June 23, 2007
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Washington assistant coach Kelly Strong earned an eighth-place finish in the steeplechase Saturday at the 2007 AT&T USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Strong's finish is the fifth top-10 effort by a UW athlete or coach at the four-day meet, which concludes Sunday at IUPUI's Michael A. Carroll Stadium.
Strong, who recently concluded her fifth year as an assistant distance coach at Washington, finished the 3,000-meter event - including 21 hurdles and seven water jumps -- in 9 minutes, 53.99 seconds, six seconds off her personal-best time of 9:47.65 set earlier this year. Colorado's Jennifer Barringer earned the 2007 U.S. title in a meet-record 9:34.64, just .08 seconds ahead of Nike's Anna Willard, who also shattered the previous USA Championships record of 9:39.65.
Strong's eighth-place finish was her fifth-career top-10 USA Championships finish in the event, including a best of third in 2001 following her senior season at Arizona State University. The five-time All-American ranks seventh in U.S. history in the event, and will be competing next June for one of three spots on the U.S. Olympic Team in the steeplechase, which will be contested as a medal event for the first time in Beijing.
Also representing Washington at the national meet Saturday was recently-graduated hurdler Ashley Lodree, who placed seventh in her semifinal heat of the 100-meter hurdles to fall just shy of a spot in Sunday's final. Lodree's time of 13.51 seconds - run into a significant headwind - earned her a 13th-place overall finish in the event, her second-career top-15 national finish.
Lodree completed her UW career earlier this month with a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles, and a 16th-place finish in the long jump at the 2007 NCAA Championships in Sacramento. The Richmond, Calif., native leaves Washington with more All-America honors (six) and more school records (four) than any other woman in UW history, and ranks ninth in Pac-10 history in the hurdles.
Already this week, four Huskies have earned top-10 finishes at the AT&T USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships while an additional Husky, freshman Scott Roth, placed second in the pole vault at the FinishLine USA Junior Track and Field Championships, held concurrently with the senior-level event in Indianapolis. Former Husky and current UW volunteer assistant coach Brad Walker won his fourth U.S. pole vault title on Friday, and former UW All-American Justin St. Clair placed third in the javelin Thursday; both will represent Team USA at this fall's IAAF World Athletics Finals in Osaka, Japan, while Roth will compete with the U.S. Junior National Team at July's Pan-American Junior Athletics Championships in Brazil.
Three more Huskies will be in action on Sunday's final day of competition at the AT&T USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, including 2005 NCAA pole vault champion Kate Soma, former Husky discus star Will Conwell, and UW assistant coach Reedus Thurmond. For start lists and complete results from this year's AT&T USA Track and Field Championships, visit www.GoHuskies.com.
2007 AT&T USA Track and Field Championships June 21-24, Michael A. Carroll Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.