Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Huskies make trek to Drake Relays, while rest of Washington D1/D2 schools stay close to home...

The University of Washington travels to Des Moines, Iowa to compete at the famed Drake Relays on the blue oval of Drake Stadium beginning Thursday.

The appearance by the Huskies at the Drake Relays marks the team's first since the 2004 season; however, several members of the team have competed there before, either at the NCAA championships or the USA championships last year.

The Drake Relays mark a return for Des Moines native Katie Flood (left/photo by James Kirby).  On the blue oval, Flood, a graduate of Dowling Catholic, won six Drake Relays titles in high school, as well as the 2012 NCAA outdoor 1500 meter crown.

Washington is entered in nine different relays over the next three days.  On Thursday, both the men and women will run in the 4 x 1600 relay.  Friday, the UW women will run both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays, and the men will run the 4 x 800.

Closing things out on Saturday, both the men and women are entered in the sprint medley (200-200-400-800), and the distance medley relay, an event in which the Husky men placed eighth indoors at the NCAA championships.

Senior Rob Webster Jr is entered in the 10000 on Thursday, while 400 hurdlers Gianna Woodruff and Kayla Stueckle race on Friday.  Finally, 2013 NCAA qualifier Chris Williams goes in the 110 hurdles on Saturday.

Running the mid-distance legs for the women will be a combination of Flood, Eleanor Fulton, Erin Johnson, Katie Knight, and Liberty Miller, with Haley Jacobson and Krista Armstead doing the sprinting with Woodruff and Stueckle.

On the men's side, Izaic Yorks, Blake Nelson, Nick Harris, Meron Simon, Brad Whitley and Derrick Daigre will see action.  The Husky sprinters on the trip include Andrew Brown, Travis Marshall, Quadelle Satterwhite, and Williams.

Several Washington pros are entered over the next three days, including Kara Patterson (javelin), Jeshua Anderson (400 hurdles), Katie Mackey (1500) and Brad Walker (pole vault).


All of the other eight Washington Division I and II schools are staying close to home this weekend.  Washington State hosts the 14th annual Cougar Invitational at Mooberry Track in Pullman, while Eastern Washington and Gonzaga will travel to the Duane Hartman Invitational April 24-25 in Spokane, hosted by Spokane Community College.

Seattle University, along with Central Washington, Seattle Pacific, and Saint Martin's, will head up to Bellingham for the Ralph Vernacchia Invitational hosted by Western Washington University.

WALKER TAKES THIRD AT VAULT IN THE MALL

University of Washington alum and two-time US Olympian Brad Walker finished third in the Pole Vault at the Mall competition held in conjunction with the Drake Relays at the Jordan Town Creek Center Wednesday night.

Walker cleared 18-8 3/4 (5.71m), the same height cleared by winner and reigning world and Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie of France, and runner-up Steve Lewis of Great Britain.

Walker and Kylie Hutson won the combined title, jumping a combined height of 34-0, with Hutson clearing 15-4 1/4 (4.68m), in the women's competition.  Hutson, the 2011 champion, finished second to Cuba's Yarisley Silva, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist, who cleared the same height for the win.

Silva and Hutson currently share the world lead with that mark.

NOTE:  The Drake Relays and the University of Washington sports information department contributed to this report.

Katie Mahoney of Eastern Washington named Big Sky women's track athlete of the week...

OGDEN, Utah--Eastern Washington's Katie Mahoney (left/photo by Paul Merca) was selected as the Big Sky Conference women’s track athlete of the week for the week of April 22 after putting together one of the best weekends ever by an Eagle distance runner at the Mt. SAC Relays (April 18) in Walnut, California, and Beach Invitational (April 19) in Norwalk.

The Richland native wasn’t done there however, as she went on to run a time of 4:25.33 in the 1,500 at the Beach Invite Saturday, breaking another one of her school records. Mahoney capped the weekend with a time of 2:12.40 in the 800, becoming a triple Big Sky qualifier and moving her up to the No. 2 spot all-time behind school-record holder Katie Ellison (2:11.41, 2000). 


CURTIS ALUM COURTNEY JAWORKSI NEW DARTMOUTH CROSS COUNTRY COACH

Curtis High School alum Courtney Jaworski was named head women's cross country coach at Dartmouth University, according to a release from the school.

Jaworski, who graduated from the University of Pennslyvania, comes to Dartmouth after a stint as head cross country and track coach at Division III Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York.

Prior to Manhattanville, Jaworski was an assistant coach at Smith College and the University of Puget Sound following his professional running career with the Nike Oregon Track Club Elite, from 2006-08.

Jaworski graduated from Penn in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in political science, and earned a masters' degree in exercise and sport studies from Smith College in Northampton, MA.

The Tacoma native, who was a two-time state 800 champ at Curtis, and an All-American at 800m at Penn in 2005, replaces Mark Coogan, who left for a sports marketing position with New Balance.


NOTE:  The Big Sky Conference, along with the sports information offices of Eastern Washington and Dartmouth contributed to this report.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mackey finishes second in USA 1 Mile Road Championship...

DES MOINES, Iowa--University of Washington alum Katie Mackey (left/photo by Paul Merca) of the Brooks Beasts finished second in the USA 1 Mile Road championship race, hosted by the Grand Blue Mile through the streets of downtown Des Moines, as part of the lead up to the Drake Relays.

Minnesota alum Heather Kampf took the victory, running 4:34.62, to Mackey's 4:35.30, in her 2014 outdoor season debut.

Two time Grand Blue Mile champ Sara Hall finished third in 4:35.81.

Brooks Beast teammate Angela Bizzarri finished tenth in 4:41.13.

Courtesy of media partner RunnerSpace.com, here is a post race interview with Mackey, which you can access here:

Mackey will stick around to race at the Drake Relays, where she'll run the 1500 on Friday night.

In the men's championship race, 2013 champion Garrett Heath of the Beasts finished third, as 2012 Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano took the victory in a time of 4:05.71.

Pat Casey finished second in 4:05.81, with Heath behind in 4:06.39.


The Drake Relays continues Wednesday with the Pole Vault in the Mall at the Jordan Creek Town Center, featuring Washington alum and current American record holder Brad Walker going against reigning world and Olympic champion and current world indoor record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France.


USTFCCCA DIVISION II RANKINGS

In the latest USTFCCCA Division II women's team rankings released Tuesday, both Western Washington and Seattle Pacific are among the top 25 teams in the country.

Western Washington dropped four spots to #20, while Seattle Pacific dropped two spots to #24.

Grand Valley State, Adams State and Johnson C. Smith are the top women's teams in Division II.

Alaska Anchorage is the only other GNAC squad ranked nationally, at #11.  Their men's squad is the only nationally ranked team from the GNAC, at #6.

Saint Augustine's, Adams State, and Texas A&M-Kingsville are the nation's top three men's teams in Division II.


NOTE:  The Drake Relays and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Brooks Beast Garrett Heath to defend USA mile road title, plus USTFCCCA D1 rankings...

DES MOINES, Iowa--As part of the lead up to this weekend's Drake Relays, several members of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts will run in Tuesday night's USA 1 Mile Road Championships, hosted by the Grand Blue Mile through the streets of downtown Des Moines.

The Beasts' Garrett Heath (above/photo courtesy Brooks Sports) will attempt to defend his national road title, against a field that includes 2012 Olympians Leo Manzano and former Bellingham resident Donn Cabral.

In 2013, Heath used a furious kick to edge Jeff See, winning his first national title 4:02.79-4:02.91. Heath is coming off a very strong indoor season, where he finished third at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships over 1,500m and ran an indoor best mile mark of 3:54.59.

University of Washington alum Katie Mackey kicks off her 2014 outdoor racing season coming off of an incredible 2013 season, where she set personal bests from 800m up through 5,000m.

Fellow Beast and former NCAA champ Angela Bizzari is also in the field.

USA indoor 3,000m champion Gabriele Grunewald and 2013 USA 1 Mile Road Championship runner-up Sara Hall rank as the pre-race favorites.


In the latest USTFCCCA Division I computer rankings released Tuesday, the University of Washington women's squad has dropped to #19 from #13 in the last rankings.

The nation's top five women's teams are Texas A&M, Florida, Texas, Oregon and Georgia.

Other Pac-12 teams in the top 25 are USC (7), Arizona (11), UCLA (13), Stanford (15), and Arizona State (20).

On the men's side, Oregon, Florida, Texas A&M, Arkansas, ad Florida State are the nation's top five ranked teams.

Pac-12 teams in the top 25 include USC (12), UCLA (16), Arizona (20), and California (25).


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

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fricker named GNAC women's track athlete of week; Taplin to be inducted into Penn Relays wall of fame...

PORTLAND--Seattle Pacific senior middle distance runner McKayla Fricker (left/photo by Paul Merca) was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference track athlete of the week for the week ending April 19th.

Fricker, a native of Camby, Oregon, set a personal best time of 2:06.85 at the Mt SAC Relays in Walnut, California last Friday (April 18th), and in the process ran the fifth fastest mark in conference history.

One day later, she set a personal best and NCAA provisional qualifying time in the 1500 at the Beach Invitational in Norwalk, stopping the clock at 4:32.35, bettering her previous PR of 4:35.30 set at last year's GNAC championship meet.

Fricker is currently #3 on the NCAA Division II list behind Concord's Shawnee Carnett at 2:06.19, and Chante Roberts of Adams State at 2:06.35.

TAPLIN TO BE INDUCTED INTO PENN RELAYS WALL OF FAME

Cleveland High School alum Cheryl Taplin (photo by Paul Merca), one of the greatest sprinters in Washington state high school history, will be one of four athletes to be inducted into the Penn Relays Wall of Fame this week.

Taplin, who attended Louisiana State University and graduated in 1994, earned two victories each in the 100-meter dash and the 4x100 and 4x200-meter relays. In the latter event she ran on a pair of record setting teams, the second of which—in 1994—was an American record 1:32.55 which she anchored. She also set a meet record in the 100-meters that year and was the Carnival’s outstanding female collegian.  During her career at LSU, she earned six Penn Relays watches.

After LSU, she made two world championship teams at 200 meters, was part of a Team USA 4 x 100 relay squad that won the 1998 World Cup, and ran on the 1999 USA 4 x 100 relay team that finished fourth at the world championships in Seville, Spain.

Following the conclusion of her athletic career, Taplin worked in community services for the Seattle Mariners before being hired by former University of Washington football coach Tyrone Willingham to work in football operations.

After Willingham was fired, she stayed with the Husky football program, working under Steve Sarkisian, before following him to USC.

Taplin joins Dartmouth hurdler Earl Thomson, New York prep Mike Stahr, and Syracuse discus thrower Anthony Washington along with the 1914 Oxford 4 x mile relay, 1939 Pitt 880 yard relay, 1964 Kingston College (Jamaica) 440 yard relay, and the 2003 LSU shuttle hurdles relay anchored by Lolo Jones.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jeshua Anderson wins 400 hurdles season opener at Mt SAC...

WALNUT, California--One name the blog hasn't mentioned recently is that of Jeshua Anderson (left/photo courtesy jeshuaanderson.com).

After an injury riddled 2012 season, Anderson moved his training base from Pullman to Phoenix, where he's been training under the guidance of Dan Pfaff at the World Athletics Center, the same base where Washington alum Brad Walker trains.

Anderson, the 2011 USA and NCAA champ at the 400 hurdles, opened up his 2014 season over the barriers as he won that event at the Mt. SAC Relays, an event he's won in the past.

The Washington State alum cruised to victory in a time of 49.43, with Nebraska's Miles Ukaoma second in 49.76, Stanford alum Amaechi Morton third in 49.95, and reigning world and Olympic decathlon champ Ashton Eaton fourth in his debut in this event at an impressive 50.01.

The invitational 400 saw Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry, competing for the University of Oregon, finish second in 45.51.

In the second section of the women's invitational 400 hurdles, Washington's Gianna Woodruff (58.54) and Kayla Steuckle (59.28) were third and fourth, respectively.

In the invitational men's pole vault, the Huskies' Jax Thoirs tied for fifth with a jump of 17-6.5 (5.35m).

Washington alum Kyle Nielsen finished seventh in the invitational javelin with a toss of 224-3 (68.35m).

Eastern Washington's Jordan Arakawa was 13th in the invitational hammer, throwing 209-10 (63.95m).


In Cerritos, athletes from both Eastern and Western Washington Universities had solid performances at the Beach Invitational, hosted by Long Beach State.

The Eagles' Kelsie Forcier finished second in the hammer, as she spun the ball and chain 185-2 (56.44m).

One day after setting a school record in the steeplechase at Mt. SAC, Katie Mahoney was second in the open women's 1500, running 4:25.33.

Pole vaulter Courtney Bray was second with a jump of 12-11.75 (3.96m).

In a very competitive javelin competition, Western Washington's Katie Reichert and Bethany Drake were second and third, respectively, with marks of 162-8 (49.59m) and 160-3 (48.84m).

The Vikings' Slater Hirst was third in the men's javelin with a toss of 209-4 (63.80m).

Seattle Pacific's 4x100 relay team of BryAnne Wochnick, Kishia Mitchell, Kyra Brannan, Tasia Baldwin finished fourth in a time of 47.09.


In Eugene, Tacoma native and 2013 USA junior champ Marcus Chambers won the 400 meters at the final day of the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.

Washington's Dan Boyden finished third in the men's discus with a toss of 157-3 (47.93m).

The Huskies' Ashley Alexander was third in the women's javelin with a toss of 149-10 (46.61m).  Washington alum Jordin Seekins, now a volunteer coach at Concordia in Portland, was fifth at 146-7 (44.69m).

Friday, April 18, 2014

Busy Friday in Southern California marked by breakthroughs by WSU's Ruby Roberts & Abby Regan...

With events still going on in Southern California, here's what's happened so far on a busy Friday afternoon and evening:

At the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, the Washington State duo of Ruby Roberts (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Abby Regan made major breakthroughs in the 1500 meters.

In the Olympic Development Elite section, Roberts placed third in a PR 4:18.57, the third fastest time in school history.

Regan won the University/Open section in a time of 4:19.49, the fourth fastest time in WSU history.

Eastern Washington's Katie Mahoney made a big jump in the women's 3000 steeple, finishing third in the open elite section, running a school record 10:17.34.

Seattle Pacific's McKayla Fricker remained third on the current NCAA Division II performance list in the 800, but made a major jump, taking her personal best down to 2:06.85 to take third overall in the open section of the 800.

The Washington State women's 4 x 400 relay squad of Bree Winfrey, Christiana Ekelem, Dominique Keel, and Erin Allen finished second in the open section in a season best 3:40.21.

In the men's open javelin, WSU's Kyle Stevens (220-6/67.21m) and Sam Feranchak (220-1/67.09m), along with SeattleU's Dylan Burnett finished 3-4-5 in the event.  The Cougars' Celena Ward was third in the open women's javelin with a toss of 156-0 (47.55m).

For the Washington Huskies, reigning Pac-12 triple jump champ Kasen Covington was fourth in the open section with a leap of 50-8.25 (15.45m).  The women's 4 x 100 meter relay team of Gianna Woodruff, Haley Jacobson, Krista Armstead and Kayla Stueckle finished fifth in a time of 46.32.

NCAA indoor qualifier Diamara Planell Cruz tied for fifth in the women's pole vault, jumping 13-1.5 (4.00m).

Gonzaga's Willie Milam finished 11th in the Olympic Development men's 5000 in a school record 14:00.19.


At the Bryan Clay Invitational at Azusa Pacific College in Azusa, Western Washington's Frank Catelli won the men's shot put with a throw of 58-7.5 (17.87m).

Also winning was the Vikings' Alex Donigian in the 100, as he ran 10.56.

Long jumper Tanya Bjornsson was second in the women's long jump with a mark of 19-4 3/4 (5.91m).

The Seattle Pacific women's 4 x 100 relay squad of BryAnne Wochnick, Kishia Mitchell, Kyra Brannan, and Tasia Baldwin finished third in a time of 47.14.

Washngton's Blake Nelson and Nick Harris finished 10th and 11th in the men's 1500 in times of 3:43.39, and 3:43.44.


In Eugene, Washington's Quinn Hale placed second in the men's javelin with a throw of 229-2 (69.84m) to highlight action at the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field.

Washington State's Pac-12 pole vault champ Kristine Felix was third with a jump of 12-9 1/2 (3.90m), while Washington's Derrick Daigre was third in the men's 800 in a time of 1:50.47.



NOTE:  Any significant updates from either the Mt SAC Relays or the Bryan Clay Invitational will be added later.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wells wins hammer at Cal St LA Twilight to highlight Viking efforts, plus busy day in Southern California...

Western Washington's Lindsay Wells (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University) won the women's hammer with a toss of 179-5 (54.70m) to highlight the Vikings' day at the Cal State LA Twilight Open meet at Jesse Owens Track on the campus of Cal State LA Thursday.

Wells' throw improves upon the school record that she set of 171-1 (52.16m) she set last month at the Club Northwest Spring Break open meet.

Wells actually broke her school record on her first attempt in Thursday's meet with a throw of 172-0 (52.42m), before unleashing her best mark in round two.  

Her winning throw currently ranks Wells #10 on the current NCAA Division II performance list.

In the women's long jump, the Vikings' Tanja Bjornsson won with a best of 18-11 3/4 (5.78m) to turn back the challenge of Chantiel Harden of Cal State LA (18-8.5/5.70m).

Western's Alex Donigian, the GNAC indoor champion at both 60 and 200 meters, finished second in both the men's 100 and 200 dashes, running 10.50 and 21.73.


On the campus of Azusa Pacific in Azusa, Washington's Nick Pfeiffer finished eighth in the decathlon at the Mt SAC Relays, scoring 6840 points, as Akron's Alex McCune won with a final score of 7768 points.

In the concurrent California Invitational heptathlon, Seattle Pacific freshman Maddi Hommes was the Falcons' top finisher with a final two-day score of 4510 points to finish 24th overall.

Teammates Cheryl Hong (4073) and Ali Sowers (3744) finished 36th and 42nd overall, as Michigan's Aaron Howell won with a final score of 5362 points.


At the Mt SAC Relays distance carnival in Walnut late Thursday night, reigning USA club cross country champion Joe Gray, formerly from Lakewood before his move to Colorado, won in a time of 29:03.84, beating Iona's Matthew Gillespie by almost five seconds.

Washington State's Andrew Kimpel ran 29:41.06 to finish 17th, while teammate Drew Jordan finished in 29:49.39 to place 18th.

The Olympic Development section of the men's 10000 saw WSU's John Whelan finish ninth in a time of 29:54.72.

The men's open A section of the 10000 saw Gonzaga's Colin O'Neil finish 11th in 30:09.86

In the women's silver elite section of the 10000, Washington State's CharLee Linton was 13th in 35:17.29, the third fastest time in school history, as Arizona's Stephanie Bulder won in 34:35.63.

Eastern Washington's Cati Arrigoni finished second in the Open B section of the women's steeplechase.

Arrigoni finished in a time of 10:33.52, as Wyoming's Audra DeStefano won in 10:31.51.


NOTE:  The sports information offices of Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Washington State, Cal State LA, Mt SAC, and Azusa Pacific contributed to this report.

Eight of nine Washington D1/D2 schools head to southern California for Mt SAC, Beach, CSLA & Bryan Clay meets...

Washington's Aaron Nelson is
entered in the 3000 steeplechase
at the Mt SAC Relays
(Paul Merca photo)
Eight of Washington's nine NCAA Division I and II schools are off to Southern California this weekend for track and field competition in the greater Los Angeles area.

The center of track and field this weekend is Walnut, where the Mt SAC Relays will be contested at Hilmer Lodge Stadium on the campus of Mount San Antonio College.  The Mt. SAC Relays begin Thursday, with a series of distance races in the evening, and go through Saturday.

For those schools who could not enter their full team at Mt SAC, the Cal State LA Twilight, the Azusa Pacific Bryan Clay Invitational, and the Long Beach State Invitational are all happening as well.  Several schools will split their athletes and coaches between those venues over the course of the next few days.

The Mt. SAC Relays will also serve as the outdoor season opener for several members of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts squad, which will have a strong presence, as Brooks begins its multi-year sponsorship of the meet, which is the biggest track & field invitational on the West Coast.

The only school not traveling to southern California this week is Central Washington, which is staying home to host the Spike Arlt Invitational meet.

Several of the Washington schools will send a few individuals to Eugene for the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field this weekend as well.





Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WSU's Andre McBride named Pac-12 men's track athlete of the week, plus the hot links...

Washington State's Andre McBride (left/photo by Paul Merca) was named the Pac-12's male track athlete of the week for the week ending April 13th.

The sophomore ran wind-aided marks of 10.42 and 21.03 to help the Cougars take the team title at the Jim Click Shootout in Tuscon last Saturday, and also ran the second leg of the 4 x 100 relay, as they clocked 40.64.


Speaking of the Cougs, Washington State's men's team is ranked #6 in Track & Field News' Collegiate Dual Meet Rankings, compiled for the magazine by Jesse Squire.

Cal, which demolished Stanford in the Big Meet in Berkeley over the weekend, is ranked #1, with Texas A&M and Oregon ranked 2 and 3.

The Washington Huskies are ranked #18 by Squire, even though they have not run a dual meet this season.

The USTFCCCA revealed its Division I and II national computer rankings Tuesday, and the University of Washington women's squad has moved up three spots to #13.

Most of their computer points came from performances from distance runners Katie Flood, Katie Knight, and Lindsay Flanagan, all of whom had solid performances almost two weeks ago at the Stanford Invitational.

The national top five women's squads are Texas A&M, Florida, Texas, Oregon, and Georgia.

Pac-12 teams in the top 25 include USC (9), Arizona (10), UCLA (14), Stanford (17) and Arizona State (21).

On the men's side, no Washington schools are in the top 25 in this week's computer rankings.

The top five nationally are Florida, Oregon, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Florida State.

Pac-12 teams in the top 25 include USC (14), UCLA (15), Arizona (19), and Cal (23).

In Division II, no Washington schools are among the top 25 men's squads, as Saint Augustine's, Adams State, and Texas A&M-Kingsville are the nation's top 3.

Alaska Anchorage is the lone GNAC school in the top 25 at #11.

On the women's side, Western Washington is ranked #16, down one spot, while Seattle Pacific drops two spots to #22 in the computer rankings.

Grand Valley State, Johnson C. Smith, and Lincoln (MO.) are the top three schools in Division II.  

Alaska Anchorage is the only other team in GNAC ranked in the women's top 25 at #17.


As posted earlier on Tuesday, the IAAF confirmed that Eugene is one of three cities that have submitted letters of intent to host the 2019 IAAF world track & field championships, along with Doha, Qatar, and Barcelona, Spain.

The IAAF Council will decide who will host at its next meeting in Monaco in November.

Two cities have expressed interest in the 2017 world cross country championships--Manama, Bahrain, and Kampala, Uganda.

Ostrava, Czech Republic and Bydgoszcz, Poland are candidates for the 2018 Continental Cup, while Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nairobi, Kenya, and Greensboro, North Carolina are candidates for the 2017 world youth championships.

Washington Open subject of Cameron's 'Take Flight' video series; Barrett headlines Pre HJ, & Eugene news...

University of Washington middle distance runner James Cameron has put together another  highlight package of video clips from last weekend's Washington Open at Husky Track.

While the video primarily features Husky athletes at last week's meet,  2012 US Olympian Kibwe Johnson (left/photo by Paul Merca) is prominent in the piece, as Cameron captures the intricate spinning motion of Johnson throwing the hammer.

One of the most dramatic shots of the video is of Husky vaulter Tori Franzen's pole snapping, which he captured using a GoPro camera mounted on a pole.


The Nike Prefontaine Classic, which will be held May 30-31at Hayward Field in Eugene, announced Monday its field for the women's high jump, featuring Arizona alum and silver medalist at both last year's world championships and the 2012 Olympics, Brigetta Barrett.

She'll face off against 2012 Olympic champ Anna Chicherova and 2013 world champ Svetlana Shkolina.

The 31-year old Chicherova has the highest PB in the field at 6-9 1/2 (2.07m), and holds the stadium and meet record of 6-7 1/2 (2.02m) set in winning the 2012 Pre title.

Additionally, all three medalists from the world indoors in Sopot: co-champions Maria Kuchina of Russia and Kamila Licwinko of Poland, along with Spain's Ruth Beitia.



Eugene will present paperwork to the IAAF Council, which is concluding its two-day meeting Tuesday in Dakar, Senegal, along with Barcelona, Spain, and Doha, Qatar.

Keep in mind that this is only a preliminary step (Eugene must submit a formal bid packet to the IAAF), but it does indicate to the casual observer that both the city of Eugene and USA Track & Field, which as the national governing body must back the bid of any US city wishing to hold the event, are serious.  

Given that Eugene is hosting this summer's world junior championship, as well as organizing the 2016 world indoor championships in Portland, don't think that Vin Lananna and the TrackTown USA folks aren't satisfied with having both events--they're looking to hit a home run, despite the fact that the two strikes against Eugene are the size of Hayward Field, and the lack of hotel space in the Eugene/Springfield area.

Doha and Barcelona are expected to be the early favorites, but there may be pressure from within the council to take the meet to the USA, which has never hosted the IAAF's flagship event.  In fact, the closest the meet's been to the United States was in 2001, when Edmonton hosted the world championships.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Washington State track & field alums invited to Pullman for reunion weekend in conjunction with Pac-12s...


Washington State University is holding a reunion for all former track and field student-athletes in conjunction with WSU hosting the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships at the Mooberry Track Complex, May 16-18, 2014.

The reunion will also honor Rick Sloan (above, with Bernard Lagat/photo courtesy WSU Sports Information), who is retiring after 40 years of service to the university as an assistant and head coach of the Cougar track and field squad.

Events on the docket besides two days of competition at Mooberry Track include a dinner at the CUB Senior Ballroom on campus after day one, and the opportunity to play golf at a discounted rate at the Palouse Ridge Golf Course.  Track & field alums will also have the opportunity to book a room for the weekend near the track.

For more information on WSU track & field reunion weekend, please contact Christina Webster at christina.webster@wsu.edu or 509.335.7156.  Interested parties can also visit this link.

NOTE:  The sports information office at Washington State University contributed to this report.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Wazzu sweeps Jim Click Shootout in Tuscon; Stueckle sisters prevail over hurdles, plus Pelluer & WAR 7...

Josiah Sims (right) and Daniel Zmuda (left) of Washington
State went 1-2 in the 110 hurdles at the Jim Click
Shootout in Tuscon (photo by Paul Merca)
TUSCON, Arizona--In his final season as head coach of the Washington State track & field team, Rick Sloan has found the magic that made the Cougs one of the best scoring meet teams in the country, an area that his predecessor, John Chaplin made famous when he was steering the ship.

The Cougars swept the men's and women's competition in the five-team Jim Click Shootout hosted by the University of Arizona at Drachman Stadium.

The WSU men scored 193 points, easily surpassing No. 17 Arizona’s 133 points and well-beyond Air Force with 99 points, Kansas State with 98 points, and New Mexico’s 76 points. The Cougar women won with 158 points with No.11 Arizona third with 142 points, followed by Kansas State’s 134 points, and both Air Force and New Mexico scored 67 points.

“It was a great job by the Cougs on both sides today,” Sloan said. “It was a nice, warm day with some wind which helped us in some areas but hurt us in some areas like the hurdles races where are kids were blown into the hurdles. With six places scoring we kept battling through the events. In our two scoring meets this season the kids have really come up and competed well.”

Lifetime-best throws led Sam Ferenchak and Kyle Stevens to a one-two finish in the men’s javelin. Ferenchak won with a toss of 222-feet 1 inch (67.70m) and Stevens was second with a throw of 215-5 (65.65m).

On the track, the Cougs benefited from three 1-2 finishes--Josiah Sims (14.26) and Daniel Zmuda (14.34) in the 110 hurdles; Andrew Kimpel (8:32.10) and John Whelan (8:37.47) in the 3000; and Andrew Gonzales (9:14.04) and Forrest Shaffer (9:34.44) in the 3000 steeple.

On the women's side, the Cougars' Courtney Zalud (2:09.01) and Abby Regan (2:09.06) went 1-2 in the 800.

The host Wildcats, who competed in a dual meet with Oregon in Eugene last weekend, sat most of their top distance runners out of the meet, including Lawi Lalang.


In Seattle, Washington's Kimberly and Kayla Stueckle had outstanding performances, with Kimberly winning the 100 hurdles in a personal best 13.87, and older sister Kayla taking the 400 hurdles in 59.85 at the Washington Open at Husky Track on the University of Washington campus Saturday.

The Dawgs' Travis Marshall scored two personal bests in the short sprints, running 10.59, and 21.70 to finish second in both races.

In the women's 100 and 200, Washington State alum Princess Joy Griffey took both races, winning the short sprint in 11.89, and setting a new facility record in the 200, running 23.93.

Western Washington's Frank Catelli took a shot/discus double victory, winning the shot with a best of 56-0 1/2 (17.08m) and the discus at 173-11 (53.00m).

The wind played tricks with the pole vaulters, but that did not keep the Huskies' Jax Thoirs (16-9.25/5.11m) and Diamara Planell Cruz (13-1.75/4.61m) from winning the men's and women's competition.


In Cheney, the University of Montana swept Eastern Washington in the Pelluer Invitational dual meet, winning the men's competition 97-88, and the women prevailing 94.5-84.5.

The best mark of the meet was set by Eastern's Jordan Arakawa, who won the hammer with a throw of 216-8 (66.04m).

On the women's side, the hammer also provided the meet's best mark, as the Eagles' Olivia Midles won with a toss of 195-10 (59.70m).


In Spokane, Seattle University's Dylan Burnett had the top mark of the meet at WAR VII, hosted by Spokane Community College.

Burnett threw the javelin 218-8 (66.66m) to win the event, scoring a season best.  The mark was the second best of his career, a throw eclipsed only by his personal best of 231-10 (70.66m) set in 2011 in winning the Great West Conference title.

Central Washington swept both the men's and women's team titles, with their men scoring 108, and their women scoring 104.1.


NOTE:  The sports information departments of Washington State, the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific, Eastern Washington, and Seattle University contributed to this report.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Canadian based throwers win two of three events as Washington Open begins...

SEATTLE--Canadian-based throwers won two of Friday's three events to start the two-day Washington Open at Husky Track on the campus of the University of Washington.

In the meet's opening event, 2012 US Olympian Kibwe Johnson (left/photo by Paul Merca), who resides in Kamloops, British Columbia, where he is coached by Anatoly Bondarchuck, won the hammer with a toss of 219-10 (67.02m) on his third round attempt.

That toss was the two-time US champ and Olympic finalist's only fair throw of the day, as he easily turned back the challenge of Washington's Jack Scheiderman (177-0/53.94m) and Pacific Lutheran's Kyle Peart (173-11/53.02m).

The men's javelin was won by former Husky Kyle Nielsen, as the Langley, British Columbia native returned to his alma mater and won handily, throwing a best of 224-1 (68.30m) to beat Western Washington's Slater Hirst (204-7/62.37m) and WWU teammate John Haskin (186-5/56.82m).

In the women's javelin, Monika Gruszecki, a former two-time NCAA D2 champ out of Western Washington, easily won with a toss of 154-10 (47.20m) over the Washington duo of Ashley Alexander (137-0/41.76m) and Koryn Andrus (136-10/41.70m).

The Washington Open continues Saturday with the first field events underway at 9 am, and the first running event at noon.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Washington schools in action in Seattle, Tuscon, Spokane, and Cheney this weekend...

Washington's NCAA Division I and II schools are in action this weekend, with meets in Seattle, Tuscon, Spokane and Cheney on the docket.

The University of Washington will host the Washington Open Friday and Saturday at Husky Track, which opened for business last year.  

This is the third meet on the school's new track, following the UW/WSU dual and the Ken Shannon meet last year.  The field will consist of local schools such as Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, plus Division III Puget Sound, Pacific Lutheran, and Evergreen State.

One of the meet's headliners is 2012 US Olympian Kibwe Johnson (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport), who is scheduled to compete in the men's hammer, which is the meet's opening event at 2pm on Friday.

Two other events will occur on Friday--the women's javelin at 4:30pm, followed by the men's javelin upon the conclusion of the women's event.

Washington's middle distance and distance crew will either move up or down in distance, after coming off a big meet at last week's Stanford Invitational.

The Husky vertical jumpers, led by pole vaulters Jax Thoirs, Diamara Planell Cruz, and Kristina Owsinski, along with high jumper AJ Maricich, are back in action after taking the week off last weekend.


The Saturday portion of the meet gets underway at 9am with a series of field events, with the first running event starting at noon.

Washington State heads to Tuscon for the Jim Click Shootout, a five-way scoring meet hosted by the University of Arizona.

The Cougs will face squads from the Air Force Academy, Kansas State, and New Mexico, in addition to the host Wildcats.


Those Cougars who don't make the trip to Tuscon will head to Spokane for Friday & Saturday's WAR VII meet hosted by Spokane Community College.

In this unique meet, the scoring will be based on a Washington State versus the field, with all Washington schools scored as one team, and all other schools scored as another team.

In addition to host Spokane CC, Seattle University, Gonzaga, Central Washington, and Saint Martin's will have athletes entered.

One of the schools that won't be at WAR is Eastern Washington, as they host the Pelluer Invitational at Roos Field in Cheney.

The Pelluer is the lone outdoor home meet and one of just two home meets the entire season for Eastern. The meet returned to the schedule this season after taking a one-year hiatus last year, and will be scored as a dual between the Eagles and Montana. Eastern has gotten quite familiar with the Grizzlies, as they have competed against them the past two weekends at the Al Manuel Invite (March 28-29) and MSU Open (April 5).

According to Eastern head coach Stan Kerr, this year’s Pelluer will also give Eastern’s staff and administration another chance to get acclimated hosting a meet. That preparation will be vital as EWU will host the 2015 Big Sky Outdoor Championships, a meet that will feature 12 Big Sky Conference schools with Idaho set to join next season.

Field events will start at 10 a.m. Saturday with the women’s hammer and the men’s javelin. The hammer, javelin, discus and shot put will be contested in the throwing complex next to the intramural fields. All other events will be held at Roos Field. Running events will kick off at noon with the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.


NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Seattle Pacific, Seattle University, Washington State University, Eastern Washington, and Spokane CC contributed to this report.

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