May 27, 2006
PROVO, Utah -- Seven Washington State University track and field competitors earned their way to the national championships with top five finishes in six events Saturday at the 2006 NCAA Div. I West Region Track & Field Championships held at Clarence F. Robison Track and Field Complex on the Brigham Young University Provo campus.
The WSU's men's 4x100m relay team of Brian Woods, James McSwain, Justin Woods and Jaycee Robertson finished second to USC (39.68 seconds) and advanced to the NCAA Championships after running a time of 39.93 seconds. The Cougars ran a prelim time of 39.81 Friday and has a season-best time of 39.76, run at the WSU-UW Dual Meet April 29 in Pullman. This squad did not compete at the Pac-10 Championships two weeks ago as McSwain was recovering from an ankle injury.
In the 100m dash final, Robertson (junior, Spanaway, Wash.) finished fourth with a time of 10.41 seconds and McSwain (senior, Las Vegas) finished fifth in a time of 10.44. McSwain, until today the West Region 100m dash record-holder with a 2005 time of 10.28, lost his title to USC's Garry Jones who won with a West Region record time of 10.23.
The 200m dash final was run later in the afternoon and WSU freshman Justin Woods (Buena Vista, Calif.) took third place with a time of 20.78w and Robertson was fourth in a time of 20.90w. Both Cougars ran PRs in the Friday prelims of 20.66w for Woods and 20.91w for Robertson who was fourth in last year's West Region meet and competed at the NCAA Championships.
Tamara Diles (senior, Bellevue, Wash.) took second place in the women's pole vault with a leap of 13-feet, 7 3/4 (4.16m) ensuring the three-time All-American and school record-holder another chance at a national title.
John Cassleman (junior, Pullman) took fourth place in the 400m hurdles final with a time of 51.26 after running the second-fastest prelim time of 51.06 Friday. Cassleman has run the second-fastest time in school history, 49.53, at the Pac-10 Championships.
Brandi Probasco-Canda (junior, Portland, Ore.) took fourth place in the women's 400m dash final with a time of 55.05. Probasco-Canda has a season-best time of 54.17 and a PR of 54.07.
Jon Jeffreys (sophomore, Spokane Valley, Wash.) finished sixth in the men's javelin with a toss of 217-1 (66.16m) but his PR toss this season of 226-2 should get him into the national meet.
Martin Boston (senior, Hayward, Calif.); who missed most of the season with a strained hamstring, triple jumped a season-best 50-feet, 5 1/2 inches (15.38m) for eighth place.
McKenzie Garberg (sophomore, Benton City, Wash.) threw the hammer 185-10 (56.65m) for 13th place and threw the discus 148-7 (45.29m) for 16th. Collier Lawrence (sophomore, Reno, Nev.) finished 13th in the women's 3000m steeplechase with a time of 11:07.93.
In team standings the WSU men were seventh with 39 points and the Cougar women were 10th with 20 points. USC's men took first with 123 points while host BYU finished second with 86.5 points. The Stanford and USC women's teams tied for first with 94 points each.
Several Cougars who reached West Region finishes in the sixth through 12th places in their events have a chance to be chosen for at-large entries to the national meet and will be informed by the NCAA Tuesday, May 30.
"This was a pretty good competition for us," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "Specifically, the sprints were good with Brandi (Probasco-Canda) making it through to the national championship, the men's 100m, men's 200m, and men's relay. It was a pretty good job by all those people.
"Tamara did a nice job today. She only took one jump on the pole she jumped on in Eugene (at Pac-10 Championships). We had a tail-wind blowing but it was just kind of cool, sprinkling off and on, a little bit here and there. She said she felt good but her step was a little off all day long and it kept her from really getting the maximum speed on her take-off. We took a shot on that bigger pole at the very last jump at 13-11 3/4 and her step was a little further out and she got jammed and didn't get a chance to jump.
"Jaycee (Robertson)'s time was his second fastest time ever in the 100m that was not wind-aided. I was pleased that James (McSwain) ran a very good second leg on the relay and did well for us there. They had the wind at their backs in the sprints and it was a little bit cool but by our standards it wasn't a bad day.
"Justin (Woods) has done a great job and come on late in the season. I think part of that is the fact he only got to us in mid-January so it has been a short-term development for him but he is really starting to hit his stride now and do great.
"Martin Boston did a nice job today. I think he probably could have triple jumped 51 and a half feet at least today but the lack of work and lack of competition (due to injury) there was too much inconsistency in what he was doing. The thing that caught up with him, more than anything, was the fact he wasn't as consistent as he needed to be."