April 26, 2003
EUGENE, Ore. - Two Husky track and field athletes qualified for the NCAA Regional Championships Saturday at the Oregon Invitational in Eugene, increasing to 35 the school-record number of NCAA qualifying marks by UW athletes this season. Washington won three events in Saturday's action, and notched one mark among the school's top-10 all-time.
Much as was the case at Oregon's Pepsi Team Invitational earlier this month - when Huskies swept the top three spots in the men's 1,500 meters -- Washington was dominant in the event, with juniors Eric Garner and John Russell matching their Pepsi performances with a 1-2 finish. Garner's winning mark of 3 minutes, 44.37 seconds and Russell's mark of 3:44.65 each rank among the top-25 in the nation this season. The two were followed closely by sophomore Andy Fader, whose eighth-place time of 3:48.64 was below the Pac-10 and NCAA Regional standards, making him the sixth UW athlete to qualify for the Regional meet in the event this season.
Joining Fader among the Huskies' new NCAA qualifiers was javelin thrower Seth Jens. Jens' mark of 201 feet, 6 inches was good for eighth in the event, and bettered both postseason standards. Jens' throw also gives the Huskies three spear specialists -- along with sophomores Rigel Wise and Juan Romero -- with marks better than 200 feet this season, all of whom are qualified for postseason action.
The Husky men were certainly not the only ones making waves at the meet. Sophomore Cherron Davis made the biggest splash of the day, placing third in the shot put with a mark of 47 feet, 9 ľ inches that ranks seventh all-time at Washington.
Also moving up on a record list was senior Courtney Inman, whose winning time of 2:07.04 places the Abbotsford, B.C. native 12th in the nation this season and third among Pac-10 competitors. The 10th-place finisher in the 1,500 meters at last year's NCAA Championships, Inman is already qualified for the Regional meet in both the 800-meter and 1,500-meter events.
Joining Inman on the victory stand was freshman Brynne Steward, who notched her second-career win in the 100-meter hurdles with a wind-aided time of 14.34 seconds, matching the Pac-10 qualifying standard. Washington also added Pac-10 qualifying marks from freshman Laura Hodgson and freshman Jon Hickey in the 5,000 meters, and freshman Jesse Fayant in the steeplechase.
Washington's teams will be busy this weekend, with some athletes heading to Friday's Cardinal Qualifier at Stanford University, before hosting cross-state rival Washington State in the 96th running of the UW-WSU Dual.