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Husky Tracksters to Challenge for MPSF Title
Release: 02/20/2001
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Feb. 20, 2001

SEATTLE-- The Washington track teams take aim at the Mountain Pacific Conference Championship title Friday and Saturday in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Sixteen women and 25 men will represent UW at the Mountain Pacific meet.

Head coach Orin Richburg said outlooks for the men and women are different entering the championship part of the season.

"We feel we have a fair shot on the men's side to go in and really bang up in the top three," Richburg said. "Things are starting to kick into gear for us. Everything is starting to come together, especially on the men's side. On the women's side, we are getting some decent marks, but we have a lot of people down right now. We are not taking enough women (to the Mountain Pacific meet) to battle for a championship."

Altitude will again be a factor for the Huskies at the Mountain Pacific championships. The elevation in Flagstaff, Ariz., is 6,877 feet.

Full results from the Mountain Pacific Championships will be available daily on www.arizcats.com.

Rankings

The Washington men's track team was listed as 11th in the nation by Team Power Rankings, which bases its ranking on dual meet scoring potential. The Husky women ranked 21st in the Feb. 13 listings.

The UW men also earned mention in the Trackwire 25, which ranks teams based on their predicted finish at the NCAA championships. The No. 14 ranked Husky men own a score of 13, while first-ranked Arkansas boasts a score of 54. The UW women were unranked in the Trackwire 25, which features South Carolina and Arkansas tied for the lead with 43 points apiece.

Keeping up with the Qualifiers

Three Husky men have reached NCAA qualifying standards, two of whom are meet veterans.

Seniors Ja'Warren Hooker and David Bazzi, who both own Washington event records, along with sophomore Brad Walker have reached qualifying marks for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Hooks are in

Senior sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker secured a chance a to snag two NCAA Indoor titles as he reached the automatic qualifying mark in the 200m at the McDonald's Invitational in Idaho last weekend. Hooker had already received an automatic bid to the NCAA meet in the 55m, reaching that automatic standard Jan. 27.

Hooker is currently tied with Tennessee's Leonard Scott for the lead on the NCAA best list for both events. Hooker won the 55m indoor championship in 1998 as a freshman, Scott won the event the following year. Both sprinters were originally recruited to college as football players.

"Walk"-ing to Higher Ground

Sophomore pole vaulter Brad Walker reached the provisional mark in the pole vault at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nev., Jan. 20. He improved his qualifying mark by nearly two inches at the McDonald's Scoring Invitational in Moscow, Idaho, last weekend. His mark of 5.30 meters, 17-4 1/2, ties him for 10th on the NCAA performance list. In order to automatically qualify for the NCAAs, Walker needs to up his clearing height to 18-0 1/2, or 5.50 meters. In the event that not enough individuals reach the automatic qualifying standard, provisional qualifiers will be added in order of performance to ensure a full field.

Going the Distance

Senior David Bazzi, the Washington record holder in the 5,000m, earned a provisional qualifying mark in the 3,000-meter event at the McDonald's Scoring Invitational last weekend. Bazzi is no stranger to the NCAA Championships, as he placed 12th in the 5,000m at the 2000 Outdoor championships. His time of 8:07.05 ranks 20th on the current NCAA best list. Bazzi needs to shave another 10 seconds off of his time in order to secure an automatic bid to the championships. In the event that not enough individuals reach the automatic qualifying standard, provisional qualifiers will be added in order of performance to ensure a full field.

Washington Track & Field
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