12 Huskies Receive NCAA Track & Field Championship Berths
May 25, 2000
SEATTLE - Twelve Washington athletes, including Pacific-10 Conference champions Ja'Warren Hooker and Ben Lindsey, received invitations Thursday to compete in 14 events at the 2000 NCAA track and field championships.
Washington sends its largest group of qualifiers in 10 years to Durham, N.C. to compete at the four-day NCAA meet that runs from Wednesday, May 31 through Saturday, June 3. The 12 athletes form Washington's largest NCAA championship contingent since 1990 which was the last time the meet was held at Duke's Wallace Wade Stadium and 14 Huskies competed.
Lindsey, a product of Lynnwood (Wash.) High School, is the nation's sixth-ranked men's shot put competitor. He won the Pac-10 championship last weekend in Eugene, Ore. with a season-best put of 63-11 3/4. Lindsey ranks No. 8 in the discus with a mark of 198-11.
Also ranked among the nation's top-10 performers in two events is Hooker, a junior sprinter who graduated from Ellensburg (Wash.) High School. Hooker captured two titles at both the 1998 and 200 conference championships, winning the men's 100- and 200-meter races. His 200-meter time of 20.33 ranks fourth among NCAA sprinters and his best 100-meter clocking of 10.18 is No. 10.
Senior Anna Aoki (Vancouver, Wash./Fort Vancouver HS) makes her third consecutive women's 10,000-meter appearance at nationals, ranking ninth with a time of 34:07.93. The 1998 Pac-10 champion in the 10,000 meters, Aoki placed 17th at the 1998 NCAAs and was 19th last spring.
Junior Justin St. Clair (Tacoma, Wash./Franklin Pierce HS) competes in his second straight NCAA meet, having placed 12th in the men's javelin last year. He season-best mark of 230-1 ranks 13th.
Two Huskies will participate in the women's 3,000-meter race. Senior Margaret Butler (West Vancouver, B.C.) is ranked eighth with a best time of 9:20.35 while senior Cami Matson (Kent, Wash./Tahoma HS) is No. 15 with a mark of 9:26.38.
Those two are among the eight Huskies who will make their NCAA championships debut. The three other women's newcomers include, sophomore Sandy Erickson (Whitefish, Mont.) who is ranked No. 16 in the pole vault, sophomore Kelsey Sheppard (Bellevue, Wash./Lake Washington HS) who is No. 20 in the 400-meter hurdles and senior Sesilia Thomas (Spanaway, Wash./Spanaway Lake HS) who is No. 20 in the shot put.
Three Husky men earning their inaugural NCAA berths are junior Dave Bazzi (Seattle, Wash./O'Dea HS) who is ranked 14th in the 5,000 meters, senior Matt Phillips (Philomath, Ore.) who is No. 13 in the pole vault and senior Jacob Predmore (Duvall, Wash./Cedarcrest HS) who is No. 8 in the decathlon.
Nine of the Huskies' 12 NCAA qualifiers are products of Washington state high schools.