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Stellar 4x1 Gets UW Rolling at NCAA Championships
Release: 06/08/2005
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June 8, 2005 -- UPDATED 10:18 P.M. PDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Led by three seniors competing together for the final time, Washington's 4x100-meter relay squad ran 11th Wednesday at the 2005 NCAA Track and Field Championships, leading seven Huskies in action on the first day of the 2005 NCAA Track and Field Championships at Sacramento State.

A record 16 Huskies are in competition at this year's NCAA Championships, which continue through Sunday at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex.

The Huskies' foursome - including freshman Jordan Boase and seniors Patrick Davidson, Sean Williams and Davaon Spence - overcame a steady rain to place fourth in their heat and 11th overall, their time of 39.43 seconds the second-fastest in UW history, and the fastest by any Husky relay since 1983.

The foursome, who came just .13 seconds shy of qualifying for Friday's final, recorded a season-best mark for the fourth-consecutive race, including a fifth-place finish at the Pac-10 meet, and a third-place finish at the NCAA West Regional. They are the first UW 4x100-meter team to qualify for the NCAA meet in 22 years, and are one of two relays competing this weekend for Washington, a first in the program's 104 years.

"Every time I think those guys have run their best, they outdo themselves," said third-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "That race today was certainly the best I've seen them - Jordan and Pat made up that stagger in a hurry, then Sean ran a tremendous leg to get the stick to Davaon. It's too bad that we have to say goodbye to three of those guys this year, but they've gone out on an historic note."

Sophomores Ashley Lodree and Ryan Brown, meanwhile, advanced to further action in the 100-meter hurdles and 800 meters, respectively, while junior J.R. Wolfork took 21st in the long jump.

Lodree had to compete twice on Wednesday to advance to finals of the 100-meter hurdles, taking second in her preliminary heat and third in her semifinal. The sophomore's semifinal time of 13.17 seconds -- the 16th-fastest by an American woman this year -- broke her own UW school record of 13.23, and qualifies the Richmond, Calif., native for the USA Track and Field Championships later this month.

Lodree's last six races -- including two each at the Pac-10, NCAA West Regional and NCAA Championship meets -- have been the six fastest in Washington history, all below the school record of 13.41 she set last year.

As one of only eight Americans in Friday's final, Lodree is guaranteed to become Washington's first-ever 100-meter hurdles All-American, adding the award to the indoor All-America honor she earned in the 60-meter hurdles in March.

"Ashley has been training all season to be in peak form at this time of year, and it shows," Metcalf said. "She's as fast right now as I've ever seen her."

Brown, meanwhile, earned one of three automatic-qualifying spots in Thursday's 800-meter semi-final with a second-place finish in the last of three preliminary heats, his time of 1:48.43 the sixth-fastest overall.

After hanging back early, the Renton, Wash., native moved on the leaders with 100 meters to go, much as he did in winning Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional titles last month. The sophomore surged past Penn's Courtney Jaworski - the 2000 Washington state 4A 800-meter champion - with 10 meters to go, before coming up just shy of heat winner Dmitris Milkevics of Nebraska, who finished in 1:48.21. Sixteen runners will compete in the semi-final Thursday, with eight advancing from those heats to Saturday's final.

Rounding out competition on the meet's opening day was Wolfork, whose 21st-place finish in the long jump was a five-spot improvement over his No. 26 seeding. The Issaquah, Wash., native - injured for much of the 2004 season - had a banner year in 2005, recording marks among UW's all-time top-10 indoors and out, and earning top-eight finishes at the Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional meets.

Eleven Huskies will be in action Thursday, with qualifying rounds of the men's high jump and women's pole vault, preliminary heats in the men's 4x400 meters and the women's 1,500 meters, and semi-final action in the men's 800.

For complete results of the 2005 NCAA Track and Field Championships, visit www.ncaasports.com.

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