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Aoki, Prior Blaze To Indoor Track Victories
Release: 06/21/1999
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February 27, 1999

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Junior Anna Aoki and senior Derek Prior both set NCAA provisional qualifying marks en route to victories at this weekend's Alex Wilson Invitational, hosted by the University of Notre Dame.

Aoki buried the field in Friday's 5,000-meter event, finishing in 16 minutes, 36.23 seconds, nearly 30 seconds ahead of second-place Stephanie Dueringer of Invaders Track Club (17:11.89). Aoki's time in the 5,000m was a meet record, and ranks as the fifth-fastest in Husky history. The mark should be good enough to qualify Aoki for next weekend's NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, held at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind. It would be Aoki's second trip to the championship meet, where in 1997 she placed 13th in the 5,000m.

Not to be outdone, Prior made good on his promise to run a personal best this weekend, smoking the field in Saturday's 400m dash to win in 46.45 seconds. Prior finished well ahead of Eastern Illinois' Chad White, who crossed the line second in 47.03 seconds. Prior, who has been ranked among the national leaders in the 400m all year, will join Aoki at next week's NCAA meet. It will be Prior's first trip to the indoor nationals.

Also competing for Washington this weekend was senior Deeja Youngquist, whose 9:40.23 mark was good for fourth in the 3,000m. Youngquist failed to better her provisional-qualifying mark of 9:33.84 set at January's New York Sports Museum Collegiate Invitational, and will have to hope that her previous qualifier is good enough to make the NCAA cut.

The NCAA Championship meet will begin on Friday, March 6th, and conclude Saturday, March 7th.

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