June 7, 2007
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Complete recaps of all events including Washington track and field athletes will be posted here upon the event's conclusion. This page will NOT automatically refresh. See below for a complete schedule of today's events featuring UW athletes. The most recent blog post appears at the bottom of the page.
Today's Schedule - Thursday, June 7
4:10 p.m. -- Men's 400m Hurdles, Prelim (James Fredrickson)
4:50 p.m. -- Men's 800m Run, Semi (Ryan Brown)
6:25 p.m. -- Women's 1,500m Run, Semi (Amanda Miller)
6:30 p.m. -- Men's Long Jump, Final (Norris Frederick)
6:45 p.m. -- Men's 4x400m Relay, Semi (Gudaitis/Fredrickson/Brown/Harcourt)
Day 2 Preview (10:10 a.m. PDT): Thursday's action promises to be exciting for Washington track fans, with senior Ryan Brown returning to the track for semi-final rounds of the 800 meters, and junior Norris Frederick bidding for a fifth-career All-America honor in the finals of the men's long jump, as well as qualifying rounds in the 400-meter hurdles, 1,500-meter run and 4x400-meter relay. But before we can focus entirely on the competition Thursday, there is still some unresolved business from Wednesday's action in the form of Washington's appeal of Carl Moe's disqualification from the steeple. Roughly an hour after results were initially posted to the web and in the stadium, a revised version of results were posted indicating that Carl had been disqualified for pushing his way between two other runners on the home stretch. Head coach Greg Metcalf has appealed this decision and was scheduled to have his appeal heard at 10 a.m. today -- obviously, right about now -- so we should have a resolution one way or another pretty soon. Hopefully, the result is positive and Carl will run in Friday's final -- he's been slashing his PRs every time out in the steeple this year, and has a great shot at his first individual All-America honor (third total, including two in the DMR indoors).
But on to today's action. First up will be junior James Fredrickson, making his NCAA Championships debut in the 400-meter hurdles. Fredrickson has been terrific in the hurdles this season, and is ranked 10th in the hurdles field entering this afternoon's race. The top two from each of the five heats, plus the next six fastest times will advance to Friday's semifinal; James is in the last of the five heats -- a distinct advantage in that he will know exactly what time he needs to beat -- and boasts the second-fastest qualifying time in his heat.
Shortly thereafter, senior Ryan Brown will attempt to take one step closer to a ninth All-America honor and a shot at at third-straight NCAA title in the semi-final round of the men's 800 meters. As mentioned in yesterday's blog, Ryan typically doesn't go all-out to win his qualifying heats, instead doing just enough to earn an automatic finals spot -- which, in this case, requires a top-three finish, with the next four-fastest times also moving on. Ryan will be paired up with USC's Duane Solomon -- with whom he has had so many classic races over the last 12 months -- as well as a number of other highly-ranked competitors, so it should be a fun semifinal to watch.
Junior Amanda Miller will then take to the track for semi-final action in the 1,500 meters, where the top-four finishers and next four-fastest will advance. Miller earned All-America honors indoors in the mile in March and was an All-American and 800 meters indoors in 2005, but will be making her debut at the NCAA Outdoor meet. In fact, Amanda is currently seeded just 13th in her heat, but as Amy Lia proved last year, rankings don't matter all that much once the gun is fired. A top-four finish and a spot in the finals is well within reach.
Junior Norris Frederick will then complete his 2007 collegiate season in the finals of the men's long jump. Interestingly, for all of his career success -- four All-America honors and an NCAA-leading mark of 26-0 3/4 in the long jump -- this will actually be Norris' first-ever final at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, having been eliminated in preliminary rounds in each of his other four NCAA outdoor appearances (once in the long jump, three times in the high jump). As mentioned, Norris enters the event with the nation's best mark, but will need to create his own energy if he is to match that here in Sacramento. It's a great town and a great facility for track and field, but the crowd doesn't seem to pay too much attention to the field events. ASU's Matt Turner, the nation's No. 2 jumper and another, like Norris, who relies heavily on crowd involvement, failed to make the final here yesterday, demonstrating how difficult it can be for that style of jumper to get motivated when the crowd isn't behind them. Norris will have to find that energetic push within himself if he is to match his 26-foot effort from Regionals -- and he'll probably have to do that to finish at or near the top of the long jump competition.
Rounding out the day will be the men's 4x400-meter team of Jeff Gudaitis, James Fredrickson, Ryan Brown and Alex Harcourt. With the graduation in 2006 of stellar seniors Bruce Jackson and Shane Charles, and with Jordan Boase's decision to take a year off, many predicted a down year for UW's 4x4, as only Brown returned from the squad that earned All-America honors indoors and out last year. But Gudaitis, Fredrickson and Harcourt have teamed to form a terrific unit, returning the relay to the NCAA outdoor meet for the fourth-consecutive year -- a feat never before accomplished in UW history. To qualify out of their semifinal heat, the foursome will have to place among the top-two in a heat that includes LSU, Oklahoma, Mississippi State and Northern Iowa, as well as Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional champion USC. It's a tall order, but it's one they're certainly up to. This relay tends to run faster the better the competition, and this will certainly be the best competition they've seen all year.
As soon as there's an update to Carl Moe's situation, we'll pass it along. Otherwise, we'll be back here around 3:30 p.m. to update weather conditions and get ourselves prepped for what should be an exciting night at the track.
3:15 p.m. -- Bad news, unfortunately, for Carl Moe and the Huskies, as UW's appeal has been denied. This is the first year that officials are allowed to use video in the review process, an allowance that's designed to give a chance for the games committee to review a referee's decision, whereas before eyewitness account was really all the committee had to go on on appeals. Unfortunately, though, the officials' video does not show the brief stretch of track where Moe's alleged offense took place, and while UW coaches and others DO have video of the event that caused the yellow flag to be raised, the officials are not allowed to use coaches' video in their review -- only the official NCAA video. It's too bad for Carl, who has been slashing his personal bests time and time again as the season closes, and likely would have been competitive in Friday's final. There is one potential light in the story, though -- Huskies head coach Greg Metcalf is petitioning USA Track and Field to allow Carl's time to qualify him for the USA Championships later this month, since it was at least briefly posted as an official time. So, hopefully Carl will still have that to look forward to later this month. 400-meter hurdles kick off in about 10 minutes.
4:16 p.m. -- Some good news for the Huskies, in the wake of the bad ... Martin Bingisser, Mike Sayenko and Amanda Miller have all been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team. Sayenko and Miller were second-team honorees, while Bingisser was on the first team, putting him on the ballot of Academic All-America, to be announced later this month. A terrific accomplishment for all three. Congrats! Hurdles heats are underway. James is in the last of the five heats, so we'll have an update as soon as he's done.
4:23 p.m. -- James Fredrickson puts the Huskies back on the plus side of the scoreboard with a good run in his preliminary heat, clocking in at 51.12 seconds to place second. That will automatically qualify Fredrickson for tomorrow's semifinal, scheduled to be part of CSTV's live televised broadcast at 6:40 p.m. The prelim went pretty much as expected, with 14 of the top-16 and all of the top-10 guys making it through.
4:58 p.m. -- Another successful heat for the Huskies, as Ryan Brown advances automatically out of the first semifinal in the 800 meters. Ryan ran his usual race, staying back in the middle of the pack then sprinting down the home stretch. This time Ryan held position for a third-place finish, in 1:48.41, again just what was necessary to advance. Interestingly, only four of the top-eight guys in the country made it through to the final, three of which will be familiar names to those who have followed Ryan's career over the past year -- Andrew Ellerton of Michigan (runner-up to Ryan at March's NCAA Indoor meet), Tim Bayley of Iona (third to Ryan at last year's NCAA Outdoor meet) and Duane Solomon of USC (runner-up to Ryan at last month's Pac-10 and West Regional meets, and the last runner to beat Ryan head-to-head in a collegiate 800-meter final). Should be a great race.
6:22 p.m.-- Things are picking up a bit now with Amanda Miller running in her 1,500-meter semi-final, and Norris Frederick warming up for his first attempt in the long jump. Amanda's heat was pretty tough -- after going out in 2:22 for 800 meters, the field covered the last 700 in 1:56 - a pretty fast pace. Amanda was stuck in the back for much of the race but was able to stay outside and had a clear path to kick forward down the backstretch. After passing five runners to get up to fifth, Amanda leaned forward at the line to try and earn that fourth and final automatic spot in Saturday's live-televised final on CBS. Unfortunately, when the times came up on the scoreboard, Amanda was a heartbreakingly-close .01 seconds -- one-hundredth of a second -- shy of fourth. Her time of 4:20.58, though, was a lifetime-best for Amanda and will hopefully get her in to the final as one of four time qualifiers.
6:38 p.m. -- As almost always happens at these events, the second heat goes out faster than the first, knowing the time to beat -- and beat it they do, with the top-eight finishers all coming in below 4:19. Amanda misses out simply by being in the wrong heat -- the same fate that befell Anita Campbell in last night's 5K. It's been a frustrating week for UW's dstance runners so far -- near-misses to the finals by Campbell and Miller, and Carl Moes DQ. Hopefully Ryan Brown can make up for it with a great run in Saturday's 800-meter final.
6:42 p.m. -- As mentioned previously, the long jump is starting as well, and the crowd -- while larger than Wednesday's -- isn't particularly enthusiastic. Norris' first jump comes in at 23-11 3/4. UW's 4x4 is on the start line, too.
6:49 p.m. -- An interesting change for UW on the 4x4, with sophomore Kyle Still running in place of Ryan Brown. With that change, it means that all four legs of UW's 4x4 are different from the four that ran at last year's national meet. The foursome do their best, but come in at 3:11.05, well off the pace of 3:04 necessary to advance. Being at this meet for three-straight seasons -- and with such a different lineup -- is a terrific accomplishment, and the best news is that all four will return in 2007 to take another shot. Norris should be up on the runway again soon; hipefully he can pop one out there a little longer.
7:14 p.m. -- Stayed out to take photos of both Norris' second and third jumps. His second was a good one -- 25-0 1/2, just his third 25-foot jump in five-career appearances at nationals in the long jump. The readerboard at the time listed him third, and I'm pretty sure no one moved ahead of him on the third round of jumps (neither was Norris' third effort an improvement). So, it looks like Norris will head into the finals in third, and looking good. Three more jumps.
7:17 p.m. -- Also wanted to add that I caught up with UW Athletics Director Todd Turner in the stands just before Norris' competition. He's been down here in Sacramento cheering on the Huskies the past two days, and will be going back to Seattle tonight. I know from talking to coaches and student-athletes down here this week that it really means a lot to them that someone as busy as Todd is willing to take two days out of his schedule to travel down here and watch them compete. He also traveled to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma last weekend and has gone on the road to see other UW teams in the postseason as well. It's great that he wants to be so involved. Anyway, just an aside. Norris will be the sixth jumper up in the order, so we should have an update here in a little bit.
8:06 p.m. -- Three more jumps for Norris and no improvement, though a couple looked like they were going to be pretty close. In fact, just about the whole field had marks that were a little down this year -- 25-2 1/2, the winning mark, wouldn't have won at either the Pac-10 or West Regional meets this year, and marks as low as 24-3 were putting athletes in the top-eight. I talked to Norris briefly afterward and he was obviously frustrated not to get at least one jump out past that 25-2 1/2 mark, a dstance he has achieved a number of times in his career. He said that he thought the reason marks were down was because of a headwind, which the results will probably corrobate. As a layman, it's always tough for me to gauge the relative strength of the wind unless it's really blowing hard, but it was certainly gusting at times throughout the competition. Third is the best Norris has ever done in the long jump at nationals, though, and he earned his fifth All-America honor in the process, putting him behind just Ja'Warren Hooker (10), Ryan Brown (8), Scott Neilson (7) and Rick Noji (6) in UW history, and into a tie with Steve Anderson (5). And he still has a full year left to go.
We'll be back tomorrow with more updates. Be sure to check the web later for a photo gallery of today's action as well. Until then, Go Dawgs!