Huskies Defend Conference Title at Dempsey
Feb. 20, 2007
On the Track: For the first time in nearly 70 years, Washington's fifth-ranked men's track team will defend a conference title this weekend when the Pac-10's best squads, as well as selected members of the Big West, come to Dempsey Indoor for the 2007 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships. Action begins Friday with the multi-events and finals in selected track and field events, and concludes in a thrilling final day of action Saturday. As always, admission is free to all spectators, with ample seating provided at each event area. For complete meet information, including schedules, entries, meet history and results, visit www.GoHuskies.com.
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.
Star-Studded Field: The MPSF meet will boast one of the most outstanding fields of any conference meet in America, with four of the nation's top-12 men's teams and four of the top-16 women's teams in action, as well as 12 different athletes currently favored by Trackwire magazine to finish first or second in their event at next month's NCAA Indoor Championships. With a doubt, one of the mostly hotly-contested battles will be for the men's team title, where No. 5 Washington looks to defend its crown against No. 9 Oregon, No. 9 Stanford (tied with Oregon), and No. 12 UCLA, as well as full squads from Arizona (4th at NCAAs in 2006), Arizona State, Cal, Washington State and Long Beach State. Women's action will be intense, too, as 10th-ranked Stanford could see its run of four-straight MPSF titles halted by No. 1 Arizona State, No. 5 UCLA or No. 16 Washington State, with Washington, Arizona, Cal, Oregon, Long Beach State and UC Irvine in the mix as well. Those team battles will be decided at the individual level by some of America's top young stars, including NCAA heptathlon champion Jacquelyn Johnson of ASU, American collegiate record holder (5,000m) Amy Hastings of ASU, as well as reigning NCAA champions Ryan Brown (800m) and Amy Lia (1500m) of Washington and current NCAA leaders in the men's distance medley relay (Stanford), men's shot put (Ryan Whiting, ASU), women's pole vault (April Kubishta, ASU), women's shot put (Sarah Stevens, ASU), and women's pentathlon (Diana Pickler, WSU). Oregon's Galen Rupp (3,000m), Washington's Norris Frederick (long jump, high jump) and Scott Roth (pole vault) are also among the national-championship contenders expected to compete, as are Ingrid Kantola of UCLA (pole vault) and Stanford's women's DMR.
What is the MPSF?: Established in 1992 to serve the competitive needs of members of selected universities in the western U.S., the MPSF provides championship competition for Division I intercollegiate Olympic sports in a conference setting. During the 2006-2007 season, the MPSF will oversee nine Olympic sports comprising approximately 1,500 student-athletes and 80 head coaches from 33 universities in 12 states. All MPSF teams compete at the NCAA Division-I level in men's soccer, men's and women's water polo, men's and women's indoor track and field, men's and women's gymnastics, women's lacrosse and men's volleyball, with all MPSF champions eligible to compete in NCAA Championships. For all-time UW winners and MPSF team champions, see page 7 of this release.
Meet Results: Results will be displayed after each event on the scoreboard above the finish line, and are posted 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. 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.
2006 MPSF Redux: Washington's men's team won its first conference title of any kind in nearly 80 years at the 2006 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships at Dempsey Indoor, knocking off seven of the other eight Pac-10 teams and a handful of Big West opponents. The three individual titles won by sophomore Norris Frederick (long jump) and juniors Martin Bingisser (weight throw) and Ryan Brown (800 meters) equaled the third-most conference titles in UW history -- indoors or out -- while the team's win was its first in conference championship competition since winning the Pacific Coast Conference crown in 1928. The Huskies saw a 30-point day-two lead dwindle to just seven by meet's end, after scratches in the pole vault and triple jump and a dropped stick in the 4x400-meter relay. Still, Washington's 107 points were enough to hold off Stanford (100) and four-time defending champion UCLA (88) for UW's first-ever indoor conference crown. Sophomore Ashley Lodree's victory in the hurdles helped the UW women to fifth at 60.5, while Stanford won its fourth-straight MPSF women's crown with a 161-point total. In all, athletes competing at the two-day meet combined for 122 NCAA qualifying marks, while setting seven meet records and three facility bests.
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 one American collegiate record, 46 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.
Did You Know?
Washington enters this weekend's meet with athletes ranked No. 1 in the conference in eight different events, including the women's 60m dash (senior Ashley Lodree), women's 200m (Lodree), women's 60m hurdles (Lodree), women's distance medley relay, men's 800m (senior Ryan Brown), men's high jump (junior Norris Frederick), men's long jump (Frederick) and men's pole vault (freshman Scott Roth).
Washington's 34 All-Americans since the start of the 2005 season are more than its total from the previous six years, combined.
Rankings Report: Washington's men's track and field team returned to the top-five in Trackwire's national collegiate ranking Tuesday, after falling to sixth during last week's break in the action. The Huskies received 30 points in the Trackwire ranking, which derives projected team scores for the NCAA Championships by predicting the order of finish in each individual event. That total matched Louisville for No. 5 overall, trailing only the 48 of defending NCAA outdoor champion Florida State, Wisconsin's 45, Texas' 34 and Baylor's 32. The Huskies have been in the top-five for three of the past four weeks, and peaked at No. 4 in the Jan. 30 rankings. Washington's women, meanwhile, received five points from Trackwire to fall below top-25 mention, as MPSF and Pac-10 rival Arizona State claimed top honors with 44 points, one ahead of Michigan's 43. Washington's No. 5 Trackwire ranking mirrored its position in the coaches' poll, which also selected Florida State (men) and Arizona State (women) as its No. 1 squads entering the weekend.
Just Dandy, Thank You: It naturally follows that if Washington's track teams are projected to score a combined 35 points at the NCAA Championships, Trackwire magazine must rank several Huskies in scoring positions in their Dandy Dozen, from which the team rankings are generated. This week's Dandy Dozen, in fact, includes nine Husky individuals and two UW relays, including five projected for top-five national-meet finishes. Defending NCAA 800-meter champion Ryan Brown is Trackwire's national favorite in the event, while jumper Norris Frederick is ranked in the top-10 in both the long jump (2nd) and high jump (ninth). Freshman pole vaulter Scott Roth merits a No. 3 national ranking, while senior Ashley Lodree is the nation's fourth-ranked competitor in the 60-meter hurdles. Other Huskies projected to finish in the top-12 at nationals include senior McKane Lee (11th, pole vault), juniors Amanda Miller (12th, Mile), Kelley DiVesta (12th, pole vault), and Austin Abbott (12th, Mile), as well as both the men's (12th) and women's (11th) distance medley relays.
Monster PR of the Week: Many Huskies were at their best at the Feb. 10 Husky Classic, with UW athletes combining for numerous school records and NCAA qualifying marks. So it might have been easy to overlook the terrific performance in the 200 meters by sophomore sprinter Syreeta Martin. A graduate of Tacoma's Wilson High School and a member of UW's Pac-10 Championships contingent in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m last year, Martin clocked a lifetime-best 25.28 for 200m at the Classic, the Huskies' eighth-fastest ever indoors. Martin ran 12th at Pac-10s in the quarter hurdles a year ago, and led the Huskies' 4x4 to sixth.
Next Stop, Fayetteville: Washington currently boasts 11 athletes and two relays on the NCAA Championships qualifying list, including two automatic qualifiers and 14 provisional qualifiers. Junior long jumper Norris Frederick and freshman pole vaulter Scott Roth are both guaranteed trips to Arkansas for the national meet, each having bettered the NCAA's automatic-qualifying standard in their events. Senior Ryan Brown (3rd, 800m), and juniors Austin Abbott (8th, mile) and Ashley Lodree (t5th, 60m HH) can also likely begin packing their bags, with each boasting provisional-qualifying marks high enough in the national rankings to all but assure NCAA Championships selection. The rest of Washington's NCAA qualifiers, however, will likely have to better their marks before national-meet selection on Mar. 5, with only the top 16-18 individuals and 10-12 relays as of that date earning NCAA bids. For a complete rundown of UW's NCAA qualifiers, see page 3 of this release.
Ridiculous Records: Washington's athletes have certainly kept the team's indoor record-keepers busy in 2007, combining for 29 marks among the Huskies' all-time top-10 indoors, including five school records -- two by hurdler Ashley Lodree. Washington's highly-acclaimed indoor facility, Dempsey Indoor, has certainly had an effect on the Huskies' indoor list, with 31 school records and an eye-popping 281 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 additions to UW's indoor top-10s, see page five of this release.
Walker Defends U.S. Gold: While most Husky fans will have their eyes fixed firmly on this weekend's MPSF Championship meet, it is in fact not the only championship up for grabs for Husky athletes this weekend. Washington's pole vaulters will be without the services of volunteer assistant coach Brad Walker, who will be seeking a third-straight USATF infoor national title in Boston on Saturday. Since graduating from Washington in 2004 with two Pac-10 titles, two NCAA indoor titles and the Pac-10 pole vault record, Walker has climbed to the top of the world vault rankings, capturing three U.S. pole vault crowns and a world indoor title, as well as a silver medal at the 2005 IAAF World Outdoor Championships. One of just 12 vaulters worldwide ever to top the six-meter mark (19-8 1/4), Walker ranks eighth all-time in the world vault rankings, and is No. 3 all-time among U.S. vaulters. For more information on the 2007 USATF Indoor Championships, visit www.usatf.org.
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, who has been ranked No. 1 nationally at 800 meters by Trackwire magazine for most of this season, took the first step toward a seventh All-America honor with a 1:48.51 posting in his 2007 half-mile debut at the UW Indoor Invitational in January. That mark currently stands fourth in the nation and has Brown favored to defend his 2006 MPSF 800-meter title, while also making him one to watch in the 4x400-meter and distance medley relays as well.
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.
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. Lodree, who has already this season broken her own school records in the 60- and 200-meter dashes, enters this weekend's MPSF Championships as the conference favorite in the 60-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles, and boasts NCAA provisional qualifying marks in both 60-meter events.
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 in the 3,000 meters this weekend, while also helping the DMR lower its qualifying effort.
Jumping Out of His Shoes: Junior Norris Frederick, the nation's No. 2 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 three 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. 2 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. Frederick enters this weekend's MPSF Championships with the conference's top marks in both the high and long jumps, and is the defending MPSF champion in the latter.
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 a tie for second 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. 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, and also has the chance to become the first freshman to win an NCAA pole vault title since Skipper captured the NCAA outdoor crown that same year. 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 have 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 top-10 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. April Kubishta, Arizona State, 2007, 14-1 1/4
7. Nikki McEwen, Oregon, 2003, 14-1 1/4
7. Connie Jerz, Arizona, 2003, 14-1 1/4
10. Carly Dockendorf, Washington, 2005, 13-9 1/4
10. Ashley Wildhaber, Washington, 2005, 13-9 1/4i
10. Andrea Dutoit, Arizona, 2001, 13-9 1/4
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 made history at last yaer's Husky Classic, becoming just the third Husky runner ever to break four minutes in the mile. His time of 3:59.47 was 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. While his four-minute mile and subsequent second-place finish at the MPSF Championships earned him fame last 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 this year in both the 800 meters and mile, and ran the lead leg on UW's provisionally-qualified DMR.
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.
Two-Sport Studs: 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. A Pac-10 Championships participant a year ago and a key member of the Huskies' defensive line last fall, Te'o-Nesheim is off to a terrific start this season with a best of 56-5 1/4 in the shot put that is UW's best in nearly a decade, and is just two feet shy of the NCAA qualifying standard. Two-time state champion Elisara, meanwhile -- the 10th-ranked prep shot putter in the nation last year -- is also throwing the shot for UW, while Sandell is redshirting the year to redevelop the throwing skills that led her to lofty national rankings as an Arizona prep. In addition to those competing officially for UW, a number of other Husky football players have been regulars in the Dempsey fields this season -- tight end Johnie Kirton has competed unattached in throwing events at each of UW's first three meets, while defensive backs Desmond Davis and Matt Mosley, linebackers Dan Howell and Chris Stevens, and wide receivers Quintin Daniels, Cody Ellis and D'Andre Goodwin have all competed unattached in the sprints.
You Might Recall: The practice of mining talent from other UW programs has unearthed countless gems for the Husky track program. 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.
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 the 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.
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.