UW men’s track team caps off indoor season with historic fourth place win at NCAA championship

SEATTLE — History is in the making in Montlake, where the University of Washington men’s track team has had a season for the ages.

This past January, eight runners on the team finished a sub-four-minute mile at the UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor Center.

Snoqualmie native Joe Waskom ran the third-fastest mile in collegiate history, setting a Dempsey record with a 2023 world-leading title of 3:51.90.

“I couldn’t really even believe it,” said Waskom. “I think we all came into the season with a goal of being the best in the entire NCAA, and we all worked really, really hard together over the winter.”

And as if eight runners running a sub-four-minute mile isn’t wild enough – it didn’t just happen once. Those same eight runners did it twice.

“I mean, that second time, I think it was good because it was a different order than the first time we showed how deep we were,” said Woodinville native Luke Houser. “Three guys needed NCAA qualifiers … and we all got it in that race.”

Head coach Andy Powell who has spent most of his career around the top track stars in the NCAA, including several years with the University of Oregon, says he’s been impressed with the caliber and talent on this year’s team.

“We just really had a really great overall men’s team, and they just really want to get the best out of each other and work together,” said Powell. “It’s been really special to see Washington where they’ve come from and where they are now.”

Last week, the team traveled to New Mexico for the NCAA championship, where they placed fourth. It was the first time the team earned a top-four finish since 1930.

Another honorable title went to Houser, who snagged the NCAA title for his mile run.

With a fifth year of eligibility, seniors Waskom and Houser told KIRO 7 they’re looking to stay one more year for grad school and one last season with their team.

And the season is technically not over for the track team. They’re completing finals this week and have a couple of days to rest before they hit the ground running to kick off their outdoor season next week.

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