UW Makes Title Grab At MPSF Championships
Feb. 27, 2008
On the Track: Washington's men's track and field team will be attempting to make history with its third-consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) this weekend at the Dempsey Indoor Facility in Seattle. The MPSF is the indoor conference championships for eight Pac-10 teams plus two teams out of the Big West. The 16th-ranked Husky women's team will also be among the favorites to capture their first title since 1996. The championships take place over two days, beginning this Friday, Feb. 29 at 12 p.m. and resuming on Saturday, March 1, at 10 a.m. Admission is free to all spectators. For complete meet information, including schedules, entries, meet history and results, visit www.GoHuskies.com.
Friday afternoon's action will focus on the multi-events, with the evening highlighted by the 200-meter dash finals, men's and women's long jumps, the 5-kilometer runs, and the distance medley relays. Saturday promises a full slate of thrilling performances, as the majority of the sprints and mid-distance races will be held, along with men's and women's pole vaults and high jumps, and the 4x400 relays at the end.
The field is made up of Washington, Washington State, Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford, California, Oregon and UCLA out of the Pac-10, plus Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge from the Big West. The Sun Devil men are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation by the USTFCCCA, and the ASU women are No. 2 and are the defending MPSF as well as NCAA Indoor Champions. Oregon is also ranked (No. 12 men/No. 20 women), as is Stanford (No. 24 men/No. 3 women) and the Husky women (No. 16).
Last season, the Huskies successfully defended their conference title that was won for the first time in 2006, after never finishing above third in their first 11 MPSF competitions. The Husky men and women combined for a school record seven individual titles last season, as the women placed fourth.
Many of the top contenders for NCAA titles will be showcasing their talents this weekend, including NCAA leaders Reindell Cole of Cal State Northridge (men's long jump), Ryan Whiting of Arizona State (men's shot put) and Sarah Stevens of Arizona State (women's shot put). In two events, the top-two NCAA leaders will be going head-to-head, as Stanford's Arianna Lambie and Oregon's Nicole Blood are one-two in the women's 3,000-meters and Arizona State's Jacquelyn Johnson and Arizona's Shevell Quinley rank first and second in the women's pentathlon.
Back to defend their titles for the Huskies are senior Norris Frederick in the long jump and three members of the men's 4x400-meter relay team: James Fredrickson, Jeff Gudaitis, and Kyle Still. Senior Amanda Miller is the defending MPSF women's mile champion, but could potentially run the 800-meters instead as she has already posted an automatic NCAA qualifying time in the mile.
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 4 of this release.
Updated 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 track and field sport page the morning of each meet, allowing fans the opportunity to follow along with the action as events conclude. Simply go to 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 posted to the official site of Husky athletics, www.gohuskies.com, within 30 minutes of the last event's conclusion. 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 this page.
Huskies Pacing NCAA Leaders: With the NCAA Indoor Championships less than a month away, two Huskies can already confirm their Fayetteville itineraries. Sophomore Katie Follett and senior Amanda Miller picked up UW's first two NCAA Automatic marks two weeks ago at the Husky Classic. Amazingly, they did it in the same race, the women's mile. Follett won the mile with a school-record 4:37.22, and Miller placed fifth in a time of 4:39.93 that would have been a record itself if not for Follett. It is believed to be the first time two Huskies have ever achieved auto marks in the same event, let alone in the same race. Several other Huskies can feel safe in their standby status for NCAA bids. Senior Norris Frederick posted a long jump of 25' 8 3/4' at the UW Indoor Preview that is currently tied for the fourth-best collegiate jump this year. Frederick also achieved the 'B' standard in the high jump, clearing 7' 2 1/4' at the UW Invitational, currently tied for the sixth-best mark. Kelley DiVesta is looking solid in the pole vault with her mark of 13' 8 1/4' that ranks fourth, while Amanda Miller's school-record 800m time of 2:06.69 set at the UW Invitational ranks ninth nationally. Currently on the bubble right now are UW's women's distance medley relay, which ranks 12th, and sophomore pole vaulter Scott Roth, who is tied for 17th with a vault of 17' 1'. Out of UW's other provisional qualifiers, Jake Schmitt will need to better his time in the men's 3K where he currently ranks 20th, and Andrea Brown will also need to surpass her mile time of 4:45.94 if she wants to be the third Husky in the women's mile. One second could make all the difference as well for the men's 4x400 relay, which is 16th in the nation with a time of 3:09.74. Only the top 16-18 individuals and 10-12 relays earn NCAA bids. For a complete rundown of UW's NCAA qualifiers, see page four of this release.
Freshman Elisa Bryant is only three meets into her Husky track and field career, and yet she is already a school record-holder ... by a long shot. At the UW Invitational on Feb. 2, Bryant smashed the 10-year-old school record in the 20-lb weight throw held by former Olympian Aretha Hill. Bryant's throw of 59' 7 3/4' was well past Hill's 1999 mark of 55' 2', which in turn was three feet farther than Soozie Shanley's former second-place mark.
Washington's No. 2 preseason men's ranking marked the highest ever ranking for a UW track program, surpassing last season's No. 4 indoor ranking. The ranking was based on returning athletes from last season's final descending order list.
In both 2006 and 2007, Washington boasted at least one NCAA competitor in every event area -- sprints, hurdles, middle distance, long distance, relays, horizontal jumps, vertical jumps, pole vault and throws.
The UW men's seventh-place finish at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships was the team's best-ever indoors, and equaled its third-best NCAA finish overall since 1930.
Washington's men's team won its second-straight indoor conference title in 2007, marking UW's first successful defense of a conference crown since 1921-22.
Washington has boasted at least one Pac-10 champion in eight-straight years, and at least one NCAA champ for five-straight seasons. Senior Ryan Brown extended both streaks in 2007, winning NCAA indoor and Pac-10 800m crowns.
Washington has sent a total of 64 athletes to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championship since 2005, the most prolific stretch in team history. Of those 64, 45 have returned home with All-America honors, also obliterating all previous three-year records.
LAST TIME OUT - Husky Classic Makes History: Sophomore Katie Follett shattered the Washington mile school-record the Husky Classic on Feb. 16, running a stunning 4:37.22 that was the fastest in the NCAA coming into the weekend and 12th fastest by an American runner at any level. The run highlighted a huge day at the Dempsey Indoor facility, during which over 100 collegiate athletes headed home with NCAA qualifying marks. More than a dozen Top-25 track and field squads were represented Saturday, and the loaded field resulted in four facility records, 14 NCAA automatic qualifying marks, and 98 NCAA provisional marks. A whopping 11 new marks found their way onto the UW Top-10 lists as well.
In the women's mile, Follett trailed 15 meters behind Stanford All-American Arianna Lambie with less than a lap to go before kicking mightily and passing Lambie down the stretch. Follett's time is a full three seconds faster than the previous UW record, set by Courtney Inman in 2003 with a time of 4:40.24. Not to be overlooked was senior Amanda Miller, who posted an automatic qualifying time of 4:39.93 in the mile as well. Miller already posted a provisional time in the 800-meters that ranks sixth in the NCAA as of two weeks ago. It is the first time in history that two Huskies have posted NCAA auto marks in the same race. All told, the women's mile produced five NCAA Automatic times, four by college athletes, and given that the NCAA Championships invite 16 competitors, one quarter of the NCAA field was determined at the Dempsey today.
The pole vault witnessed some excellent performances from current and former Huskies. Senior Kelley DiVesta turned in a career-best pole vault of 13' 8 ¼', which puts her in fourth place nationally this year. On the men's side, sophomore Scott Roth made his long-awaited 2008 debut, and promptly made an NCAA provisional clearance of 17' 1'.
Standout Husky distance runner Jake Schmitt was one of a number of provisional qualifiers in the men's 5K. Schmitt made his run in 14:04.40, third-best all-time at Washington.
Four Dempsey facility records went down on Saturday. Washington State's Ebba Jungmark eclipsed the old women's high jump record, clearing 6' 1 ½', a top-five NCAA clearance this year. The men's 200-meter record, which had stood since 2003, was broken by Chris Dykes of Texas A&M. Dykes ran 20.97.
The two men's throws facility records were also erased. Russ Winger of Idaho overtook former Olympic Silver Medalist John Godina's shotput record, throwing 66' 6 ½'. In the weight throw, James Parker of Team XO broke a five-year old record with a 76' 5 ½' throw.
2007 MPSF Redux: Washington's Ryan Brown won his second-straight MPSF 800-meter crown and ran the decisive leg of the Huskies' winning 4x400-meter relay, leading Washington to its second-consecutive MPSF Indoor Track and Field crown. Brown's individual and relay wins were two of seven by Husky athletes at the two-day meet, including Norris Frederick's second-straight long jump title, Ashley Lodree's sweep of 60-meter dash and hurdles crowns, and a sweep in the mile by juniors Austin Abbott and Amanda Miller. The UW men finished with 109 team points, well ahead of Arizona (88), No. 8 Oregon (86), and No. 6 Stanford (79.5). The UW women, meanwhile, excelled despite losing junior Amy Lia to illness and failing to score a point in the pole vault for the first time since rejoining the MPSF in 2004. Washington's 74.5 points were good for fourth place overall, with No. 1 ASU (135) snapping No. 5 Stanford's four-year streak of MPSF wins with a 135-96 rout. In all, athletes competing at the two-day meet combined for 90 NCAA qualifying marks, and set five meet records.
Huskies Among MPSF Leaders: Washington athletes and relays will be among the favorites in a number of events this weekend, based on the final MPSF Best Times report. Amanda Miller currently leads the 800m rankings by more than two full seconds, while also ranking third in the mile. Katie Follett will come in as the favorite in the women's mile, following her school record 4:37.22 run at the Husky Classic. In the women's pole vault, Kelley DiVesta has the second-best conference mark entering the meet, while Falesha Ankton is third in the 60-meter hurdles, and Michelle Turner is fourth in the 800m. Anita Campbell is sixth in the 3,000-meters despite running the event only once coming in. UW's women's DMR is seeded third. On the men's side, Norris Frederick's high jump mark puts him second in the rankings, and he is tied for third in the long jump with a best of 25' 8 3/4'. Jordan Boase's time of 21.29 in the 200-meters is second-best, while Jake Schmitt ranks second in the 5,000-meters and ninth in the 3,000m. Having vaulted at just one collegiate meet thus far, Scott Roth still comes in as the No. 2-ranked pole vaulter. Jared O'Connor is in a tie for fifth, as well. James Fredrickson could make a big impression, as he's ranked sixth in the 200-meter, eighth in the 400, and should be part of UW's 4x400 relay squad that has the No. 3 time coming in. UW's highest-seeded thrower is Zack Midles, currently seventh in the weight throw.
Head Coach Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his sixth year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross country, and his 11th 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 2008 continues on the same track as his banner 2007 campaign, where Brown added another NCAA title, and the UW men and women combined for three seven conference crowns and the men made it back-to-back MPSF Conference titles. In his first five seasons at the helm, Metcalf has led the UW women and men to four top-25 finishes at the NCAA Championships per team, including the aforementioned seventh-place finish indoors in March and a 15th-place outdoor finish by the men in June. Individually, 19 UW distance runners have earned NCAA berths, with three earning NCAA titles and 12 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 nine of his first 11 years at the helm, and is coming off a program-best eighth-place finish, with two women earning All-American honors for the first time in history. Metcalf guided the UW men to a 12th-place NCAA cross country finish in 2006. In 11 years atop Washington's distance program, Metcalf has coached three NCAA champions, six Pac-10 champions, 24 All-Americans, 15 school-record setters and 88 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.