Huskies Send 16 to NCAA Track Championships
June 6, 2005
On the Track: Sixteen Washington athletes -- the most in the 104-year history of the Huskies' track and field program -- head to Sacramento this week for the 2005 NCAA Track and Field Championships at Sacramento State University. Washington's record contingent includes an NCAA-record four women's pole vaulters, led by two-time NCAA runner-up and four-time All-American Kate Soma, a school-record two men's relays, and three freshmen. Events begin Wednesday afternoon and continue through the day Thursday and Friday, before concluding Saturday night. For complete information on all UW competitors, see the box on page three in the PDF version of this release.
Event Schedule: Following is a complete schedule of those events featuring UW athletes at the NCAA Championships. For a full event schedule, visit www.hornetsports.com.:
Wednesday, June 8
3:45 p.m. -- 4x100m Relay, Prelim (M)
4:15 p.m. -- 800m Run, Prelim (M)
4:30 p.m. -- Long Jump, Qual. (M)
5:20 p.m. -- 100m Hurdles, Prelim (W)
7:00 p.m. -- 100m Hurdles, Semifinal (W)
Thursday, June 9
12:30 p.m. -- High Jump, Qual. (M)
6:30 p.m. -- 800m Run, Semifinal (M)
7:00 p.m. -- Pole Vault, Qual.(W)
7:00 p.m. -- Long Jump, Final (M)
8:00 p.m. -- 1,500m Run, Prelim (W)
8:40 p.m. -- 4x400m Run, Prelim (M)
Friday, June 9
6:30 p.m. -- 4x100m Relay, Final (M)
8:05 p.m. -- 100m Hurdles, Final (W)
Saturday, June 10
4:00 p.m. -- High Jump, Final (M)
6:00 p.m. -- Pole Vault, Final (W)
6:30 p.m. -- 1,500m Run, Final (W)
7:30 p.m. -- 800m Run, Final (M)
8:35 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay, Final (M)
Meet Results: Live results will be available throughout the competition at both NCAASports.com, and HornetSports.com, the latter the official athletics site of Sacramento State University. In addition, a complete recap of UW action, including quotes and notes, will be posted to GoHuskies.comat the end of each day's competition.
NCAA Championships on TV: As it has for several years, CBS will air the NCAA Track and Field Championships on a tape-delay basis, scheduled for Saturday, June 18, at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time. The two-hour broadcast typically includes all track finals, along with highlights of each of the field event competitions.
NCAA Firsts Abound for Huskies: The 2005 NCAA Track and Field Championships will be one of many firsts for the Washington track and field program. In its 104-year history, Washington has never qualified as many athletes for an NCAA meet as the 16 who will compete in Sacramento this week, while its 28 total NCAA appearances this year -- including a record 12 appearances by Husky athletes at the NCAA Indoor meet in March -- are also an all-time UW best. Additionally, theUW will have two men's relays in competition at an NCAA Championship event for the first time in school history, while the team's four competitors in the women's pole vault equal an NCAA record in the event set by Washington at this year's NCAA Indoor Championships.
How They Got Here: NCAA Championships berths were determined by performances at regional meets held nationwide the weekend of May 27-28. Of the 16 Huskies in this week's NCAA field, six earned automatic berths via top-five finishes in individual events, while an additional five claimed automatic berths with top-three finishes in relays. The remaining five were among the 6-8 at-large qualifiers added in each event after the regionals, based on top-eight regional finishes and their overall national ranking.
NCAA Championships By the Numbers: The 16 Husky athletes who toe the line in Sacramento will be seeking to add to a long legacy of Washington success at the NCAA Championships. Twenty-three UW athletes have combined for 28 NCAA titles overall, a total which ranks 22nd among NCAA institutions all-time. Additionally, the Huskies have placed 263 athletes on the All-America podium, including at least one in each of the last 13 years, and 43 of the last 45 years. Ten Huskies earned All-America honors indoors in March, breaking the UW record of nine All-Americans set at the 1983 NCAA Outdoor Championships. A regular top-five finisher in the 1920s, Washington's men have placed among the top-15 at the NCAA meet nine times since 1970, including a high of fifth (tied) in 1979. The Husky women, meanwhile, boast four top-25 finishes, including a high of 10th in 1988, and a tie for 18th last year.
History in the Making?: With a school-record number of NCAA qualifiers, a school-record number of qualified men's relays, and an NCAA-record total of competitors in the women's pole vault, Washington will make plenty of history at this week's NCAA Championships even before competition begins. Strong performances, however, could bring several additional historical milestones within reach. Two-time NCAA pole vault runner-up and four-time All-American Kate Soma has the chance to become just the third NCAA champion in UW women's history, and the first since Jennifer Ponath in 1988. Soma could also become most decorated woman in UW history by earning her fifth-career All-America honors, one more than the current UW record shared by Soma and throwers Aretha Hill (1995-98) and Meg Jones (1985-88). The Huskies' men, meanwhile, will be looking to extend a streak that has seen at least one UW male competitor earn a top-10 NCAA Outdoor Championships finish in 41 of the last 44 years. The streak is even more impressive if indoor performances are included -- counting NCAA indoor performances this year by freshman Norris Frederick (6th, long jump) and the men's distance medley relay (5th), Washington has had a UW men's athlete earn a top-10 NCAA finish, indoors or outdoors, every year since 1961, a span of 45 straight years.
Dawg Bites: Sophomore Ashley Lodree was named Pac-10 Women's Track Athlete of the Week on Apr. 25. Lodree was the first UW woman since 1998 to earn the Pac-10 honor ... Washington's nine men's competitors at the NCAA meet equal its total from the past three years combined ... Washington's 4x100m relay returns to the NCAA meet this week for the first time since taking second at the 1983 NCAA Championships ... Washington currently boasts five women's pole vaulters with bests over 13 feet, the only such quintet in NCAA history ... Washington's 10 All-Americans at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships equaled its total from the last four NCAA Championships combined ... Freshmen Austin Abbott, Norris Frederick and Amanda Miller were All-Americans indoors in 2005, the first UW frosh All-Americans since 1999 ... Kate Soma and Ashley Wildhaber each earned All-America honors indoors in the pole vault, becoming the first UW event tandem to earn All-America honors at the same meet since 1994.
2005 Regional Review: May's NCAA West Regional in Eugene, Ore., was a record-breaker in every way for UW, which crowned its first-ever regional champions and saw 11 athletes earn automatic NCAA berths, more than the team's combined total of automatic qualifiers from the previous two regionals. Senior Kate Soma, who became the UW's first-ever regional champion with a clearance at 13-7 3/4, led five Huskies among the top-10 in the pole vault, including NCAA qualifiers Ashley Wildhaber (4th), Kelley DiVesta (5th), and Carly Dockendorf (7th). Sophomore Ryan Brown also won a regional title with a late comeback in the men's 800, while UW men swept third place in the 4x100- and 4x400m events to earn automatic NCAA berths. Sophomore Ashley Lodree rounded out the automatic-qualifying ledger with a fifth-place effort in the 100-meter hurdles, while senior Lindsey Egerdahl (6th, 1,500m), freshman Norris Frederick (6th, high jump), sophomore Amy Lia (7th, 1,500m) and junior J.R. Wolfork (8th, long jump) earned at-large consideration with top-eight finishes. Two other Huskies also earned points for UW -- junior Warren Eickhoff tied for eighth in the high jump, while senior Andy Fader was eighth in the 1,500m.
What a Difference a Year Makes: The signs have been there all year, but this year's postseason is proving that the UW men are officially on the rise. Eight Husky men earned top-three finishes at May's Pac-10 meet, a feat accomplished by just one Husky in 2004, and just one fewer than its total from the past four years combined. Best of all, of that talented octet (which includes nine runners when all four legs of the third-place 4x400m relay are considered), all but two return in 2005, while six have at least two years of eligibility remaining. The Huskies' 75.5 points at the Pac-10 meet were a 30.5-point improvement over its 2004 total, and were just 6.5 points fewer than its total from the 2003 and 2004 meets, combined. That momentum carried over the NCAA West Regional, where seven Huskies earned top-eight finishes (one fewer than UW's 2003 and 2004 totals, combined) and nine earned NCAA berths, equaling the team's total from the past three NCAA Championships.
Brown Busts Out: It's been barely 14 months since Ryan Brown was out of track and field entirely, having walked away from a promising career, citing a desire to focus on school over sports. So it was a bit surprising to see Brown outkick Pac-10 favorite Jon Rankin of UCLA down the homestretch to win the Pac-10 title at 800 meters in May, his time of 1:47.31 the second-fastest in UW history and eighth-best by a collegian this year. Two weeks later, Brown provied the race was no fluke by outkicking Rankin again to win the NCAA West Regional's 800-meter crown, the first regional title ever won by a Husky track athlete. To say that May was an interesting month for Brown is certainly an understatement -- the sophomore entered the May 15 Pac-10 final seeded ninth, and wasn't even fastest on his own team, his lifetime-best of 1:49.21 trailing freshman Austin Abbott in the UW season rankings. By May 29, Brown was among the fastest half-milers in the nation, and he enters this week's NCAA meet with the field's seventh-fastest qualifying mark. Brown competed just one year at Renton (Wash.) High School, going undefeated at 800 meters as a senior and defeating current UW teammate Tim Freeman for the state title. He walked on to the UW squad in 2002-03 and had a banner indoor season, before leaving the team in the summer. Since returning to competition in 2005, Brown has been on a tear, leading the Huskies' distance medley relay to All-America honors indoors and breaking UW's indoor 800-meter record, before embarking on an outdoor season that has included a school record in the 4x400, Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional titles in the 800, and NCAA Championships berths in both.
Pac-10 Prowess: While UW's teams have never claimed a Pac-10 title outright, Ryan Brown's win the 800 meters this year did extend an impressive string of six straight seasons with at least one individual champ. The UW has had one titlist in each of the past three years, including Brown, 2004 pole vault winner Kate Soma and 2003 vault champ Brad Walker. The Huskies' longest-ever streak of individual champions was seven years run from 1974-80, including Scott Neilson's four Pac-10 hammer crowns.
Half-Mile Madness: Sophomore Ryan Brown's sweep of Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional titles in the 800 meters put a fitting end to a year in which Washington dominated the Pac-10 rankings in the event. Brown, freshman Austin Abbott, and juniors Bruce Jackson and Shane Charles each ran under 1:50 for 800 meters this year, becoming the first half-mile quartet in UW history to do so. In only one other year, 1992, has Washington had as many as three men's runners accomplish the feat, while prior to 2005, no two Huskies had done so in the same season since 1998.
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. Soma, who in May became the first Husky ever to win an NCAA West Regional title, has cleared the elite 14-foot barrier four times in her UW career and three times this season, including a UW indoor record clearance of 14-3 1/2 on Feb. 12 that equals the seventh-best by a collegiate vaulter all-time, and is tops by a collegian in 2005. The Portland, Ore., native is tied for seventh among American women in the 2005 IAAF World Rankings, and is the 27th-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. A fifth-career All-America award this week would make Soma the most decorated woman in UW history, and the first ever to earn multiple All-America honors in more than one season, a feat she first accomplished in 2004. 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: If it is true that numbers never lie, then senior Kate Soma could be in for a big week. Including her runner-up effort at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships, Soma has matched or improved her NCAA Championships finish in each of her six-career appearances at the NCAA 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 this week, Soma could become just UW's third NCAA women's champion all-time, and the first since Jennifer Ponath won an NCAA shot put title in 1988.
Vault Supremacy: The 2005 season has left little doubt that Washington reigns supreme in the world of collegiate women's vaulting -- four UW women competed in the event at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships, the most ever for any collegiate team in the event, and four more will do so at this week's NCAA Outdoor meet. Remarkably, only three of the four competing this week are the same as those who competed indoors, with freshman Kelley DiVesta joining the ranks after a fifth-place finish at the NCAA West Regional. DiVesta is one of five current Huskies to boast bests above 13 feet, a feat never before accomplished by any NCAA quintet, and one of five to earn NCAA indoor or outdoor berths this year, also an NCAA first. Two of the five -- senior Kate Soma and junior Ashley Wildhaber, have already earned All-America honors once this year, and each rank among the 10-best vaulters in Pac-10 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
Passing the Baton: Washington's homegrown 4x400-meter squad -- featuring three runners from the Seattle area -- was electric at the Pac-10 meet, breaking a 30-year-old UW record with a time of 3:03.85, including a 44.8-second anchor by junior Bruce Jackson. The time was a four-second improvement over the relay's previous best, and ranks ninth in the nation entering this week's NCAA Championships. This year's relay includes two of the four who placed 14th at the NCAAs in 2004, the team's first NCAA appearance in the event since 1998. Joining returnees Jackson and Sean Williams are relay newcomers Ryan Brown, the Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional 800m champ, and Shane Charles, Grenada's national-record holder in the 400m hurdles. Should the quartet earn All-America honors this year, they would be the first UW squad to do so since 1998, and the first outdoors since 1990. Two of the four are already All-Americans, with Williams and Brown having earned the honor with UW's fifth-place distance medley relay in 2005.
Record Relays: Washington's NCAA Championships contingent includes two men's relays, a feat never before accomplished at UW. While the success of UW's 4x4 was to be expected -- with two returnees from the NCAA's 14th-place team in 2004 -- the success of its sprint relay has caught many by surprise. UW's 4x100m quartet -- featuring freshman walk-on Jordan Boase, Jamaican seniors Davaon Spence and Patrick Davidson, and relay guru Sean Williams -- includes not a single runner who has bested 10.60 in the 100 meters, and none who have ever made a Pac-10 100m final. At the NCAA West Regional, however, the quartet outran an Oregon squad that included two Pac-10 100m finalists for the third and final automatic NCAA Championships berth, UW's first in the event since 1983. Furthermore, the team's time of 39.66 seconds was the third-fastest in UW history, and the fastest by any Husky relay since that same 1983 squad set the UWrecord of 39.24 seconds.
The `Lo' Down: Some wondered how Ashley Lodree could possibly top her breakout freshman year of 2004 -- including two school records, five marks among UW's all-time top-10, an NCAA Championships appearance and a top-10 world junior ranking -- but the 19-year-old has shown little signs of slowing in her sophomore season. The Richmond, Calif., native captured her first-career All-America honor with a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March, and earned her first-career NCAA berth in the 100-meter hurdles with a fifth-place finish at May's NCAA West Regional. Lodree also scored in three events at the 2005 Pac-10 meet, including a third-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles in 13.23 seconds, nearly two tenths below her own UW record, and good for 13th in the nation this year. Already a factor on seven of UW's all-time top-10 lists, Lodree added the 400-meter hurdles and 4x100 meters to her repetoire in 2005, and currently ranks among UW's all-time top-10 in nine different events, including school records of 13.23 in the 100-meter hurdles and 8.15 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles. She also boasts marks this year in the 60-meter dash (7.44 seconds, 2nd all-time), indoor 200-meter run (24.81, 2nd), 400-meter hurdles (59.65, 4th) 4x100-meter relay (46.04, tied 7th) and 4x400-meter relay (3:44.58, 9th) that rank among UW's best all-time.
Fast Start: Sophomore Ashley Lodree, who in March earned the first All-America honor by a UW women's 60-meter hurdler since 1994, has wasted no time getting her UW career out of the blocks. Lodree was a one-woman whirlwind as a freshman, placing 14th in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2004 NCAA indoor meet before bettering UW's 100-meter hurdles record seven times outdoors, including 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 her No. 7 in the world, and No. 2 among Americans, in the 2004 IAAF Junior World Rankings.
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 NCAA Championships bid -- senior Lindsey Egerdahl made sure she wouldn't be left out of the NCAA field in 2005. Egerdahl clocked a season-best time of 4:19.07 in Eugene in April to move up to ninth on the national performance list, virtually guaranteeing the Husky an at-large NCAA Championships selection, even if she finished outside the top-five again in the ultra-competitive West Region 1,500-meter final. It's a good thing she did -- Egerdahl was sixth again at last month's regional, but her season-best time closed the season ranked 13th in the nation, earning the Auburn, Wash., an at-large selection and her first-ever NCAA 1,500-meter berth. The senior is certainly going out in style -- in November she led all UW finishers at the 2004 NCAA Cross Country Championships, and ran eighth in the mile at March's NCAA Indoor Championships to earn her first-career All-America honor, and 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 UW women to consecutive NCAA cross country berths in 2003 and 2004. Egerdahl boasts four-straight top-10 1,500-meter finishes at the Pac-10 meet, and ranks among UW's top-10 all-time indoors in three different individual events, and four different distance medley relays.
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 nearly repeated the feat this season, placing 17th in the pole vault at March's NCAA Indoor Track Championships before falling one-tenth of a point shy of qualifying for the NCAA gymnastics meet in April.
Double-Duty Dockendorf: There is no doubt that pole vaulter/gymnast Carly Dockendorf -- currently the nation's 11th-ranked women's vaulter -- is one of the finest two-sport athletes in UW history. The Port Moody, B.C., native added to her legend in March with a 17th-place finish in the vault at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Arkansas, just 19 hours after competing in Utah for the Husky gymnastics team. 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, third place at the NCAA Regional, and 11th place at the NCAA Championships. After missing the first two months of the 2005 indoor track season with an injury, Dockendorf cleared a personal-best 13-5 1/4 in her Mar. 5 season debut to cinch an NCAA indoor berth, before upping her lifetime PR to 13-5 3/4 outdoors -- seventh-best ever by a Canadian. Amazingly, Dockendorf has been pole vaulting for less than three years, having begun the sport only after watching Husky vaulters train 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. Her seven perfect 10s are the most by any UW gymnast all-time, while her seven-career vaults over 13 feet rank second in UW history.
Athletics Canada All-Time Women's Pole Vault Rankings
Name, Year, Mark
1. Dana Buller, 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 Bernier, 1998, 13-7 1/4
6. Jackie Honey, 2001, 13-6 1/4
7. Carly Dockendorf, 2005, 13-5 ¾
7. Adrienne Vangool, 2004, 13-5 3/4
9. Sue Kupper, 2005, 13-3 1/2i
10. Simona Kovacic, 2003, 13-2 1/4
Dazzling Debut: Freshman Norris Frederick has done everything he can to back up the hype that accompanied his signing with Washington, earning All-America honors, breaking UW's freshman record in the long jump, and nabbing top-five Pac-10 Championships finishes in the long- and high jumps. The Roosevelt High School alum has already become the only UW athlete ever to long jump 25 feet and high-jump seven feet in their career, boasting season bests of 25-6 1/4 and 7-0 1/2, respectively, the latter the 17th-best mark in this week's NCAA Championships field. Frederick launched six long jumps over 25 feet during the 2005 indoor season, the best a 25-foot, 6 1/4 inch monster that led all NCAA freshmen indoors, and ranks seventh in the 2005 IAAF World Junior Rankings. The talented freshman earned All-America honors with a sixth-place finish in the long jump at the 2005 NCAA indoor meet -- tops by a UW long jumper since 1965 -- and is one of just 12 Huskies ever to clear the seven-foot mark in the high jump. Success for Frederick, currently America's top-ranked 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. Frederick 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.
2005 IAAF World Junior Men's Long Jump Rankings
Name, Country, Mark
1. Viktor Kuznyetsov, Ukraine, 26-11 3/4i
2., Oleksandr Soldatkin, Ukraine, 25-11
3. Mihail Mertzanidis-Despoteris, Greece, 25-9 1/2
3. Jie Ding, China, 25-9 1/2i
5. Chris Noffke, Australia, 25-8 1/4
5. Saleh Abdelaziz Al-Haddad, Kuwait, 25-8 1/4
7. Tony Moody, Cuba, 25-7 1/4
8. Norris Frederick, United States, 25-6 1/4i
9. Adrian Vasile, Romania, 25-4 3/4i
9. Zutao Jin, China, 25-4 3/4
Island Fever: Don't be surprised if Seattle seems a bit tropical this spring-- with three Caribbean sprinters on the Washington 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. Grenada's national champion in the 400-meter hurdles in 2003, Charles set a senior national record in the event at May's Pac-10 Championships, clocking a time of 50.46 seconds to add to the junior national record he set in 2001. Charles earned junior-college All-America honors at Central Arizona JC in 2004, clocking a 50.95 in the 400-meter hurdles, and was the nation's 10th-ranked collegian in the event tin 2005 before falling in his preliminary heat at the regional. Spence and Davidson, teammates at Kingston, Jamaica's St. Jago High School, combined for a world youth record in the 4x400 meters at the 1999 World Youth Games in Poland, and led Jamaica's mile relay to a silver medal at the 1999 PanAm Games. The two split up to attend junior colleges in the U.S. before reuniting last season at UW, where they have turned the Huskies' 4x100-meter relay squad into one of the nation's fastest. The duo led the relay to fifth at the Pac-10 meet and third at the NCAA West Regional, the latter in a time of 39.66 seconds that is the third-fastest in UW history. All three Caribbean sprinters will compete at this week's NCAA Championships, with Charles running on the 4x400-meter relay, and Spence and Davidson on the 4x100-meter squad.
Midles Leads 13 UW Signees: Twelve preps and one community college athlete have signed letters of intent to attend the University of Washington next fall, including 2004 national prep hammer champion Zack Midles. The Capital High School (Olympia, Wash.) senior is America's third-ranked prep in 2005, with a season-best of 222-8 that has been bettered by only two collegiate throwers this year. Joining Midles at Washington in 2005-06 will be Highline (Wa.) Community College sprinter Alex Harcourt, whose best of 46.61 in the 400 meters would have scored at last week's Pac-10 Championships. A trio of Northwest prep distance runners will round out UW's men's class of 2006, including Jordan McNamara (Auburn, Wash./Auburn-Riverside) and state cross country champions Kelly Spady (Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak) and Michael Dols (Chelan, Wash./Chelan). Palo Alto's Tori Tyler and Portland's Annaliese Chapa lead a deep women's distance class that also includes Emily Collins (Eugene, Ore./Marist), Brooke Lademan (Rolling Hills, Calif./Palos Verdes) and Brooke Anderson (San Diego, Calif./University City). They will be joined by hurdler Falesha Ankton (Benicia, Calif./Benicia) and jumper Laurie Roberts (Menlo Park, Calif./Menlo-Atherton).
Record Rookies: Husky freshmen have been outstanding in 2005, combining for three All-America honors, one school record, six freshman records, four top-five Pac-10 Championships finishes, and 19 marks among the team's top-10 all-time. Seattle's Norris Frederick, the sixth-place long jumper at the 2005 NCAA indoor meet, broke a 34-year-old UW freshman record in the event at April's Mt. SAC Relays, clearing 25-3 1/4 to climb to fourth in UW history overall. Chehalis native Austin Abbott, the Pac-10 runner-up at 1,500 meters, also set a UW freshman record at Mt. SAC with a time of 3:44.36 in the 1,500, while Kellie DiVesta of Colorado Springs scored a freshman record of her own with a clearance of 13-3 3/4 in the pole vault at the NCAA West Regional. Frederick, DiVesta and walk-on sprinter Jordan Boase will each represent UW's Class of 2008 at this week's NCAA Championships, where they hope to add to the three All-America awards earned by UW freshmen indoors. Frederick (long jump, 6th), Abbott (DMR, fifth), and Wenatchee's Amanda Miller (800m, 10th) each earned All-America honors indoors in March, becoming the first freshman trio ever to earn All-America honors at the same NCAA competition. In fact, just six Husky freshmen had earned All-America awards, indoors or out, since 1990, including none since 1999.
National Records Abound: Washington athletes have accounted for two national records in 2005, with Grenada's Shane Charles clocking his country's fastest-ever 400-meter hurdles time on two separate occasions, and 2000 UW alum Christian Belz breaking Switzerland's national record at 10,000 meters in April's Cardinal Invitational at Stanford. Charles' third-place time of 50.46 seconds in the Pac-10 Championships final was the second-fastest in UW history, and broke his own Grenadan national record of 50.76 set in April. Over a four-week span late in the season, Charles lowered Grenada's national record -- which he first set last year -- by nearly half a second, from 50.95 at the start of the year, to 50.76 in April and finally 50.46 in May. He now holds both Grenada's junior and senior national records in the event, and is the nation's reigning 400-meter hurdles champ. Belz, meanwhile, clocked a 27:54.11 in the first 10,000-meter race of his professional career in April, breaking the 20-year-old Swiss record of 27:54.29 set by Markus Ryffel. A two-time Olympian, Belz already owns Switzerland's national record in the steeplechase, and has now qualified himself for the 2005 IAAF World Championships in both the 5,000- and 10,000-meter events.
Huskies are World-Class: National-record setters Shane Charles and Christian Belz aren't the only Huskies making international headlines this spring -- a number of former Huskies and UW coaches are doing their part this year to make Washington a player on the international scene. Two-time NCAA indoor pole vault champion Brad Walker won the vault at the 2005 USA Indoor Championships in February, and is ranked No. 2 in the world outdoors in 2005. UW alum Sabrina Monro won the 2005 NACAC Cross Country Championship, while past UW All-Americans Belz and Courtney Inman each excelled at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in France. Additionally, two-time Olympian Aretha Hill, a 1998 UW alum, is ranked eighth in the world in the discus, while 2003 Husky grad Mat Schwinn and UW assistant Kelly Strong, an Arizona State alum, are America's 10th- and fifth-ranked competitors, respectively, in the discus and steeplechase.
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 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, 15 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 eight years atop Washington's distance program, Metcalf has coached 14 All-Americans, six Pac-10 champions, 16 school-record setters and 74 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. Sprints/relays coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr., who led eight Eastern Kentucky sprinters to Ohio Valley Conference titles in 2004, and coached athletes to 13 school records in four years at Marshall University, has had a banner first year at Washington, mentoring Ashley Lodree to All-America honors indoors and guiding two UW men's relays to NCAA Championships berths for the first time in school history. 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.