA Championships, return in 2005, including senior Sean Williams and junior Bruce Jackson. Both were on the relay that placed second at February's MPSF Championships, clocking an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 3:07.94 that ranks second in UW history, and is the 10th-fastest in the nation this year. While Williams, Jackson and relay newcomer Ryan Brown all hail from the Seattle area, having respectively attended Lake Washington and Juanita High Schools in Kirkland, and Renton High School in Renton, it takes a little longer to reach the hometown of the relay's fourth member, Grenada native Shane Charles. Grenada's national 400-meter hurdles champ, Charles earned All-American honors at Central Arizona JC in 2004 with a best of 50.95 seconds that would have placed third at the 2004 West Regional. With the addition of Charles and Brown, UW's relay - which clocked a best of 3:06.41 in 2004 to rank 15th in the nation, and third in UW history - is a legitimate threat to become the first Husky relay to earn All-America honors since Ja'Warren Hooker, B.J. Dawson, Scott Anabel and Derek Prior placed eighth in the 4x400 meters at the NCAA indoor meet in 1998.
Multi-Talented: Senior multi-eventer Grace Vela is nothing if not determined - witness her performance last year's Pac-10 Championships, where the Toronto native competed in the heptathlon, long jump, triple jump, 100-meter hurdles and 4x100-meter relay, ultimately toeing the line 11 different times. So it was little surprise that a banged-up Vela, nursing an injury that had kept her from any serious running or jumping all week, not only decided to compete at Saturday's MPSF Championships, but dominated, crushing her own UW pentathlon record on the strength of marks in the high jump and 60-meter hurdles that ranked among the school's top-10 all-time. Vela's MPSF performance followed up a terrific 2004 campaign that saw her earn four top-10 national rankings from Athletics Canada, including sixth in the heptathlon, seventh in the long jump, and ninth in the 100-meter hurdles and triple jump. Vela's heptathlon best of 5,225 points is bettered in UW history only by Sonja Forster, who tallied 5,266 points at the 1992 Pac-10 meet. Forster was also the last Husky to earn an NCAA berth in the heptathlon before Vela did so last season, placing 21st at the NCAA outdoor meet in Austin, Texas. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Vela moved to Toronto in 1995 with her family, before graduating from Toronto's Vaughan High School and attending Division-II Lewis University in Chicago. Vela won five events at the 2003 Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships, and earned Division-II All-America honors in the 4x100-meter relay. The senior, whose best marks in the heptathlon and pentathlon are both tops all-time by a Zimbabwe-born woman, will receive her degree in economics this spring, and plans to return to her home country to improve the quality of life for its citizens.
Parlez-Vous Francais?: If he doesn't speak French already, Husky freshman Jeremy Mineau will have to be a quick learner. The Menlo Park, Calif., native ran fifth in the junior men's 8,000-meter open race at the Feb. 13 USA Cross Country Championships in Vancouver, Wash., to clinch one of six spots on the U.S. National Team for this month's World Cross Country Championships in Saint Garnier, France. Mineau, who will compete in the junior 8,000-meter race in Saint Garnier on Mar. 20, is the first current Husky to earn a world cross berth since then-freshman Laura Hodgson did so in 2003. Including post-collegiate UW competitors, Washington has had at least one representative at the World Cross Country Championships in five of the last six years, including a record three participants in 2003.
Island Fever: Don't be surprised if Seattle seems a little tropical this winter - with three Caribbean sprinters on the UW roster, there's a distinct island flavor to the 2005 season. Grenada's Shane Charles joins Jamaica's Patrick Davidson and Davaon Spence on the Husky roster this year, giving the UW three sprinters with significant international experience. Charles, who led Grenada in the 400-meter hurdles in 2003 and 2004, crushed UW's indoor 800-meter record by nearly half a second in January, and lowered it again in a second-place finish at February's MPSF Championships. Grenada's junior national record holder in the event, Charles earned All-America honors at Central Arizona JC in 2004 with a best of 50.95 seconds that would have qualified him for last year's NCAA Championships. Spence and Davidson, meanwhile, teammates at Kingston, Jamaica's St. Jago High School, teamed for a world youth record in the 4x400m at the 1999 World Youth Games in Poland, and led Jamaica's relay to a silver medal at the 1999 Pan Am Games. The two split up to attend junior colleges in the U.S. before reuniting at UW last season, each setting Pac-10 qualifying marks before injuries cut their seasons short in May.
Record Rookies: The weekend of Feb. 12-13, 2005, may well go down as the date UW's class of 2008 made its presence officially known. While freshman Jeremy Mineau's was busy qualifying for the World Cross Country Championships, classmates Austin Abbott and Amanda Miller thrilled the Dempsey Indoor crowd with school- and UW-freshman records. Chehalis native Abbott kicked off the record day with a blistering run in the men's mile, his time of 4:02.25 third-fastest ever at UW, and tops all-time by a first-year Husky. Abbott's NCAA provisional-qualifying mark is the fourth-fastest by a collegiate freshman this year, and ranks among the world's fastest by a runner under the age of 20. Just minutes later, Wenatchee native Miller did Abbott one better, breaking the Huskies' school record in the 800 meters with an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 2:08.33. In all, freshmen account for one-fourth of UW's 12 NCAA-qualifying performances this season, including Norris Frederick's nationally fourth-ranked mark of 25-6 1/4 in the long jump. Should any one of the talented newcomers make the NCAA Championships field, it would mark the second-consecutive year, and third time in the past four seasons, that at least one Husky frosh has competed at the NCAA meet.
Jumping for Joy: Perhaps no one was more excited for the 2004-05 season than UW jumps coach Pat Licari. After seeing his men's unit decimated in 2004 by injuries, Licari in 2005 boasts one of the Pac-10's deepest jumps units, with three seven-foot high jumpers, two 24-foot long-jumpers and two 48-foot triple jumpers. Returning from 2004 is junior Warren Eickhoff, who tied for sixth in the high jump at last year's Pac-10 meet, and has already cleared seven feet this season. Among the new additions is freshman Norris Frederick, who ranked second among U.S. preps in 2004 with a high jump best of 7-1, and is currently the nation's fourth-ranked long jumper with a mark of 25-6 1/4. Oregon transfer Teddy Davis, meanwhile, seeks to repeat the form that led him to a 7-1 high jump and a third-place NCAA Regional finish in 2004, while Pacific Lutheran transfer J.R. Wolfork tries to better the long- and triple-jump marks of 23-10 1/4 and 48-6 that led him to Division-III All-America honors in 2003. Wolfork is one of two Husky jumpers who were lost to injury in 2004, including senior Phillipe Cook, a Pac-10 long- and high jump competitor in 2002. Both will return this season, while Davis will redshirt due to Pac-10 transfer rules.
Northwest Honors: The Feb. 5 weekend may have been a week off from competition, but that didn't stop the Huskies from making headlines. Women's assistant coach Kelly Strong and former Husky Brad Walker were recognized for their 2004 accomplishments with Pacific Northwest Track and Field's Athlete of the Year honors, announced Feb. 4. The fifth-place steeplechase finisher at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, and the ninth-ranked steepler in U.S. history, Strong was nominated alongside UW senior Kate Soma and 2004 UW alum Megan Spriestersbach, both All-Americans and Olympic Trials participants in 2004. Walker, meanwhile, captured his third-straight PNTF honor after winning his second-straight NCAA indoor pole vault title, placing sixth at the Olympic Trials, and closing the year with a No. 6 world ranking.
Rare Double: From the first time she entered a pole vault competition - clearing 12-1 1/2 in her first-ever vault competition in 2002 - it was obvious that junior Carly Dockendorf, already a decorated UW gymnast, was in an elite class of athletes. Just two years later, at the 2004 NCAA West Regional, Dockendorf moved into a class all her own, adding an NCAA Track and Field Championships invitation to the NCAA Gymnastics meet invite she earned in April. While it is not uncommon for a college athlete to compete in multiple NCAA Championships in one year - track/cross country, volleyball/basketball, and basketball/track doubles being among the most frequent - to do so in two unrelated sports in which qualification is based on individual, not team, performance is extremely rare. Dockendorf finished 11th in her NCAA pole vault debut, after placing 24th on the floor exercise at April's NCAA gymnastics nationals.
Dempsey Indoor: In only three full seasons, Washington's Dempsey Indoor has already earned a reputation as one of the nation's top indoor competition venues. 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. Dempsey Indoor has hosted 11 Olympians, witnessed 15 top-10 world marks, 12 UW indoor school records and hundreds of NCAA qualifying marks, and is the host site of the MPSF Championships. In addition to its competitive use, the building serves as an indoor practice facility for many UW teams.
Dempsey Indoor Draws World's Best: If Washington's home indoor meets over the past three seasons have seemed to shimmer in gold, it is likely due to the numerous Olympians who have highlighted the fields at Dempsey Indoor. Adam Goucher, a U.S. Olympian in 2000, set a facility record in the 5,000 meters in his first of two appearances at Dempsey Indoor this season, while fellow Olympian Bolota Asmeron clocked a Dempsey-best 7:48.59 at last year's UW Indoor Invite. In 2003, numerous former Olympians put the Dempsey on their competition schedule, including former Husky and 2000 U.S. Olympian Ja'Warren Hooker, two-time Olympic medalist John Godina, U.S. Olympians Seilala Sua and Michael Stember, and Asmeron, who in 2000 competed for his native Eritrea. All set facility records in their events, while Asmeron clocked what at the time was the world's sixth-fastest 3,000-meter mark.
2005 Season Preview: As impressive as UW's 2004 campaign proved to be - with one NCAA title, one Pac-10 title, four All-America honors, and nine school records - 2005 could be even better. Eight of UW's 13 NCAA Championships competitors return, while the team adds four newcomers whose existing bests would have qualified them for the NCAA meet last year. Topping the returnees is Pac-10 pole vault champ and three-time All-American Kate Soma, who leads a deep UW women's team that includes athletes responsible for all but 13 of the Huskies' 67 points in a sixth-place finish at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships. The UW men are equally loaded for a strong postseason run with 13 Pac-10 scorers returning, including three of the four members of the team's NCAA-qualifying 4x400-meter relay. While the Husky women boast particular strength in the pole vault, with three returning NCAA qualifiers, Washington's men are loaded in the throws, with the Pac-10's top returning competitors in the hammer and javelin, and the conference's third-ranked returnee in the discus. Husky hurdler Ashley Lodree and heptathlete Grace Vela each seek return trips to the NCAA meet, while four-time prep All-American sprinter Jennifer Nash and freshman heptathlete Bonnie Snyder could challenge for NCAA berths in their first collegiate seasons. Grenadan national champion Shane Charles, a junior-college All-American in the 400-meter hurdles, joins the team's 4x400-meter relay, while five-time state champion Norris Frederick seeks to back up his top-four national prep rankings in the high and long jumps.
Head Coach Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his third year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross country, and his eighth year overall on the UW coaching staff. In his first two seasons at the helm, Metcalf has led the UW women to 29th and 18th at the NCAA Championships, and guided the Husky men to a tie for 22nd indoors in 2004. Individually, eight UW distance runners have earned NCAA berths, with two grabbing All-America accolades. In addition, Metcalf has led the Huskies' women's cross country team to the NCAA meet in each of his eight years atop the UW distance program, marking the sixth-longest active streak of NCAA appearances in the nation. In all, Metcalf has coached 11 All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 15 school-record setters and 65 NCAA qualifiers. A 1993 UW graduate, Metcalf was a two-time All-American in the steeple, and ran in the 1996 U.S. Olympic trials.
Husky Greats Give Back: Head coach Greg Metcalf isn't the only former Husky passing his knowledge on to UW's stars of today. In fact, three former Husky greats dot the coaching staff at Washington, including two-time All-Americans Metcalf and David Bazzi, and two-time Olympian Duncan Atwood. The results speak for themselves: in Atwood's two seasons working with throws coach Bud Rasmussen as a volunteer assistant javelin coach, Husky women's spearers have combined for two All-America awards and a pair of top-10 U.S. women's rankings, while raising the UW javelin record by nearly 20 feet. Meanwhile, over the past three years in the men's distance events, where Bazzi assists Metcalf, Husky runners have combined for four school records, and 36 times that rank among Washington's top-10 all-time in distance events.
Star-Studded Staff: Washington's assistant coaching staff in 2005 is in no way short on accolades. Ninth-year vaults/jumps coach Pat Licari has directed eight All-Americans, including two-time NCAA champion Brad Walker. Third-year throws coach Bud Rasmussen founded the prestigious Iron Wood Thrower Development Camp, has mentored two All-Americans in two years at Washington, and in seven years at North Idaho College coached 82 NJCAA All-Americans, 18 national champions and five NJCAA record holders. First-year sprints/relays coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr. mentored eight Eastern Kentucky sprinters to Ohio Valley Conference titles in 2004, and coached athletes to 13 school records in four years at Marshall University. Fourth-year distance coach David Bazzi, a Washington 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 third-year distance coach Kelly Strong, who graduated from Arizona State in 2002 with five All-America honors and three Pac-10 titles, and is largely credited with putting together a women's recruiting class in 2003 that was ranked sixth in the nation by Track and Field News. Ironically, the most accomplished member of the Husky coaching staff is one of the team's volunteer assistants - former Olympian Duncan Atwood. A UW All-American, two-time Olympian and three-time U.S. champion, Atwood has helped Husky women's javelin throwers earn All-America honors in each of his two seasons with the team, and mentored freshman Brian Harris to an IAAF Junior World Championships berth in 2004.