Huskies Mix It Up With Cougars In Pullman

April 29, 2010

ON THE TRACK: The only head-to-head battle of the season for the Washington track team is on hand this weekend, as the Huskies head across the state to Pullman to renew their rivalry with Washington State. The UW-WSU dual is one of the longest-running in the nation, and one of the few remaining two-team duals left in D-I track. The Huskies and Cougars first met in 1900, with Washington taking a 74-41 win.

This year's edition is set for Saturday at the Mooberry Track Complex. Field events begin at 11 a.m. and the first running events are set for 1:15 p.m. Scoring for the dual meet goes five points for first in each individual event, three points for second, and one for third. Winning relay teams earn five points while second-place gets shut out.

The men's dual could be very closely contested, as the Huskies moved up to a season-best 25th in the USTFCCCA rankings this week, while the Cougar men come in at 29th. The Cougar women are ranked 26th nationally while the Huskies are 42nd this week.

Events to watch on the women's side include the javelin throw, which features three of the current top-10 athletes in the entire NCAA. WSU's Marissa Tschida leads the NCAA with a mark of 186-1, fellow Cougar Courtney Kirkwood is ninth at 168-8, and Husky junior Brooke Pighin is 10th with a best this year of 167-6. Freshman Shaniae Lakes is favored in the women's triple jump. As usual Washington's strengths will be in the distance events, where last year the Huskies outscored the Cougars 31-5 in the 800, 1500, 3,000, and steeplechase. Mel Lawrence, who smashed the meet record in the steeplechase last year, could return from injury in the steeple or 3k this weekend to provide a lift. NCAA-leading senior Katie Follett is entered in both the 80m and 1,500m leading a large Husky contingent in both. Senior Kailey Campbell, who ranks 24th nationally at 1,500m, is also in both mid-distance races, and senior Anita Campbell is entered both at 1,500m and 3,000m. Campbell set a new meet record last year in the 3k at 9:23.42. Falesha Ankton will look for a repeat win in the 100m hurdles in what could be a busy day for the senior.

Heavy favorites for the Husky men include NCAA Indoor Pole Vault Champion Scott Roth, and junior Kyle Nielsen who ranks second in the NCAA in the javelin. Last year the UW men swept the pole vault, and Roth and senior Ryan Vu give them the top two marks again. Senior Zack Midles, who always relishes competing against his All-American father's former team, will have a long day in the hammer, discus, and shot put. Midles set his hammer throw PR in a win at last year's dual and enters as a big favorite in that event again. Washington will have to deal with two-time NCAA 400m hurdles champion Jeshua Anderson in the short and long hurdles, but counters with good depth at 1,500- and 3,000-meters led by senior Jake Schmitt and junior Colton Tully-Doyle. Freshman James Alaka also gives the Huskies the top seed in both the 100- and 200-meter dashes.

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