Nation's Best Heat Up Indoor Season at Dempsey
Jan. 24, 2007
On the Track: Washington's 12th-ranked men and 18th-ranked women kick the indoor track and field season into full gear this weekend, welcoming seven top-25 teams and nearly two dozen former NCAA or Pac-10 Conference champions to Dempsey Indoor for the two-day UW Indoor Invitational, Friday and Saturday. Action begins Friday evening with the 5,000-meter run, distance medley relay and multi-events, and continues all day Saturday. As always, admission is free to all spectators, with seating provided throughout the facility.
Live Results!: Results of all UW home indoor track and field meets are posted live throughout the meet to the official site of UW athletics, www.GoHuskies.com. A link to a complete event schedule and live results will appear on the website the morning of each meet. Simply visit GoHuskies.com, and click on 'track' from the 'sports' pull-down menu to find the live results link on each meet day.
Star-Studded Field: This weekend's UW Indoor Invitational at Dempsey Indoor features one of the deepest fields of any meet in the nation, with full teams from Baylor (No. 8 men), Stanford (No. 1 women/No. 18 men), and Oregon (No. 6 men/No. 16 women), as well as selected athletes from UCLA (No. 17 men), Texas Tech (No. 19 women), BYU, Arizona, Minnesota and other Division-I foes. Highlights are certain to include all of the distance events, including Olympic hopefuls Lauren Fleshman, Becca Noble, Mircea Bogdan and Ian Dobson; the men's pole vault, with former Husky and world No. 1 Brad Walker and freshman sensation Scott Roth; as well as the season debuts of UW's 2006 NCAA champions, senior Ryan Brown and junior Amy Lia. Three-time All-American hurdler Ashley Lodree will also make her debut appearance for Washington, while field-eventers Roth and Norris Frederick will seek to improve the NCAA qualifying marks they set at UW's first home meet. For a complete list of entries and heat and lane assignments, visit GoHuskies.com after 12 p.m. on Thursday.
Event Schedule: A complete event schedule, including start times for field and track events for both sessions of the 2007 UW Indoor Invitational, can be found by visiting the following link: http://gohuskies.cstv.com/sports/c-track/spec-rel/120706aaj.html. This schedule is tentative and subject to change up until the posting of accepted entries, at 12 p.m. Thursday. Currently, Friday's session, including the women's pentathlon, day one of the men's heptathlon, and the 5,000-meter and distance medley relays, will run from 3-9:00 p.m., with the distance events scheduled in a one-hour block from 7-8 p.m. Saturday's action begins with field events at 8:30 a.m. and track events at 9:30 a.m., and is scheduled to conclude at 4:15 p.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.
Did You Know?
Athletes competing at last year's UW Indoor Invitational combined for 10 different marks that ranked among the top-10 in the world in 2006 at the time of the meet, including a career-best mark of 8.16 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles by Husky Ashley Lodree.
Rankings Report: Both Washington's men's and women's teams have already made a significant splash in the 2007 Trackwire 25 team rankings, which predict the order of finish at the NCAA Championships by projecting the top-12 finishers in each event. Washington's men debuted in a tie for 11th last week -- their highest ranking of the decade -- and are currently tied with LSU for the nation's No. 12 spot, with both teams projected to score 16 points at March's NCAA meet. The Husky women, meanwhile, are projected to score 13 points overall, a total Trackwire currently ranks 18th nationally. NCAA host Arkansas is Trackwire's pick to win it all on the men's side, snatching the No. 1 spot from defending outdoor champion Florida State by a 57-53 margin, while Pac-10 women's powerhouse Stanford is the magazine's pick for its first NCAA title, 55-51, in a closely-contested battle with conference rival ASU.
Just Dandy, Thank You: It naturally follows that if Washington's track teams are projected to score a combined 29 points at the NCAA Championships, Trackwire magazine must rank several Huskies in scoring positions in their Dandy Dozen, from which the team rankings are generated. This week's Dandy Dozen, in fact, includes eight Husky individuals and two UW relays, including six projected for top-eight national-meet finishes. Defending NCAA 800-meter champion Ryan Brown, who will make his season debut this weekend, is Trackwire's No. 2 pick at 800m behind Northern Arizona's Lopez Lomong, while senior Ashley Lodree will make her debut Saturday as the nation's second-ranked women's hurdler, behind only Michigan sophomore Tiffany Ofili. Other Huskies projected to score points at nationals included junior Amy Lia (4th, mile), freshman Scott Roth (5th, pole vault), junior Norris Frederick (7th, high jump) and the men's distance medley relay team (7th). And the Huskies' totals could soon go higher -- Frederick lurks just outside the top-eight with a No. 9 ranking in the long jump, while pole vaulters Stevie Marshalek (9th) and Kelley DiVesta (10th) and the men's 4x400-meter relay team (10th) are all on Trackwire's early watch list as well.
Dempsey Indoor: In only five 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 16 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.
Monster PR of the Week: No Husky has seen a more significant jump in their personal best in the first two weeks than pole vaulter Lauren Walker. The freshman from Huntington Beach, Calif., arrived at Washington this fall with a lifetime best of 11 feet in the event, then topped 11-6 at the Huskies' season-opening UW Indoor Preview in January. Walker followed that up with a lifetime-best 12-4 clearance at last weekend's Pole Vault Summit In Reno, Nev., a mark which, were she competing attached, would have ranked among UW's all-time top-10 in the event. Walker's early-season progress is reminiscent of that of former Husky Kate Soma, who arrived at UW with a lifetime best of 12-0, and was over 13 feet by the end of her freshman season.
The `Lo' Down: Senior Ashley Lodree entered rare air at the 2006 NCAA West Regional -- and that's not just a reference to the thin air of BYU's Clarence Robison Track. The Richmond, Calif., native became the first Husky ever to break 13 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles with a wind-aided time of 12.99 seconds (after altitude adjustment) in the regional prelim, then backed it up with a wind-legal 13.04-second, altitude-adjusted time in the final. The latter mark crushed Lodree's own school record of 13.17 set twice in 2005, while the former mark was the 10th-fastest, wind-aided or otherwise, in Pac-10 Conference history. Already a four-time All-American, including two indoors in the 60m hurdles (10th, 2005; 9th, 2006) and two outdoors in the 100m hurdles (5th, 2005; 7th, 2006), Lodree enters 2007 with a chance to surpass Kate Soma's UW record of five All-America honors, while also seeking UW's first-ever NCAA hurdles title. Lodree boasts top-10 all-time marks in all 11 of the events she has attempted in her UW career, including four school records -- no other woman in UW history has ever ranked on as many of UW's all-time lists, while just one, distance runner Regina Joyce, has held as many UW records. As a testament to her talent, Lodree was ranked No. 1 in the hurdles in the initial release of Trackwire's Dandy Dozen national event rankings.
Amazing Amy: Junior Amy Lia pulled off one of the most memorable come-from-behind wins in recent NCAA Championships history in the 1,500-meter final at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor meet, coming from 25 meters back over the final half-lap to capture her first NCAA title. It's hard to fault the casual observer for ruling out Lia when she was running last with 250 meters to go -- the sophomore from Bothell, Wash., had placed last in the 1,500-meter final a year before, just barely staved off elimination in the semi-final round, and was the lowest-seeded of any of the 12 finals competitors. But as the racers entered the final turn, Lia suddenly surged forward on the outside, catching and passing the leaders at the 100-meter mark and taking one quick look over her shoulder before sprinting to the finish. Lia's effort was remarkable not only for her win -- the first by a UW women's track athlete at the national meet since Regina Joyce's AIAW 3,000-meter crown in 1981 -- but for her winning time of 4:14.63, a nearly three-second PR and the fastest by any collegiate women's athlete during the 2006 collegiate season. Lest anyone think Lia's performance was a fluke, the junior-to-be backed it up with a ninth-place finish at the USATF Outdoor Championships, and a fifth-place effort as a member of Team USA at the NACAC Under-23 Championships. Lia enters this week's UW Indoor Invitational -- in which she is slated to run the DMR and mile -- ranked No. 1 among Pac-10 competitors at 1,500 meters, and will be a strong force in the mile and distance medley relays as well.
Relay Rewards: There's never been a better time to run on a UW relay than right now. Washington's win in the 4x400 meters at the 2006 NCAA West Regional was the first in the postseason by a UW relay since 1975, and clinched the team's third-straight NCAA Championships bid -- a feat never before accomplished at UW. Three Husky foursomes earned All-America honors in 2006 -- the first time in UW history that has happened -- including a third-place finish for Washington's 4x400-meter relay indoors that was the best-ever for a UW relay indoors, and the best by a UW 4x400-meter squad, indoors or out, since winning the 1975 NCAA outdoor title. Prior to the arrival of assistant coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr., who took over UW's sprint/relay program in 2005, Washington had failed to qualify a relay for the NCAA Championships since 1998 -- in the two years since Vaughn's hire, a stunning six of the Huskies' eight relays have qualified for the NCAA Championships, while four have earned All-America honors -- a feat accomplished by just three UW relays in the previous 30 years. Washington had multiple relays at both the 2005 NCAA Outdoor and 2006 NCAA Indoor meets -- something that had not occurred even once previously in 85 years of NCAA competition -- and has put three of its four relays atop the UW record books, with the fourth (the 4x100-meter relay) clocking UW's second-fastest time ever, and the fastest by a UW sprint relay in 22 years.
Brown is Back: Just two years ago, Ryan Brown was out of track and field, having walked away from a promising career, stating a desire to focus on school over sports. In the 16 months since returning to the sport in January 2005, however, Brown won NCAA, Pac-10, West Regional and MPSF 800-meter titles, and captured a stunning six All-America accolades. Brown's turnaround began in the 2005 Pac-10 800-meter final, as the Renton native outkicked Pac-10 favorite Jon Rankin of UCLA down the homestretch to win in 1:47.31, then continued two weeks later when Brown outkicked Rankin again to win the 2005 NCAA West Regional. After filling in the intervening 12 months with All-America performances in the 800m (10th, 2005 Outdoors), 4x400m (3rd, 2006 Indoors) and DMR (5th, 2006 Indoors) Brown was back atop the podium at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor Championships, again outkicking the field in the final 100 meters for his first NCAA title, and the first by a Husky men's runner since 1998. Brown's time of 1:46.29 in the NCAA final shattered the school record and was the fastest by a collegian in 2006, and was more than a full second faster than his previous lifetime best. The junior returned less than two hours later to lead the Huskies' 4x400-meter relay squad to eighth, in the process becoming one of just four Huskies ever to earn six-career All-America honors. Brown is set to make his season debut this weekend in both the 800 meters and the distance medley relay.
Elite Company: In capturing two All-America honors at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, senior Ryan Brown became one of just 10 Huskies ever to earn multiple All-America honors at one meet, a feat he then duplicated outdoors. Sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker, UW's most prolific All-American with 10 career honors, holds the UW meet record with three All-America awards at the 1998 NCAA Indoor Championships, and is the only Husky besides Brown to accomplish the All-America double more than once. Brown's honors, furthermore, helped extend his career total to six, equaling Rick Noji for third on UW's all-time list behind only Hooker (10) and Scott Neilson (7). History is also in the making on the women's side, where senior Ashley Lodree's four All-America honors are tied for the second-most ever by a UW woman. Like Brown, Lodree has potentially two NCAA meets remaining to break the UW women's record (5), set by pole vaulter Kate Soma from 2002-05.
Vault Legacy: From Brad Walker to Kate Soma to an NCAA-record five women's vaulters over 13 feet in 2005, there is little doubt that Washington reigns supreme in the world of collegiate -- and in Walker's case, international -- pole vaulting. In just the past four years, Washington pole vaulters current and past have stood atop the podium at the NCAA Championships, the USATF Championships and the IAAF World Championships, combining for two world-championship medals, three USATF titles, three NCAA titles, three Pac-10 titles and nine All-America honors. Reigning world indoor champion Walker, who has taken on an active role at UW this season as a volunteer assistant coach, holds the world's No. 1 ranking in the pole vault, while both he and Soma rank among the NCAA's all-time top-10 in their respective events.
Roth Sets Bar High: Fans used to watching the world's best pole vaulters wear the purple and gold roared loud and strong for freshman vaulter Scott Roth at the season-opening UW Indoor Preview at Dempsey Indoor in January. Roth responded with a lifetime-best clearance of 17-6 1/2, good for fourth in UW history indoors and fifth in the nation this year. That Roth should succeed right from the start is little surprise, really. The Granite Bay, Calif., native has led all U.S. prep pole vaulters in each of the past two seasons, and boasted a prep-best clearance of 17-4 that was among the best in U.S. prep history. Roth will seek to add to UW's pole vault legacy -- including NCAA champions Brad Walker and Kate Soma, and numerous All-Americans -- at March's NCAA Indoor Championships, for which he is provisionally qualified in the pole vault.
Best in NCAA History: Washington's pole vaulters haven't just been good the past 10 years ¬-- they've been record-good. During the 2005 season, Washington's women's vaulters broke three NCAA records, including most women's vaulters at a single NCAA Championships (4), most women's vaulters to compete at NCAAs in one year, indoors and out (5), and most women's vaulters over 13 feet in one season (5). In fact, whereas prior to 2005, no team had ever sent more than three women's vaulters to the NCAA meet, Washington sent four each to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, with three earning All-America honors and senior Kate Soma bringing home the 2005 NCAA outdoor title. Washington should remain a vaulting force in 2007, as two of the five return, including two-time NCAA qualifier Stevie Marshalek and three-time NCAA qualifier Kelley DiVesta. Those two will attempt to ahve their photos placed alongside former teammates Soma, Carly Dockendorf and Ashley Wildhaber on the Huskies' All-American wall, while also seeking to join the talented trio on the list of the Pac-10's all-time greatest women's vaulters:
All-Time Pac-10 Pole Vault Top-10
Name, School, Year, Mark
1. Chelsea Johnson, UCLA, 2006, 15-1
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
Four-Minute Man: Washington junior Austin Abbott ran into the history books at last February's Husky Classic, becoming just the third Husky runner ever to break four minutes in the mile. Abbott's time of 3:59.47 was UW's third-fastest ever, and one of just 10 four-minute miles by collegiate athletes in the nation in 2006. A graduate of W.F. West High School in Chehalis, Wash., Abbott enjoyed a banner freshman season in 2005, capturing All-America honors in the distance medley relay, and earning a third-place finish in the Pac-10 1,500-meter final. Abbott also set UW freshman records in the 800 meters indoors, and the 1,500 meters outdoors, including a half-mile best of 1:49.64 that was a UW school record for two weeks, before teammate Shane Charles bettered it with a 1:49.59 posting. While his four-minute mile and subsequent second-place finish at the MPSF Championships earned him fame this winter, Abbott unselfishly chose to forgo the mile in favor of the DMR at March's NCAA Indoor Championships, ultimately anchoring the team to a second-straight fifth-place finish. Proving that the karmic gods exist, however, Abbott earned a second chance to compete as an individual at the NCAA meet during the outdoor season, placing 10th in his 1,500-meter prelim.
Brains And Brawn: In just three years, senior Martin Bingisser has already captured an indoor conference title, earned an All-America honor and posted UW's best marks in a decade in the hammer and weight throws --but it's his accomplishments outside the cage that truly set him apart. A three-time third-place hammer finisher at the Pac-10 Championships and the 2006 MPSF Conference champion in the weight throw, Bingisser earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy in June 2005 after just three years of college, and is currently in his second year in the UW School of Law. The Interlake High School graduate, who will use his final year of eligibility in 2007 while pursuing his J.D., has been on a tear since transferring from Cal State Northridge in the fall of 2004, culminating with a 64-foot, 8 3/4-inch toss in March's indoor conference championships -- just the second weight throw competition of his collegiate career. Bingisser's effort -- UW's best since 1985 --echoed his success in the hammer throw, where the Bellevue native placed 12th at the 2006 NCAA Championships, and ranks fourth in UW history with a best of 212-9 . In addition to his academic and athletic prowess, Bingisser is among the country's leading hammer scholars -- his website, HammerCenter.com, provides the nation's most comprehensive coverage of the hammer at the prep and college level, plus videos and other instruction tools.
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 UW's career top-10s 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), Will Conwell (No. 5, discus), Dana Hall (No. 3, 110m HH), Sterling Hinds (No. 3, 100m/200m), Pete Kaligis (No. 6, shot put), Orlando McKay (No. 2, 400m), Tony Parrish (No. 5, triple jump) and Isaiah Stanback (No. 8, 100m), basketball players Tara Davis (No. 1, triple jump; No. 2, long jump), Brent Merritt (No. 6, 400m), and Heather Reichmann (No. 2, javelin), All-American volleyball star Makare Desilets (No. 5, high jump), and track/gymnastics All-American Carly Dockendorf (No. 2, pole vault). UW's two-sport stars have excelled on the world stage, too -- Herman Brix and Paul Jessup, stars of UW's football teams in the 1920s, each competed at the Olympics, and set world records in the shot put, and discus. Washington's current roster includes two athletes currently on scholarship in other sports, both from UW's football team -- defensive linemen Daniel Te'o-Nesheim and Cameron Elisara, who will throw the shot and discus for the Huskies this spring.
Jumping Out of His Shoes: Junior Norris Frederick, already qualified for NCAA Championships competition in the long and high jumps this year, literally jumped out of his shoes at the 2004 World Junior Championships, tearing apart the footwear which guided him to five state prep titles. Undeterred, the Roosevelt High School senior strapped on borrowed shoes and placed 19th in both the high and long jumps. It takes more than an equipment malfunction to ground Frederick: already a Pac-10 champion, two-time All-American and three-time NCAA Championships participant, Frederick in June became the first Husky ever to compete in both the long and high jumps at the same NCAA Championships. One of just seven Huskies ever to long jump 25 feet -- something he has done 13 times already --and one of just 12 to high jump seven feet, Frederick is the first ever to do both, repeating the feat both in 2005 and 2006. Frederick has extensive experience in both events at the NCAA meet, having competed three times in the long jump (6th, 2005 indoors;12th, 2006 indoors; 22nd, 2006 outdoors) and twice in the high jump (14th, 2005; 15th, 2006). That 2005 long jump finish was the best by a UW long jumper since 1965, and earned the freshman his first of two-career All-America honors. Frederick enters the 2007 season hoping to repeat the success he had at the 2006 Pac-10 Championships, where he won the long jump with a wind-aided lifetime best of 25-10 before taking second in the high jump with a lifetime-best 7-1 the next day.
Long-Range Talents: Those who only follow UW track and field outdoors may not have heard of sophomores Jeremy Mineau or Anita Campbell entering the spring of 2006, but they certainly have now. Making his outdoor debut in March before a hometown crowd at Stanford, Menlo Park, Calif., native Mineau obliterated UW's freshman record in the 10,000 meters and climbed to second on UW's all-time list. Mineau's time of 28:49.69 -- second in 2006 by a collegiate freshman -- was just the third sub-29 minute 10K in UW history, and was just 15 seconds shy of David Bazzi's school record. Mineau had already made a name for himself during the indoor and cross country seasons, where he has been one of UW's top competitors since the start of 2004-05. Campbell, likewise, entered last spring as a household name to fans of UW's cross country and indoor track and field squads -- the Vancouver, B.C., native has earned top-100 finishes at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in each of her first two years, and set a UW freshman record indoors with a 16:33.27 posting in a second-place effort at the 2006 MPSF Championships -- but was an unknown quantity to UW's outdoor fans before the NCAA Regional meet, where her surprising third-place finish placed the freshman in the NCAA Championships field. Campbell's subsequent 21st-place finish -- in a UW freshman-record 16:29.91, no less -- sent notice that she, and Mineau, will be strong contenders for Washington through at least the 2009 campaign.
Former Huskies Return: Two new faces on the Husky squad will be familiar to all who follow Washington track and field -- former Huskies Will Conwell and Brad Walker return to Montlake in 2007 as volunteer assistant coaches, Conwell working with UW's discus throwers, and Walker with the Husky pole vaulters. Both bring impressive pedigrees to the UW staff: 2006 graduate Conwell was a four-time top-five finisher and ranks among the Huskies' all-time best in the discus and weight throw. Walker, meanwhile, has won three USATF titles and two world championship medals, and elevated himself to No. 1 in the IAAF World Rankings in the pole vault since graduating in 2004 as a two-time NCAA champion and Pac-10 record holder. Remarkably, not even Walker, however, can match the accolades of fellow UW volunteer assistant Aretha (Hill) Thurmond. A four-time All-American during her time at Washington from 1995-98, the former Aretha Hill boasts three U.S. discus titles, is a two-time U.S. Olympian, and ranks third in U.S. history -- and second in NCAA history -- in the event.
Ridiculous Records: Washington's athletes certainly kept the team's indoor record-keepers busy in 2006, combining for 51 marks among the Huskies' all-time top-10 indoors, including five school records -- two by hurdler Ashley Lodree. Washington's highly-acclaimed indoor facility, Dempsey Indoor, has certainly had an effect on the Huskies' indoor list, with 27 school records and an eye-popping 241 marks among UW's all-time top-10 having been achieved since the start of the 2002 season, UW's first in the facility.
Head Coach Greg Metcalf: Former Husky All-American Greg Metcalf is in his fifth year as Washington's head coach of track and field and cross country, and his 10th year overall on the UW staff. Metcalf had a banner 2006 campaign, coaching middle distance runners Ryan Brown and Amy Lia to NCAA titles, and earning MPSF Men's Coach of the Year honors after guiding the UW men to three individual conference crowns and the Huskies' first-ever indoor team title. In his first four seasons at the helm, Metcalf has led the UW women to four top-25 finishes at the NCAA Championships, and guided the Husky men to 19th- and 22nd-place NCAA finishes in 2006. Individually, 15 UW distance runners have earned NCAA berths, with two earning NCAA titles and eight grabbing All-America accolades, a list which does not include the team's All-America distance medley relays in 2005 and 2006. In addition, Metcalf has led the Huskies' women's cross country team to the NCAA meet eight of his first 10 years at the helm, and guided the UW men to a 12th-place NCAA cross country finish in 2006. In nine years atop Washington's distance program, Metcalf has coached two NCAA champions, six Pac-10 champions, 19 All-Americans, 13 school-record setters and 74 NCAA Championships competitors. 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 2007 is in no way short on accolades. Tenth-year vaults/jumps coach Pat Licari has coached 12 All-Americans, including NCAA champions Brad Walker and Kate Soma. Third-year sprints/hurdles coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr., meanwhile, has had a banner first two years, mentoring Ashley Lodree to four All-America honors and guiding five of UW's six relays to NCAA berths, including four All-American relays. Second-year throws coach Reedus Thurmond mentored two conference champions and three NCAA qualifiers in his first year, including a pair of All-America perfomers, while fifth-year distance coach Kelly Strong was a five-time All-American and three-time Pac-10 champion at ASU, and guided Amy Lia to an NCAA title in 2006. The newcomer to the group is first-year men's distance coach Jimmy Bean, an All-Midwest Region performer at Division-III Greenville (Ill.) University and a highly-touted coach and recruiter. Ironically, the most accomplished members of the Husky coaching staff are two of the the team's volunteer assistants -- former Huskies Aretha (Hill) Thurmond and Brad Walker. The two are each among the premier athletes in the world, combining for six U.S. titles and two Olympic appearances, and each ranking among America's all-time top-four in their respective events.
2007 Season Preview: Washington will look to continue its record-setting two-year run of NCAA Championships appearances and All-America honors in 2007, with eight All-Americans, two NCAA champions and two Pac-10 champions providing the backbone of a resurgent UW program. Washington's men look to return to the podium at the Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional meets with a number of strong returnees, including six-time All-American and reigning NCAA 800m champion Ryan Brown, two-time All-American and defending Pac-10 long jump champion Norris Frederick, and All-American hammer thrower Martin Bingisser, as well as three of four returnees from the Huskies' distance medley relay squad which has placed fifth at each of the past two NCAA championship meets. The Husky men are also bolstered by a number of rising young stars, including newcomer Mart Israel of Estonia, whose lifetime discus best would have scored at last year's NCAA Championships, and freshman pole vaulter Scott Roth, a 17-foot prep jumper with the ability to compete immediately on the national level. Washington's women, meanwhile, remain strong at the top with the return of defending NCAA 1500m champion Amy Lia, four-time All-American and reigning MPSF 60m hurdles champion Ashley Lodree, and sophomore distance sensation Anita Campbell, along with freshman and prep All-American thrower Whitney Hooks, and emerging young stars Dani Schuster (mid-distances) and Kelley DiVesta (pole vault).
2006 In Review: The 2006 season proved to be another record-breaker for Washington track and field, with Husky athletes accounting for two NCAA titles, three Pac-10 titles, three MPSF indoor titles, and an unprecedented MPSF indoor team championship. A total of 25 Huskies earned NCAA Championships bids last season (second in UW history only to the 28 of a year before), with a record 19 earning All-America honors. Distance runner Ryan Brown became just the second Husky to win four All-America honors in one season, winning the NCAA outdoor title at 800m, and leading UW's 4x400m (3rd indoors, 8th outdoors) and DMR squads (5th indoors) to top-eight national finishes. Sophomore Amy Lia also won an NCAA title, at 1500m, and was ninth at the USATF Outdoor Championships. Junior Ashley Lodree cracked the Pac-10's all-time top-10 in the 100m hurdles with a 12.99-second mark en route to her third- and fourth-career All-America honors, and was one of six Huskies to earn conference titles. Lodree, sophomore longer jumper Norris Frederick and junior weight thrower Martin Bingisser all captured conference crowns indoors, the latter helping the UW men to their first conference title of any kind since 1929. Frederick (long jump), senior Juan Romero (javelin) and senior Shane Charles (400m hurdles) continued the conference championship bonanza at the 2006 Pac-10 meet, becoming the first UW trio to earn conference titles in individual events since 1977.