Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Katie Mackey wins USATF One Mile Road Championship...

DES MOINES, Iowa—University of Washington alum Katie Mackey (above/photo courtesy Drake University) of the Brooks Beasts was a surprising winner of the USATF 1 Mile Road Championship at the Grand Blue Mile to kick off the Drake Relays through the streets of downtown Des Moines Tuesday evening.

Beasts teammate Hannah Fields went to the lead, along with Olympian Shannon Rowbury and Amanda Eccleston.

In the last quarter mile, Rowbury started her drive to the finish. as Mackey tried to cover the move.

As the field approached the finish, Mackey darted past Fields, and caught Rowbury and Eccleston with less than 100 meters remaining to take the win in 4:37.0 with Eccleston second at 4:37.4 and Rowbury third at 4:37.6.

Fields was sixth at 4:41.7, while Washington alum Eleanor Fulton was 13th at 4:46.8.

In the men’s mile, a group of nine took turns with the lead as they spread out across the width of the road, with Garrett Heath of the Brooks Beasts and former Beasts teammate Riley Masters most notable among the early front runners.

Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy, fresh off anchoring Team USA’s winning 4 x 800 relay squad in the Bahamas a few days earlier, made a late charge, to take the win in 4:00.0, just ahead of former Beast Masters’ 4:00.3.

Heath was fourth in 4:01.4, while Beasts teammate and UW alum Izaic Yorks ws seventh in 4:02.1. Drew Windle of the Beasts was 14th in 4:12.1.


NOTE:  USA Track & Field and the Drake Relays contributed to this report.

Monday, April 24, 2017

WEEKEND RECAP: Beasts' Kidder and Loxsom earn gold for Team USA at World Relays...

While the focus of the past weekend was on The Dual between the University of Washington and Washington State University in Seattle, there was other action:

In Nassau, Bahamas, Brannon Kidder and Cas Loxsom (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport) of the Brooks Beasts ran the first and third legs of Team USA’s 4 x 800 meter relay team that won the gold medal at the IAAF/BTC World Relays at Thomas A. Robinson Stadium.

Kidder ran most of Team USA’s first leg behind 2014 world U20 champ Alfred Kipketer of Kenya, then made a burst in the final 100 to give the Americans the lead heading into the second leg, run by Erik Sowinski.

Sowinski lost the lead on his leg, but gave Loxsom a chance to keep it close, finishing his leg about a half-step behind Kenya’s Timothy Kutum as they handed the baton for the anchor legs, run by Ferguson Rotich and Clayton Murphy, the Olympic bronze medal.

Murphy brought home the win in the final straightaway, as Team USA clocked 7:13.16 to Kenya’s 7:13.70.

In the mixed 4 x 400 relay, Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry ran the opening leg for the USA, as they finished second to the Bahamas in 3:17.29.

Complete results from the IAAF World Relays are available here.

The latest USTFCCCA national computer rankings were released Monday, and the University of Washington women’s team, fresh off its victory over Washington State in The Dual, dropped 12 spots to #24.

The rankings mark the first time this season where pre-season marks are not factored in the computations.

The national top five are Texas A&M, Oregon, Arkansas, LSU, and USC.

Other Pac-12 teams in the national top 25 include #14 Stanford, and #21 Arizona State.

The top five men’s teams are Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, Texas Tech, and Alabama.  

#7 USC, #13 Oregon, and #18 UCLA are the only Pac-12 men’s teams ranked in the top 25.


NOTE:  USA Track & Field, the IAAF, and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dawgs sweep Cougs in The Dual on a wet, nasty Seattle day...

Washington's Ryan Croson brings home the baton in the
deciding 4 x 400 relay, while Jacopo Spano raises his arms in triumph,
with Husky sprint coach and NFL legend Eric Metcalf behind Spano
(Howard Lao photo)
SEATTLE—If you want to know why the dual meet matters, look no further than Husky Track on a rainy, dreary Sunday where you knew that personal and/or season bests were going to be few and far between, but competing and making sure you didn’t let your teammates down mattered.

The University of Washington men’s team won the annual Dual Meet against the Washington State Cougars by a count of 84-79, while the women’s squad coasted to a 96-66 win over their cross-state rivals.

This gave the Huskies the sweep of the meet for the third consecutive year, the longest streak in the storied history of the meet.  While the women have a modest three-meet winning streak, the men extended their streak to five in a row, the longest since the Huskies won 11 in a row from 1915-32.

The real story of the men’s competition was in the way it ebbed and flowed, with Washington holding the lead at 42-35 (scored 5-3-1 in individual events, and 5-0 relays) after nine events.

At that point, the Cougars stormed back, thanks in part to a 8-1 win in the 400 hurdles led by WSU’s CJ Allen (50.50);  a 9-0 sweep of the 200 led by Ja’Maun Charles’ 21.53 clocking to notch his second win on the day; and a surprising second place finish in the 3000 by Wazzu’s Sam Levora (8:21.16 to 8:21.27), as he overtook the Huskies’ Mahmoud Moussa a few steps before the finish to give the Cougars a 75-74 lead with only the triple jump and 4 x 400 relay remaining.

In the oh-by-the-way category, Washington All-American Colby Gilbert easily won the 3000 in 8:17.70 to go along with his win in the 1500, where he ran 3:49.34.

Entering the final two events, both teams had to win the 4 x 400, and earn a 5-4 decision in the triple jump to win the meet.

Reflecting the state of the entire meet, the 4 x400 relay had its ebb and flow, with Washington State taking the lead through the first two legs, led by the Allen brothers Corey and CJ.

On the opening leg, Corey Allen got out well ahead of the Huskies’ Lucas Strong before handing off to brother CJ, the two-time Pac-12 champ in the 400 hurdles.

CJ ran a strong leg, but the Huskies’ Italian Stallion, Jacopo Spano, kept it even to give third leg Michael Thomas a reasonable shot, as he was matched up against the Cougars’ Ray Littles, who was a last minute sub for double sprint winner Ja’Maun Charles (although the official results has Charles listed instead of Littles).

Thomas eventually overhauled Littles, getting payback for Littles' second place finish in the open 400 over Thomas (48.83 to 49.12) as he handed the baton to Ryan Croson, who was matched against 800 meter runner Matthew Swanson of the Cougars.

Croson extended the lead. giving the Huskies the win in 3:14.69 to WSU’s 3:15.58, and an apparent victory in the men’s meet.

Though for all intents and purposes, the Huskies got a 5-4 win in the triple jump, the event was not yet finished, so it could not be announced to the fans in the stands and also watching on the Pac-12 Network that the Huskies had won the meet. 

Washington’s Casey Burns, ranked #2 in the Pac-12 with a season and personal best of 51-10.5 (15.81m), took two jumps to easily win the competition with a best of 50-1.75 (15.28m).

Washington State’s Robby Flores, the only athlete in the 4-man triple jump field with a realistic shot at catching Burns, finished second with a sixth round jump of 48-0.75 (14.65m) to officially end the Dual, a few moments after Croson crossed the line.

The Cougars’ Josh Colbert was third at 44-6.75 (13.58m), while Husky pole vaulter Lev Marcus was pressed into triple jump duty and finished fourth at 44-0.5 (13.42m).

Afterwards, an ecstatic UW head coach Greg Metcalf said, “That was what college athletics is all about.”

“We had to win the 4x4 to win the meet. Every kid on our team knew it. We had some guys that were cramping but we drug a couple guys on the track. They (Lucas Strong & Jacopo Spano) kept us close, Michael Thomas ran incredible and gave Ryan Croson a shot with a lap to go, and he delivered the goods. That’s the way a track meet is supposed to end.”

Cougar head coach Wayne Phipps said, “I was extremely proud of the way our teams competed today. It would have been great to get the win, especially with it being so close on the men’s side, but absolutely no fault of the effort put forth today.”

In the women’s team competition, the Cougs kept it close early, but a sweep of the 1500 and an 8-1 count in the 400 and 800 meter runs put the meet solidly in the Huskies’ favor.

Reigning Pac-12 cross country champ Amy-Eloise Neale (4;24.79) won the 1500 in 4:24.79.

Double winners for Washington included Laura Anuakpado in the 200/400 (25.04/53.72) and Gina Flint in the shot/discus (48-3.25/14.71m and 148-11/45.38m).  Kiana Davis had a double win for the Cougs, taking the high jump (5-7/1.70m) and the triple jump (40-9.5/12.43m).

Here are highlights of the meet, courtesy of the Pac-12 Network.


With the way athletes on both sides competed Sunday, this is proof that dual meets are still relevant and that other collegiate squads around the country should make duals an important part of their season, instead of sending parts of teams to various meets around the country in pursuit of qualifying marks.

Dual meets are easy for the average fan to follow—no BS about their athletes getting top-10 marks or (and this is my pet peeve, especially when reading press releases from Division II schools) obtaining provisional qualifying marks for the national championship meet.  There will be very few references to “provisional qualifiers” in this blog, and your school’s press release goes into the trash pile.



HUSKY HALL OF FAMER KEITH TINNER PASSES AWAY

Before the start of the meet, Husky Hall of Famer Keith Tinner, who passed away on April 14th of a heart attack, was honored by the Washington track & field program.

Tinner ran the opening leg on the Huskies’ mile relay team that won the NCAA national title in 1975, handing the baton off to Jerry Belur, with Pablo Franco and Billy Hicks comprising the rest of the quartet.

Their time of 3:04.0 (converted to 3:04.16) stood as the UW school record until 2005.

The NCAA championship relay team was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 1988.

Tinner won five state titles in the 220 and 440 while at Tacoma’s Lincoln HS, and was the first high schooler in state history to break 47 seconds in the quarter. His feats earned him a spot in the Tacoma/Pierce County Athletic Hall of Fame.

He worked for the Tacoma School District for over 20 years. 

Tinner is survived by son Kevin, daughter Kassie, brother Robert, and sisters Linda and Denise.

Here is the UW track team’s remembrance of Tinner on its Instagram account.



NOTE:  The University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Geubelle returns to Kansas and wins triple jump at Kansas Relays...

LAWRENCE, Kansas—2016 US Olympian and University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (above/photo courtesy University of Kansas) won the triple jump at the Kansas Relays Friday at Rock Chalk Park.

Geubelle rode a 4.4 meter-per-second wind and jumped 45-0.5 (13.73m) in the fifth round of jumps in her competitive return to her alma mater to easily win the competition, in a mark that would have tied for the seventh best in the world this season, had the wind been under 2.0 meters per second.


WHAT’S HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND


With both the University of Washington and Washington State University competing in The Dual Sunday in Seattle, Seattle University is the only school in either Division I or II that is idle this weekend.

Meanwhile, all four of Washington’s Division II schools will converge upon Centralia, as Central Washington hosts the Spike Arlt Invitational after competing in Southern California last weekend.



Berry is in the pool for the mixed 4 x 400 relay, while Loxsom and Kidder are in the 4 x 800 relay pool, both of which will be contested Sunday.


NOTE:  The University of Kansas, Central Washington University and the IAAF contributed to this report.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Dawgs and Cougs set to go at it Sunday on the Purple Track (and the Pac-12 Network)...

The University of Washington hosts Washington State University Sunday for The Dual meet at Husky Track, with the women’s hammer throw kicking things off at 10 am, followed by a bevy of field events until 2pm, when the women’s 3000 meter run commences.

Fans who can’t make it out to Husky Track can watch the meet live on the Pac-12 Network (channel 628 on Comcast Seattle) between 3-5pm, with Jim Watson handling play-by-play, and analysis from Dwight Stones and Tom Feuer, while Elizabeth Moreau is the field reporter.

In the 2016 edition of The Dual contested at Mooberry Track in Pullman, Washington swept both the men’s and women’s competition under cloudy and windy conditions, getting the fabled “Hundy Burger” on the women’s side, 100-63, and the men just missing on the “Hundy Burger”, winning 95-68.

Last year’s meet was the first time Washington strung together consecutive sweeps over the Cougars since 1996-97.  Washington has a four-meet winning streak on the men’s side, its longest since 1932, when the Dawgs won 11 meets in a row. On the women’s side, the Huskies have a modest two-meet winning streak over the Cougs.

WSU leads the series in the men’s competition 62-37-1, while Washington has a 23-18 lead all time in the women’s meet.

Washington won 12 of 19 women’s events, and 11 of 19 men’s events.  Multiple individual event winners from last year’s meet returning for this year’s competition include UW’s Colby Gilbert (left/photo by Paul Merca) in the 1500 & 3000; Kennadi Bouyer of the Huskies in the 100 and 200; UW’s Gina Flint in the shot and discus; and WSU’s Liz Harper in the 100 and 400 hurdles, plus the long jump.

WHO’S GONNA WIN, YOU ASK?

Once again, I’ve enlisted the help of both Jesse Squire from dailyrelay.com, who compiles the national dual meet rankings for Track & Field News, and Seattle resident Kevin Saylors, who is one of the best track & field spotters/stats mavens in the game, having spotted for numerous announcers at World Championships and Olympics.

On the men’s side, Squire has Washington winning comfortably by a 96-67 margin, while I have the Dawgs squeezing it out by a 83-80 count, and Saylors projecting a win by the same 83-80 margin.

Make no mistake that Washington State is a vastly improved squad over the team they trotted out last year.

In my mind, three of the biggest reasons for the improvement of the Washington State squad are freshman Sam Brixey in the 110 hurdles, hammer thrower Brock Eager, returning from a redshirt season, and short sprinter Ja’Maun Charles.

Brixey has been an asset for the Cougs in both the 110 hurdles and on their 4 x 100 relay, while Eager has been throwing consistently over 63 meters in every meet this season.  Charles has the fastest time of either the UW or WSU sprinters in the 100 and 200.

While they don’t have a difference making/All American distance runner of the caliber of the Huskies’ Colby Gilbert, for the most part, WSU’s distance runners match up well with the UDub’s; after all, they did qualify as a team for the NCAA cross country championships last season, and Washington didn’t.

That said, the combination of Brixey, Eager, Charles, and WSU’s distance squad collectively could be the difference makers in having another senior class graduate without never beating the UW and a win on the purple track.

Adding to the mystery surrounding the meet are questions surrounding UW distance runners Fred Huxham and Andrew Gardner. Both are entered in the meet—Huxham in the 3000, and Gardner in the 3000 and steeplechase.  Both have not competed outdoors this season, so there’s the possibility that they’ve been entered by Husky head coach Greg Metcalf simply as a distraction to the WSU coaching staff.

I had both Gardner and Huxham scoring in their events in my original dope sheet, but until I see them on the line Sunday, I don’t have them.

Squire and I agree that Washington State will sweep the hammer and that UW will sweep the pole vault.  He does have UW sweeping the 1500, but I’ve flip-flopped on that event, thinking that WSU’s Chandler Teigen may squeak out that third place finish. I’d think that WSU would have extra incentive to score in this event, after Colby Gilbert took a broom with a UW flag attached and swept the finish line after the race.

Despite his final men’s score being an identical 83-80, Saylors, who will be working as the Pac-12 Network booth statistician, has confidence that Washington can sweep both the 1500 and 3000s.

Washington’s ability to rack up points in the six events contested before the 3pm TV window will play a large part in the final outcome of the meet. One of those six events—the long jump—will be a battle between multi-event specialists Josh Gordon of the UW and Dino Dodig of WSU. If he comes out of UW’s Spring Game Saturday unscathed, wide receiver Dante Pettis could factor in the outcome of the long jump, as he’s jumped 23-10.5 (7.27m) this season.

Washington’s hurdle crew must step up to get those crucial second and third place finishes if they want to stave off a possible Washington State win.

On the women’s side, I have Washington winning by a 101-62 count, while Jesse has the Dawgs by a 100-60 count (2 points vacated).  Kevin has the Huskies winning by a 98-65 count.

While Washington has a little bit more breathing room in the women’s meet, their hurdle crew must step up against Washington State’s 1-2 punch of Liz Harper (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Alissa Brooks-Johnson.  Husky redshirt freshman Darhian Mills appears on paper as the only one who could give either of them a battle.

Both the 100 and 400 hurdles could be the most entertaining events of the meet, especially if Mills can either split or beat both Harper and Brooks-Johnson.

You may have read this before in previous posts this season, but one women’s event you won’t want to miss is the pole vault at 1 pm, featuring three of the last four Pac-12 champions in this event—WSU’s Kristine Felix, and Washington’s Kristina Owsinski and Liz Quick. After coming off of Achilles tendon surgery that ended her 2016 season, Owsinski appears to be better than ever.

With the UW projected to win the women’s competition easily, NCAA scorer and North American U20 steeplechase record holder Charlotte Prouse won’t be missed too badly. The sophomore has not raced this outdoor season, though she is entered in the steeple. Like Andrew Gardner and Fred Huxham in the men’s races, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Given the nature of the dual meet, all hands are on deck, and coaches can enter athletes right up to a few moments before the start of the event. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—some of the questionable entries must be taken with a grain of salt, as there is some gamesmanship happening between the two staffs.



The dope sheets are attached at the bottom as an Excel file. You can print this out and bring it with you or have it alongside your TV while watching the meet.


As always, happy reading, and let the smack talk begin!

Paul Merca's Projections:


Jesse Squire's Projections:


Kevin Saylor's Projections:


NOTE:  The University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Huskies' Colby Gilbert named Pac-12 athlete of the week for week ending April 15th...

SAN FRANCISCO—The Pac-12 Conference Tuesday named Washington’s Colby Gilbert (left/photo by Paul Merca) as its male track athlete of the week for the week ending April 15th.

Gilbert, a graduate of Vancouver’s Skyview HS, made his outdoor season debut in the invitational section of the 5000m at the Mt. SAC Relays last Friday night, taking third overall in 13:38.68, just three seconds off of his school record of 12:35.20, set last year in winning the Pac-12 title at this distance in Seattle.

Gilbert becomes the first Husky male athlete to earn multiple Pac-12 Athlete of the Week honors since Ja’Warren Hooker compiled five AOW honors from 1998-2002.

The other athletes of the week are: 800 meter runner Raevyn Rogers of Oregon (women’s track); triple jumper Eric Sloan of USC (men’s field); and, long jumper Margaux Jones of USC (women’s field).

The Huskies return to action Sunday when they host cross-state rival Washington State in the annual Dual Meet, which will be televised nationally on the Pac-12 Network.


NOTE:  The Pac-12 Conference and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

Brooks announces June 17th as date for Brooks PR HS meet; NCAA announces venues for XC champs...

SEATTLE—Brooks Running announced Tuesday that the annual Brooks PR meet for the nation’s top high school athletes will be contested Saturday June 17th at Shoreline Stadium just north of the Seattle city limits.

The meet returns to Shoreline Stadium, where two years ago, Candace Hill (left/photo by Paul Merca) became the first high schooler to break 11 seconds in the women’s 100 meter dash, where she ran 10.98.

Hill used the momentum gained from winning the 100 at the Brooks PR meet to win an IAAF world youth title in Colombia that year, then turned professional shortly thereafter, signing with Asics.

The night before the meet, Brooks will honor Gwen Robertson of Issaquah HS and Mark Anderson of Cary Grove HS in Illinois as its Inspiring Coaches of the Year at a private dinner.


NCAA ANNOUNCES VENUES FOR 2018-2021 CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS

The NCAA announced the venues for the 2018-2021 Division I cross country championships Tuesday.

Washington State will host the 2019 West Regional championships in Cclfax on November 19th at the Colfax Golf Club, the same venue that hosted the Pac-12 Championships in 2015.  In 2020, the University of Washington will host the meet at the Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place.

The 2018 NCAA championships will be held in Madison, Wisconsin, with the meet returning to Terre Haute, Indiana the following year.

2020 sees the championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and the 2021 championships will go to Tallahassee, Florida.

The University of Washington had expressed interest in hosting the NCAA championships in one of the four years, but were instead rewarded with the 2020 regional meet at Chambers Bay.  The Huskies ran their season opening meet against Seattle University last September at Chambers Bay as a test.


The NCAA video announcing the sites is available below.

UW alum Lindsay Flanagan finishes 11th at Boston Marathon...

BOSTON—University of Washington alum Lindsay Flanagan (left/photo by Mike Scott) finished eleventh at the Boston Marathon Monday morning, running her third fastest time for the distance.

Flanagan, who entered the Boston Marathon with a personal best of 2:29:28, set at last year’s Frankfurt Marathon in Germany, completed the race from Hopkinton to Boston in a time of 2:33:44.

Ccmpeting in warm conditions for mid-April that reached the mid-70s, she was the third American to cross the finish line, behind Oregon alum Jordan Hasay, who finished third in her marathon debut (2:23:00), and Arizona State alum Des Linden, who was fourth (2:25:06).

Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat won one of the world’s most prestigious marathons, in a time of 2:21:52.

Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui won the men’s Boston title in a time of 2:09:37 over Olympic marathon bronze medalist and Oregon alum Galen Rupp, who ran 2:09.58.

Three other Pac-12 alums finished in the top ten—Oregon alum Shadrack Kiptoo Biwott in fourth (2:12:08), Arizona alum Abdi Abdirahman in sixth (2:12:45), and Oregon alum Luke Puskedra in ninth (2:14:45).


The University of Washington women’s track team inched slightly up the USTFCCCA’s national computer rankings, released Monday, moving up to #12, from their previous #13 ranking last week.

The country’s top five women’s teams are Oregon, Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU and USC.

The only other Pac-12 school ranked in the national top 25 is Stanford at #10.

On the men’s side, the country’s top five teams are Florida, Texas A&M, Oregon, Alabama, and Georgia.

Other Pac-12 schools ranked in the national top 25 are #11 USC, #14 Stanford, and #20 UCLA.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

WEEKEND RECAP: CJ Allen wins 400H at Mt. SAC Relays Saturday, plus Beach Invite highlights...

With many of Washington’s Division I and II schools and post-collegians spread out throughout the greater Los Angeles area, here’s the rundown on what went down on Saturday:

MT. SAC RELAYS

At the temporary home of the Mt. SAC Relays on the campus of El Camino College in Torrance, Washington State’s CJ Allen (left/photo courtesy WSU Athletics) won the invitational 400 hurdles, setting a personal best of 49.99, defeating a field that included 2012 Puerto Rican Olympian Eric Alejandro (50.45), and Federal Way resident and 2016 Cape Verde Olympian Jordin Andrade (51.29).

“The race was very clean and very easy,” Allen said. “I was slow through 300 meters and had a huge kick to overpower (Alejandro) at hurdle 10. There’s a lot of room for me to run very fast this year.”

The two-time Pac-12 400 hurdles champion’s mark is the fifth fastest in WSU history, and the seventh fastest time in the NCAA Division I ranks this season.

Tacoma native Marcus Chambers of the University of Oregon finished second in the invitational mens’ 400, running 45.29.

Federal Way HS grad Hannah Cunliffe of Oregon ran the third leg on the Ducks’ 4 x 100 relay team that broke their own collegiate record, as they ran 42.12, eclipsing their own mark of 42.34 set a few weeks ago at the Florida Relays.

In the women’s 4 x 400 relay, Washington’s squad of Whitney Diggs, Imani Apostol, Darhian Mills and Laura Anuakpado broke a 19-year old school record, running 3:36.50 in finishing fourth behind Oregon (3:27.98), LSU (3:31.61) and the Kersee All Stars (3:35.06) squad that featured Olympic champion Allyson Felix.

Washington State’s team of Grace Victor, Liz Harper, Alissa Brooks-Johnson & Marlow Schulz finished eighth in that race.

The Husky men’s 4x400 team of Lucas Strong, Jacopo Spano, Michael Thomas & Ryan Croson ran 3:08.45 to finish third in their heat and sixth overall, as LSU won in 3:04.19.

The Cougars’ Kiana Davis finished fourth in the invitational triple jump with a mark of 42-0.75 (12.82m), two centimeters behind WSU alum Blessing Ufodiama (42-1.5/12.84m).

Earlier in the day, Anuakpado was sixth overall (third in her heat) of the invitational 400, as she ran 54.25, the second fastest in school history.

UW alum Izaic Yorks of the Brooks Beasts was sixth in his section of the men’s invitational 800, running 1:49.66.


BEACH INVITATIONAL

In Long Beach, Washington’s Kristina Owsinski and Liz Quick both cleared an outdoor season best in the pole vault at the Beach Invitational, hosted by Long Beach State University, with each clearing 14-3.25 (4.35m). Owsinski finished third and Quick tied for fourth.

UW alum Diamara Planell Cruz was eighth with a best of 13-9.25 (4.20m).

The Huskies’ Ryan Croson won the men’s 400 in 47.54, before traveling across town to Torrance to join his teammates on the 4 x 400 relay at the Mt. SAC Relays.

A day after running a season best in the 1500m at Mt. SAC, Amy-Eloise Neale finished second in her heat of the 800, setting a PR 2:07.84.

One result missed from Friday’s portion of the Beach Invitational was in the women’s javelin, as Western Washington alum Katie Reichert won the event with a toss of 182-0 (55.47m).


NOTE:  The sports information offices of Mt. SAC, Long Beach State, University of Oregon, University of Washington, Western Washington, and Washington State contributed to this report.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Busy Friday of track & field in Southern California and Texas...

Highlights from a very busy day of track and field action around the greater Los Angeles area for many of the state’s Division I, II and post-collegiate athletes:

MT. SAC

At the second full day of competition at the Mt. SAC Relays at its temporary home on the campus of El Camino College in Torrance, Washington’s Colby Gilbert (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished third in the men’s invitational 5000 meter run in his outdoor season debut.

Gilbert ran 13:38.68, as Tulsa’s Marc Scott won in a time of 13:37.45, and Jack Bruce of Arkansas took second in 13:38.15.

Pending the outcome of other meets throughout the country, Gilbert’s mark is the fourth fastest time in the collegiate ranks this season.

In the women’s 5000, Jessica Tonn of the Brooks Beasts, who completed a high altitude training stint in Albuquerque, finished second in a time of 15:38.46 behind You Fukuda of Japan, who won going away in 15:23.48, currently the second fastest time in the world so far this season.

In the same race, Washington alum Mel Lawrence ran 15:40.26 for fourth, while Western Washington alum Sarah Crouch was 16th in 16:03.97, just ahead of her sister Shannon Porter, who crossed in 16:04.25.

The Washington women’s 4 x 100 relay won the open section in a time of 45.34, the fourth fastest time in school history.

The Huskies’ Hannah Derby won her heat of the 800 in 2:07.13, while teammate Darhian Mills finished second overall in the open 400 hurdles in 58.89.

On the field, Washington State’s Kiana Davis won the open high jump with a best of 5-8 (1.73m). In the B section of the open pole vault, WSU’s Molly Scharmann was second at 12-5.5 (3.80m), while Eastern Washington’s Erin Clark and Elizabeth Prouty were fourth and sixth, respectively, with both clearing 12-5.5 (3.80m).

In the A section of the open women’s pole vault, former Pac-12 champ Kristine Felix of WSU tied for third at 12-9.5 (3.90m).


BRYAN CLAY INVITATIONAL

In Azusa, Western Washington’s Bethany Drake won the women’s javelin competition at the Bryan Clay Invitational, hosted by Azusa Pacific University.

Drake, a former NCAA D2 champion in this event, threw an NCAA Division II automatic qualifying mark of 162-4 (49.48m). The mark is the second best mark in Division II this season.

The Vikings’ Jasmine McMullin won the women’s triple jump with a mark of 40-3.25 (12.27m).


BEACH INVITATIONAL

In Long Beach, Washington State’s Brock Eager threw 214-11 (65.51m) to finish fifth overall and third scoring collegian in the men’s hammer at the first day of competition at the Beach Invitational, hosted by Long Beach State University.

Washington’s Onyie Chibuogwu threw a school record 198-11 (60.62m) to finish ninth overall and third collegian.


TEXAS INVITATIONAL

In Austin, Vancouver native Kara Winger (left/photo by Paul Merca) threw 212-7 (64.80m) to win the javelin competition at the Texas Invitational, hosted by the University of Texas.

Winger started fast, throwing the winning mark on her first attempt and never looked back.

That mark surpassed the qualifying standard of 201-5 (61.40m) needed for this summer’s IAAF world track & field championships in London, and is currently the fourth best mark in the world this season.


NOTE:  The sports information offices of Mt. SAC, Azusa Pacific, Long Beach State, and the University of Texas contributed to this report.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Whyte finishes second in Mt. SAC Relays heptathlon...

AZUSA, California—Former Washington State University assistant coach Angela Whyte (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished second in the Mt. SAC Relays heptathlon Thursday at Azusa Pacific University.

Whyte, who held the lead at the break with a first day score of 3524 points, got off to a good start in the opening event of day 2, winning the long jump with a leap of 19-9.75 (6.04m).

Despite throwing a personal best of 131-11 (40.21m), just slightly over her previous personal best of 131-3 (40.02m), she was overtaken by fellow Canadian Niki Oudenaarden, who threw 143-2 (43.64m) to win that event.

Any chance that 2016 Canadian Olympian Whyte had of winning the competition in the 800 meters went out the window, as she ran 2:29.29, far below her previous personal best of 2:19.91, set three years ago. 

Meanwhile, Oudenaarden ran 2:17.25 to clinch the Mt. SAC title with a final score of 5927 points, while Whyte finished the two-day competition with a final score of 5759, nine points ahead of Jaclyn Siefring of Akron.

Washington State’s Alissa Brooks-Johnson, the 2015 Pac-12 heptathlon champion, finished fourth with a final score of 5616 points, while teammate Liz Harper took seventh with 5420 points.

In the A section of the California Invitational decathlon, Washington’s Cole Jensen finished fourth with a final score of 7166 points, a new personal best.

Jensen helped his cause by winning the pole vault with a mark of 16-4.75 (5.00m), worth 910 points.

Teammate Josh Gordon, who started the event in second at the break, failed to clear his opening  height in the pole vault of 10-10 (3.30m), and did not finish.

Tim Wunderlich of the Shore AC won the event with a final score of 7517 points.

In the California Invitational heptathlon, Washington’s Carly Lester finished her first ever heptathlon in 30th place with a final two-day total of 4462 points.

Kaylie Greninger of Western Washington was 37th with a score of 4214 points.

Seattle University’s Mandie Maddux failed to finish, as did Washington State’s Lindsey Schauble.  Schauble fouled on all three attempts in the javelin, while Maddux did not start the 800.

Christina Chenault of UCLA won the California Invitational heptathlon with a final score of 5438 points.


In Torrance, the main portion of the Mt. SAC Relays got underway Thursday at its temporary home on the campus of El Camino College.

In the women’s open steeplechase, Washington State’s Devon Bortfeld (10:23.28) and Emily Dwyer (10:26.19) finished third and fourth, as Colorado State’s Laura Yarrow won in 10:07.85.

Eastern Washington’s Carli Corpus ran 10:49.58, while Washington State’s Desi Stiner ran 11:21.99.

In the men’s open steeple, WSU’s Kyler Little broke 9 minutes, running 8:59.85, while Eastern Washington’s Steaven Zachman ran 9:29.25.  Gonzaga’s Sammy Truax ran 9:35.87, while Eastern’s James Breen ran 10:09.88.

The B section of the men’s 10000 saw WSU’s Jake Finney finish 17th in 30:46.81. Gonzaga’s Phillip Fishburn was 22nd in 31:06.06, while the Cougars’ Kennan Schrag was 25th in 31:13.81. Forest Tarbath of Gonzaga was 29th in 31:43.28.

Max Kaderabek of Gonzaga was eighth in the A section of the men’s 10000 in 30:10.68.

Morgan Willson of WSU was 23rd in the A section of the women’s 10000 in 35:54.16.

In the women’s invitational section of the 10000, Gonzaga’s Jessica Mildes was 12th in 34:13.96, with Vancouver native Georgia Porter of Division II Western State (Colorado) 15th in 34:19.02. Eastern Washington’s Sarah Reiter was 21st in 34:44.39, two places ahead of reigning Pac-12 10000 champ Katie Knight of Washington, who ran 35:12.32.

The men’s open hammer saw Washington State’s Wyatt Meyring finish tenth with a best of 186-1 (56.72m), and teammate Amani Brown 19th at 176-7 (53.83m).

The Cougars’ Katie Wardsworth was 13th in the women’s open hammer at 173-5 (52.85m), and teammate Aoife Martin 16th at 172-6 (52.57m).

In the invitational men’s hammer, WSU’s Brock Eager was tenth at 212-0 (64.63m).

UPDATE: In the men’s invitational 10000, contested in two sections, former Husky and current Gonzaga runner Sumner Goodwin ran 29:54.26, while Gig Harbor HS alum Tristan Peloquin ran 29:55.38. Gonzaga's Jake Perrin finished in 30:14.81, and teammate Scott Kopczynski crossed in 30:27.62.

Loxsom, Kidder & Berry on USATF relay pools for IAAF World Relays...

INDIANAPOLIS—USA Track & Field announced that Cas Loxsom (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Brannon Kidder of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts and Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry will be part of the relay pool for next weekend’s IAAF World Relays meet in Nassau, Bahamas.

Loxsom and Kidder, both of whom are finishing up a high altitude training block in Albuquerque, New Mexico, are on the pool in the men’s 4 x 800 meter relay, along with Olympic medalist Clayton Murphy, Charles Jock, and Erik Sowinski.

Berry is in the relay pool for the mixed 4 x 400 meter relay, along with LaShawn Merritt, David Verburg, Phyllis Francis, Natasha Hastings, and Jaide Stepter.

More than 700 athletes from 42 countries will compete in Nassau on April 22-23rd. 

The IAAF World Relays meet consists of five events over four relay categories: the 4x100, 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800 for both men and women, and a mixed 4x400 that closes the meet’s second day.

The top eight teams in the 4x100 and 4x400 for both men and women will earn automatic entry to this summer’s IAAF world track & field championships in London.

Former University of Washington head track coach Orin Richburg will lead Team USA into Nassau as its head coach for the IAAF World Relays.


In a related announcement, USATF along with NBC Sports Group announced that they will launch a “Track & Field Pass”, giving fans access to more than 25 major marathons, track and field events from April to December 2017.

This direct-to-consumer pass will offer fans unprecedented coverage—live and on demand, online, on mobile, tablets, and connected TV devices.

For $69.99, NBC Sports Gold’s “Track & Field Pass” allows uninterrupted access to the Boston Marathon, IAAF World Relays, USA vs the World at the Penn Relays, Olympic Rematches at the Drake Relays, Nike Prefontaine Classic, the USATF Outdoor Nationals, as well as all IAAF Diamond League meets and the IAAF World Championships in London.


NOTE:  USA Track & Field and NBC Sports Group contributed to this report.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ex-Cougar assistant coach Angela Whyte leads Mt. SAC Relays heptathlon at break...

Wednesday was the start of a busy four days of competition for the state’s nine NCAA Division I and II schools, along with select post-collegians, who are participating at either the Mt. SAC Relays, the Bryan Clay Invitational hosted by Azusa Pacific, or the Beach Invitational hosted by Long Beach State.

The Mt. SAC Relays officially got underway Wednesday with the multi-events, contested at Azusa Pacific University, along with the California Invitational multi-events meet, one of the largest decathlon and heptathlon meets in the country.

In the first day of competition at the Mt. SAC Relays heptathlon, former WSU assistant coach Angela Whyte (above/photo by Howard Lao), who has moved back to Alberta, leads with a first day score of 3524 points, while 2015 Pac-12 heptathlon champ Alissa Brooks-Johnson stands fifth with 3350 points, and teammate Liz Harper sixth at the break with 3270 points.

Whyte, a 2016 Canadian Olympian in the 100 hurdles and a finalist in the 60 hurdles at last year’s IAAF world indoor championships in Portland, started the day by winning the 100 hurdles in 13.44.  She then high jumped 5-6.5 (1.69m), threw the shot 40-10.5 (12.46m) and ran the 200 in 24.52.

Brooks-Johnson, who missed last season with injuries, ran 14.13 in the hurdles, high jumped 5-6.6(1.69m), threw the shot 39-3 (11.96m) and ran the 200m in 24.96.

Harper ran 14.33 in the hurdles, high jumped 5-7.75 (1.72m), threw the shot a personal best 36-5.5 (11.11m), and ran 25.33 in the 200m.

In the A section of the California Invitational decathlon, Washington’s Josh Gordon and Cole Jensen stand second and third, with first day scores of 3912 and 3907 points, respectively, as Isaiah Oliver of Colorado leads at the break with 4044 points.

The heptathlon portion of the California Invitational has Washington State’s Lindsey Schauble in 24th with 2822 points, and the Huskies’ Carly Lester in 30th with 2786 points. Mandie Maddux of SeattleU is 43rd with 2578 points, and Kaylie Greninger of Western Washington stands 50th with 2428 points.

The main portion of the Mt. SAC Relays starts on Thursday with action in the distance races in the late afternoon, and continues until Saturday.

One significant change in the Mt. SAC Relays is that the meet is contested in Torrence on the campus of El Camino College, as Hilmer Lodge Stadium on the Mt. SAC campus undergoes a renovation project, as they get the facility ready for next year’s Relays, as well as a possible 2020 US Olympic Track & Field Trials bid.

The main portion of the Bryan Clay Invitational will be run on Friday at Azusa Pacific, while the Beach Invitational will be contested Saturday, with some throwing events held Friday.




NOTE: The sports information offices of Washington State, Washington, Seattle Pacific, Mt. SAC, Long Beach State & Azusa Pacific contributed to this report.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lagat & Symmonds named GMs of Portland & San Francisco franchises...

EUGENE—TrackTown USA announced Tuesday that recently retired Washington State alum Bernard Lagat (left/photo by Paul Merca), along with Nick Symmonds of the Brooks Beasts will serve as general managers of two of the four teams set to compete in the TrackTown Summer Series.

Lagat and Symmonds, along with Sanya Richards-Ross and Allyson Felix, who are four of the most recognized names in American professional track & field, collectively bring to the table global star power to each of the four franchises in the 2017 TrackTown Summer Series—Portland (Lagat), San Francisco (Symmonds), Philadelphia (Richards-Ross), and New York (Felix).

“I love the concept of team competitions to give our domestic athletes a chance to showcase their talents right here in the US,” said Lagat. “The teams will be comprised of world-class athletes and I hope I can help guide them to top performances and give our fans some great events to watch.”

In a statement released by TrackTown USA, Symmonds said, “I have argued for over a decade that professional runners need more domestic opportunities to compete.”

“It is no surprise that TrackTown USA is the entity that finally got it done. Vin Lananna and his team have done a wonderful job hosting events in Eugene and I have no doubt that their execution of this year’s Summer Series will be a resounding success.”

The four GMs will work in partnership with TrackTown USA and its financial investors by finalizing team rosters, announcing draft picks, advising on free agents, and helping determine which athletes from last year’s pool will be offered contract extensions.

The TrackTown Summer Series will expand to three meets in 2017—June 29th at Stanford University; July 2nd at Mount Hood CC outside of Portland; and the finals on July 6th at Icahn Stadium in New York.


NOTE:  TrackTown USA contributed to this report.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Washington women maintain #13 spot in latest USTFCCCA national computer rankings...

NEW ORLEANS—After the second full week of competition around the country, the University of Washington women’s track & field team maintained its #13 national ranking in the USTFCCCA team computer rankings released Monday by the coaches’ association.

Oregon, Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU and USC are the nation’s top five women’s teams.

Besides the Ducks, Trojans and Huskies, the only Pac-12 women’s team ranked in the national top 25 is #11 Stanford, with #28 Arizona and #29 Arizona State currently on the outside looking in.


On the men’s side, the nation’s top five are Florida, Texas A&M, Oregon, Alabama and Georgia.

Other Pac-12 teams ranked in the top 25 include #11 USC, #13 Stanford and #18 UCLA.

Washington heads to California this weekend for the Mt. SAC Relays, which will be contested at El Camino College in Torrance, while Mt. SAC’s fabled Hilmer Lodge Stadium undergoes a remodel.


NOTE: The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

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