Huskies Represent USA at NACAC Championships

July 5, 2006

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - Three Washington track and field athletes were among those selected to represent the United States this weekend at the 2006 North and Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-23 Track and Field Championship. NCAA champions Ryan Brown and Amy Lia, and four-time All-American Ashley Lodree will each compete for the USA at the three-day meet, beginning Friday in the Dominican Republic.

The three Huskies will join 500 athletes from more than 28 countries at the meet, comprised of the top under-23 athletes from the 32 countries in the NACAC region, one of six regional athletic associations which comprise the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF).

Just two athletes from each event were selected to compete for Team USA at the bi-annual NACAC meet, making it one of the elite honors for under-23 athletes in the United States. The USA is the defending champion at the event, having won the 2004 NACAC title in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Both Brown and Lia will be making their first international appearances, after winning NCAA titles in June. A junior from Renton, Wash., Brown captured the NCAA crown at 800 meters in a school-record time of 1 minutes, 46.29 seconds. That time is the fifth-fastest by an American male this year, and the fastest by a U.S. collegian since 2005.

Lia, meanwhile, won the NCAA title at 1,500 meters, passing 11 runners in a span of 150 meters on the final lap. The sophomore from Bothell, Wash., finished in a time of 4:14.63 that is the seventh-fastest in Pac-10 Conference history, then backed it up with a ninth-place finish at the USA Championships in June.

Brown and Lia were just the fifth pair of UW teammates to win NCAA titles in the same year, and the first since 1929 to do so exclusively in events on the track.

They will be joined by Richmond, Calif., native Lodree, who captured her fourth-career All-America honor with a seventh-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles at the NCAA meet. The junior boasts a wind-aided lifetime best of 12.99 seconds that is the 10th-fastest in Pac-10 history, wind-aided or otherwise, and is more than a half-second faster than the best run by any previous Husky.

Competition at the three-day meet begins Friday with preliminary heats of the 800-meter run and 100-meter hurdles, and finals of the hurdles and 1,500 meters. Should he advance from Friday's qualifying heats, Brown would then wrap up UW's competition at the meet in Saturday's 800-meter run final.

For links to an event schedule and results, visit www.GoHuskies.com.

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