March 29, 2003
PALO ALOT, Calif. - University of Washington athletes posted seven more NCAA Regional qualifying marks Saturday at the Stanford Invitational, bringing to a startling 21 the total number of NCAA-qualifying performances by Husky athletes at the two-day meet, which began Friday.
In his first competition since winning the 2003 NCAA indoor pole vault title two weeks ago, senior Brad Walker cleared 18-feet, 6 ˝ inches Saturday, bettering by ˝ inch his own outdoor school record set at last year's U.S. Senior National Championships. With the mark, Walker soared into the national lead outdoors in 2003, and qualified himself for the first-ever NCAA West Regional Championships, to be held this May, also at Stanford.
Perhaps in an act of retribution, however, Walker was beaten out in the event by Cardinal alum Toby Stevenson, whose Pac-10 pole vault record Walker broke at this year's NCAA Indoor Championships, when the senior cleared 19'-0 Ľ", the third-best indoor mark in the world in 2003.
Also placing second, and nearly eclipsing another school record, was junior triple jumper Brittiny Roberts. Roberts, who earlier this season set the school's indoor triple-jump record, leapt 41'4 ˝" to qualify for the Regional meet and close to within three inches of Tara Davis' school record of 41-7 ľ, set in 1995.
Roberts didn't finish there, though, becoming Washington's first athlete ever to qualify for the Regional meet in two events with a clearance of 5'-7" in the high jump that met the NCAA standard. Joining Roberts at 5'7" was sophomore Sidney Brown, who earned her first-ever Regional berth.
Wrapping up Washington's outstanding day in the field events was sophomore pole vaulter Kate Soma, who cleared 12'-6" to tie for third in her 2003 outdoor debut. Soma, the Huskies' pole vault school-record holder both indoors and out, became the fourth UW pole vaulter to post a Regional-qualifying mark at the meet, joining Walker and fellow vaulters Fumi Nagahisa and Sam Roberts, who qualified Friday.
While their teammates in the field events made Husky fans proud, milers Courtney Inman and Lindsey Egerdahl made sure that Washington was well-represented on the track as well. Inman clocked a blistering time of 4 minutes, 19.39 seconds, bettered by only three other women in UW history, to earn an NCAA Regional berth, while sophomore Egerdahl came across the line in a Regional-qualifying time of 4:36.68.
In all, Husky athletes totaled 21 NCAA Regional and 19 Pac-10 qualifying marks at the meet, the team's first Division-I competition of the 2003 outdoor season. Washington will take to the road again next week, traveling to Austin, Texas for the Texas Relays, Thursday through Saturday.
For complete results of the Stanford Invitational, visit www.gostanford.com.