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Huskies Head East to Renew Regional Rivalries
Release: 06/21/1999
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January 20, 1999

The Schedule:
Saturday, Jan. 23 -- Track and Field Travels to Jerry Martin Invitational
Eastern Washington Univ., Cheney, Wash.

This Week: The Washington men's and women's track teams will renew their regional rivalries when they travel to Cheney, Wash. for the Jerry Martin Invitational. Schools from all over the Pacific Northwest are expected to attend, including host Eastern Washington, Washington State, Idaho and Montana. Stellar sophomore sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker will travel alone to San Diego for this week's San Diego Indoor Games, where he will compete in the 55-meter dash. Hooker is the defending NCAA 55-meter indoor national champion, as well as the defending Pac-10 champion in both the 100m and 200m dashes.

Last Week: The men's team will be looking to continue their success after taking first place at last week's New York Sports Museum Collegiate Invitational. Senior sprinter Derek prior posted an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the 400-meter dash (47.41), while Matt Phillips (pole vault) and Ben Lindsey (shot put) scored wins for the Huskies as well. Defending 55-meter national champion Ja'Warren Hooker placed second in his first race of the year, posting a time of 6.77 seconds. In the women's 3,000-meter run, senior Deeja Youngquist ran a 9:34.64 and junior Anna Aoki posted a 9:38.74 en route to second and third place finishes. Those two marks rank, respectively, as the second and third best 3,000m times in the nation this year, and were both NCAA provisional qualifying marks. Also key for the Huskies last week was junior thrower Seselia Thomas, whose two second-place finishes in the shot put and 20 lb. weight throw helped spur the Washington women to a third-place finish.

The Rankings: The Washington men's indoor track and field team debuted in a tie for the seventh spot with Georgia Tech in this week's Trackwire 25, the only weekly ranking of NCAA Division I track and field. The Huskies totaled 18 votes, four behind sixth-place Washington State. The University of Arkansas was number one with 75 votes. The two-time defending national champion Razorbacks have never relinquished the top spot in the three-year history of the Trackwire 25. Today's rankings were the first for the 1999 season. The Husky women were unranked, with Louisiana State placing first with 61 votes. The Husky men were ranked as high as second in 1998, while the women peaked at ninth.

Event Schedule: Following is the schedule for the Jerry Martin Invitational, January 23rd. Track events will be run on a rolling schedule, beginning with the men's 60m hurdles preliminary at 11:30 a.m.. (All times are Pacific):

9:00 am      35 lb. Weight throw  (20 lb. wt. to follow)   
9:00 am      Shot Put  (women then men)            Women's 60m dash
9:30 a.m.    High Jump (both women and men)        Men's 400m dash
9:30 a.m.    Long Jump (men then women)            Women's 400m dash
11:30 a.m.   Pole Vault (both women and men)       Men's Mile
             Men's 60m hurdles preliminary         Women's Mile
             Men's 60m hurdles final               Men's 4x400m relay
             Women's 60m hurdles preliminary       Women's 4x400m relay
             Women's 60m hurdles final             Men's 4x800m relay
             Men's 60m dash                        Women's 4x800m relay
Super Soph: Sophomore sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker (Ellensburg HS) began the defense of his 1998 NCAA 55-meter Indoor national title last weekend with a second-place finish at the Armory in New York, crossing the line in 6.77 seconds. 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-10's Track Athlete of the Year. On May 2, 1998, he broke the Washington school record in the 100m, posting a 10.18. This summer, Hooker placed fifth in the 200m at the U.S. National Track & Field meet, finishing in 20.63 seconds. Hooker also competes on the UW football team as a wide receiver, but was limited this season due to shoulder injuries.

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. He got his season off to a fast start by winning the shot put at the New York Sports Museum Collegiate Invitational with a throw of 58'-10.25". 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.

Dialing Long-Distance: Two Husky women, senior Deeja Youngquist (Enumclaw HS) and junior Anna Aoki (Fort Vancouver HS), posted two of the top three 3,000m times in the nation so far this season at last week's New York Sports Museum Collegiate Invitational. Youngquist, who has placed third in the Pac-10 10,000m race in each of the past two seasons, posted a time of 9:34.64 in the 3,000m event, second-fastest in the nation this year to Villanova's Carrie Tollefson (9:34.54), who defeated Youngquist in New York by just one tenth of a second. Aoki, the 1998 Pac-10 10,000m champion, finished with a time of 9:38.74. Youngquist and Aoki also competed against Tollefson at last year's NCAA cross-country championships. Tollefson, the 1997 NCAA cross-country champion, placed 12th to lead Villanova to the 1998 team title. Washington finished 9th, the best finish ever for the Huskies.

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.

Husky Qualifiers: Three members of Washington's track and field team have already posted NCAA qualifying marks. The championship will be held March 6-7 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Here is the list of current Husky provisional and automatic qualifiers:

(Deeja Youngquist -- 3,000 meters (Prov.: 9:34.64 -- career best)
Senior, Enumclaw, Wash. (Enumclaw HS)

(Anna Aoki -- 3,000 meters (Prov: 9:38.74 -- career best)
Junior, Vancouver, Wash. (Fort Vancouver HS)

(Derek Prior -- 400 meters (Prov: 47.41 -- career best)
Senior, San Jose, Calif. (Suarta Tonesa/San Jose CC)

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 placed 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").

Huskies On The Web: All of the latest information on University of Washington track and field, including rosters, schedules, results, releases, statistics and more can be found online at the homepage of University if Washington Athletics,

Next Week: Saturday, January 23 -- Jerry Martin Invitational, Eastern Washington University; Cheney, Wash. 8:30 a.m.

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