Brown, Frederick Lead No. 11 UW to NCAA Meet
June 4, 2007
On the Track: Washington's highly-ranked track and field teams will send 12 athletes to Sacramento for this year's NCAA Track and Field Championships, June 6-9 at Sacramento State's Hornet Stadium, including -- for the second-straight year -- at least one athlete in every event area, including the sprints, hurdles, mid-distances, distances, relays, horizontal jumps, vertical jumps and throws. Qualifying rounds begin Wednesday with most event finals scheduled for Friday and Saturday. A schedule of UW's competition times can be found below, with links to the complete event schedule and comprehensive live coverage available at GoHuskies.com.
Live Coverage!: GoHuskies.com will provide live coverage throughout the NCAA Championships, including as-they-happen event recaps, links to live results and daily photo galleries. In addition, both CSTV and CBS will provide live television coverage over the course of the meet, with CSTV beginning a three-hour live broadcast Friday at 5:30.p.m., and CBS showing the conclusion of the meet live from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Pacific time on Saturday.
Event Schedule: Following is a schedule of those events featuring UW athletes at this week's NCAA Track and Field Championships. For a complete event schedule, visit www.GoHuskies.com:
Wednesday, June 6
1:45 p.m. -- Hammer, Qual. (M)
3:00 p.m. -- Pole Vault, Qual. (W)
3:40 p.m. -- 800m Run, Prelim (M)
4:00 p.m. -- Long Jump, Qual. (M)
5:40 p.m. -- 100m Hurdles, Prelim (W)
5:45 p.m. -- Long Jump, Qual. (W)
6:00 p.m. -- 400m Dash, Prelim (M)
6:30 p.m. -- Pole Vault, Qual. (M)
7:15 p.m. -- High Jump, Qual. (M)
7:25 p.m. -- 100m Hurdles, Semi (W)
8:00 p.m. -- 3,000m Steeplechase, Semi (M)
9:30 p.m. -- 5,000m Run, Semi (W)
Thursday, June 7
4:00 p.m. -- Long Jump, Final (W)
4:10 p.m. -- 400m Hurdles, Prelim (M)
4:50 p.m. -- 800m Run, Semi (M)
6:25 p.m. -- 1,500m Run, Semi (W)
6:30 p.m. -- Long Jump, Final (M)
6:45 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay, Semi (M)
Friday, June 8
1:15 p.m. -- Hammer, Final (M)
3:00 p.m. -- High Jump, Final (M)
5:45 p.m.* -- 100m Hurdles, Final (W)
5:55 p.m.* -- 400m Dash, Semi (M)
6:15 p.m.* -- Pole Vault, Final (W)
6:15 p.m.* -- Pole Vault, Final (M)
6:40 p.m.* -- 400m Hurdles, Semi (M)
7:10 p.m.* -- 3,000m Steeplechase, Final (M)
8:10 p.m.* -- 5,000m Run, Final (W)
Saturday, June 9
10:05 a.m.* -- 400m Hurdles, Final (M)
10:19 a.m.* -- 800m Run, Final (M)
10:37 a.m.* -- 400m Dash, Final (M)
11:22 a.m.* -- 1,500m Run, Final (W)
11:36 a.m.* -- 4x400m Relay, Final (M)
* -- Live TV (see above for complete TV information)
What to Watch For: : Certainly, much of the focus for Husky fans will be on senior Ryan Brown's bid for an unprecedented third NCAA title on the track at 800 meters. In addition, both Washington's career men's and women's All-America records could be in jeoardy, with eight-time All-American Brown -- who will compete in both the 800 meters and 4x400-meter relay -- needing just two more to tie sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker's UW career record of 10, and senior Ashley Lodree needing just one All-America honor out of her two events this week to break a first-place tie with former Husky Kate Soma, both of whom currently boast five-career All-America honors. Also, junior Norris Frederick -- who is qualified in both the high- and long jumps for the third-straight NCAA Championship meet --- will carry the nation's leading mark into Wednesday's long jump qualifying, while freshman pole vaulter Scott Roth (5th, tied) and sophomore 5,000-meter ace Anita Campbell (6th) will bring top-10 national rankings into their events as well.
Did You Know?
Washington has boasted at least one NCAA champion in each of the past five seasons, and has captured 45 All-America honors since the start of the 2004-05 campaign.
How They Got Here: Automatic NCAA Championships berths were granted to the top-five finishers in each individual event, and top-three relays, from each of the four Regionals contested nationwide May 25-26. Athletes qualified for Regionals by meeting pre-determined standards, or by winning their conference title. The NCAA then supplemented the Championships field with the highest-ranking remaining competitors (6-8 per individual event and 5-6 per relay) from the national performance lists, provided the athlete placed among the top-12 in their event at a Regional and was not among the finishers to earn automatic berths. The lone exceptions are the 10,000 meters and multi-events, in which athletes qualify directly for the NCAA Championships by meeting provisional and automatic standards. For the first time since the Regional system was first implemented in 2003, Washington qualified all 14 of its NCAA Championships entranrs via the automatic process, receiving no at-large bids.
All-America Process: All-America awards are given to the top-eight finishers in each event (including all four individuals of a top-eight relay), regardless of nationality, as well as one additional American for every foreign-born athlete in the top-eight.
NCAA Championships By the Numbers: Senior Ryan Brown's win in the 800 meters indoors in March was the 32nd all-time by a Washington track and field athlete at the NCAA Championships. Twenty-six UW athletes have combined for those 32 NCAA titles overall -- a total which ranks 20th among NCAA institutions all-time -- including at least one in each of the last five seasons. Additionally, the Huskies have placed 299 athletes on the All-America podium, including a stunning 45 since the start of the 2004-05 season alone. At least one Husky has earned All-America honors in each of the last 15 years, and 45 of the last 47 years, including record-breaking totals of 10 each at the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, and 11 at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships. In addition to the single-meet records set over the past two-plus years, Washington also set single-season records in both 2005 and 2006, with Husky athletes combining for 15 All-America honors in 2005 and 19 in 2006. A regular top-five finisher in the 1920s, Washington's men have placed among the top-15 at the NCAA meet 10 times since 1970, including a seventh-place finish at the NCAA Indoor meet in March. The Husky women, meanwhile, boast five top-25 finishes, including a high of 10th in 1988, and a tie for 15th at last year's outdoor championships.
Experience Matters: By almost any measure, this year's NCAA Championship contingent is the most experienced of any UW group that has traveled to an NCAA meet. Ten of Washington's 12 NCAA Championships competitors boast prior national-meet experience, including six-time NCAA competitors Ryan Brown and Norris Frederick, and seven-time NCAA meet competitor Ashley Lodree. In addition, Washington's 12 competitors have combined for 24 All-America honors and two NCAA titles, including eight with at least one-career All-America award to their credit. Brown (8) and Lodree (5) carry the most All-America honors of any UW competitors into this week's meet, with Frederick (4) also boasting three or more.
Lodree Gets Busy Wednesday: Senior Ashley Lodree is making the most of her final trip to the NCAA Championships. The five-time All-American -- who is the first Husky ever to qualify for nationals in both the hurdles and long jump -- could compete in as many as three events in the span of two hours on Wednesday, including preliminary and semifinal heats of the 100-meter hurdles, and qualifying rounds of the long jump. Lodree will run in the last of four qualifying heats of the hurdles, which begin at 5:40 p.m., then sprint over to the long jump pit to compete in the first of two qualifying flights of that event, which begin at 5:45 p.m. The long jump competition could take as long as an hour to complete, leaving Lodree just 40 minutes to prepare for a potential hurdles semifinal at 7:25 p.m. Should she advance beyond Wednesday's competition, future days will prove easier -- the long jump finals are scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, while the hurdles final will be run live on CSTV at 5:45 p.m. Friday. For more on Lodree, see page 5 of this release.
Brown On A Roll: With a win at May's NCAA West Regional, senior Ryan Brown marked a full calendar year since his last defeat in a collegiate 800-meter final, an nine-race winning streak which includes victories at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships, 2007 MPSF Indoor Championships, 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships, 2007 Pac-10 Championships and 2007 NCAA West Regional Championships. In fact, Brown has not been defeated in a collegiate 800-meter final since last year's NCAA West Regional, when USC's Duane Soloman and Raphael Asafo-Agyei outran the Husky senior to the finish line by just six tenths of a second. The only blemishes on Brown's record during the streak came in national-team competition at the 2006 USATF Outdoor Championships, and the 2006 NACAC Championships. For more on Brown, see page 4 of this release.
2006 Regional Redux: Ashley Lodree won the 100-meter hurdles, Ryan Brown won the 800 meters and Norris Frederick won the long jump at last month's NCAA West Regional Championships in Eugene, Ore., leading 12 Huskies to NCAA Championships berths. Those wins -- equaling UW's total number of NCAA Regional titles in the first four years of Regional competition, combined -- helped UW equal its record total of 14 automatic-qualfiying performances, including individual-event doubles for both Frederick and Lodree. Frederick took the NCAA lead with a lifetime-best wind-aided leap of 26-0 3/4 in his long jump win, and was second in the high jump at 7-1, while Lodree won her first postseason hurdles crown in a wind-aided 13.06 seconds, and placed third in the long jump at 20-7 1/2 for her first-ever NCAA bid in that event. In all, six UW men earned finishes of third or better, leading Washington to an all-time best third-place regional finish, close behind only No. 4 USC, and No. 5 Oregon, and ahead of No. 8 UCLA and No. 10 ASU. The UW women were 10th.
Monster PR of the Week: It earned plenty of coverage in last week's recap, but it's hard to find a more deserving candidate for this award than the time of 8:48.93 clocked in the steeplechase by junior Carl Moe at last month's NCAA West Regional. What's notable about the time isn't that it was an eight-second PR for Moe (which it was), a 26-second improvement over his best entering the 2007 season (which it was), or the 10th-best mark in UW history (which it was). It's that Moe accomplished all of this despite falling off the final hurdle and somersaulting through the water pit. The junior from Auburn, Wash., quickly got to his feet and sprinted to a fourth-place Regional finish, in the process becoming the first UW steepler to go to nationals since 2002.
Rankings Report: Washington's men rode a third-place regional finish back into the top half of the Trackwire 25, scoring 20 points to tie Mississippi and BYU for the No. 11 ranking entering this week's national meet. The magazine, which predicts NCAA Championship scoring, awarded UW its highest ranking since early April, when Washington reached a peak of No. 10. The UW women also jumped back into the 'receiving votes' category with four points after failing last week to merit a single point for the first time in over four years. Reigning NCAA outdoor champ Florida State (men) and 2007 NCAA indoor champ ASU (women) will enter this week's meet atop the polls with 59 and 62 points, respectively, easily outdistancing all challengers. Those rankings mirror this week's USTFCCCA Coaches' Poll, which also puts Florida State and ASU No. 1, ranks the UW men 11th, and does not list the UW women among its top-20 teams.
Just Dandy, Thank You: Several Huskies are currently ranked by Trackwire in their weekly Dandy Dozen event rankings, the individual NCAA predictions from which the team rankings are generated. Two-time NCAA champion Ryan Brown is ranked No. 1 at 800 meters, while freshman pole vaulter Scott Roth (No. 4), NCAA-leading long jumper Norris Frederick (No. 5) and five-time All-American Ashley Lodree (No. 5, 100m hurdles) also merited top-five rankings. Frederick also earned a No. 11 nod in the high jump, while senior Martin Bingisser (No. 8, hammer), senior Stevie Marshalek (No. 10, pole vault) and sophomore Anita Campbell (No. 12, 5,000m) all merited top-12 acclaim as well.
Brown is Back: Just three 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 two-plus years since returning to the sport in January 2005, however, Brown has won multiple NCAA, Pac-10, West Regional and MPSF 800-meter titles, and captured a stunning eight 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 his first postseason crown, 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 senior then matched that performance at the 2007 NCAA Indoor meet -- his first experience running an open 800 on a banked track -- coming from behind yet again to capture his second NCAA 800-meter crown ( a feat matched by just four other individuals in UW history) and led the team's distance medley relay to a third-place finish. Brown -- who competed just one year of high-school track at Renton (Wash.) High School and has repeatedly stated that he does not particularly enjoy the sport -- enters this week's NCAA meet seeking an unprecedented (for a UW athlete) third-straight NCAA title in a running event, while also seeking to equal UW's career record of 10 All-America honors.
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 hehas replicated twice since. 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 eight, second-most in UW history behind only Hooker (10). History is also in the making on the women's side, where senior Ashley Lodree's five All-America honors are tied for the most-ever by a UW woman with pole vaulter Kate Soma, who also captured five All-America honors, from 2002-05. Furthermore, juniors Austin Abbott and Norris Frederick also moved into the history books with their four-career All-America honors, a total surpassed by just five individuals -- including Brown -- in UW history. Brown, Lodree and Frederick will all be in action at the NCAA meet this weekend, with Brown looking to equal Hooker's record, Lodree seeking to break her first-place tie with Soma, and Frederick attempting to postition himself for a possible assault on Hooker's record next year.
Two-Time Champs: In winning his second-career Pac-10 individual title earlier this month, senior Ryan Brown became just the 11th Husky -- and just the second UW runner -- to win multiple conference crowns. Besides Brown, who also won the Pac-10 800-meter title in 2005, and five-time Pac-10 champion sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker ( 1998-2000), each of the Huskies' other nine multiple-time winners competed exclusively in field events -- including vaulters Brad Walker (2003-04), Kirk Bryde (1971-72) and John Cramer (1961-62), javelin throwers Darryl Roberson (1988-89), Duncan Atwood (1977-78), Rod Ewaliko (1975-76) and Cary Feldman (1970-71), decathlete Mike Ramos (1983-84) and hammer star Scott Neilson (1976-78). Also of note: Brown and Hooker are the only two to win titles in two non-consecutive years; each of the other nine winners earned their Pac-10 crowns in back-to-back campaigns. In addition to his Pac-10 prowess, Brown is also the only Husky to win multiple individual Regional titles through the Regional's first five years of existence, and is one of just 11 to boast multiple NCAA individual championships.
The `Lo' Down: Senior Ashley Lodree, who won her first-ever postseason crown at last month's NCAA West Regional and enters this week's natioal meet tied for sixth in the NCAA in the 100-meter hurdles, 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 then the 10th-fastest, wind-aided or otherwise, in Pac-10 Conference history. Already a five-time All-American, including three indoors in the 60m hurdles (10th, 2005; 9th, 2006; 3rd, 2007) and two outdoors in the 100m hurdles (5th, 2005; 7th, 2006), Lodree enters her final collegiate postseason 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 Jumps Into Exclusive Club: It's been well-documented that junior Ashley Lodree was a one-woman force at the 2007 Pac-10 Championships, scoring in the 100-meter dash (fourth), 100-meter hurdles (second) and long jump (third), in total accounting for 23 of the 49 points scored by Washington's women's team. What hasn't been as publicized, however, is the rarity of Lodree's feat. In the 21 years of Pac-10 Championships history, only two women have ever scored in those three events at a single Pac-10 meet -- Lodree, who accomplished the feat both this year and as a freshman in 2004, and American track legend Gail Devers, who swept all three events at the first two Pac-10 Championship meets in 1987 and 1988. In fact, only three women in Pac-10 history have achieved the triple in any sprint, hurdles and jumping event at the Pac-10 meet, with Stanford heptathlete Tracye Lawyer scoring in the 200 meters, 100-meter hurdles and high jump in 1999. Lodree was similarly dominant at the NCAA West Regional, winning the hurdles and placing third in the long jump to account for 16 of UW's 29 team points.
Multi-Talented: While senior Ashley Lodree has deservedly earned a reputation as one of the nation's top hurdlers, her contributions aren't limited to just one event. In fact, Lodree will compete at this week NCAA Championships in both the 100-meter hurdles and long jump -- the first Husky ever to achieve that double -- and is a two-time Pac-10 scorer in the 100-meter dash as well. The Richmond, Calif., native litters UW's all-time record books, boasting top-10 all-time marks in each of the 12 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 has already this season won a Regional title in the 100-meter hurdles and broken her own school records in the 60-meter dash (7.34), 200-meter dash (24.22) and 60-meter hurdles (8.01), the latter time coming in a near-victory at the NCAA Indoor Championships, where she finished just .03 seconds behind winner Shantia Moss of Georgia Tech. In addition to her terrific NCAA performance, Lodree just barely missed an unprecedented triple win at the MPSF Indoor Conference Championships -- capturing 60-meter dash and hurdles titles, and placing second in the 200 meters -- and scored in the dash, hurdles and long jump at the Pac-10 meet to join UCLA legend Gail Devers on the short list of those to accomplish that particular feat.
Jumping Out of His Shoes: Junior Norris Frederick, who captured his third-straight indoor All-America honor in March, 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: a Pac-10 champion, NCAA West Regional champin four-time All-American, and the national leader in the long jump entering this weekend's NCAA Championships. Having failed to clear 25 feet in the long jump during the 2005 outdoor season -- something he had accomplished 17 times in his previous two-plus seasons -- Frederick entered last month's NCAA West Regional seeded just seventh in the long jump, and with his qualification for nationals in doubt for the first time in his collegiate career. After hitting his first 25-footer since January in the preliminary round, and watching Arizona State's Matt Turner thrill the crowd with a wind-aided NCAA-leading leap of 26-0 1/4, Frederick decided enough was enough and stole the spotlight back with a wind-aided jump of 26-0 3/4 -- his first ever over the 26-foot mark and the top jump in the nation by a collegian this year. Frederick is seeking UW's first-ever NCAA long jump crown, and to better former world record holder Phil Shinnick's all-time UW best third-place long jump finish (1964).
Jumping Double: Just one year after becoming the first Husky ever to compete in both the high and long jumps at the same NCAA Championship meet, junior Norris Frederick will achieve the feat for a third time at this week's NCAA Championship meet. Those appearances will be Frederick's fifth in the long jump (6th, 2005 indoors*; 12th, 2006 indoors*; 22nd, 2006 outdoors; 6th, 2007 indoors*) and third in the high jump (14th, 2005 outdoors; 15th, 2006 outdoors; t10th, 2007 indoors*), a total which includes four- All-America honors (indicated with a * above). Frederick has both literally and figuratively raised the bar higher in 2007 -- four months into his junior campaign, Frederick has notched lifetime bests of 7-2 ¼ in the high jump and 26-0 3/4 (wind-aided) in the long jump, the latter his first-ever jump over 26 feet and just the second 26-foot leap by a Husky all-time. One of just seven Huskies ever to long jump 25 feet -- something he has done 19 times already -- and one of just 12 to high jump seven feet, Frederick is the first ever to do both, and has an outside 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 American-record mark of 27-4 in the long jump from 1963.
Frederick, Metcalf Honored by USTFCCCA: Fifth-year Washington head coach Greg Metcalf was named West Region Men's Coach of the Year and junior long jumper Norris Frederick was named West Region Men's Field Athlete of the Year in March by the USTFCCCA. Metcalf, whose USTFCCCA honor was the first of his five-year head coaching career, has been instrumental in the revival of Washington track and field since his hiring in 2002. His first four-plus seasons have seen Washington produce six individual NCAA titles, six individual Pac-10 titles and 55 All-America award winners, including a record-breaking 19 All-Americans in 2006 alone. Washington's men, placed eighth at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships in Metcalf's first year, tied for seventh at the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier this month, and have won back-to-back MPSF Indoor conference crowns. Frederick, meanwhile, earned All-America honors in both the high- and long jumps in March, captured his second-straight MPSF long jump in February, and was the Pac-10 long jump champion a year ago. Frederick is the only Husky ever to long jump 25 feet and high jump seven feet in his career, and boasts season- and career-bests of 25 feet, 10 inches and 7'-2 ½', respectively, that ranked him No. 3 and No. 11 nationally during the 2007 indoor campaign.
Just Like High School: It took four years and two very divergent roads, but former Kentridge High School teammates Alex Harcourt and James Fredrickson have been reunited at Washington in 2007, where together they have combined for one of the most outstanding seasons of any sprinter-hurdler combination to grace the Husky Stadium track. Prep unknown Harcourt, who competed just one year at Kentridge in 2003 before enrolling at Seattle's Highline Community College in 2004, burst onto the scene in January with an upset of Olympic 4x400-meter gold medalist Darrold Williamson in the 400 meters at the UW Indoor Invitational, his time of 46.43 seconds at the time the U.S. leader and the fastest ever by a Husky indoors. Fredrickson, meanwhile, left Kentridge after the 2004 season for the sunny climes of Cal State Fullerton, before transferring to Washington prior to the 2007 campaign. After teaming up to put the Huskies' 4x400-meter relay into the top-10 of the NCAA rankings early in the year, Harcourt and Fredrickson exploded at the Pac-10 Championships, taking second in the 400-meter dash and 400-meter hurdles, respectively, while leading UW's 4x4 to another second-place finish. En route to their lofty individual efforts, both clocked times among the nation's 10-fastest in 2007, with Harcourt's 45.87 time in the open 400 ranking third in UW history, and Fredrickson's 50.63 the Huskies' second-best mark all-time. Both enter this week's NCAA Championships seeded among the top-12 nationally in their events, and have UW's 4x400-meter relay in the NCAA field for the fifth time in four years.
Relay Rewards: There's never been a better time to run on a UW men's 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. Only one other relay in UW history can match that feat -- the Huskies' current distance medley relay squad, which has earned three-straight top-five NCAA Indoor Championships finishes. 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 men's relay for the NCAA Championships since 1998 -- in the two-plus years since Vaughn's hire, eight of the Huskies' 12 men's relays have qualified for the NCAA Championships, including this year's 4x400-meter relay, while five 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.
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 10 All-America honors. Reigning world indoor champion Walker, who has taken on an active role at UW this season as a volunteer assistant coach, his the 2007 world leader in the pole vault and ranks among the top-12 vaulters in world history, while both he and Soma are 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 long for freshman vaulter Scott Roth during the 2007 indoor campaign. Roth responded with lifetime-best clearance sof 17-6 ½ and 18-1 at the season's first two meets, and an outstanding 18-1 3/4 clearance at the UW Last Chance Qualifier, the latter good for second among collegiate vaulters during the 2007 indoor season. 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 3/4 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. Roth matched Skipper vault-for-vault at the 2007 Pac-10 meet, placing second on misses after both vaulters cleared 17-10 3/4, the nation's fifth-best mark entering this week's national meet. Each of Roth's achievements 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 four-time NCAA competitor Stevie Marshalek and three-time NCAA competitor Kelley DiVesta. Marshalek, seeded 11th in this week's national-meet field, will attempt to have her photo placed alongside former teammates Soma, Carly Dockendorf and Ashley Wildhaber on the Huskies' All-American wall.
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 four-time top-three 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 is using 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, including a win in the weight throw 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 throw of 64-11 ¼ earlier in 2007, UW's best in 22 years -- echoes his success in the hammer throw, in which the Bellevue native placed 12th at the 2006 NCAA Championships and ranks 13th in this week's NCAA field. In fact, Bingisser's 2007 hammer best of 217-11 -- which earned the Husky a second-place Pac-10 Championships finish -- is UW's best in nearly 30 years, ranking second in UW history only to seven-time NCAA champion Scott Neilson's school-record 238-7 in 1978. 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.
Long-Range Talent: Those who only follow UW track and field outdoors may not have heard of sophomore Anita Campbell entering the spring of 2006, but they certainly have now. Campbell entered last spring as a household name to fans of UW's cross country and indoor track and field squads, having earned top-100 finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in each of her first two years, and having set a UW freshman record indoors with a 16:33.27 posting in a second-place effort at the 2006 MPSF Championships. The Vancouver, B.C., native was an unknown quantity to UW's outdoor fans, however, before the NCAA Regional meet, where her surprising third-place finish (improving upon a No. 14 seed) placed the freshman in the NCAA Championships field. Campbell's subsequent 21st-place NCAA finish -- in a UW freshman-record 16:29.91, no less -- sent notice that she will be a strong contender for Washington through at least the 2009 campaign. Campbell already has her 2007 season on a roll, having shaved a stunning 29 seconds off of her outdoor 5K personal best with a 16:00.03 posting at Stanford -- UW's fourth-fastest ever and the No. 6 mark nationally among athletes entered in this week's meet -- and having placed third in the 5K at the 2007 Pac-10 Championships, and fourth at the NCAA West Regional.
Mid-Distance Madness: Few teams in the nation have dominated a single event area in the last 12 months like Washington has dominated the middle distances. Husky athletes have won three of the eight NCAA titles awarded in the 800 meters, 1,500 meters and mile since last June, swept three of four middle-distance titles at the 2007 MPSF Indoor Conference Championships in February, and earned one Pac-10 title and three top-four finishes at the Pac-10 Championships in May. Since 2004, Washington's middle-distance unit -- defined to include those athletes in the 800 meters, 1,500 meters, mile and the three middle-distance legs of the distance medley relay --have combined for three NCAA titles, two outdoor conference title, six indoor conference titles, one regional title and 18 All-America honors. Washington middle-distance runners earned six All-America honors at the 2007 NCAA Indoor meet, including senior Ryan Brown's 800-meter win, junior Austin Abbott's fourth-place 800-meter finish, a ninth-place finish in the mile for junior Amanda Miller, and a third-place effort for the distance medley relay team of middle-distance runners Brown, Abbott and junior Carl Moe, along with sprint/hurdler James Fredrickson.
National Records Abound: Several Huskies have recently established themselves as players on the national scene by setting national records in their home countries, including the U.S. and abroad. Washington's track and field fans have been treated to two such performances this season, including a U.S. record in the 2,000-meter steeplechase by assistant coach Kelly Strong and a Canadian junior record in the pole vault by freshman Ryan Vu. Strong, already ranked seventh in U.S. history in the more-commonly-run 3,000-meter steeple, moved to No. 1 in U.S. history at the 2K distance with a time of 6:25.98 at the UW Outdoor Preview meet in March, breaking the American record of 6:29.2 set by Ann Gaffigan in 2005. Bellevue native Vu, meanwhile, who boasts dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada, broke the Canadian junior national pole vault record with a clearance of 16-6 at Washington's indoor season-finale in March. Last year, senior Shane Charles broke the senior national 400-meter hurdles record in his native Grenada, while in 2005, both Charles and former Husky Christian Belz (10,000m, Switzerland) set national records in their home countries.
Road to Eugene 2008: In addition to qualifying for collegiate postseason championships, several Huskies have even loftier goals this season -- qualifying for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Three have already guaranteed their spots at the Trials by meeting the USATF's 'A' qualifying standard in their event, while six others boast provisional 'B' qualifying marks. Chief among UW's 'A' qualifiers is junior Mike Sayenko, who surprised many with a 2-hour, 19-minute, 45-second time in the California International Marathon in December, his first-ever marathon attempt. He'll be joined at the Trials by two of America's pre-eminent competitors in their events -- former Husky, UW volunteer assistant coach and three-time U.S. pole vault champion Brad Walker, and current UW assistant coach Kelly Strong. Both boast 'A' qualifying marks in their events (the pole vault and steeplechase, respectively) and are each among the top-10 competitors in U.S. history. Trials 'B' qualifiers include seniors Ryan Brown (800m) and Martin Bingisser (hammer), juniors Amy Lia (1500m), Norris Frederick (long jump), Alex Harcourt (400m dash) and James Fredrickson (400m hurdles), sophomore Jeremy Mineau (10,000m), freshman Scott Roth (pole vault) and 2005 UW alum Sean Williams (400m hurdles).
2007 Indoor Season Redux: Washington continued to raise its national profile during the 2007 indoor season, with the Huskies' men's team capturing its second-straight conference championship and placing seventh at the NCAA Indoor meet, and a record-breaking total of 11 Huskies bringing home indoor All-America honors, including an NCAA title at 800 meters for senior Ryan Brown. Brown's win was one of four top-five finishes for UW athletes at the NCAA meet, including a third-place hurdles effort for senior Ashley Lodree, a fourth-place 800-meter finish for junior Austin Abbott, and a fifth-place finish in the distance medley relay for Abbott, Brown, and juniors James Fredrickson and Carl Moe. In addition to their NCAA exploits, Washington's teams and athletes also excelled at the MPSF Indoor Championships, capturing seven individual titles -- including four men's crowns and three women's crowns -- and winning their second-consecutive conference men's team championship. In all, Husky athletes combined to win one NCAA title, seven conference individual titles and one conference team title, while earning 11 All-America honors and breaking six school records.
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 returned 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. Not even Walker, however, can match the accolades of Big W Club Director Aretha (Hill) Thurmond, who trains at her alma mater alongside husband and UW throwing coach Reedus 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 earned West Region Indoor Men's Coach of the Year honors in 2007 after leading Ryan Brown to his second-straight NCAA 800-meter title, and guiding the Washington men to a second-straight indoor conference title and a seventh-place tie at the NCAA Indoor meet, the latter an all-time program best. Metcalf can only hope that 2007 continues on the same track as his banner 2006 campaign, when middle distance runners Brown and Amy Lia won NCAA titles, and UW men combined for three individual conference crowns and the Huskies' first-ever indoor team title. In his first four-plus 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 three top-25 efforts, including the aforementioned seventh-place finish indoors in March. Individually, 19 UW distance runners have earned NCAA berths, with three earning NCAA titles and 11 grabbing All-America accolades, a list which does not include the team's three-time All-America distance medley relays (2005-07). 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 three NCAA champions, six Pac-10 champions, 22 All-Americans, 13 school-record setters and 82 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 is the American record-holder in the 2,000-meter steeplechase. 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. In addition to the outstanding full-time staff, Washington's athletes are able to train alongside some of the world's top athletes, including former Huskies Aretha (Hill) Thurmond and Brad Walker. Thurmond, who trains with her husband, UW coach Reedus Thurmond, while directing Washington's Big W Alumni Club, and Walker, a UW volunteer assistant coach, are both 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.