March 25, 2005 (UPDATED Mar. 26, 9:14 a.m.)
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Six Husky track and field athletes added their names to the NCAA's regional qualifying list Friday, highlighting the first of two days of competition at the Stanford Invitational.
More than 1,000 of the nation's top prep, collegiate and professional athletes were on hand for the meet, which is one of the largest of its kind on the West Coast.
Freshman long jumper Norris Frederick (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt) continued his outstanding debut season with a fifth-attempt clearance of 24 feet, 4 1/2 inches, good for second overall and a berth at May's NCAA West Regional Championships in Eugene, Ore., at which the top-five finishers will earn NCAA Championships bids. Frederick has already competed at one NCAA Championship event this year, earning All-America honors in the long jump at the national indoor meet earlier this month.
Joining the talented freshman at the regional meet in May will be a quartet of UW distance runners, including seniors Laura Halverson (Mica, Wash./Freeman), Angela Wishaar (Shoreline, Wash./Shorewood) and Andy Fader (Everett, Wash./Cascade) and junior Mark Mandi (Everett, Wash./Mariner). All four earned NCAA Regional qualifying marks Friday, with steeplechase school-record holder Halverson completing the steeple in 10 minutes, 42.27 seconds, and Wishaar clocking a 16:47.62 in the women's 5,000 meters. Fader and Mandi, meanwhile, each ran qualifying times in the men's 5,000 meters, the former in 14:08.07, and the latter in 14:05.99.
Washington's distance runners continued their success in the day's final event, the men's 10,000 meters, with three Huskies clocking in below 30 minutes, including an NCAA provisional-qualifying effort by sophomore Kevin Peters (Longview, Wash./Mark Morris). Peters' time of 29:31.43 was the second-fastest by a UW men's runner in the event since 1987, and the seventh-fastest by a Husky all-time. The mark was also well below the NCAA's provisional-qualifying standard in the event, which is not contested at the Regional Championship -- athletes in the 10,000 meters qualify directly for June's NCAA Championships in Sacramento.
Junior Mike Sayenko (Bellevue, Wash./Sammammish) and redshirt freshman Brad Liber (San Diego, Calif./University) also bested the 30-minute barrier in the 10,000 meters, with Sayenko finishing in 29:50.09 -- ninth-fastest ever at UW -- and Liber in 29:59.22.
Rounding out the Huskies' day one qualifying action was junior javelin thrower Tiffany Zahn (Newberg, Ore./Newberg), who moved up the NCAA's regional rankings with a second-attempt toss of 154-9 that was a five-foot improvement upon her NCAA qualifying mark of a week ago.
Several more Huskies will be in action at Stanford on Saturday, including all 10 of UW's 2005 NCAA Indoor All-Americans. For complete results from the Stanford Invitational, visit www.ezmeets.com.