June 27, 2009
EUGENE, Ore. -- Jeshua Anderson will run in the Sunday final of the men's intermediate hurdles after clocking in with the second-best time in the semifinals Saturday evening during the very windy third day of the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene.
Anderson ran a semifinal time of 48.89 seconds, which was second-place in the second heat and the second-fastest time of the two heats. Anderson, who will be a junior at WSU this fall, is from Woodland Hills, Calif., is the two-time Pacific-10 and NCAA 400m hurdles champion and holds the WSU record time of 48.47. Bershawn Jackson (Nike) had the top time of the day at 48.80 while South Carolina's Johnny Dutch won the first semifinal heat in a time of 49.24. The top three finishers will become part of the USA team competing at the 12th IAAF World Championships, Aug. 15-23, in Berlin.
Cougar alum and 2008 Olympian Diana Pickler (Asics) is in second place after the first day of the women's heptathlon with 3,768 points. Pickler ran the 100m hurdles in 13.43 seconds, high jumped 5-feet, 11 1/4 inches (1.81m), threw the shot put 44-3 1/4 (13.49m), and ran the 200m in 24.25w. Fellow 2008 Olympian, Hyleas Fountain (Nike), leads the women's heptathlon with 4,038 points. Diana's twin sister, Julie, withdrew from the competition prior to the start of the meet.
"I'm really excited about tomorrow," Pickler, a 2007 WSU graduate said to Paul Merca of paulmerca.blogspot.com. "I was a bit conservative in the hurdles, and the high jump was solid. I have not competed in a while, so I'm pumped up for Sunday."
Joe Abbott (Reno) had the top time in the junior men's 800m prelims of 1:49.78. He will run in the final Sunday at 4:25 p.m. PT. Abbott finished seventh in the Pac-10 800m race ran a PR time of 1:48.97 in the prelims of the NCAA West Regionals.
Abbott spoke with Merca following the race saying, "The plan was to stay behind everyone until about 300 meters to go and then make my move to win the heat and get into the final. Since the NCAA Regionals I've been training at home in Reno, which has been a lot warmer than in Eugene. When we've come here from Pullman, it would be like 50 degrees and then when we'd arrive in Eugene, it would be 70 or so and it would feel like it was about 100."
WSU's J Hopkins (Everett) advanced to the junior men's 400m hurdles final after running a prelim time of 52.62, second place in the third heat and fourth-fastest time of the first round. Hopkins has a personal-best time of 51.57 run this spring, as a freshman, and finished seventh in the intermediate hurdles at the Pac-10 Championships. Anderson, the 2008 USA Junior champion, set the meet record with his time of 49.28.
In the junior women's javelin championships, WSU's Courtney Kirkwood (Othello) took third place with a throw of 146-feet, 9 inches (44.74m), well-below her PR toss of 170-8 (52.01m), and just missed advancing to the 2009 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships, July 31-Aug. 2, in Trinidad. Casey Wagner from South Florida won the event with a toss of 150-0 (45.71m) and Tiffany Hellstrom (unattached) took second with a toss of 148-5 (45.23m), advancing to the Pan Am Games. Kirkwood's younger sister, Christine, took fourth place with a throw of 143-2 (43.64m).
Christian Crain (Seattle) finished ninth in the men's junior long jump with a leap of 23-2w (7.06m) after reaching a PR distance of 24-1 (7.34m) as a freshman last spring at WSU.
Live TV coverage of the 2009 USA Track & Field Championships continues Sunday, June 28, on NBC from 1-3 p.m. PT