Huskies En Route To Hayward Field For Pac-12s
THIS WEEK IN HUSKY TRACK & FIELD
2022 Pac-12 Championships
Eugene, Ore. | Hayward Field
SEATTLE – Three days will decide the Pac-12 Champions for track and field this weekend, as the Huskies visit Eugene, Ore. and Hayward Field for one of the most exciting meets in the NCAA. Pac-12 Networks will televise as well as stream the event, which runs from Friday through Sunday, May 13-15.
For the second straight year, the championships are spread over a three-day period, as opposed to the two-day meet of previous seasons. Friday, competition begins with the multi-events at 1 p.m., field events start at 4:30 p.m. and running events start at 6 p.m. Field event finals on Friday include the women's hammer, the men's and women's pole vaults, and men's and women's javelin throws. The only track finals on Friday are the men's and women's 10,000-meters, starting at 7:35 p.m.
Saturday, multis resume at 11 a.m., and field events start at 1:45 p.m. with the men's hammer. Men's and women's long jumps, and shot puts, are the other Saturday field finals. Another round of prelims on the track start at 4 p.m., and the only track finals on Saturday are the steeplechases, beginning at 6 p.m.
Sunday, field events begin at 11:30 a.m. and the track action starts at 1 p.m., with 20 races in a row crowning a champion. Field event finals on Sunday include men's and women's discus, high jumps, and triple jumps.
Scoring features the standard 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system for the top-eight finishers. Last year, both Husky squads finished in third-place, the women tying for third. It was the first time in program history that both teams were top-three at the same meet, and it also was the best finish in women's team history. UW scored 114 points on the men's side for its second-highest point total ever, and the combined 191 points from the men and women was also second-highest all time.
The Pac-12 is very well represented in the USTFCCCA national Top-25. On the men's side, Oregon is ranked seventh, USC is eighth, followed by Stanford at No. 11, and then Washington at No. 19. Arizona State checks in at 22nd and California sits 25th.
Oregon also leads the women's rankings, coming it at No. 9, with the Huskies next at No. 15. Arizona State ranks No. 16, Stanford is at No. 18, USC ranks 21st, Cal comes in at 24th, and Colorado rounds it out at No. 25.
HUSKY ENTRIES – MEN
Freshman Anthony Smith gets his first crack at conference, entered in both the 100m and 200m. Smith tied the UW freshman record in the 200-meters earlier this year, of 20.70, which ranks eighth in the Pac-12.
The rest of the sprinters will be focused on the hurdles, as Jonathan Birchman runs both the 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles, and Cass Elliott and Matthew Wilkinson also go in the 400m hurdles. Elliott is seeded third and Birchman is fifth in the 400m hurdles. Those four will also comprise the Husky 4x100m relay.
In the distance events, UW will have one entry at 800-meters, freshman Nathan Green, who drops down to the distance for the first time this season. At 1,500-meters, Brian Fay, Luke Houser, Ryan Renken, and Joe Waskom are all in the field. Houser set the school record this year at 3:37.51.
The steeplechase has been a thriller for UW at Pac-12s for several years now, and should be again with Sam Affolder seeded second in the field, and Brian Fay entered for what would be his first steeple at UW. 2021 Pac-12 runner-up Joe Waskom is also on the mix. In Friday's 10k final, Kieran Lumb is seeded second with his No. 2 time in school history of 28:25.93, and Tibebu Proctor is seeded fourth, while Isaac Mohn will also chase points.
The 5k, coming near the end of the meet, is typically a catch-all for athletes who are up for running one more race, but one Husky who will be fresh is Isaac Green, an NCAA semifinalist in the 5k last year. Affolder, Fay, Houser, Lumb, Proctor, Renken, and Waskom are all entered as well.
In the jumps and multis, Tim Luebbert goes in the long and triple jumps, while Jaylen Taylor will triple. Ollie Thorner is seeded second in the decathlon, after a runner-up finish last year. Freshman Jami Schlueter will look for his first Pac-12 points, as he comes in seeded sixth.
In the throws, two-time Pac-12 Champion Elijah Mason faces one of the best discus fields in Pac-12 history this season. Even with a 194-foot season-best, Mason is seeded just fifth this year, as the NCAA record has been broken by a Cal freshman from Lithuania. Four men have thrown over 200-feet in the league this season, so a third title from Mason would be the most amazing yet.
The Huskies have two throwers seeded No. 2 on the men's side. Jayden White comes in ranked second in the hammer, and Roan Allen is seeded second in the javelin. Connor Jost will look to score for a second time in the hammer, while Zach Annanie is seeded eighth in the javelin, though he placed third a year ago. Sam Van Peursem is looking to score for the second straight year in the shot put. Also in the discus field is Nolan Such and Brady Gockel is in the javelin as well.
HUSKY ENTRIES – WOMEN
In the women's sprints, Aaliyah Wilson and Olivia Ribera will look to keep moving up the Husky top-10 lists in the 100-meters, and Ribera will also race the 200-meters. Victoria Gersch is slated to return to action after missing the past few meets due to an injury, as she is seeded 11th in the 400-meters. Wilson, Ribera, and Gersch will run the 4x100m relay along with Jelani Heath.
The women's 800m is one of the most competitive events of the meet, with Carley Thomas and Anna Gibson owning the top two seed times, but ten women have run 2:06.04 or faster. Madison Heisterman and Sophie O'Sullivan will also look to punch their way to the final.
Gibson, Heisterman, and O'Sullivan will also all run the 1,500-meters, with Sophie Cantine also in the mix. Gibson has the No. 2 time this year at 4:13.31.
The women's 10,000-meters on Friday will be big for the Dawgs, as Haley Herberg will be among the favorites. She was third in the 10k last year, and Naomi Smith was fifth. Smith will run her first 10k this season, and Allie Schadler is also entered for what would be her first track 10k. Andrea Markezich, Camila David-Smith, and Kiera Marshall are all entered as well.
Freshman Julia David-Smith is set to run her second steeplechase after winning the UW-WSU Dual in her first attempt.
The women's 5,000m on Sunday will have Huskies doubling back, with Cantine, Camila David-Smith, Herberg, Markezich, Schadler, and Smith all entered.
In the women's pole vault, Makenna Barton, Delaney Ezeji-Okoye, and Ashleigh Helms will all look to fly high. Barton is the defending champion, but an injury kept her out of most of this outdoor season until mid-April. Jelani Heath goes for the Dawgs in the long jump.
Ida Eikeng enters with the conference's top score in the heptathlon, with an NCAA Outdoor appearance already assured. Hannah Rusnak, the 2019 champion, is ranked fourth, and could use an improved season-best to join Eikeng at nationals. Eikeng was third at Pac-12s last year, as teammate Lyndsey Lopes got the win, but then Eikeng went on to break the school record and place fifth at NCAAs.
In the throws, school record-holder in the shot put, MaKayla Kelby, is seeded fifth in a loaded field. Kelby is also ranked fourth in the discus, with Beatrice Asomaning right behind her at No. 5 on the performance list. Asomaning will also compete in the hammer throw.
In the women's javelin, sophomore Kathleen Horn comes in ranked fourth and sophomore Natalie Holmer will be looking to outdo her No. 11 seed and grab some points.