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Five more Huskies will compete for the national title in Eugene

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The Washington track and field team continues its successful postseason and sends a total of 16 athletes to the NCAA championships after the conclusion of the west regionals. This is the second most in the UW’s history, as the Huskies are coming off their best Pac-12 championship performance the program has had.

After Thursday’s event schedule was cancelled due to severe weather conditions, the UW came back Friday and advanced 11 of its athletes to the national championships. The Huskies had a much shorter day of competition at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kan., but would see five more athletes continue their postseason run.

In the women’s 1,500-meter run, three UW women were up against a tough field. Sophomores Anna Maxwell and Amy-Eloise Neale, and junior Maddie Meyers could advance only if they finished in the top two of their respective heats, or with the next four best times.

Maxwell placed first in her heat after a late kick to clock 4:18.39, and Neale finished fourth in 4:18.67 and had to wait for the fourth and final heat to see if she would qualify. She will join Maxwell in Eugene, Ore., on June 8-11 as the last time qualifier after the four heats. Meyers finished sixth in her heat at 4:22.98, and was unable to qualify.

The men also had three Huskies running in the 1,500-meter, seniors Izaic Yorks and Blake Nelson, and sophomore Johnathan Stevens.

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Stevens was the first runner on the track and took sixth in his heat in 3:47.72. Yorks and Nelson took the track in the third heat and finished first and fourth, respectively. Yorks led the field throughout the entire race and in a wire-to-wire finish, clocked 3:43.14 Nelson was a hundredth of a second behind finishing in 3:44.08.

Both Yorks and Nelson will make the trip to Hayward Field in Eugene to run for a national title.

Sophomore Colby Gilbert will make his first trip to the NCAA outdoor championships after finishing fourth overall in the 5,000-meter run in 14:12.25.

The Huskies are hoping to improve on last year’s numbers, where the women tied for 42nd place overall, and had only one top-10 finish, junior Kristina Owsinski placing fourth with a school record (14-5.25) in the pole vault. The men’s team weren’t able to place in the team standings, but saw a top-10 finish from senior Curtis Clauson in the javelin. The Edmonds native threw for 229-9 to place ninth, overall.

Reach Sports Editor Alexis Mansanarez at Twitter: @almansanarez

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