April 17, 2006
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Washington senior Shane Charles, who set a Grenadan national record in the 400-meter hurdles Saturday, has been named the Pac-10's men's track and field athlete of the week, Pac-10 Conference Commissioner Tom Hansen announced Monday. Charles is the second Husky in as many years to earn the Pac-10's athlete of the week honor, and the first UW men's athlete to do so since 2002.
Competing in windy and rainy conditions Saturday at Cal's Brutus Hamilton Invitational, the native of St. Andrew's, Grenada, ran a winning time of 50.12 seconds that is the nation's second-fastest in 2006, and broke by three-tenths the national record of 50.46 seconds he set at last year's Pac-10 Championships. Charles' time -- the fastest by a Washington quarter hurdler in 15 years -- was just nine tenths shy of the Pac-10's all-time top-10, and just three-tenths shy of the UW record of 49.85 set by Bernard Ellison in 1991.
In addition to his prowess in the quarter hurdles, Charles holds UW's indoor school record at 800 meters, and has run on UW's record-setting 4x400-meter relays indoors and out. Charles earned All-America honors with the relay in a third-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, and placed 10th with the relay at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor meet. He will be seeking his first individual NCAA Championships berth at May's West Regional meet; last year, Charles ranked ninth in the nation in the hurdles entering the Regional, but stumbled over the second hurdle and was unable to finish the race.
Rainier Beach High School alum Virginia Powell of USC was named the conference's women's track athlete of the week, while Arizona's Adam Kuehl and Oregon's Britney Henry earned conference honors in the field event category. For more information, visit www.pac-10.org.