Feb. 12, 2005
SEATTLE - Husky senior Kate Soma set a UW record and claimed the 2005 NCAA lead Saturday with a clearance of 14 feet, 3 1/2 inches in the pole vault at The Husky Classic at Dempsey Indoor in Seattle.
Soma's record vault - the seventh-best ever by a collegiate woman, and the fourth-best ever indoors - was one of 65 NCAA qualifying marks set by collegiate athletes at the meet, which included representatives from 10 of the nation's top-25 men's and women's teams. Husky athletes shone particularly bright, setting three indoor school records, while recording 11 marks among the school's top-10 all time in their event.
"Week after week, our folks keep raising the bar," said third-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "I've never been this excited about a team's potential at this point in the year before."
The returning NCAA runner-up, Soma needed just one attempt to clear the bar at 14-3 1/2, breaking by six inches the indoor record she set just two weeks ago. In addition to the indoor record, the Portland, Ore., native also improved upon her lifetime best of 14-2, set in a victory at last year's Pac-10 Championships.
"It's great to have gotten a mark like this so early in the year," said Soma, who with the vault moved into the top-15 in the 2005 IAAF World Rankings, and is ranked No. 2 among U.S. women. "To be competitive at the level at which I want to be, I need to be more consistent at these heights, so this is a big step in that direction."
Soma's mark was one of three school records set Saturday, including a pair of benchmarks in the 800 meters.
Freshman Amanda Miller (Wenatchee, Wash./Eastmont) started off the record binge with a time of 2 minutes, 8.33 seconds that was six hundredths of a second faster than the UW record of 2:08.39 set by Courtney Inman in 2003. The three-time state 800-meter champion as a prep, Miller's time has been bettered by just eight women on the NCAA performance lists as of Saturday morning, and was well below the NCAA provisional qualifying standard.
Joining Miller atop the UW records was sophomore Ryan Brown (Renton, Wash./Renton) whose time of 1:49.64 in the men's 800 meters broke a record of 1:50.24 that was only 14 days old, set by UW junior Shane Charles at January's UW Indoor Invitational.
Also of note for Washington were NCAA provisional-qualifying performances by sophomores Ashley Lodree in the 60-meter hurdles (8.24 seconds) and McKane Lee in the pole vault (17-3), freshman Austin Abbott in the men's mile (a UW freshman-record 4:02.25), and the men's 4x400-meter relay team of Sean Williams, Ryan Brown, Shane Charles and Bruce Jackson (3:09.63).
In addition to the outstanding marks by Husky competitors, Stanford's Alicia Craig set a facility record of 15:54.72 in the women's 5,000 meters, and Wisconsin's Adam Tegenkamp set a facility record of 13:36.48 in the men's 5,000. Tegenkamp's mark is the NCAA leader, while both rank among the top-10 times in the world this year. Seven men's and six women's collegians earned NCAA automatic qualifiers in the event Saturday, bringing to 14 the total number of automatic qualifiers in the 5,000 meters run at Dempsey Indoor this year.
"Our distance races at this facility have been incredible this year," Metcalf said. "That's a testament to the athletes and teams who want to come here and run. Today was heaven for a distance-event fan."
Saturday's meet marked the final tuneup before the MPSF Championship meet at Dempsey Indoor on Feb. 25-26, the indoor conference championships for Pac-10 and Big West Conference teams. For complete results from Saturday's Husky Classic, visit www.gohuskies.com.