June 1, 2002
BATON ROUGE, La. - Junior Courtney Inman concluded Washington's competition Saturday at the 2002 NCAA Track and Field Championships with a 10th-place finish in the finals of the 1,500-meter dash at Louisiana State University. Washington's 31st-ranked men's squad bettered its pre-meet seed, finishing in a five-way tie for 30th with eight total points. Neither of the Huskies' women's competitors scored.
In a stunning turn of events, neither of the nation's top-ranked teams were able to hold off SEC challengers on the meet's final day. Defending men's national champion Tennessee, the nation's top-ranked team throughout the 2002 season, was dethroned by host LSU, which scored 64 points to win its first national title since 1990.
On the women's side, No. 1 UCLA met a similar fate, falling to a surging South Carolina squad. The Bruins' 72 points were 15 more than any other team except the Gamecocks, which tallied 82 to take its first-ever national title.
For the Huskies, Inman earned her first-ever top-10 national finish, holding off a charge by Arkansas junior Londa Bevens to finish 10th in 4 minutes, 19.12 seconds. Inman qualified 18th nationally during the regular-season, then was the sixth-fastest finisher in Thursday's preliminary race with a career-best time of 4:17.53 that ranked second all-time in Husky history.
Inman, who set Washington's indoor mile record in March, ran 14th in the event at the 2002 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., in her only other career appearance at the national meet.
UCLA's Lena Nilsson ran away with the individual title, traversing 1,500 meters in 4:12.60, more than two seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.