Huskies Take On Pac-12s In L.A.
2021 Pac-12 Championships
May 14-16 | Loker Stadium (USC)
SEATTLE – The Pac-12 Championships are at hand as one of the nation's most prestigious track meets returns after a one-year absence. Washington is setting up shop in Los Angeles for the weekend and will compete over the next three days, May 14-16, at USC's Loker Stadium.
Portions of the championships will be televised or live streamed by the Pac-12 Networks, however only finals on the track will be covered, and only those finals occurring on Sunday, which excludes the 10,000-meters and the steeplechase.
The meet has a different look to its schedule compared to previous years, expanding from two to three days, but incorporating the multi-events into the rest of the meet rather than holding those a week prior as in the past.
Friday will feature the start of the decathlon and heptathlon, several track prelims, the 10,000-meter finals, and field event finals in the men's and women's hammer throw and javelin.
Saturday, the multis will wrap up, field event finals will include both long jumps, the men's high jump and women's pole vault, and both shot puts, plus 3,000-meter steeplechase finals and another round of running preliminaries.
Sunday then begins at 3 p.m. live on Pac-12 Networks and will feature all track event finals aside from the 10k and steeplechase, plus both discus competitions, both triple jumps, the men's pole vault and the women's high jump.
Husky Entries - Women
In the sprints, the Huskies will have Aaliyah Wilson, Olivia Ribera, Victoria Gersch, and Darhian Mills with Jelani Heath adding to the 4x100m relay. Wilson will run both the 100-meters and 100-meter hurdles while Ribera will focus on the 200-meters, and Gersch entered in both relays. Mills will be looking to reach another final in the 400-meter hurdles.
The women's 800-meters has two women with sub-2:06 times but then 12 women with 2:06 or 2:07 season-bests, including Marlena Preigh and Carley Thomas, with Madison Heisterman also entered at the distance. The 1,500-meters will feature Anna Gibson, Heisterman, and Allie Schadler.
The Huskies will put five women on the line for the 10k on Friday night, with Haley Herberg stepping up to the distance for the first time along with Naomi Smith, Camila David-Smith, Andrea Markezich, and Hannah Waskom.
Saturday's steeplechase final will feature Katie Rainsberger, running the event for just the third time, but she comes in seeded No. 2 at 9:49.79, just a second behind the conference leader.
The 5,000-meters, which sees many athletes doubling at the end of the meet, will potentially have Schadler, Rainsberger, and Gibson.
Makenna Barton comes in seeded fifth in the women's pole vault. Ashleigh Helms and Delaney Ezeji-Okoye will also vault. Jelani Heath will compete in the women's long jump, and Lauren Heggen will go in her first conference triple jump.
In the throws, MaKayla Kelby comes in seeded No. 2 in the discus while Beatrice Asomaning is seeded eighth and Ginny Mehl is No. 12. Kelby is also ranked fifth coming in in the shot put. Ida Eikeng will take time out of her heptathlon to throw the javelin where she is ranked third, along with freshmen Kathleen Horn and Natalie Holmer.
Eikeng, Lyndsey Lopes, and defending champion Hannah Rusnak will all be in the two-day heptathlon competition. Eikeng and Lopes have yet to complete a heptathlon this season, but Rusnak leads the league with a season-best score of 5,508.
Husky Entries – Men
Cass Elliott is the highest-seeded Husky sprinter as he comes in third in the 400m hurdles. Julian Body is seeded fifth in the 110m hurdles and sixth in the 400m hurdles while freshman Jonathan Birchman is eighth in the 110m hurdles and 12th in the 400m hurdles. Kemuel Santana will look to make a second Pac-12 final in the 200-meters.
The distance events at the Pac-12 meet this season are deeper than some NCAA finals so every point will be hard-fought. In the men's 800-meters, Mick Stanovsek, Cruz Culpepper, and Dustin Nading are all entered. Stanovsek and Nading are also entered in the men's 1,500-meters, along with No. 3 seed Sam Tanner, and Luke Houser.
The men's 10k Friday night will have Tibebu Proctor, ranked second coming in, along with Talon Hull who has not raced thus far this outdoor season, and Andrew Jordan moving up to the 10k for the first time on the track.
The men's steeple final should be a great battle with Julius Diehr coming in ranked fourth and Joe Waskom seeded fifth, while Sam Affolder will also chase points as the No. 10 seed.
In Sunday's 5,000-meters, potentially doubling back are Houser, Proctor, Hull, Diehr, Affolder, Waskom, and Tanner, while Isaac Green will be the one UW entry not entered in another event.
Chase Smith and Zach Shugart will be entered in the men's pole vault for the Dawgs, Smith coming in seeded fourth with just two competitions under his belt this season.
2019 Pac-12 Champion Elijah Mason is seeded second in the men's discus while Jonah Wilson comes in seeded fifth. Jayden White will also throw the discus, and he is ranked fifth in the hammer throw. Connor Jost comes in as the No. 8 seed in the deep men's hammer field. The shot put is also loaded, with Wilson and Sam Van Peursem looking to score some points. Dalton Sugg goes into his first Pac-12 javelin competition seeded third overall, with Zach Annanie right behind in fourth, and Brady Gockel also comes in seeded seventh.
Parker Kennedy and Ollie Thorner will take on the decathlon between Friday and Saturday. Kennedy's season-best score of 6,907 ranks him second coming in, while Thorner will be looking to complete his first collegiate decathlon.