Feb. 14, 2009
SEATTLE - Senior Jordan Boase ran the fastest 400-meter dash time in the world thus far in 2009, highlighting a remarkable Husky Classic track meet today at Washington's Dempsey Indoor facility. Four school records were broken and four more Dempsey facility records were shattered on Saturday, with Boase's 46.15-second sprint counting for one of each.
Boase, a native of Bothell, Wash., had not contested the 400-meters since the semifinals of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials last June. He began his season last weekend with the second-fastest 200-meter dash in school history, then topped that with the fastest indoor time run by anyone in 2009. Boase's previous best indoors was 46.34 seconds, run at last season's NCAA Indoor Championships in which he placed third.
After the race Boase was not shy about his goals heading into the meet.
"I wanted to run a world leading time," Boase said. "I was hoping to hit 45-seconds, but I'm happy with it. I didn't come off the corner with the lead but I just sat in behind (Washington State's Jeshua Anderson) and then knew I could make a move on the straightaway. With 300-meters I knew I was going to win. The goal now is to go score points in two weeks at Mountain Pacific and then get ready for NCAA's."
Later that night, Boase would finish off the track meet by homing in on Washington State's Justin Woods to give Washington the victory in the 4x400-meter relay. Woods had a 20-meter lead on Boase on the backstretch, but on the final straightaway Boase blew past the cross-state rival as the UW's foursome of Sam Rucker, Jeff Gudaitis, Joe Turner, and Boase won in 3:11.11.
Leading the women was freshman standout Christine Babcock, the Pac-10 Cross Country Newcomer of the Year. The national high school 1600m record holder displayed her incredible talents in the first mile run of her college career, running 4:38.00 to hit the NCAA Automatic qualifier right on the dot. It was the second-fastest mile in school history and will rank in the Top-10 nationally.
Three more school records would fall on the women's side. Junior Katie Follett lowered her own 3,000-meter indoor record by nine seconds, running 9:16.01 to make the NCAA Provisional mark and fall just shy of the 9:15.00 Auto mark. Redshirt freshman Mel Lawrence was just behind Follett, running 9:16.89 to put her name second in the record book in her first collegiate 3K.
At 5,000-meters, senior Anita Campbell crushed Sabrina Monro's six-year-old school record, finishing in 16:09.26, nearly thirteen seconds faster than the old record of 16:22.13. Campbell's time ranks 6th in the NCAA this season. Sophomore Elisa Bryant also rewrote her own school record in the weight throw, with a top effort of 64-feet, 8-inches that ranks in the Top-10 nationally based on marks heading into the weekend.
"We really saw a lot of progress today with tons of new personal-bests across the board," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "However there is still a great deal of work left to do before our conference meet in two weeks and nationals soon after. All in all this was a great day filled with some world-class performances. Jordan Boase is only getting started this season and he's already breaking records, and our women's distance group was phenomenal."
One of the greatest performances in the history of the Dempsey was turned in by Colorado's Jenny Barringer in the 5,000-meters. Barringer crushed the collegiate 5K indoor record, running 15:01.70, the third-fastest time in the world this year. The 2008 U.S. Olympian in the steeplechase must be developing a soft spot for the Dempsey, as she also shattered the facility's 3,000-meter record just two weeks ago at the UW Invitational. The previous collegiate 5K record was 15:14.18 set back in 2004 by Providence's Kim Smith; a mark that looks shockingly meager now when compared to Barringer's blazing time.
Additional facility records were set by freshman sensation German Fernandez of Oklahoma State, who won the men's 3,000-meter run in 7:47.97. Fernandez recently broke the world junior mile record with a time of 3:56.50, then won the U.S. Junior Cross Country Championship last weekend. His 3K time today is the fastest in the NCAA to this point.
The final Dempsey record went to Oregon's Andrew Wheating in the 800-meters. Wheating, a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, used a powerful finishing kick to cross the line in 1:47.03, the fastest time by an American this year. Close behind Wheating was Husky senior Austin Abbott. The five-time All-American ran an indoor personal best time of 1:48.56, which should rank the Chehalis native in the top-five in the NCAA.
A total of 12 NCAA Qualifying marks were posted by Washington athletes on Saturday, including the automatic times of Boase and Babcock. Several new qualifiers were turned in, starting with freshman Kelly McNamee, who PR'd in the high jump with a clearance of 5-10 ½, the third-best mark in school history.
Senior Andrea Peterson cleared the all-important 13-foot mark in the pole vault for the first time in her career for another provisional mark, and junior Kailey Campbell shaved half a second off her mile PR, running 4:44.68 as she looks to increase her odds of reaching the national meet. Not to be overlooked was senior Jake Schmitt, who ran the second-fastest 5K in school history, clocking 13:55.34 to easily make the provisional cut.
A handful of Huskies will also compete at the UW Indoor Open tomorrow at the Dempsey, but the majority of the team will next see action at the MPSF Championships, which Washington hosts on February 27-28.