June 14, 2008
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Washington men's track and field team placed 16th in the final standings as the 2008 NCAA Championships concluded at Drake Stadium. Jordan Boase and Austin Abbott earned All-American honors for the men, while Amanda Miller earned All-America status for the women.
Washington finished with 19.33 points, its most at NCAA's since 1983, and coupled with last year's 15th-place finish, the Huskies have now had back-to-back Top-20 finishes for the first time since 1978-79. Florida State won its third-consecutive team title with 52 points. The Husky women did not score for the first time since 2002, but Miller made sure the women earned at least one All-American award for the sixth year in a row. LSU was the women's team champ with 67 points.
"It was another great year for our men's program," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "We saw some seniors go out with a bang who have done amazing things for this program. Norris Frederick, Carl Moe, and James Fredrickson all have had wonderful careers and leave with 14 All-America awards between them. There were just a few too many injuries and a little too much youth in certain areas this season, and next year we plan on putting all the pieces together."
Boase, a junior from Bothell, Wash., was running sixth with 150 meters to go before he unleashed his finishing kick, pulling closer with each second until he crossed alongside Baylor's LeJerald Betters just behind the top two. Both Boase and Betters ran 44.83, but taken out to thousandths of a second, Betters finished in 44.825 and Boase was fourth in 44.828. Oral Roberts senior Andretti Bain ran 44.62 for the win.
"I didn't get out as fast as I wanted, but all in all it was a good race," said Boase. "Running 44.83 in windy conditions is nothing to complain about. It's just a fast year in the 400, that's not usually a fourth-place time. I think I left a little too much in the tank, but I'm happy."
The run completed a remarkable season for Boase, who had walked away from the sport last year, but came back to emerge as one of the nation's top sprinters. In April, Boase went under the automatic Olympic Trials qualifying standard in the 400 with a 44.82, and he will be running at the Trials in Eugene in just two weeks time.
"If you had told me a year ago I'd be fourth at the NCAA's and running 44.83 I never would have believed it," said Boase.
Shortly after, the men's 800m final shot off with Abbott running in the outside lane. Just as in the prelim and semifinal, Abbott found himself trailing the pack over the first 600 meters. He made a move over the final 200 meters but did not have quite enough to pick off as many runners as he had in the early rounds, and settled for seventh in a time of 1:48.46.
"I couldn't bring it like I did the other two days," said Abbott. "I ran well the first two days. Just getting to the finals is an accomplishment. I would have liked to get by a few more guys though. I knew it was going to go out quick, I just tried to lay back and wait for the homestretch, it just wasn't there like it had been."
The seventh-place finish also emphasizes Abbott's skills as a racer, as he was seeded just 20th coming into the meet. Abbott picked up a valuable two points for UW and registered his fifth career All-American award, tying him for fifth-most in Husky history. While the Chehalis, Wash. native is listed as a senior, he is expected to return next year, regaining a year of eligibility that he lost to injury in 2007.
Finally, senior Amanda Miller from Wenatchee, Wash. closed out her outstanding career with an 11th-place finish in the 1500m run. As the seventh-placing American, Miller qualifies for her fourth career All-American honor. The quick pace left Miller in the second pack, but she closed well and finished in 4:20.71.
"it was definitely the fastest race I've ever been in," said Miller. "The leaders went through the first 800 in 2:11. I knew it was going to be a tough race and I was just trying to hold on. I tried to pick off as many people as I could the last 400 meters. But it was a good fast race."
"About a month ago at the WSU dual, I started feeling some pain in my hip. I had a bone scan and an MRI and that showed that I had a bulging disc in my back. But it was doable to run, so I just cross-trained as much as I could and did light workouts. It's been rough but my legs are still holding me. If you've got the right mental attitude you can pretty much push through anything. But it starts to catch up after awhile, but I think it was a decent season considering."
Miller also placed fifth in the mile at NCAA Indoors this season, and now is just the second women's runner in Washington history to earn All-American honors indoors and outdoors in the same season. Her four All-America awards ties for third-most in UW history with Aretha Hill (1995-98) and Meg Jones (1985-88).
NOTES: The Washington men's six All-American honors at the 2008 Outdoor meet is the seventh most ever for one national meet ... After a disappointing ninth-place finish at Pac-10's, the Husky men rebounded with a fourth-place Regional finish and now 16th-place NCAA finish. At NCAA's, the Huskies ranked fourth among Pac-10 schools, finishing ahead of Washington State (23rd), Arizona (23rd), UCLA (34th), Stanford (56th), and California (71st) ... Since 2005, Washington track and field has sent 85 athletes to NCAA meets, bringing home 65 All-American honors, easily the best four-year stretch in school history.
2008 NCAA Track and Field Championships
Drake Stadium - Des Moines, Iowa
Day 4 of 4
June 14, 2008
Men's Team Results: 1) Florida State, 52; 2) LSU, 44; 2) Auburn, 44; 4) Texas, 35; 5) Texas A&M, 32; 6) Arizona State, 28; 7) Baylor, 27; 7) Southern California, 27; 9) Kentucky, 25; 10) Colorado, 24; 11) Northern Iowa, 22; 11) Oregon, 22; 13) Texas-El Paso, 21; 13) Tennessee, 21; 15) Florida, 20; 16) Washington, 19.33; 17) Arkansas, 18; 18) Idaho, 15; 18) South Carolina, 15; 20) Virginia Tech, 13.33.
Women's Results (UW Only)
1500m Run (Final): 11. Amanda Miller, 4:20.71.