Feb. 10, 2007
SEATTLE - Washington athletes combined for two school records and seven NCAA qualifying performances at Saturday's Husky Classic at Dempsey Indoor, but Arizona State's Amy Hastings stole the show, crushing the American collegiate indoor record in the women's 5,000 meters.
Hastings' time of 15 minutes, 30.17 seconds was more than four seconds faster than the previous American collegiate indoor record of 15:34.5 which had stood for nearly 26 years since being set by Virginia's Margaret Gross in 1981.
Despite running the third-fastest time in the nation this year, runner-up Lindsey Anderson of Weber State finished nearly a lap behind Hastings, who pulled away from the field early on and ran largely without competition, though cheered at every step by the nearly 2,000 spectators lining the Dempsey infield. In addition to crushing the previous U.S. indoor collegiate record, Hastings' time ranks No. 1 on the 2006 NCAA and U.S. performance lists, and is the fourth-fastest time in the world this year.
For all its significance, Hastings' mark was just one of a stunning 95 NCAA qualifying performances by collegiate athletes at the meet, including 13 automatic qualifiers and 82 provisional marks.
Wisconsin's Chris Solinsky led a qualifying parade in the men's 5,000 meters, his winning time of 13:30.74 the fastest in the world so far this year, and six seconds faster than the previous facility record of 13:36.48 set by former Badgers teammate Matt Tegenkamp at the 2005 Husky Classic. Solinsky will see many of the runners who lined up next to him Saturday alongside him again at the NCAA Championships in March, as six collegiate runners bettered the NCAA's automatic qualifying standard, and another 11 earned provisional berths.
Prior to this weekend, just five collegiate men's runners had run below 14:06 in the 5,000 meters, a total eclipsed by 15 competitors in Saturday's Husky Classic.
"When you look at the start list for the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Championships, it's possible that all but 2-3 guys in the field will be there based on what they did today," said fifth-year head coach Greg Metcalf, "and you can really tell our fans appreciate that. They were going nuts during that first heat of the 5K, and I could barely hear myself shouting during Amy Hastings' last couple of laps around the track. It's fun to be a part of that kind of excitement and energy."
The meet was not without highlights for Washington athletes, either. Senior hurdler Ashley Lodree (Richmond, Calif./El Cerrito) lowered her school records in the 60- and 200-meter dashes to 7.36 and 24.22 seconds, respectively, while earning NCAA provisional qualifying marks in both the 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdes (8.16).
Junior long jumper Norris Frederick (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt) also continued his outstanding season, topping both 25 feet in the long jump and seven feet in the high jump for the second-consecutive meet. Frederick's winning long jump mark of 25-9 ½ is the second-longest in the NCAA this year, behind only his own season-best of 25-10 set two weeks prior.
"I thought it was important for Norris to go out there and back up that big jump he had two weeks ago," Metcalf said. "Now that he's consistent at that level, it's just a matter of time before he gets past that 26-foot mark."
Pole vaulters McKane Lee (Arlington, Wash./Arlington) and Kelley DiVesta (Colorado Springs, Colo./Palmer) each earned provisional qualifying marks with clearances of 17-5 and 13-5 ¾, respectively, while junior All-American Amanda Miller (Wenatchee, Wash./Eastmont) lowered her provisional-qualifier mile best to 4:45.58.
After back-to-back world-class indoor affairs at Dempsey Indoor, the Huskies turn their attention to more regional battles in two weeks' time, with seven of the Pac-10's other eight teams venturing to Seattle for the 2007 MPSF Indoor Conference Championships. Washington's men will be looking to defend their 2006 team title, while Frederick, Lodree, half-miler Ryan Brown and weight thrower Martin Bingisser will each be looking to defend individual conference titles.
For complete results from the 2007 Husky Classic at Dempsey Indoor, or for more information about Washington track and field, visit www.gohuskies.com.
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