March 16, 2000
SEATTLE - The Washington track & field teams make their first road trip of the 2000 outdoor season this week, traveling to Los Angeles for the UCLA Tri-Meet. The Huskies join California and the host Bruins at Drake Stadium for a scored meet on Saturday, March 18.
The tri-meet begins with the women's hammer throw at 9 a.m. The first event on the track is the women's 3,000-meter race at 1 p.m. The meet concludes with the men's 4x400 relay at 3:55 p.m.
UCLA competes for the first time since winning the women's NCAA Indoor Track & Field championship last weekend in Fayetteville, Ark. The Bruin men placed 12th at the NCAA Indoors while Washington was 24th.
Washington's junior sprint standout Ja'Warren Hooker makes his 2000 outdoor debut at UCLA one week after placing sixth in the 60-meter dash at the NCAA Indoor Championships. He clocked a time of 6.68 in the finals.
Hooker is slated to compete in the 100- and 200-meter races in Los Angeles. He enters the outdoor campaign healthy after suffering through an injury-plagued 1999 season in which he bested NCAA provisional standards in the 100m and 200m, but did not earn an NCAA Invitation. As a freshman in 1998, Hooker won the NCAA Indoor 55-meter title before running off a streak of 21 consecutive outdoor sprint victories that included Pacific-10 Conference championships in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. He finished third in the 100m at the 1998 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The Washington women's team features the pole vault trio of Sandy Erickson, MerryJane Bendico and Chris Withey. All three have already eclipsed the Pac-10 standard of 10-11 3/4. Erickson placed eighth in the vault and Withey was 10th at the 1999 conference championships.
Next week, the Husky tracksters make their annual spring break trip to Palo Alto, Calif. for the two-day Stanford Invitational. The meet is scheduled for March 25-26. Another group of UW athletes will remain in the Northwest to participate in the Spring Break Open on March 25 in Edmonds, Wash.