April 24, 2004
DES MOINES, Iowa - Washington freshman Ashley Lodree climbed into the top-20 of the U.S. women's 100-meter hurdles rankings Saturday with a wind-legal school-record 13.41-second finish in the finals of the 2004 Drake Relays.
Lodree's time, good for third in a loaded final, is the 18th-fastest by an American woman in 2004, and is the top legal mark this year by a U.S. junior, a classification which includes all runners between the ages of 14-20 as of Dec. 31, 2004.
Of the freshman's seven 100-meter hurdles races in 2004 -- including preliminary heats -- only one, the first prelim of her college career, has been slower than All-American Claudine Robinson's previous school record of 13.55, which had gone unchallenged for 10 years before Lodree broke it in her first college final.
Perhaps more impressive than the time itself is that Lodree's 100-meter hurdles final was her third race of the day, sandwiched in between two impressive relays and a 12th-place performance in the long jump.
Just after 9:00 a.m. local time, Lodree teamed with Grace Vela, Brynne Steward and Cambrielle Jensen for a victory in the fourth of five heats of the shuttle hurdles relay, the team's time of 58.62 seconds falling just short of the 58.21-second mark which earned the last of four spots in the afternoon's final. Just 90 minutes later, however, the freshman was back on the track, this time teaming with Lauran Dignam, Steward and Jensen for a 12th-place finish in the sprint medley relay, in 4:04.48, good for fifth in a heat which included the three fastest teams in the competition.
Two hours later came the record-setting hurdles final, before Lodree wrapped up her busy day with a mark of 17-7 in the long jump -- well short of her Pac-10 qualifying best of 19-6 1/4 but still good for 12th overall in the Drake Relays field. With three events under her belt already, the freshman likely had no trouble deferring the spotlight in the long jump to Vela, who took sixth with a mark of 18-1 1/2.
In between Lodree's events were a pair of solid runs by the Husky men's relay quartet of Phil McCary, Sean Williams, Cristian Adams and Bruce Jackson, who combined for a fourth-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay and a 13th-place effort in the sprint medley relay. The quartet, which qualified for Saturday's 4x400-meter final on the strength of a heat-winning time of 3:08.57 on Friday, clocked a 3:10.28 on Saturday, just over two seconds off the pace of 3:07.55 set by Drake Relays champion Texas State.
With their competition at Drake concluded, Washington's sprinters and hurdlers will rejoin their team next week for Saturday's exciting dual meet with Washington State in Pullman, after which only one week of regular-season competition will remain before the 2004 Pac-10 Championships, May 15-16 in Tucson, Ariz.