Oregon captured its first Pac-10 men's crown since 1990, scoring 152 points to best defending champion UCLA (134.5). On the women's side, Stanford earned its first-ever Pac-10 women's title with 173 points, ending an eight-year run of championships by second-place UCLA (125).
Husky athletes combined for two school records and one national record on the meet's final day, while extending a streak of six-straight years with at least one Pac-10 champion.
The conference's eighth-seeded runner entering the event, Brown remained in the middle of the pack through 600 meters, before angling outside and making his move to the front. The Renton High School graduate surged past USC's Raphael Asafo-Agyei and UCLA's Jon Rankin with less than 20 meters remaining, ultimately edging Rankin by just eight hundredths of a second.
Brown's win was the first by any Husky in the 800 meters at the Pac-10 meet since Mitch Leffler's conference title in 1992, while his time was the sixth-fastest in the nation this year and the second-fastest ever by a UW runner, bested only by Rob Webster's school-record 1:47.21 in 1982. Just a sophomore, Brown is the youngest Husky to win a Pac-10 title since Ja'Warren Hooker in 1998.
"What an incredible race," said third-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "Ryan ran smart, staying out of trouble and picking his time to go to the front. I don't know if those guys knew Ryan had this kind of a race in him, but they sure do now. He couldn't have picked a better time to put his best on display."
Brown also had a hand in breaking a 30-year-old UW record in the 4x400-meter relay, combining with teammates Sean Williams, Shane Charles and Bruce Jackson to place third in 3:03.85, three-tenths of a second below the hand-timed record of 3:04.0 set by UW's 1975 NCAA mile relay champions. The relay was just one second off the 3:02.85 pace of winner Arizona State, with Oregon taking second in 3:03.27.
For Grenada native Charles, the relay effort was the second of two records set on the day, including a national-record performance in the finals of the 400-meter hurdles. The nation's eighth-ranked collegiate hurdler blazed to a time of 50.46 seconds Sunday, breaking his own senior national record of 50.76 set earlier this year. Charles' time, the second-fastest ever by a UW runner, earned third in the Pac-10 final Sunday, with UCLA sophomore Brandon Johnson leading teammate Jonathan Williams across the line in 49.39 seconds.
Freshman Austin Abbott earned the second-highest finish for any Husky at the meet with a second-place effort in the 1,500 meters, while fellow frosh Norris Frederick notched his second top-five Pac-10 finish in as many days with a tie for third in the high jump. Freshman Jordan Boase also worked into the mix, anchoring a 4x100-meter relay squad including seniors Davaon Spence, Patrick Davidson and Sean Williams to a fifth-place time of 40.00 seconds, the fastest UW relay since 1990 and the school's sixth-fastest all-time.
Other scorers for the UW men included junior Will Conwell, fifth in the discus; junior Bruce Jackson, sixth in the 400 meters; senior Andy Fader, seventh in the 1,500 meters; and junior Warren Eickhoff, seventh in the high jump.
Sophomore Ashley Lodree led the UW women's effort with a school-record performance in the 100-meter hurdles, her third-place time of 13.23 seconds nearly two-tenths below her own UW record of 13.41 set last year. The Richmond, Calif., native also ran on a pair of scoring relays for the Huskies, leading the 4x100-meter relay squad of Brynne Steward, Lauran Dignam and Jennifer Nash to sixth in 46.04 seconds -- equaling the team's seventh-best mark ever in the event -- and anchoring a 4x400-meter squad of Steward, Dignam and freshman Amanda Miller to eighth.
Senior Lindsey Egerdahl earned her fourth-straight top-10 Pac-10 1,500-meter finish with a third-place time of 4:19.32, while sophomore Amy Lia claimed sixth in 4:22.56, the eighth-fastest time ever in the event by a UW woman. Lia's race was just the seventh for the sophomore since suffering an injury in March of 2004, with her time a four-second personal best.
As expected, the Husky women's most prolific event was the women's pole vault, with three Huskies placing among the top-six finishers. Junior Carly Dockendorf, competing for just the third time outdoors in 2005, placed fourth at 13 feet, 3 ½ inches, while freshman Kelley DiVesta was fifth and junior Ashley Wildhaber sixth, both clearing 12-11 ½. Sophomore Stevie Marshalek was ninth at the same height, while senior Kate Soma, the Pac-10's defending champion in the event, failed to clear her opening height.
Senior Sidney Brown also scored for UW on Sunday, earning her seventh-career top-10 Pac-10 finish with an eighth-place effort in the triple jump. The Brush Prairie, Wash., native placed seventh in Saturday's high jump, and has scored for UW at the Pac-10 meet in both events in each of the past two seasons.
Washington's teams will have a much-deserved week off May 21-22 before heading to Eugene, Ore., the following weekend for the 2005 NCAA West Regional Championships. The top-five finishers in each event at the regional, and the top-three finishing relay teams, will earn automatic berths to next month's NCAA Championships in Sacramento, Calif.
For complete results from the 2005 Pac-10 Conference Championships, visit www.uclabruins.com.