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2007 NCAA Track and Field Championships Live Blog, Day Three
Release: 06/09/2007
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June 8, 2007

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Complete recaps of all events including Washington track and field athletes will be posted here upon the event's conclusion. This page will NOT automatically refresh. See below for a complete schedule of today's events featuring UW athletes. The most recent blog post appears at the bottom of the page.

Live Results

Today's Schedule - Friday, June 8
1:15 p.m. -- Men's Hammer Throw, Final (Martin Bingisser)
5:45 p.m. -- Women's 100m Hurdles, Final (Ashley Lodree)
5:55 p.m. -- Men's 400m Dash, Semi (Alex Harcourt)
6:15 p.m. -- Men's Pole Vault, Final (Scott Roth)
6:40 p.m. -- Men's 400m Hurdles, Semi (James Fredrickson)

Day 3 Preview (12:15 p.m. PDT): Friday will be a busy day for Washington's track and field teams, with Ashley Lodree, Martin Bingisser and Scott Roth each competing in NCAA finals, and Alex Harcourt and James Fredrickson attempting to qualify out of semi-final heats in their events. Friday's action is also notable in that it is the first day of the meet that will be broadcast on live television, with cable network CSTV providing a three-hour live broadcast from 5:30-8:30 p.m. -- a window which includes all of the above competition except for Bingisser, who competes in the hammer throw at 1:15.

Many of you might not subscribe to CSTV, or have it as part of your basic cable package -- I know I don't. However, it's a little-known fact about cable networks like CSTV (and even HBO and Showtime, for that matter) that most cable companies will allow you to "rent" these channels for one day at a time, for a prorated amount of the monthly subscription fee. So, say it costs an extra $9.99/month to subscribe to CSTV ... you can call your cable company and activate a subscription today, watch tonight's events, then cancel your subscription tomorrow, and you will only be charged for one day -- essentially, 1/30th of the monthly subscription fee, or about 33 cents on a $9.99 subscription. So, even if you don't have CSTV, you might want to take advantage of this loophole if you want to watch tonight's events -- it's a ridiculously small price to watch the races. I know several people who use this loophole to watch various sporting events on CSTV, or even the Sopranos on HBO, subscribing to HBO each Sunday morning and canceling their subscription on Monday, essentially paying about $1.25/month to watch the Sopranos on HBO, instead of having to pay the full subscription cost. There is no limit to the amount of times you can do this. Not sure if it's the same for satellite or non-digital cable subscribers, but I know for sure that subscribers of Comcast's digital cable service can use this loophole.

Anyway, back to the action ... certainly, the highlight of tonight's activity will be the 100-meter hurdles final, which will mark the last race of senior Ashley Lodree's collegiate career. It's been rumored that Ashley has a gold uniform she has been saving all year for this race ... fitting attire for an athlete who has trained all year with the goal of going out on top. All nine finals competitors ran times between 13.06 and 13.10 in the semifinal (including Ashley's 13.08), so it's anybody's race. Ashley is already guaranteed a record-breaking sixth All-America honor, breaking a tie with pole vaulter Kate Soma, who achieved five such honors from 2002-05. The only thing Kate has that Ashley doesn't? An NCAA title, which she won in this same stadium two years ago -- also in her final collegiate performance. It would certainly seem historically appropriate for Ashley to cap her career in similar fashion.

Also competing in finals Friday are senior Martin Bingisser in the hammer and freshman Scott Roth in the pole vault. Many have asked me over the past two weeks if there is an Amy Lia in this year's group of nationals qualifiers -- that is to say, an athlete who enters the meet seeded 10th or lower who could possibly shock the field with an NCAA Championship win. I don't know if there is -- and the very thing that makes such peformances special is their unpredictability -- but if I had to pick one, I'd pick Martin. He is extremely technically proficient in the hammer, and has been throwing as well recently as he ever has. He looked great in the qualifying round, and appears calm and confident going into the finals -- like a guy with nothing to lose, and everything to gain. It will probably take a throw around 230-235 feet to win, and Martin has never thrown beyond 217-11, but his sound mechanics and technical know-how provide an outstanding foundation for a big throw. He's going to be letting it all loose in his final collegiate performance, and if the magic is working in his favor today -- anyone remember Juan Romero's 13-foot PR in a javelin win at Pac-10s last year? -- anything could happen.

Roth, meanwhile, will be competing in just his second NCAA final, as he closes the opening chapter in what appears to be a outstanding career in the making. Of the five freshmen who started the competition, Roth was the only one to survive Wednesday's qualifying round, as wind and nerves knocked each of the other four out of the meet. In fact, the qualifying round proved difficult for a number of vaulters, with just 16 clearing the second height of 16-10 3/4 -- a height all but two of the 26 vaulters in the field had already cleared at some point this season. Thus are the perils of the pole vault, which I always call the sport's most unpredictable event. So much can go wrong in a pole vault, between a mis-stepped approach, a pole that is too short or too long, a bar that is moved too close or too far, a crosswind, etc., that it's probably the only event in track and field where the national favorite can come out and finish dead last by failing to record a legal mark. Sometimes the nation's best sprinter might not win, but he never finishes last. Track fans only have to think back to the 2005 NCAA West Regional meet in Eugene, however, when wind wreaked havoc with the competition and three of the top-five vaulters in the nation failed to clear a height, to recognize the perilous unpredictability of this event. The man to beat is certainly Oregon's Tommy Skipper, the defending national champion in the event and one of the best male vaulters in collegiate history. Skipper will without question be the last vaulter to enter the competition, after several have already been knocked out at lower heights, and first-attempt clearances will be crucial to keeping pace with the Ducks' senior for anyone hoping to knock off the defending champ.

Semi-final rounds of the 400-meter dash and 400-meter hurdles will also be contested throughout the day. Checking out the schedule, there is likely to be a bit of a delay in updates to he blog from about 5:45-6:30, with finals of the 100-meter hurdles, the 400-meter semi and the start of the pole vault. I'll be out trying to get photos of all three, and also trying to get some quotes from Ashley after her race, in addition to updating the blog. Be sure to check out the live results link at the top of the page if you haven't seen an update here in a while, and you're wondering how a race turned out. And as always, feel free to direct any questions to, and I'll do my best to answer them as I can.

Hammer throw warmups are currently underway. I'll be taking the computer over the hammer area with me, since nothing else is going on at the moment, and will be able to provide round-by-round updates throughout the competition.

Go Dawgs!

1:23 p.m. -- Was a few minutes late getting out to the hammer field (which is outside the stadium proper) while trying to update some links. Assistant coaches Reedus Thurmund and Pat Licari, volunteer assistant Kate Carlson and UW Associate Athletic Director John Morris are all out watching the competition, though, and said that Martin's first throw was a lifetime- best -- 66.86 meters. I foolishly left my mettic conversion book back in the press tent in the stadium, but I'm told by head coach Greg Metcalf that that's a little under 220 feet. A personal-best for Martin and the fourth-best throw in the competition's first round. Nick Owens is leading the competition at 228 feet. Great start for Martin.

1:27 p.m. -- Also, not really related to track, but just some stage-setting ... the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds -- the Air Force's equivalent to the Navy's Blue Angels -- are in town for an airshow tomorrow morning, and are currently making their practice runs over the city. Those of you who live or work around Lake Washington will know what I'm talking about when I describe the deafening roar of these planes as they buzz the stadium -- kind of an odd accompaniment to the action on the track (and in the field).

1:31 p.m. -- Still in fourth entering his second throw, which Martin launches 215 feet. Not an improvement, but right up around his best. He's looking good today.

1:32 p.m. -- Owens ups the ante to 233-1. He's looking tough to beat today.

1:34 p.m. -- 233-10 the new leader, moving Martin down to fifth. Near the end of the scond round now.

1:40 p.m. -- Martin enters the third round having been bumped down to sixth. He's pretty much guaranteed three more throws, but it would be nice to see him keep climbing up the rankings. There's a big crowd here cheering for both Martin and USC's Adam Midles, who are very good friends -- and obviously, Adam is Husky freshman Zack Midles' older brother. Martin and Adam seem to be the ones with the largest cheering sections, so hopefully that will help.

1:44 p.m. -- Martin's third throw earned a buzz from the crowd, but a foot foul cancels it out. Clearly, though, he's capable of getting it out there, so hopefully he can do it again in the final three throws.

1:48 p.m. -- Prelm round is over, with Martin in sixth at 219. 233-10 is the mark to beat, with three more throws upcoming in the finals.

1:58 p.m. -- An improvement to 220-8 for Martin on his fourth thtow, but it doesn't move him up in the standings. Still sixth through four rounds.

2:05 p.m. -- 222-2 for Martin on his fifth throw. Still not enough to get him up to fifth, which is currenly Midles at 225-0. Fourth is also just over 225, so he's only three feet shy of that mark. One more throw.

2:48 p.m. -- No improvement for Martin on his final throw, but also no one bettered his mark, so he'll finish in sixth. That's Martin's best-ever finish at nationals and the best by a UW hammer thrower since Scott Neilson won the last of his four-consecutive NCAA titles in the event in 1979. Martin's threw three personal-best marks in the competition, including his fifth-attempt best of 222-2 -- the second-best mark in UW history and making him one of just two Huskies, along with Neilson, to top the 220-foot mark. I talked to him briefly afterward and he said that while he was certainly happy with sixth, he still felt like he had an even better throw in him. He's not sure yet if he'll compete at U.S. Nationals in two weeks, though his mark will surely qualify him ... having just completed his second year of law school, he began an internship in Washington, D.C., last week, and has to travel out to the University of Maryland to throw the hammer. Might be a lot to try and tackle both training and his internship at the same time. Of course, if anyone can do it, it's Martin. A great end today to a great collegiate career. We have some time now before the women's hurdles at 5:45, at which time the CSTV live television broadcast will have begun. See you then.

5:31 p.m. -- About 5:30 now, and the CSTV broadcast should just be starting. This is probably the hottest day yet at the meet -- I'm just guessing, but I'd say the temperature probably peaked around 4 or 4:30 at about 90 or so. It's cooling down a little bit now as a bit of a breeze has picked up out of the southwest. Doesn't seem like enough to have a big effect on the hurdles or pole vault competitions tonight, but if it gets a bit gustier it might. Pole vault warmups are underway, and they're just about to start the men's hurdles, with the women's hurdles obviously immediately following.

6:07 p.m. -- Have just a couple of minutes to update the blog bfeore heading out to shoot the first part of the pole vault. Ashley did, in fact, wear the gold uniform, the one she has saved for this race. She came out of the blocks just a hair slow, though, and despite a significant gain across the hurdles, couldn't catch winner Tiffany Ofili of Michigan, who finished in 12.80. Ashley ended up sixth in the NCAA field, splitting the difference of her two previous NCAA Championships hurdles finishes -- a fifth in 2005 and a seventh in 2006. Her time of 12.99 furthermore, was a lifetime best for Ashley at sea level -- she ran a wind-aided 12.95 and a wind-legal 13.00 in Provo last year, but since that track is at altitude, a .04 conversion is necessary, changing that legal mark to 13.04. So it's her first official sub-13 mark, an accomplishment that she has striven for all year, and one that will certainly help her gain sponsorship as she pursues a professional career. Like Bingisser earlier in the day, she finished with the best mark of her life in the most important race of her career -- the rest was out of her control. You can't ask for much more than that. And of course, by becoming a six-time All-American she moved past Kate Soma into sole possession of UW's career All-America honors record. Obviously, one of the most talented athletes ever to compete at UW, and one that will be difficult to replace.

6:13 p.m. -- Alex Harcourt also just wrapped up his 400-meter semifinal. The field was pretty tough, and Alex finished sixth in his heat, in 46.68. The top three finishers in each heat and the next two fastest advanced, a provision that it took 46.18 seconds to match. Alex did a great job this year bouncing back from a difficult, injury-plagued '06 season, qualifying for nationals indoors and out, defeating Olympic medalist Darrold Williamson head-to-head back in January, helping UW's 4x400-meter relay reach the NCAA Championships for the third-straight year, and establishing himself as one of the favorites at 400 meters in the Pac-10 Confernce next year. And he's a nice kid, to boot. I'm sure Alex will train hard this summer and really tear through this field next June. Off to shoot Scott Roth's first couple of attempts in the pole vault. I'll try and update here as soon as I can.

6:32 p.m. -- First-attempt clearance for Scott at the opening height, which I believe is 5.00. As mentioned in the preview, first-attempt clearances are going to be huge in this competition. Much of the time, a first-attempt clearance can mean the difference between first and second, or second and sixth.

6:53 p.m. -- Another first-attempt clerance for Roth, this time at what I think is 5.15 meters -- about 16-10 3/4. I'll go down in a few minutes to get some more pictures and double-check the height of the bar, but suffice to say that Scott's off to a great start in this competition.

6:55 p.m. -- Also just shot the first heat of the 400-meter hurdles, featuring UW junior James Fredrickson. James got off to a great start and was running second about 200 meters in, but was caught off the final corner and crossed the line fifth, in 51.14. That time will place James 10th overall, two spots shy of a finals berth, but WILL earn the junior his first-career All-America honor. Not bad for a guy making his NCAA debut ... he matched his national seed (10th), nearly made the final, and earned his first-career All-America award, and the first by a UW quarter-hurdler since Jim Seymour in 1971. Maybe not the finish James had hoped for, but certainly a lot to be excited about going into '08.

7:30 p.m. -- Well, it came down to a third attempt for Scott Roth at the third height -- which was 5.35, 17-6 1/2, not 5.25 as I thought -- but he's over, along with six others, plus Oregon's Tommy Skipper, who hasn't yet entered the competition. Those misses put Scott seventh of the seven currently vaulting (not counting Skipper), but since they're the only misses he has so far, he could get right back on par with a first-attempt clearance at 5.45 -- 17-10 1/2. I've seen a few misses there already, so if he can get it early, he'll move up a few spots.

7:32 p.m. -- They also just ran the men's steeplechase final. It just didn't look right without Carl Moe. What might've been ...

7:42 p.m. -- Two misses for Roth at 17-10 3/4. On the second it looked like he was over it, but he tucked his knees in to try and rotate faster over the bar and end up taking it off with his knees. I know that's something that vault coach Pat Licari has worked with Scott on this year because other than that small technical issue, he looks great. Just shows how many different factors go into a successful vault. One attempt left for the UW freshman at this height.

7:48 p.m. -- A long delay before Scott's third attempt at 17-10 1/2. Not really sure what the wait is about, but he actually stepped off the runway at one point and nearly sat down before going back to the runway for his attempt. Not sure if the delay had any affect on the ensuing vault, but it was a miss -- looked like Scott didn't quite have enough momentum to get up and over the bar, instead falling through it at the peak of his jump. That'll put Scott seventh in the pole vault standings for now, and he'll drop down one spot to eighth if Tommy Skipper indeed clears a height when he enters the competition, presumably at this next height. It's worth noting that with two All-America honors and a seventh-place finish his freshman year, Scott is already well ahead of where former Husky Brad Walker was at the same point in his career -- and we all know how that turned out, with Brad ranking #1 in the world for much of the past two years, and topping six meters in 2005. The good news is, Scott has three more years to keep climbing that mountain, and he's given himself a terrific head start.

So that's it for day three at the NCAA Championships -- four top-10 finishes out of five total competitors, and four All-America honors, as well as the final performances in the collegiate careers of Ashley Lodree and Martin Bingisser. Both are athletes who trained and competed as hard as any that have come through UW in the 10 years I've worked with our track team. They're both deserving of every honor they've achieved, and there have been many.

Just one more race to go on Saturday, but it's a big one, with Ryan Brown competing in the finals of the 800 meters. CBS will be carrying the race live at 10:19 a.m., so be sure to be in front of the TV or set the TiVO to tape it, because regardless the outcome, it's going to be a terrific race. Also, remember to check out the photo gallery that will be posted to later this evening, and to check back here tomorrow morning to get prepped for the day's action.

Go Dawgs!

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