April 9, 2005
EUGENE, Ore. - Wins in 13 of 36 events lifted Washington's men's and women's track and field teams to respective second- and third-place finishes Saturday at Oregon's Pepsi Invitational, a four-way scoring meet which also featured Indiana and Missouri. By finishing ahead of Washington on both sides of the competition, host Oregon improved to 62-32 in the 94 meetings between the two Northwest rivals, who first dueled in 1900.
Just seven points separated the top three women's teams, with Missouri edging Oregon by a 171.5-171 margin, and Washington third at 164.5, well ahead of fourth-place Indiana (107). The Ducks' men, however, pulled out a third-straight Pepsi Invite title with 180.5 points to hold off the Huskies (169.5), while Indiana and Missouri shared third place with 140.5 points.
"We had a pretty good day," said third-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "I really felt we could have had those seven points on the women's side, if we hadn't of held a couple of folks back in a couple of events. But, I don't think we could have asked any more of the kids we ran -- they were all terrific."
Twelve Huskies set or improved NCAA regional qualifying marks at the meet, while four recorded marks among the top-10 in UW history.
Husky senior Kate Soma, a Portland native, brought a large contingent of family and friends to their feet with a clearance of 14 feet in the women's pole vault, the third 14-foot vault of her collegiate career and her second of the 2005 season. Soma's mark tops all collegiate competitors outdoors in 2005, and is the fourth-best outdoor vault by an American woman this year. The four-time All-American ranks seventh in collegiate history in the event with a best of 14-3 1/2, set during an All-America indoor campaign this season.
Fellow indoor All-American Lindsey Egerdahl started her outdoor season in impressive fashion, climbing to sixth in UW history in her 1,500-meter season debut. The Auburn native, a three-time top-10 finisher in the event at the Pac-10 Championships, ran second through much of the race before surging to the lead with 450 meters remaining, and coasting to a win in 4 minutes, 19.07 seconds. Egerdahl's time was a three-second personal best, and qualified the senior for her third-straight NCAA Regional Championships, in May.
Also earning regional championships qualifying marks were junior Shane Charles and freshman Kelley DiVesta, each of whom cracked UW's all-time top-10 in their respective events. Grenada native Charles, a junior-college All-American in the 400-meter hurdles last season, made his Division-I hurdles debut a memorable one, clocking a time of 51.84 to move to sixth all-time at Washington, and into the top-25 of the national collegiate rankings.
DiVesta, meanwhile, matched her collegiate-best effort with a clearance of 12-5 ½ in the women's pole vault, the sixth-best outdoor mark ever by a UW vaulter and good enough to earn the freshman her first-ever NCAA Regional Championships berth.
Six of the 12 Huskies to set NCAA regional qualifying marks were competing in their respective events for the first time this season, including Egerdahl, Charles, senior Rigel Wise (javelin, 204-6) and sophomores Martin Bingisser (hammer, 193-1), Ashley Lodree (100m hurdles, 13.55) and Ryan Brown (800m, 1:49.66). Additional NCAA qualifiers included junior Ashley Wildhaber (pole vault, 12-5 ½), senior Sidney Brown (triple jump, 40-3 ½), sophomore McKane Lee (16-6 ¾) and the men's 4x100-meter squad of Davaon Spence, Patrick Davidson, Jordan Boase and Sean Williams (40.37).
While the NCAA qualifying performances were significant, it was event victories which earned points in the team standings. Several of the above captured titles for UW, including Soma, Egerdahl, Wise, Bingisser, Lodree, Ryan Brown, Lee and the men's 4x100-meter relay, while victories were added by senior Sidney Brown (high jump, 5-7), freshman Austin Abbott (1,500m, 3:48.89), freshman Jennifer Nash (100m dash, 12.19), junior Warren Eickhoff (high jump, 6-8 ¾) and the women's 4x100-meter squad of Nash, Lodree, junior Brynne Steward and junior Lauran Dignam (46.39).
After hitting the track for the first time as a full squad Saturday, Washington's track and field teams will split up next weekend, with selected athletes competing at the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays, and others traveling to Tempe, Ariz., for the 2005 SunAngel Classic. Check www.gohuskies.com for meet previews and releases.
For complete results from Saturday's Pepsi Invitational in Eugene, visit www.goducks.com.