Godina, Sua Headline Olympic-Caliber Field at Husky Invitational

Jan. 29, 2003

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On the Track: Washington track and field welcomes some of the world's most talented athletes to Dempsey Indoor this Saturday, Feb. 1, for the Husky Invitational Track and Field Meet. The distance medley relay will be contested Friday night at 8 p.m., with all other events taking place Saturday. Field events begin with the women's weight throw at 9 a.m., while the women's 5000m run kicks off events on the track at 10:00 a.m.

The Field: Whether to watch at least two former Olympians, or five of the nation's top-25 teams, there are plenty of reasons to make the Husky Invitational a top sports destination this weekend. Headlining the outstanding field is two-time Olympic medalist John Godina, the reigning Pac-10 and NCAA record holder in the shot put. Godina will be joined by four-time U.S. champion Seilala Sua, formerly of UCLA, where she won six NCAA titles in the shot put and discus. Other former Olympic athletes who may be in attendance are former Husky sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker and distance runner Michael Stember. As if that wasn't enough, the meet will also feature full teams from fifth-ranked UCLA, sixth-ranked Stanford, Cal, 12th-ranked Wisconsin, 24th-ranked Southern Methodist and, of course, the 19th-ranked Huskies. For more information, including a complete list of entries, visit www.directathletics.com.

Event Schedule: Following is a schedule of events for Saturday's Husky Invitational. The distance medley relay will be conducted Friday night, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m.

9:00 a.m. -- Weight Throw (W/M)
9:30 a.m. -- Long Jump (W/M)
9:30 a.m. -- High Jump (M/W)
10:00 a.m. -- Pole Vault (W/M)
10:00 a.m. -- 5000m (W)
10:25 a.m. -- 5000m (M)
10:45 a.m. -- 60m H Prelims (W)
11:10 a.m. -- 60m H Prelims (M)
11:30 a.m. -- 60m Dash Prelims (W)
11:50 a.m. -- 60m Dash Prelims (M)
12:10 p.m. -- Mile (W)
12:20 p.m. -- Mile (M)
12:30 p.m. -- Shot Put (M/W)
12:30 p.m. -- Triple Jump (W/M)
12:35 p.m. -- 60m H Consol. Final (W)
12:40 p.m. -- 60m H Final (W)
12:50 p.m. -- 60m H Consol. Final (M)
1:05 p.m. -- 60m H Final (M)
1:20 p.m. -- 400m (W)
1:35 p.m. -- 400m (M)
1:55 p.m. -- 60m Dash Consol. Final (W)
2:00 p.m. -- 60m Dash Final (W)
2:05 p.m. -- 60m Dash Consol. Final (M)
2:10 p.m. -- 60m Dash Final (M)
2:20 p.m. -- 800m (W)
2:30 p.m. -- 800m (M)
2:40 p.m. -- 200m (W)
3:00 p.m. -- 200m (M)
3:20 p.m. -- 3000m (W)
3:35 p.m. -- 3000m (M)
3:50 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (W)
4:00 p.m. -- 4x400m Relay (M)

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 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.

Huskies on the Airwaves: 'On Campus with the Huskies,' a half-hour program featuring Washington's Olympic sports teams, debuted this fall on Fox Sports Northwest. The weekly program, hosted by former Husky athlete Elise Woodward, features event highlights and profiles of Husky athletes and coaches. 'On Campus' airs each Thursdayat 6:30 p.m. PT.

Rankings Report: Washington's men's team is tied for 19th this week in the Trackwire 25 power rankings, which attempt to predict team scoring at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The Huskies received 10 points in the rankings, equaling the score given to four other teams, including Pac-10 foe UCLA. Washington's women went unranked by Trackwire, but debuted at No. 16 in the U.S. Track Coaches' Association Dual Meet Power Rankings, which simulate dual-meet competition between the nation's elite college teams. Washington's men were 18th in this week's USTCA power rankings.

Top Dawgs: Three seniors and one junior, distance runner Todd Arnold, were selected to be captains for the 2003 season by a vote of their teammates. Arnold, a Pac-10 qualifier at 1500 meters in 2002 will be joined by senior All-American Brad Walker, the 2002 NCAA runner-up in the pole vault, as captains on the men's side, while a pair of school-record holders - Kameko Gay in the hammer and Courtney Inman in the mile - will lead the women.

Palo Alto, Here We Come: Six Husky athletes started their season off in style last week, earning Pac-10 qualifying marks after just one week of competition. Last year, Washington boasted 40 Pac-10 qualifiers, two of whom - pole vaulter Brad Walker and steepler Mike Hill - left Pullman, Wash., with conference titles. Now a senior, Walker placed himself back on the list with a mark of 17-8 1/2 at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev. The Pac-10 appearance would be the fourth in as many years for Walker, who in addition to his championship in 2002 was also a top-10 finisher in 2000. Also qualifying last weekend was senior Courtney Inman, whose time of 2:10.56 in the 800m was an indoor personal-best, and the second-fastest indoor mark in school history. Sophomore Kate Soma posted a Pac-10 qualifying mark for the second-straight year, clearing 12-11 1/2 to equal the indoor school record at the Pole Vault Summit. A pair of Husky triple jumpers - sophomore James Sims (47-11 1/4) and junior Brittiny Roberts (39-8 1/2) - also bested the qualifying standard, as did redshirt freshman shot putter Cherron Davis, who heaved the shot 44-3 1/4 in her varsity debut. Pac-10 teams are allowed to bring a maximum of 24 athletes to the conference championships, and in addition may place one athlete in each event for which the school has no qualifier.

Resourceful Recruiting: Washington's coaches in 2003 have found a creative way to add numerous elite athletes to the squad without having to give up any scholarships - cull the most talented athletes from the UW's other sports. This season's Husky roster, therefore, features nine players from the Husky football team, one UW gymnast, and one better known for her exploits on the basketball court. Those to make the biggest impact so far in 2003 are the football players, two of whom lead the team in their events and one - sophomore safety James Sims - who is a Pac-10 qualifier in the triple jump. Freshman sprinter Shelton Sampson, a tailback, nearly defeated defending Pac-10 100m champion Anson Henry in his track debut, trailing the former Cougar by just .09 seconds in the 60m final at the Husky Indoor Preview. Those two are joined on the UW roster by wide receivers Reggie Williams and Matt Williams, cornerbacks Roc Alexander and Derrick Johnson, tailback Chris Singleton and linebacker Will Conwell. This spring, former Husky basketball player Heather Reichmann will seek a fourth-career top-10 Pac-10 finish in the javelin, and redshirt freshman gymnast Carly Dockendorf - who as a guest last season posted a mark of 12-2 in the pole vault that, if duplicated, would rank third in school history - will make her varsity debut.

You May Recall: While the 11 athletes on the roster from sports other than track or cross-country are more than Washington has had in recent years, the practice of mining athletic talent from other UW programs has unearthed countless gems for the Husky track and field squad in the past. In fact, a glance at Washington's career top-10 charts reveals numerous outstanding two-sport 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. Other names which highlight the list include football players Ernie Conwell (No. 5, shot put), Dana Hall (No. 3, 110m HH), Sterling Hinds (No. 3, 100m/200m), Pete Kaligis (No. 6, shot put), Orlando McKay (No.2, 400m), Brent Merritt (No. 5, 400m) and Tony Parrish (No. 5, triple jump). That's not to say that multi-sport success is limited just to the football team. Former UW All-American volleyball star Makare Desilets boasts the school's fifth-best high jump mark, while basketball standout Tara Davis is the school-record holder in the triple jump, and ranks second all-time in the long jump. And, of course, current Husky and former hoopster Heather Reichmann is the school's all-time record-holder in the javelin (new implement). This list doesn't even include Huskies Herman Brix and Paul Jessup, who starred for Washington's football teams in the 1920s before establishing world records in the shot put and discus, respectively.

International Blend: In addition to athletes from other sports on the track and field squad this year, the 2003 roster features several individuals from outside the United States. Most prominent among them is senior middle-distance runner Courtney Inman, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, who last year placed 10th in the 1500m at the NCAA Championships. Not surprisingly, Canada is the foreign nation with the most athletes on the UW roster, including Inman, freshman middle-distance runner Gaelle Banini (Richmond, B.C.), redshirt freshman pole vaulter Carly Dockendorf (Port Moody, B.C.) and sophomore thrower Jeff Wallis (Duncan, B.C.). For Banini, however, Canada is just the most recent nation of residence. The freshman was born in Cameroon, Africa, where her father still resides, moved to France in 1987, and finally settled in Canada in 1994. Joining the Canadian quartet is freshman Vinh Chung, who will rack up plenty of frequent flyer miles over the next four years while traveling between Seattle and his hometown of Hamilton, New Zealand.

'Note' Worthy: Team-leading weight competitor Brendan Tuohy is doing his best to debunk the stereotype of the oafish thrower. The junior, whose mark of 48-4 3/4 at the Husky Indoor Preview leads all UW competitors in 2003, is majoring in music at the UW and reportedly boasts a fine tenor voice.

Freshmen to Watch: While Washington returns 19 of its 27 Pac-10 competitors from the 2002 season, expect to see several first-year athletes make a run at the top of the performance lists. Leading the charge will be a pair of freshman sprinters - Brynne Steward and Shelton Sampson. Steward, the 100m hurdles champion at the 2000 USATF Junior Nationals, won her debut race in the 60m hurdles at last week's Husky Indoor Preview, and ranks second on the squad at 60m. Sampson, meanwhile, clocked a time of 6.84 for 60m in his debut at the same meet, just .01 seconds off the school's 10th-fastest mark all time. Also expected to make an impact are sprinter Lauran Dignam - a nine-time prep state champion in Hawaii - and distance runners Gaelle Banini, Laura Hodgson, Noelani Kaneko and Alison Tubbs, the latter the national prep leader during the 2000 cross-country season. In the field events, expect to see pole vaulter Eric Dormaier - a prep teammate of two-time All-American vaulter Brad Walker - and prep All-American Tiffany Zahn, a spear specialist, near the top of the charts.

Head Coach Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf enters his first year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross-country, and his sixth year overall at the University. In five seasons as a UW assistant, Metcalf guided the women's cross-country team to five-straight NCAA appearances, including a UW-best ninth-place finish in 1998. Metcalf has coached eight All-Americans, five Pac-10 champions, 57 NCAA qualifiers and 10 school-record setters. A 1993 graduate of Washington, Metcalf was a two-time All-American for the Huskies in the steeplechase.

Washington's 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships Qualifiers

Kate Soma
Pole Vault
Sophomore, Portland, Ore. (Grant)

Cleared 12-11 1/2 at the Jan. 17 Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev., equaling her own indoor school record and bettering the NCAA's provisional qualifying standard.

Provisional mark of 12-11 1/2 is tied for eighth in the nation in 2003.

As a true freshman in 2002, shattered Washington's indoor and outdoor pole vault records.

Indoor mark of 12-11 1/2 broke by nearly a foot the record of 12-0 3/4 set by MerryJane Bendico in 2000.

Became Washington's all-time outdoor pole vault record holder in 2002 with a provisional-qualifying vault of 13-1 1/2 at the Oregon Dual.

Won the pole vault at the 2001 Junior Olympics in Eugene, Ore.

Brad Walker
Pole Vault
Senior, Spokane, Wash. (University)

Cleared 17-8 1/2 at the Jan. 17 Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev., bettering the NCAA provisional qualifying standard.

Season-best indoor mark of 17-8 1/2 is tied for the nation's best in 2003.

Is the top-returning collegiate pole vaulter in America after capping an outstanding 2002 season with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships.

Shattered own school record with a vault of 18-2 1/2 at the NCAA meet, earning second-career All-America honor.

Earlier in the season, broke Garth Willard's 10-year-old school record of 18-0 1/2 with a vault of 18-1, at the May 4 dual meet with Washington State in Pullman.

Earned first Pac-10 title on May 18, also in Pullman, with a vault of 18-0 1/2, routing the field by a full five inches.

After the collegiate season, vaulted a career-best 18-6 to earn a sixth-place finish at the U.S. Senior Nationals.

Was named Pac-10 Field Athlete of the Week on May 7.

Had offseason surgery in 2001 to repair a stress fracture in his foot suffered sometime during the 2001 season.

Despite the fracture, tied for 12th at the 2001 NCAA Outdoor Track Championships in Eugene, Ore. with a vault of 16-10 3/4.Earned 2001 Indoor All-American honors by placing seventh with a personal-best vault of 17-11 3/4 at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, three inches better than his previous best.

Indoor vault PR shattered the school record of 17-10 held for 22 years by Steve Cravetz.

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