Feb. 15, 2003
SEATTLE - Washington senior Brad Walker on Saturday equaled 2003's 10th-best indoor pole vault clearance in world with a mark of 18-feet, 6 1/2 inches at the UW Indoor Invitational at Dempsey Indoor. The mark equaled that of Sweden's Patrik Kristiansson to rank 10th on the IAAF Indoor Rankings in 2003, and is the fifth-best mark by a U.S. pole vaulter this season.
A two-time All-American in the pole vault, Walker shattered his own school record of 17'-11 1/2" set in 2001. The senior was the NCAA runner-up in the event last season, and is the nation's top returning vaulter in 2003.
After needing three attempts to clear the bar at 18'-2", Walker brought the 1,500 fans in attendance to a roar by clearing 18'-6 1/2" on his first try, raising his arms in triumph as he left the mat. The Spokane, Wash., native made three more attempts at 19'-0", but failed each time.
"Brad Walker said all week that he was going to go big today in the pole vault, and no one who knows Brad ever doubted him," said first-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "He's an outstanding athlete, and we're proud to have him on our team."
Walker's school record was just one of three set by Husky athletes at the UW Invitational, which also featured three all-time world's best times by Masters' division athletes.
Husky senior Jeremy Park ran the nation's third-fastest 3,000-meter time this season with a mark of 7 minutes, 54.13 seconds. Park's time was more than eight seconds faster than the previous school record of 8:02.56, was an automatic-qualifying mark for March's NCAA Championship meet, and was the third-fastest time in the event by a collegian this season.
Joining Park on the school-record list is senior Courtney Inman, who broke her own record in the mile with a time of 4:43.43, nearly two seconds better than her previous best of 4:45.40. Inman's mile mark currently ranks seventh in the nation in 2003, and meets the provisional-qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships.
Nearly stealing the show from the Husky standouts was 60-year-old Harold Morioka, who competed unattached. Morioka established two all-time world's best marks for the 60-65 age group, clocking 25.09 for 200 meters and 54.56 for 400 meters. Joining Morioka atop the world lists was Club Northwest's Tony Young, who, with a time of 8:22.99 in the 3,000 meters, crushed the all-time world masters' best by nearly 10 seconds.
Other Huskies also put in outstanding performances. Freshman Shelton Sampson, a tailback on the UW football team, ran the third-fastest 200-meter mark in school history with a time of 21.18 seconds, earning the first-year runner a berth at the 2003 Pac-10 Championship meet in May. Joining Sampson at the Pac-10 meet will be junior miler Todd Arnold, whose time of 4:06.65 in the mile was well below the conference qualifying standard, and true freshman Warren Eickhoff, who bettered the Pac-10 mark with a 6-9 1/2 in the high jump.
Washington will rest next weekend before welcoming seven of the Pac-10's nine track and field teams to Dempsey Indoor for the 2003 Pac-10 Invitational, Feb. 31-Mar. 1.