Jan. 28, 2005
SEATTLE - Distance medley relay squads from UCLA and Arizona each bested NCAA provisional qualifying standards, while Washington clocked a time among the school's all-time 10-best, in first day action at the UW Indoor Invitational at Dempsey Indoor.
The Bruins, who placed 12th in the event at last year's NCAA Indoor Championships, led from wire-to-wire in the event, which combines 1,200-, 400-, 800- and 1,600-meter legs. Senior Jon Rankin anchored the Bruins to an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 9 minutes, 35.45 seconds, just one second off the facility record set by UCLA last February.
Washington, led by freshman Austin Abbott and sophomore Ryan Brown on the first two legs, held off the Wildcats through 1,600 meters, but Arizona's Jonah Maiyo and Robert Cheseret - a three-time Pac-10 champion - outran the Huskies' Tim Freeman and Andy Fader on the closing legs en route to an NCAA provisional time of 9:39.89.
The Huskies were third, at 9:51.36, sixth-fastest in UW history, followed by Western State (9:57.12), Portland (10:20.96) and Seattle University (10:48.15).
"What a great race," said third-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "We put a young team out there, with one freshman and two sophomores, against a couple of the country's big guns in UCLA and Arizona, and they didn't back down an inch. Hopefully, that kind of attitude will carry over to the meet tomorrow."
Day one action at the UW Invitational also included the collegiate heptathlon debut of Husky freshman Corey Fredericks, who sits fifth through four events with a 2,669-point total. Husky senior Grace Vela stood third through three events of the pentathlon, which continued late Friday, having set personal-bests of 8.75 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, and 5 feet, 5 inches in the high jump.
Vela's 2,318-point total puts the Toronto native, an NCAA heptathlon qualifier last season, just 1,378 points shy of the school record of 3,696 set by Dianne Baumann in 1983. Vela posted a best of 3,592 in the event in 2003, her first season at the Division-I level after transferring from Chicago's Lewis College.
Complete results will be posted to GoHuskies.com upon the conclusion of all of the day's scheduled events.