Huskies Compete With Nation's Best At NCAA Indoors
March 11, 2010
ON THE TRACK: Hundreds of the top track and field athletes in the NCAA converge on Fayetteville, Arkansas this Friday and Saturday for the 2010 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, hosted by the University of Arkansas at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Washington will be represented by four athletes, two on the men's side and two on the women, and all are ranked among the top-eight in their events.
The Husky contingent is smaller than in recent years -- four athletes is the fewest UW has sent to Indoor Nationals since 2003 -- but Washington should make up for it in quality.
Junior Scott Roth is the top seed in the men's pole vault with a PR of 18-9 1/4 and the Granite Bay, Calif. native is looking for his first NCAA title. Roth has won all five of his competitions so far this year, including a win at the National Pole Vault Summit, and at the MPSF Championships where he broke the meet record two weeks ago. Despite the unpredictable nature of the vault, it could shape up as a two-man battle between Roth and the defending NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Champion Jason Colwick of Rice. Colwick won the 2009 Outdoor title with Roth finishing as runner-up, though Roth defeated Colwick to win the National Pole Vault Summit title this year. Colwick has the second-best clearance this year at 18-7 1/4.
Senior Katie Follett (Fort Collins, Colo.) will be running in her third and final NCAA Indoor meet. The decorated senior was just named West Region Track Athlete of the Year, the first such honor ever for a Husky woman. Follett has racked up three All-America honors at the Indoor meet the past two seasons, one in the mile, one in the 3,000-meters, and one in the distance medley relay. She will be focusing on the mile again this year, where she comes in with the No. 2 time in the country at 4:34.98, a school record. Follett's top time came at the Husky Classic, where she finished close behind Florida's Charlotte Browning, who posted the nation's best time of 4:31.24. In 2008, Follett placed sixth in the mile run as one of three Huskies (Amanda Miller, Michelle Turner) that earned All-America honors in the mile.
Sophomore Mel Lawrence (Reno, Nev.) has now qualified for the NCAA Indoor meet in each of her first two track seasons. Once again she'll be running the 3,000-meters, and looking to improve upon her 12th-place finish from a year ago. Lawrence had a late start to the track season after coming back from an achilles injury. She debuted at the Husky Classic in mid-February, running 9:22.98 in the 3k. Two weeks later and getting stronger each day, Lawrence won the MPSF title at 5,000-meters in 16:11.82, a time that would have qualified her for NCAAs at that distance as well. A week later Lawrence went back to the 3k at the UW Final Qualifier, and clocked 9:08.74 to hit the NCAA Auto mark. That time ranks her fifth in the 3,000-meter field, and is less than a half-second off her PR and school record of 9:08.50 set last year.
Junior Colton Tully-Doyle is the only one of the foursome to be making his NCAA Track debut. A veteran of two NCAA Cross Country Championships, Tully-Doyle has had a major breakout season on the track. At the Husky Classic, Tully-Doyle opened up with a 7:56.67 in the 3,000-meters that was a 12-second PR and the second-best mark in school history. He would do that one better two weeks later at the MPSF Championships, where he broke the indoor school 5k record, taking second in a time of 13:48.86 that ranks him eighth among the NCAA entrants. That was his first ever 5k indoors. Tully-Doyle's 3,000-meter time also ranked 13th and would have got him to nationals but he will focus on the 5k for his NCAA debut. He will be looking to earn UW's second-straight All-America honor in the event, as Jake Schmitt finished ninth a year ago.
Washington Schedule At NCAA Indoors
Friday, March 12 (Pacific Time)
3:10 p.m. Women's Mile Run Prelim (Follett)
4:25 p.m. Men's Pole Vault Final (Roth)
6:00 p.m. Men's 5,000m Run Final (Tully-Doyle)
Saturday, March 13
4:25 p.m. Women's Mile Run Final (Follett)
6:10 p.m. Women's 3,000m Run Final (Lawrence)
FOLLOW ALONG AT HOME: A live video stream will be available on both Friday and Saturday, accessed from the championships home page on NCAA.com. Here are the streaming details provided by the NCAA:
'ESPN360.com will stream portions of the championships live beginning at 8 p.m. Central time, Friday, March 12, and 6:10 p.m. Central time, Saturday, March 13. To access the live stream, visit www.ESPN360.com. Click on the FAQs link for software and system requirements, etc. Anyone with a .edu e-mail address is able to obtain access to ESPN360 at no cost. NCAA.com will stream supplemental coverage as available when ESPN360.com is not live. Additionally, ESPN2 will air a 90-minute show at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, Wednesday, March 17.'
HOW THEY GOT HERE: All athletes who meet the NCAA's automatic-qualifying standards in their events are guaranteed inclusion in the NCAA Indoor Championships field, which allows for 284 men and 284 women total. In the event that there are not enough automatic qualifiers to provide full fields, athletes are selected in descending order of performance from those who have met the provisional standard in each event, creating fields with a minimum of 14 athletes per individual event and 10 teams per relay.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Both the Husky men and women fared well in the final set of rankings before the NCAA Indoor Champoionships. The current rankings are now based solely on the NCAA entries, and despite having just two competitors on each side, the quality of their marks keeps UW in the upper echelon. The men come in at 28th overall, with Scott Roth ranked first in the pole vault and Tully-Doyle ranked eighth in the 5,000-meters. The women improved five spots, up to 31st, thanks to Mel Lawrence's big improvement in the 3,000-meters, where she now ranks fifth. Katie Follett still ranks second in the mile with her school record of 4:34.98, providing big points. The rankings assign points in each event based on the current national leaders to try and approximate NCAA scores.
LAST YEAR AT NCAA INDOORS: Washington sent 12 athletes to the 2009 NCAA Indoor meet in College Station, Texas, and they returned to Seattle with nine All-America honors between them. UW's indoor All-Americans included: senior Jordan Boase, who took third in the 400m for the second straight year; Katie Follett who took fifth in the 3K; Elisa Bryant, eighth in the weight throw in her first NCAA meet; the eighth-place women's DMR comprised of Christine Babcock, Falesha Ankton, Kailey Campbell, and Follett; Jake Schmitt, ninth in the 5K to earn his first All-America award; and freshman Jeremy Taiwo, who was 12th in the heptathlon just three months into his college career. Both teams scored six points at Nationals, which put the men in a tie for 33rd and the women in a tie for 35th.
NEW DAWGS MOVE INTO THE DEMPSEY: Washington's freshman class has provided a big lift in a number of key areas early on this indoor season. Shaniae Lakes of Richland, Wash. has immediately given the Huskies a boost in the triple jump, where she is less than two inches short of the freshman record with a mark of 39-10. That jump already ranks sixth on the indoor Top-10 list. Lakes placed fourth in the triple jump at MPSFs to cap her indoor season. Illinoisan Lindsay Flanagan, the only freshman to run in UW's top-seven during the fall, took ninth in the 5k at MPSFs, running a PR of 16:48.71 that ranks seventh in school history. Flanagan also competed on the U.S. Junior Team at the NACAC Cross Country Championships in Tobago, finishing sixth overall and third among Team USA. Justine Johnson of British Columbia came up less than a second shy of an NCAA Provisional mark in the mile, as she ran 4:47.90 at the UW Final Qualifier. Newcomer Sarah Schireman of Everett has shown a ton of talent in the multis, and her first pentathlon score of 3,284 already ranks 10th indoors, while she also leads the team in the 60m hurdles and long jump. Logan Miller of Reno, Nev. vaulted her way into the UW top-10 list with a clearance of 12-9 1/2 at the UW Indoor Open. Contributing for the men is London's James Alaka, a junior national champion at 100-meters, who had a spectacular MPSF Championships, where he ran the 60m in 6.78 seconds, tying him for sixth in school history. Alaka was fourth in the 60m at MPSFs and fifth in the 200m with a time of 21.68, accounting for nine points on his own. A former 2A state champion from Brush Prairie, Wash., Shayne Moore of Blaine, Wash. shows great promise in the 60m hurdles as he set a huge PR at the Indoor Open with a time of 8.15 that ranks 9th on the top-10 list. James Cameron, UW's top freshman during the cross country season, capped off his indoor season with an excellent mile time of 4:06.99. Last but not least, Bryce Borer of Mercer Island already ranks sixth on the school's heptathlon list after posting 4,702 in his first multi, and has also cleared 16-feet in the vault.
LAST TIME OUT - UW FINAL QUALIFIER: The Dempsey Indoor track & field season wrapped up last week with the UW Final Qualifier, but not before another handful of athletes blazed a trail from Seattle to the NCAA Indoor Championships at Arkansas. One of those qualifiers was Husky sophomore Mel Lawrence, who assured herself a spot with a win in the 3,000-meter run. Lawrence needed to improve her standing on the national performance list to book a return trip to NCAAs. She made sure she was firmly inside any bubble by going well under the NCAA Automatic standard of 9:13.00, finishing first in a time of 9:08.74 that was just a split second off her own school record. In the same race, redshirt freshman Kendra Schaaf continued to improve coming off a foot injury, as she cut seven seconds off her 3k time from the previous week, clocking 9:20.53, third-best in school history. Junior Kenna Patrick also had a strong finish, clocking 9:39.90 for ninth. The women's mile saw freshman Justine Johnson barely miss her first NCAA Provisional mark by less than a second as she ran 4:47.90. On the men's side, Max O'Donoghue-McDonald broke into the Top-10 on UW's mile list with a great run of 4:05.30 that shoots him up to seventh in school history. Sophomore Ryan Soberanis cut three seconds off his mile best, running 4:06.48, and freshman James Cameron was right behind in 4:06.99, more than six seconds faster than his PR. Sophomore Kelly Mudlo broke through in the women's pole vault, clearing 12-11 ½ for an eight-inch lifetime-best that now puts her eighth on the indoor Top-10 list. Senior Kenjamine Jackson won the 200-meter dash in his final competition as a college athletes. Jackson, who only had indoor eligibility remaining, was a key leader of the men's sprints the past two years, and made it to the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships on the 4x100m relay last year. Head coach Greg Metcalf thanked Jackson in front of the team for his effort and attitude during his two-year Husky career. Elsewhere, Lindsey Fleishman passed the 39-foot mark in the triple jump for the second week in a row, taking second overall with a mark of 39-4 ½ that was just off her season-best.
DEMPSEY INDOOR: Having just concluded its ninth season, Washington's Dempsey Indoor has solidified its reputation as one of the nation's top indoor competition venues. Dempsey Indoor has hosted dozens of Olympians and elite professionals; this year fans witnessed 2008 U.S. Olympians Nick Symmonds, Shannon Rowbury, Jesse Williams, Jen Rhines, Billy Nelson, Galen Rupp, and 2009 U.S. World Championship team members Chris Solinsky and Evan Jager. The Dempsey produces numerous top-10 world marks every year and has seen 31 UW indoor school records broken, and thousands of NCAA qualifying marks. The Dempsey got its first American and World Record this year when the Oregon Track Club distance medley relay clocked 9:21.77. Two-time U.S. 800m Champion Nick Symmonds led off, handing to Matt Scherer, then Tuler Mulder, and Will Leer to set the record. The Dempsey is also the annual host site of the MPSF Championships. 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. In addition to its competitive use, the building serves as an indoor practice facility for many UW teams. Following is a list of new facility records set during the 2010 season:
2010 Dempsey Indoor Records
Men's 60m 6.61, Ryan Bailey, Nike, 2/13/10
Men's 200m 20.84, Ryan Bailey, Nike, 2/13/10
Men's 800m 1:46.36, Andrew Wheating, Oregon, 2/13/10
Men's Mile 3:55.75, Chris Solinsky, Nike, 1/30/10
Men's 3,000m 7:47.52, David McNeill, Northern Arizona, 2/13/10
DMR* 9:21.77, Oregon Track Club, 2/12/10
Men's High Jump 7-7, Jesse Williams, Nike, 2/13/10
Women's 60m 7.30, Amber Purvis, Oregon, 2/27/10
Women's Mile 4:31.24, Charlotte Browning, Florida, 2/13/10
Women's High Jump 6-2 1/4, Elizabeth Patterson, Arizona, 2/27/10
6-2 1/4, Brigetta Barrett, Arizona, 2/27/10