UW Final Qualifier Closes Dempsey Season
March 4, 2010
ON THE TRACK: There is one last chance for Husky track athletes to position themselves for the 2010 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, as the Dempsey Indoor closes up shop with the UW Final Qualifier this Saturday afternoon. Much smaller in scope than the rest of the Dempsey meets, the Final Qualifier will still feature a number of elite events as only athletes with a shot at nationals typically travel to compete this weekend.
The field events begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday with the first track events starting at 12 noon. The meet should run until approximately 4 p.m.
For the Huskies, several NCAA hopefuls will be looking to strengthen their cases for a trip to Fayetteville, Arkansas and the NCAA Indoor Championships which are just a week away on March 12-13. Then there will also be a number of Dawgs on the track looking to PR in different events and take some momentum into the outdoor season which begins at the end of March.
The women's 3,000-meters will be a key race on Saturday, tentatively scheduled for 2:40 p.m. Sophomore Mel Lawrence and redshirt freshman Kendra Schaaf will be looking to help each other get to Fayetteville in the 3k. Both have already posted NCAA Provisional qualifiers but will need faster times to make the cut. Lawrence may already get to NCAAs with her time in 5,000-meters, but qualified in the 3k last year and will look to do the same on Saturday. Schaaf, despite her wealth of cross country accomplishments, just made her UW track debut last weekend at the MPSF Championships and will need to cut around 10 seconds off her 3,000-meter time to be in contention.
The women's pole vault will have a strong field of Pac-10 contenders trying to clear one more bar. Freshman Logan Miller will aim for 13-feet for the first time, while Ally Wojciechowski and Taylor Fjeran will also compete, coming off season-bests at MPSFs. Also looking to build on PRs last week are triple jumpers Shaniae Lakes and Lindsey Fleishman. The two both scored at MPSFs and rank in UW's Top-10 with their season-bests.
Sophomore Kelly McNamee, an NCAA qualifier last season, will take a final shot at a return trip in the women's high jump. She will likely need to equal her PR of 5-11 1/2 to make it in.
The men's mile run should be a real highlight, especially if Nike's Galen Rupp leads the way. Rupp, a 2008 Olympian, and runner-up at the recent USA Indoor Championships in the 3,000-meters, is entered in both the 800m and mile run. Washington has four of its top mid-distance athletes entered in the top heat, including Max O'Donoghue-McDonald, Ryan Soberanis, Ryan Styrk, and James Cameron. World Championships participant Ryan Brown is also entered in the top heat.
In the sprints, senior Kenjamine Jackson will likely wrap his collegiate career looking to set final PRs in the 60-meter dash and 200-meter dash. Senior Ryan Vu will also make a last attempt at joining Scott Roth in the pole vault field. Vu cleared 17-6 outdoors last year and will need to go a couple inches higher to earn his first NCAA bid. Sophomore Richard Anderson will also look to bounce back from fouling out at MPSFs in the shot put and get back to the 55-foot form from two weeks prior.
HOW TO GET TO FAYETTEVILLE: All athletes who meet the NCAA's automatic-qualifying standards in their events are guaranteed inclusion in the NCAA Indoor Championships field, which allows for 284 men and 284 women total. In the event that there are not enough automatic qualifiers to provide full fields, athletes are selected in descending order of performance from those who have met the provisional standard in each event, creating fields with a minimum of 14 athletes per individual event and 10 teams per relay.
FOLLOW ALONG AT HOME: Live results of the UW Final Qualifier will be available on UW's athletics website, www.GoHuskies.com, with links on the main track home page and the schedule page. Cumulative results will be posted at the end of the day.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: Both the Husky men and women moved up in the latest rankings after the MPSF Championships. The men rose five spots up to 28th overall, thanks to improvements from Scott Roth and Colton Tully-Doyle. The women improved by two spots, up to 36th, thanks to Mel Lawrence's new qualifier in the 5k. The rankings assign points in each event based on the current national leaders to try and approximate NCAA scores. Several Huskies sit at or near the top of the current descending order lists, which rank all the top marks in the nation this year. On the men's side, junior Scott Roth retook the NCAA lead in the pole vault at the MPSF Championships, which he won with a meet-record clearance of 18-9 1/4. Senior Katie Follett's school-record mile time of 4:34.98 from the Husky Classic is the second-best time in Division-I. Junior Colton Tully-Doyle's breakout year continued at MPSFs as he ran a school-record 5,000-meter time of 13:48.86 to rank seventh nationally. He also ranks 13th in the 3k with a time of 7:56.67. Lawrence now ranks 16th nationally with her 5,000-meter time of 16:11.82.