May 30, 2008
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Senior Norris Frederick powered his way into the NCAA Championships today and several other Huskies made it through to the finals on day one of the NCAA West Regional track meet, hosted by Cal State Northridge. The two-day event at the Matador Track Complex concludes Saturday.
The top-five finishers in each event, and top three relays earn automatic entry into the NCAA Track and Field Championships, held June 11-14 in Des Moines, Iowa. An additional six-eight competitors will be added to each event based on season-best marks, once the regionals are concluded.
Frederick, the Roosevelt High grad, will be on his way to Des Moines, as he took second in the long jump with a mark of 25-2 ½. The seven-time All-American has now qualified for NCAA Outdoors all four years of his career. Frederick also finished sixth in the high jump, but almost assuredly will receive an at-large bid due to his No. 5 national ranking, and the fact that he finished top-12 in the region. Frederick cleared 6-11, tying for fourth-best, but was sixth due to missed attempts.
"Norris kind of struggled in the high jump but he knew he only had to be in the top-12 to make nationals and that's what he did," said Husky head coach Greg Metcalf. "Then for him to come back and jump 25-2 ½ in the long jump is very good."
Junior Falesha Ankton set a personal best in the 100m hurdles, winning the second heat in 13.46. That time is the second-fastest in Husky history, trailing only Ashley Lodree who ran a best of 12.99 last year. Ankton then backed that up with a 59.85 400m hurdle time, the fifth-best of the day and a finals qualifier.
"Falesha was quite a highlight today. She got over every one of her hurdles today and ran the second-fastest time in school history in the 100. That's outstanding, so she's got a great shot to make the NCAA meet. Then to come back and make the final in the 400m hurdles when before this year she'd never made a Pac-10 final shows great progress."
Washington's Pac-10 Champion 4x100-meter relay group rolled into the final with a time of 40.24 to place second in the second heat. Junior Randy Bacon subbed in for Jordan Boase in the lead-off leg, followed by the usual lineup of senior James Fredrickson, junior Joseph Turner, and freshman Ryan Hamilton. Turner and Hamilton passed flawlessly to make up a lot of ground on the field.
Also advancing to Saturday finals were senior Austin Abbott, who took the lead late in a competitive first 800m heat to win in 1:49.03, which proved to be the best time of the preliminary round. Boase also turned in the day's fastest 400-meter prelim time, winning the third heat in 46.24. Sophomore Jeff Gudaitis finished third in the same heat, and claimed the last spot in the finals with a time of 47.39. In the 400m hurdles, Fredrickson also nabbed the final Sunday spot, finishing with the eighth-best prelim time of 51.86.
"Jordan looked phenomenal today," said Metcalf. "That looked easy. And Jeff was a nice surprise to make the final as well. He just kept running the last 50 meters and it paid off."
In early throws competition, a pair of freshmen got their first sampling of Regional competition, but neither were able to move on against the deep fields. Kyle Nielsen finished 16th in the men's javelin, with a best throw of 199-5 on his final throw. Elisa Bryant started the day's action with a 21st-place finish in the women's hammer, throwing 166-3.
"For those two it's just a great experience," said Metcalf. "They need to learn from it and come back better and stronger next year."
Washington's three representatives in the women's pole vault had a disappointing day, although senior Stevie Marshalek improved upon her season-best. Marshalek finished 13th with a mark of 12-11 ¾. Sophomore Sarah Pappas cleared 12-0, but senior All-American Kelley DiVesta missed out on a national bid, failing to clear the bar on her three attempts at 12-11 ¾.
"The last time we came (to Northridge) we had four vaulters make the national meet. Then today for Kelley DiVesta's career to end is a bummer for her," said Metcalf. "She's done a great job. The indoor season was easily her highlight, but she just hasn't been healthy and that's tough."
The day ended with a gritty performance from one of the team's valued senior leaders, Trisha Rasmussen. The Phoenix, Ariz. native placed 8th in the women's 5000-meters, running a personal-best 16:47.04 in her final race as a Husky.
"Trisha had never been to a Regional meet before, and for her to end her career by scoring for us at Pac-10's and finishing Top-10 at Regionals is a great accomplishment," said Metcalf.
Competing for the first time on Saturday will be UW's three All-American mid-distance women, Katie Follett, Amanda Miller, and Michelle Turner. All three are entered in the 1500-meters. Sophomore Zack Midles is seeded seventh in the hammer throw, and senior Carl Moe will be one of the top contenders in the steeplechase. Mo Huber will also take part in the women's steeple.
2008 NCAA West Regional
Matador Track Complex - Northridge, Calif.
May 30, 2008
Men's Results (UW Only)
200m Dash (Heat 2 of 3): 1. Joseph Turner, 21.19Q. 400m Dash (Heat 3 of 3): 1. Jordan Boase, 46.24Q; 3. Jeff Gudaitis, 47.39q. 800m Run (Heat 1 of 3): 1. Austin Abbott, 1:49.03Q. 400m Hurdles (Heat 2 of 3): 2. James Fredrickson, 51.86q. 4x100m Relay (Heat 2 of 2): 2. Washington (Randy Bacon, James Fredrickson, Joseph Turner, Ryan Hamilton), 40.24. High Jump (Final): 6. Norris Frederick, 6-11. Long Jump (Final): 2. Norris Frederick, 25-2 ½. Javelin (Final): 16. Kyle Nielsen, 199-5.
Women's Results (UW Only)
5000m Run (Final): 8. Trisha Rasmussen, 16:47.04; 18. Lauren Saylor, 17:16.58. 100m Hurdles (Heat 2 of 3): 1. Falesha Ankton, 13.46Q. 400m Hurdles (Final): 5. Falesha Ankton, 59.52. Pole Vault (Final): 13. Stevie Marshalek, 12-11 ¾; 27 (tie). Sarah Pappas, 12-0. - Kelley DiVesta, NH. Hammer Throw (Final): 21. Elisa Bryant, 166-3.