March 4, 2006
SEATTLE - Washington pole vaulters Carly Dockendorf and Stevie Marshalek moved themselves off the national championships bubble Saturday with outstanding performances at the UW Last Chance Qualifier at Dempsey Indoor, each posting marks among the top-10 in the nation this year.
The two were among three Husky individuals to significantly better their NCAA standing at the Last Chance meet, designed to provide athletes one final opportunity to improve their qualifying marks prior to next week's NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. The nation's top 15-18 individuals and top 10-12 relays are expected to be rewarded with NCAA bids when the final Championships field is announced Monday evening at NCAASports.com.
Squarely on the bubble with a No. 15 national ranking entering Saturday's competition, Dockendorf soared to sixth in the nation with a winning clearance of 13 feet, 7 ¾ inches, her best-ever indoors and the third-best indoor mark in UW history. Marshalek, meanwhile, climbed into a tie for 10th on the national list with a clearance at 13-5 ¾, her best vault since a 13-7 ¼ effort at this same meet a year ago.
"Those girls really stepped up when they had to," said fifth-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "We've built a reputation over the past couple of years as a pole vault powerhouse, so it will be good to have those two ladies representing us in Arkansas."
Also climbing up the national rankings was sophomore Amy Lia, whose time of 4 minutes, 44.34 seconds in the women's mile was UW's fourth-fastest ever. An All-American in the 1,500 meters outdoors in 2005, Lia moved to No. 15 in the national rankings pending Saturday's other results, putting the Bothell native on the selection bubble entering Monday's NCAA Championships field announcement.
"At this point, I think she has a pretty good chance," Metcalf said. "And I hope she does, because the way she is running right now, she has a chance to knock another five or six seconds off of that time and do some real damage at the national meet."
Should those three each be accepted to the NCAA meet, they will join hurdler Ashley Lodree -- currently eighth in the NCAA rankings -- and the Huskies' distance medley relay team, which climbed to 10th with a school-record-equaling run Friday night at Notre Dame's Alex Wilson Invitational.
Washington could also receive an NCAA bid for its' 4x400-meter relay, who competed at Notre Dame on Saturday. That foursome of Alex Harcourt, Ryan Brown, Shane Charles and Bruce Jackson clocked the second-fastest time in UW history, 3:07.86, to climb to No. 10 in the collegiate rankings.
The collegiate athletes competing Saturday at the Last Chance Qualifier sent the 2006 Dempsey Indoor track and field season out in style, combining for 38 NCAA qualifying performances and three facility records. In addition, seven UW athletes posted marks among the team's all-time top-10, including a winning 400-meter time of 55.46 for senior Lauran Dignam that was UW's second-fastest ever, and nearly a one-second indoor personal best.
For complete results from Saturday's UW Last Chance Qualifier, visit www.gohuskies.com .