June 6, 2006
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 the latest recaps and upcoming event schedules:
Day 4 Preview: Day 4 at the NCAA Championships dawns sunny and clear, and it appears we're headed for another perfect afternoon in Sacramento. It will be interesting to see if the competition today is affected by the change in the event schedule -- from evening to early afternoon -- necessitated by CBS' decision to air the final day of the championships on live television (KIRO-TV, 12 p.m. PST-3 p.m. PST). As a result, running events usually conducted in the cool of the evening will be held under the 90-degree mid-day sun -- a factor which would seem most likely to affect anyone planning to set a fast pace in a distance race, or anyone -- like UW's Ryan Brown -- competing in more than one event.
Either way, those watching the CBS broadcast will have the chance to see several of UW's top stars in action. Brown will bid for his fifth- and sixth-career All-America honors in the 800 meters (12:15 p.m.) and 4x400 meters (2:45 p.m.), a feat matched by just three other Huskies all-time. Furthermore, if he can accomplish the double, he'll be just the second Husky -- along with Ja'Warren Hooker in 2000 -- to earn four such honors in one year (by comparison, fewer than 20 Huskies have even earned four in their entire careers). Pole vaulters Carly Dockendorf and Kelley DiVesta will be among 16 finalists in that event (11:45 a.m.), where just about anything can happen, while junior Amy Lia will try for a second-straight All-America honor in the 1,500 meters (1:52 p.m.). One athlete who will miss the television broadcast is senior Juan Romero, who will compete in javelin finals at 10 a.m. It's too bad -- Romero's had an outstanding postseason, and seems capable of just about anything in what will be the final competition of his collegiate career.
One thing to watch will be the team standings -- despite slip-ups by top-10 ranked competitors Norris Frederick (long jump), Will Conwell (discus) and Shane Charles (400m Hurdles) in qualifying rounds, the UW men still have the chance to do well, especially if the 4x4 can come anywhere close to matching its third-place effort at the NCAA Indoor Championships. It's also been interesting at the top -- with many of the national favorites stumbling through three days, the door is open for just about any of the top-10 teams on both sides to jump up and grab a national title. As always, there are going to be some amazing performances on this, the final day of the 2006 collegiate track and field season.
Saturday, June 10
10:00 a.m. -- Men's Javelin, Final (Juan Romero)
Preview: Senior Juan Romero will compete for the final time in a UW uniform Saturday in the javelin final at the NCAA Championships. It's been a brilliant month for Romero, who came from nowhere to win the Pac-10 title, then finished second at the Regional and enters today's final with the fifth-best mark from qualifying, a toss of 228-6. It's probably going to take something better to finish in the top-five Saturday ... Romero's best is 233-10, and if he can pop a 240-foot throw -- which, given his recent performances, can't be ruled out -- he'll be right in the mix at the top of the standings. Marks from qualifying are wiped out in this round, so each of the 12 throwers will receive three preliminary tosses, with the top-nine earning three more chances to better their mark.
10:08 a.m. PST -- Romero's first throw is 205-5. He's the sixth of 12 throwers, and that mark puts him fourth right now. It's going to take more than that to advance to the final -- probably something in the 220-225 range.
10:21 a.m. PST -- Knocked down to 10th by the time he comes up for his second throw, Romero goes 209-7 ... it's an improvement, but it doesn't change his overall standing. He'll have one throw left to try and crack into the top-nine.
10:29 a.m. PST -- Romero's last throw is called off for a foot foul, so it's not measured, though mit looked to be somewhere in the range of his previous two. Romero finishes the competition in 11th -- below his seeding, but far, far above where just about anyone would have picked him a month ago. It's been a fantastic postseason for Romero; all that awaits now is a determination of whether he'll be an All-American.
11:21 a.m. PST -- Good news. Three of the finishers ahead of Romero are foreign-born, so the Husky senior is an All-American -- UW's third of the meet, and 27th all-time in the javelin.
11:45 a.m. -- Women's Pole Vault, Final (Carly Dockendorf)
Preview: With the top two collegiate pole vaulters in NCAA history -- Chelsea Johnson of UCLA (15-1) and Lacy Janson of Florida State (15-0 1/4) -- in the field, it's a lot to expect Huskies Carly Dockendorf or Kelley DiVesta to keep alive UW's streak of three-consecutive seasons with an NCAA champion pole vaulter. Still, the vault is track and field's most unpredictable event, and with bests of 13-9 1/2 and 13-5 1/2, respectively, Dockendorf and DiVesta can put themselves in the mix with even moderate personal-bests Saturday. What will be important is remaining "clean" over the bars -- clearing on first attempts, without misses. At the NCAA Championships, where every vaulter is elite, misses can mean a difference of three to four places in the final standings -- a big difference when factoring team points, or figuring All-America honors.
11:21 a.m. PST -- Pole vault warmups are underway. DiVesta will jump early in the order, and Dockendorf at the end. Temperatures are still mild at this point in the day -- probably no more than 70-75 in the sun, much cooler in the shade.
12:12 p.m. PST -- Both DiVesta and Dockendorf are over 12-9 1/2, Dockendorf on her first and DiVesta on her second. Both miss their first attempts at 13-3 1/2.
1:16 p.m. PST -- Apologies for the lack of updates to this section ... Ryan Brown's win at 800 meters created a bit of a buzz. Getting back to the action ...
DiVesta gets stood up and misses her second attempt. Dockendorf, too, knocks the bar down. On her third attempt, DiVesta drifts to the side and can't keep her height going over the bar -- she's out, with a best in the competition of 12-9 1/2. Dockendorf gets over, despite "sliming" the bar on the way over (grazing it with her body). The bar now moves up to 13-9 1/4 -- right at Dockendorf's PR.
Dockendorf misses her first at 13-9 1/4, and knocks the bar off with her second jump as well. Her third jump is shown live to the entire stadium via the jumbotron; and, for all we know here, live to the nation on CBS. She knocks it off on her way up, though, and is out at 13-3 1/2.
All that's left is to determine the places, and see if either of Washington's vaulters are going to earn All-America honors. Dockendorf's going to be close -- of course, since she is Canadian, she will have to be in the top-eight ... the "add one American for every foreigner in the top-eight" rule won't apply to her.
1:41 p.m. PST -- The results are in. Dockendorf tied for 11th; DiVesta was 15th.
12:15 p.m. -- Men's 800m Run, Final (Ryan Brown)
Preview: A semi-finalist in this event last year, Brown advanced through to Saturday's final with a dramatic come-from-behind victory in his semi-final heat Friday. Brown has looked great so far at the NCAA meet, running below 1:48 in both of his qualifying heats -- something he had done just twice, total, in his career prior to this week. Brown's time of 1:47.40 in the semi-final was a personal best, and it will likely take something as good or better to put the Husky junior in a position to contend with the other talented half-milers in the field, each of whom will be well aware of Brown's uncanny ability to surge down the stretch for dramatic wins. Look for Brown to go after it Saturday, staying close behind the leaders before stepping out to make a run coming off the final turn. Guaranteed a top-eight finish and a fifth-career All-America honor, the Renton native has nothing to lose by taking a shot at the title.
12:28 p.m. PST -- Brown starts the 800 meters in lane six -- he'll be able to keep his speed through the turn and should be able to get himself into a good position when the field cuts in after 100 meters. The beginning of the race plays out just like that, with Brown settling in sixth, about three meters back of the leaders and with plenty of room outside to make a move. The field passes through 400 meters in 51.6 seconds -- a blistering 1:42 pace. Brown stays sixth to the far corner then makes his move, going to the outside of lane 1 to pass the two runners immediately in front him. The field disappears behind a pack of officials for about a 10-meter stretch as they come off the turn -- when they do, it's Brown in the lead, and he's accelerating down the homestretch. Brown outsprints the field to the line to a roar from a crowd appreciative of his surge down the stretch. As he crosses the finish line, Brown raises his fists and breaks into a smile before being surrounded by CBS camera crews and other photographers. His first national title -- and on live TV, to boot. Then it's off to the interview tent before finally reaching an exuberant head coach Greg Metcalf. A terrific race, and a terrific meet, for your 2006 NCAA 800-meter champion, Ryan Brown.
1:52 p.m.* -- Women's 1,500m Run, Final (Amy Lia)
Preview: Junior Amy Lia was a surprise qualifier for the final last year, where she then struggled to a 12th-place finish. This year, Lia was a favorite to qualify, but had to wait until both of Friday's semi-final heats were concluded before learning that she had received the last of four provisional finals spots. So what does that mean for today's live-televised final? It's hard to say -- the junior has the ability to run with the nation's best, and ran her PR -- 4:18.88 -- on this very same track last June. If she can come anywhere close to that time, she should be able to crack the top-eight and earn her second-career All-America honor.
3:26 p.m. PST -- This update is woefully lacking, so you must figure something big happened. Well, you're right.
Amy Lia started the 1,500 meters off in 12th, and hung there through 1,200 meters -- the last-place finisher in the final last year, and the last qualifier for this year's final, it's likely many in the stands figured Lia would just stay where she was all the way to the finish line.
Fortunately for Washington, Lia was not one of those people. Instead, the junior put on a huge kick at the 250-meter mark, chewing up the five runners in front of her in a span of 50 meters and setting her sights on the leaders, still 15-20 meters ahead. By the time she came off the turn, Lia was passing the leaders -- much to the surprise of one, who could be visibly seen to turn and look at Lia as if to say, 'Who the heck is that?' All she saw after that, though, was the small Dawg logo on the back of Lia's jersey as the Husky junior pulled away for a one-second win. Lia's time -- 4:14.63 -- is the fastest by a collegian this year and the ninth-fastest by an American woman in 2006.
Not too bad for someone who entered the meet seeded 10th. Four middle distances finals were run at this NCAA Championships, and two were won by Husky runners. Who says Washington isn't a distance school anymore? Just because the Huskies are bringing long jumpers, pole vaulters, sprinters and throwers to the NCAA Championships doesn't mean the Dawgs don't still know how to close the deal in the distances. What a day!
2:45 p.m.* -- Men's 4x400m Relay, Final
Preview: It's the last event of the meet, and the one that inevitably elicits the loudest roars from the crowd -- the 4x400 meters. Making it more exciting for Husky fans is the fact that Washington's team of Jordan Boase, Ryan Brown, Shane Charles and Bruce Jackson -- is among the best in the country, and indeed trailed only NCAA leader LSU and Pac-10 champion USC in qualifying Friday. The Huskies were third at the NCAA meet indoors -- best for a UW relay since 1975 -- and will be looking to improve on that finish Saturday. Washington beat USC at the NCAA West Regional meet, but is 0-for-2 against LSU this year, including the indoor final and Friday's semi-final round. The racers to watch are the final two -- seniors Charles and Jackson. Both will have a chip on their shoulder after failing to make finals in their respective individual events, and as seniors, will be determined to go out with a positive lasting memory in their final collegiate races. Expect world-class performances from both, which should put Washington squarely in the hunt coming off the final turn.
3:45 p.m. PST -- Ryan Brown is indeed suited up for the start of the 4x400-meter relay ... after winning the 800 in 1:46, the junior had joked that he might have given it his all in the event and have to skip the relay. The competitive juices are flowing, though, and he's ready to go for this, the last final of the 2006 NCAA Championships.
Boase starts seventh, in lane 2, and holds that position throughout the first leg before passing to Charles. LSU's way out in front, with several schools bunched behind. Charles runs a strong opening 200, moving the Huskies up to fifth, and hands off in a dead heat for fifth with two other schools. The handoff is a little slow, though, and Brown enters the first corner back in seventh, but runs a great leg -- showing no ill effects whatsoever -- to close the Huskies back up with the rest of the pack at the final exchange. Jackson takes off seventh, but is within 5-10 meters of about 4-5 teams as he comes out of the first turn. Down the back stretch, he's looking good, but so do the other teams -- as they come around the last corner he's sixth and closing on Oregon's Matt Scherer for fifth. About 15 meters from the finish line, though, Jackson suddenly hops in pain, stumbling a few steps before falling one meter short of the finish line. The senior is quick to get up and cross the line, thus avoiding the DNF and preserving the All-America status for himself and his UW teammates.
It's hard to say where the Huskies might have finished without the injury -- certainly at least sixth, and maybe fifth. Either way, the guys ran their best and were in a battle for the top-five at the end. Jackson doesn't appear to be seriously injured -- he is able to walk off the track under his own power. That's good news for all.