May 13, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. - Senior Ryan Brown won his second-career Pac-10 title Sunday and led Washington's 4x400-meter relay to a second-place finish, keying the Husky men to a sixth-place team finish at the 2007 Pac-10 Track and Field Championships at Stanford's Cobb Track & Angell Field.
Brown was one of five Husky men or women to earn first- or second-place finishes Sunday, and one of a team-record 18 to earn top-five conference finishes over the meet's two days. In addition, three Huskies on Sunday clocked times among the nation's 10-fastest this year, while five achieved marks among the top-10 in UW history.
Trailing USC's Duane Solomon by 20 meters with 200 meters to go, Brown surged off the final turn to outsprint Solomon to the finish line for the win in 1 minute, 47.51 seconds, the second-fastest collegiate time this year. In so doing, Brown won back the Pac-10 title he first earned in 2005, before losing it to Solomon last year. The two currently rank first and second in the NCAA this season.
Since returning from a self-imposed one-year layoff from the sport in 2004, Brown has won multiple Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional titles, become a two-time NCAA 800-meter champion, and earned eight NCAA All-America honors.
"It was a typical Duane Solomon-Ryan Brown affair," said fifth-year head coach Greg Metcalf, who has watched the two dual frequently at Pac-10, Regional and NCAA meets the past three years. "Solomon went out hard and had a big lead, but Ryan came hard in the last 200 to get him with about 85 meters to go. It'll definitely be fun to see them go at each other a couple more times at Regionals and NCAAs."
His win Sunday made Brown just the second Husky ever to win multiple Pac-10 titles exclusively on the track, and just the fifth since Pac-8 expansion in 1979 to win multiple titles in any event.
In addition, the Renton High School graduate extended UW's impressive streak of consecutive years with at least one Pac-10 champion to eight, and remained undefeated in 800-meter finals since May of 2006 - a streak which includes each of the last two NCAA Championship meets.
Brown's win - and his contribution to UW's second-place 4x400-meter relay squad - helped account for 18 of Washington's 89 team points, a total just three shy of No. 15 UCLA's fourth-place total (92), and just two shy of eighth-ranked Arizona for fifth (91). Eleventh-ranked Oregon won its second Pac-10 men's title in the last three years by a slim 114-111 margin over No. 6 ASU, with second-ranked USC placing third at 110.
Washington's high men's team score - it's second-best since 1998 - is even more impressive when considering that the Huskies were without four key scorers in sophomores Jeremy Mineau and Mart Israel, and juniors Austin Abbott and Dave Nyland, each of whom would have ranked among the top-five in their events and would likely have put UW in the mix for the Pac-10 title.
"Obviously, as a coach or a fan it's natural to play the game of `what if?' and try to project what we might have scored with those guys in our lineup," Metcalf said. "But I think instead it's more appropriate to give credit to the guys who were here for what they accomplished. We finished above our projections, scoring-wise, as a team because our men rallied together and fought for every position on the track. Our men were seventh at NCAAs indoors, and they just wanted to remind everyone that just because they've lost a few guys, doesn't mean they should be excluded from the conversation about great men's teams out of the Pac-10. I think they made that point loud and clear with their performances this weekend, and with how close they finished to those top teams."
Reigning NCAA indoor champion ASU, meanwhile, ran away with their second-straight conference women's crown, downing host Stanford by a 154-134 1/3 margin. Washington was ninth with 49 points.
`This conference is just so deep right now - USC, Oregon and UCLA are all top-10 women's teams nationally, and they couldn't come within 40 points of ASU. And on the men's side, too - Stanford was fourth at the NCAA indoor meet in March, and they just placed eighth at Pac-10s, while USC, the second-ranked team in the country, couldn't even finish in the top-two at Pac-10s. The conference is just so deep and so talented as a whole, that I think that's why you saw such outstanding performances all weekend."
Brown certainly was not the only Husky making history on Sunday.
Junior Alex Harcourt clocked the nation's fourth-fastest time in a second-place finish in the 400 meters, his final mark of 45.87 seconds the third-best in Washington history, and the best by a Husky since 2000.
Harcourt's Kentridge High School teammate James Fredrickson also shot to No. 3 in UW history - and into the top-10 of the national collegiate rankings - with his time of 50.63 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles, also good for a second-place finish Sunday.
Both, too, were on the 4x400-meter relay squad with Brown and freshman Jeff Gudaitis that placed second in 3:08.70, barely a second behind winner USC.
"Alex ran with tremendous confidence today; it was as good as I've ever seen him run," said Metcalf. "James, too, looked really strong over those last 4-5 hurdles, then for those two and Ryan to come back
Senior Martin Bingisser made it four first- or second-place finishes for the UW men Sunday with a second-place toss of 217-11 in the hammer throw, the best by a Husky in nearly 30 years, since Scott Neilson's school-record toss of 238-7 in 1978. Freshman Zack Midles placed seventh in the hammer, while his older brother, Adam - a senior at USC - was the only thrower to eclipse Bingisser on Sunday, winning his second Pac-10 title with a throw of 222-11.
Washington's women, meanwhile, received nearly half of their 49 points from senior Ashley Lodree, who added a second-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles (13.31 seconds) and a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash (11.54 seconds) Sunday to the third-place finish she earned in Saturday's long jump competition.
"Ashley had an incredible weekend," Metcalf said. "We've been spoiled getting to watch her perform at this level every year - heck, every week - for the last four years. She's got a couple of meets left still to add to her Husky legend, and I'm sure she'll make the most of those opportunities."
Besides the 23 points scored by Lodree, Washington women also earned points Sunday from sophomore Dani Schuster in the 800 meters (4th, 2:10.72), junior Amanda Miller (4th, 4:23.68) and freshman Katie Follett (8th, 4:27.87) in the 1,500 meters, sophomore Anita Campbell in the 5,000 meters (3rd, 16:26.67), sophomore Syretta Martin in the 400-meter hurdles (5th, 59.60) and senior Stevie Marshalek (3rd, 13-1 ½) and junior Kelley DiVesta (7th, 12-5 ½) in the pole vault.
"We didn't come in here with the kind of firepower we'd have liked on the women's side, but I was really impressed with how our women stepped up," Metcalf said. "They were determined to score as many points as they could with what they had to work with, and they ended up scoring even more than what we had projected for them."
In all, Metcalf says that this weekend's performances set the stage for another successful postseason run for UW's teams.
"We put four guys into the top-10 of the NCAA rankings, saw almost all of our top competitors prove themselves with big-time performances, and added a ton of new NCAA qualifiers," he said. "Most importantly, we held our own against the top teams and athletes in the country, and that's going to give our folks a lot of confidence heading into the regional and national meets."
For complete results of the 2007 Pac-10 Track and Field Championships, or for more information on Washington track and field, visit www.GoHuskies.com.
2007 Pac-10 Conference Track and Field Championships
Cobb Track & Angell Field; Stanford, Calif.
May 12-13, 2007
Men's Team Scores (Final): 1. Oregon 114, 2. Arizona State 111, 3. USC 110; 4. UCLA 92; 5. Arizona 91; 6. Washington 89; 7. Washington State 84; 8. Stanford 72, 9. California 56.
Men's Results (UW Only)
400m Dash: 2. Alex Harcourt, 45.87. 800m Run: 1. Ryan Brown, 1:47.51. 1,500m Run: 8. Jon Hickey, 3:49.54. 400m Hurdles: 2. James Fredrickson, 50.63; 6. Kyle Still, 52.34. 5,000m Run: 11. Kelly Spady, 14:35.93; 12. Jon Harding, 14:40.39; 20. Carl Moe, 14:49.85; 23. Matt Owen, 15:06.24. 4x100m Relay: 6. Washington, 41.09. 4x400m Relay: 2. Washington, 3:08.70. High Jump: 5. Teddy Davis, 6-10 ¾; 6. Norris Frederick, 6-10 ¾. Triple Jump: 12. Corey Fredericks, 42-9 ½. Hammer: 2. Martin Bingisser, 217-11; 7. Zack Midles, 198-9. Javelin: 12. Zach Woods, 170-10.
Women's Team Scores (Final): 1. Arizona State 158; 2. Stanford 134 1/3; 3. UCLA 118 ½; 4. USC 113; 5. Washington State 67 5/6; 6. Arizona 62; 7. Oregon 61; 8. California 54 1/3; 9. Washington 49; 10. Oregon State 0.
Women's Results (UW Only)
100m Dash: 4. Ashley Lodree, 11.54 (w: 2.1). 800m Run: 4. Dani Schuster, 2:10.72. 1,500m Run: 4. Amanda Miller, 4:23.68; 8. Katie Follett, 4:27.87; 10. Amy Lia, 4:31.35. 5,000m Run: 3. Anita Campbell, 16:26.67; 20. Karina Wegman, 17:49.79; 21. Trisha Rasmussen, 17:50.76; 22. Brooke Anderson, 17:54.92; 25. Sayaka Yoshinaga, 18:26.02. 100m Hurdles: 2. Ashley Lodree, 13.31 (w: -0.4). 400m Hurdles: 5. Syreeta Martin, 59.60. Pole Vault: 3. Stevie Marshalek, 13-1 1/2; 7. Kelley DiVesta, 12-5 ½; t9. Myrriah Swango, 11-11 ¾; 16. Andrea Peterson, 11-5 ¾; --. Alli Moore, NH. Triple Jump: 17. Daria Amiad-Pavlov, 37-11 ¼ (w: -1.1); 18. Liz Fuller, 37-4 ½ (w: -1.3).