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Husky Track Breaks Before Pepsi Invite
Release: 04/04/2002
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April 4, 2002

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On the Track: Washington's track and field squads will rest this weekend for the second and final time of the 2002 track season, in preparation for next week's Oregon Pepsi Invitational in Eugene. The Oregon meet, which features many of the West Coast's top collegiate teams, will take place Saturday, Apr. 13, with events beginning at 11:00 a.m. The Huskies rested only once during the indoor season, taking off the final weekend of February, and returned Mar. 2 to post two school records and eight NCAA provisional-qualifying marks at the UW Indoor Qualifier at Dempsey Indoor.

Last week: The Huskies' top athletes represented their school well at last week's Stanford Invitational, one of the most prestigious events of the outdoor track and field season. Thousands of professional, collegiate and high school athletes competed at the two-day meet, which featured dozens of NCAA qualifying marks, including six by Washington athletes. Junior miler Courtney Inman led the way for Washington with a provisional-qualifying time of 4:21.80 in the 1500 meters that ranks fifth all-time at UW, and third in the nation thus far in 2002. Inman's performance was matched by steeplechaser Mike Hill, who posted the nation's third-best time in his event with a provisional-qualifying mark of 8:46.92 bettered by only seven runners in school history. The women's 10,000-meter race featured qualifying marks by a wily veteran and a Husky newcomer. Junior Kate Bradshaw, the Pac-10 10,000m champion in 2000, ran the nation's 10th-best time in the event with a 34:25.02, closely followed by true freshman sensation Lisa Gibbs' 34:34.79 finish that ranks 12th nationally. Junior pole vaulter Brad Walker, in only his second outdoor competition since returning from offseason surgery, vaulted a personal-best 17-8 1/2, while true freshman Kate Soma cleared 12-9 1/2 to move into the NCAA top-15. Rounding out the NCAA qualifiers for UW was sophomore Eric Garner, who backed up an All-American performance during the 2002 indoor season with a 1500m mark of 3:43.56 that is both the nation's sixth-best mark in 2002 and the school's sixth-best mark all-time. Several Huskies stayed home this weekend to compete at Seattle Pacific University's Spring Break Open. Senior Searan Salibian led all Huskies at the SPU meet, besting the Pac-10 shot put standard with a throw of 44 feet, 11 1/4 inches.

Huskies Debut in Top Five: Washington's men's team earned a No. 4 national ranking in the 2002 outdoor track debut of the U.S. Track and Field Coaches' Association Dual Meet Power Rankings. The Huskies scored 290.96 points in this week's power rankings, which simulate head-to-head scoring between the nation's elite collegiate programs. Oregon took first place with 309.9, followed by Kansas State in second at 300.37 and Purdue in third with 299.55. The No. 4 ranking is the Huskies' highest this season. The Husky women amassed 307.35 points in this week's USTCA Dual Meet Power Rankings, just one point shy of top-ranked Cal State Northridge. Washington No. 2 ranking is its highest this season, and puts both Husky squads in the top-five of the dual meet rankings for the first time since the 1999-2000 season. Third-place Oregon totaled 290.59 points, while Penn State was fourth with 286.56 and Purdue ranked fifth at 280.86. Both Washington squads were unranked in this week's Trackwire 25, which attempts to predict the order of finish for the 2002 NCAA Championships.

Leading the Pac: Through the Mar. 30 Stanford Invitational, Washington has already qualified 28 athletes in 20 different events for May's Pac-10 Championship meet at Washington State University in Pullman. Seven Huskies have earned qualifying marks in more than one event. Junior Courtney Inman is qualified at 800m and 1500m, sophomore Eric Garner has bested the standards at 1500m and 5000m, and junior Kate Bradshaw owns marks at 5000m and 10000m. Despite not competing at 5,000m during the outdoor season, senior Mike Hill boasts an indoor mark in the event that betters the Pac-10 standard, to go with his qualifying mark in the steeplechase that currently ranks third in the nation. True freshman Lisa Gibbs, likewise, set a 5000m qualifier indoors and added a 10000m mark last weekend, while senior Kelsey Sheppard ran a 400m qualifier indoors and a 400m hurdles mark at last week's Stanford Invite. Senior Kameko Gay doubled her pleasure for the second-consecutive year, matching her 2001 performance with qualifying marks in the shot put and hammer throw. Those seven will be joined at the Pac-10 meet by a talented crop of true freshmen including James Sims (triple jump), Laura Halvorsen (steeplechase), Jamie Gibbs (5000m) and pole vaulters Kate Soma and Jenny Gregorak. Sophomore Marc James (400m IH) and two-time All-American pole vaulter Brad Walker will each be making return trips to the meet, as will sophomore Seth Jens (javelin), senior Frank Remund (high jum) senior, Marcus Kelly (triple jump), sophomore Brittiny Roberts (triple jump), senior Sandy Erickson (pole vault), sophomore Alexis Jaime (pole vault) and sophomore Brad Goodrich )400m IH). Also, a trio of veterans - sophomore Todd Arnold (1500m), sophomore Tayler Wilkins (pole vault) and junior transfer Sabrina Monro (1500m) will make their Pac-10 debuts.

10,000 Meter Tandems: Junior Kate Bradshaw and true freshman Lisa Gibbs are this year continuing a Washington tradition that dates back to the 1996-97 season. Both ran NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the 10,000-meter run at last weekend's Stanford Invitational, marking the sixth-consecutive that the Huskies have qualified two women's runners at 10,000 meters. The tradition began when then-sophomore Deeja Youngquist was joined by a true freshman, Anna Aoki, at the 1997 championship meet. The two teamed at the national meet for the next three seasons, with Aoki earning All-American honors with a ninth-place finish in 1998. Youngquist's departure following the 1999 season could have signaled the end of the streak, but then-freshman Bradshaw defeated an experienced field at the Pac-10 Championships to better the NCAA's 10,000-meter qualifying mark and keep the streak alive. Last year, Bradshaw and Aoki performed the double again, and in 2002, Bradshaw is joined by true freshman Gibbs.

Shepparding Records Her Way: Senior Kelsey Sheppard, a graduate of Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, has kept Husky track researchers busy this season. Sheppard added the indoor 400m and 60m hurdles marks to her growing records basket, which includes top-10 marks in the 100m- and 400m-hurdles, the 400m dash, and both the indoor and outdoor 4x400m relays. At March's Cal Invitational, Sheppard routed a strong field with in the 400m hurdles with a win in 58.85 seconds, eighth-fastest in the nation this season. Sheppard is one of just five women in Husky track history to complete the 400m hurdles in under 59 seconds, boasting a career-best of 59.25 that ranks fourth all-time at UW. She placed 20th in the intermediate hurdles at the NCAAs in her only previous trip, following a terrific 2000 season in which she placed in the top-15 at the Pac-10 Championships in both hurdles events, including a fourth-place mark in the 400m IH. A six-time Pac-10 qualifier, Sheppard has bettered the Pac-10 standard already in 2002 in the 400m hurdles and the 400m run to mark her fourth-straight year with a Pac-10 qualifying mark.

One More Hill to Climb: Bellevue's Mike Hill is making quite a splash - literally - in his senior season. The Huskies' star steeplechaser managed to avoid the perils of the pond at last week's Stanford Invitational to post the nation's third-fastest time in 2002 with an NCAA provisional-qualifying 8 minutes, 46.92 seconds. The mark was the eighth-fastest all-time at Washington, and moved Hill to within three seconds of the NCAA's automatic-qualifying standard. A week prior, in his first steeplechase since a 14th-place finish at the 2001 Pac-10 Championships, Hill shaved eight seconds off of his personal best with a mark of 8:53.16 in and set himself up for a season-long run at his first NCAA Championships appearance. A distance specialist, Hill was one of Washington's most consistent competitors during the 2001 cross-country season, and has managed to avoid serious injury throughout his Husky career, priming the senior for what could be his most impressive track season to date. Already in 2002, Hill boasts Pac-10 qualifying marks in the steeplechase and 5000 meters, having notched a time of 14:13.89 at the UW Indoor Qualifier that ranks as the second-fastest indoor 5000-meter mark in school history. Hill's best Pac-10 finish came during the 2001 season, when he placed eighth in the steeple in 9:09.78.

As Easy As One, Two, Three: Not many women in Husky track history can boast the same accomplishment as that achieved by sophomore Brittiny Roberts at the season-opening Salzman Invitational. Roberts, a graduate of Bullard High School in Fresno, Calif, joined an exclusive club with a leap of 40 feet, zero inches in the triple jump. Only four other Husky women - Tara Davis (1995), Michelle Reid (1997), Angie Tasker (1989) and Suzanne Silvis (1994) - have ever cleared 40 feet in the triple jump, with Davis' leap of 41-7 3/4 setting the standard. Even more remarkable is that Roberts added more than a foot to her previous career-best of 38-7, set during a run to the Pac-10 championships in 2001, where she will return this year for the second-consecutive season.

Garner-ing Acclaim: Already in 2002, sophomore Eric Garner has established himself as not only the Huskies' man to beat this season, but one of the school's top distance competitors of all-time. Garner used the 1500 meters at last week's Stanford Invitational to show that his record-setting indoor season was no fluke, blazing to an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark victory in 3:43.56 to equal the sixth-fastest time in Husky history. Garner also competed at 5,000 meters against an outstanding field, and emerged from the race with a Pac-10 qualifying mark of 14:16.86. The Kelso, Wash., native was making waves this season even before his All-American performance in the mile at the NCAA Indoor Championships, where he placed13th overall. Garner battled injuries through his first year and a half at Washington, running competitively for the first time in February of 2001. Since then, he has steadily improved, culminating with a stunning 3:58.93 mile win at the UW Indoor Qualifier on Mar. 2, the first-ever indoor four-minute mile in Washington state and the third-fastest in the nation in 2002. Garner became just the second Husky to cover a mile in under four minutes, joining Greg Gibson, who ran 3:59.1h in 1974. Garner also holds the school's all-time top mark at 3,000m, with an 8:02.56 mark from the Feb. 9 UW Invitational at Dempsey Indoor, a full four seconds ahead of David Bazzi's mark of 8:06.57 in 2001.

Courtney, Queen of the Mile: British Columbia native Courtney Inman became the first Husky woman ever to run a mile in under 4:50 when she bested the NCAA's provisional-qualifying mark with a thrilling 4:45.40 at the UW Indoor Qualifier at Dempsey Indoor on Mar. 2. Inman shaved more than five seconds off the previous indoor school record of 4:50.65 set by Margaret Butler in 2000. Inman also boasted a top 800-meter time indoors, with a mark of 2:11.90 at the Feb. 2 UW Quad Classic that ranks third all-time indoors at UW. The junior returned to the track scene at the Mar. 23 California Invitational and picked up right where she left off, posting a Pac-10 qualifying mark of 2:10.42 in an 800-meter win. Then, at last week's Stanford Invitational, Inman ran a scintillating 4:21.80 in the 1500, fifth-best all-time at Washington and well under the NCAA's provisional-quailfying standard. As a prep at W.J. Mouat in Abbotsford, B.C., Inman competed on the Canadian Junior Pan Am and Junior World teams. In 1998, she capped her prep career with a run to the semi-finals of the World Junior Track and Field Championships in France, and helped the Huskies' cross-country squad to a best-ever ninth-place NCAA finish. A stress fracture, howvever, cut short her 1999-2000 season, and kept her out of action until midway through the 2001 season, when she posted a Pac-10 qualifying mark at 800m. Limited by the injury again during the 2001 cross-country season, Inman returned for the postseason, running fifth on the squad in a 14th-place team finish at the NCAA Championships.

Pole Results: Even before last week, Washington's pole vaulters had already dominated the Huskies' stat sheets in 2002. Freshman Kate Soma has been unstoppable, shattering the school's indoor school record by nearly a foot with a vault of 12-11 1/2 at the UW Invitational in February. In just five weeks of indoor competition, the Portland, Ore., native raised the school's indoor vault record by nearly a foot, from the previous record of 12-0 3/4 set by MerryJane Bendico in 2001. Soma has been the leader of a stellar group of fivewomen's vaulters, all of whom have bettered the Pac-10's qualifying standard in the event. Missing all season, however, has been the presence of 2001 indoor and outdoor All-American Brad Walker, who discovered following his terrific 2001 season that he had been competing with a broken foot. Walker returned to limited competition during the indoor season, appearing unattached at several of Washington's home meets. On Mar. 23, Walker made his 2002 Husky debut, vaulting 16-8 3/4 at the California Invitational to best the Pac-10 qualifying standard. Last week, however, Walker sent notice to any who doubted his ability to recover from the injury, vaulting a personal-best 17-8 1/2 to shatter the NCAA's provisional-qualifying standard and move into sixth-place all-time on the UW's pole vault top 10.

An Honor Overdue: In compiling Washington's all-time indoor top-10 marks this season, it appears that a school record set in the season-opening UW Open Indoor Track and Field meet was overlooked. Washington senior LeTesha Moore blazed to victory in the 60-meter dash in 7.60 seconds, faster than any female Husky runner to come before. The mark is just one of five indoor top-10 times run by the Everett, Wash., native this season, who ranks ninth all-time in the 200m at 25.32, and sixth at 400m with a personal-best 56.13-second mark. A five-time top-10 finisher at the Washington state high school meet while prepping at Cascade High School, Moore redshirted her freshman season before leading the school's sprint relay squads to top-five placings at the 2000 Pac-10 Championships.

Battling Back: Many of Washington's top track and field athletes are succeeding despite early-season injuries. Distance ace Sabrina Monro suffered a foot injury at the 2001 Pac-10 Cross-Country Championships, but returned to post Washington's fastest-ever indoor 3,000m mark at the Mar. 2 UW Indoor Qualifier, and currently boasts a Pac-10 qualifying mark in the 1500m. Distance runner Kate Bradshaw, an NCAA provisional qualifier at 10,000m, missed much of the indoor season with a foot injury. Also injured was Laura Halvorsen, who bested the Pac-10's steeplechase standard in just her sixth race of the 2002 season. Lisa Gibbs, a double qualifier at 5,000 and 10,000m,, Jason Fayant and Dustin Duke have also returned strong from injuries sustained during the 2001 cross-country season. Pole vaulter Brad Walker, an All-American both indoors and outdoors in 2001, required surgery for a broken foot over the summer, but posted a PR and an NCAA qualifying mark in just his second outdoor competition. Jumper Brittiny Roberts and sprinter LeTesha Moore also missed time during the indoor season with minor ailments. Roberts returned to post just the fifth 40-foot triple jump mark in Husky history, while Moore is the team's statistical leader at 200m and 400m. Of these nine athletes, three have since posted NCAA qualifying marks, and eight are qualified for the 2002 Pac-10 Championship meet.

Indoor Season Recap: The 2002 indoor track season was a roller-coaster ride for Washington's coaches, athletes and fans. The Huskies christened their new indoor track and field home, Dempsey Indoor, with six collegiate meets, including a series of thrilling duals between the women's squads of Washington and the University of Oregon. The new track surface at Dempsey Indoor proved to be one of the nation's fastest, with a total of six indoor school records established on the home track, including an exciting 3:58.93 mile time by sophomore All-American Eric Garner at the Indoor Qualifier, one of four four-minute miles run at the meet. Senior LeTesha Moore set a school record in the 60m dash at Dempsey Indoor's debut in January, and was soon joined atop the record list by senior Kelsey Sheppard, who set the 60m hurdles mark with an 8.73-second mark. Freshman pole vaulter Kate Soma broke the school's indoor record in just her second collegiate meet, and then extended that mark by nearly six inches more later in the season. Perhaps the facility's best treats were saved for last, with no fewer than 45 athletes establishing NCAA qualifying marks at the UW Indoor Qualifier in March, including indoor school records by Garner (mile), Courtney Inman (mile) and Sabrina Monro (3,000m).

USA's Top Dawg: As a reflection of the high esteem in which he is held by track and field coaches and administrators around the country, Husky head coach Orin Richburg was elected to head the U.S. National Team at the 2001 World Track and Field Championships, the most prestigious honor for a track-and-field coach in a non-Olympic year. Richburg capitalized on the opportunity, directing the U.S. to a meet-high 19 medals, including nine golds. In his 17th year at UW, Richburg is responsible for molding the Husky track squad into one of the nation's elite dual-meet teams, as evidenced by both teams' top-10 finishes in the 2001 U.S. Track Coaches' Association Dual Meet Power Rankings. Richburg was an All-American sprinter at Kent State, and has mentored four Olympic athletes in his 17-year tenure at Washington.

Huskies on the Web: For of the latest news and information about Husky track and field visit the official website of Husky Athletics at www.gohuskies.com.

Have A Question?: Have a question about something in this release, or a general question about Husky track and field? Contact SID Brian Beaky at bbeaky@u.washington.edu.

Washington's 2002 NCAA Championships Qualifiers

Kate Bradshaw
10,000 meters
Junior, Issaquah, Wash. (Issaquah)

Ran a provisional-qualifying mark of 34:25.02 in the 10,000m at the Stanford Invitational, a mark which ranks 10th in the nation this year.

Ran the 10,000m in 34:41.03 at the 2000 Pac-10 Championships to win the conference title as a true freshman.

Missed much of the 2002 indoor season with an IT band injury in her foot, but returned to post a Pac-10 qualifying mark of 16:57.56 in the 5,000m at the Feb. 16 McDonald's II meet in Idaho.

A three-time NCAA qualifier at 10,000m, placed 17th in 2001 in her lone appearance at the national meet.

Was one of 25 athletes invited to compete at the 2000 U.S. Cross Country Winter Nationals, where she placed sixth overall to earn a spot on the U.S. team that competed at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Portugal.

Eric Garner
1500 meters
Sophomore, Kelso, Wash.. (Kelso)

Earned All-American honors with a 13th-place finish in the mile run at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Boasts a provisional-qualifying mark of 3:43.56 in the 1500m that ranks sixth in the nation in 2002.

Ran his provisional-qualifying 3:43.56 in the 1500m at the Stanford Invitational on Mar. 30, equaling the sixth-best 1500m ever at UW.

Is qualified for the Pac-10 Championships at both 1500m and 5000m, where he boasts a mark of 14:16.86.

Ran the mile in 3:58.93 at the UW Indoor Qualifier at Dempsey Indoor, becoming the first athlete ever to run a four-minute mile in Washington state.

Qualifying time of 3:58.93 in the mile broke a 28-year old school record of 3:59.1h set by Greg Gibson in San Diego in 1974. Gibson is the only Husky besides Garner ever to accomplish the four-minute mile.

Set an indoor school record in the 3,000m with an 8:02.56 at the UW Invitational on Sat., Feb. 9, besting the previous record by more than four seconds.

Placed 13th in the steeplechase at the 2001 Pac-10 Championships in 9:09.39.

Lisa Gibbs
10,000 meters
Freshman, Arvada, Colo. (Arvada West)

Boasts a provsional-qualifying mark of 34:34.79 in the 10,000m that ranks 12th in the nation in 2002.

Ran 34:34.79 at the Stanford Invitational on Mar. 30 in first-ever 10,000m race, the sixth-best mark ever by a Husky woman in the event.

Was unstoppable indoors, posting the school's second-fastest indoor 5,000m mark with a 16:45.58 finish at the UW Indoor Qualifier on Mar. 2.

Led all Husky cross-country runners with a sixth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships, the eighth-best placing ever for a Husky at the conference meet.

As a prep, won the 3200m against a national field at the 2001 Simplot Indoor Games in Pocatello, Idaho.

Mike Hill
Steeplechase
Senior, Bellevue, Wash. (Bellevue)

Boasts a provsional-qualifying mark of 8:46.92 in the 3000m steeplechase that currently ranks third in the nation.

Posted a mark of 8:46.92 in the steeplechase at the Mar. 30 Stanford Invitational to climb to eighth-place all-time at the University of Washington.

Shaved eight seconds off of his previous season's PR with an 8:53.16 win in the steeplechase at the at the California Invitational on Mar. 23 in just his second race outdoors - and seventh overall - in 2002.

Ran the second-fastest indoor 5000m time in school history with a mark of 14:13.89 at the UW Qualifier on Mar. 2, besting the NCAA's indoor provisional and Pac-10 outdoor qualifying standards.

Was among the leaders in the steeplchase at the 2001 Pac-10 Championship meet before injuring his knee after striking a barrier.

Placed eighth in the steeplechase at the 2000 Pac-10 meet, in 9:09.78.

Courtney Inman
1500m
Junior, Abbotsford, B.C. (W.J. Mouat)

Boasts a provisional-qualifying mark of 4:21.80 in the 1500m that ranks third in the nation in 2002.

Placed seventh in the 1500m in 4:21.80 against an elite field at the Stanford Invitational, the fifth-fastest 1500m time in Husky history.

In addition to the 1500m, is also qualified for the Pac-10 Championships in the 800m with a mark of 2:10.42 that is just a second shy of the school's all-time top-10.

Placed 14th in the mile run at the NCAA Indoor Championships in 4:46.83, nearly matching her school record of a week before.

Shaved five seconds off the school's indoor mile record with a time of 4:45.40 at the UW Indoor Qualifier at Dempsey Indoor, nearly 10 seconds better than her previous best.

Was a semi-finalist at the 1998 World Junior Track and Field Championships in France.

Kelsey Sheppard
400m Hurdles
Senior, Kirkland, Wash. (Lk. Washington)

Provisional-qualifying time of 58.85 in the 400-meter hurdles currently ranks 12th in the nation in 2002.

One of just five Husky women all-time to complete the 400-meter hurdles in under 59 seconds,with a career-best mark of 58.29 that ranks fourth all-time at Washington.

Notched a pair of indoor school records during the 2002 winter season, running the 400 meters in 55.11 seconds (a Pac-10 qualifier) and the 60m hurdles in 8.73 seconds.

Owns all-time top-10 marks outdoors in the 400m, 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles, and indoors in the 4x400m relay.

Placed 20th in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2000 NCAA Championship meet.

A six-time Pac-10 qualifier, with bests of fourth at 400m hurdles (2000) and 13th at 100m hurdles (2000).

Kate Soma
Pole Vault
Freshman, Portland, Ore. (Grant HS)

Moved up to second on Washington's all-time outdoor pole vault list with a provisional-qualifying vault of 12-9 1/2 at the Mar. 30 Stanford Invitational that is tied for 11th in the nation in 2002.

Trails only teammate Sandy Erickson's school record vault of 12-11 1/2, set during the 2000 season.

Only a true freshman, shattered Washington's indoor pole vault record by nearly a foot with a vault of 12-11 1/2 at the Feb. 9 UW Invitational at Dempsey Indoor.

Provisional-qualifying indoor mark obliterated the old record of 12-0 3/4 set in 2000 by MerryJane Bendico, and ranked 24th in the nation during the 2002 indoor season.

Won the pole vault at the 2001 Junior Olympics in Eugene, Ore.

Brad Walker
Pole Vault
Junior, Spokane, Wash. (University)

Provisional-qualifying vault of 17-8 1/4 is currently tied for first in the nation.

In just second outdoor collegiate competition of 2002, vaulted a personal-best 17-8 1/4 at the Mar. 30 Stanford Invitational to move up to sixth all-time at Washington.

Had offseason surgery to repair a broken foot suffered sometime during the 2001 season.

Despite the break, was a double All-American in 2002, posting top-10 all-time Husky marks in the pole vault both indoors and outdoors.

Tied for 12th at the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships in Eugene, Ore. to earn All-America honors.

Placed seventh overall with a personal-best vault of 17-11 3/4 at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, nearly three inches better than his previous best.

Indoor vault PR shattered the school record of 17-10 held for 22 years by Steve Cravetz.

Was the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion in the event in 2001.

Washington Track & Field
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