By Scott Bush
Another riveting indoor track and field season kicks off this Saturday at the University of Washington, as the Washington Indoor Preview hosts a star-studded line-up of athletes, headlined by incredible distance fields, at Dempsey Indoor.
2016 Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz kicks off his 2023 campaign in Seattle. Centrowitz is entered in both the 1000m and mile contests. In the 1000m, he’s joined by a trio of Washington 1500m All-Americans. Reigning NCAA 1500m champion Joe Waskom, 2022 NCAA 1500m fifth place finisher Luke Houser and 1500m seventh place finisher Nathan Green are all ready to race, joined by ASICS pro Johnny Gregoreck and 2022 NCAA 1500m third place finisher Sam Ellis.
The men’s and women’s mile fields have strong collections of talent ready to showcase their early season fitness. In addition to Centrowitz, NCAA cross country champion Charles Hicks is joined by his Stanford teammates Ky Robinson, Cole Sprout, Thomas Boyden, and Zane Bergen, all eyeing sub-4 performances. Kieran Lumb of Washington, who enters with a top seed of 3:55.53, ran that mark winning last year’s mile race at the Washington Indoor Preview. Former NCAA 800m champion Isaiah Harris of the Brooks Beasts, 2019 World Championships qualifier John Gay of Canada, and Green are also entered in the stacked event.
In the women’s field, 2021 NCAA 800m champion Michaela Meyer of the Union Athletics Club and two-time NCAA champion Kaela Edwards lead the way. They are joined by Washington’s Anna Gibson and Madison Heisterman, both runners ran in the 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships mile final. Pros Alli Cash, Sara Vaughn, and Nia Akins should also vie for victory.
Rounding out the top distance fields, the men’s and women’s 3000m contests should provide fast times and thrilling finishes. Pro Sam Prakel leads the charge, with other notable entries from Gregorek, Waskom, Houser, Lumb, Brooks Beast Henry Wynne, and Nike Cross Nationals third place finisher and future Washington Husky Tyrone Gorze.
In the women’s race, numerous runners will eye clocking sub-9 efforts. Stanford’s Zofia Dudek is the top entry and should be able to pull much of the field through a very fast start. From there, fans should see packs of Stanford and Oregon runners group together and push the…