Track & Field Inks Three Northwest Women to NLIs

Feb. 25, 2008

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Thrower Anna Albrecht and distance runners Michelly Foley and Mietra Smollack have signed National Letters of Intent to attend and compete for Washington State University, Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan announced Monday, Feb. 25.

'We are very pleased to announce three more signees for the women's team,' Sloan said. 'Michelly, Mietra and Anna are going to be very important to the program. Michelly and Mietra bring added strength and depth to our distance program and they will be valuable members of our team during all three competitive seasons. Anna comes in at a time when all of our women throwers in the shot, disc and hammer are finishing their careers. We already have some good people committed to Washington State but Anna is the leading returning thrower in the state and I think she is going to be a great thrower this year in high school and a great thrower for the Cougars in the future.'

Albrecht, from Pullman High in Pullman, Wash., is the two-time state 2A champion in the shot put and the defending discus champion. She set state meet records with her 2007 shot put throw of 43-feet, 11 1/4 inches (44-0 is her PR), and her lifetime-best discus mark of 145-6. Albrecht is a versatile athlete and at the end of her high school career will have earned 12 varsity letters. In her four seasons of soccer, the Greyhounds advanced to the state tournament three times and were the state academic team champions three times. A post player on the basketball team, Pullman has won Great Northern League titles the past three seasons and placed third at state in 2006. The Hounds' track team won the state championship her sophomore year and she was named the 2007 Girls' Thrower of the Year in the GNL.

'Anna is a great all-around athlete and as a Pullman kid we wanted to keep her in Pullman and she was interested in staying here,' Cougar associate coach and throws coach Debra Farwell said. 'In addition to her wonderful athletic abilities, she is an excellent student. I'm delighted to have her in our program.'

Foley, from Crook County High, Prineville, Ore., won the Oregon state 5A cross country championship in 2007 and ran a 3000m time of 10:20.64 last spring.

'Michelly had a really good fall and a good cross country season ending with her winning the state championship. She is one of the best distance runners out of Oregon and a great fit for our program. Michelly is a very raw talent that will develop into a great runner here at WSU,' WSU cross country head coach Jason Drake said.

Smollack, from Oak Harbor High, Oak Harbor, Wash., is an accomplished runner but also an outstanding basketball player for the Wildcats. She placed 16th at the last state 4A cross country championship and during the track season won the 2007 district 800m and 1600m titles. Smollack went on to place in both events at state taking fourth in the 1600m and seventh in the 800m. She broke the school records for 800m (2.14) and the 1600m (4.58) last year and was named the team's athlete of the year. Smollack has earned all-league honors in basketball three times and has been among the top ten scorers in the league the past two years.

'Mietra is the top returning 800m runner in the state this year,' Drake said. 'She broke (former Cougar) Molly Bull's school record in the 800m at Oak Harbor High. She ran a 4:58 time in the mile and anytime you are under the magic barrier of five minutes in the mile in high school that makes you a pretty special athlete. Mietra's a phenomenal athlete and I think she could be a wonderful steeplechase competitor.

These three women join six already announced signees: Brianne Brown, a 400m runner from Spokane, Wash., Morgan Clem, a hurdler from East Wenatchee, Wash., Ashley Kenney, a discus thrower from Spokane Valley, Wash., Courtney Kirkwood, a heptathlete from Othello, Wash., Jessica Yates, a triple jumper from Snohomish, Wash., and Alex Ringe, a middle distance runner from Hermiston, Ore.

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