March 13, 2004
TACOMA, Wash. - Husky discus specialist Will Conwell on Saturday became the first UW athlete to qualify for the 2004 NCAA Regional Track and Field Championships, as Washington kicked off the 2004 outdoor track season at Pacific Lutheran University's Salzman Invitational.
Conwell's throw of 173 feet, 5 inches was a 16-foot personal best, and exceeded the NCAA Regional Championships standard by five feet.
For the second-straight season, the NCAA will use regional championships to determine the field for the 2004 NCAA Track and Field Championships. Athletes will qualify for the regionals by meeting predetermined NCAA standards, then will compete head-to-head at each of the four regionals for five NCAA berths to be awarded to the top-five finishers in each event.
On the women's side, sophomore Cherron Davis cracked the Huskies' all-time top-10 list with a throw of 141-6 in the hammer, eighth-best ever by a UW woman. Just behind Davis, freshman Shirley Bocian - who is redshirting the 2004 season - tossed the hammer 131-7, a mark bettered by only eight women in Husky track history.
The Huskies proved equally successful on the track, with sprinter Lauran Dignam sweeping titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, and junior Brandon Bailey capturing the Salzman Invite title in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles.
Despite fielding just 12 athletes at the meet, the Huskies managed to outscore several of the Northwest small-college teams in attendance. Washington's five-member women's contingent scored 40 points to place sixth in the field of 12 teams, while the seven UW men combined for 49.5 points in a fifth-place finish.
The small Salzman contingent will be joined en masse by their UW teammates this weekend, as Washington officially kicks off the outdoor season at Saturday's Cal Poly Invitational in San Luis Obispo, Calif. For complete results of the 2004 Salzman Invitational, visit www.plu.edu.