Feb. 27, 2004
SEATTLE - Washington State's Matt Mason climbed into the top-10 of the IAAF World Rankings in the long jump, and UCLA's Sheena Johnson climbed to fifth on the 2004 U.S. performance lists, but it was the Stanford women and the Bruins men who staked early leads on an exciting first day of competition Friday in the 2004 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships at Dempsey Indoor.
The three-day meet, which serves as the indoor conference championships for Pac-10 and Big West Conference track and field teams, concludes Saturday, with events scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.
With five events completed on the women's side, the Cardinal staked an early lead with 39 points, including 23 points from the 3,000-meter event, won by Stanford sophomore Alicia Craig in a meet -record 9:26.67. UCLA stands second with 31.5 points, ahead of third-place Washington State (18.5) and fourth-place Cal Poly (18), as well as Washington and Arizona, which are tied for fifth with 16 points.
On the men's side, UCLA used a sweep of the top three places in the shot put as a springboard to 52 points, narrowly ahead of second-place Oregon (45.5) and third-place Cal (37). Washington stands 10th entering the meet's final day, with 3.5 points through six events.
With the lead in the long jump entering his final attempt, Mason threw caution to the wind and launched the third-best just by an American this year, clearing 26 feet, 6 1/4 inch to win the event handily. Mason's effort is bettered by only eight other marks on the current IAAF World Rankings, and shattered both meet and facility records.
UCLA's Johnson, ranked fifth nationally entering the event, blazed into Saturday's 60-meter hurdles final with a prelim-winning time of 8.06 seconds, nearly a quarter of a second faster than the previous MPSF meet record. Johnson's mark is fifth-fastest by an American in 2004, and raised the senior to second on the NCAA performance lists.
Just behind Johnson in the 60-meter hurdles was Husky freshman Ashley Lodree, whose mark of 8.46 seconds was fifth-fastest in Friday's prelim. Lodree saved the best for last, however, taking fourth in the long jump with a mark of 19-6 1/4, sixth-best ever indoors at Washington and tops by a Husky woman since 1995.
Sophomore Brynne Steward also ran well in the hurdles, posting a career-best of 8.64 seconds to climb to seventh in school history, while senior Marc James rode the record-wave to his own history-making mark of 8.08 in the men's hurdles, fifth-fastest ever at Washington and good for a spot in Saturday's final.
Other Husky history-makers included freshman Kira Harrison in the 800-meter prelim, whose time of 2:11.77 was fifth-fastest in school history, and junior Nik Williams, whose time of 48.29 in the men's 400 meters equaled the school's eighth-best all-time.
For complete results and a list of heats and flights for Saturday's events, visit www.gohuskies.com.