June 3, 2003
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Husky seniors Heather Reichmann and Kate Bradshaw were among the at-large qualifiers announced Tuesday by the NCAA for next week's NCAA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, Calif. Reichmann and Bradshaw join Washington's seven automatic qualifiers to form a contingent of nine Huskies slated to compete at the national meet, June 11-14.
Six-to-eight provisional qualifiers were selected per event by the NCAA, which awarded automatic berths to the top five individual finishers in each event at each of the four NCAA Regional meets last weekend.
"We're taking nine athletes this year, which is closer to where we'd like to be every year," said first-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "With the new regional qualifying system, we weren't really sure how things were going to shake out. It'll hurt not to have Brad Walker, who would have been the favorite in the pole vault, and it appears that Mat Schwinn, our discus stud, missed by just one spot. The folks we have going, though, have been focused all year on peaking at this point in the season, which is what you have to do to be successful at the national meet. I can't wait to get down to Sacramento and let these guys show the nation what they can do."
Reichmann, a javelin specialist, will be making her NCAA Championships debut after earning one of eight provisional spots awarded in her event. The senior enters the meet as the 18th-ranked competitor in the field, with a best mark of 159 feet, 2 inches that is a Washington school record with the newer, heavier javelin. Reichmann placed seventh in the event at the NCAA West Regional meet last weekend, and was the fifth-place finisher at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships.
Bradshaw, meanwhile, will be making her second trip to the NCAA meet, her first since a 17th-place finish in the 10,000 meters in 2001. The meet will be the sixth on the national stage for Bradshaw, however, who has led the Huskies' cross-country team to the NCAA Championships in each of her four years at Washington. The senior earned her third-career top-five finish in the Pac-10 10,000-meter race this season, a run which includes a conference title in the event in 2000. She enters the national meet ranked 23rd in the field, with a 2003 best mark of 34 minutes, 43.37 seconds.
The team's nine NCAA participants in 2003 nearly doubles its total from a year ago, when only four Washington athletes competed at the meet. Two of those four athletes, senior 1,500-meter runner Courtney Inman and sophomore pole vaulter Kate Soma, will be making a return trip to the meet this season, seeking to improve upon respective 10th- and 16th-place finishes of a year ago.
Washington's 2003 NCAA Track and Field Championships Participants Name Event Yr. Hometown (High School) Todd Arnold 800m Jr. Westport, Wash. (Ocosta) Kate Bradshaw* 10,000m Sr. Issaquah, Wash. (Issaquah) Eric Garner 1,500m Jr. Kelso, Wash. (Kelso) Courtney Inman 1,500m Sr. Abbotsford, B.C. (W.J. Mouat) Sabrina Monro 10,000m Sr. Montana City, Mont. (Jefferson) Heather Reichmann* Javelin Sr. Seattle, Wash. (King's) Brittiny Roberts Triple Jump Jr. Fresno, Calif. (Bullard) John Russell 1,500m Jr. Spokane, Wash. (Freeman) Kate Soma Pole Vault So. Portland, Ore. (Grant)
* - indicates at-large qualifier