Husky Track Teams Prepare for Annual Dual-Meet with WSU
SATURDAY, APRIL 1 - UW at Washington State Dual Meet (with Idaho)
11:00 a.m., Mooberry Track, Pullman, Wash.
This Week: The Washington men's and women's track & field teams travel to Pullman for their annual dual-meet with Washington State, Saturday, April 1. The Huskies and Cougars will be joined by Idaho at Mooberry Track on the WSU campus. The field events begin at 11 a.m. while the track competitions commence at 1:30 p.m. The final event on the meet schedule is the men's 4 x 400 relay at 4:15 p.m. A 5-3-1 scoring system will be used for this dual meet with the first-place finisher in each event earning five team points while second and third receive three and one, respectively. In the relay events, the winning team receives five points with no points for the runner-up. The Husky men boast a 10-1 record in scored meets this season, including a 2-0 dual-meet mark. The UW women are 8-1 overall, 0-1-1 in dual meets.
Dual Meet Data: The Washington-Washington State track & field dual meet is one of the longest running athletic events in the Northwest, dating back to the their first meeting during 1900 in Pullman. The Northwest boasts three of the premier dual-meet teams in the nation as Washington, Oregon and Washington State annually rank among the NCAA leaders. Beginning in 1900, including every year since 1946, dual meets with Washington State and Oregon have appeared on the Huskies' schedule. This year is no exception. The Huskies visit WSU this week for their 85th all-time men's meeting and then visit Oregon on April 22. The Washington women began dual-meet competition with WSU in 1979.
The Series: The Washington women own an 18-5 advantage over Washington State in a series that began in 1979. The Cougars won the last two women's meetings, 107-47 last season in Seattle and 85-69 in Pullman during 1998 to halt a seven-game UW winning streak. WSU owns a 53-30-1 advantage in men's series. Washington won three of the last four meetings, including an 86-77 triumph last year. The Cougars won the last men's meeting in Pullman, 93-70 in 1998.
Back on Track: Junior Ja'Warren Hooker is back on track, literally, after struggling through an injury-plagued 1999 campaign. He was sidelined until mid-April of the 1999 season with a stress fracture in his left shin and was unable to defend the 1998 NCAA Indoor 55-meter championship he won as a freshman. That was the first NCAA track title for a Husky since 1988. Hooker placed third in the 200 meters and fourth in the 100 at the 1999 Pac-10 championships, but did not compete at either the 1999 NCAA Indoor or Outdoor meet. In 2000, Hooker has finished sixth in the 60- (6.68) and 200-meter (20.67) events at the NCAA Indoor meet and was named the Western Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. He clocked an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 10.18 in the 100 meters and a provisional time of 20.58 on March 26 at Stanford. As a freshman, Hooker was named the 1998 Pacific-10 Conference male track and field Athlete of the Year. He became the first double-event winner in Husky history at the 1998 Pac-10 championship meet, winning the 100- and 200-meter titles. After opening the 1998 outdoor season with 21 consecutive sprint victories, Hooker was beaten for the first time in the finals of the NCAA 100-meter championship in Buffalo, N.Y. where he finished third. Also during 1998, Hooker established a new school record in the 100 meters with a time of 10.18, and boasts the fifth best 200-meter time in UW history with an outdoor mark of 20.70. He is the first Washington track & field athlete to garner Pac-10 Athlete of the Year honors since 1976 when the award was introduced. Hooker played receiver on the Husky football team his first two years (1997 & 1998) before deciding to concentrate solely on track & field. As a freshman in 1997 he scored four touchdowns, including an 89-yard kickoff return at Arizona the first time he touched the ball as a collegian. Hooker appeared in eight games during 1998, catching nine passed for 78 yards before a shoulder injury ended his season.
Awesome Anna Aoki: The Washington women's team features one of the finest women's distance runners in the nation, senior Anna Aoki. She secured her third consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championships berth with an automatic qualifying time of 34:07.93 on March 25 at Stanford. Aoki, the 1998 conference 10,000-meter champion, was the Pac-10 runner-up at that distance in 1999. She registered a career-best time of 34:05.30 on March 27, 1999 at Stanford, the third-fastest 10K time in Husky history. At the 1999 NCAA Outdoor championships, Aoki placed 19th (36:54.34) after finishing 17th in 1998. Aoki reached the NCAA provisional standards in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter events last year, but opted to concentrate on the 10,000m. A product of Fort Vancouver (Wash.) High School, Aoki has qualified for NCAA Indoor championship competition on three occasions in the 5,000 meters. She raced to a 13th-place performance in 1997, 12th in 1999 and 14th in 2000. Aoki has been a mainstay of the UW women's cross country team that qualified for each of the last three NCAA Championships and placed 14th in 1997, ninth in 1998 and 13th in 1999.
Big Ben: Washington senior Ben Lindsey has secured his fourth consecutive invitation to the NCAA championships, reaching the automatic men's discus qualifying standard with a heave of 198-11 on March 18 at UCLA. Lindsey boasts a career-best mark of 202-7, thrown on March 28, 1998 in San Diego, that is the third longest in Washington history. The school record of 214-7 was set by Borys Chambul in 1976. The three-time All-American battled a late-season bout with mononucleosis last year, but still managed to finish third in the shot put (60-2) and fifth in the discus (182-9) at the 1999 Pac-10 meet. He placed 19th in the discus at the 1999 NCAA championships after finishing fifth in 1998 and ninth as a freshman in 1997. Also a standout shot putter, Lindsey posted a high provisional qualifying mark of 62-2 1/4 on March 25 at Stanford. He was the 1998 Pac-10 shot put runner-up and finished fifth (62-5 3/4) at the 1998 NCAA Indoor championships. His personal-best shot put mark of 65-4, registered on May 2, 1998 at Husky Stadium, was the second best effort in Husky history, trailing only the school record 65-11 set in 1979 by Steve Summers. Lindsey won the Washington state high school discus title three times and claimed two prep shot championships.
Coaching Staff: While Washington boasts a bevy of standout athletes, the coaches will also draw a great deal of attention this season. The Husky men's and women's track teams are coached for the third season by Orin Richburg, a nationally-acclaimed mentor who will serve as head coach of the U.S. National men's track & field team at the 2001 World Championships in Winnipeg. The UW throwers will be tutored for the 32nd, and final, year by assistant coach Ken Shannon who will resign following the 2000 collegiate season. Shannon, who stepped down in 1997 as head UW men's coach after 29 seasons, tutored his Husky throwers to 10 NCAA championships and eight Olympic berths since arriving at Washington in 1968. The UW distance runners are in the capable hands of former Husky All-America steeplechase competitor Greg Metcalf who participated in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials. Metcalf coached the women's cross country team to an unprecedented three straight NCAA championship berths. Joining the staff this season as an assistant coach is former 400-meter world record holder and 1968 Olympic gold medalist Lee Evans. At the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, Evans won the gold medal in the 400 meters with a time of 43.86. That record stood for 20 years until being eclipsed in 1988 when Butch Reynolds ran 43.29. Evans earned a second gold medal in 1968 as part of the United States' 4 x 400-meter relay team that clocked a time of 2:56.1 that also stood as a world record for 20 years.
Coach Richburg: After 12 years as head women's track & field coach at Washington, Orin Richburg took on a new assignment in 1997. He was named head men's and women's track & field/cross country coach in July of 1997. Richburg converted the Washington women's track & field team into one of the best dual-meet squads in the nation. He has the most women's dual-meet victories in Washington history, more than doubling his closest rival. He led the Washington women to an impressive 68-22 dual-meet record since his arrival at the school in 1986. The UW women's team ranked among the top-10 dual-meet teams in the nation every year during the 1990s. His 1988 UW squad finished 10th at the NCAA championship meet, the best national finish in the school's history. His Washington teams have produced 10 conference and two national individual champions. Last year, the Richburg-coached Huskies had a perfect 5-0 men's record, including a sweep of Northwest rivals Oregon and Washington State. The UW women had a 4-1 dual-meet record. In 1998, the Huskies had an 8-1 women's dual-meet record and finished fourth at the Pac-10 meet. The UW men were 7-2 in 1998 and placed 23rd at the NCAA Championships, their best finish since 1985. Prior to coming to Washington, Richburg spent seven seasons at Kent State and three years as an assistant at Western Michigan. A fine athlete in his own right, Richburg earned All-America accolades as a sprinter at Kent State, finishing sixth in the 200-yard dash at the 1967 NCAA championships.
Last Week (Stanford Invitational): Washington junior Ja'Warren Hooker swept both sprint titles Sunday, including the 100-meter race during which he tied his own school record at the prestigious Stanford Invitational Track & Field Meet that featured numerous collegiate and world-class club competitors. Hooker clocked a wind-aided time of 10.18-seconds, matching the school-record mark he established as a freshman in 1998. The winning time reached the automatic qualifying standard, ensuring Hooker a spot at the NCAA Championships, May 31-June 3 in Durham, N.C. Hooker won his second Stanford 100-meter title. He captured the championship in 1998, but was injured and unable to defend his crown at the 1999 Stanford Invitational. Hooker registered a winning time of 20.58 in the 200 meters, outracing Alvin Harrison whose runner-up time was 20.77. Another Washington athlete who secured an NCAA berth was senior David Bazzi who finished seventh in a high-caliber men's 5,000-meter field with an automatic qualifying time of 13:47.63. Husky senior Ben Lindsey finished second in both the discus (198-7) and shot put (62-2 1/4) competitions. The Washington women's team featured the automatic qualifying mark of senior Anna Aoki in the 10,000 meters and three NCAA provisional qualifying marks by distance runners. Aoki finished seventh overall in the 10,000m and was fourth among collegiate competitors with a time of 34:07.93. Seniors Margaret Butler (9:20.35) and Cami Matson (9:26.38) placed ninth and 13th, respectively, in the 3,000-meter race. Junior Kara Syrdal finished 20th in a world-class women's 5,000-meter field (16:46.55).
Spear Specialist: Sophomore Justin St. Clair is the latest in a long line of Washington javelin standouts, having reached the NCAA provisonal standard with a mark of 227-8. He placed 12th at the 1999 NCAA Championships with a heave of 219-1. His career-best effort of 231-3 is the ninth longest mark in Husky history. St. Clair placed third at the 1999 Pac-10 championships (224-5) after finishing seventh in 1998 (209-0). He was named the Pac-10 men's athlete of the week on April 6, 1999. St. Clair won seven of the 10 javelin competitions he entered last season, placing second at the Drake Relays and third at the Pac-10 championships. He topped the 220-foot plateau in eight consecutive meets. Since 1970 when coach Ken Shannon began training Washington javelin competitors, a Husky won 10 of 30 conference men's titles. The most any other conference school can claim is five. Add in 1987 Pac-10 women's titlist Helena Uusitalo, who won the 1986 NCAA title, and Washington athletes have accounted for seven AAU/TAC national javelin championships and three NCAA titles. Also, three UW individuals have earned U.S. Olympic Team berths, including Duncan Atwood twice (1980, 1984). In 1989, Darryl Roberson set an American collegiate record of 249-6 with the new javelin. Washington has had at least one men's or women's javelin competitor qualify for the NCAA championship meet and place among the top 13 during 16 of the 18 years since the NCAA began sponsoring women's sports in 1982.
2000 NCAA Indoor Recap: Two individuals represented Washington in three events at the 2000 NCAA Indoor Championships, March 10-11 in Fayetteville, Ark. Junior Ja'Warren Hooker placed sixth in both the 60-meter dash (6.68) and 200 meters (20.67). He was the 55-meter champion in 1998. Senior Anna Aoki made her third NCAA Indoor appearance, placing 14th in the women's 5,000 meters (16:47.32).
NCAA Championship Qualifying Procedures: Marks which reach automatic standards guarantee berths to the 2000 NCAA Championship Meet, May 31-June 3 in Durham, N.C. If there are not enough automatic qualifiers to fill out the fields, individuals with the next best marks receive NCAA bids, provided they reached the provisional standard.
1999 NCAA Recap: Washington sent four women along with two men's qualifiers to the 1999 NCAA Championships in Boise, Idaho. In men's competition: Justin St. Clair placed 12th in the javelin (219-1) and Ben Lindsey was 19th in the discus (165-8). In women's competition: Cecilia Barnes finished 11th in the discus (169-3), Deeja Youngquist (36:24.33) and Anna Aoki (36:54.34) were 17th and 19th in the 10,000 meters and Keisha Griffis was 19th in the 400-meter hurdles (1:01.01). Both men's NCAA competitors return along with Aoki to compete for the Huskies in 2000.
Husky Qualifiers: Ten Washington athletes have reached NCAA qualifying standards in 12 events, including senior Ben Lindsey who has ensured his fourth consecutive NCAA championships appearance. Linsdey reached the automatic men's discus standard with a heave of 198-11 on March 18. He also has a provisional shot put mark of 62-21/4. Junior Ja'Warren Hooker hit the automatic 100-meter standard with a time of 10.18 on March 26. He placed third in the 100m at the 1998 NCAAs, but did not qualify in 1999. Senior David Bazzi earned his first NCAA berth with an automatic 5,000-meter time of 13:47.63 on March 25. Senior Anna Aoki will compete for the third straight season in the women's 10,000 meters at the NCAA Championships after racing to a time of 34:07.93 on March 25. All four Husky automatic qualifiers hail from the state of Washington.
Saturday, April 8 -- UW Track & Field at Hayward Relays, Eugene, Ore.
Saturday, April 8 -- UW Track & Field at Cal Bear Invitational, Berkeley, Calif.