April 16, 2005
TEMPE, Ariz. - Washington junior Will Conwell won the discus, while former Husky Rob Minnitti and UW senior Rigel Wise went 1-2 in the javelin to lead a banner day for Husky throwers at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz. Conwell and Wise joined a large group of UW sprinters in competition at the meet, which ran late into the night in an effort to combat temperatures that reached into the mid-90s at Arizona State's Sun Angel Stadium.
Kentwood High School alum Conwell moved into the top-25 of the national collegiate rankings with an NCAA regional-qualifying throw of 178 feet, 10 inches in the men's discus competition, held in the heat of midday. Conwell's toss, a three-foot improvement over his previous outdoor season best, flew two feet farther than that of his nearest opponent, Arizona State's Travis Jones. The Husky junior has his season off to a fast start as he looks to improve upon a fourth-place finish at last year's Pac-10 Championships.
"Will's really been firing on all cylinders this spring," said third-year head coach Greg Metcalf from Walnut, Calif., where he is coaching UW's distance runners in the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays. "He's had to fight through some injuries over the past two years and has really worked his tail off, so it's great to see all that work paying off for him."
Minnitti and Wise made it a Husky sweep in Saturday night's javelin, each launching tosses over 220 feet to outdistance the field by more than 10 feet. Former Husky Minnitti, the 11th-place javelin finisher at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, earned the victory with a throw of 236 feet, 5 inches, while Wise notched a lifetime best 221-foot, 5-inch effort for second.
Minnitti completed his collegiate career at Boise State in 2003 after earning All-America honors at Washington in 1999, and continues to train in Seattle with UW volunteer assistant javelin coach Duncan Atwood, himself a UW alum and three-time United States javelin champion. Wise's throw, meanwhile, ranks the Kelso, Wash., native among the top-10 collegiate competitors in the nation in 2005, and is the second-best throw by a Pac-10 Conference competitor this year.
Sophomore All-American Ashley Lodree also moved up the NCAA's regional-qualifying list Saturday, shaving five-hundredths of a second off of her season-best in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.50 seconds, good for third in the Sun Angel field. The Richmond, Calif., native earned All-America honors in the 60-meter hurdles at last month's NCAA Indoor Championships, and boasts a lifetime best of 13.43 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles that is more than a tenth of a second faster than any other runner in UW history.
While Washington's sprinters and throwers competed Saturday in Tempe, the 4th-Annual Mt. SAC Relays continued in Walnut, Calif., with the second of three days of competition, including action by selected Husky men's pole vaulters. Results of Saturday's men's vault were unfortunately not made available as of this writing; when available, they will be posted online to http://relays.mtsac.edu/2005/indexUO.htm.
Freshman Austin Abbott kicked off UW action at Mt. SAC Friday night with a UW freshman record in the 1,500 meters, while junior Mark Mandi clocked an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 29 minutes, 38.71 seconds in a 10,000-meter men's final that finished too late for inclusion in Friday's event recap. Mandi's time is the eighth-fastest in UW history, and qualifies the Everett native provisionally for June's NCAA Championship meet; the 10,000-meter and multi-events are not contested at the NCAA West Regional, and are therefore not subject to regional qualifying standards.