June 2, 1999
BOISE, Idaho - Husky All-American thrower Ben Lindsey was one of many favorites to fall on the first day of competition at the NCAA Championships at Boise State University. Lindsey, who has been limited in practice due to a bout with mononucleosis, placed 19th in the discus, just two weeks after a fifth place finish in the event at the Pac-10 Championships.
Lindsey entered the event ranked fourth in the nation with a Pac-10 best throw of 200 feet, 8 inches to his credit, but managed only a 165-foot, 8-inch throw on his first attempt today. Following a foot foul on his second throw, Lindsey still had one more chance to achieve a better mark. With his third throw, the Husky junior appeared to be headed for the finals, but at the last minute it drifted left, landing out of bounds.
The last Husky men's athlete to capture a national title was Mike Ramos in 1986, who established an NCAA record with 8,261 points in the decathlon. Sophomore Ja'Warren Hooker captured the NCAA indoor national title in the 55-meter dash with a 6.13-second finish last year.
1999 marks the first time Lindsey has not finished in the top ten in the discus at the national meet, placing fifth in the event in 1998 and ninth in 1997. He is the school record-holder in the event with a career-best mark of 202-7 achieved on March 28, 1998 in San Diego.
Also today, senior hurdler Keisha Griffis finished 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 1:02.01, just off the final qualifying time of 58.04 set by Southern Utah's Natalie Gibson.
Running in the second of three heats, Griffis struggled to find her pace from the inside lane of the track, and crossed the line well behind heat winner Dominique Calloway of Ohio State, who finished in 56.84.
Griffis made her third consecutive NCAA appearance in the 400-meter hurdles, placing ninth in 1998, and an 18th in 1997.
Washington hopes to avoid the upset tomorrow, when senior Deeja Youngquist and junior Anna Aoki compete in the 10,000-meter run. Youngquist and Aoki are ranked eighth and ninth, respectively, in the event.