June 21, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Washington freshman Scott Roth and former UW All-American Justin St. Clair both earned berths top-three finishes Thursday at the 2007 AT&T USA Track and Field Championships and 2007 FinishLine USA Junior Track and Field Championships in Indianapolis, Ind.
The four-day event, featuring 16 current or former UW athletes, continues through Sunday at IUPUI's Michael Carroll Stadium.
Both Roth, who placed second in the junior men's pole vault competition, and St. Clair, who placed third in the open men's javelin, qualified by their finishes to represent Team USA at international championships later this summer. Roth will wear the red, white and blue at July's Pan-American Junior Athletics Championships in Brazil, while St. Clair will compete for Team USA at the 2007 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan, Aug. 25-Sept. 2.
A native of Granite Bay, Calif., and the defending USA Junior champion, Roth entered the competition with a first-attempt clearance at 16-10 3/4 to take the lead away from Kansas freshman Jordan Scott, the only other vaulter to clear that height. He could not, however, top the bar at 17-2 3/4, while Scott pulled out a clutch final-attempt clearance at the height to win the national crown.
As the only vaulter remaining, the Kansas freshman then asked that the bar be raised to a meet-record height of 18-1 1/4, which he cleared on his first attempt before retiring from the competition.
"Scott looked good on that first vault, but just had some trouble at 17-3," said fifth-year head coach Greg Metcalf of UW's Roth, who earned a pair of All-America honors during his recently-completed freshman season at UW. "Any time you get to represent your country, though, it's an exciting thing. The experience Scott gets competing against the world's best young vaulters is only going to make him better next year."
St. Clair, too, will be donning the national colors later this summer after a third-place finish in the open men's javelin competition. The 1999 Husky All-American, who competed two years at UW before completing his career at Boise State, tossed the spear 245 feet, 1 inch on his first attempt - 10 feet farther than his previous season-best and his best throw since the 2004 season.
St. Clair, who entered the meet seeded just 14th nationally and last finished in the top-five in 2003, placed third in the event behind only former Texas State star Mike Hazle, second at 246-3, and adidas' Breaux Greer, who won his seventh-consecutive U.S. javelin crown with a toss of 299-6, breaking his own American record set just last month. Another former UW All-American, Rob Minnitti, placed 15th with a best of 230-6.
In addition to those three, three others with ties to Washington's 2006 track and field team competed Thursday, including two-time NCAA champion Ryan Brown in the open men's 800 meters, freshman Cameron Elisara in the junior men's shot put, and assistant coach Kelly Strong in the open women's steeplechase.
Of the three, however, only Strong -- who clocked America's eighth-fastest steeple mark of all-time earlier this year -- advanced to further competition, clocking a time of 10 minutes, 5.83 seconds in the last of two preliminary heats of the women's steeple to earn a fourth-place finish and an automatic spot in Saturday's final.
Brown, who earlier this month came within a quarter-second of his third-straight NCAA 800-meter title, saw his bid for a spot in Friday's semifinal cut short by an even smaller margin Thursday. The nine-time UW All-American surged down the stretch to finish in 1:4904, but finished just .06 seconds behind former world champion and four-time U.S. champion David Krummenacker, who captured the final automatic semifinal berth.
Washington will have six athletes in action on Friday, including 2006 UW All-Americans Norris Frederick (long jump), Ashley Lodree (100-meter hurdles), Carl Moe (steeplechase) and Martin Bingisser (hammer), and reigning U.S. champions Aretha Thurmond (discus) and Brad Walker (pole vault).
For start lists and results from both the AT&T USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and the FinishLine Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships, visit www.gohuskies.com.
2007 AT&T USA Track and Field Championships and 2007 FinishLine USA Junior Track and Field Championships
June 21-24, Michael Carroll Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.
Men's Results (UW Only)
800m Run Prelims (Heat 4 of 4): 3. Ryan Brown, 1:49.04; Pole Vault* (Final): 2. Scott Roth, 16-10 3/4. Shot Put* (Final): --. Cameron Elisara, FOUL; Javelin (Final): 3. Justin St. Clair, 245-1; 15. Rob Minnitti, 230-6.
Women's Results (UW Only)
Steeplechase Prelims (Heat 2 of 2): 4. Kelly Strong, 10:05.83Q.