Feb. 23, 2007
SEATTLE - Norris Frederick won the long jump and the Huskies' distance medley relay ran the third-fastest time in the NCAA this year, staking the fifth-ranked Husky men's track and field team to the day one lead at the 2007 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Indoor Championships at Dempsey Indoor. The two-day meet, which serves as the indoor conference championships for Pac-10 and selected Big West Conference teams, concludes Saturday.
Frederick's win marked a successful defense of his 2006 indoor conference title, and was one of four first- or second-place finishes by Husky men's athletes in the five events that were completed Friday. That string of high finishes put defending MPSF champion Washington atop the scoreboard at day's end, its 42 points well ahead of eighth-ranked Oregon (30) and sixth-ranked Stanford (23). Washington's women ranked fifth through seven events with 29 points, with No. 1 Arizona State (53) and No. 5 Stanford (43) in a close battle atop the standings.
Washington's men enter Saturday's final day of action bidding for their first successful defense of a conference title since 1922, when the Huskies won the second of back-to-back Coast Conference championships.
One athlete who will certainly make an impact in that effort is Frederick, who won Friday's long jump and will be the favorite in the high jump Saturday. The reigning MPSF and Pac-10 long jump champion, Frederick cleared 25 feet, 2 ½ inches on his third attempt Friday to better ASU's Matt Turner by three inches and clinch his second-straight indoor long jump crown.
"Norris has been a little under the weather this week, but there's no way he was going to let that stop him today," said fifth-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "He always gets fired up when there's points on the line, and I'm sure he'll be going after it with the same intensity tomorrow."
Washington's men also received outstanding performances from senior Martin Bingisser (Bellevue, Wash./Interlake) in the weight throw and junior Jeremy Mineau (Palo Alto, Calif./Menlo-Atherton) in the 5,000 meters, each of whom earned second-place finishes, and from the distance medley relay squad of Austin Abbott, James Frederickson, Ryan Brown and Carl Moe.
The DMR's effort of 9 minutes, 35.89 seconds was the nation's third-fastest this year, trailing only the 9:33.16 clocked by Stanford at January's UW Indoor Invitational, and the 9:34.99 clocked by California in Friday's MPSF final. Both first-place Cal and runner-up Washington's times were below the previous MPSF Championships meet record of 9:38.97, as was Oregon's third-place time of 9:37.95.
"I know that those guys are going to look at this race and focus on the fact that they finished second when they feel they should have been first, but the bottom line is, they went out and ran a terrific race and finished in one of the fastest times in the country," Metcalf said. "It just so happens that Cal ran a little faster today, but that doesn't take away from the fact that our guys ran a great race."
Junior Ashley Lodree (Richmond, Calif./El Cerrito) led the Husky women with a second-place finish in the 200 meters (24.32) and was the second-fastest preliminary qualifier in the 60-meter dash (7.44). Lodree will compete Saturday in both the dash final and the finals of the 60-meter hurdles, in which she is the defending champion.
Sophomore Anita Campbell (Vancouver, B.C./Aldergrove) continued the second-place theme with a runner-up finish in the 5,000 meters, her time of 16:28.19 the third-fastest ever by a Husky female and below the NCAA's provisional-qualifying standard. In fact, much like the men's DMR, it took a meet record to best Campbell at 5,000 meters, with Stanford's Arianna Lambie clocking a 15:50.65 for the win.
Washington also earned points from senior Sayaka Yoshinaga in the women's 5,000 meters (5th, 17:24.30), sophomore Randy Bacon in the men's 200 meters (8th, 21.96) the women's DMR (2nd, 11:25.67) and from the women's distance medley relay team of Dani Schuster, Kinyatta Leonhardt, Kira Harrison and Amanda Miller (2nd, 11:25.67).
In all, three meet records fell on the first day of action at the MPSF meet, while athletes combined for 35 provisional and four automatic NCAA Championships qualifying marks.
For complete meet information, including results, start lists for Saturday's events, and a complete meet schedule, visit www.GoHuskies.com.