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Track Teams Participate in Prestigious Drake Relays
Release: 06/21/1999
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April 20, 1999

The Schedule:
Friday-Saturday, April 23-24 - UW Track & Field at Drake Relays Drake Stadium, Des Moines, Iowa.; All Day

Saturday, April 24 - UW Track & Field at Cougar Invitational Mooberry Track, Pullman, Wash.; All Day

This Week:
Defending 100-meter champion Ja'Warren Hooker and a cadre of Washington's elite track & field competitors travel to Des Moines, Iowa to participate in the prestigious Drake Relays. The meet takes place on Friday and Saturday, April 23-24 at Drake Stadium. Washington sends 34 athletes to Des Moines. The Drake Relays require lofty qualifying marks to earn berths and annually host the nation's finest competitors, providing a fertile field for athletes to reach NCAA standards. A small group of Huskies will visit Pullman, Wash. on Saturday for the Cougar Invitational.

Drake Relays:
Ja'Warren Hooker, NCAA men's javelin qualifiers Justin St. Clair and Rob Minnitti and the Husky women's distance corps highlight Washington's entries at the Drake Relays. Hooker will defend his Drake 100-meter title, compete in the 4x100 relay and take part in Saturday's invitational 200-meter event. St. Clair (231-3) and Minnitti (222-10) rank second and fourth among Pac-10 javelin competitors. Other Husky men's individual events competitors include: Dan Johnston (400m hurdles), Josh Renz and Ben Meyer (100m hurdles), Chris Ledford and Geoff Perry (1,500m) and Willem Ryan (100m , 200m), NCAA provisional 3,000-meter qualifiers Deeja Youngquist (9:33.70) and Anna Aoki (9:36.86) will be joined by teammate Kara Syrdal in the women's 5,000-meter race. The Husky hurdlers feature senior Keisha Griffis who last week reached the NCAA provisional 400-meter hurdle standard (58.05). Other UW women's individual competitors include: Patrice Davis (100m hurdles), Lara Kelley (400m hurdles), Courtney Inman (800m) and Margaret Butler (1,500m). A total of nine men from Washington will compete in individual events at Drake along with 11 additional team members who will compete only in relays. The women's squad has eight individual event competitors and seven relay-only athletes who will travel Drake.

Speedy Sophomore:
Sophomore Ja'Warren Hooker returns to Des Moines, Iowa to defend the Drake Relay 100-meter championship that he won last year with a time of 10.41. Hooker is staging a successful return from an injury that sidelined him nearly the entire 1999 indoor season. Hooker sustained a stress fracture to his left shin that prohibited him from defending the NCAA 55-meter championship that he won in 1998. That was Washington's first NCAA track title since 1988. Hooker competed the last three weekends, posting a team-best time of 10.46 in the 100 meters on April 10 in San Diego. His season-best 200-meter time of 21.63 ranks second on the squad. 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 championships 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 is not participating in Spring football drills.

Last Year (1998 Drake Relays):
Ja'Warren Hooker won the men's 100-meter championship and senior Aretha Hill claimed the women's discus title last year at the prestigious Drake Relays. clocked a winning 100 time of 10.41 seconds. Iowa State's Quinn Harris was second in 10.62. Hooker led off the Huskies' 4 x 400 relay team that finished second with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:05.21. Joining Hooker on the relay unit were Derek Prior, Scott Anabel and B.J. Dawson. The Husky 4 x 100 relay unit, anchored by Hooker, placed third with a time of 40.50. Iowa won in 40.24 followed by Baylor at 40.39. Hill had a winning discus throw of 193-10. The Washington women's 4 x 400 relay unit of Monique Glass, Marzette Penton, Keisha Griffis and Asya Muhammad registered a third-place time of 3:40.59. Ben Lindsey placed fourth in the men's discus with a throw of 184-7 while Justin St. Clair was an eight in the javelin with a mark of 202-11. Keisha Griffis ran a second-place time of 58.38 in the women's 400-meter hurdles and Anna Aoki was third in the 3,000-meter event at 9:47.64.

Last Week (Washington State Dual Meet):
Junior Ben Lindsey and sophomore Ja'Warren Hooker each won two events, leading the Washington men's team to victory while Washington State won the women's competition on April 17 during a track & field dual meet at Husky Stadium. Hooker clocked winning times of 10.57 and 21.64 seconds in the 100- and 200-meter events. He also ran the third leg for the Huskies in a winning 1,600-meter relay effort that proved to be the decisive event. The Washington men outpointed the Cougars 86-77. Lindsey registered an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 60-feet, 4 1/2-inches to win the men's shot put competition. He topped the discus field by nearly 20 feet with a throw of 196-1. Husky sophomore Justin St. Clair improved his NCAA provisional javelin mark for the third consecutive week, posting a winning heave of 231-3. Washington State defeated the Huskies 107-47 in women's competition led by Francesca Sewell who won three events. Sewell topped the field in the 100 meters (11.86), long jump (19-6 3/4) and triple jump (40-5). The Washington women's team had standout performances from junior Anna Aoki and senior Keisha Griffis. Aoki outraced the 3,000-meter field with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 9:36.86. Griffis won by nearly three seconds in the 400-meter hurdles with an NCAA qualifying mark of 58.05. Joining the meet as an unattached competitor was Dan O'Brien, the 1996 Olympic decathlon gold medalist. O'Brien placed third in all three events in which he participated; the 100 meters (10.96), shot put (48-0 3/4) and discus (169-10).

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:
Eight Washington athletes have reached NCAA qualifying standards in 11 events, 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) and Aoki (9:36.86) have also reached the NCAA provisional standard in the 3,000 meters. 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 she hopes will result in her third straight NCAA 400-meter hurdle berth. Freshman Cecilia Barnes burst onto the collegiate scene with an NCAA provisional discus mark (167-0) on March 20 in Sacramento, Calif. The men's team features provisional qualifiers Jacob Predmore, who reached the decathlon standard on April 1-2 in Davis, Calif. (7,213), sophomore Justin St. Clair (231-3) in the javelin and freshman Rob Minnitti (222-10) in the javelin.

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        Mark      Yr   Hometown 
Women (2) Anna Aoki        10,000 mtrs  34:05.30  Jr.  Vancouver, Wash.
          Deeja Youngquist 10,000 mtrs  34:04.70  Sr.  Enumclaw, Wash.
Men (1)   Ben Lindsey      Discus       200-8     Jr.  Lynnwood, Wash.
Provisional Qualifiers (8)

                           Event        Mark      Yr.  Hometown 
Women (4) Anna Aoki        3,000 mtrs   9:36.86   Jr.  Vancouver, Wash.
          Cecilia Barnes   Discus       167-0     Fr.  Fresno, Calif. 
          Keisha Griffis   400m Hurdles 58.05     Sr.  Los Angeles, Calif. 
          Deeja Youngquist 3,000 meters 9:33.70   Sr.  Enumclaw, Wash. 
Men (4)   Ben Lindsey      Shot Put     60-4 1/2  Jr.  Lynnwood, Wash. 
          Rob Minnitti     Javelin      222-10    Fr.  Port Orchard, Wash.
          Jacob Predmore   Decathlon    7,213     Jr.  Duvall, Wash. 
          Justin St. Clair Javelin      231-3     So.  Tacoma, Wash. 
Next Week: Sat., May 1 -- UW Track & Field host Tri-Dual Meet (Idaho & Utah State); Seattle, Wash.

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