Athletics News

Husky Teamwork Pulls Washington Milers Forward

Husky Teamwork Pulls Washington Milers Forward

With three Washington milers in the ’23 NCAA 1500 final, Nathan Green and Joe Waskom finished 1-2. (MIKE SCOTT)

WHEN THE POWELLS moved from Oregon to Washington, Maurica to take the program director job, husband Andy to become the men’s head coach, fans wondered if they would also bring along the success they had helped spark in Eugene.

Five-plus years later, it seems very clear that they have done so. Exhibit A is the stellar group of men’s milers that Andy has guided. Altogether, they have won the last two NCAA outdoor 1500 crowns, as well as the last two NCAA Indoor miles — and it’s not just one star who’s been at the front. Joe Waskom won the ’22 outdoor title, Nathan Green the ’23 race, and the last two indoor miles have gone to Luke Houser.

And while the 1-2 outdoor finish by Green and Waskom in ’23 was eye-opening, it was the Indoor finish that year that netted the most points, with Houser winning, Waskom in 4th, Green in 5th and Brian Fay in 8th for 20 points.

What magic have the Powells wrought in Seattle? Of course, there’s the recruiting. The Huskies have seen a solid flow of some of the best 4-lap talent available. Waskom (HS PR 4:03.73), Leo Daschbach (3:59.34) and Green (4:00.97) were prep All-Americas. Foreign recruits Kieran Lumb (Canada) and Brian Fay (Ireland) both came aboard with sub-4:00 credentials. Houser’s credentials were more modest, with a 4:08.17 best at 1600.

Says Waskom, “These past five years have gone by in a blink of an eye. I remember when I was a freshman, this was always the goal: to build the best middle distance and distance program in the country.”

“I think what we look for,” notes Houser, “is someone who will come in and help the team, because it is a pretty long process to get to the top of the NCAA. We look for guys who will come in and help bring up other people, and then, in turn, other people will help bring them up.”

Green adds that coming in as a frosh “wasn’t necessarily intimidating, just because Andy and the guys didn’t make it intimidating. It was very inviting and very welcoming. It was just easy to become tight-knit in the group.”

“At this point we’ve kind of realized how good we can be as a program,” says Houser. “And we set our goals higher than we did before. I think that’s really, really the biggest difference: we know how good we can be.”

It’s easy to imagine that an incoming recruit might be intimidated by going up against the Husky…

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