May 31, 2001
EUGENE, Ore.--Only two Washington athletes competed during day two of the NCAA Track Championships at Hayward Field Thursday. Senior Anna Aoki (Vancouver, Wash.) and sophomore Kate Bradshaw (Issaquah, Wash.) ran in the final event of the day, the 10,000-meter run.
Bradshaw finished the race in 17th-place overall in a time of 37:21.85, while Aoki dropped out of the race just over halfway through due to a heat-related condition.
"When you come to the NCAAs, you try to win it, not finish seventh or eighth," Washington distance coach Greg Metcalf said. "You have to respect the conditions, and if you are going to win you have to be close. It is warm all day, then it is warm when you warm up. The sun is beating down on you during the first half of the race, and a lot of girls were effected by that. For instance last year's champion, Tara Northcutt, who was the favorite to win, finished 18th overall.
"Anna is obviously incredibly disappointed," Metcalf continued. "She had lofty goals for herself. She has felt great all week. She felt good when she was warming up and she felt good the first two miles of the race. It's just that your body has to protect itself. When your body temperature goes up, etc., your body shuts down and just won't let you continue. That's what happened to Anna. She is a senior, so of course she is disappointed to go out that way. She is a tough girl and a phenomenal athlete. You don't run in 10 NCAA Championships if you aren't. It was just not the way it was meant to be today."
Aoki, whose best was a 34:04.77 at Stanford, was competing in her fourth straight NCAA Outdoor Championships. She had posted 10,000-meter finishes of ninth (2000), 19th (1999), and 17th (1998) in her three previous outdoor appearances.
Aoki, who ranked 10th among NCAA competitors in the 10K, is also due to compete in the 5,000 meters at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Metcalf said Aoki will see a doctor Friday and then a decision will be made whether or not she will compete in the 5,000 meters on Saturday.
She won her second Pac-10 10,000-meter title at the conference meet May 19 and also finished third in the 5,000 meters the following day. Aoki, whose first Pac-10 title came in 1998, currently ranks fourth in Husky history in the 10,000 and third in the 5,000 meters. All told, Aoki has been to ten NCAA Championship events, four outdoor track and three each in indoor track and cross country, and has earned three All-American honors, two indoor and one outdoor.
Bradshaw, on the other hand, was able to finish the race despite the 80 degree plus heat in 37:21.85.
"Kate is a tenacious, young girl," Metcalf said of the sophomore who has led the Huskies in distance events this year beginning with the cross country season. "She is a tough competitor and she will be back, and will possibly even double in the future. She will take a month off now to recharge her batteries. She has basically been running non-stop since July."
Bradshaw, who was making her NCAA track debut, was the Huskies' best 10K runner of the season entering the NCAAs, recording a 33:35.51 at the Stanford Invitational March 31. The time ranked second behind 1984 Olympian Regina Joyce on the Husky all-time best list in the 10,000m. Joyce won Washington's first national women's title, claiming the AIAW 3,000-meter championship in 1981. Bradshaw, who ranked fifth among NCAA 10K competitors entering the meet, won the Pac-10 title in the 10,000 meter at last year's conference meet.
This is the first competition for the UW women at this year's NCAAs. Outdoor championship action will continue on Friday, beginning at 2 p.m. with the 100-meter hurdles for the heptathlon. Competing for Washington on day three will be sophomore Megan Spriestersbach (Tacoma, Wash.) in the javelin at 6 p.m. and senior David Bazzi (Seattle, Wash./ O'Dea) in the 5,000-meter run at 8 p.m. Bazzi won his first-ever All-American title with an eighth-place finish in the 10,000 meters Wednesday evening.
Full results from the NCAA Championships are available daily on the NCAA web site at www.ncaachampionships.com and on the Oregon web site at www.goducks.com.