June 9, 2006
1:02 p.m. PST - Day 2 Preview: Day 1 at the NCAA Championships went down as one of the busiest in UW's history at the meet, and Day 2 promises to be even bigger. Eight Husky individuals will compete throughout the day, while the NCAA West Regional champion 4x400-meter relay will make its debut in Thursday evening's semi-final round. Day 1 was largely successful for UW -- four of the team's seven competitors advanced through qualifying rounds, and freshman Anita Campbell set a UW frosh record in an unsuccessful qualifying attempt. Day 2 will include the 2006 NCAA meet debuts of Pac-10 champions Shane Charles and Juan Romero, as well as finals of the 10,000-meter run and semi-final action in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs. Warmups in the javelin are underway ... it's another clear, hot day in Sacramento -- great conditions for track and field.
Thursday, June 8
1:15 p.m. -- Men's Javelin, Qualifying (Juan Romero)
Preview: Pac-10 champion Juan Romero will attempt to keep his dream 2006 postseason going Thursday in javelin qualifying. Romero, who will throw in the first of two evenly-seeded flights, enters the meet with the nation's seventh-best mark, and can advance to finals either by finishing in the top-12 of today's qualifying round, or by hitting the automatic finals qualifying standard of 236-3. Any thrower who betters that mark on one of their three qualifying throws will be automatically advanced to Saturday's final, regardless of place.
1:09 p.m. PST -- Warmups for Flight 1 of the javelin are underway. Romero will throw ninth in the first of two evenly-seeded flights. Each thrower will receive three throws, and the top-12 will advance to Saturday's final.
1:51 p.m. PST -- Romero's first throw flies 218 feet, 6 inches. Not a bad start -- through one round of qualifying, he's in the top-five. A throw in the 225-230 range would probably lock up a spot in the second round, though.
2:10 p.m. PST -- Knocked down to sixth by the time he comes up for his second throw, Romero comes up with an improvement -- 221-0, to bring him up to fourth. That might be enough to advance, but Romero will be looking for a clincher on his final attempt.
2:16 p.m. PST -- There's the big one. Romero uncorks a 228-4 toss on his final throw, climbing to third in the final standings and eliciting a loud cheer from teammate Will Conwell and the rest of the UW contingent in the stands supporting their fellow Husky. Only three throwers in Flight 2 have bettered Romero's mark this year, so it's going to take an explosion of lifetime bests to keep the Husky senior out of the final. Another great effort for one of UW's best late-season surprises.
3:40 p.m. PST -- The second-round of javelin qualifying is complete, and only three throwers have managed to better Romero's mark, placing the Husky senior sixth in the final qualifying standings. Romero will throw in the finals on Saturday morning. Furthermore
4:30 p.m. -- Women's Pole Vault, Qualifying (Carly Dockendorf/Kelley DiVesta)
Preview: The outstanding collegiate career of pole vaulter Carly Dockendorf enters its final stages Thursday in pole vault qualifying. An All-American collegiate gymnast who recast herself as an All-American pole vaulter midway through her collegiate career, Dockendorf will be competing in her fifth-straight NCAA Championships ... a remarkable achievement for any athlete, but an even more remarkable one for someone who did not begin pole vaulting until her sophomore year of college. Dockendorf will be joined in qualifying by sophomore Kelley DiVesta, making her second-career appearance at the NCAA meet. Twenty-six vaulters will begin the competition, which will continue until fewer than 16 vaulters remain after the conclusion of jumping at any height. Vaulting will open at 3.75 meters -- 12 feet, 3 1/2 inches, before increasing 15 centimeters to 12-9 1/2 and in 10-centimeter increments thereafter. The guess here is that the "cut" bar will be 4.10 -- 13-5 1/4. Only 21 vaulters in the field have cleared that height this year, including many for whom that is the best mark of their careers. For the record, Dockendorf's lifetime best is 4.20 -- 13-9 1/4 -- achieved in a sixth-place finish at this same meet last year; DiVesta's best is 4.06 -- 13-3 1/4.
4:49 p.m. PST -- Bars are just being set in the women's pole vault. Vaulting will begin shortly. The evening is still warm, though the hottest part of the day has passed. There is little to no wind; great conditions for vaulting.
5:29 p.m. PST -- Both Dockendorf and DiVesta miss their first attempts at 12-9 1.2.
5:37 p.m. PST -- Dockenorf is over on her second attempt ... but it's another miss for DiVesta. Misses don't stay with you in qualifying, though, like they do in competition, since places don't really matter -- it's just a matter of getting over the bar, then waiting to see if 15 other competitors can do the same. If DiVesta can get over on her third attempt, she'll be right back on track.
5:39 p.m. PST -- It's right back up for DiVesta, and she nails it. Both Dockendorf and DiVesta will now advance to the next height -- 13-1 1/2..
5:45 p.m. PST -- Dockendorf makes short work of 13-1 1/2, clearing on her first attempt. DiVesta will be up shortly.
5:48 p.m. PST -- DiVesta follows suit with a first-attempt clearance. The Husky vaulters are off to a great start, but it's likely they'll have to clear at least one more height to clinch a spot in Saturday's final.
6:09 p.m. PST -- Indeed, 19 vaulters clear 13-1 1/2. The bar now moves to 13-5 1/2 -- if three vaulters fail to clear this height, the competition will be concluded.
6:20 p.m. PST -- Dockendorf runs through her first attempt, which counts as a miss. DiVesta misses her first attempt as well. This height would be a career best for DiVesta, and is close to Dockendorf's best as well.
6:29 p.m. PST -- Dockendorf is up and over at 13-5 1/2 -- a great clearance, and one which should get her through to the final. DiVesta misses her second, and will have one attempt left.
6:36 p.m. PST -- On her last attempt, DiVesta makes it over 13-5 1/2. A clutch performance for Washington's vaulters. The good news is that only 16 vaulters clear the height, concluding the competition and advancing all remaining vaulters -- including Dockendorf and DiVesta -- to Saturday's final.
4:30 p.m. -- Men's 400m Hurdles, Prelims (Shane Charles)
Preview: Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional champion Shane Charles begins his quest for a national title Thursday in the first round of the 400-meter hurdles. The nation's No. 4-ranked competitor in the event, Charles can advance to Friday's semi-final with a top-two finish in his heat, or as one of the six-fastest third-through-sixth place finishers in qualifying. Charles will run in the last of five heats, and has drawn lane 8 for this first round of action.
4:49 p.m. PST -- Running in lane 8, Charles starts out in front of the pack and never looks back. The senior clears the hurdles smoothly, opening a lead as large as 10 meters on the turn. After clearing the final hurdle, Charles looks back over his left shoulder and sees no one within five yards. The win in hand, Charles coasts across the finish line, clapping his hands before taking to one knee, as is his custom at the end of a race. Charles' time of 50.57 will be the fifth-fastest entering Friday's semi-final, but it's not important -- the senior set out to win the race, and he did. Now he can rest up before this evening's 4x400-meter relay prelim.
5:05 p.m. -- Men's 800m Run, Semi-final (Ryan Brown)
Preview: After running the fourth-fastest time in Wednesday's qualifying heats, junior Ryan Brown returns to the track for his first of two races Thursday. After failing to advance past the semi-final round of the 800 meters last year, Brown will be determined to do so in 2006. To accomplish the feat, he'll need to finish in the top-three in his heat, or be one of the two fastest fourth-through-eighth place finishers. Brown will have the advantage of running in the second of two heats -- and thus knowing the time to beat -- which will include the top-eight qualifiers from Wednesday's prelim. Should Brown qualify, he will clinch at least a top-eight finish and his fifth-career All-America honor -- a feat matched by just four other men in UW history.
5:13 p.m. PST -- Starting in lane 2, Brown gets pinched to the rail early on and has a little bit of trouble finding room to run. The field goes through 400 meters in 52 seconds -- a relatively fast pace. This heat should have no trouble producing time qualifiers.
At the 600-meter mark, a hole opens for Brown on the outside and he steps out into lane two, accelerating off the curve and into the homestretch. Brown passes Miami's Tim Harris on the curve, then runs down Oral Roberts' Shaun Smith and USC's Duane Solomon at the line for the semi-final win. Brown's time of 1:47.40 is the fastest of his career, and the second-fastest in UW history -- and what's most impressive is that a lot of factors seemed to be working against Brown during the race. If he can post that kind of time in those kinds of conditions, Washington's school record could be in reach in Saturday's final. All in all, an extremely impressive performance for Brown, who in the process clinches his fifth-career All-America honor. The 4x400-meter final awaits ...
6:00 p.m. -- Women's 1,500m Run, Semi-final (Amy Lia)
Preview: Sophomore Amy Lia was a surprise qualifier for last year's 1,500-meter final, but returns to Sacramento in 2006 among the favorites to advance. Lia, who will run in the first of two qualifying heats, boasts the 10th-fastest time in the field at 4:18.88, and will be looking to better the lifetime-best mark of 4:18.19 she set on this same track last June. Finals in the 1,500 meters will be comprised of the top-four finishers from each qualifying heat, and the next four-fastest runners.
6:10 p.m. PST -- The race starts out tough for Lia, who finds herself in the back of the pack 100 meters in. Still, there should be room to move outside when she decides to go. Lia makes a move at the 600-meter mark, going to the outside of lane 2 to try and move up. She manages to get up to seventh at the bell, despite taking an elbow from a fellow competitor right in front of the main grandstand. The field stretches out in the back straightaway, and Lia settles in to seventh, trying to move up. She can't quite catch UCLA's Ashley Caldwell for sixth, though, and it's a seventh-place finish, in 4:20.99. That might get Lia in, but it's going to be a sweat -- no more than five runners can beat Lia in the second heat.
6:15 p.m.PST -- The second heat concludes, and Lia's in luck -- only five runners manage to better her time. She's in to the final as the fourth an final time qualifier.
6:15 p.m. -- Men's 1,500m Run, Semi-final (Austin Abbott)
Preview: Having passed up a chance to run the mile at the NCAA Indoor meet in favor of helping the distance medley relay to All-America honors, sophomore Austin Abbott finally gets the chance to make his individual championnships debut in Thursday's semi-final round of the 1,500 meters. The 20th-fastest qualifier in the field, and the 10th-fastest in his heat, Abbott will need to be among the top-four finishers in his heat, or be one of the next four-fastest non-top-four finishers, in order to advance to Saturday's live-televised final.
6:24 p.m. PST -- Abbott gets out behind the pack, and is 13th the first time past the finish line. He makes a move on the backstretch to move to 10th, but the field is stretching out. He's going to have to make another move soon to close the gap or risk losing contact with the leaders. At the bell, the leaders begin to pull away. Abbott tries to move up, but he doesn't look like he's going to be able to catch those ahead of him. A foul on the last turn creates some drama, but Abbott doesn't have anyone within striking distance and finishes 10th, slowing as he approaches the finish line. It's been a great year for Abbott -- indoor NCAA qualifiers in the mile an DMR, and an outdoor entry in the 1,500m. He'll be back in this race next year, for sure.
6:55 p.m. -- Men's 4x400m Relay, Semi-final
Preview: Washington's 4x400-meter relay makes its team-record third-straight appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, following a win at the 2006 NCAA West Regional meet. The Huskies proved they belonged with a third-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Indoor meet in March, and have set their sights on a national title this spring. Standing in their way are national-leaders LSU, whose season-best time of 3:02.30 is five seconds faster than UW's 3:05.11 best. The Huskies will get their first shot at the Tigers in Thursday's prelim, as the two teams match up in heat three of the qualifying round. Also included in the heat are Pac-10 champions USC, and with an automatic spot in Saturday's final guaranteed only to the top-two teams, someone is going to be left out ... but not necessarily eliminated. The top-two third-through-sixth place teams from the three heats, combined, will also be added to the eight-team final, televised live by CBS on Saturday afternoon.
7:24 p.m. PST -- Jordan Boase goes out fast, and hands the stick to Shane Charles in third. Showing no ill effects from his terrific run in the 400-meter hurdles prelim earlier, Charles moves up on USC and gives the stick to Ryan Brown tied for second, behind only national-leader LSU. Brown looks good, and holds off USC to the final exchange, where he gives the stick to anchor Bruce Jackson. Only the top two finishers are guaranteed spots in Saturday's final, and at this point, it looks like a three-team race between Washington, LSU and USC. The Trojans' Lionel Larry, who ran such a strong anchor in USC's winning effort at the Pac-10 meet, looks good again and comes on strong through the first 200, catching and passing Jackson on the final turn. Jackson, though, isn't backing down, and makes a big push as the teams come to finish. Ultimately, though, it's LSU and USC, with Jackson and UW just five meters behind. The Huskies, though, clock a season-best time -- 3:04.22 -- an advance to the final as the fastest third-through-sixth place team. In fact, their time is the third-fastest in the entire competition, and would have won any other heat easily. These guys look ready to go -- should be a fun end to the meet on Saturday.
8:00 p.m. -- Men's 10,000m Run, Final (Jeremy Mineau)
Preview: Redshirt freshman Jeremy Mineau becomes the first UW men's runner since David Bazzi in 2001 to compete in the 10,000 meters when he takes to the track for Thursday night's final. The 13th-ranked runner in the field, Mineau will be seeking to recapture the magic that guided him to a time of 28:49.59 at April's Stanford Invite -- the second-fastest time in UW history and the best-ever by a Washington freshman. 8:24 p.m. PST -- Ah, the 10,000 meters -- the one race long enough to merit multiple blog entries. We're about halfway through, an Mineau is running 20th, at the tail end of a group of 10 runners that are about 75 meters behind the leaders. Mineau was stuck at the back early, and looked like he had a tough time setting the pace he'd prefer. He's not losing any ground, though, on those around him, and doesn't appear to be laboring at all -- good signs in a race this long.
8:31 p.m. PST -- Mineau passes through 8,000 meters in 23:54. He's currently 21st overall, and on about a 30-minute pace.
8:41 p.m. PST -- Mineau pushes hard to the finish line, coming across 21st in 31:10.84. It's a slower time than the redshirt freshman has run in the past, but it's the second-fastest of any freshman in the field -- a fact that bodes well for Mineau's future in the event.