April 26, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. - A career day for junior Falesha Ankton and the debut of Washington's top men's relays highlighted an impressive showing by the Husky track and field team at the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field.
On the final day of the two-day meet, the Huskies posted four new NCAA Regional qualifying marks, bringing their total number of qualifying marks to 25 with several weeks to go until the West Regional meet in Northridge, Calif.
Ankton, a junior from Benicia, Calif., had a banner day, beginning with a win in the 400m hurdles in a personal-best time of 1:00.57. Ankton then came back and ran the fourth-best 100m hurdle time in school history, crossing the line in just 13.68 seconds. Both times were easily regional qualifying marks, the first and second of Ankton's career.
"Falesha has come a long way this year, and this was a break-out performance for her today," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "She improved throughout the indoor season and earned her first NCAA provisional mark, and then went out and crushed the regional marks in both hurdles events today. It's thrilling to watch her progress."
The men trotted out their best relay units of the season tonight, qualifying both for Regionals. The 4x100-meter relay was the real head-turner, as the foursome of junior Jordan Boase, senior James Fredrickson, junior Joe Turner, and freshman Ryan Hamilton blitzed the track in a time of 39.80, the fastest by a 4x1 relay in the West Region this year. The time is also the fourth-fastest in Washington history. Three years ago, Boase (Bothell, Wash.) was the lead-off leg of the second-fastest 4x100 relay in school history. Boase was making his first appearance since his historic 400-meter school-record of 44.82 set Apr. 12 in Tempe.
Boase, Fredrickson, and Turner all returned along with sophomore Jeff Gudaitis to qualify in the 4x400-meter relay, in a time of 3:09.41. Turner also missed qualifying in the 200-meter dash by just one-hundredth of a second, finishing third in 21.36.
"This was the first day all season where we've really competed our best relays. To have our 4x100 come out for the first time all year and run the fourth-fastest time in school history is incredible," said Metcalf. "They all know they can run faster and that the school-record is within reach, and they showed today that they can make a lot of noise in the postseason."
Norris Frederick took first in the long jump, but failed to improve on his season-best, topping out at 24-8 ½. Frederick also ran the lead-off leg of UW's 4x100m "B" relay, which finished in 41.52.
The Huskies will next send a full squad east to Pullman for the annual UW-WSU dual meet. The dual is scheduled for Saturday, May 3.