A reader has asked what the UW track teams are doing for a practice site this spring with the stadium and track being demolished and the stadium rebuilt without a track. Good question.
The answer is that the UW isn’t hosting any meets this season and the center of practice is Dempsey Indoor, site of some indoor meets this winter that drew competitors from throughout the nation.
Some track workouts are being held this spring at the track at Nathan Hale High School in northeast Seattle at 35th Ave. NE and 110th Street. The sprinters might be at Hale one day and the middle-distance runners the next. Distance runners do some work there but often have specific workouts – such as hill repeats – that take them elsewhere. Distance runners also can just go out the door to run mile after mile after meeting at Dempsey.
Throwers are working out regularly at West Seattle Stadium by the West Seattle Golf Course on 35th Avenue SW where there is room for javelin, hammer, and discus throws.
The new UW varsity track is under construction just north of the varsity soccer field. It is expected to be ready for use in the fall. The track will be purple. Yes, purple. Seating capacity is still to be determined.
Although this is a season of imperfect conditions for the men’s and women’s track teams, the Huskies are competitive. The women were second in the prestigious four-team Pepsi Invitational last week in Eugene, finishing behind powerhouse Oregon but ahead of Texas A&M and UCLA. Jordan Carlson, senior from Shadle Park High School in Spokane, became the first Husky woman to run under 54 seconds (53.84) in the 400-meter dash. Logan Miller, a junior from Reno, won the pole vault by becoming the second UW woman to clear 14 feet.
This winter, Husky women won the NCAA indoor distance medley championship. Relay anchor Katie Flood set a UW indoor records in the mile (4:28.48) and 3,000 meters (8:55.31) and she will look to make it back to her hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, for the NCAA outdoor championships in June. A teammate who could go with her is fellow sophomore Megan Goethals of Rochester, Mich., who was sixth in the 5,000-meter run last spring at the NCAA’s. The Husky women finished second at the NCAA cross-country championships last fall.
The Husky men were third in the Eugene meet, won by the Oregon men. Junior James Alaka of London, England, had impressive times of 10.36 in the 100 meters and 19.90 in the 200. He is the defending Pac-12 champion and a potential Olympian. The Husky men qualified a distance-relay team for the NCAA indoor championships this winter.
Husky Stadium hosted the 1972 AAU Championship, the 1951 and 1971 NCAA championships and the 1990 Goodwill Games. In 1978, Henry Rono of Washington State set the world steeplechase record on the track with a clocking of 8 minutes, 5.4 seconds. The record stood for 11 years.
(And in the interest of full disclosure, the above wasn’t written solely by yours truly but with a helpful assist from a former Times reporter whose passion about this topic basically required that this be posted).