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Track Teams Prepare for Big Opening Weekend
Release: 06/21/1999
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January 16, 1999

The Schedule:
Saturday, January 16
T & F travels to N.Y. Team Meet New York, NY; 168th St. Armory

Sunday, January 17
Track & Field hosts UW Indoor Seattle, Wash.; Hec Ed Pavilion

This Week: The Husky men's and women's track & field teams open the indoor season this week with a flurry of action both home and away. On Saturday, the Huskies send their best to New York City to compete in the New York Team Meet versus Seton Hall, Ohio State, St. John's, Manhattan, Columbia, Villanova, Fordham, George Mason, and New York Tech. Highlighting the Husky entrants in New York will be sophomore sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker, the defending NCAA 55-meter champion; senior thrower Ben Lindsey, who placed sixth in the discus at last summer's U.S. National Track and Field meet; and defending Pac-10 10,000-meter champion Anna Aoki.

There is Husky track action on the home front this weekend as well, with the UW hosting the Husky Indoor College Meet on Sunday. A wide of field of competitors from Northwest universities, clubs, and community colleges are expected to attend. Fans are invited to attend free of charge. The fun begins at 9:00 a.m. with the field events; giving way to the tracksters with the 55-meter hurdles at 10:15.

Last Year: The Huskies dominated last year's UW Indoor Classic, winning sixteen events. 1996 Olympian Aretha Hill led the way for the Dawgs, taking first place in the 20-lb. weight throw (52' 4.5")and the shot put (48' 3.5"). Junior thrower Ben Lindsey made it a UW double in the shot put, winning the men's event with a throw of 60' 4.5". Freshman phenom Ja'Warren Hooker made his Husky track debut memorable by running away from the field in 6.79, the first of several sprint victories en route to the 1998 NCAA 55-meter indoor national championship.

Event Schedule: Following is the schedule for the Husky Indoor College Meet, January 17th. Track events will be run on a rolling schedule. (All times are Pacific):

 9:00 am  Long Jump  (women then men) (after DMR)
 9:00 am  High Jump  (women then men) 
 9:00 am  Shot Put   (women then men after H.J.)
          55mH final (women then men)
 9:00 am  Pole Vault (women then men)
          60m final  (women then men)
10:00 am  20 lb. Weight throw (field 5, Husky Stad., Mile 
10:00 am  35 lb. weight to follow)
          600 yd (women then men)
10:15 am  55m hurdles preliminary (men than wom.)     
          800m (women then men)
          60m dash preliminary (men than women) 
          300m (women then men)
          60m dash semi-final(women then men)     
          3,000m (women then men)
          Distance Medley Relay (wom. then men)   
          4x400m (women then men)
Super Soph: Sophomore sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker (Ellensburg HS) begins the defense of his 1998 NCAA 55-meter Indoor national title this weekend in New York. Hooker, who won last year's NCAA championship with a time of 6.13 seconds, also posted a career-best of 6.09 seconds in the event earlier in the year in Flagstaff, Ariz. Hooker continued to dominate during the outdoor season, winning twenty-one consecutive sprint races, including Pac-10 championships in both the 100m and 200m dash, en route to a third-place NCAA finish in the 100m. For his efforts, Hooker was named the Pac-10s Athlete of the Year. On May 2, 1998, he broke the Washington record in the 100m, posting a 10.18. This summer, Hooker placed fifth in the 200m at the U.S. National Track & Field meet, crossing the line 20.63 seconds. Hooker also competes on the UW football team as a wide receiver, but was limited this season due to shoulder injuries. Hooker will compete in both the 100m and 200m races for Washington this weekend.

Big Ben: Junior weight man Ben Lindsey (Lynnwood HS) is ready to improve on his fifth-place finish in the shot put at last year's NCAA Indoor Championships. Lindsey, a 1998 and 1997 All-American in the discus, placed sixth at this summer's U.S. National Track & Field meet, posting a mark of 198' 3". This came on the heels of a fifth-place discus finish at the NCAA outdoor championships, an improvement on his 1997 finish of ninth place. On May 2 in Husky Stadium, Lindsey threw the shot 65' 4", the second-best mark in Husky history, trailing by seven inches the 65' 11" mark of Steve Summers in 1979. Lindsey was runner-up at the 1998 Pac-10 championships.

Coach Richburg: After 12 years as head women's track & field coach at Washington, Orin Richburg was asked to take on a new responsibility last year, taking over the men's program as well. Richburg performed admirably in his new capacity, leading the Husky women to a fourth-place Pac-10 finish and the men to the sixth-place slot. Under his tutelage, four Huskies claimed conference titles, including sophomore sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker's double victory in both the 100m and 200m events. The five victories were the most for Washington since the 1976 squad claimed six championships. Richburg also led the Huskies to a thirteenth-place finish at last year's NCAA Indoor Championships. In his tenure, Richburg has converted Washington into one of the top dual-meet squads in the nation.

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 championships, the best national finish in the school's history. 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 honors as a sprinter at Kent State, finishing sixth in the 200-yd dash at the 1967 NCAA championships.

Huskies at 1998 NCAA Indoors: Washington finished 13th at last year's NCAA Indoor Championships, only 40 points behind champion Arkansas, who won for the second consecutive year. The strong UW finish was due in large part to freshman sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker. Hooker's win in the 55-meter final (6.13) brought UW its first national champion since 1988, when Jennifer Ponath won the shot with a throw of 54' 4.5". Hooker also palced eighth in the 200m, and ran on the 4x400m relay team along with junior Derek Prior and seniors B.J. Dawson and Scott Anabel. The team placed eighth in the event with a time of 3:10.60, only five seconds behind national-champion Baylor. Two-time All-American Ben Lindsey rounded out the Huskies NCAA field, placing fifth in the shot put (62' 5.75").

Next Week:
Saturday, January 23 - Eastern Washington/Eagle Invitational
Eastern Washington University - Cheney, Wash. - 8:30 a.m.

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