June 10, 2006
Friday, June 9
11:56 a.m. PST -- Day 3 Preview: With only four competitors in action, Day 3 at the NCAA Track and Field Championships should give Husky fans a chance to catch their breath after the furious action of the first two days of competition. With the exception of a few events already concluded, finals begin in earnest Friday, including those in both the hammer throw and 100-meter hurdles, featuring Huskies Martin Bingisser and Ashley Lodree, respectively. Senior Bruce Jackson will try to keep his outstanding postseason going in the semi-final round of the 400-meter dash, while Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional champion Shane Charles will be among the favorites to advance to Saturday's final in the 400-meter hurdles. As with every day of this competition so far, temperatures are rising early in the day, and there isn't a cloud to be seen ... a great day for elite track and field competition.
4:59 p.m. PST -- Day 3 Update: Day Three is certainly the warmest day yet at the Championships -- competitors and spectators alike can feel the heat even in the shade. The sun is just beginning to come down behind the west side of Hornet Stadium, though, so it should cool off for the track events over the next 90 minutes. The hurdles are on the track and the competitors are putting on their hip numbers. We're about to start the finals of the 100-meter hurdles.
12:00 p.m. -- Men's Hammer, Final (Martin Bingisser)
Preview: Having upset eight higher-ranked competitors to advance to Friday's final as the ninth-place finisher in Wednesday's qualifying round, senior Martin Bingisser will now try to earn a top-eight finish and put the Huskies on the scoreboard for the first of what will hopefully be many times at this NCAA Championship meet. Bingisser's best of 212-9 is among the best marks remaining in the field, so the senior should have a good chance if he can continue the consistency that has been his hallmark. At least he won't have to worry about All-America honors -- as one of just six Americans in the final, Bingisser has already guaranteed the first such honor of his career, and the first for a UW hammer thrower since 1986.
12:46 p.m. PST -- For safety reasons, the hammer is thrown outside the stadium, where there is no internet connection. Thus, this entry is being written after the event's conclusion.
Bingisser's first throw was solid -- 206-2. It probably won't get him through to the finals, but it might. His second attempt is a foul, and by the time he comes up for his third attempt, he has been knocked down to 10th in the overall standings -- only the top nine will advance to finals and get three more throws to better their standing. Bingisser's final throw sails far and high, landing beyond the painted line on the field that represents 213 feet. It's a personal best for Bingisser, but back at the pit, the red flag is raised, indicating a second foot foul. Having not finished in the top nine, Bingisser's competition at the NCAA meet is done. Still, the senior earns Washington's first official All-America honor of the meet, and the first of his career. It's a solid start for the Huskies on Day 3.
5:00 p.m.* -- Women's 100m Hurdles, Final (Ashley Lodree)
Preview: Junior Ashley Lodree goes for her fourth-career All-America honor in Friday night's final of the 100-meter hurdles. Lodree was fifth in this event last year, clocking a then-school record 13.17-second time. As she has throughout her career, she'll have to contend with conference rival Ginnie Powell of USC, who set a national collegiate record of 12.55 in Wednesday's semi-final, and Nebraska's Priscilla Lopes, the nation's No. 2 competitor entering Friday's final.
5:23 p.m. PST -- Lodree ran seventh in the 100-meter hurdles final. It was a bit tough to tell from the finish-line angle this writer was presented with, but it looked like the middle lanes got out pretty quick -- which you'd expect, given that they contained Ginnie Powell and Priscilla Lopes -- and that the inside lanes followed suit, with the outside lanes running 7-8 for most of the race. Powell broke the collegiate record she set two days ago by running 12.48. Lopes, meanwhile, broke the old collegiate record of 12.63 by running a 12.60, but will only go down in history as running second to Powell.
5:35 p.m.* -- Men's 400m Dash, Semi-final (Bruce Jackson)
Preview: Senior Bruce Jackson will try to keep his terrific week going in Friday night's 400-meter dash semi-final. To advance to Saturday's live-televised final, the Seattle native will have to finish in the top-three in his heat, or be among the next two fastest individuals in this semi-final round. It's a tall task -- Jackson's personal-best time of 46.41 in Wednesday's preliminary round was the slowest of any of the eight competitors in his heat, five of whom ran below 46 seconds. If anyone can do it, though, it's Jackson, who has already defied the odds by making it this far. Jackson will run in the first of two heats, and will start in lane 1.
5:43 p.m. PST -- Jackson starts out behind the field in lane 1 -- a tough spot to be in a field this fast. After coming off the tight curve, Jackson accelerates down the backstretch, but the field is running away. Coming down the homestretch, Jackson starts to close the gap on Long Island's Ron Michael Hillian, buts runs out of track and finishes eighth, in 47.17. It's been a great week so far for Jackson, who wasn't supposed to make it this far in the 400, and also anchored UW's 4x400-meter relay into Saturday's live-televised final. At least now he can turn all of his attention to the relay -- an event where Washington could really make some hay.
6:20 p.m.* -- Men's 400m Hurdles, Semi-final (Shane Charles)
Preview: Just one more qualifying round stands between senior Shane Charles and the 400-meter hurdles final. Charles will look to keesenior will line up in lane 4 alongside Washington State's Jon Casselman, who finished second to Charles in a photo-finish at the Pac-10 Championships last monthp his undefeated record in the event this season intact in Friday's semi-final, where the top-three finishers and next-two fastest individuals will advance to Saturday's live-televised final. Charles will find some familiar company in the second of two semi-final heats -- the Husky . He
6:42 p.m. PST -- Well, there's been a bit of an upset in the 400-meter hurdles ... and when your athlete is one of the favorites, that's never a good thing. Charles got out quickly and almost immediately made up the stagger on the runners in the outside lanes. At the 200-meter mark, it appeared that he and Casselman were running neck-and-neck -- Charles was a bit ahead, but Casselman had the inside lane and would thus have a shorter distance to run around the last curve. After coming off the turn, though, Charles couldn't maintain the speed he had built up, and dropped back as first Long Island's Brian Steele, then BYU's Chris Carter and finally Auburn's Ruben McCoy and Casselman pulled away, leaving the Husky senior fifth, his time of 50.16 seconds good for ninth overall.
So, Charles' brilliant season in the 400-meter hurdles -- which included Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional titles, as well as UW and Grenadian national records -- comes to a close in the NCAA Championships semi-final. That's not the last we'll see of Charles, however -- the senior will be back Saturday in the 4x400-meter relay ... with, no doubt, a little extra motivation up his sleeve.