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Husky Tracksters Hooker, Walker Earn All-America Status at NCAAs
Release: 03/09/2001
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March 9, 2001

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.-- Day one of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Randall Tyson Track Center brought a mixed bag of results for the three Washington Huskies in attendance Friday evening.

Senior sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker (Ellensburg, Wash.) sped to the title of runner-up in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA meet, en route to earning All-America honors as one of the top eight American athletes in the event, with a time of 20.56 in the event finals Friday night. Texas Christian's Kim Collins edged Hooker by one hundredth of a second in the finals.

It was a busy night for Hooker, who also qualified for the NCAAs in the 60-meter dash, -- running in three races including the preliminary heats of both the 60-meter dash and the 200 meters as well as the 200-meter finals. Hooker, the UW record holder in the 100, 200 and 400 meters, won his preliminary heat of the 200 in a time of 20.67 to advance to the event finals. His preliminary time ranked him second to Collins, who boasted a mark of 20.58 entering the finals.

Hooker shaved nearly two-tenths of a second off his previous season-best, an altitude adjusted 20.75 recorded at the Mountain Pacific Indoor Championships February 24, with his performance in the finals.

Between 200-meter races, Hooker, the 1998 NCAA champion in the 55-meters, qualified for the finals of the 60-meter dash by winning his heat of the event clocking a 6.60, his second-best indoor time of 2001. His season-best time, an altitude adjusted 6.55, came at the Mountain Pacific Championships Feb. 24 in Flagstaff, Ariz. Hooker's preliminary time ranks third at the NCAAs entering Saturday's finals. Tennessee junior Leonard Scott has the best 60-meter time thus far at the NCAAs, tallying a 6.56 in Friday's preliminary heats.

Sophomore Brad Walker (Spokane, Wash.) added the title of All-American to the accolades of his young career, placing seventh in the pole vault at the NCAA Indoor Championships while clearing his season-best height of 17-11 3/4 (5.48m). The mark is more than two inches better than the sophomore's previous best of 17-9 (5.41m) at the Mountain Pacific Championships in February. Walker, who attended Spokane's University High School, cleared the same height as four other men in the event, but placed seventh based on misses. Northern Iowa senior Jacob Pauli won the pole vault title clearing a mark of 18-7 1/2 (5.68m). Walker entered the NCAA Championships ranked fourth on the best performance list.

Walker, the Mountain Pacific champion in the pole vault, follows in the footsteps of former Husky All-American pole vaulter Matt Phillips, who placed eighth at the 2000 NCAA Outdoor meet.

Senior David Bazzi (Seattle, Wash.) finished 13th in the 5,000-meter run at the NCAAs, recording a time of 14:18.36 in the event Friday evening. Bazzi, a graduate of Seattle's O'Dea High School, reached the NCAAs with a provisional qualifying time of 13:58.53 at the Iowa State Last Chance Qualifier March 2 in Ames, Iowa. The race at the Iowa State meet was his first 5,000 meter of the indoor season. Bazzi, the Washington school record holder in the 10,000 meters, was no stranger to NCAA competition, however, placing 12th in the 5K race at the 2000 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Durham, N.C., last spring.

Alabama sophomore David Kimani captured the NCAA title in the 5,000 with a time of 13:42.32.

Full results of the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships are available on the Internet at:

http://cavern.uark.edu/depts/wathinfo/championship/tysoncenter-index.html.

Day two of the NCAAs will begin at noon (PST) Saturday with the women's weight throw finals. Hooker will run in the 60-meter dash finals scheduled to begin at 5:15 PST.

Washington Track & Field
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