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Thomas' NCAA Qualifier Leads Huskies at Buckeye Invitational
Release: 01/22/2000
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Jan. 22, 2000

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The University of Washington women's track and field team today managed four event victories, including an NCAA provisional qualifying mark by senior thrower Seselia Thomas, but were unable to hold off meet champion Indiana at Ohio State's Buckeye Invitational.

The Husky women finished with 126 points, behind the Hoosiers' 188.5 but ahead of fellow competitors Ohio State (121.5), and Western Carolina (99). Indiana completed a sweep by winning the men's title as well. Washington's men placed fourth.

Thomas became the third Husky to qualify for March's NCAA Indoor Championships with a personal-best throw of 49'-9.75", nearly a foot longer than her previous best. Thomas also finished sixth in the weight throw, the first time this season she has been beaten in any event.

Senior Margaret Butler, injured for most of the 1999 season, continued her stellar comeback in 2000, capturing the mile crown in just 4:57.57, barely ahead of teammate Cami Matson, who placed second in 4:58.02. Senior Anna Aoki, who placed 13th in the 3,000 meters at the 1999 NCAA indoor meet, won the event in 9:52.74, while sophomore Kelsey Sheppard won her second straight 400 meters in 56.64 seconds.

On the men's side, junior speedster Ja'Warren Hooker remained undefeated in the new millennium, winning both the 60- and 200-meter dashes for the second consecutive week. Hooker's time of 6.72 seconds in the 60m equaled the NCAA provisional qualifying standard, while his mark of 21.52 in the 200m fell just short of his 21.21-second provisional-qualifying mark from last week's meet at Penn State.

Some members of the Husky squad stayed closer to home this weekend, taking numerous event titles at Eastern Washington's Jerry Martin Invitational. Among the Husky winners were Paul Harkins in the mile (4:23.47) and Andrea Sauter in the 400m (1:01.27).

The Huskies return to action Saturday at the Silver State Invitational in Reno, Nev.

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