March 13, 2010
Friday: Roth Wins NCAA Pole Vault Title
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Women's distance stars Katie Follett and Mel Lawrence raced to All-America honors Saturday as the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships wrapped up at the Randal Tyson Center. Follett took runner-up honors in the women's mile run, earning a record fourth indoor All-America honor.
In the final team standings, the Husky men tied for 20th with ten points and the women tied for 28th scoring eight points. The Florida men took home the team title and Oregon won the women's title at the meet, hosted by the University of Arkansas. Follett nearly picked up the second individual title of the weekend for the Dawgs, as Scott Roth won the men's pole vault title on Friday.
In the mile final, Follett (Fort Collins, Colo.) went to the front early until Florida's Charlotte Browning made a move. Browning and Follett battled at the Husky Classic where Browning posted the fastest time in the NCAA this year and Follett posted the No. 2 time. Follett fell back to third but outkicked Florida State's Pilar McShine to take second in 4:36.39. Follett closed well on Browning and may have passed her with another ten meters, but Browning held on to win in 4:35.66.
"I think it's finally starting to sink in that I'm a senior and I've been here before at the same track doing the same thing, so I woke up this morning and all day felt oddly calm about it," Follett said to Flotrack.org. "All season I've wanted to get to that bell lap and give myself a shot at catching the leader. I feel like I got a little bit jumbled up in the end, but coming into that last straight I could see Charlotte and I was running as hard as I could and I gave it my all out there today so I can't be disappointed."
This was Follett's best finish ever in five appearances at the NCAA Track Championships, indoors or outdoors. Head Coach Greg Metcalf thought Follett did well to adhere to the race plan.
"The goal was to stay close to Browning, but she kind of gapped her," said Metcalf. "Then she got slowed down a little by McShine and had to go around them. She was coming up on Browning, doesn't quite catch her, but hey it's her best finish ever so she is excited."
Follett, a senior, leaves her final NCAA Indoor meet have collected four All-America honors, the most ever for a Husky woman indoors. Add in her three cross country honors and she has been named All-American seven times.
Follett's finish was the best ever for a Husky in the mile run. She also placed sixth in the mile in 2008. Her second-place finish ties three other former Husky greats that earned runner-up at the NCAA Indoor meet. Camille Rivard was second in the 800m in 1985, Vicki Borsheim took second in the high jump in 1988, and Kate Soma was runner-up in the pole vault in 2005.
Afterwards Follett was even more excited for the outdoor season, and talked about the chances of competing for her first national title in her final NCAA meet.
"Just to be able to be here and compete at this level is such a blessing and it makes me so happy," said Follett. "I can't imagine any better way than to go out with a title (outdoors), but there's 365 days a year and there's only three that you have a shot at doing that, so you have to be the best on one of those three days, so I'll see what I can do about that."
Lawrence (Reno, Nev.) took to the track in the women's 3,000-meter run for the second-straight year. The sophomore led for the first couple laps before ceding the lead to Iowa State's Lisa Koll. Lawrence settled into fifth-place for much of the remaining race, but was outkicked late and crossed the line ninth in 9:14.53. Still, six of the eight women to finish ahead of Lawrence were seniors, so her time may soon come.
With two All-America awards in cross country, one in outdoor track in the steeplechase, and now one indoors in the 3k, Lawrence becomes just the second Husky woman to earn the distinction at all three NCAA championships, joining Amanda Miller (2005-08).
"Mel took a month off after cross country, and we don't want to make excuses, but she was a little under-raced and not super sharp. Mel ran hard and even, and still closed in 72 seconds for the last 400-meters but she's not there yet. She walked off and said, `Let's get ready for outdoor track,' and that's where her brain should be. Earning All-America is a nice silver lining."
The Husky track squad will now move to the outdoor season, starting at the Stanford Invitational on March 26-27.