Ten Huskies Selected to NCAA Championships
March 6, 2006
SEATTLE - Ten UW athletes, including four individuals and two relays, were among those provisional qualifiers selected Monday by the NCAA to participate in this weekend's NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
All athletes who met the NCAA's automatic standards in their events were placed in the field first, with provisional qualifiers added in descending order from the national performance lists to provide full competitve fields in each event. The Huskies' 10 qualifiers are its second-most ever, topped only by the UW's 12 indoor championships qualifiers in 2005. Those 12 athletes combined for 10 All-America honors at last year's meet, the most ever won by a UW track and field team at any NCAA Championships event.
'What I like best about this group is that they represent a lot of different areas of our team -- jumpers, hurdlers, sprinters, distance runners, vaulters,' said fourth-year head coach Greg Metcalf, who was named MPSF Men's Coach of the Year earlier Monday. 'We want to be successful in every event area, and I think that this group is real tribute to our progress in that respect.'
Included among the Huskies' NCAA competitors are six All-Americans, including four who earned their honors at last year's indoor meet.
Junior Ashley Lodree (Richmond, Calif./El Cerrito) will be making her fourth-career NCAA Championships appearance, after earning All-America honors both indoors and out last season. The 10th-place finisher in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships, Lodree is the seventh-seeded hurlder in this week's field with a best mark of 8.16 seconds.
Also making her fourth-career appearance will be senior pole vaulter Carly Dockendorf (Port Moody, B.C.). The former All-American UW gymnast was the sixth-place finisher at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships, and enters this week's meet with a best of 13 feet, 7 æ inches that is the nation's sixth-best in 2006. She will be joined by junior vaulter Stevie Marshalek (Kent, Wash./Kentlake), a two-time NCAA Championships participant and the nation's 11th-ranked vaulter in 2006.
That talented women's trio will be joined by seven UW men, including sophomore Norris Frederick (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt) and both of the team's 4x400-meter and distance medley relay squads.
Frederick, who will compete in the long jump, became UW's first long jump All-American since 1965 at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships, placing sixth overall, and was an NCAA Championships competitor in the high jump outdoors. He is the only Husky ever to high jump seven feet and long jump 25 feet, and will be seeking his second-career All-America honor.
Also seeking a repeat of its All-America performance in 2005 is the team's distance medley relay, which placed fifth at the NCAA meet last year -- best ever for a UW DMR. Two of that relay's four participants -- junior Ryan Brown (Renton, Wash./Renton) and sophomore Austin Abbott (Chehalis, Wash./W.F. West) -- return in 2006, with senior Bruce Jackson (Seattle, Wash./Nathan Hale) and sophomore Carl Moe (Auburn, Wash./Auburn-Riverside) rounding out the foursome that ranks ninth in the nation after a school-record equaling 9:35.35 posting at Notre Dame last weekend.
Abbott, also qualified in the mile by virtue of his 3:59.87 time at Dempsey Indoor earlier this year, has chosen not to compete in the event at NCAAs, in order to increase the DMR's chance of winning a national title. The Huskies led at the final handoff before finishing fifth in 2005.
'Austin wants to give the DMR the best possible shot to win, and so he doesn't want to do anything that might in any way limit him in that race Friday night,' Metcalf says.
Brown and Jackson will also represent UW in the 4x400-meter relay, where they will be joined by senior Shane Charles (Birch Grove, St. Andrew's, Grenada/St. Aguilan Secondary/Central Arizona JC) and junior Alex Harcourt (Kent, Wash./Kentridge/Highline CC). All but Harcourt were on the UW relay that placed 10th at the NCAA Championships in 2005, after breaking a 30-year-old UW record at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships.
'This group is capable of scoring a lot of points this weekend,' Metcalf says. 'Everyone making this trip has proven themselves to be among the elite athletes in college track and field. A lot of them have been All-Americans before, too, so they know exactly what it takes to succeed at this meet. They won't be intimidated by the quality of the fields, or the TV cameras or the crowds. It's going to be a fun weekend, watching them compete.'
The two-day meet at Arkansas' Randal Tyson Track Center begins Friday and continues through Saturday evening. ESPN will televise the Championships on a tape-delay basis on Mar. 14, beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST.
For start lists and event schedules for the 2006 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, visit www.ncaasports.com.