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Three Men to Represent Washington Track at NCAA Championships.
Release: 03/05/2001
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March 5, 2001

SEATTLE-- Three members of the Washington men's track team have earned entry into the NCAA Indoor Championships reaching either automatic or provisional qualifying standards for the March 9-10 meet in Fayetteville, Ark.

Senior sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker, senior distance runner David Bazzi and sophomore pole vaulter Brad Walker will all represent the Huskies at the NCAAs, Friday and Saturday.

Hooker, a six-time All-American and the 1998 NCAA Indoor Champion in the 55-meter dash, will compete at this year's NCAA Indoor Championships in both the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. Hooker placed sixth in both events at the 2000 NCAA Indoor meet after a one year absence from the national event.

The senior from Ellensburg, Wash., who was an alternate for the United States' 4x400m-relay team at the 2000 Olympic Games, reached the automatic qualifying standard in the 55m dash in his first competition of the 2001 campaign, at the Jerry Martin Invitational, Jan. 20. He then reached the provisional standard in the 60-meter event Feb. 3 at the Air Force Classic with an altitude adjusted mark of 6.65. He bettered that mark twice to reach his final mark entering the NCAAs, an altitude adjusted mark of 6.55 that ranks second on the NCAA performance lists to Tennessee's Leonard Scott, who boasts a mark of 6.48.

Hooker also qualified for the Indoor Championships in the 200-meter dash in his first run of the season at the Air Force Classic, reaching a provisional qualifying mark of 20.99 despite the altitude of 7048 feet. He reached the automatic qualifying mark the next weekend at the McDonald's Scoring Invitational, ensuring himself a chance at two NCAA titles, with a time of 20.80. Hooker then lowered that mark to 20.75 at the Mountain Pacific Indoor Championships, Feb. 24. That mark ranks him tied for third on the NCAA list heading into the championships. Scott, of Tennessee, is also the leader in that event with a time of 20.47.

Hooker was recently named the Mountain Pacific Conference and West Region Male Athlete of the year after winning both the 60m and 200m at the Mountain Pacific Championships Feb. 24. He is also a candidate for the United States Track Coaches Association National track athlete of the year award.

Senior David Bazzi, the Washington school record holder in the 5,000 meter run, will compete in the event at the 2001 Indoor Championships this weekend. Bazzi, of Seattle's O'Dea High School, will appear in his second NCAA Championships. The senior distance runner was 12th in the 5,000 at the 2000 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Bazzi reached the provisional qualifying standard in the 3,000-meter run at the McDonald's Scoring meet Feb. 10 and improved that mark of 8:07.05 the following weekend at the Vandal Invitational. However, his final mark of 8:06.57 ranked only 24th on the NCAA performance list, and he did not receive an invitation to the NCAAs in that event.

March 2, 2001, however , Bazzi traveled to Ames, Iowa for the Iowa State Last Chance Qualifier, and despite not having run in a 5,000-meter race all season, recorded a provisional qualifying mark of 13:58.51. The mark is just 23-hundredths of a second off of the automatic qualifying standard, and ranks him seventh in the nation in the event.

Bazzi was the Mountain Pacific Indoor Champion in the mile run with a time of 4:19.09 at the Feb. 24 event.

Sophomore Brad Walker, who hails from Spokane, Wash., will represent the Huskies at the NCAA Championships in the pole vault. Walker, who placed sixth at the Pac-10 outdoor championships in the event last year, provisionally qualified for the NCAA meet in the pole vault with a mark of 5.25 meters (17-2 3/4) at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev., Jan. 20. He improved his mark two more times to reach his final mark of 17-9 (5.41m) Feb. 24 at the Mountain Pacific Championships.

Walker won four of the six pole vault events he entered during the indoor season, including the Mountain Pacific Championships. His mark of 5.41 meters puts him tied for sixth on the NCAA performance list entering the championships.

Results from the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships will be available daily on the NCAA's website, www.ncaachampionships.com.

Tracking Hooker's Performances:

55m dash

Jan. 20 Jerry Martin Invitational, Cheney, Wash. 6.12

60m dash

Feb. 3 Air Force Classic, Colorado Springs, Colo. 6.61 (altitude adjusted 6.65)

Feb 16 Vandal Invitational, Moscow, Idaho 6.62

Feb. 24 Mountain Pacific Championships, Flagstaff, Ariz. 6.51 (altitude adjusted 6.55)

200m dash

Feb. 3 Air Force Classic, Colorado Springs, Colo. 20.99

Feb. 10 McDonald's Scoring Invitational, Moscow, Idaho 20.80

Feb. 24 Mountain Pacific Championships, Flagstaff, Ariz. 20.75

Following Bazzi's Marks

3,000m run

Feb. 10 McDonald's Scoring Invitational, Moscow, Idaho 8:07.05

Feb. 16 Vandal Invitational, Moscow, Idaho 8:06.57

5,000m run

March 2 Iowa State Last Chance Qualifier, Ames, Iowa 13:58.41

Going Higher with Walker

Pole Vault

Jan. 20 Pole Vault Summit, Reno, Nev. 17-2 3/4 (5.25m)

Feb. 3 Air Force Classic, Colorado Springs, Colo. 16-8 3/4 (5.10m)

Feb. 9 McDonald's Scoring Invitational, Moscow, Idaho 17-4 1/2 (5.30m)

Feb. 17 McDonald's II Open, Moscow, Idaho 16-8 3/4 (5.10m)

Feb. 24 Mountain Pacific Championships, Flagstaff, Ariz. 17-9 (5.41m)

March 2 McDonald's Last Chance Meet, Moscow, Idaho 16-6 3/4 (5.05m)

Washington Track & Field
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