Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Husky women move one spot in latest USTFCCCA cross country poll...

NEW ORLEANS—The University of Washington women’s cross country team (above/photo by Paul Merca), fresh off a solid victory at their own Sundodger Invitational, moved up one position to number 12 in the latest USTFCCCA national coaches’ cross country poll released by the organization Tuesday.

There were no changes in the national top five women’s teams, with reigning Pac-12 champ Colorado, defending national champions Oregon, New Mexico, Michigan, and Stanford occupying the top spots in that order.

The only other Pac-12 team in the national top 30 is number 26 Utah, which dropped four spots from last week.

The Washington men’s team did not receive any votes to merit a national ranking despite scoring a perfect 15 at its own Sundodger Invitational over the weekend, in spite of resting its top three runners.

Washington State, which hasn’t competed so far this season, remains the country’s number 11 team in the national poll.

Like the women’s poll, there were no changes in the national top five. Defending national champion Northern Arizona occupies the top spot, followed by Stanford, Syracuse, defending Pac-12 champ Colorado, and Arkansas.

Pac-12 teams in the national top 30 include # 8 Oregon, and # 20 UCLA.

The next test for Washington is the Bill Dellinger Invitational hosted by the University of Oregon on September 29th in Springfield, which will host the Pac-12 championships four weeks later.  Washington State heads to South Bend, Indiana for the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational.

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Stevens wins Sundodger men's invitational race as Dawgs roll without their top three...

SEATTLE—No Colby Gilbert? No Fred Huxham? No Andrew Gardner?

The answer to that question was a resounding no problem as Washington’s Johnathan Stevens (left/photo by Paul Merca) picked up the slack to record the victory at the Sundodger Invitational Saturday at Seattle’s Lincoln Park.

Stevens and teammate Mahmoud Moussa led the race for the first three laps of the Lincoln Park course before pulling away to the victory over 8km in 24:12, two seconds ahead of freshman Talon Hull, who did not run in a Husky uniform, but competed unattached.

In third was another freshman competing unattached, Tibebu Proctor, who ran 24:21, followed by Moussa in 24:26.  Julius Diehr of the Dawgs rounded out the top five in 24:33.

The only non-Husky to break into the top ten was Eastern Washington’s Colton Johnsen in tenth at 24:46.

Matt Seidel was Seattle University’s first runner across the line in 15th place, clocking 25:10.

The Dawgs scored a perfect 15 points to win the 4-team invitational race with Eastern Washington second with 62 points, and Seattle University third with 75 points.  Portland State rounded out the field with 94 points.

While not quite as dominating a performance as the men, the #13 Husky women’s team took care of business in the 6k invitational race, led by reigning Pac-12 and NCAA west regional champion Amy-Eloise Neale, who won in 20:30, with Creighton’s Emily Martin second in 20:35.

The Huskies’ Izzi Batt-Doyle was third in 20:40, followed by Oregon State's Juliana Mount at 20:45, with UW's Emily Hamlin fifth in 20:53. 

The next four places were split between Huskies in uniform (Anna Maxwell in 6th in 20:54, and freshman Allie Schadler in 8th at 20:56), and unattached Dawgs Nikki Zielinski in 7th (20:55), and Camila David-Smith in 9th (21:09).

Oregon State’s Holly Cavalluzzo finished tenth in 21:13.

With all five scorers in the top eight, Washington cruised to a low score of 22 points, followed by Oregon State’s 66 points, followed by Nevada at 72, and Creighton at 84.

Eastern Washington was fifth with 113, led by Kaili Keefe’s 18th place finish at 21:40, while Seattle University was sixth with 182 points, led by Olivia Stein’s 20th place finish in 21:44.

The open women’s 6k was won by Washington State alum Ruby Roberts, who bided her time before moving over the final lap to win in 21:11, one second ahead of Southern Oregon’s Jesse Perkinson.

Kayla Leland of Whitworth was seventh in 21:38, while Alexa Shindruk of Central Washington, the winner of last week’s triangular with Western and Saint Martin’s, was tenth at 21:53.

With seven teams from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference competing, plus nationally ranked Point Loma making the trip north from California, the open section of the Sundodger was an early season measuring stick for those teams looking to be around at the end of the season.

Simon Fraser, ranked number 7 in the USTFCCCA women’s poll won the open women’s team title with 42 points, followed by Point Loma with 55 points, which could see them break into the national top 25.

Seattle Pacific was third with 132 points, led by Dania Holmberg’s 23rd place finish in 22:25.

Western Washington, which held out several of its top runners as they prepare for next week’s Roy Griak Invitational in Minnesota, was fifth with 166 points, led by Jane Barr’s 24th place finish in 22:25.

Division III Whitworth was 6th with 173, followed by Central Washington in seventh with 200 points.  Puget Sound was eighth with 254 points to round out Washington D2 and D3 schools in the top ten in the 20-team field.

Canadians dominated the open men’s 8k race, grabbing six of the top ten spots, but it was Pacific Lutheran’s Brad Hodkinson taking the victory in 24:25, as the NCAA Division III All-American cruised to a nine-second win over Nick Colyn of Vancouver’s Trinity Western University.

Trinity Western, the reigning Canada West cross country champions, won the Sundodger with a low score of 46 points to Simon Fraser’s 69 points, which held off defending NAIA national champs Southern Oregon by one.

Western Washington was fourth with 122 points, led by Andrew Wise’s 19th place finish in 25:30.

Central Washington was eighth with 259 points, led by Josh Boston in 60th place in 26:08.  Seattle Pacific rounded out the Washington D2 & D3 schools in tenth with 275 points, led by Ben Halliday’s 12th place finish in 25:16.

In Spokane, former Husky Sumner Goodwin led Gonzaga to a 20-39 dual meet victory over Idaho over the 8k course around the Mead HS athletic complex.

Goodwin won in a time of 24:33, beating out teammates Jake Perrin and Kyle Thompson, who both ran 24:35.

In the women’s 5k race, Andrea Condie of Idaho was the winner in a time of 17:47, with Gonzaga’s Jordan Thurston second in 18:07.

The Vandals won the dual by a 19-44 count, as Idaho got all seven counting scorers in the top eight, with only Thurston breaking up the Idaho pack.

Complete results of the Idaho/Gonzaga dual, along with Gonzaga’s recap, are available here.


While it hasn’t been formally announced by the school, Kelsey Quinn is the newest addition to the Washington track and field staff, as she is the new operations director, replacing Megan Morgan, who took a position in the private sector.

Quinn comes from Warner Pacific in Portland, where she was the head track and cross country coach for the Knights.

Before Warner Pacific, she was an assistant coach at Grand View University in Iowa. Quinn was a standout sprinter and hurdler at the University of Iowa.

NOTE: The University of Washington, the PNTF Officials, Gonzaga University and Warner Pacific University contributed to this report.

Friday, September 15, 2017

THE WEEKEND AHEAD: Sundodger and Gonzaga/Idaho dual top cross country calendar...

The collegiate cross country season roars into full swing Saturday as four of the state’s Division 1 schools and three of Washington’s Division II institutions are in action Saturday.

In Seattle, the University of Washington hosts the annual Sundodger Invitational cross country meet at Lincoln Park in West Seattle, beginning at 9 am with the women’s open 6k race at 9 am, and races throughout the morning and early afternoon.

The two open women’s and men’s races (men race 8k) have the biggest fields, with the likes of Division II Seattle Pacific, Western Washington and Central Washington. 

Those three schools will get their first test of how they fare against other teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, led by nationally ranked Simon Fraser, plus Alaska Fairbanks, Concordia, and Northwest Nazarene.

Throw in the mix Canada West men’s and women’s champs Trinity Western, and NAIA powerhouse Southern Oregon, and the two early races could have potential national implications for those teams.

The women’s invitational race at 11 am features host Washington going up against a field that includes Eastern Washington, Oregon State, Hawaii, Santa Clara, Portland State, SeattleU, Nevada, and Creighton.  The Huskies will be at full strength for this race on paper, led by reigning Pac-12 and NCAA west regional champ Amy-Eloise Neale (above/photo by Paul Merca).

Most of their freshman class will race unattached, led by Canadian and world U20 cross country chanpionhips competitor Shona McCullough.  Arizona prep standout Allie Schadler will run in uniform for the Dawgs.

In contrast, the men’s invitational race at 11:35 am only has four teams—host Washington , Eastern Washington, Portland State, and Seattle University.

The Huskies are holding out three of their top runners—Colby Gilbert, Fred Huxham, and Andrew Gardner, along with redshirt freshman Gavin Parpart, who ran for Team USATF at the IAAF World U20 Cross Country championships in Uganda last spring.  Johnathan Stevens and Mahmoud Moussa will lead he charge for the Huskies Saturday.

There are also two high school races on the docket, with the girls’ 5k going at 10:25 am, and the boys’ 5k closing out the Sundodger at 12:20 pm (the varsity and JV races are consolidated).

In Spokane, Gonzaga hosts the University of Idaho in a dual meet on the athletic fields at Mead High School.beginning at 10 am with the women’s race, and the men following at 10:30 am.

The women’s race will be contested over 5k, while the men will run 8k.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Great Northwest Athletic Conference, and Gonzaga University contributed to this report.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cougs and Dawgs maintain their national rankings in latest USTFCCCA coaches' poll...

Washington's Amy-Eloise Neale, Izzi Batt-Doyle & Emily
Hamlin lead at the UW/SeattleU Open (Paul Merca photo)
NEW ORLEANS—The cancellation of last week’s Oregon XC Preview in Springfield due to the poor air quality around the Pacific Northwest caused by the number of wildfires did not hurt the Washington  State Cougars in the first official USTFCCCA coaches poll released Tuesday.

Washington State remains ranked at number 11, holding steady from the same ranking the Cougars got in the coaches’ pre-season poll two weeks ago.

The nation’s top five men’s teams are defending national champion Northern Arizona, Stanford, Syracuse, Pac-12 champ Colorado, and Arkansas.

Other Pac-12 schools ranked in the national top 30 include #8 Oregon and #22 UCLA.

The University of Washington remains ranked number 13 in the latest national women’s poll, after competing against Seattle University on September 1st in a non-scoring meet.

Three Pac-12 teams are among the nation’s top five squads in the latest poll, led by Pac-12 champs Colorado, defending national champions Oregon, New Mexico, Michigan, and Stanford.

Utah is the only other Pac-12 team ranked in the women’s top 30 at number 22.


Here’s a couple of items we missed over the weekend:

On Sunday at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile on the streets of New York, Hannah Fields of the Brooks Beasts finished 19th in 4:31, as former world champion Jenny Simpson won her sixth title (and fifth straight) in a time of 4:17 (4:16.6).

In the men’s pro race, Drew Windle of the Brooks Beasts finished 22nd in 4:18 (4:17.3), as two-time Olympic 1500 meter medalist Nick Willis of New Zealand won his fourth title in 3:52 (3:51.3).

Also on Sunday, Washington State University hall of famer Bernard Lagat finished eighth at the Simplyhealth Great North Run half-marathon in Newcastle, UK, running 63:02, as Great Britain’s Mo Farah of the Beaverton-based Nike Oregon Project and the reigning world champion at 10000 meters, won in 60:06, collecting his fourth victory at this event.

The day before, Washington alum Katie Mackey of the Brooks Beasts, who missed the USATF outdoor championships in June due to an injury, finished fourth in the women’s road mile at the Great North CityGames street meet in Newcastle/Gateshead, running 4:36 (4:35.63), as Great Britain’s Melissa Courtney won in 4:34 (4:33.83).

Finally, here’s a report from Ken Goe of the Oregonian stating that the planned renovation to Historic Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon is now expected to begin next summer, which puts the 2019 Nike Prefontaine Classic and the NCAA track & field championships in danger, as well as the 2019 Oregon state high school championships.

Additionally, the Oregon track team could be forced to look elsewhere outside their campus to train, most likely at nearby high schools (South Eugene HS is the closest facility to the Oregon campus with a track).

According to Goe, the 2019 Nike Prefontaine Classic is expected to move from late May to either late July or early August because of changes in the international schedule due to the world championships in Doha, Qatar from September 28 to October 6th.

NOTE: The USTFCCCA, New York Road Runners, Great North Run, and Oregonlive.com contributed to this report.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Vikings sweep last-minute triangular with Central & Saint Martin's...

LACEY—Due to the unhealthy air quality levels in Ellensburg because of the wildfires around the Pacific Northwest, Central Washington’s Apple Ridge Invitational was cancelled on Thursday, and in its place, a hastily assembled meet featuring Central, Western and last minute host Saint Martin’s on its campus course.

In the opening women’s 4k, reigning GNAC 10000 meter champion Alexa Shindruck (left/photo by Paul Merca) took the victory, running 14:40, to finish 16 seconds up on Western Washington senior Lillianna Stelling.

The Vikings essentially ran this race as a controlled tempo run, with the next six runners behind Stelling finishing within six seconds.

Larissa Kolasinski of Saint Martin’s, who led the race early, was twelfth in 15:28.

In the men’s 6k race, Western’s Ian Fay, a freshman from Cedarcrest HS competing unattached, was the winner in 19:36.  

Western senior Andrew Wise was the first scoring runner across the line, finishing third in 19:53.

Central Washington’s first runner was Ron Leaf in seventh at 20:10, while Saint Martin’s was led by Josh Hunt in 15th place in 20:24.

Western, which enters the season ranked in the West Region top ten on both the men’s and women’s sides, easily won both meets, scoring 20 to Central’s 46 and Saint Martin’s in the women’s competition, and 23 points in the men’s race, with Central second at 34 and Saint Martin’s with 80.

Central and Western Washington will compete at next week’s Sundodger Invitational at Lincoln Park in West Seattle, hosted by the University of Washington, while Saint Martin’s returns to action in two weeks at their own invitational.

Complete results are posted below.

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In a related note, Saint Martin's recently announced the addition of Atanas Atanassov as an assistant track and cross country coach.

Atanassov was a volunteer assistant coach at the University of Washington for the last four years, and served as the primary coach for 2016 US Olympic decathlete Jeremy Taiwo.

Atanassov will work with the sprinters and field event specialists at Saint Martin's, while continuing to work with Taiwo, who was injured and did not compete in the 2016 season.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Saint Martin’s, Western and Central Washington contributed to this report.

Geubelle finishes fourth in DecáNation triple jump...

ANGERS, France—University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (above/photo courtesy University of Kansas) finished fourth in the triple jump for Team USATF at Saturday’s DecáNation meet at Stadium du Lac de Maine.

Geubelle jumped a best of 42-9.5 (13.04m) on her second attempt as Jeanine Assani Issouf of France won with a best of 44-8.25 (13.62m).

Team USATF scored nine individual victories to win the overall title, scoring 122 points, with France second with 103 points, to give the Americans its tenth victory in 13 appearances at this season-ending meet.

In a related note, Geubelle will return to Lawrence, Kansas to train with University of Kansas coach Wayne Pate at her alma mater.

Andrea Geubelle part of Team USATF at Saturday’s DecáNation meet in France...

ANGERS, France—University Place resident Andrea Geubelle (above/photo by Paul Merca) will have one more meet this season as the 2016 US Olympian is part of the Team USATF delegation competing in Saturday’s DecáNation meet at Stadium du Lac de Maine.

Geubelle was selected for this meet based on her third place finish at the USATF championships in Sacramento in June.

The DecáNation meet is a one-day international meet in which ten athletes complete one decathlon.

Seven countries are part of the meet, including China, Japan, the Balkans, Poland, Ukraine, and host France.

Team USATF has won the meet nine time out of the 12 years participating in this annual season-ending meet.

NOTE: USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Central Washington Invite now moved to Saint Martin's in Lacey Saturday...

Saint Martin's Yadira Lopez runs at
last year's SMU Open on their campus
(Paul Merca photo)
PORTLAND—Saturday’s Central Washington Invitational has officially been moved to the Saint Martin’s University campus in Lacey, according to a release sent out Thursday afternoon by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Saint Martin’s agreed to host the meet, which features both Central Washington and Western Washington, on its course, after the poor air quality issues due to the forest fires affecting the Pacific Northwest.

The meet will start at 10 am with the women’s 4k, with the men’s 6k going at 10:45 am.


Apologies for the delay in posting these, but Hannah Fields of the Brooks Beasts finished third in the Hoka One One Long Island Mile run Wednesday night in Huntington, New York.

Fields ran 4:30.32, as Emily Lipari of the Boston AA won in 4:28.84.

In the David Torrence Memorial Mile, named after the two-time winner of this meet, Cal alum and Peruvian Olympian who passed away last week after drowning in a Phoenix area apartment complex pool, Garrett Heath of the Brooks Beasts finished eighth in 4:00.81.

Great Britain’s Chris O’Hare held off two-time Olympic medalist Nick Willis for the win in 3:56.22 to 3:56.41.

Complete results of the Hoka One One Long Island Mile are available here, along with a link to watch the replay of the races.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Saturday's Central Washington Invitational also cancelled due to air quality issues...

Central Washington sophomore
Samantha DuPras (Paul Merca photo)
ELLENSBURG—Saturday’s Central Washington Invitational is the latest victim of the rash of wildfires and poor air conditions throughout the Pacific Northwest, as that meet has been cancelled.

In a news release from the school, Central Washington also announced that their home football game against Western Oregon has been moved from Ellensburg to the Seattle area, as well as two soccer matches.

Central Washington is attempting to schedule a triangular meet with other GNAC schools somewhere in Western Washington, and urges its followers to refer to wildcatsports.com for updates.

Western Washington and Saint Martin's University were scheduled to compete in the CWU Invitational.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

WSU's scheduled appearance at Oregon XC Preview scuttled due to air quality issues...

WSU runners Chandler Teigen and Nathan Wadhwani
(Paul Merca photo)
Just received notice from WSU track and cross country sports information director Linda Chalich informing us that WSU’s scheduled appearance at Thursday’s Oregon Cross Country Preview in Springfield at the Springfield Golf Club has been cancelled.

Shortly after receiving the note, the University of Oregon posted a press release confirming the meet’s cancellation.

Due to the continued air quality issues in the Eugene and Springfield areas, Oregon cross country has made the decision to cancel the Oregon XC Preview this Thursday, Sept. 7, at Springfield Golf Club.

Director of Athletics Rob Mullens, Oregon head coach Robert Johnson, coaches Andy and Maurica Powell and director of athletic medicine Dr. Greg Skaggs have monitored the situation closely over the last couple of weeks, and came to the decision to cancel the meet in order to ensure the safety of both student-athletes and fans.

Fan and student-athlete safety is the primary concern for the University of Oregon, and Dr. Skaggs, university administration and the coaching staff determined that the air quality was simply unsafe for a cross country meet.

The Ducks will still host a pair of meets in 2017 at Springfield Golf Club, the Bill Dellinger Invitational on Sept. 29 and the Pac-12 Championships on Oct. 27.”

In a text from Chalich, she said that the WSU coaching staff “will regroup and may try to find something…if necessary.”

The Oregon XC Preview meet would have been scored as three duals and counted for three contests to meet NCAA requirements.

Several news reports have reported that Eugene’s air quality index had reached unhealthy levels over the last 24 hours due to the combination of high temperatures and large fires in the Rogue, Umpqua, and Willamette valleys, as well as parts of Central Oregon. 

Washington State held its annual alumni meet on September 1st at the Colfax Golf Course, with Nathan Wadhwani (17:31) winning over 6k, and Vallery Korir (13:15) winning over 4k.

WSU's release, along with their official announcement about the cancellation of their trip to Oregon is available here.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: SMU's Larissa Kolasinski wins Puget Sound Invitational 6k Saturday...

In Lakewood, Saint Martin’s Larissa Kolasinski (above, #404/photo courtesy Saint Martin’s Athletics) led from the gun to win the women’s race Saturday at the Puget Sound Invitational at Fort Steilacoom State Park.

Kolasinski, a junior from Issaquah, covered the 6k course in 23:51 to win by 27 seconds over host Puget Sound freshman Rachel Metzler.

The host Loggers won the team competition with a low score of 20, with Saint Martin’s squeezing out second with 60 points, one less than Pacific Lutheran.

In the men’s 8k race, Devin Wulff of the University of Portland took the victory in 26:51, as the Pilots took the first six places and scored a perfect 15 points to handily win the meet.

Saint Martin’s Josh Hunt led the Saints with his seventh place finish in 28:07.

Pacific Lutheran took second overall with 65 points, led by sophomore Porter Kreier’s 12th place finish in 29:00.

Complete results of the Puget Sound Invitational are available here (see link inside UPS's release).

Saint Martin's travels to Ellensburg for the Central Washington University Apple Ridge Invitational on Saturday September 9th.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Saint Martin’s University and the University of Puget Sound contributed to this report.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Batt-Doyle wins UW/SeattleU Open one week after competing at World University Games...

SEATTLE—Just over a week after her seventh place finish in the 10000 meters at the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan, Washington senior Izzi Batt-Doyle (left/photo by Paul Merca) traded her green and gold Australia kit for a purple and gold Husky uniform to win the women’s 3-mile run at the UW/SeattleU Open non-scoring meet at Warren G. Magnuson Park Friday.

Traditionally, the UW/SeattleU Open meet has been a glorified tempo run disguised as a cross country meet for both teams to meet NCAA regulations.  For the better part of the race, Batt-Doyle ran the point, as a group of about eight or nine Huskies were close by as they ran the first two miles at a controlled 5:30/mile pace.

Batt-Doyle, whose track season was extended to mid-August, and who is the most race ready runner on the team right now, pulled away over the last mile to win on a sunny 80-degree day in 16:19, nine seconds ahead of unattached UW runners Nikki Zielinski (16:28), and ten up on Kaitlyn Neal (16:29).

Behind them was a group of five Huskies, three of whom were competing unattached, all of whom cruised in under 16:35, including reigning Pac-12 champ and All-American Amy-Eloise Neale (5th, 16:34), and frosh standout Allie Schadler (7th, 16:34).

In coach Kelly Sullivan’s debut as Redhawks head coach, Olivia Stein led SeattleU across the line as their first runner, completing the course in 11th place in 17:01.

In the men’s 4.5 mile race, Washington runners took the top twelve spots in what was a controlled effort, considering that the Huskies began practicing as a team Monday.

Johnathan Stevens was credited with the win in 22:26, with Talon Hull and Julius Diehr taking second and third in 22:27.

Matt Seidel was SeattleU’s first runner in at 13th in 22:56.

After the UW/SeattleU meet, Seattle Pacific and Northwest University took over the Magnuson Park course for a scored dual meet.

In the women’s 3-mile, the Falcons’ Alyssa Foote took command over the last lap to earn a five-second win over teammate Dania Holmberg, 17:21-17:26, leading Seattle Pacific to a 18-45 win over Northwest.

2016 NAIA national cross country championships qualifier Sarah Estabrook (17:46) was the Eagles’ leading runner.

The men’s 4.5 mile race had a bit of a twist, as Northwest’s Riley Sine (22:48) won the race, defeating SPU’s Ben Halladay by 14 seconds.

However, Sine’s efforts were not enough for the Eagles to pull the upset over the Falcons, as Seattle Pacific packed six runners in the top nine to win by a 23-37 count.

In Missoula, Montana, Jake Perrin of Gonzaga led a 1-2-3 finish by the Zags at the season-opening Clash of the Inland Northwest at the University of Montana Golf Course.

Perrin got his first collegiate win in a time of 18:36 over a 6k course, with teammate Ben Hogan credited with the same time, and Dillon Quintana third at 18:41.

Such was the dominance by the Bulldogs that they placed six in the top ten and 11 in the top 20.

Colton Johnsen of Eastern Washington was the Eagles’ top finisher, with his sixth place overall finish in 18:46.

Gonzaga cruised to three dual wins, beating EWU (17-46), Idaho (17-45) and Montana (15-50).  The Eagles beat Montana 25-30, and lost to Idaho 19-40.

In the women’s race,  Gonzaga’s Jordan Thurston was the first Bulldog across the line with her fifth place finish over the 4k course in 14:32, with Eastern’s Kari Hamilton-Scharnhorst sixth in 14:34.

The GU women won two of their three duals, beating out Eastern Washington (25-33) and Montana (29-30), but falling to Idaho (19-42). Eastern lost to Idaho 20-41, and also to host Montana by a 26-29 count.

Gonzaga hosts a dual meet against Idaho on September 16th, while Eastern Washington heads to Seattle for the Sundodger Invitational hosted by the University of Washington.

In Brussels, Belgium Friday night, former Puget Sound resident Devon Allen raced to a fourth place finish in the men’s 110 hurdles at the final stop of the IAAF Diamond League series, the Ivo Van Damme Memorial.

Allen ran 13.24, as authorized neutral athlete Sergey Shubenkov won in 13.14.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

All five Washington D1 schools in action Friday in cross country season openers...

All five of Washington’s Division I schools will be in action on Friday at various meets around the Northwest as the 2017 collegiate cross country season opens.

In Seattle, the University of Washington will host the annual non-scoring meet against Seattle University at Warren G. Magnuson Park in the Sand Point neighborhood, just a few miles north of the UW campus, with the women starting at 4 pm, and the men going 30 minutes later.

The women will run two 1.5 mile loops (3 miles total) of a moderately flat course, with the only significant hill the famed Kite Hill about 800 meters into the loop, while the men run three loops (4.5 miles total). The course starts and finishes next to the swim beach on the east end of the park.

The Huskies, who assembled on campus on Monday, will run most of their upperclassmen in uniform, while their underclassmen, including prize freshman Shona McCullough (left/photo by Paul Merca), who won the Brooks PR meet in the two mile in 2016, and represented Canada at the IAAF world cross country championships this spring in the under-20 race, will compete unattached.

The Redhawks will counter with senior Johanna Erickson, their top returning finisher in last year’s WAC championships (she was 7th), and junior Olivia Stein, who was tenth in the WAC last fall.

On the men’s side, Washington’s Colby Gilbert leads the charge along with Andrew Gardner, and redshirt freshman Gavin Parpart, who represented the USA at the IAAF world cross country championships this spring in the under-20 race.

Most of their incoming freshman class will run unattached. The most significant runner running without a UW jersey Friday is 2016 NCAA competitor Fred Huxham.

The Redhawks will be led by Eli Boudouris, who was 11th at last year’s WAC championships at Jefferson Park, which SeattleU hosted.

Friday’s meet marks the debut of SeattleU head coach Kelly Sullivan, the former Oregon State mentor who replaced Trisha Steidl, and faces the challenge of energizing a program that had not qualified a single athlete in cross country, indoor, or outdoor track for the NCAA championships in the five years that it’s been a Division I school.

Adding some spice to the meet is a dual meet between Seattle Pacific and NAIA Northwest University of Kirkland, with the women’s race starting at 5, and the men’s race at 5:30.

The Falcon women will be led by senior Mary Charleson, an NCAA qualifier indoors and outdoors, while Northwest is led by NAIA cross country nationals qualifier Sarah Estabrook.

On the men’s side, Kyle Cole, who was 28th at the Cascade Conference championship meet, leads the Eagles, while senior Ben Halladay leads the Falcons.

In Missoula, Montana, both Gonzaga and Eastern Washington open their season at the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet at the University of Montana Golf course.

The women get things underway at 5 pm local time, with a 4k race, while the men go 45 minutes later over a 6 k course. The women will run two loops of 2k, while the men will traverse the course three times.

Besides host Montana, Gonzaga and Eastern Washington will be joined in the race by Idaho, Lewis-Clark State, and Whitworth.

In Colfax, Washington State opens with a low key meet with their alumni runners, with the men getting things going with a 6k race at 5 pm, and the women running 4k at 5:30 pm.

The Cougs will race on the Colfax Golf Course, which hosted the Pac-12 championships two years ago, and will host the 2019 NCAA West regionals.


Former Puget Sound resident Devon Allen will run in the men’s 110 hurdles Friday at the Ivo Van Damme Memorial meeting in Brussels, Belgium. 

The Van Damme Meeting is the final stop of the 14-city IAAF Diamond League tour that began in May in Doha, Qatar.

Entering the Van Damme meet, Allen finds himself in seventh place in the event with 11 points. Former world champion Sergey Shubenkov, who finished second at the recent London world championships, is the series leader with 29 points accumulated over six qualifying meets during the Diamond League circuit.

While Allen’s chances for a series top 3 finish are almost nil, a strong race could propel him to a possible fourth place series finish, as four athletes are within five points of Great Britain’s Andrew Pozzi’s 15 points. Pozzi is not in the field for this race.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Washington alum Tyler King named assistant track/XC coach at SeattleU...

SEATTLE—Seattle University track and cross country coach Kelly Sullivan announced Tuesday that the Redhawks have hired University of Washington alum Tyler King (left/photo by Paul Merca) as an assistant coach.

In a release from the school, Sullivan said, "We are really excited to add Tyler to the Redhawk staff, he has a real passion to coach at the collegiate level." 

"He was highly recommended by head coach Greg Metcalf and the University of Washington, who I respect and trust. Tyler will bring a new and refreshing perspective to assist me with both the men and women distances. This is truly a great opportunity for everyone."

King graduated from the University of Washington in 2016 where he was a standout distance runner in track and cross country. King was a NCAA cross country All-American in 2014, an NCAA qualifier in the 10000 in 2016 and a team captain of the 2015 University of Washington cross country team that finished eighth at the NCAA championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

After graduating from the UW, King, who graduated from Coupeville HS, worked for Nike at their world headquarters in Beaverton.

“I'm very excited to be starting my coaching career here at SeattleU,” King said. “Coach Kelly Sullivan's vision for the program, as well as the athletes' desire to compete is inspiring, and I'm looking forward to continuing to grow this program into contending for WAC championships and qualifying athletes for the NCAA championships.”

NOTE:  The sports information office of Seattle University contributed to this report.

Cougar men ranked #11; Husky women #13 in USTFCCCA pre-season national XC poll...

NEW ORLEANS—The Washington State University men’s cross country team (above/photo by Paul Merca) got a jolt of positive energy Tuesday when the USTFCCCA Division I pre-season poll was released, with the Cougars finding themselves ranked number 11 in the country, after finishing 14th at last season's NCAA championships.

In the USTFCCCA era, this is the highest that a Washington State team has been ranked since 1998 when the Cougs, led by WSU hall of famer and Olympian Bernard Lagat was ranked number 10 in that year’s pre-season poll.

This is also the first time that a WSU team has been ranked in the national top 30 at the start of the season since 2012, when they were ranked #26 under former coach Tim Riley.

The men’s national top five are defending national champion Northern Arizona, followed by Stanford, Syracuse, Arkansas and defending Pac-12 champion Colorado.

Other Pac-12 schools in the national top 30 include number 9 Oregon and number 25 UCLA.

On the women’s side, the University of Washington will begin the season ranked number 13 in the national poll.

Pac-12 champion Colorado begins the year ranked number 1, followed by defending NCAA champion Oregon.  Michigan, New Mexico (which gained former Husky Charlotte Prouse), and Stanford round out the top 5 in the women’s pre-season poll.

Utah is the only other women’s team ranked in the national top-30 from the Pac-12, coming in at number 22.

Washington State opens up their season Friday in Colfax with a low-key meet featuring their alumni, while Washington opens the season Friday with a non-scoring meet at Seattle’s Magnuson Park against Seattle University.


In Zagreb, Croatia, former Puget Sound resident Devon Allen was second in the 110 hurdles at the Borisa Hanzekovica meet Tuesday.

Allen ran 13.19 to finish behind Sergey Shubenkov of Russia, competing as an authorized neutral athlete.  Shubenkov, the silver medalist at the London world championships, ran 13.12 to take the victory.

Vancouver native Kara Winger finished fifth in the javelin with a best of 198-3 (60.44m), as Canada’s Liz Gleadle won with a throw of 208-0 (63.40m).

NOTE:  The USTFCCCA and the sports information offices of Washington State University and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Composite cross country schedule for all nine of Washington's NCAA D1/D2 schools...

WSU's Michael Williams was an
NCAA cross country All-American
last season (Paul Merca photo)
Just when you thought that we’re still in the middle of summer, the 2017 collegiate cross country season gets underway for the majority of the state’s Division I and II schools this coming Friday and Saturday.

All five of the state’s Division I schools will be in action this Friday, as Eastern Washington and Gonzaga travel to Missoula, Montana for the Clash of the Inland Northwest meet hosted by the University of Montana.

Washington State opens with a low-key meet with their alumni, while the University of Washington hosts Seattle University in its annual open meet at Warren G. Magnuson Park in Seattle after a one-year experiment at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place.

The Cougars turn around six days later to run the Oregon XC Preview meet hosted by the University of Oregon in Springfield, the site of this year’s Pac-12 championship meet.

Three of the four Division II schools are in action on September 9th when Central Washington hosts its invitational in Centralia.

Six teams are in action on September 16th at Seattle’s Lincoln Park when the University of Washington hosts the annual Sundodger Invitational, with Seattle Pacific opening its 2017 campaign at that meet. Washington State, which won the men’s Division I title at this meet the last two seasons, is skipping the Sundodger.

The following weekend, Saint Martin’s hosts its invitational in Lacey, with Central and Western Washington sending teams. However, Western’s top runners will head to Minneapolis for the Roy Griak Invitational.

One of the most significant changes to the state’s cross country schedule happens on September 29th, as the slot where the Washington Invitational would have been is taken over by Oregon’s Dellinger Invitational in Springfield, as the Huskies and Gonzaga head to the Willamette Valley. This meet will be the Huskies’ one chance to see the Pac-12 course before the championships four weeks later.

Meanwhile, Washington State heads to South Bend, Indiana for the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational as the Cougars try to pick up national ranking points.

The October regular season schedule remains the same for the state’s schools, with the only significant change being that SeattleU will not host the Emerald City Open meet at Lower Woodland in north Seattle, as the Redhawks, under new coach Kelly Sullivan, will head to California for the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational on October 14th.

Most of the schools in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference will meet up in Bellingham on October 7th for the Western Washington Classic, before reconvening two weeks later at the conference championships at the same Lake Padden Park venue.

Washington and Washington State sees each other for the first time on October 13th at the Under Armour Wisconsin Invitational in Madison. Eastern Washington and Gonzaga sees each other again at the Pre-Nationals meet in Louisville.

For the state’s four Division II schools, their West regional championship happens November 4th in Monmouth, Oregon, as Western Oregon hosts the regionals.

After conference championship weekend on October 27-28th, the five Division I schools see each other on November 10th at Jefferson Park Golf Course on Beacon Hill, as the University of Washington hosts the NCAA West regionals.

The season closes for everyone on November 18th with the NCAA Division I championship meet in Louisville, Kentucky, and the D2 meet in Evansville, Indiana.

A composite schedule with the schedules of all nine of Washington’s Division I and II schools is attached at the bottom of this post.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of all nine Washington Division I and II schools contributed to this report.

Devon Allen & Kara Winger entered in IAAF World Challenge series meet in Croatia...

Former Puget Sound resident Devon Allen (left/photo by Howard Lao) along with Vancouver native Kara Winger are among the entries in Tuesday’s Borisa Hanzekovica meeting, which is part of the  IAAF World Challenge series in Zagreb, Croatia.

Allen will run the 110 hurdles against a field that includes former world champion Sergey Shubenkov of Russia, competing as an authorized neutral athlete, and Balazs Baji of Hungary, who were second and third in this event in London.

Winger, fresh off a victory in Finland on Saturday, will throw in a field that includes reigning Olympic champion Sara Kolak of Croatia and world championships finalists Liz Gleadle of Canada and Martina Ratej of Slovakia.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Kara Winger wins javelin at Lappeenranta Games in Finland...

Vancouver’s Kara Winger (left/photo by Paul Merca) won the javelin competition Saturday afternoon at the Lappeenranta Games in Finland.

Winger threw a best of 201-10 (61.53m) to easily outdistance the competition under cool conditions.

She has one more meet in her 2017 campaign in Zagreb, Croatia before coming home.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Kara Winger finishes seventh in Zürich and eighth in overall Diamond League javelin...

ZÜRICH—Skyview/Vancouver graduate Kara Winger (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished seventh in the women’s javelin at Thursday’s Weltklasse Zürich meet, the next to last stop on the season-long IAAF Diamond League tour.

Winger threw 203-5 (62.01m) in the fifth round, topping her first round toss of 190-0 (57.91m) and two other throws in the 56-meter range, and a foul in round 3.

World champion Barbora Spotáková of the Czech Republic took the victory with a best of 215-0 (65.54m). Her victory also gave Spotáková the overall Diamond League championship with 28 points accumulated over the series that began in May.

Winger collected 9 points over the course of the Diamond League season, giving her an eighth place finish for the season.

The IAAF Diamond League tour concludes next week with the Van Damme Memorial meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Kara Winger set to throw at Weltklasse Zürich meet Thursday...

Despite the disappointment of not qualifying for the finals at the London world championships, Vancouver native Kara Winger (left/photo by Paul Merca) will compete in Thursday’s IAAF Diamond League women’s javelin final at the Weltklasse Zürich meet.

Winger will compete against a field that includes world champion Barbora Spotáková of the Czech Republic, and Olympic champ Sara Kolak of Croatia.

On the lighter side, here’s a link to an interview Kara did with theringer.com where she analyzes the Night King’s javelin throwing technique from the HBO “Game of Thrones” series.

Action at the Weltklasse Zürich gets underway on NBCSN and the NBC Sports Gold Pass ($) beginning at 11 am Thursday.  The women’s javelin starts at 10:25 am Seattle time, before the television window begins.

Washington's Izzi Batt-Doyle finishes seventh in 10000m at World University Games...

TAIPEI, Taiwan—The University of Washington’s Izzi Batt-Doyle (left/photo courtesy FISU) finished seventh in the 10000 meters Wednesday evening at the FISU World University Games.

Batt-Doyle, representing her native Australia, ran 34:32.13, her third fastest time over that distance this year.

Daria Maslova of Kyrgyzstan won the race in 33:19.27, ahead of surprising Sanjivani Jadhav of India’s 33:22.00, and early leader Ai Hosoda of Japan’s 33:27.89 in a race that was contested in 83-degree temperature and 83% humidity.

Batt-Doyle now will report to Seattle for the start of the UW’s cross country season, and the start of her senior year.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Huskies' Izzi Batt-Doyle to compete in 10000m at World University Games Wednesday...

With the start of the collegiate cross country season right around the corner, the University of Washington’s Australian import Izzi Batt-Doyle (left/photo by Paul Merca) will have one track race left before she reports to the UW for the start of the fall season.

Based on her performance at the NCAA championships in June, where she finished 12th in the 10000 meters in a time of 33:49.61, and the Pac-12s, where she ran 33:35.19, the Australian federation selected Batt-Doyle to compete in that event on Wednesday, August 23rd, which is the opening day of track and field at the FISU World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan.

Batt-Doyle will race at 7:45 pm, local time (4:45 am in Seattle) on Wednesday.

The track & field home page for the FISU World University Games is available here.  

Sunday, August 20, 2017

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Mead 7th in Birmingham DL; Fields wins Falmouth Elite Mile...

In Birmingham, England, former Puyallup resident Hassan Mead finished seventh in the 3000 meters at the Müller Birmingham Grand Prix Sunday, the twelfth stop on the IAAF Diamond League tour.

Mead ran 7:51.09, as Mo Farah of the Nike Oregon Project ran to the victory in 7:38.64, in the British legend’s final track race on home soil.

The IAAF Diamond League tour resumes on August 24th with the Weltklasse Zürich meet in Switzerland, and the AG Memorial Van Damme meet on September 1st.

Saturday in Falmouth, Massachusetts, Hannah Fields (left/photo by Mike Scott) of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts won the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile race.

Fields ran 4:28.32 to set a personal best to outkick Nicole Sifuentes (4:28.51) and Lauren Johnson (4:29.21) over the last 75 meters.

Katie Mackey of the Beasts, a three time winner of the Falmouth Mile, was sixth in 4:31.58, as she raced for the first time since missing the USATF national championships in June with an injury, while Beasts teammate Natalja Piliusina was eighth in 4:54.02.

In the men’s mile, Craig Engels of the Nike Oregon Project snuck past two-time Olympic 1500m medalist Nick Willis of New Zealand to win in 4:00.19 to Willis’ 4:00.47.

Willis had raced six days earlier in the world championships at 1500 meters.

Garrett Heath of the Brooks Beasts was fourth in 4:00.86.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

News and notes for this weekend--August 19th & 20th...

After some time off from the blog to rest and recover from the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in London, glad to say that we are back!

Some news items:

Former Puyallup resident and reigning USATF 10000 meter champion Hassan Mead (left/photo by Paul Merca) competes in Sunday’s 3000 meter run at the IAAF Diamond League stop in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Mead will run in a field that is headlined by Nike Oregon Project’s Mo Farah, the reigning world and Olympic champion at 10000 meters, who is running in his final track race on British soil, as he makes the transition from the track to the roads.

The Müller Birmingham Grand Prix is the final opportunity for invited athletes to earn points towards the two final meets in the IAAF Diamond League series, the Weltklasse Zürich meet on August 24th, and the AG Memorial Van Damme meet on September 1st.

Saturday, three time winner Katie Mackey of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts will run at the Aetna Falmouth Elite Mile in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Mackey, who became the first man or woman to win the Falmouth Mile three times, will face a field that includes fellow Beasts Natalja Piliusina and Hannah Fields, along with Canadians Nicole Sifuentes and Kate Van Buskirk; South African Olympian Dominique Scott, and last year’s third place finisher Heather Kampf.

Yorks faces a field that includes New Zealand’s Nick Willis, a two-time Olympic medalist at 1500m who competed in the 1500m at last week’s IAAF world track & field championships; American rising stars Craig Engles and Colby Alexander; and fellow Beast Garrett Heath.

For the first time, the races will be streamed on the New Balance Falmouth Road Race Facebook page. The link is available here.

From a few days ago, both British Athletics and USA Track & Field issued a joint press release announcing that the two federations will contest a dual meet at London Stadium next year.

Entitled ‘The Meet’ and hosted by British Athletics, the event will be staged July 21, 2018 at the London Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, site of the wildly successful 2017 IAAF World Championships. 

It will feature a new, fast-paced format designed to appeal to new audiences at one of the most celebrated athletics stadiums in the world in a two-hour format that will have a blend of running, jumping, hurdles, and relay events.

“USATF is thrilled to collaborate and innovate with British Athletes on ‘The Meet,’” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “Team competition captures the attention of fans in a way that brings excitement, attention and focus to our sport. ‘The Meet’ will bring track and field back to the future by reviving dual-meet team competition in a way that caters to modern fans.”

“‘The Meet’ will provide audiences with a fantastic head-to-head match between British Athletics and USA Track & Field, and promises to be one of the biggest events in athletics in 2018,” said Niels de Vos, British Athletics Chief Executive Officer.

NOTE: The Falmouth Road Race, British Athletics, and USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

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