Nation's Best At Dempsey on Saturday

Feb. 8, 2006

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On the Track: Nearly every corner of the nation will be represented Saturday at Dempsey Indoor, as hundreds of elite collegiate and post-collegiate athletes compete in the 2006 Husky Classic, the fifth of eight UW home indoor meets scheduled this season. Already home to many of the world's top performances this year, Dempsey Indoor is sure to see its stock rise even further on Saturday as full teams from Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Cal, Oregon, Wisconsin and Washington State, as well as selected athletes from Clemson, Hawaii, Indiana, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Texas join the Huskies for an afternoon of world-class competition. Field events begin at 9:00 a.m., with events on the track scheduled for 10:45 a.m. For a complete list of entries, and a finalized time schedule, visit

Distance Dominance: If Saturday's Husky Classic is anything like last year's, track and field fans are in for a world-class distance showcase. Dempsey Indoor cemented its reputation as America's fastest indoor distance track at the 2005 Husky Classic, with seven collegiate men and six collegiate women besting 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 last season, 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.

Meet Results: Results will be posted periodically throughout the meet on a board at the south end of Dempsey Indoor, and are available at the finish line for coaches only. Final results will be faxed to all local media and participating schools, and posted to, roughly 30 minutes following the meet. Results can also be e-mailed by request; contact SID Brian Beaky at

Dawg Bites

  • Washington has had at least one NCAA champion in three-straight seasons, its longest 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 their 75.5 points at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships (5th place), including six individuals who placed third or better.
  • The UW men sent three of four relays to the NCAA Championships in 2005, while the fourth -- the indoor 4x400m team -- missed by just one second. The UW's DMR placed fifth indoors, while the 4x400m and 4x100m squads ran 10th and 11th 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. Having received four points two weeks ago, the UW men went scoreless this week after pole vaulter McKane Lee, long jumper Norris Frederick and the UW's distance medley relay squad each dropped out of the top-eight in the individual rankings. The Husky women, meanwhile, earned three points in the ranking, seven shy of the 10 needed for top-25 mention. Junior hurdler Ashley Lodree was the highest-ranked UW individual at No. 6 in the 60-meter hurdles, while Frederick ranked 10th in the long jump, and Lee and the DMR each earned matching No. 12 rankings. With the exception of Lee, each of the UW individuals included in Trackwire's rankings earned All-America honors last year. The nation's other track ranking, the USTCA Dual Meet Power Ranking, has yet to release its first full ranking for the 2006 indoor season.

    Monster PR of the Week: This time last year, hardly anyone knew who Jordan Boase was. After cracking UW's all-time top-10 indoors at 200m and 400m, and leading UW's 4x100m relay to its first NCAA berth since 1989, however, the walkon from Bothell (Wash.) High School had established himself as one to watch. Boase added to his resume again at last month's UW Indoor Invite, clocking a time of 21.32 in the 200m that was a half-second indoor PR, and less than a tenth off the NCAA's provisional-qualifying standard. Boase hopes for a similar improvement at 400m Saturday, where his indoor best of 47.76 is sixth all-time at UW.

    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.

    The `Lo' Down: If only Ashley Lodree -- currently the nation's sixth-fastest 60-meter hurdler -- 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 nearly eclipsed her own UW record of 8.15 seconds in her 2006 hurdles debut, clocking an 8.16 versus no significant competition at January's UW Indoor Invite. That mark -- just .01 above the NCAA's automatic-qualifying standard -- currently ranks Lodree sixth in the NCAA, and 13th among U.S. women this year.

    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 ½
    2. Kelsie Hendry, 2005, 14-7 ½
    3. Stephanie McCann, 2004, 14-5 ¼
    4. Ardin Tucker-Harrison, 2002, 13-9 ¾
    5. Carly Dockendorf, 2005, 13-9 ¼

    International Delights: From seven-time NCAA champion Scott Neilson to multiple UW record-holder Regina Joyce, Washington has benefited from a number of outstanding international competitors over the decades -- 2006 should be no different. Sprinter Davaon Spence of Jamaica and quarter-hurdler Shane Charles of Grenada have each set national records in their native countries, while Canadian pole vaulter Carly Dockendorf is among the her nation's all-time 10 best. Notable newcomers on the international scene include heptathlete Daria Pavlov of Israel and distance runner Anita Campbell of Vancouver, B.C. Both freshmen have already made their impacts felt -- Pavlov fell just short of UW's pentathlon record with an NCAA provisional-qualifying 3,806 points at the UW Indoor Invite in January, while Campbell was UW's lone qualifier for the 2005 NCAA Cross Country Championships, and will represent UW -- and Canada -- at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in March.

    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 a member of Trackwire's 12th-ranked distance medley relay team.

    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.

    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.

    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 head 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, currently UW's top sprint 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, Cheri Craddock and Angie Jones are each expected to join the team after the hoops season concludes in March. Perhaps to repay their debt, the UW track team loaned senior J.R. Wolfork, a 2005 NCAA Championships qualifier in the long jump, to the Husky football squad in the fall; Wolfork appeared in all 11 games and forced a fumble on special teams.

    Remember Me?: To the casual Husky fan, senior Will Conwell may have fallen off the radar in 2003 when he gave up a career as a UW linebacker to throw the discus. After redshirting the 2003 season with two broken wrists, Conwell burst back onto the scene in 2004, taking fourth place at the Pac-10 Championship, before adding a fifth-place finish in 2005. The Kent native -- once expected to follow his uncle, UW legend Ernie Conwell, to football glory -- has picked up in 2006 right where he left off last spring, improving his bests in the shot put and weight throw by more than four feet each, while cracking UW's all-time top-10 in the latter with a toss of 58-0 1/4 at January's UW Indoor Invitational. Though he gave up football three years ago, Conwell is still following in his famous uncle's footsteps -- a five-year track letterwinner at Washington, Ernie Conwell ranks fourth in UW history in the shot put, and placed fifth in the event at the 1996 NCAA Championships.

    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.

    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. Two meets into the 2006 season, newcomers already lead or share the lead for UW in seven individual events ¬- including four such leading marks for freshman heptathlete Daria Pavlov - and have had a hand in three of UW's four top relays. 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 their freshman class, including Pavlov, top prep hurdler Falesha Ankton, hammer thrower Shannon Harvey, high jumper Laurie Roberts, and distance runners Tori Tyler, Brooke Lademan, Anita Campbell and Annaliese Chapa. That list doesn't even include prep All-American hammer throwers Zack Midles and Shannon Harvey, or cross country star Jordan McNamara, each of whom could redshirt 2006 to prepare for record runs of their own in 2007.

    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 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).

    Ridiculous Records: Washington's athletes have certainly been keeping the team's indoor record-keepers busy. Not even a month into the 2006 season, Husky athletes have already combined for 19 marks among UW's all-time indoor top-10, including a school-record in the heptathlon by senior Blake Bidleman, and a pair of top-10 efforts in the high jump and pentathlon for freshman Daria Pavlov. Washington's highly-acclaimed indoor facility, Dempsey Indoor, has certainly had an effect on the Huskies' indoor list, with 22 school records and an eye-popping 193 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 above.

    Dempsey Indoor: In only four 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 dozens of Olympians, witnessed 25 top-10 world marks, 22 UW indoor school records and hundreds of NCAA qualifying marks, and is the host site of the MPSF Championships, the indoor conference championships for most major West Coast college teams. In addition to its competitive use, the building serves as an indoor practice facility for many UW teams, and hosts numerous banquets and rallies.

    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 the 2004 UW Indoor Invite. Already in 2006, numerous former Olympians have put the Dempsey on their competition schedule, including 2004 hurdles gold medalist Joanna Hayes, 2004 pole vault silver medalist Toby Stevenson, as well as 2004 Olympians Kristin Heaston and Goucher. Past luminaries include two-time Olympic medalist John Godina, U.S. Olympians Seilala Sua, Michael Stember and Paul Terek, as well as world No. 1 pole vaulter Brad Walker and highly-ranked Americans Jenny Adams and Alice Schmidt.

    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 coached 12 All-Americans, including NCAA champions Brad Walker and Kate Soma. Second-year sprints/hurdles coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr., meanwhile, had a banner first year, mentoring Ashley Lodree to All-America honors indoors and out and guiding two UW men's relays to NCAA 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, while 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 fourth-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 recruiting classes annually ranked among the nation's best. 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.

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