Feb. 7, 2004
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Matt Mason, a junior who came to Washington State University at the start of spring semester, won the long jump and reached an NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark in the hurdles to lead the Cougars at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invite, held at the Bob Devaney Center Saturday.
Mason, a junior from Marietta, Ga., won the men's long jump with a leap of 24-feet, 8 1/2 inches (7.53m), less than an inch away from NCAA qualifying, and ran an NCAA PQ time of 7.80 seconds in the 60m hurdles semifinals. A transfer from Long Beach City College who also spent a year at Florida State, Mason did not run in the hurdles finals because Cougar hurdles coach Mark Macdonald had scratched him prior to the meet because of his limited training at WSU. Shannon Armstrong from Wichita State won the 60m hurdles finals with the same time as Mason's semi race, 7.80.
"Matt looked great and with a better start he should get back to the NCAA Championships," Macdonald said.
Twenty-one teams from around the nation sent competitors to the Lincoln meet.
Other WSU top finishers included Danny Wolf, a sophomore from Reno, Nev., placed third in the men's mile with a PR time of 4:06.00 after showing his famous kick in the final two laps. Paul Nicoletti (junior, Snohomish, Wash.) was second in the pole vault with a PR clearance at 16-10 3/4 (5.15m). Patrick Harrigan (redshirt sophomore, Reno, Nev.) was fifth in the high jump after a lifetime-best leap of 6-10 1/4 (2.09m) after having his competition limited due to a sore ankle. In the triple jump, Ben Hampton (sophomore, Kennewick, Wash.) was seventh with a mark of 47-4 1/2 (14.44m) and Jamil Smith (junior, Palmdale, Calif.) finished ninth at 46-5 1/2 (14.16m). Freshman Barry Leavitt (Benton City, Wash.) was ninth in the 600m run with a time of 1:14.40. Alex Jones (junior, Clovis, Calif.) finished seventh in the long jump with an effort of 22-7 3/4 (6.90m) and Martin Boston (sophomore, Hayward, Calif.) was 10th at 21-11 3/4 (6.70m).
The Cougar men's 4x400m relay team of Dione Cason (redshirt sophomore, Long Beach, Calif.), Lamarr Kirk (redshirt junior, Los Angeles), John Cassleman (freshman, Pullman, Wash.), and Qieed Ishmael (senior, Richmond, Va.) finished sixth with a time of 3:15.35.
Blessing Ufodiama (senior, Long Beach, Calif.) had the top Cougar outcome of the day with a second place finish in the women's triple jump with a lifetime best and NCAA PQ mark of 42-3 1/2 (12.89m).
In the women's 60m hurdles, Diana Pickler (sophomore, Sachse, Texas) finished third in 8.61 after running 8.52 in the semifinals, and Tamara Gulley (senior, San Jose, Calif.) was seventh in the finals with a time of 8.86 after clocking in the semis at 8.67.
Nicole Hatcher (sophomore, Kennewick) placed fourth in the 60m dash in a time of 7.66 but ran a 7.62 in the prelims, the third-fastest time out of the prelims. Hatcher also tied for ninth in the 200m dash with a time of 25.12.
"Nicole had a very good time in this race, with a great run in the prelims, just off her lifetime best of 24.91," Macdonald said. "With the great talent that was in this race, it was a very impressive showing by sophomore."
The WSU women's 4x400m relay team of Brandi Probasco-Canda (freshman, Portland, Ore.), Angelita Green (senior, Long Beach, Calif.), Pickler, and Monique Jessie (senior, Compton, Calif.) finished seventh with a time of 3:48.39.
Cougar coach and former heptathlon and sprinter All-American, Ellannee Richardson, won the 400m dash in a time of 53.22. Running unattached, Richardson qualified for the U.S. Indoor Championships in Boston Feb. 28-29, with a chance to compete in the World Indoor Championships. The qualifying time was 54.40 or faster and Richardson had no trouble reaching a qualifying time.
Competing at the McDonald's Collegiate Meet at Moscow, Idaho, senior Ian Johnson (Spokane, Wash.) won the men's mile run with a time of 4:20.93. Other Cougars winning at this meet included Matt Alverson (senior, Everett, Wash.) in the high jump with a height of 6-6 3/4 (2.00m), and Peter Rizzardi (senior, Seattle) a double winner in the long jump (22-3 3/4, 6.80m) and the triple jump (14.26m).
The Cougars men's and women's team travel to the UW Pac-10 Invitational Meet at Seattle next weekend, Feb. 13-14.