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UW Track & Field Team Makes Annual Bay Area Spring Break Trip to Stanford Invitational
Release: 03/22/2000
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March 22, 2000

Sat.-Sun., March 25-26 - UW Track & Field at Stanford Invitational

8:30 a.m., Cobb Track and Angell Field, Stanford, Calif.

Sat., March 25 - UW Track & Field at Spring Break Open

10:00 a.m., Edmonds Stadium, Edmonds, Wash.

This Week: The Washington men's and women's track & field teams make their annual spring break trek to California to participate in the Stanford Invitational, Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26 at Cobb Track on the Stanford campus. The Stanford Invitational is one of the premier track & field events of the spring, providing the Husky men's and women's teams an opportunity to compete among an elite field that includes numerous Olympians and NCAA title contenders.

Huskies' History of Success at Stanford: In the past, the Stanford Invitational has proven a fertile ground for Washington distance runners to register NCAA qualifying marks. Last year at Stanford, Deeja Youngquist (34:04.70) and Anna Aoki (34:05.30) clocked the second and third fastest 10,000-meter women's times in Husky history en route to finishing fifth and seventh, respectively. Aoki won the 10,000-meter competition at the 1998 Stanford Invitational with a time of 34:55.62. In 1997, Washington's Margaret Butler raced to a time of 16:45.6 in the women's 5,00 meters to break the Canadian Junior record. Distance runners haven't been the only Huskies to excel at Stanford. At the 1998 Stanford Invitational, Washington's Ja'Warren Hooker clocked a winning time of 10.28 seconds. He edged runner-up Jeff Laynes, a world-class competitor for the Nike TC, who finished in 10.30. Another Husky sprinter, Derek Prior, won the 1998 men's 400-meter race in 46.13, the second best time in school history. The UW will bring 22 athletes to Stanford.

Spring Break Too: Another group of Huskies will remain in the Northwest to compete at the Spring Break Open on Saturday, March 25 in Edmonds, Wash. The meet, hosted by Western Washington University, begins at 10 a.m.

Awesome Anna Aoki: The Washington women's team features one of the finest women's distance runners in the nation, senior Anna Aoki. Aoki, the 1998 conference 10,000-meter champion, was the Pac-10 runner-up at that distance in 1999. She registered a career-best time of 34:05.30 on March 27, 1999 at Stanford, the ninth-fastest 10K time in the nation last season. That mark is the third best in Husky history. At the 1999 NCAA Outdoor championships, Aoki placed 19th (36:54.34) after finishing 17th in 1998. Aoki reached the NCAA provisional standards in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter events last year, but opted to concentrate on the 10,000m. A product of Fort Vancouver (Wash.) High School, Aoki has qualified for NCAA Indoor championship competition on three occasions in the 5,000 meters. She raced to a 13th-place performance in 1997, 12th in 1999 and 14th in 2000. Aoki has been a mainstay of the UW women's cross country team that qualified for each of the last three NCAA Championships and placed 14th in 1997, ninth in 1998 and 13th in 1999.

Back on Track: Junior Ja'Warren Hooker is back on track, literally, after struggling through an injury-plagued 1999 campaign. He was sidelined until mid-April of the 1999 season with a stress fracture in his left shin and was unable to defend the 1998 NCAA Indoor 55-meter championship he won as a freshman. That was the first NCAA track title for a Husky since 1988. Hooker placed third in the 200 meters and fourth in the 100 at the 1999 Pac-10 championships, but did not compete at either the 1999 NCAA Indoor or Outdoor meet. In 2000, Hooker has finished sixth in the 60- (6.68) and 200-meter (20.67) events at the NCAA Indoor meet and was named the Western Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. 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 1998 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. Also during 1998, 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 an outdoor mark of 20.70. He is the first Washington track & field athlete to garner Pac-10 Athlete of the Year honors since 1976 when the award was introduced. Hooker played receiver on the Husky football team his first two years (1997 & 1998) before deciding to concentrate solely on track & field. 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.

Coaching Staff: While Washington boasts a bevy of standout athletes, the coaches will also draw a great deal of attention this season. The Husky men's and women's track teams are coached for the third season by Orin Richburg, a nationally-acclaimed mentor who will serve as head coach of the U.S. National men's track & field team at the 2001 World Championships in Winnipeg. The UW throwers will be tutored for the 32nd, and final, year by assistant coach Ken Shannon who will resign following the 2000 collegiate season. Shannon, who stepped down in 1997 as head UW men's coach after 29 seasons, tutored his Husky throwers to 10 NCAA championships and eight Olympic berths since arriving at Washington in 1968. The UW distance runners are in the capable hands of former Husky All-America steeplechase competitor Greg Metcalf who participated in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials. Metcalf coached the women's cross country team to an unprecedented three straight NCAA championship berths. Joining the staff this season as an assistant coach is former 400-meter world record holder and 1968 Olympic gold medalist Lee Evans. At the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Evans won the gold medal in the 400 meters with a time of 43.86. That record stood for 20 years until being eclipsed in 1988 when Butch Reynolds ran 43.29. Evans earned a second gold medal in 1968 as part of the United States' 4 x 400-meter relay team that clocked a time of 2:56.1 that also stood as a world record for 20 years.

Coach Richburg: After 12 years as head women's track & field coach at Washington, Orin Richburg took on a new assignment in 1997. He was named head men's and women's track & field/cross country coach in July of 1997. 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 his arrival at the school in 1986. The UW women's team 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 a perfect 5-0 men's record, including a sweep of Northwest rivals Oregon and Washington State. The UW women had a 4-1 dual-meet record. In 1998, the Huskies had an 8-1 women's dual-meet record and finished fourth at the Pac-10 meet. The UW men were 7-2 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.

Big Ben: Washington senior Ben Lindsey has secured his fourth consecutive invitation to the NCAA championships, reaching the automatic men's discus qualifying standard with a heave of 198-11 on March 18 at UCLA. Lindsey boasts a career-best mark of 202-7, thrown 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 battled a late-season bout with mononucleosis last year, but still managed to finish third in the shot put (60-2) and fifth in the discus (182-9) at the 1999 Pac-10 meet. He placed 19th in the discus at the 1999 NCAA championships after finishing fifth in 1998 and ninth as a freshman in 1997. 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. His personal-best shot put mark of 65-4, registered 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.

Spear Specialist: Sophomore Justin St. Clair is the latest in a long line of Washington javelin standouts. The Tacoma, Wash. native (Franklin Pierce HS) placed 12th at the 1999 NCAA Championships with a heave of 219-feet, 1-inch. His career-best effort of 231-3 is the ninth longest mark in Husky history. St. Clair placed third at the 1999 Pac-10 championships (224-5) after finishing seventh in 1998 (209-0). St. Clair was named the Pac-10 men's track & field athlete of the week on April 6. He added over 17 feet to his previous career-best during 1999 after entering the year with a top effort of 214-0. St. Clair won seven of the 10 javelin competitions he entered last season, placing second at the Drake Relays and third at the Pac-10 championships. He topped the 220-foot plateau in eight consecutive meets. Since 1970 when coach Ken Shannon began training Washington javelin competitors, a Husky won 10 of 30 conference men's titles. The most any other conference school can claim is five. Add in 1987 Pac-10 women's titlist Helena Uusitalo, who won the 1986 NCAA title, and Washington athletes have accounted for seven AAU/TAC national javelin championships and three NCAA titles. Also, three UW individuals have earned U.S. Olympic Team berths, including Duncan Atwood twice (1980, 1984). In 1989, Darryl Roberson set an American collegiate record of 249-6 with the new javelin. Washington has had at least one men's or women's javelin competitor qualify for the NCAA championship meet and place among the top 13 during 16 of the 18 years since the NCAA began sponsoring women's sports in 1982.

2000 NCAA Indoor Recap: Two individuals represented Washington in three events at the 2000 NCAA Indoor Championships, March 10-11 in Fayetteville, Ark. Junior Ja'Warren Hooker placed sixth in both the 60-meter dash (6.68) and 200 meters (20.67). He was the 55-meter champion in 1998. Senior Anna Aoki made her third NCAA Indoor appearance, placing 14th in the women's 5,000 meters (16:47.32).

NCAA Championship Qualifying Procedures: Marks which reach automatic standards guarantee berths to the 2000 NCAA Championship Meet, May 31-June 3 in Durham, N.C. 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.

1999 NCAA Recap: Washington sent four women along with two men's qualifiers to the 1999 NCAA Championships in Boise, Idaho. In men's competition: Justin St. Clair placed 12th in the javelin (219-1) and Ben Lindsey was 19th in the discus (165-8). In women's competition: Cecilia Barnes finished 11th in the discus (169-3), Deeja Youngquist (36:24.33) and Anna Aoki (36:54.34) were 17th and 19th in the 10,000 meters and Keisha Griffis was 19th in the 400-meter hurdles (1:01.01). Both men's NCAA competitors return along with Aoki to compete for the Huskies in 2000.

Husky Qualifiers: Eight Washington athletes have reached NCAA qualifying standards in seven different events, including senior Ben Lindsey who has ensured his fourth consecutive NCAA championships appearance. Linsdey reached the automatic men's discus standard with a heave of 198-11 on March 18 at UCLA. He also has a provisional shot put mark of 59-111/4. Seniors Margaret Butler (9:35.19) and Cami Matson (9:36.87) both reached the provisional women's 3,000-meter mark. Junior Justin St. Clair (227-8), a 12th-place NCAA finisher last spring, hit the provisional men's javelin standard. (See the entire list of Washington NCAA qualifiers in the chart below).

Last Week (UCLA Tri-Meet): Ben Lindsey and Ja'Warren Hooker each won a pair of events and registered NCAA qualifying marks on March 18, lifting the Washington men's track and field team to dual-meet victories over host UCLA and California at Drake Stadium. The Huskies defeated UCLA 109-90 and edged California 100-99 under dual-meet scoring. The Washington men amassed five NCAA qualifying marks en route to winning 10 of 19 events. The Washington women's team claimed six of 18 event championships to finish second in tri-meet scoring. The UCLA women posted a winning total of 170 points followed by Washington with 107.5 and California with 104.5. Lindsey guaranteed his fourth consecutive NCAA Championship invitation by winning the discus with an automatic qualifying distance of 198-feet, 11-inches. He also won the shot put with an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 59-11 1/4. Hooker swept the sprint titles, winning both the 100- and 200-meter races. He clocked a time of 10.35 in the 100 and an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 20.63 in the 200. Two other Huskies reached NCAA provisional standards while winning events, Justin St. Clair in the javelin (227-8) and Matt Phillips in the pole vault (17-8 1/2). Also winning events for the Husky men were Tom Hildrum in the steeplechase (9:13.89), Derek Prior in the 400 meters (47.14), Geoff Perry in the 800 meters (1:53.53) and Jason Fayant in the 5,000 meters (14:37.10). Washington women's winners included, Kara Syrdal in the 3,000 meters (9:46.98), Cami Matson in the 1,500 meters (4:26.62), Chelsie Pentz in the 400 meters (55.22), Kelsey Sheppard in the 400-meter hurdles (1:00.09), Megan Spriestersbach in the javelin (138-2) and the 4x400-meter relay team (3:44.08).

Next Meet: Sat., April 1 -- at Washington State Dual (with Idaho), Pullman, Wash.

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