May 26, 2006
PROVO, Utah - Huskies Martin Bingisser, Norris Frederick and Anita Campbell each earned NCAA Championships berths Friday at the NCAA West Regional Championships in Provo, Utah, but it was Ashley Lodree who stole the headlines.
The junior from Richmond, Calif., clocked a wind-aided 12.95 seconds in her preliminary heat of the 100-meter hurdles Friday, the ninth-fastest time -- wind-aided or otherwise -- in Pac-10 Conference history. Lodree, who holds Washington's official school record of 13.17 seconds, is the first woman in UW history to break the 13-second barrier, and just the fifth collegiate woman to do so this year.
"She looked really smooth across the hurdles," said assistant coach LaMonte Vaughn, Jr. "She wasn't really able to be 100 percent at Pac-10s, so she's extra motivated to come out and be healthy."
In winning her heat, Lodree advanced to Saturday's final and thus all but assured a berth at next month's NCAA Championships. The top five finishers in each event at each of the four regionals earn automatic NCAA Championships berths, while the next seven finishers are eligible to receive one of 6-8 at-large berths awarded in order of season performance. With the No. 4 mark in the nation after Friday`s prelim, Lodree is certain to receive an at-large berth if she does not finish in the top-five Saturday.
"There's no way she's going to come out and take it easy tomorrow," Vaughn said Friday. "I don't think `take it easy' is even in her vocabulary. She's going to get after it and try and win that race."
That was also the goal Friday of Bingisser and Frederick, each of whom earned automatic NCAA Championships berths with top-five finishes.
Like Lodree, Frederick entered the regional meet in a comfortable position on the at-large list, with the nation's No. 8 mark in the long jump. Still, the sophomore made certain of his Championships berth with a second-place finish Friday, clearing 25-4 ¾ on his fifth attempt. The recently-crowned Pac-10 long jump champion, Frederick would have added the Regional title if not for UCLA's Joel Tuosto, who achieved a significant personal best of 25-6 ¾ on his final attempt of the competition.
"I felt good today; I know at least one of those [fouled] jumps was over 26 feet," Frederick said. "By that fifth jump, I was just trying to get a legal mark to make sure I finished in the top-five. It's OK, though; it got the job done. Now hopefully I can do the same tomorrow."
Frederick on Saturday will attempt to qualify for the NCAAs in the high jump, which he enters with the region's fourth-best qualifying mark. Should the Roosevelt High School alum be successful in reaching the NCAA Championships in both the long and high jumps, he would be the first athlete in Washington history to do so.
Bingisser, on the other hand, will be making his NCAA Championships debut after a fourth-place finish Friday in the hammer throw. Having watched his dream of an NCAA Championships berth dissolve in 2005 when he failed to record a legal mark at the West Regional meet in Oregon, Bingisser fired his first attempt Friday over 200 feet, then topped it with a final-attempt best of 206-11.
"Martin deserves whatever success he has," said fifth-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "I know that what happened at regionals last year was hard for him, but he came back this year and just let it fly. I'm really happy for him."
While the success of Lodree, Frederick and Bingisser was to be expected -- each entered the meet ranked among the top-16 athletes in the country -- Campbell's third-place finish in the 5,000 meters was perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the entire meet.
Seeded 14th in the event, and with a time 20 seconds slower than the region's top-five, Campbell's only chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships was with a top-five finish and an automatic berth, as her No. 87 national ranking would not have come close to earning the freshman an at-large berth.
To the surprise of many at Clarence Robison Track, who expected the 5,000 to be a battle between ASU's Jenna Kingma and Stanford's Katy and Amanda Trotter, Campbell went right to the front with the leaders and never fell off, remaining within five meters of the lead group to the final lap. The Vancouver, B.C., native crossed the line just 10 seconds behind winner Kingma, in 17:04.86, to earn her first NCAA track berth.
"That was a really impressive race," said fifth-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "She ran right with those girls the whole way, then just coasted to the finish that last lap. Some people might have been surprised, but I wasn't, and I'm sure she wasn't either. She had a plan tonight and stuck to it, and now she's going to the NCAA Championships."
Senior Will Conwell, on the other hand, will have to wait until Tuesday's announcement of at-large berths to celebrate his first-ever NCAA Championships invitation. The Kentwood High School graduate, who owns the nation's sixth-best mark in the discus and is thus all but assured an at-large bid, placed eighth in the event Friday despite recording just one legal mark on his six throws. That mark, a 186-foot, 1-inch toss, was 14 feet shy of Conwell's lifetime- and season-best, but should still be good enough to earn the senior an NCAA berth.
Washington could add as many as 17 additional NCAA qualifiers on Saturday, after outstanding performances in Friday's preliminary heats. Lodree will be among the favorites in the 100-meter hurdles, while senior Shane Charles -- the Pac-10 champion in the 400-meter hurdles -- will be favored to win that event after winning his preliminary heat Friday.
Other Huskies to advance Friday included senior Bruce Jackson (400-meter dash, 46.88, 5th overall), junior Ryan Brown (800m, 1:49.78, 4th), sophomore Austin Abbott (1,500m, 3:50.58, 4th), sophomore Amanda Miller (800m, 2:08.77, 6th) and the 4x100-meter relay team of Phil McCary, Alex Harcourt, Jordan Boase and Isaiah Stanback (40.27, 5th).
Though the event is designed to qualify individuals for the NCAA Championships, team scores are kept. Through five events on the men's side, Washington stands fifth with 14 points, while the UW women are 11th with five points. Arizona leads all men's teams with 44 points, and UCLA stands in first-place on the women's side with 32.5.
For up-to-the-minute results from the NCAA West Regional Championships, visit www.GoHuskies.com.
NCAA West Regional Championships
Clarence Robison Track; Provo, Utah
May 26-27, 2006
UW Men's Results
400m (Heat 2 of 2): 3. Bruce Jackson, 46.88q; 800m (Heat 2 of 2): 1. Ryan Brown, 1:49.78Q; 1500m (Heat 1 of 2): 4. Austin Abbott, 3:50.58; (Heat 2 of 2): 8. Carl Moe, 4:02.84; 400m IH (Heat 2 of 4): 4. Phil McCary, 52.79; (Heat 4 of 4): 1. Shane Charles, 51.06Q; 4x100m (Heat 1 of 2): 3. Washington, 40.27q; Pole Vault (Final): t15. Seth Perrins, 16-7 ¼; t15. Sam Roberts, 16-7 ¼; Long Jump (Final): 2. Norris Frederick, 25-4 ¾; Discus (Final): 8. Will Conwell, 186-1; Hammer (Final): 4. Martin Bingisser, 206-11.
UW Women's Results
400m (Heat 2 of 2): 5. Lauran Dignam, 55.69; 800m (Heat 1 of 2): 7. Dani Schuster, 2:17.63; (Heat 2 of 2): 4. Amanda Miller, 2:08.77q; 5000m (Final): 3. Anita Campbell, 17:04.86; 100m HH (Heat 1 of 2): 1. Ashley Lodree, 12.95 (w: 3.2); Shot Put (Final): 16. Sheree Ellis, 45-10 ½; Javelin (Final): 21. Tiffany Zahn, 136-3.
* - marks not adjusted for altitude