Dempsey Indoor Ready to Rock
Jan. 24, 2006
On the Track: Washington welcomes an elite collegiate field to Seattle for the fifth-annual UW Indoor Invitational, the third of eight indoor meets at Washington's Dempsey Indoor facility this season. While the majority of the action is scheduled for Saturday, fans won't want to miss Friday night's 5,000-meter and distance medley relay events, featuring some of the biggest names in college track including Oregon's Galen Rupp and distance medley relay teams from Stanford, Washington, UCLA and Cal. On Saturday, All-Americans Ashley Lodree of Washington and Dawn Harper of UCLA will battle in the 60-meter hurdles, while past NCAA champions Robert Cheseret of Arizona and Chelsea Johnson of UCLA highlight the men's 3,000 meters and women's pole vault, respectively. Pentathlon and heptathlon events begin Friday at 3:00 p.m., with the 5K and distance medley scheduled for 7 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., respectively. Saturday's schedule runs from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with the first event on the track at 10:20 a.m. For the most updated entries and event schedule, visit the track and field schedule/results page at GoHuskies.com. Entries will be posted after 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
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.
Vaulters in Reno: Usually a highlight of any UW indoor meet, the pole vault events will be missing a number of top competitors, as the world's best vaulters gather in Reno, Nev., for the U.S. Pole Vault Summit. Included among the competitors are all four of Washington's returning NCAA Championships women's qualifiers, as well as the team's top male vaulters and promising newcomers. The nation's elite vaulters -- including former UW NCAA champions Kate Soma and Brad Walker -- will open the competition Friday night, with the collegiate and open-level vaulters hitting the runways all day Saturday. Due to the lateness of the final event Saturday, results may not be immediately available following the competition. For more information, and the first posting of results, visit www.polevaultsummit.com.
Washington has had at least one NCAA champion in three-straight seasons,its longest such streak since 1976-79, and has had at least one Pac-10 champ for six-straight years.
The UW men return athletes responsible for 63.5 of the team's 75.5 points at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships (5th place), including six individuals that placed third or better.
Washington sent three of its four relays to the NCAA Championships in 2005, while the fourth -- the indoor 4x400m squad -- missed by just one second. The UW's DMR placed fifth indoors, while the 4x400m and 4x100m squads ran 10th and 11th, respectively, outdoors.
Rankings Report: Neither of UW's teams appeared in this week's Trackwire 25, a national ranking which predicts the individual and team placings at the NCAA Championships. The UW men fell just two points shy of a top-25 score, earning four points on the strength of projected eighth-place NCAA finishes for pole vaulter McKane Lee and the distance medley relay, and a seventh-place effort for long jumper Norris Frederick. The Husky women matched the men with four points of their own, all coming on a projected fifth-place pole vault finish for senior Carly Dockendorf. In addition to the top-eight mentions, three other Washington indivuduals received notice in Trackwire's individual projections -- junior Amy Lia is projected ninth in the mile, Pac-10 champion Ryan Brown is projected 11th in the 800 meters, and junior Ashley Lodree is projected 12th in the 60-meter hurdles. With the exception of Lee, each of the UW individuals included in Trackwire's rankings earned All-America honors last year, either in their projected event or its outdoor equivalent.
Monster PR of the Week: The season-opening UW Indoor Preview is generally a low-key event for UW's track and field athletes, most of whom are still rounding into shape after seven months away from competition. Senior Doug Blaty, however, returned in top form, crushing his previous long jump best by nearly two feet with a 22-foot, 6 1/2-inch effort. In his second season since transferring from Oregon, Blaty boasts UW's school record in the heptathlon indoors, and is one of three Washington multi-eventers competing for the right to represent UW in the decathlon at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships in May.
2006 Season Preview: Never has a UW track and field team returned more All-Americans than the Huskies' eight in 2006, nor has any UW squad ever counted 16 NCAA Championships competitors among its preseason returnees. Gone from UW's record five-woman NCAA Championships pole vault contingent is NCAA champion Kate Soma, but All-Americans Carly Dockendorf (6th, outdoors) and Ashley Wildhaber (5th, indoors) return, along with NCAA competitors Kelley DiVesta and Stevie Marshalek. The Huskies also return a loaded 800m unit, including All-Americans Amanda Miller (9th, indoors) and Ryan Brown (10th, outdoors). The 2005 Pac-10 and NCAA Regional 800m champ, Brown was one of a record four UW half-milers to break 1:50 in 2005, all of whom return this season. Two-time All-American hurdler Ashley Lodree will make a run at an NCAA title in 2006, while sophomores Austin Abbott (5th, DMR) and Norris Frederick (6th, long jump) will each seek to repeat as All-Americans after record-setting freshman campaigns. In all, the UW men return 63.5 of the their 75.5 points from the 2005 Pac-10 meet, including six individuals and one relay that placed third or higher last season. The UW women, likewise, boast six top-six Pac-10 returnees, including three vaulters, Lodree, senior spearer Tiffany Zahn and All-American miler Amy Lia. The Huskies' depth is further bolstered by a talented freshman class that includes prep All-Americans Zack Midles in the hammer and distance runner Tori Tyler, and Israeli heptathlete Daria Pavlov. Transfers, too, will contribute, with high jumper Teddy Davis seeking a second NCAA berth, and sprinter Alex Harcourt giving a boost to a UW 4x400m seeking its third-straight NCAA Championships appearance.
2005 Redux:, The UW's track and field teams enjoyed another banner year in 2005, putting Husky athletes on the victory podiums at the Pac-10, Regional and NCAA Championships, while capturing an team-record 16 All-America awards. Senior Kate Soma won the 2005 NCAA pole vault title, and earned her fourth- and fifth-consecutive All-America honors. Sophomore Ryan Brown captured Pac-10 and NCAA Regional titles at 800 meters, and earned All-America honors indoors (5th, DMR) and out (10th, 800m). Brown also ran on UW's record-setting 4x400m relay, whose third-place time of 3:03.85 at Pac-10s was one of seven UW records set during the season. Sophomore Ashley Lodree broke her own sprint hurdles marks en route to All-America honors indoors and out, while freshman Amanda Miller became UW's fastest-ever indoor half-miler in an All-America effort at the NCAA Indoors. The UW womens team's tie for 15th at the NCAAs outdoors was its best team performance since 1988, while the UW mens' nine NCAA meet competitors in 2005 equaled its combined total from the previous three seasons.
Brown is Back: Less than two years ago, Ryan Brown was out of track and field, having walked away from a promising career. So it was a bit surprising to see Brown outkick Pac-10 favorite Jon Rankin of UCLA down the homestretch to win the 2005 Pac-10 title at 800 meters last May, his time of 1:47.31 the second-fastest in UW history and eighth-best by a collegian in 2005. Two weeks later, Brown proved the race was no fluke by outkicking Rankin again to win the same event at the NCAA Regional -- UW's first-ever regional title -- and capped the year with matching 10th-place finishes in the 800- and 4x400 meters at the NCAA Championships. Brown competed just one year at Renton (Wash.) High School, going undefeated at 800 meters as a senior and defeating current UW teammate Tim Freeman for the state title. He walked on to the UW squad in 2002-03 and had a terrific indoor season, before leaving the team in the summer. Brown returned to the track in 2005, leading UW's distance medley relay to All-America honors indoors and breaking UW's indoor 800-meter record, before embarking on his epic outdoor campaign. The junior enters the 2006 season with the nation's sixth-fastest returning mark at 800 meters, and is ranked 11th in this week's Trackwire Dandy Dozen.
Half-Mile Madness: Don't be surprised to see Washington dominating the Pac-10's 800-meter rankings in 2006. In addition to Pac-10 and Regional champion Ryan Brown, Washington put a school-record four runners under 1:50 in the event last year, all four of whom return in 2006. Sophomore Austin Abbott and seniors Bruce Jackson and Shane Charles joined Brown under the 1:50 mark in 2005, including a mark of 1:49.59 by Charles that is a UW record indoors, and a best of 1:47.31 by Brown that is UW's second-fastest outdoors. The foursome each rank among the Pac-10's top-11 returnees in 2005, and will be joined by a freshman class boasting outstanding talent in the middle-distance events. Prior to the 2005 season, Washington had only boasted one other year, 1992, in which as many as three men's runners broke the 1:50 mark, while prior to 2005, no two Huskies had done so in the same season since 1998.
The `Lo' Down: If only Ashley Lodree could have kept on running in 2005. The junior from Richmond, Calif., ran the seven-fastest 100-meter hurdles times of her life in her final seven races of the 2005 season, capped by a 13.17-posting at the USA Championships to match the UW record she set two weeks prior in the NCAA final. Lodree placed 10th at USAs and fifth at NCAAs, the latter good for her second All-America honor in three months, including a ninth-place finish in the 2005 NCAA 60-meter hurdles final indoors. Prior to the year, some had wondered how Lodree could possibly top her breakout freshman season of 2004, which included two school records, five marks among UW's all-time top-10, an NCAA Championships appearance and a top-10 world junior ranking. Lodree, however, did just that, becoming just the sixth UW woman ever to earn multiple All-America honors and shattering her UW hurdles records indoors and out. Lodree also added to UW's all-time top-10 lists in each of the nine events in which she competed, and boasts top-10 all-time marks in 10 of the 11 events she has attempted in her UW career. Already qualified for NCAAs in the 60-meter dash, Lodree will make her 2006 hurdles debut Saturday against fellow All-American Dawn Harper of UCLA. Lodree ranked 19th among U.S. women's hurdlers in 2005, and is the No. 7 collegiate returnee.
Passing the Baton: Washington's homegrown 4x400-meter squad -- featuring three runners from the Seattle area -- was electric at the 2005 Pac-10 meet, breaking a 30-year-old UW record with a time of 3:03.85, including a 44.8-second anchor by returnee Bruce Jackson. The time was a four-second improvement over the relay's previous best, and ranked ninth in the nation in 2005. The record-setting foursome improved to 11th at the NCAAs after a 14th-place finish in 2004, and enters the 2006 season seeking to become UW's first All-American 4x4 since 1998, and the first outdoors since 1990. Among those competing for the spot vacated by relay superstar Sean Williams will be Seattle-area natives Jordan Boase of Bothell, an NCAA Championships 4x100m participant in 2005; junior transfer Alex Harcourt of Kent, whose lifetime best of 46.57 tops any current Husky; and senior Phil McCary of Kirkland, the team's first alternate in 2005 and an NCAA Championships participant in 2004. They will vie to join relay returnees Jackson of Seattle, Ryan Brown of Renton and Grenada native Shane Charles.
Vault Supremacy: The 2005 season left little doubt that Washington reigns supreme in the world of collegiate women's vaulting. An NCAA-record five UW women's vaulters competed at the NCAA Championships in 2005 -- including four each indoors and out -- while three earned All-America honors, and senior Kate Soma brought home the 2005 NCAA outdoor title. The story should be much the same in 2006, as four of the five return, including senior All-Americans Ashley Wildhaber (5th, indoors) and Carly Dockendorf (6th, outdoors), junior Stevie Marshalek and sophomore Kelley DiVesta. All five, including the departed Soma, boast bests above 13 feet, a feat never before accomplished by any NCAA quintet, while three of the five -- including Soma, Wildhaber and Dockendorf -- rank among the 10-best vaulters in Pac-10 history:
All-Time Pac-10 Pole Vault Top-10
Name, School, Year, Mark
1. Chelsea Johnson, UCLA, 2004, 15-0
2. Amy Linnen, Arizona, 2002, 14-10 1/4i
3. Becky Holliday, Oregon, 2003, 14-8
4. Tracy O'Hara, UCLA, 2000, 14-7 1/4
5. Kate Soma, Washington, 2005, 14-3 1/2i
6. Tamara Diles, Wash. State, 2002, 14-3 1/4i
7. Nikki McEwen, Oregon, 2003, 14-1 1/4
7. Connie Jerz, Arizona, 2003, 14-1 1/4
9. Carly Dockendorf, Washington, 2005, 13-9 1/4
9. Ashley Wildhaber, Washington, 2005, 13-9 1/4i
9. Andrea Dutoit, Arizona, 2001, 13-9 1/4
Rare Double: From the first time she entered a pole vault competition -- going 12-1 1/2 at Husky Stadium in 2002 -- it was obvious that senior Carly Dockendorf, already a decorated UW gymnast, was in an elite class of athletes. In 2004, though, Dockendorf moved into a class all her own, qualifying individually for the NCAA Championships in both track and field, and gymnastics. While it is not uncommon for a college athlete to compete in multiple NCAA Championships in one year -- track/cross country and volleyball/basketball doubles being among the most common -- to do so in two unrelated sports in which qualification is based on individual, not team, performance is extremely rare. Dockendorf nearly repeated the feat in 2005, qualifying for the NCAA Track Championships both indoors and out, but falling just one-tenth of a point shy of qualifying for the NCAA gymnastics meet in April.
Double-Duty Dockendorf: There is no doubt that pole vaulter/gymnast Carly Dockendorf -- the nation's No. 2 returning vaulter, along with teammate Ashley Wildhaber -- is one of the finest two-sport athletes in UW history. The Port Moody, B.C., native added to her legend last March with a 17th-place finish in the vault at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Arkansas, just 19 hours after competing in Utah for the Husky gymnastics team. Dockendorf then closed the 2005 campaign with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, her vault of 13-9 1/4 equal to the ninth-best mark in Pac-10 history, and the fifth-best mark ever by a Canadian citizen. Balancing two sports, though, is nothing new to Dockendorf -- the senior earned back-to-back NCAA gymnastics berths in 2003 and 2004, and placed 11th in the vault at the 2004 NCAA Track Championships. Amazingly, Dockendorf has been pole vaulting for less than four years, having begun the sport only after watching Husky vaulters train during her freshman gymnastics season in 2002, and has still vaulted just 28 times in competition during her entire pole-vaulting career. Dockendorf began her two-sport double on a full-time basis in 2003, winning All-America honors on the gymnastics floor while placing eighth in the pole vault at the Pac-10 Championships. She completed her gymnastics eligibility in 2005 with the most perfect 10s (six) of any UW gymnast all-time, and will have one full year of track eligibility remaining in 2006.
Athletics Canada All-Time Women's Pole Vault Rankings
Name, Year, Mark
1. Dana Buller, 2005, 14-9 1/2
2. Kelsie Hendry, 2005, 14-7 1/2
3. Stephanie McCann, 2004, 14-5 1/4
4. Ardin Tucker-Harrison, 2002, 13-9 3/4
5. Carly Dockendorf, 2005, 13-9 ¼
6. Sue Kupper, 2005, 13-7 1/4
6. Trista Bernier, 1998, 13-7 1/4
8. Jackie Honey, 2001, 13-6 1/4
8. Adrienne Vangool, 2004, 13-5 3/4
10. Simona Kovacic, 2003, 13-2 1/4
Dazzling Debut: Sophomore Norris Frederick has done everything he could to back up the hype that accompanied his signing with Washington. After earning All-America honors in the long jump indoors in 2005, Frederick embarked on a memorable outdoor season, breaking UW's freshman record in the long jump, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the high jump, and nabbing top-five Pac-10 finishes in both. The Roosevelt High School alum has already become the only UW athlete ever to long jump 25 feet and high-jump seven feet in his career, boasting career bests of 25-6 1/4 and 7-0 1/2, respectively. Frederick launched six long jumps over 25 feet during the 2005 indoor season, the best a 25-foot, 6 1/4 inch monster that led all NCAA freshmen indoors, and ranked eighth in the 2005 IAAF World Junior Rankings. The talented freshman earned All-America honors with a sixth-place finish in the long jump at the 2005 NCAA indoor meet -- tops by a UW long jumper since 1965 -- and is one of just 12 Huskies ever to clear the seven-foot mark in the high jump. Success for Frederick, America's top-ranked junior-age competitor in 2005, was certainly to be expected -- he ranked second among U.S. prep high jumpers in 2004 with a best of 7-1, and was the United States' fourth-ranked prep long jumper at 24-10 1/2. Frederick literally jumped out of his shoes at the 2004 IAAF World Junior Championships in Italy, tearing apart the footwear which had guided him to five state titles during his four-year prep career. With borrowed shoes, Frederick managed to place 19th in both events at the world meet, and closed the 2004 season ranked among the top-35 under-20 athletes in the world.
Stanback on Track: Husky football fans jonesing for a winter fix should to Dempsey Indoor -- Washington's track and field team includes three members of the UW football team, with one more planning to join the squad outdoors. The most accomplished of the three is junior sprinter Isaiah Stanback, who qualified for the 2005 MPSF Championships at 60 meters before starting all 11 games at quarterback for 2005 Husky football team. Joining him are junior wide receiver Corey Williams, a talented prep hurdler, and freshman linebacker Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, a 58-foot prep shot-putter, while junior defensive end Brandon Ala is expected to toss the discus outdoors. Washington also boasts the talents of one of UW's finest-ever gymnasts, pole vault All-American Carly Dockendorf, while women's basketball players Jill Bell and Angie Jones are expected to reprise their 2005 jumping efforts after the hoops season concludes in March. The system works both ways, however -- senior J.R. Wolfork, a 2005 NCAA Championships qualifier in the long jump, lent his talents to the football team last fall, appearing in all 11 games and forcing a fumble on special teams.
You Might Recall: The practice of mining talent from other UW programs has unearthed countless gems for the Husky track program in the past. In fact, a glance at Washington's career top-10 charts reveals several such 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. Others on 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. 6, 400m) and Tony Parrish (No. 5, triple jump), basketball players Tara Davis (No. 1, triple jump; No. 2, long jump) and Heather Reichmann (No. 2, javelin) and All-American volleyball star Makare Desilets (No. 5, high jump). UW's two-sport stars have even excelled on the world stage -- Herman Brix and Paul Jessup, who starred for UW's football teams in the 1920s, each competed at the Olympic Games, and established world records in the shot put, and discus.
Former Husky Returns: While Washington fans may need some time to learn the names and faces of the team's talented newcomers, there's at least one new face on the Husky squad that should be familiar to all who follow Washington track and field. Former Husky Aretha (Hill) Thurmond returns to Montlake this year as a volunteer assistant throws coach, working alongside her husband, first-year UW assistant coach Reedus Thurmond. A four-time All-American during her time at Washington, the former Aretha Hill has made an even bigger name for herself since graduating from the UW in 1998, winning back-to-back U.S. discus titles in 2003 and 2004, and representing the United States at the 1996 and 2004 Olympic Games. Thurmond, who was elected captain of the U.S. team at the 2005 World Championships, boasts a discus best of 216-1 that is the third-best in U.S. history, while her collegiate best of 215-3 is Pac-10 record, and is the second-best ever by a U.S. collegian. Interestingly, Thurmond is just one of five former Huskies on the UW coaching staff, including head coach Greg Metcalf (UW, `93), assistant coach David Bazzi (UW, `01) and volunteer assistants Duncan Atwood (UW, `78), and Jacob Predmore (UW, `00).
Newcomers Ready To Roll: Washington's track and field teams may have set numerous records in 2005, but if the team's outstanding crop of newcomers has anything to say about it, those records might not last long. Junior transfer Alex Harcourt boasts a best of 46.57 for 400 meters that is just .01 shy of UW's all-time top-10, while high jumper Teddy Davis cleared seven feet as an Oregon freshman two years ago. The Husky women, meanwhile, will lean heavily on its freshman class, including top prep hurdler Falesha Ankton, hammer thrower Shannon Harvey, high jumper Laurie Roberts, heptathlete Dariya Pavlov and distance runners Tori Tyler, Brooke Lademan, Anita Campbell and Annaliese Chapa. And that list doesn't even include prep All-American hammer throwers Zack Midles and Shannon Harvey, or talented distance runner Jordan McNamara, each of whom could redshirt 2006 to prepare for record runs of their own in 2007.
Dempsey Indoor: In only three full seasons, Washington's Dempsey Indoor has already earned a reputation as one of the nation's top indoor competition venues. 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. Dempsey Indoor has hosted more than a dozen Olympians, witnessed 15 top-10 world marks, 19 UW indoor school records and hundreds of NCAA qualifying marks, and is the host site of the MPSF Championships. In addition to its competitive use, the building serves as an indoor practice facility for many UW teams.
Dempsey Indoor Draws World's Best: If Washington's home indoor meets over the past three seasons have seemed to shimmer in gold, it is likely due to the numerous Olympians who have highlighted the fields at Dempsey Indoor. Adam Goucher, a U.S. Olympian in 2000, set a facility record in the 5,000 meters in his first of two appearances at Dempsey Indoor in 2005, while fellow Olympian Bolota Asmeron clocked a Dempsey-best 7:48.59 at last year's UW Indoor Invite. In 2003, numerous former Olympians put the Dempsey on their competition schedule, including former Husky and 2000 U.S. Olympian Ja'Warren Hooker, two-time Olympic medalist John Godina, U.S. Olympians Seilala Sua and Michael Stember, and Asmeron, who in 2000 competed for his native Eritrea. All set facility records in their events, while Asmeron clocked what at the time was the world's sixth-fastest 3,000-meter mark.
Distance Dominance: Dempsey Indoor cemented its reputation as America's fastest indoor distance track at the 2005 Husky Classic. Seven collegiate men and six collegiate women bested the NCAA automatic qualifying standard in the meet's 5,000-meter races, including an NCAA-leading mark by Wisconsin's Matt Tegenkamp. In fact, of the NCAA's 15 automatic men's qualifiers at 5,000 meters, nine achieved their mark on Dempsey Indoor's 307-meter oval, as did six of the event's 10 automatic women's qualifiers. The facility's influence even extended to the 2005 IAAF World Rankings -- 16 of the 39 men's 5,000 meter times ranked by the IAAF at the conclusion of the 2005 indoor season were achieved at one of UW's five home invitationals this season, including Tegenkamp's oversized-track world leader of 13:36.48.
Ridiculous Records: Washington's athletes have certainly been keeping the team's indoor record-keepers busy. Husky athletes combined for five marks among the team's top-10 all-time at January's season-opening UW Indoor Preview, after totaling 72 such marks during the 2005 indoor campaign. Washington's highly-acclaimed indoor facility, Dempsey Indoor, has certainly had an effect on the Huskies' indoor list, with 21 school records and an eye-popping 181 marks among UW's all-time top-10 having been achieved since the start of the 2002 season, UW's first in the facility. For a complete list of the top-10 indoor marks set in 2006, see the box in the PDF version of this release.
Head Coach Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his fourth year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross country, and his ninth year overall on the UW staff. In his first three seasons at the helm, Metcalf has led the UW women to three top-20 finishes at the NCAA Championships, and has guided the Husky men to consecutive top-30 indoor finishes in each of the last two years. Individually, 15 UW distance runners have earned NCAA berths, with six grabbing All-America accolades, a list which does not include the team's All-America distance medley relay in 2005. In addition, Metcalf has led the Huskies' women's cross country team to the NCAA meet eight of his first nine years at the helm. In eight years atop Washington's distance program, Metcalf has coached 17 All-Americans, six Pac-10 champions, 13 school-record setters and 74 NCAA qualifiers. 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 2006 is in no way short on accolades. Ninth-year vaults/jumps coach Pat Licari has directed 12 All-Americans, including NCAA champions Brad Walker and Kate Soma. Second-year sprints/relays coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr., had a banner first year at Washington, mentoring Ashley Lodree to All-America honors indoors and out and guiding two UW men's relays to NCAA Championships berths for the first time in school history. First-year throws coach Reedus Thurmond was a three-time All-American at Auburn, and captured the SEC discus title as a senior. Fifth-year distance coach David Bazzi, a Washington alum, was the 2001 Pac-10 champion at 10,000 meters, and still holds three all-time school records. Rounding out the all-star cast is third-year distance coach Kelly Strong, who graduated from Arizona State in 2002 with five All-America honors and three Pac-10 titles, and is largely credited with putting together a women's recruiting class in 2003 that was ranked sixth in the nation by Track and Field News. Ironically, the most accomplished members of the Husky coaching staff are two of the the team's volunteer assistants -- former Huskies and U.S. Olympians Aretha (Hill) Thurmond and Duncan Atwood. A four-time All-American, two-time Olympian and two-time U.S. champion, Thurmond enters her first year at her alma mater, assisting husband Reedus Thurmond with the UW throwers. Atwood, meanwhile, was a two-time Olympian and three-time U.S. champion, and has helped Husky javelin throwers earn All-America honors twice in his three years on the UW staff.