April 7, 2007
EUGENE, Ore. - Five Huskies improved NCAA Regional marks and four cracked Washington's all-time top-10 Saturday, leading UW's men's and women's teams to respective second- and third-place finishes at the four-team Pepsi Invitational in Eugene.
Host Oregon swept Pepsi Invitational crowns for the fifth time in six years, taking back the men's crown won by Washington in 2006. The eighth-ranked Oregon men scored 211 points to easily a handle a Washington team that was without two of its top competitors in four-time All-American Austin Abbott - who is out for the season with a foot injury - and NCAA-leading thrower Mart Israel. The 12th-ranked Huskies scored 164 points for second, ahead of Kansas State (133), and a partial squad from No. 2 USC (118).
As is his custom, Brown let another runner - in this case, USC's Ryan Waite - set the pace before sprinting to the front around the final turn for an easy 1 minute, 49.51-second win. Freshman Brian Govier surged down the backstretch to place second, in 1:51.19.
"The main goal was to get a regional qualifier and break 1:50.40," said Brown, who ran for the first time outdoors at his marquee distance after competing in 400- and 1,500-meter races the past two weeks. "The NCAA indoor title last month was great, but I've been trying to reset my mentality and start over. Down the road this year I want to run 1:45, so there's a lot of work to do."
Washington also received strong performances from senior Martin Bingisser in the hammer, whose toss of 215 feet, 5 inches was the third longest in UW history and one of the top-10 marks in the nation this year; and from sophomore Randy Bacon, whose wind-aided 100-meter time of 10.59 seconds was less than a tenth shy of UW's all-time top-10 list.
The 24th-ranked Husky women, meanwhile, combined for four regional marks and three all-time top-10 efforts, leading to a team score of 151.5 that was behind both No. 11 Oregon (183.5) and Kansas State (165) but ahead of No. 6 and reigning NCAA runner-up USC (121).
Sophomore Sheree Ellis accounted for UW's lone win of the afternoon, taking the shot put title with a throw of 46-6 ¾.
Senior Ashley Lodree earned a pair of regional qualifying marks in the 100-meter dash (11.5h) and 100-meter hurdles (13.55), the latter run into a significant headwind. Senior Kira Harrison (2:09.00, 800m) and sophomore Syreeta Martin (1:00.24) also added regional-qualifying efforts, while freshmen Mo Huber (10:56.54, steeplechase, 5th all-time), Shannon Harvey (155-3, hammer, 6th) and Ally Wojciechowski (11-7 ¾, pole vault, t10th) all posted marks among UW's top-10 all-time.
Having united for the first time this season for the Pepsi meet, Washington's teams will compete in split-squad action again next weekend, with the majority of UW's top competitors heading to the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays, while the UW sprinters compete at Cal's Brutus Hamilton Invitational.
For complete results from Saturday's Pepsi Team Invitational, or for more information on Washington track and field, visit www.GoHuskies.com.