Husky Stadium Opener Kicks Off 2005 Outdoor Track Season
March 16, 2005
On the Track: One week after setting an all-time UW record with 10 All-Americans at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, Washington's top-25 men's and women's squads turn their attention outdoors for the UW Outdoor Preview, Saturday at Husky Stadium. After having to sit on the sidelines during the team's record-setting indoor season, Washington's highly-touted discus, javelin and hammer competitors will be able to rejoin the fray this week, as the Huskies begin their eight-week drive towards the 2005 Pac-10 Championships in Los Angeles. Events at Husky Stadium begin with the women's pole vault at 11:00 a.m., with the first event on the track scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Admission is free to all spectators.
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 will compete for Team USA this week at the IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Saint Galmier, France, becoming the first current Husky to do so since Laura Hodgson in 2003. Mineau, who will run Saturday at 5:50 a.m. PST, earned one of six berths on the U.S. team with a fifth-place finish at the Feb. 13 USA Cross Country Championships in Vancouver, Wash. 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.
Event Schedule: Following is a tentative schedule of events for Saturday's UW Outdoor Preview at Husky Stadium. Schedule is subject to change pending the close of entries. Check GoHuskies.com for a final confirmed schedule Thursday after 5 p.m.
9:00 a.m. -- Hammer (W)*
10:00 a.m. -- Hammer (M)*
11:00 a.m. -- Pole Vault (W)
11:00 a.m. -- Long Jump (W)
11:00 a.m. -- Javelin (W)
12:00 p.m. -- Javelin (M)
12:30 p.m. -- Shot Put (W)
12:30 p.m. -- Long Jump (M)
12:30 p.m. -- Steeplechase (W)
12:45 p.m. -- Steeplechase (M)
1:00 p.m. -- High Jump (W)
1:00 p.m. -- 4x100m Relay (W)
1:05 p.m. -- 4x100m Relay (M)
1:10 p.m. -- 1,500m Run (W)
1:25 p.m. -- 1,500m Run (M)
1:40 p.m. -- 100m Hurdles (W)
1:50 p.m. -- 110m Hurdles (M)
2:00 p.m. -- Pole Vault (M)
2:00 p.m. -- Triple Jump (W)
2:00 p.m. -- Discus (W)
2:00 p.m. -- Shot Put (M)
2:00 p.m. -- 400m Dash (W)
2:10 p.m. -- 400m Dash (M)
2:20 p.m. -- 100m Dash (W)
2:30 p.m. -- High Jump (M)
2:30 p.m. -- 100m Dash (M)
2:40 p.m. -- 800m Run (W)
2:50 p.m. -- 800m Run (M)
3:00 p.m. -- 400m Hurdles (W)
3:10 p.m. -- 400m Hurdles (M)
3:15 p.m. -- Triple Jump (M)
3:15 p.m. -- Discus (M)
3:20 p.m. -- 200m Dash (W)
3:30 p.m. -- 200m Dash (M)
3:40 p.m. -- 3,000m Run (W)
4:00 p.m. -- 5,000m Run (M)
4:20 p.m. -- 4x400m Run (W)
4:25 p.m. -- 4x400m Run (M)
* - at West Seattle Stadium
Meet Results: Results will be posted throughout the meet on a wall at the north side of Husky Stadium, adjacent to Tunnel 21. Packets of results will also be available for coaches in the Don James Center. Final results will be faxed to all participating schools, and will be posted online at www.gohuskies.com. Those desiring e-mailed results of should contact UW SID Brian Beaky at email@example.com.
Historic Husky Stadium: While Dempsey Indoor hosts the Huskies from January to March, when the weather warms up, Washington's track and field teams head outdoors to 72,500-seat Husky Stadium, the largest on-campus track and field facility in the Pac-10 Conference. On the shores of Lake Washington and with vistas of Mount Rainier, Husky Stadium provides competitors with a unique combination of world-class competition and breathtaking natural scenery. The facility has hosted some of the world's most prestigious meets, including the 1990 Goodwill Games, the 1971 NCAA Championships and the 1990 and 1997 Pacific-10 Conference Championships, and will be the site of four collegiate events in 2005, including the 98th running of the UW-WSU Dual. For more Husky Stadium history and records, visit the History/Records page at www.GoHuskies.com.
2005 NCAA Indoor Championships Recap: Twelve Huskies traveled to Fayetteville, Ark., last weekend for the NCAA Indoor Championships and 10 came home All-Americans, both numbers all-time records for a UW squad. Included among the Huskies 10 All-Americans were five UW women, most ever for the team indoors, and three Husky freshmen. Senior Kate Soma led all UW finishers with a second-place effort in the pole vault, her second-straight NCAA runner-up finish in the event and good for her fourth-career All-America honor. Junior Ashley Wildhaber took fifth in the event while senior Lindsey Egerdahl placed eighth in the mile, the trio earning 13 points and a tie for 16th for UW, its best NCAA Indoor finish since 1988. Freshman long jumper Norris Frederick placed sixth in his NCAA debut, tops for a UW long jumper since 1965, while the Huskies' distance medley relay of Austin Abbott, Sean Williams, Ryan Brown and Andy Fader placed fifth in the distance medley relay to help the UW men tie for 28th with seven points overall. Freshman half-miler Amanda Miller and sophomore hurdler Ashley Lodree also earned All-America acclaim with respective ninth- and 10th-place finishes, while sophomore Stevie Marshalek placed 14th, and junior Carly Dockendorf 17th, in the women's pole vault.
Amazing All-Americans: One note alone can't begin to capture the amazing run of records set by Husky athletes at last week's NCAA Indoor Championships. Ten Huskies earned All-America honors at the meet, breaking the team's all-time record of nine All-Americans set at the 1983 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The team's five women's All-Americans were its most-ever indoors; in fact, prior to last weekend, only eight UW women had ever earned All-America honors indoors, including just five -- total -- in the last 17 years. Three Husky freshmen earned All-America honors, a feat no UW frosh had accomplished indoors since Ja'Warren Hooker did so in 1998, a year which also marked the last time a UW relay had captured an All-America award before the DMR's fifth-place finish Friday. Nine of the 10 UW All-Americans earned the first such honors of their careers, while two -- Lindsey Egerdahl in the women's mile and the men's distance medley relay of Austin Abbott, Sean Williams, Ryan Brown and Andy Fader -- marked the first All-Americans ever for UW in their respective events. Pole vaulter Kate Soma moved into a tie with Aretha Hill and Meg Jones for all-time UW honors with her fourth-career All-America honor, and teamed with Ashley Wildhaber to become the first UW duo to earn All-America honors in the same event since Laura Kruse and Monika Parker did so in the javelin in 1994. Lastly, the team's 10 All-Americans at the NCAA Indoor meet equaled its men's and women's total from the last four NCAA Championships combined, including indoor and outdoor championships in 2003 and 2004.
NCAA Indoor Championships on TV: The 2005 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, featuring a record 10 UW All-Americans, will be broadcast on a tape-delay basis Wednesday from 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. PT on ESPN2.
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 is shaping up to be even better. A record 10 Huskies earned All-America honors at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships in March, while UW athletes combined for five school records and 72 marks among the team's top-10 all-time during the 2005 indoor season. Eight of UW's 13 2004 NCAA Championships competitors return in 2005, while the team adds four newcomers whose prep and/or junior-college bests would have qualified them for the NCAA meet last year. Topping the returnees is Pac-10 pole vault champ and four-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 an event-record four NCAA Indoor Championships competitors, 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, an All-American indoors in 2005, seeks to lower her school record in the 100-meter hurdles, while heptathlete Grace Vela and 2005 mile All-American Lindsey Egerdahl will post legitimate threats to all-time UW records in their respective events. Bolstering the talented returning corps is perhaps the most decorated group of UW freshmen in history, including indoor All-Americans Norris Frederick (long jump), Austin Abbott (distance medley relay) and Amanda Miller (800 meters), and four-time prep All-American sprinter Jennifer Nash. Rounding out the talented group is Grenadan national champion Shane Charles, who seeks his first NCAA bid after taking junior-college All-American honors in the 400-meter hurdles last year.
Rankings Report: Washington's women finished ninth in the final USTCA Dual Meet Power Rankings of the 2005 indoor season, and were No. 17 in the final indoor release of the Trackwire 25. Both rankings will resume for the outdoor season in April. Trackwire awarded 13 points to the Huskies in its poll, while the USTCA awarded 313.29 points to the Husky women in its ranking, which simulates head-to-head competition between the nation's elite college teams. Tennessee foreshadowed its NCAA Indoor win with a No. 1 ranking from Trackwire, while eventual fourth-place finisher Nebraska held steady at No. 1 in the USTCA poll with a 349.51-point total. The Husky men, meanwhile, earned a No. 22 ranking from the USTCA, and were unranked by Trackwire. UW scored a season-high 295.34 points in the USTCA ranking, which put Indiana at 340.41, but merited just two points from Trackwire, which correctly made Arkansas its NCAA favorite with 55 points.
NCAA Selection Process: Automatic NCAA Championships berths will be granted to the top-five finishers in each individual event, and top-three relay teams from each of the four Regional Championships contested nationwide, May 27-28. Athletes qualify for Regionals by meeting pre-determined NCAA standards, or by winning their conference title. The NCAA will then supplement the Championships field with the highest-ranking competitors (roughly 6-7 per individual event and 5-6 per relay) from the national performance lists, provided the athlete competed at a Regional competition and was not among the finishers to earn automatic NCAA berths. The lone exceptions are the 10,000-meter and multi-events, in which athletes qualify directly for the NCAA Championships by meeting pre-determined provisional and automatic standards.
It's Not the Size of the Dog in the Fight: Four-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 broke her own UW indoor record with a clearance of 14-3 1/2, equaling the seventh-best by a collegiate vaulter all-time, and tops in the nation in 2005. The Portland, Ore., native is tied for second among American women in the 2005 IAAF World Rankings only to U.S.-record holder Stacy Dragila, and is the 20th-ranked woman in the world. Soma earned second at March's NCAA Indoor Championships, her second-straight runner-up honor in the event and her fourth-career All-America performance, equaling Aretha Hill and Meg Jones for the most such honors in UW history. That consistency has helped Soma to break 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 Pac-10 crown with a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships and her second All-America honor of the year, a feat accomplished by just four other UW women all-time. Perhaps it's her support system -- Soma's mother, Donna, boasts an U.S. vault age-group record, while her 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: Senior Kate Soma continued an impressive streak at last week's NCAA Indoor Championships. The four-time All-American has matched or improved her NCAA standing in each of her six-career appearances at the meet, having placed 16th outdoors in 2002, 12th indoors and seventh outdoors in 2003, fifth (tied) indoors and second outdoors in 2004, and second indoors in 2005. Should that trend continue in June, Soma could 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 qualified for last week's NCAA Indoor Championships, most-ever for any team in the event. Senior Kate Soma and junior Ashley Wildhaber each earned All-America honors with top-five finishes, giving UW four competitors with top-13 NCAA finishes under their belt, including a 13th-place finish by sophomore Stevie Marshalek on Saturday, and an 11th-place finish by junior Carly Dockendorf at last year's outdoor championships. The four also are the only quarter in collegiate vault history to each boast bests above 13-5, including marks by Soma (14-3 1/2) and Wildhaber (13-9 1/4) that each rank among the top-10 in Pac-10 Conference history.
All-Time Pac-10 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. Becky Holliday, Oregon, 2003, 14-8
4. Tracy O'Hara, UCLA, 2000, 14-7 1/4
5. Kate Soma, Washington, 2005, 14-3 1/2I
6. Tamara Diles, Wash. State, 2002, 14-3 1/4i
7. Nikki McEwen, Oregon, 2003, 14-1 1/4
7. Connie Jerz, Arizona, 2003, 14-1 1/4
9. Ashley Wildhaber, Washington, 2005, 13-9 1/4I
9. Andrea Dutoit, Arizona, 2001, 13-9 1/4
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 ranked sixth in the nation during the 2005 indoor season, and is the third-best mark in the world this year by a jumper aged 19 or under (see full list below). The freshman's sixth-place finish in the long jump at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships was tops by a UW competitor in the event since 1965, and earned the Huskies' first All-America honor by a UW frosh since 1999.Success for Frederick, who ranks 13th among U.S. men in the 2005 IAAF World Rankings, and is the top-ranked American junior-age competitor, 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 is just 1/4-inch shy of the UW indoor record held by former world-record holder Phil Shinnick, while his high jump best of 7-0 1/4 equals UW's second-best ever indoors.
2005 IAAF Junior Men's Long Jump Rankings
Name, Country, Mark
1. Viktor Kuznyetsov, Ukraine, 26-11 3/4
2. Jie Ding, China, 25-9 1/2
3. Norris Frederick, United States, 25-6 1/4
4. Adrian Vasile, Romania, 25-4 3/4
5. Zutao Jin, China, 25-4
6. Sebastian Bayer, Germany, 25-3 1/2
The `Lo' Down: She's not even halfway through her 2005 collegiate season, but already sophomore Ashley Lodree boasts three times among the top-10 in UW history, and an All-America honor in the 60-meter hurdles.. But then, everything the 19-year-old does is fast. Lodree placed 10th in the hurdles at last week's NCAA Indoor Championships, earning her first All-America honor and the first by a UW women's hurdler since Claudine Robinson in 1994. The Richmond, Calif., native 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 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 scored in four events at the 2004 Pac-10 Championships, and boasts marks among UW's all-time top-10 in six different events. At February's MPSF Championships, Lodree lowered her own school 60-meter hurdles record to 8.15 seconds, eighth-fastest by any collegiate woman this year, and four hundredths of a second below the collegiate freshman-leading mark of 8.19 seconds she set in 2004. The sophomore also boasts marks this year in the 60-meter dash (7.44 seconds) and 200-meter run (24.81) that rank among Washington's best all-time, and is tied for the world lead among athletes aged 20 or younger.
2005 IAAF 60-Meter Hurdles Rankings (Under-20 Only)
Name, Country, Mark
1. Ashley Lodree, United States, 8.15
1. Yvonne Mensah, Canada, 8.15
3. Jospehine Onyia, Nigeria, 8.22
4. Monique Morgan, Jamaica, 8.24
5. Stephanie Lichtl, Germany, 8.26
6. Nevin Yania, Turkey, 8.28
6. Shantia Moss, United States, 8.28
20 Years of Spear Success: From Fred Luke and Duncan Atwood to Darryl Roberson and Helena Uusitalo, the UW has a long-standing tradition of excellence in the javelin. Since 1982, when women's track and field joined the NCAA, the Huskies have sent at least one javelin thrower to all but three NCAA Championships, including All-American performances by Megan Spriestersbach in 2004, and Heather Reichmann in 2003. The list of UW javelin greats includes four Pac-10 Champions (Uusitalo, `87; Roberson, `88-89; Troy Burkholder, `96), three NCAA champions (Uusitalo, `86, Tom Sinclair, `79 Cary Feldman, `71) and three U.S. Olympians (Atwood, `80, `84; Rod Ewaliko, `80; Fred Luke, `72). In UW history, only the four NCAA hammer throw titles won by Scott Neilson eclipse the Huskies' national-championship prowess in the spear, which has featured more UW All-Americans (27) than any other event. Five Husky javelin throwers qualified for the 2004 NCAA Regional Championships, including senior finisher Spriestersbach, who followed up a second-place regional finish with a fourth-place effort at the national meet, tops by a UW woman in the event since 1987. The senior set a UW record and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials with her final collegiate toss, a 173 foot-7 inch monster that broke her own UW benchmark by more than six feet, and was the third-best ever in Pac-10 history.
Husky Greats Give Back: Looking for a reason for the Huskies' remarkable javelin success? Look no further than former U.S. Olympian Duncan Atwood, now in his third year volunteering his time to his alma mater as a javelin coach, working with assistant coach Bud Rasmussen. The results speak for themselves: in 2003, the first-year coach guided Heather Reichmann to All-America honors and a No. 10 national USATF women's ranking, and in 2004 mentored senior Megan Spriestersbach to fourth-place at the NCAA Championships and a berth at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, and led freshman Brian Harris to a berth at the IAAF World Junior Championships. Since Atwood's hiring, the UW women's javelin record has fallen four times, and has increased by more than 15 feet. Atwood joins two fellow Huskies on the UW staff, including second-year head coach Greg Metcalf -- a two-time steeplechase All-American at UW and a participant at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials -- and two-time Husky All-American David Bazzi, now a UW assistant coach.
Leading From the Front: After consecutive sixth-place finishes in the 1,500 meters at the NCAA West Regional in each of the last two seasons -- one spot shy of an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships -- senior Lindsey Egerdahl understands the value of an NCAA berth. So when finally granted the opportunity to run at the NCAAs after a personal-best 4:42.27 in the mile at the Mar. 5 UW Last Chance Qualifier, the Auburn, Wash., native made the most of it. Egerdahl's eighth-place finish in the mile earned the senior her first-career All-America honor, and was the first ever by a UW woman in the event. The honor was a fitting reward for an athlete who has consistently put the team ahead of the individual, leading the Husky women to consecutive NCAA cross country berths in 2003 and 2004. Since arriving at Washington in 2001, Egerdahl has soared to third in UW history in the mile, and to seventh in the 1,500 meters, with a best of 4:22.38. The senior also boasts a mark of 9:35.08 for 3,000 meters that ranks fourth indoors at UW, and has run legs of four of UW's 10-fastest distance medley relays, including the school-record of 11:23.12 set in 2004.
Record Rookies: If there was any doubt before, last week's NCAA Indoor Championships proved that UW's Class of 2008 is one for the ages. Three Husky freshmen earned All-America honors, a feat just six had accomplished, indoors or out, since 1990 -- none since 1999. Seattle's Norris Frederick capped an outstanding indoor season with a sixth-place finish in the long jump, tops by a Husky in the event since 1965, while Wenatchee native Amanda Miller broke her own UW record in a ninth-place performance in the 800 meters. Rounding out the All-American trio was Chehalis native Austin Abbott, who ran a strong opening leg in the distance medley relay en route to a fifth-place team finish. The trio have run rampant through UW's records all season, including marks by Frederick of 25-6 1/4 in the long jump and 7-0 1/4 in the high jump that each rank second all-time at UW, and a UW freshman-record run of 4:02.25 in the mile by Abbott. Miller, though, has been the most prolific, lowering the school's 800-meter record on three separate occasions, including a best of 2:06.76 at last week's indoor championships. Even the UW's cross country runners have gotten in on the action, with freshman Jeremy Mineau earning an IAAF World Junior Championships berth, and freshman Jon Harding leading Team USA to sixth at the 2005 NACAC Cross Country Championships.
Double-Duty Dockendorf: There is no doubt that Husky pole vaulter/gymnast Carly Dockendorf is one of the finest two-sport athletes in UW history. Already one of the top vaulters in Canadian history, the Port Moody, B.C., native added to her legend last week by competing Friday night in Salt Lake City for the UW gymnastics team against top-ranked Utah, before placing 17th Saturday at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Arkansas. Balancing two sports is nothing new to Dockendorf -- the junior earned a second-straight NCAA gymnastics berth last April, before a terrific 2004 track season that included a sixth-place finish at the Pac-10 meet in May, a third-place finish at the NCAA Regional, and an 11th-place effort at June's NCAA Championships. After missing the first two months of the 2005 indoor track season with an injury, Dockendorf cleared 13-5 1/4 in her Mar. 5 season debut to cinch an NCAA berth, and move into sole possession of eighth-place in Canadian women's history. Amazingly, Dockendorf has been pole vaulting for less than three years, having begun the sport only after seeing Husky vaulters working out at Dempsey Indoor during her freshman gymnastics season in 2002. Dockendorf began her two-sport double on a full-time basis in 2003, winning All-America honors on the gymnastics floor while placing eighth in the pole vault at the Pac-10 Championships. Dockendorf's seven perfect 10's are the most by any gymnast in UW history, while her six-career vaults over 13 feet rank second among UW women all-time.
Athletics Canada All-Time Women's Pole Vault Rankings
Name, Year, Mark
1. Dana Ellis, 2004, 14-8
2. Stephanie McCann, 2004, 14-5 1/4
3. Kelsie Hendry, 2005, 14-4 1/2i
4. Ardin Tucker-Harrison, 2002, 13-9 3/4
5. Trista Bernier1998, 13-7 1/4
6. Jackie Honey, 2001, 13-6 1/4
7. Adrienne Vangool, 2004, 13-5 3/4
8. Carly Dockendorf, 2005, 13-5 1/4i
9. Sue Kupper, 2005, 13-3 1/2i
10. Simona Kovacic, 2003, 13-2 1/4
Rare Double: From the first time she entered a pole vault competition -- going 12-1 1/2 at Husky Stadium 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, Dockendorf moved into a class all her own, adding an NCAA Track Championships berth to the NCAA Gymnastics invite she earned last April. While it is not uncommon for a college athlete to compete in multiple NCAA Championships in one year -- track/cross country and volleyball/basketball doubles being among the most common -- 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 meet. The junior is already halfway to repeating the feat this season, having placed in the pole vault at last week's NCAA Indoor Track Championships.
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, dominated at the 2005 MPSF Championships, crushing the UW pentathlon record with a score of 3,915 points that included marks in the high jump and 60-meter hurdles which were each among UW's all-time top-10. Vela in 2004 was one of Canada's most prolific performers, earning top-10 national rankings in the heptathlon (sixth), long jump (seventh), 100-meter hurdles (ninth) and triple jump (ninth). The junior became UW's first NCAA Championships competitor in the heptathlon since Sonja Forster in 1994, while her season-best score of 5,225 points -- set in a fourth-place Pac-10 finish -- ranked second in UW history only to Forster's record of 5,266. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Vela moved to Toronto in 1995 with her family, before 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 before transferring to Washington in 2004. The senior will earn her economics degree this spring, with plans to return to Zimbabwe and work to improve the nation's economic condition. When she does return, she will do so as the country's all-time top performer in the pentathlon and heptathlon, her personal bests in both events unmatched by any other woman in Zimbabwe's history.
Remember Me?: To the casual fan of Husky athletics, junior Will Conwell may have fallen off the radar in 2003 when he gave up football -- where he was a linebacker for the Huskies -- in favor of a career in track and field. After redshirting the 2003 season to rehabilitate some lingering injuries, Conwell exploded back onto the front page in 2004, earning an NCAA Regional Championships bid in the discus with a throw of 173-5, before topping the 170-foot mark again in a fourth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships. The conference's No. 3-returning competitor in the event, Conwell has his season off to a fast start in 2005, with an indoor PR of 188-5 and an outdoor best of 175-2, both beyond the NCAA's regional qualifying standard. Once expected to follow his uncle, Husky legend Ernie Conwell, to football glory, Conwell is instead focusing on matching his famous uncle's track accomplishments. A five-year letterwinner in track and field at Washington, the elder Conwell climbed as high as fourth on the UW's all-time shot put list, and was an All-American in the event at the 1996 NCAA Championships, placing fifth.
Pac-10 Format Change: For the first time ever, Pac-10 athletes will no longer qualify for May's conference championship meet by meeting pre-determined conference qualifying standards. Instead, each Pac-10 school will be allowed to bring 24 men's and 24 women's athletes to the meet, regardless of entry mark or event limits. In previous years, only qualified athletes were allowed to compete, while each team was granted three wildcards, and was allowed to enter one competitor in every event for which it had no qualifier. The Pac-10 will continue to produce a list of its top competitors in each event, and will reward athletes with Pac-10 Athlete of the Week honors in both track and field events on a weekly basis, beginning in April. For a complete list of those athletes ranked among the conference leaders in each event, visit the official site of the Pac-10 Conference at www.pac-10.org.
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 was 12th-fastest in the nation during the 2005 indoor season. 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 4x4 to earn All-America honors since Ja'Warren Hooker, B.J. Dawson, Scott Anabel and Derek Prior placed eighth in the event at the NCAA indoor meet in 1998.
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 February's MPSF Championships, and have achieved a stunning 72 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 21 school records and an eye-popping 176 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.
Distance Dominance: 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 meet's 5,000-meter races, including an NCAA-leading mark by Wisconsin's Matt Tegenkamp. In fact, of the NCAA's 15 automatic men's qualifiers at 5K, nine achieved their mark on the Dempsey Indoor oval, as did six of the event's 10 automatic women's qualifiers. The facility's influence even extends to the 2005 IAAF World Rankings -- 16 of the 39 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.
MPSF Championships Redux: The MPSF 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 Huskies 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 men's title, and Stanford captured its third-straight conference women's crown.
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.
Walker Wins U.S. Gold: While his former UW teammates were pursuing MPSF titles at Dempsey Indoor on the last weekend of February, 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 fifth-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.
One More (Inter)national Crown: One week after Walker's U.S. title, former Husky Sabrina Monro kept the UW in the international track headlines with a victory in the senior women's race at the 2005 NACAC Cross Country Championships in Clermont, Fla. The meet, which featured international teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean, marked the international debut for the former NCAA cross country runner-up, who completed her collegiate career in 2003. Monro was joined at the NACAC meet by Husky freshman Jon Harding, whose sixth-place finish in the junior boys' race helped Team USA to a sweep of the top-six places, and an NACAC title.
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 16 top-10 world marks, 13 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.
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-plus seasons at the helm, Metcalf has led the UW women to three top-30 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including 18th outdoors in 2004 and a tie for 16th indoors in 2005, and has guided the Husky men to consecutive top-30 indoor finishes in each of the last two years. Individually, 12 UW distance runners have earned NCAA berths, with four grabbing All-America accolades, a list which does not include the team's All-America distance medley relay in 2005. 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 17 All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 16 school-record setters and 71 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.
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 10 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 Ashley Lodree to All-America honors in 2005, after leading eight Eastern Kentucky sprinters to Ohio Valley Conference titles in 2004, and coaching 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.