March 23, 2002
BERKELEY, Calif. - Seniors Mike Hill and Kelsey Sheppard today becameWashington's first provisional qualifiers for the 2002 NCAA Track and Field Championships, leading the 24th-ranked Husky men's and women's squads to identical second-place finish at the California Invitational on the University of California campus.
Washington's men earned 139 points to edge Pac-10 foes Stanford and Cal, and were defeated only by top-ranked Tennessee, which totaled 227.50 points. The women's team scored a nearly identical 139.50 points, enough to knock off fifth-ranked Stanford, which finished third with 124, but trailing the 179 points of the host Golden Bears.
Despite a strong wind that affected marks throughout the day, Hill blistered to a 24-second victory in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing in 8:53.16 to better the NCAA's provisional qualifying standard.
Sheppard, meanwhile, earned her second victory in as many weeks with a provisional-qualifying time of 58.85 in the 400-meter hurdles. It would be Sheppard's second trip to the NCAA meet, where she placed 20th in the 400m hurdles as a sophomore in 2000.
Both marks by Hill and Sheppard also bettered the Pac-10's qualifying standard, two of 14 such marks by Husky athletes at Saturday's meet. Washington athletes to add their names for the first time this season to the list of Husky competitors at May's conference championships includes Todd Arnold in the 1500 meters (3:50.00), Marc James in the 400-meter hurdles (53.45), Brad Walker in the pole vault (16-8 3/4), James Sims in the triple jump (47-10 3/4), Courtney Inman in the 800 meters, (2:10.42), Laura Halvorsen in the steeplechase (11:06.67) and Kameko Gay in the hammer throw (156-6).
The Huskies return to the Bay Area next weekend for the Stanford Invitational, Mar. 30-31. For complete results of today's meet, visit www.calbears.com.