Hooker Leads 55-meter Dash at NCAA Indoor Championships
March 13, 1998
INDIANAPOLIS -- With a blistering time of 6.12 seconds in the preliminary heats of the 55-meter dash, freshman sprinter Ja'Warren Hooker burst onto the scene at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, being held today and tomorrow at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind. Hooker's time places him first entering tomorrow's finals, seven hundredths of a second ahead of South Carolina senior Corey Bridges, who finished second in 6.19 seconds.
Hooker entered the NCAA meet ranked third nationally in the 55m, with a qualifying time of 6.09 seconds. He has been beaten in the event only once in his collegiate career.
Less than an hour after the 55m, Hooker again found himself on the starting line, this time for the preliminary heats of the 200m dash, the second of three events he is competing in at the national meet. Hooker ran a 21.14 in the preliminary, then matched that in the final to finish 8th overall, less than half a second behind eventual national champion Shawn Crawford, a sophomore from Clemson, who won with a time of 20.69 seconds.
Hooker wasn't the only Husky making waves in Indianapolis today; sophomore thrower Ben Lindsey finished 5th overall in the shot with a personal best-put of 62'5.75". For Lindsey, this marks his second trip to the national meet--at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships, he finished ninth in the discus, and was later honored as an All-American. Winning the national championship in the shot put was South Carolina's Brad Snyder, whose shot flew 66'4.25" before coming to rest, less than four feet ahead of Lindsey.
Tomorrow's action should provide many thrills for Husky fans, as Hooker leads a strong field into the 55m finals in an attempt to give Washington its first individual national champion since 1988, when Jennifer Ponath was victorious in the shot put. Later in the day, Hooker will return to the track along with teammates B.J. Dawson, Scott Anabel, and Derek Prior, as they attempt to improve on their fifth-ranked mark in the 1,600m relay, the final event of this year's meet.