March 30, 2002
PALO ALTO, Calif. -
Junior miler Courtney Inman led no fewer than six Husky track athletes to NCAA provisional-qualifying marks at the prestigious Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto. The six were among dozens of NCAA qualifiers at the two-day meet, which featured thousands of the nation's top prep, collegiate and professional track and field athletes.
Inman, who set the school's indoor mile record earlier this month, finished the 1500-meter race in 4 minutes, 21.80 seconds, the fifth-fastest 1500-meter time ever by a University of Washington female track athlete. The British Columbia native finished well under the provisional-qualifying standard for June's NCAA Championship meet in Baton Rouge, La.
Similarly electric at the meet was two-time All-American Brad Walker, who bested the NCAA's provisional standard with a mark of 17-feet, 8 1/2 inches in the pole vault. Walker's vault, just his second in collegiate competition this season after offseason foot surgery, was the sixth-best all-time at Washington, and came just four inches shy of Garth Willard's school record, set in 1992.
The women's vault also featured fireworks for Washington athletes, including a third-place finish by true freshman Kate Soma. Soma, who already broke the school's indoor record this season, closed to No. 2 all-time on the outdoor list with a provisional-qualifying vault of 12-9 1/2, good for third.
Back on the track, the women's 10,000-meter race featured a pair of Husky qualifiers, with senior Kate Bradshaw and freshman Lisa Gibbs each posting times better than the NCAA's provisional standard in the event. Bradshaw, the Pac-10 champion at 10,000 meters in 2000, placed 20th in 34:25.02, while Gibbs ran 22nd in 34:34.79. Gibbs' mark, the best-ever by a true freshman at Washington, ranks sixth on the school's all-time list. Bradshaw already holds the No. 2 spot with a personal best of 33:35.51 from the 2001 season.
Meanwhile, sophomore Eric Garner continued to back up a stellar indoor campaign with a qualifying time at 1500 meters, placing seventh in 3:43.56, equaling the sixth-best mark in school history. An All-American indoors in the mile, Garner ran the first-ever four-minute indoor mile in Washington state earlier this month at Dempsey Indoor.
All of the above marks easily bettered the qualifying standards for May's Pac-10 Championships in Pullman, Wash. Other Huskies adding their names to the list of 22 already qualified for the conference meet included freshman Lindsey Egerdahl in the 1500 meters and senior long jumper Zee Ogarro, as well as five Husky men's runners - Garner, sophomore Dustin Duke, senior Jason Fayant, freshman Michael Kiter and junior Jeremy Park - in the 5,000-meter run.
Following a pair of successful forays into the Bay Area this month, including last week's Cal Invite, Washington will rest next weekend before traveling to Eugene for the always-outstanding Oregon Pepsi Invitational on Apr. 13.