April 12, 2006 -- UPDATED 4/13, 9:01 A.M. PDT
AZUSA, Calif. - Liz Fuller bettered her personal best in the 100-meter hurdles by nearly a half-second Wednesday, sparking the Vancouver, Wash., native to ninth place through four events in the heptathlon at the California Invitational at Asuza Pacific University. Redshirt freshman Kaisa Keranen sits 21st in the heptathlon, while Blake Bidleman, Corey Fredericks and Doug Blaty each rank among the top-25 in the decathlon. Both events conclude Thursday.
Competing in just the second heptathlon of her collegiate career, Fuller opened her day with a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, her 15.00-second time nearly a half-second better than her previous legal lifetime best of 15.39 seconds. The redshirt freshman earned 842 heptathlon points for her effort, which she followed up with marks of 5-foot-5 in the high jump (795 pts), 36-4 ¼ in the shot put (600) and 27.15 seconds in the 200-meter dash (699), for a first-day total of 2,936 points.
Hawaii's Annette Wichmann leads the competition with 3,193 points; UW's Keranen is 21st with 2,625.
At an average of 734 points per event, Fuller is on pace for 5,138 points, a total which would rank fourth in UW history, and qualify Fuller provisionally for June's NCAA Championships. The heptathlon concludes Thursday with the long jump, javelin and 800-meter events.
Washington's decathletes also kicked off their first multi-event competition of the year Wednesday, with senior Blake Bidleman jumping out to 15th place through five events.
Despite failing to record a personal best in any of the five opening-day events, Bidleman earned a 3,285-point total, ahead of teammates Corey Fredericks (18th, 3,219) and Doug Blaty (22nd, 3,133). None of the three have ever completed a decathlon in their UW careers, though Blaty competed at Azusa last year.
For complete results from the 2006 California Invitational Multi-Events, visit www.apu.edu/athletics.