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Husky Heptathletes Make History at California Invite
Release: 04/13/2006
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April 13, 2006 -- UPDATED 10:53 p.m. PDT


AZUSA, Calif. - Redshirt freshmen Liz Fuller and Kaisa Keranen made history at the California Invitational this week, each recording scores among the top-10 in UW history in the two-day heptathlon, which concluded Thursday. Three UW decathletes also competed at the meet.

Competing in just the second heptathlon of her collegiate career, Fuller finished with 4,805 points -- nearly eclipsing UW's freshman record of 4,891 set by Angie Tasker in 1987. Still, the mark was a 400-point personal best and was the fifth-best in UW history, bettered in the last decade only by NCAA Championships competitor Grace Vela in 2004.

In ninth place through four events on Wednesday, the Vancouver, Wash., native combined personal-best marks in the long jump (18 feet, 4 ½ inches) and 800-meter run (2:37.52) with a near-personal best in the javelin (109-6) to surge to sixth in the final standings, just over 300 points behind winner Bettie Wade of Michigan (5,147).

Keranen, meanwhile, scored the eighth-highest heptathlon total in UW history in her collegiate debut in the event, her 4,469 points good for 13th in the field of 27 collegiate competitors. Keranen climbed from 21st after one day of competition with solid marks in the long jump (17-3 ¼) and 800 meters (2:36.18) and a fifth-place finish in the javelin (119-0).

With their scores, Fuller and Keranen become just the second and third Husky women to top the 4,000-point mark in the event since 1997, and the first teammates to do so in the same year since Janie Vermeere and school-record holder Sonja Forster accomplished the feat in 1992.

While their female counterparts were making history in the heptathlon, UW seniors Blake Bidleman and Doug Blaty, and sophomore Corey Fredericks were in action in the decathlon, with each vying to represent UW at next month's Pac-10 Championships in Eugene.

Bidleman -- separated from Fredericks by just 66 points after five events Wednesday -- recorded legal personal bests in three of five events Thursday to increase his advantage to more than 250 points by day's end.

The senior from Redmond, Wash., added four feet to his personal best in the javelin (132-11) while also setting bests in the 110-meter hurdles (15.53) and 1,500-meter run (4:40.29) en route to 6,240 points -- the highest total by a UW decathlete since current UW assistant coach Jacob Predmore scored 7,246 points in a seventh-place finish at the 2000 NCAA Championships.

Bidleman's total earned him 16th in the talented field, while Fredericks placed 20th with 5,989 points, and Blaty 22nd at 5,924.

In addition to Thursday's multi-event competition at Azusa Pacific University, three UW pole vaulters were scheduled to compete at the Mt. SAC Relays. All three, however, were scratched from their events.

For complete results from the California Invitational multi-events, visit

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