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Track Teams Visit Arizona State for Pac-10 Championship Meet
Release: 06/21/1999
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May 18, 1999

The Schedule:
Fri.-Sat., May 21-22 -- Pacific-10 Conference Championships
Sun Angel Stadium; Tempe, Ariz.

This Week:
Many of the nation's finest collegiate athletes will converge on Sun Angel Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. for the annual Pacific-10 Conference Championship Meet, Friday and Saturday, May 21-22. The Washington women finished fourth last season for the third time in the last four years, matching their best effort ever. The Husky men seek to improve on a sixth-place finish from last year after placing third in both 1996 and 1997. This is the premier conference meet in the country involving numerous world-class competitors. Former Pac-10 track & field athletes accounted for 12 medals at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, winning six gold, three silver and three bronze.

Defending Champions:
Washington won five event championships at the 1998 Pac-10 meet, the most since the 1976 UW squad claimed six titles. Husky athletes accounted for two men's and two women's individual titles along with a first-place performance in the men's 4 x 400 relay. Two Huskies return to defend their conference championships: sophomore Ja'Warren Hooker who won the men's 100- and 200-meter competitions and junior Anna Aoki who outraced the women's 10,000-meter field last spring at Stanford. The Huskies hope to keep alive a streak that has seen at least one UW athlete win a Pac-10 individual track & field title during 12 of the last 14 years. Two Huskies boast the best mark among Pac-10 competitors in their respective events: junior Ben Lindsey in the men's discus (200-8) and senior Deeja Youngquist in the women's 10,000 meters (34:04.70). Lindsay's mark is the fourth-best in the nation this season.

Television Coverage:
The Pacific-10 Conference championship meet will be televised nationally on a delayed basis by Fox Sports Net. The two-hour highlight package airs four times in the Northwest on Fox Sports Northwest. The meet airs May 27 at 2 a.m., May 29 at 5 p.m., June 1 at 2 a.m. and June 6 at 4 p.m.

Dynamic Distance Duo:
Washington features two of the finest women's distance runners in the nation. Both junior Anna Aoki and senior Deeja Youngquist have reached the NCAA automatic 10,000-meter qualifying standard. Youngquist owns the Pac-10's best time of 34:04.70, a mark that ranks No. 8 nationally. The defending conference 10,000-meter champion, Aoki has a time of 34:05.30 that ranks second in the Pac-10 and No. 9 nationally. The two UW runners also reached the NCAA provisional 3,000- and 5,000-meter standards. Aoki clocked times of 9:36.86 and 16:45.73 while Youngquist has times of 9:33.70 and 16:46.58. They both made their NCAA championship meet debuts last spring in Buffalo, N.Y. Aoki placed 17th in the 10,000 meters and Youngquist was 20th.

Speedy Sophomore:
Sophomore Ja'Warren Hooker's quest to defend his NCAA Indoor 55-meter championship was sidetracked as he missed the majority of the 1999 indoor campaign with a stress fracture in his left shin. His 1998 triumph in the 55-meters was Washington's first NCAA track title since 1988. Hooker's attempt to defend his Drake Relays 100-meter crown was halted when his hamstring tightened during a preliminary heat. Hooker returned from the stress fracture in April and appears poised to return to last year's form. In his last outing, Hooker clocked season-best times of 10.39 in the 100 meters and 20.97 in the 200 meters to win both events at the Seattle Pacific Invitational on May 15 in Husky Stadium. He is still striving to reach the NCAA qualifying standards in both sprint events. Hooker hopes to be healthy enough to defend his 1998 conference 100- and 200-meter titles. As a freshman, Hooker was named the 1998 Pacific-10 Conference male track and field Athlete of the Year. He became the first double-event winner in Husky history at the Pac-10 championship meet, winning the 100- and 200-meter titles. After opening the 1998 outdoor season with 21 consecutive sprint victories, Hooker was beaten for the first time in the finals of the NCAA 100-meter championship in Buffalo, N.Y. where he finished third. Last year, Hooker established a new school record in the 100 meters with a time of 10.18, and boasts the fifth best 200-meter time in UW history with a mark of 20.70. He is the first Washington athlete to garner conference athlete of the year honors since 1976 when the award was introduced. Hooker played receiver on the Husky football team the last two seasons. As a freshman in 1997 he scored four touchdowns, including an 89-yard kickoff return at Arizona the first time he touched the ball as a collegian. Hooker appeared in eight games during 1998, catching nine passed for 78 yards before a shoulder injury ended his season. Hooker did not participate in 1999 spring football drills.

Big Ben:
Washington junior Ben Lindsey was named the Pacific-10 Conference men's track & field athlete of the week on April 12. Lindsey boasts the nation's fourth-best discus performance this year, tops in the Pac-10, when he heaved the disc an NCAA automatic qualifying distance of 200-8 to win on April 10 at the San Diego State Quad Meet. That is just shy of his career-best mark as he registered a discus throw of 202-7 on March 28, 1998 in San Diego that is the third longest in Washington history. The school record of 214-7 was set by Borys Chambul in 1976. The three-time All-American improved upon a ninth-place NCAA discus effort his freshman year with a fifth-place performance (193-1) last spring. Also a standout shot putter, Lindsey was the 1998 Pac-10 runner-up and finished fifth (62-5 3/4) at the 1998 NCAA Indoor championships. He reached the NCAA provisional standard on April 17 with a put of 60-4 1/2. His shot put mark of 65-4 on May 2, 1998 at Husky Stadium was the second best effort in Husky history, trailing only the school record 65-11 set in 1979 by Steve Summers. Lindsey won the Washington state high school discus title three times and claimed two prep shot championships.

Hot Hurdler:
Senior Keisha Griffis (Los Angeles, Calif./Washington Prep HS) is concluding a brilliant collegiate career as one of the premier hurdlers in Husky history. A 1998 All-American, Griffis competed in the 400-meter hurdles at the last two NCAA championships. She placed ninth in 1998 and 18th in 1997. Griffis was the Pac-10 runner-up in the 400 hurdles last year (58.64) and placed seventh (14.07) in the 100-meter hurdles. Her career-best circular hurdle time of 57.35 seconds, registered May 25, 1997 in a third-place finish at the Pac-10 championships in Seattle, is the second fastest in Husky history. Griffis trails only school record holder Terra Barter whose UW standard of 57.13 was registered at the 1995 NCAA championships. Griffis competed in her first-ever collegiate open 400-meter race on May 16, 1998 in Seattle and registered a school-record time of 54.44. That mark bettered the previous record of 54.45 established in 1996 by current Husky assistant coach Patrice Turner.

Two-Sport Star:
Washington freshman Heather Reichmann already made a name for herself on the basketball court, helping the Husky hoopsters to a 1999 National Invitation Tournament berth. The product of Seattle's King's High School made an impressive track & field debut, registering a winning javelin throw of 146-4 on April 17 at Husky Stadium during the Washington State dual meet. Reichmann has won four of her five javelin competitions this season, including a career-best 151-11 performance at the Seattle Pacific Invitational on May 15.. She has only been practicing with the track & field team since April and already ranks third among 1999 conference competitors entering the Pac-10 championships. Reichmann averaged 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds in nearly 10 minutes per game for the Washington women's basketball team that finished with a 16-13 record.

Coach Richburg:
After 12 years as head women's track & field coach at Washington, Orin Richburg took on a new assignment last season. He was named head men's and women's track & field/cross country coach in July of 1998. Prior to taking charge of the men's squad, Richburg converted the Washington women's track & field team into one of the best dual-meet squads in the nation. He has the most women's dual-meet victories in Washington history, more than doubling his closest rival. He led the Washington women to an impressive 68-22 dual-meet record since coming to the school. The UW women's team has ranked among the top-10 dual-meet teams in the nation every year during the 1990s. His 1988 UW squad finished 10th at the NCAA championship meet, the best national finish in the school's history. His Washington teams have produced 10 conference and two national individual champions. Last year, the Richburg-coached Huskies had an 8-1 women's dual-meet record and finished fourth at the Pac-10 meet The Husky men had a 7-2 dual-meet mark in 1998 and placed 23rd at the NCAA Championships, their best finish since 1985. Prior to coming to Washington, Richburg spent seven seasons at Kent State and three years as an assistant at Western Michigan. A fine athlete in his own right, Richburg earned All-America accolades as a sprinter at Kent State, finishing sixth in the 200-yard dash at the 1967 NCAA championships.

Huskies in the Pac-10 Rankings:
The top eight finishers in each event at the Pac-10 Championships score points as follows in descending with first place receiving 10 points: 10 - 8 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1. The following Washington athletes rank among the top-eight in their respective events on the weekly Pac-10 best list published May 24:

Men

100 meters      Ja'Warren Hooker    5th 10.39
200 meters      Ja'Warren Hooker    5th 20.97
Steeplechase    Paul Harkins        8th 9:11.33
110m Hurdles    Ben Meyer           4th 14.24
4 x 100 Relay   Washington          4th 40.39
4 x 400 Relay   Washington          8th 3:14.17
Pole Vault      Matt Phillips       8th 16-11 1/2
Long Jump       Jacob Predmore      5th 24-3 1/2
Shot Put        Ben Lindsey         4th 60-4 1/2
Discus          Ben Lindsey         1st 200-8
Javelin         Justin St. Clair    2nd 231-3
                Rob Minnitti        4th 222-10

Women

3,000 meters    Deeja Youngquist    8th 9:33.70
10,000 meters   Deeja Youngquist    1st 34:04.70
                Anna Aoki           2nd 34:05.30
400m Hurdles    Keisha Griffis      3rd 58.05
4 x 100 Relay   Washington          8th 46.04
4 x 400 Relay   Washington          6th 3:41.92
Shot Put        Sesilia Thomas      5th 48-11 3/4
Discus          Cecilia Barnes      7th 167-0
Javelin         Heather Reichmann   3rd 151-11

Proud Pac-10 Tradition:
The Pac-10 has produced some of the world's most outstanding athletes, including UCLA long jump standout Jackie Robinson, better known for his role in breaking major league baseball's color barrier 52 years ago. Robinson won the conference and NCAA championships in the broad (long) jump during 1940. UCLA also produced two time Olympic heptathlon gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee and 1960 Olympic decathlon winner Rafer Johnson. Two-time Olympic decathlon champion Bob Mathias (1948, 1952) competed at Stanford. During the early 1970s, Oregon featured legendary distance runner Steve Prefontaine who recently had two film biographies produced. Washington State distance standout Henry Rono established a world steeplechase record (8:05.4) during 1978 at Husky Stadium. Arizona produced Meg Ritchie, the collegiate record holder in the women's shot put and discus. In the 1960s, the Huskies featured world record holders Brian Sternberg (pole vault) and Phil Shinnick (long jump). Washington's Mike Ramos won the 1986 NCAA decathlon championship along with three Pac-10 titles (1983, 1984, 1986). He established an NCAA decathlon record of 8,322 points at the 1986 Pac-10 championships, a mark that stood as the collegiate record for 12 years until it was broken this year.

Conference Meet History:
This is the 69th conference championship meet for the men and the 13th for the women. Defending men's champion UCLA has won 17 conference crowns, a figure surpassed only by the 30 of USC. Washington won three conference men's team titles, claiming consecutive crowns in 1920-21 and last winning in 1928. The best UW men's finish since then was a runner-up effort to USC in 1976. The Husky men placed third in 1996 and 1997 and were sixth last season. Since the Pac-10 began sponsoring a women's track meet in 1987, Washington has a best team finish of fourth, registered in 1995, 1996 and 1998. Defending champion UCLA claimed the most women's titles with nine while Oregon is second with two.

1998 Pac-10 Men's Results (May 24-25, Stanford, Calif.):
1, UCLA, 135.5. 2, USC, 115. 3, Arizona, 111. 4, Washington State, 103. 5, Oregon, 96.5. 7, Stanford, 71. 8, California, 55. 9, Arizona State, 38.

1998 Pac-10 Women's Results (May 24-25, Stanford, Calif.):
1, UCLA, 174. 2, Stanford, 136. 3, USC, 121. 4, Washington, 94. 5, Oregon, 84. 6, Washington State, 76.5. 7, Arizona State, 61. 8, Arizona, 46.5. 9, California, 21.

Notable:
Nine teams will compete at the Pac-10 meet. Oregon State does not field a track & field squad . . . Three men's double-winners from last year return to defend their titles: Ja'Warren Hooker, Washington (100m, 200m), Bernard Lagat, Washington State (800m, 1,500m) and Abdi Abdirahman, Arizona (5,000m, 10,000m). There were no women's double-event winners last year . . . The Pac-10 boasts the national leader in five men's events (Jerome Davis, USC, 400m; Bernard Lagat, Washington State, 5,000m; Abdi Abdirahman, Arizona, 10,000m; Felix Sanchez, USC, 400m Hurdles; USC, 4x400 relay) and four women's events (Angela Williams, USC, 100m; Seilala Sua, UCLA, shot put & discus; Tracye Lawyer, Stanford, heptathlon).

1999 Pacific-10 Conference Championships Schedule

Friday, May 21

Field Events
2:30 pm Women   Hammer      Final
5:30 pm Men     Pole Vault  Final
6:00 pm Women   Javelin     Final
6:00 pm Men     Long Jump   Final
6:00 pm Women   Long Jump   Final
6:00 pm Women   Shot Put    Final
8:00 pm Men     Javelin     Final
8:00 pm Men     Shot Put    Final

Track Events 5:00 pm Women 1,500 meters Qualifying 5:15 pm Men 1,500 meters Qualifying 5:35 pm Women 100m hurdles Qualifying 5:50 pm Men 110m hurdles Qualifying 6:10 pm Women 400 meters Qualifying 6:25 pm Men 400 meters Qualifying 6:40 pm Women 100 meters Qualifying 6:55 pm Men 100 meters Qualifying 7:15 pm Women 800 meters Qualifying 7:30 pm Men 800 meters Qualifying 7:45 pm Women 3,000 meters Final 8:00 pm Men Steeplechase Final 8:20 pm Women 400m hurdles Qualifying 8:35 pm Men 400m hurdles Qualifying 8:55 pm Women 200 meters Qualifying 9:10 pm Men 200 meters Qualifying 9:25 pm Women 10,000 meters Final 10:10 pm Men 10,000 meters Final

Saturday, May 22

Field Events
2:30 pm Men     Hammer          Final
5:00 pm Women   Discus          Final
5:00 pm Women   High Jump       Final
5:00 pm Women   Triple Jump     Final
5:30 pm Women   Pole Vault      Final
8:00 pm Men     Discus          Final
8:00 pm Men     High Jump       Final
8:00 pm Men     Triple Jump     Final

Track Events 6:30 pm Women 4x100m relay Final 6:37 pm Men 4x100m relay Final 6:45 pm Women 1,500 meters Final 6:52 pm Men 1,500 meters Final 7:00 pm Women 100m hurdles Final 7:10 pm Men 110m hurdles Final 7:20 pm Women 400 meters Final 7:27 pm Men 400 meters Final 7:35 pm Women 100 meters Final 7:42 pm Men 100 meters Final 7:50 pm Women 800 meters Final 7:57 pm Men 800 meters Final 8:05 pm Women 400m hurdles Final 8:12 pm Men 400m hurdles Final 8:20 pm Women 200 meters Final 8:27 pm Men 200 meters Final 8:35 pm Women 5,000 meters Final 9:00 pm Men 5,000 meters Final 9:25 pm Women 4x400m relay Final 9:35 pm Men 4x400m relay Final

Last Week (Decathlon Recap):
Bevan Hart won California's third consecutive Pacific-10 Conference decathlon championship while Washington junior Jacob Predmore dropped to sixth place after no-heighting in the pole vault last weekend at Arizona State's Sun Angel Stadium. Hart, a third-place Pac-10 decathlon finisher in 1998, amassed 7,662 points. He kept the conference decathlon crown at California which produced 1997 and 1998 winner Ross Bomben. Oregon's Lorenzo Santiago vaulted from fourth place to second during the second day of competition, finishing with a 7,150-point total. A graduate of Cedarcrest High School in Duvall, Wash., Predmore was in second place after the first day. He finished with a sixth-place total of 6,444 despite registering career-best marks in four events. Entering the pole vault, Predmore had a secure hold on second place. His 5,208-point seven-event total was over 200 points better than Santiago in third place. Predmore failed to clear the bar at his opening height, going scoreless in an event in which he figured to total at least 500 points. Predmore outperformed the entire field in three events. Predmore's career-best high jump clearance of 6-6 1/4 topped all decathlon competitors. He also won the long jump (23-4 1/2) and 110-meter hurdle (14.96) events. Predmore posted career-best performances in the 100 meters (11.45), 400 meters (50.24) and discus (112-10).

NCAA Championship Qualifying Procedures: Marks which reach automatic standards guarantee berths to the 1999 NCAA Championship Meet, June 2-5 in Boise, Idaho. If there are not enough automatic qualifiers to fill out the fields, individuals with the next best marks receive NCAA bids, provided they reached the provisional standard.

Husky Qualifiers:
Ten Washington athletes have combined to record 15 NCAA qualifying performances, including three automatic qualifying marks. Senior Deeja Youngquist registered the second-fastest 10,000-meter time in school history (34:04.70) on March 28 at Stanford to earn her second straight NCAA championships berth. She will be joined in the NCAA race by junior Anna Aoki (34:05.30) who is the defending Pac-10 champion in the 10,000-meter event. Youngquist (9:33.70 / 16:46.58) and Aoki (9:36.86 / 16:45.73) have also reached the NCAA provisional standards in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter events. Junior Ben Lindsey, a two-time discus All-American, ensured his third straight NCAA appearance with an automatic discus mark of 200-8. He is also a provisional shot put qualifier (60-4 1/2). Senior Keisha Griffis has an NCAA provisional time of 58.05 that should earn her third straight NCAA 400-meter hurdle berth.

1998 NCAA Recap:
Washington sent five women along with three men's individual qualifiers and a relay team to the 1998 NCAA Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. Six Huskies claimed All-America awards: Aretha Hill in the women's discus (2nd, 192-5), Ja'Warren Hooker in the men's 100 meters (3rd, 10.25), Ben Lindsey in the men's discus (5th, 193-1), Danelle Kabush in the women's 1,500 meters (9th, 4:22.85), Keisha Griffis in the women's 400-meter hurdles (9th, 59.26) and Geoff Perry in the men's 1,500 meters (3:48.57). Four of those All-Americans; Hooker, Lindsey, Griffis and Perry, return to compete for the 1999 Washington track & field squad.

Washington's 1999 NCAA Outdoor Championship Qualifiers

Automatic Qualifiers (3)    Event (s)   Mark     NCAA Rank  Yr  Hometown (High School/JC)
Women (2)   
Anna Aoki               10,000 meters   34:05.30    9th     Jr. Vancouver, Wash. (Fort Vancouver HS)
Deeja Youngquist        10,000 meters   34:04.70    8th     Sr. Enumclaw, Wash. (Enumclaw HS)

Men (1) Ben Lindsey Discus 200-8 4th Jr. Lynnwood, Wash. (Lynnwood HS)

Provisional Qualifiers (12) Event (s) Mark NCAA Rank Yr Hometown (High School/JC) Women (8) Anna Aoki 3,000 meters 9:36.86 55th Jr. Vancouver, Wash. (Fort Vancouver HS) 5,000 meters 16:45.73 50th Cecilia Barnes Discus 167-0 30th Fr. Fresno, Calif. (Clovis West) Keisha Griffis 400m Hurdles 58.05 16th Sr. Los Angeles, Calif. (Washington HS) Kara Syrdal 5,000 meters 16:47.31 56th So. Shoreline, Wash. (Shorecrest HS) Chris Withey Pole Vault 11-7 3/4 48th Jr. Spokane, Wash. (Shadle Park HS) Deeja Youngquist 3,000 meters 9:33.70 45th Sr. Enumclaw, Wash. (Enumclaw HS) 5,000 meters 16:46.58 52nd

Men (4) Ben Lindsey Shot Put 60-4 1/2 18th Jr. Lynnwood, Wash. (Lynnwood HS) Rob Minnitti Javelin 222-10 24th Fr. Port Orchard, Wash. (South Kitsap HS) Jacob Predmore Decathlon 7,213 19th Jr. Duvall, Wash. (Cedarcrest HS) Justin St. Clair Javelin 231-3 8th So. Tacoma, Wash. (Franklin Pierce HS)

Next Meet: NCAA Championship Meet -- June 2 -5, Bronco Stadium; Boise, Idaho

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