June 2, 2009
SEATTLE - The fields were finalized today for the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and Washington will be traveling 20 athletes to Fayetteville, Arkansas next week.
Washington's 14 automatic qualifiers from the West Regional Championships were supplemented by at-large bids and entrants in the 10,000-meters and decathlon, which qualify based on best marks. The NCAA Championships will go off on June 10-13, hosted by the University of Arkansas at John McDonnell Field.
Though most Huskies were all but sure of their NCAA fortunes, the official declarations today cleared up any mysteries. Senior Austin Abbott, a five-time All-American, scored an at-large bid in the 1,500-meter run, while in the women's 1,500m, junior Kailey Campbell and freshman Christine Babcock also earned at-large bids.
Freshman Jeremy Taiwo, an All-American indoors in the heptathlon, will get another shot now in the decathlon, as he was one of just three freshman to make the cut. The newly announced 10,000-meter fields also include junior Jake Schmitt on the men's side and junior Anita Campbell on the women's. Campbell also auto qualified in the 5k but will not run it at NCAA's.
The final at-large bid today went to sophomore javelin thrower Brooke Pighin. The transfer from Fresno State will be making her first ever NCAA appearance.
Several Huskies are ranked in the Top-10 in their events and will be eyeing trophies and All-America honors. The highest-ranked Husky is sophomore Scott Roth in the pole vault. The Pac-10 and West Region champion is ranked second nationally with a best mark of 18-4 ½.
Also among the upper echelon in their events are Jordan Boase (10th, 400m), Kyle Nielsen (8th, Javelin), Christine Babcock (8th, 1500m), Mel Lawrence, (4th, Steeplechase), Katie Follett (4th, 5000m), and Anita Campbell (8th, 10000m).
Washington NCAA Track & Field Championship Qualifiers
Austin Abbott, Senior, 1,500m
Randy Bacon, Senior, 4x100m
Jordan Boase, Senior, 400m
Kenjamine Jackson, Senior, 4x100m
Jeff Gudaitis, Junior, 400m, 4x100m
Zack Midles, Junior, Hammer Throw
Kyle Nielsen, Sophomore, Javelin
Jared O'Connor, Senior, Pole Vault
Scott Roth, Sophomore, Pole Vault
Jake Schmitt, Junior, 10,000m
Jeremy Taiwo, Freshman, Decathlon
Joe Turner, Senior, 4x100m
Christine Babcock, Freshman, 1,500m
Elisa Bryant, Hammer Throw
Anita Campbell, Junior, 10,000m
Kailey Campbell, Junior, 1,500m
Katie Follett, Junior, 5,000m
Mel Lawrence, RS Freshman, Steeplechase
Andrea Peterson, Senior, Pole Vault
Brooke Pighin, Sophomore, Javelin