June 24, 2005
CARSON, Calif. - Washington signee Tori Tyler ran fourth Friday in finals of the junior women's 5,000 meters at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, one of five performances by current, former or future UW athletes on the meet's second day.
The top-three finishers in each junior-level event will represent the United States at July's World Youth Championships in Marrakech, Morocco, while the top-three finishers in each open-level event qualify for the IAAF World Championships in Helsinki, Finland in August.
California native Tyler ran the fifth-fastest 5,000-meter time by a high-school girl this year, crossing the finish line in just 16 minutes, 50.05 seconds. The freshman-to-be out of Gunn High School in Palo Alto won the 3,200 meters at the California state meet two weeks ago, and was ranked No. 1 among distance runners in the state by DyeStat.com. Her time in Friday's 5,000-meter final would have placed second at the Pac-10 Championships in May, and is just 11 seconds shy of Washington's all-time top-10 in the event.
"Tori's going to do great things in her career at Washington," said third-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "This is just the beginning for her."
Friday's competition also proved to be a beginning for former Husky Rob Minnitti, who qualified for August's IAAF World Championships with a third-place finish in the open men's javelin. Minnitti entered the fifth round of throws in fifth place, but launched a 246-foot monster to surge to third, then held on through the final round.
Despite having only competed three years at Washington before finishing his career at Boise State in 2003, Minnitti continues to train in Seattle with former Husky and two-time Olympian Duncan Atwood, a volunteer assistant javelin coach at UW. Minnitti will be making his second World Championships appearance, having also qualified in 2003.
Three other Huskies competed Friday, with UW freshman Norris Frederick taking 15th in the junior men's long jump, former Husky Justin St. Clair earning 11th in the open men's javelin, and 2003 UW alum Sabrina Monro was 14th in the women's open 10,000 meters.
Just two days into the four-day meet, Washington athletes have already earned one U.S. title and three World Championships berths. Spokane's Brad Walker, a 2004 UW grad, won the men's open pole vault Thursday night, while two-time U.S. discus champion Aretha Thurmond -- the former Aretha Hill -- placed third in the women's open discus.
On Saturday, 2005 NCAA champion Kate Soma and Olympia's Zack Midles, a UW freshman-to-be, compete in finals of the women's open pole vault and junior men's hammer throw, respectively, while 2005 NCAA All-American Ashley Lodree begins her competition in preliminary rounds of the 100-meter hurdles.
For a complete schedule and results of the 2005 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, visit www.usatf.org.