June 9, 2005
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Three Huskies advanced through qualifying rounds Thursday at the 2005 NCAA Track and Field Championships, but it was one who didn't - sophomore Ryan Brown - who earned All-America honors.
Eleven of Huskies' record 16 competitors were in action Thursday at the NCAA meet, which continues through Saturday at Sacramento State.
The Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional champion, Brown ran fifth in his 800-meter semi-final, his time of 1:48.66 the 10th-fastest overall. The Renton, Wash., native was the fifth-fastest American finisher, however, guaranteeing the sophomore his second-career All-America honor.
Brown is the first Husky since 2001, and just the 22nd all-time to earn multiple All-America honors in the same season, adding Thursday's 800 honor to the one he won in March as a member of UW's distance medley relay team.
"Ryan got banged around a little bit out there, and ultimately had to go out to lane three on the final turn to try and make a move," third-year head coach Greg Metcalf explained. "I think that might have cost him a step or two down the stretch, and that proved to be the difference. It's a tough way to go out, but Ryan's had an amazing season, and his All-America honor is well-deserved."
Three Huskies did qualify for finals action Thursday, none more impressively than sophomore Amy Lia. The Bothell, Wash., native - competing in her first NCAA Championships after missing nearly a year due to injury - earned one of 12 finals spots in the 1,500 meters, her time of 4:18.19 the third-fastest in Washington history.
After hanging in the middle of the pack through much of the race, Lia made a huge kick with 150 meters to go, surging to third and hanging on to the finish line. Lia entered meet with the field's 18th-fastest qualifying time, a personal-best 4:22.56 run at last month's Pac-10 Championships. She will be seeded 10th in Saturday's 1,500-meter final.
"I don't really know what happened," said a stunned Lia after the race. "I never thought that I would run that fast today. I don't know where that came from, but I just felt something in me and went with it. I'm pretty happy."
Pole vaulters Kate Soma and Carly Dockendorf, meanwhile, survived a rigorous qualifying round, in which the field competes on two adjacent runways until just 16 vaulters or fewer remain. A record 19 vaulters cleared 13-feet even, but just 11 topped 13 feet, 5 ¼ inches, including Soma on her first attempt, and Dockendorf on her third.
Twelve vaulters will compete in Saturday's finals, when the field will start anew at 12-9 ½. NCAA West Regional champion Soma has earned runner-up honors at the past two NCAA Championship events, and will be seeking a UW-record fifth All-America honor.
Senior Lindsey Egerdahl, freshman Norris Frederick, and the team's 4x400-meter relay squad of Sean Williams, Shane Charles, Ryan Brown and Bruce Jackson failed to advance past qualifying rounds Thursday. Egerdahl took 23rd in the 1,500 meters at 4:26.42, Frederick tied for 17th in the high jump at 6-10 3/4, while the 4x4 ran 10th in 3:04.78, missing the eighth and final qualifying spot by just two tenths of a second.
A record 16 Huskies are in competition at this year's NCAA Championships, which continue Friday with sophomore Ashley Lodree in the finals of the 100-meter hurdles. For compete results from the 2005 NCAA Track and Field Championships, visit www.ncaasports.com.