April 17, 2003
WALNUT, Calif. - University of Washington junior Kate Spigel lowered her own school record in the steeplechase by eight seconds Thursday at the 44th-Annual Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. Spigel's record was one of several outstanding performances by UW athletes on the first day of the two-day meet, including two NCAA Regional qualifying runs and another top-five all-time UW mark.
A graduate of Albuquerque (N.M.) Academy, Spigel needed just 10 minutes, 37.66 seconds to complete the 3,000-meter steeplechase circuit, well ahead of her previous school record of 10:45.76 set just last month. Spigel, who took the entire 2002 track season off to study abroad in New Zealand, is the only Husky woman ever to run the steeplechase in under 11 minutes, having done so three times.
Joining Spigel in the Husky record books was senior Sabrina Monro, whose clocking of 15:56.90 in the 5,000 meters was third-fastest all-time at Washington, and more than a minute below the NCAA Regional Championships qualifying standard. In her first full season at Washington since transferring from Montana in 2000, Monro has already shattered indoor school records in both the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters, and ranks among the top-10 UW women all-time outdoors at every distance from 3,000 meters to 10,000 meters.
While the Husky women may have been adding new ink to the UW record books, freshman Jesse Fayant may have posted the most impressive performance of the day, running in a dead heat with Cal Poly SLO's Luke Llamas at the finish line in the men's steeplechase. Meet officials had to turn to technology to break the tie, with the finish-line photo giving Llamas the win by three hundredths of a second, 9:10.08 to 9:10.11 for Fayant. The UW freshman's time was still good for a Pac-10 and NCAA Regional qualifying mark, however, bringing to 30 the total number of Huskies qualified for NCAA competition in 2003.
Rounding out Washington's prolific first day of competition at Mt. SAC were freshman spear specialist Tiffany Zahn, who took third in the javelin with a throw of 144 feet, 7 inches, and senior Kate Bradshaw, who took 10th in the 10,000 meters with a time of 32:50.89.
The Huskies at Mt. SAC will take a day off Friday as attention shifts to the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational at nearby Pomona College, which will feature the majority of the Husky team. Washington will then return to Mt. SAC Saturday to conclude a full weekend of competition.
For complete results of the Mt. SAC Relays, visit vm/mtsac.edu/relays.