Jan. 28, 2006
SEATTLE - Washington junior Ashley Lodree clocked the seventh-fastest hurdles time in the world this year at Saturday's UW Indoor Invitational, one of 10 world top-10 marks set at UW's Dempsey Indoor during the two-day meet.
Hyped all week as a matchup between All-Americans Lodree of Washington and Dawn Harper of UCLA, and Olympic gold medalist Joanna Hayes, the women's 60-meter hurdles final became Lodree's solo showcase when Harper scratched out of the meet, and Hayes chose to skip the final.
That was just fine with the Husky junior, who blazed to victory in a time of 8.16 seconds that equals the seventh-fastest mark in the world this year, and is the second-fastest in the NCAA. The NCAA provisional-qualifying time was just .01 seconds behind her own UW school record, and equally shy of the NCAA's automatic-qualifying standard.
"Ashley's in another world right now." said Washington head coach Greg Metcalf. "Last year, it took her all year to get down to [her school-record mark of] 8.15, and that was against top competition. Today she comes out and runs 8.16 in her debut, and without anyone to push her. She's going to have a fantastic year."
Lodree's mark was one of 10 achieved by athletes at Saturday's meet that rank among the top-10 in the world this year. That includes four such marks in the men's 3,000 meters alone, where nine runners clocked times below the eight-minute mark - something just 13 had achieved in the world all year prior to Saturday's competition.
Nike Farm Team's Chris Estwanik led the world-class 3,000-meter field, his time of 7 minutes, 50.36 seconds the current world leader by .04 seconds over Arizona's Robert Cheseret, who placed second in 7:50.40.
While notable on a world-class level, Saturday's meet also made an impact on the UW record books, as five Huskies etched their names in Washington's all-time indoor top-10, including a school-record in the heptathlon by senior Blake Bidleman (4,809).
Sophomore Jordan Boase just missed an NCAA qualifying mark with his 21.32-second effort in the 200 meters, UW's fourth-fastest all-time, while fellow sophomore Austin Abbott climbed to fourth on UW's 800-meter list with a time of 1:50.59.
Senior Will Conwell, meanwhile, is sixth on Washington's all-time list in the weight throw after a 58-foot, 1/4-inch toss Saturday - UW's best since 1997 - while senior Lauran Dignam moved to ninth all-time in the 400 meters at 56.54 seconds.
"I think that our folks really responded to the level of competition in the building," Metcalf said. "The races were great and the crowd was really into it, which just pumps that much more energy back onto the track. This way a grear way for us to really get our indoor season rolling."
In all, athletes competing at the two-day meet combined for 42 NCAA qualifying marks, 10 top-10 world marks, 10 marks among UW's all-time top-10, and a facility record in the 60-meter hurdles by Oregon's Eric Mitchum (7.78).
For complete results of this weekend's UW Indoor Invitational, visit www.gohuskies.com.
Note: An earlier version of this release credited SPU's Chris Randolph with a facility record in the heptathlon of 5,508 points. That is incorrect. Arizona's Robert Arnold set the facility's heptathlon record at 5,518 points at the 2005 MPSF Championships. GoHuskies.com apologizes for the error.