Classic on Tap for Nation's Top Track Teams
Feb. 7, 2007
On the Track: The fifth-ranked Washington's men's track team and the outstanding Husky women prepare themselves for the biggest weekend of the indoor regular season Saturday, as over 1,100 athletes representing 128 teams converge on Dempsey Indoor for the sixth-annual Husky Classic. Called 'the first round of the NCAA Championships' by some for the startling number of NCAA automatic and provisional qualifying marks posted at the meet each year, the Husky Classic is one of nation's top collegiate indoor competitions, featuring America's best college athletes as well as professional and small-college stars from the Northwest and beyond. The action begins Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. with the men's 5,000 meters, and continues throughout the day. As always, admission is free to all spectators, with seating provided throughout the facility. Live results will also be provided online for those fans who are unable to attend in person.
Star-Studded Field: This weekend's UW Indoor Invitational at Dempsey Indoor features one of the deepest fields of any meet in the nation, with athletes from seven of the nine Pac-10 track programs, as well as numerous nationally-ranked foes. Fans will want to be sure to catch the action from the No. 1-ranked Arizona State women and second-ranked Florida State men, as well as the No. 4 Wisconsin men, Stanford (No. 4 women/No. 13 men), Oregon (No. 7 men), Auburn (No. 10 women), North Carolina (No. 15 women), Washington State (No. 18 women), Idaho (No. 19 men), Kansas (No. 23 women) and Iona (No. 4 men), as well as, of course, the fifth-ranked Husky men. Highlights are certain to include all of the distance events, including two-time NCAA champion and current national 3K leader Chris Solinsky of Wisconsin, Pac-10 mile champion Arianna Lambie of Stanford, former collegiate steeplechase record-holder Lisa Galaviz of Nike, NCAA steeplechase champion Josh McAdams of BYU and many others. The field events are also loaded, with Husky junior Norris Frederick seeking to increase his national lead in the long jump, and freshman pole vaulter Scott Roth matching up for the first time head-to-head against reigning NCAA champion Tommy Skipper of Oregon. For a complete list of entries and heat and lane assignments, visit GoHuskies.com after 12 p.m. on Thursday.
Event Schedule: A complete event schedule, including start times for field and track events for both sessions of the 2007 Husky Classic, can be found by visiting GoHuskies.com. This schedule is tentative and subject to change up until the posting of accepted entries, at 12 p.m. Thursday. All interested parties are strongly encouraged to check the website again after 12 p.m. on Thursday to confirm event start times before making plans to come to the facility.
Live Results!: Results of all UW home indoor track and field meets are posted live throughout the meet to the official site of UW athletics, www.GoHuskies.com. A link to a complete event schedule and live results will appear on the website the morning of each meet. Simply visit GoHuskies.com, and click on 'track' from the 'sports' pull-down menu to find the live results link on each meet day.
Meet Results: Results will be posted periodically throughout the meet on a board at the south end of Dempsey Indoor. Following the conclusion of the meet, packets of results will be available at the finish line for coaches and meet officials only. Please allow 5-10 minutes following the conclusion of the final event for results to be processed and approved. Final results will be faxed to all local media and participating schools roughly 30 minutes following the conclusion of the meet, and will be posted to the official site of Husky athletics, www.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.
Did You Know?
Last year's Husky Classic produced two world-leading marks and a stunning 26 marks that, at the time, were among the world's top-10 in their events.
Rankings Report: After vaulting into the top-five of the Trackwire national collegiate rankings during the off week last Tuesday, Washington held on to its lofty status, earning a No. 5 ranking in Trackwire's Feb. 6 release. The Huskies received 34 points from the magazine, which uses its individual rankings to project team scores at March's NCAA Indoor Championships, tops among Pac-10 teams and behind only Auburn (45), Florida State (44), Arkansas (39) and Wisconsin (38). The Huskies will have a chance to chip into that quartet ahead of them this weekend, as both Florida State and Wisconsin will send athletes to Seattle for what should be an exciting day's action. The Husky women, meanwhile, scored three points in the Trackwire ranking, six shy of the nine needed for top-25 mention. Husky Classic competitor Arizona State claimed the top honor with 45 points, while Michigan scored 40, and LSU 39.
Just Dandy, Thank You: Trackwire's lofty ranking of the UW men is a direct reflection of the magazine's confidence in the Huskies' individuals, five of whom Trackwire currently projects for top-eight finishes at March's NCAA meet. None earn a higher ranking than reigning 800-meter outdoor champion Ryan Brown, who Trackwire picks No. 1 in the men's 800. Brown debuted in 1:48.51 at the UW Indoor Invitational two weeks ago, the third-fastest time by a collegian this year. Quarter-miler Alex Harcourt, meanwhile, merits a No. 2 national ranking after his 46.43 posting and subsequent upset of Olympic relay champion Darrold Williamson in January, while junior long jumper Norris Frederick and freshman pole vaulter Scott Roth are each ranked third in their events by Trackwire, despite holding the No. 1 and No. 2 positions, respectively, on the NCAA's performance lists. Washington's men's distance medley relay team is also picked to score at nationals, its No. 5 ranking matching its finish at each of the past two NCAA Championship meets. In addition to the five above, Frederick also merited a No. 9 ranking in the high jump while Washington's 4x400-meter relay team - third at last year's NCAA Indoor meet - is ranked 11th overall in the event. The Husky women also earned respect from Trackwire, with senior hurdler Ashley Lodree meriting a No. 6 nod in the 60-meter hurdles, and junior Amanda Miller earning a No. 11 mention in the mile.
Dempsey Indoor: In only five 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 more than a dozen Olympians, witnessed 42 top-10 world marks, 19 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.
Monster PR of the Week: While it's hard to argue with any of the four Huskies who claimed top honors in the NCAA rankings with their performances at last week's UW Indoor Invitational, this space is designed to recognize those athletes whose improvement might otherwise go unnoticed - not those making the headlines. That said, sophomore thrower Daniel Te'o-Nesheim had an outstanding day at the meet, improving his personal best in the shot put by nearly three feet while climbing to 10th on the Huskies' all-time list indoors. Te'o-Nesheim's throw of 56 feet, 5 ¼ inches was the best by a Husky since 1998, and marks the Hawaii native - who also had a breakout year in the fall for the UW football team - as one to watch throughout the 2007 campaign.
What A Day!: It's hard to imagine the Huskies having a better day than they had at the UW Indoor Invitational two weeks ago. Four Huskies claimed the NCAA leads in their events, while took U.S. national leads, and one upset a reigning Olympic champion. It was junior Alex Harcourt making the biggest headlines with his head-to-head upset of Olympic 4x400-meter gold medalist Darrold Williamson in the open 400. Harcourt's time of 46.43 seconds - just ahead of Williamson's 46.48 - was a nearly two-second improvement over his 2006 UW best and shot the Kentridge graduate to No. 1 on the NCAA and USATF rankings. Junior Norris Frederick also claimed top honors in both rankings with his school-record leap of 25-10 in the long jump. Frederick knocked none other than former outdoor American record-holder Phil Shinnick off the top of the Huskies' all-time indoor list while earning an automatic qualifying spot at next month's NCAA Indoor Championships. Guaranteed to join Frederick at nationals is freshman pole vaulter Scott Roth, who may have become the fastest Husky ever to an NCAA automatic qualifying mark when he topped 18-1 in just his second collegiate meet. The mark, which led all NCAA vaulters at the time and currently ranks second nationally, is just two inches shy of the national age-group record of 18-3 set by Oregon's Tommy Skipper in 2004. The Huskies' fourth headline-maker of the day was senior Ryan Brown, who began his NCAA 800-meter title defense in fine fashion with an NCAA-leading, indoor school-record time of 1:48.51. In all, 15 Huskies earned marks among UW's all-time top-10 in various events at the meet, while nine set or improved NCAA qualifying marks.
Next Stop, Fayetteville: The season is just two meets old, and already Washington boasts more than a dozen NCAA qualifiers, including two who have punched automatic tickets to the NCAA meet. Below is a full rundown of each of UW's NCAA Championships qualifiers:
Name, Event, Mark (Automatic/Provisional), National Ranking
Norris Frederick, Long Jump, 25-10 (A), 1st
Scott Roth, Pole Vault, 18-1 (A), 2nd
Alex Harcourt, 400m, 46.43 (P), 3rd
Ryan Brown, 800m, 1:48.51 (P), 3rd
Abbott/Still/Govier/Spady, DMR, 9:43.40 (P), 4th
Norris Frederick, HJ, 7-2 ¼ (P), 9th
Austin Abbott, 800m, 1:49.59 (P), 11th
Martin Bingisser, Weight Throw, 64-11 ¼ (P), 17th (tie)
Name, Event, Mark (Automatic/Provisional), National Ranking
Ashley Lodree, 60m Hurdles, 8.20 (P), 6th
Miller/Leonhardt/Schuster/Lia, DMR, 11:24.45 (P), 7th
Amanda Miller, Mile, 4:46.47 (P), 15th
Stevie Marshalek, Pole Vault, 12-11 ¾ (P), 15th (tie)
Kelley DiVesta, Pole Vault, 12-11 ¾ (P), 15th (tie)
Amazing Amy: Junior Amy Lia pulled off one of the most memorable come-from-behind wins in recent NCAA Championships history in the 1,500-meter final at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor meet, coming from 25 meters back over the final half-lap to capture her first NCAA title. It's hard to fault the casual observer for ruling out Lia when she was running last with 250 meters to go -- the sophomore from Bothell, Wash., had placed last in the 1,500-meter final a year before, just barely staved off elimination in the semi-final round, and was the lowest-seeded of any of the 12 finals competitors. But as the racers entered the final turn, Lia suddenly surged forward on the outside, catching and passing the leaders at the 100-meter mark and taking one quick look over her shoulder before sprinting to the finish. Lia's effort was remarkable not only for her win -- the first by a UW women's track athlete at the national meet since Regina Joyce's AIAW 3,000-meter crown in 1981 -- but for her winning time of 4:14.63, a nearly three-second PR and the fastest by any collegiate women's athlete during the 2006 collegiate season. Lest anyone think Lia's performance was a fluke, the junior-to-be backed it up with a ninth-place finish at the USATF Outdoor Championships, and a fifth-place effort as a member of Team USA at the NACAC Under-23 Championships. Already boasting an NCAA qualifying mark in the distance medley relay to her credit, Lia will pursue an individual qualifying effort at the MPSF Championships in two weeks' time.
Brown is Back: Just two years ago, Ryan Brown was out of track and field, having walked away from a promising career, stating a desire to focus on school over sports. In the 16 months since returning to the sport in January 2005, however, Brown won NCAA, Pac-10, West Regional and MPSF 800-meter titles, and captured a stunning six All-America accolades. Brown's turnaround began in the 2005 Pac-10 800-meter final, as the Renton native outkicked Pac-10 favorite Jon Rankin of UCLA down the homestretch to win in 1:47.31, then continued two weeks later when Brown outkicked Rankin again to win the 2005 NCAA West Regional. After filling in the intervening 12 months with All-America performances in the 800m (10th, 2005 Outdoors), 4x400m (3rd, 2006 Indoors) and DMR (5th, 2006 Indoors) Brown was back atop the podium at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships, again outkicking the field in the final 100 meters for his first NCAA title, and the first by a Husky men's runner since 1998. Brown's time of 1:46.29 in the NCAA final shattered the school record and was the fastest by a collegian in 2006, and was more than a full second faster than his previous lifetime best. The junior returned less than two hours later to lead the Huskies' 4x400-meter relay squad to eighth, in the process becoming one of just four Huskies ever to earn six-career All-America honors. Brown took the first toward a seventh such award with a 1:48.51 posting in his 2007 debut at the UW Indoor Invitational - third-fastest in the nation this year - and will run the mile at this weekend's Husky Classic.
Elite Company: In capturing two All-America honors at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, senior Ryan Brown became one of just 10 Huskies ever to earn multiple All-America honors at one meet, a feat he then duplicated outdoors. Sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker, UW's most prolific All-American with 10 career honors, holds the UW meet record with three All-America awards at the 1998 NCAA Indoor Championships, and is the only Husky besides Brown to accomplish the All-America double more than once. Brown's honors, furthermore, helped extend his career total to six, equaling Rick Noji for third on UW's all-time list behind only Hooker (10) and Scott Neilson (7). History is also in the making on the women's side, where senior Ashley Lodree's four All-America honors are tied for the second-most ever by a UW woman. Like Brown, Lodree has potentially two NCAA meets remaining to break the UW women's record (5), set by pole vaulter Kate Soma from 2002-05.
Jumping Out of His Shoes: Junior Norris Frederick, the nation's No. 1 collegiate long jumper in 2007, literally jumped out of his shoes at the 2004 World Junior Championships, tearing apart the footwear which guided him to five state prep titles. Undeterred, the Roosevelt High School senior strapped on borrowed shoes and placed 19th in both the high and long jumps. It takes more than an equipment malfunction to ground Frederick: already a Pac-10 champion, two-time All-American and three-time NCAA Championships participant, Frederick in June became the first Husky ever to compete in both the long and high jumps at the same NCAA Championships. Those appearances were Frederick's third in the long jump (6th, 2005 indoors; 12th, 2006 indoors; 22nd, 2006 outdoors) and second in the high jump (14th, 2005; 15th, 2006), and include a pair of All-America honors, both in the long jump indoors. And as if that wasn't enough, Frederick has both literally and figuratively raised the bar higher in 2007 - just two meets into his junior campaign, Frederick has already notched lifetime bests of 7-2 ¼ in the high jump and 25-10 in the long jump, the latter good for an automatic berth at nationals and No. 1 NCAA ranking. One of just seven Huskies ever to long jump 25 feet -- something he has done 14 times already -- and one of just 12 to high jump seven feet, Frederick is the first ever to do both, and has a realistic shot at two of UW's most hallowed school records -- Rick Noji's 7-6 ½ mark in the high jump from 1990, and Phil Shinnick's seemingly-untouchable world-record mark of 27-4 in the long jump from 1963.
Vault Legacy: From Brad Walker to Kate Soma to an NCAA-record five women's vaulters over 13 feet in 2005, there is little doubt that Washington reigns supreme in the world of collegiate -- and in Walker's case, international -- pole vaulting. In just the past four years, Washington pole vaulters current and past have stood atop the podium at the NCAA Championships, the USATF Championships and the IAAF World Championships, combining for two world-championship medals, three USATF titles, three NCAA titles, three Pac-10 titles and nine All-America honors. Reigning world indoor champion Walker, who has taken on an active role at UW this season as a volunteer assistant coach, holds the world's No. 1 ranking in the pole vault, while both he and Soma rank among the NCAA's all-time top-10 in their respective events.
Roth Sets Bar High: Fans used to watching the world's best pole vaulters wear the purple and gold roared loud and strong for freshman vaulter Scott Roth at the season's first two meets in January. Roth responded with a lifetime-best clearance of 17-6 ½ at the UW Indoor Preview, and a stunning 18-1 clearance at the UW Indoor Invitational, the latter good for No. 2 on the current NCAA performance list and an automatic berth at March's NCAA Championships. That Roth should succeed right from the start is little surprise, really. The Granite Bay, Calif., native has led all U.S. prep pole vaulters in each of the past two seasons, and boasted a prep-best clearance of 17-4 that was among the best in U.S. prep history. Already over 18-1 this season, Roth has a chance to break the age-group record of 18-3 set by Oregon's Tommy Skipper in 2004. Should Roth do so, he would add to UW's already-impressive pole vault legacy -- including NCAA champions Brad Walker and Kate Soma, and numerous All-Americans.
Best in NCAA History: Washington's pole vaulters haven't just been good the past 10 years ¬-- they've been record-good. During the 2005 season, Washington's women's vaulters broke three NCAA records, including most women's vaulters at a single NCAA Championships (4), most women's vaulters to compete at NCAAs in one year, indoors and out (5), and most women's vaulters over 13 feet in one season (5). In fact, whereas prior to 2005, no team had ever sent more than three women's vaulters to the NCAA meet, Washington sent four each to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, with three earning All-America honors and senior Kate Soma bringing home the 2005 NCAA outdoor title. Washington should remain a vaulting force in 2007, as two of the five return, including two-time NCAA qualifier Stevie Marshalek and three-time NCAA qualifier Kelley DiVesta. Those two will attempt to ahve their photos placed alongside former teammates Soma, Carly Dockendorf and Ashley Wildhaber on the Huskies' All-American wall, while also seeking to join the talented trio on the list of the Pac-10's all-time greatest women's vaulters:
All-Time Pac-10 Pole Vault Top-10
Name, School, Year, Mark
1. Chelsea Johnson, UCLA, 2006, 15-1
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. Carly Dockendorf, Washington, 2005, 13-9 1/4
9. Ashley Wildhaber, Washington, 2005, 13-9 1/4i
9. Andrea Dutoit, Arizona, 2001, 13-9 1/4
The `Lo' Down: Senior Ashley Lodree entered rare air at the 2006 NCAA West Regional -- and that's not just a reference to the thin air of BYU's Clarence Robison Track. The Richmond, Calif., native became the first Husky ever to break 13 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles with a wind-aided time of 12.99 seconds (after altitude adjustment) in the regional prelim, then backed it up with a wind-legal 13.04-second, altitude-adjusted time in the final. The latter mark crushed Lodree's own school record of 13.17 set twice in 2005, while the former mark was the 10th-fastest, wind-aided or otherwise, in Pac-10 Conference history. Already a four-time All-American, including two indoors in the 60m hurdles (10th, 2005; 9th, 2006) and two outdoors in the 100m hurdles (5th, 2005; 7th, 2006), Lodree enters 2007 with a chance to surpass Kate Soma's UW record of five All-America honors, while also seeking UW's first-ever NCAA hurdles title. Lodree boasts top-10 all-time marks in all 11 of the events she has attempted in her UW career, including four school records -- no other woman in UW history has ever ranked on as many of UW's all-time lists, while just one, distance runner Regina Joyce, has held as many UW records. As a testament to her talent, Lodree was ranked No. 1 in the hurdles in the initial release of Trackwire's Dandy Dozen national event rankings.
Relay Rewards: There's never been a better time to run on a UW relay than right now. Washington's win in the 4x400 meters at the 2006 NCAA West Regional was the first in the postseason by a UW relay since 1975, and clinched the team's third-straight NCAA Championships bid -- a feat never before accomplished at UW. Three Husky foursomes earned All-America honors in 2006 -- the first time in UW history that has happened -- including a third-place finish for Washington's 4x400-meter relay indoors that was the best-ever for a UW relay indoors, and the best by a UW 4x400-meter squad, indoors or out, since winning the 1975 NCAA outdoor title. Prior to the arrival of assistant coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr., who took over UW's sprint/relay program in 2005, Washington had failed to qualify a relay for the NCAA Championships since 1998 -- in the two years since Vaughn's hire, a stunning six of the Huskies' eight relays have qualified for the NCAA Championships, while four have earned All-America honors -- a feat accomplished by just three UW relays in the previous 30 years. Washington had multiple relays at both the 2005 NCAA Outdoor and 2006 NCAA Indoor meets -- something that had not occurred even once previously in 85 years of NCAA competition -- and has put three of its four relays atop the UW record books, with the fourth (the 4x100-meter relay) clocking UW's second-fastest time ever, and the fastest by a UW sprint relay in 22 years.
Four-Minute Man: Washington junior Austin Abbott enters this week's Husky Classic hoping to repeat the history he made at last year's meet. It was almost exactly a year ago that Abbott became just the third Husky runner ever to break four minutes in the mile, his time of 3:59.47 UW's third-fastest ever, and one of just 10 four-minute miles by collegiate athletes in the nation in 2006. A graduate of W.F. West High School in Chehalis, Wash., Abbott enjoyed a banner freshman season in 2005, capturing All-America honors in the distance medley relay, and earning a third-place finish in the Pac-10 1,500-meter final. Abbott also set UW freshman records in the 800 meters indoors, and the 1,500 meters outdoors, including a half-mile best of 1:49.64 that was a UW school record for two weeks, before teammate Shane Charles bettered it with a 1:49.59 posting. While his four-minute mile and subsequent second-place finish at the MPSF Championships earned him fame this winter, Abbott unselfishly chose to forgo the mile in favor of the DMR at March's NCAA Indoor Championships, ultimately anchoring the team to a second-straight fifth-place finish. Proving that the karmic gods exist, however, Abbott earned a second chance to compete as an individual at the NCAA meet during the outdoor season, placing 10th in his 1,500-meter prelim. He is provisionally-qualified already in the 800 meters this year, and will make his 2007 mile debut this season.
Brains And Brawn: In just three years, senior Martin Bingisser has already captured an indoor conference title, earned an All-America honor and posted UW's best marks in a decade in the hammer and weight throws -- but it's his accomplishments outside the cage that truly set him apart. A three-time third-place hammer finisher at the Pac-10 Championships and the 2006 MPSF Conference champion in the weight throw, Bingisser earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy in June 2005 after just three years of college, and is currently in his second year in the UW School of Law. The Interlake High School graduate, who will use his final year of eligibility in 2007 while pursuing his J.D., has been on a tear since transferring from Cal State Northridge in the fall of 2004, culminating with a 64-foot, 8 3/4-inch toss to win the hammer at the 2006 MPSF Indoor meet -- just the second weight throw competition of his collegiate career. Bingisser's weight success, which includes a career-best and NCAA provisional-qualifying throw of 64-11 ¼ this season, UW's best in 22 years -- echoes his success in the hammer throw, where the Bellevue native placed 12th at the 2006 NCAA Championships, and ranks fourth in UW history with a best of 212-9. In addition to his academic and athletic prowess, Bingisser is among the country's leading hammer scholars -- his website, HammerCenter.com, provides the nation's most comprehensive coverage of the hammer at the prep and college level, plus videos and other instruction tools.
You Might Recall: The practice of mining talent from other UW programs has unearthed countless gems for the Husky track program in the past. In fact, a glance at UW's career top-10s reveals several such performers, including 110m hurdles record-holder Spider Gaines, a tailback for the UW football team in the 1970s, and sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker, the UW record-holder at 100m, 200m, and 400m and a Husky wide receiver from 1997-98. Others on the list include football players Ernie Conwell (No. 5, shot put), Will Conwell (No. 5, discus), Dana Hall (No. 3, 110m HH), Sterling Hinds (No. 3, 100m/200m), Pete Kaligis (No. 6, shot put), Orlando McKay (No. 2, 400m), Tony Parrish (No. 5, triple jump) and Isaiah Stanback (No. 8, 100m), basketball players Tara Davis (No. 1, triple jump; No. 2, long jump), Brent Merritt (No. 6, 400m), and Heather Reichmann (No. 2, javelin), All-American volleyball star Makare Desilets (No. 5, high jump), and track/gymnastics All-American Carly Dockendorf (No. 2, pole vault). UW's two-sport stars have excelled on the world stage, too -- Herman Brix and Paul Jessup, stars of UW's football teams in the 1920s, each competed at the Olympics, and set world records in the shot put, and discus. Washington's current roster includes three athletes currently on scholarship in other sports, including football players Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Cameron Elisara and volleyball star Janine Sandell. All three will participate in throwing events for the Huskies this season, while Te'o-Nesheim was a Pac-10 Championships participant a year ago.
Long-Range Talents: Those who only follow UW track and field outdoors may not have heard of sophomores Jeremy Mineau or Anita Campbell entering the spring of 2006, but they certainly have now. Making his outdoor debut in March before a hometown crowd at Stanford, Menlo Park, Calif., native Mineau obliterated UW's freshman record in the 10,000 meters and climbed to second on UW's all-time list. Mineau's time of 28:49.69 -- second in 2006 by a collegiate freshman -- was just the third sub-29 minute 10K in UW history, and was just 15 seconds shy of David Bazzi's school record. Mineau had already made a name for himself during the indoor and cross country seasons, where he has been one of UW's top competitors since the start of 2004-05. Campbell, likewise, entered last spring as a household name to fans of UW's cross country and indoor track and field squads -- the Vancouver, B.C., native has earned top-100 finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in each of her first two years, and set a UW freshman record indoors with a 16:33.27 posting in a second-place effort at the 2006 MPSF Championships -- but was an unknown quantity to UW's outdoor fans before the NCAA Regional meet, where her surprising third-place finish placed the freshman in the NCAA Championships field. Campbell's subsequent 21st-place finish -- in a UW freshman-record 16:29.91, no less -- sent notice that she, and Mineau, will be strong contenders for Washington through at least the 2009 campaign.
Former Huskies Return: Two new faces on the Husky squad will be familiar to all who follow Washington track and field -- former Huskies Will Conwell and Brad Walker return to Montlake in 2007 as volunteer assistant coaches, Conwell working with UW's discus throwers, and Walker with the Husky pole vaulters. Both bring impressive pedigrees to the UW staff: 2006 graduate Conwell was a four-time top-five finisher and ranks among the Huskies' all-time best in the discus and weight throw. Walker, meanwhile, has won three USATF titles and two world championship medals, and elevated himself to No. 1 in the IAAF World Rankings in the pole vault since graduating in 2004 as a two-time NCAA champion and Pac-10 record holder. Remarkably, not even Walker, however, can match the accolades of fellow UW volunteer assistant Aretha (Hill) Thurmond. A four-time All-American during her time at Washington from 1995-98, the former Aretha Hill boasts three U.S. discus titles, is a two-time U.S. Olympian, and ranks third in U.S. history -- and second in NCAA history -- in the event.
Ridiculous Records: Washington's athletes certainly kept the team's indoor record-keepers busy in 2006, combining for 51 marks among the Huskies' all-time top-10 indoors, including five school records -- two by hurdler Ashley Lodree. That trend looks likely to continue in 2007, as two school records have already fallen, while more than 20 marks have been added to UW's all-time top-10 lists. Washington's highly-acclaimed indoor facility, Dempsey Indoor, has certainly had an effect on the Huskies' indoor list, with 29 school records and an eye-popping 272 marks among UW's all-time top-10 having been achieved since the start of the 2002 season, UW's first in the facility.
Head Coach Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his fifth year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross country, and his 10th year overall on the UW staff. Metcalf had a banner 2006 campaign, coaching middle distance runners Ryan Brown and Amy Lia to NCAA titles, and earning MPSF Men's Coach of the Year honors after guiding the UW men to three individual conference crowns and the Huskies' first-ever indoor team title. In his first four seasons at the helm, Metcalf has led the UW women to four top-25 finishes at the NCAA Championships, and guided the Husky men to 19th- and 22nd-place NCAA finishes in 2006. Individually, 15 UW distance runners have earned NCAA berths, with two earning NCAA titles and eight grabbing All-America accolades, a list which does not include the team's All-America distance medley relays in 2005 and 2006. In addition, Metcalf has led the Huskies' women's cross country team to the NCAA meet eight of his first 10 years at the helm, and guided the UW men to a 12th-place NCAA cross country finish in 2006. In nine years atop Washington's distance program, Metcalf has coached two NCAA champions, six Pac-10 champions, 19 All-Americans, 13 school-record setters and 74 NCAA Championships competitors. 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 2007 is in no way short on accolades. Tenth-year vaults/jumps coach Pat Licari has coached 12 All-Americans, including NCAA champions Brad Walker and Kate Soma. Third-year sprints/hurdles coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr., meanwhile, has had a banner first two years, mentoring Ashley Lodree to four All-America honors and guiding five of UW's six relays to NCAA berths, including four All-American relays. Second-year throws coach Reedus Thurmond mentored two conference champions and three NCAA qualifiers in his first year, including a pair of All-America performers, while fifth-year distance coach Kelly Strong was a five-time All-American and three-time Pac-10 champion at ASU, and guided Amy Lia to an NCAA title in 2006. The newcomer to the group is first-year men's distance coach Jimmy Bean, an All-Midwest Region performer at Division-III Greenville (Ill.) University and a highly-touted coach and recruiter. Ironically, the most accomplished members of the Husky coaching staff are two of the team's volunteer assistants -- former Huskies Aretha (Hill) Thurmond and Brad Walker. The two are each among the premier athletes in the world, combining for six U.S. titles and two Olympic appearances, and each ranking among America's all-time top-four in their respective events.
2007 Season Preview: Washington will look to continue its record-setting two-year run of NCAA Championships appearances and All-America honors in 2007, with eight All-Americans, two NCAA champions and two Pac-10 champions providing the backbone of a resurgent UW program. Washington's men look to return to the podium at the Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional meets with a number of strong returnees, including six-time All-American and reigning NCAA 800m champion Ryan Brown, two-time All-American and defending Pac-10 long jump champion Norris Frederick, and All-American hammer thrower Martin Bingisser, as well as three of four returnees from the Huskies' distance medley relay squad which has placed fifth at each of the past two NCAA championship meets. The Husky men are also bolstered by a number of rising young stars, including newcomer Mart Israel of Estonia, whose lifetime discus best would have scored at last year's NCAA Championships, and freshman pole vaulter Scott Roth, a 17-foot prep jumper with the ability to compete immediately on the national level. Washington's women, meanwhile, remain strong at the top with the return of defending NCAA 1500m champion Amy Lia, four-time All-American and reigning MPSF 60m hurdles champion Ashley Lodree, and sophomore distance sensation Anita Campbell, along with freshman and prep All-American thrower Whitney Hooks, and emerging young stars Dani Schuster (mid-distances) and Kelley DiVesta (pole vault).
2006 In Review: The 2006 season proved to be another record-breaker for Washington track and field, with Husky athletes accounting for two NCAA titles, three Pac-10 titles, three MPSF indoor titles, and an unprecedented MPSF indoor team championship. A total of 25 Huskies earned NCAA Championships bids last season (second in UW history only to the 28 of a year before), with a record 19 earning All-America honors. Distance runner Ryan Brown became just the second Husky to win four All-America honors in one season, winning the NCAA outdoor title at 800m, and leading UW's 4x400m (3rd indoors, 8th outdoors) and DMR squads (5th indoors) to top-eight national finishes. Sophomore Amy Lia also won an NCAA title, at 1500m, and was ninth at the USATF Outdoor Championships. Junior Ashley Lodree cracked the Pac-10's all-time top-10 in the 100m hurdles with a 12.99-second mark en route to her third- and fourth-career All-America honors, and was one of six Huskies to earn conference titles. Lodree, sophomore longer jumper Norris Frederick and junior weight thrower Martin Bingisser all captured conference crowns indoors, the latter helping the UW men to their first conference title of any kind since 1929. Frederick (long jump), senior Juan Romero (javelin) and senior Shane Charles (400m hurdles) continued the conference championship bonanza at the 2006 Pac-10 meet, becoming the first UW trio to earn conference titles in individual events since 1977.