June 23, 2004
PULLMAN, Wash. Six high school seniors and one junior college recruit have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Washington State University and compete for the Cougar Track & Field team, Head Coach Rick Sloan announced Wednesday.
The signees, their events and hometowns are: Sarah Burns, sprints/jumps, Tacoma, Wash.; Justin Chambers, distance, Albany, Ore.; Chesley (C.J.) Godfrey, distance, Port Orchard, Wash.; Kyle Eaton, high jump, Ellensburg, Wash.; Isley Gonzalez, distance, Sunnyside, Wash.; Katie Miller, heptathlon, Vancouver, Wash.; and TiJahnni (TJ) Newton, sprints, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Sarah Burns, from Curtis High, was the 2003 state 4A girls triple jump champion with a leap of 38-feet, 7 1/2 inches. She was also the runner-up in the state long jump this year after winning the event in 2003 with a distance of 19-6 3/4.
"Sarah will be a wonderful addition to our women's team," Sloan said. "She brings a lot of diversity to us with her long jump, triple jump and sprints. I think she will primarily be a jumper in our program but we are likely to use her in the sprints and on relays as well. She was very successful at Curtis High School in the sprints. Her triple jump excites me the most as she has tremendous potential to be an outstanding triple jumper."
Justin Chambers, from West Albany High in Albany, Ore., finished second in the 800m at the 2003 state 4A track meet with a time of 1:53.50.
"Justin is one of the top track and field athletes in the state of Oregon," Cougar distance coach Jason Drake said. "He is a great all-around athlete and will give us some much needed help in the middle distance events."
Kyle Eaton, from Ellensburg High, won the state 3A high jump title in 2004 with a PR clearance at 6-8. At the state meet he also finished tied for sixth in the pole vault clearing a PR height of 14-0, and placed seventh in the 110m hurdles with a time of 15.61.
"Cougars needed a high jumper next year and we're fortunate to have Kyle coming to Washington State to help fill that void," Sloan said. "He is a state champion, a great competitor, a versatile athlete who has pole vaulted and hurdled successfully, and we are looking forward to his contribution to the program in the high jump, especially."
Isley Gonzalez, from Sunnyside High, was the 2003 state 3A girls cross country champion and also took the state title in the 3200m with a 10:58.69, and finished sixth in the 1600m.
"I feel that Isley is one of the most talented seniors in the state of Washington," Drake said. "Her win at the state meet capped off a great senior season. We have been watching her great kick for the last several years, and are excited to have her here at WSU."
C.J. Godfrey, from South Kitsap High, ran a PR time in the 3200m of 9:19.75 at the Arcadia Invitational. He placed 11th in the 2003 state 4A cross country meet and 12th in the 3200 at the state 4A meet. "CJ is one of the top distance runners in the state and he will give us great depth in the distance events as well as be a serious contender on our cross country team," Drake said.
Katie Miller will transfer from Clark CC where she was the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges record-holder in the heptathlon with 4,988 points. Miller, a graduate from Columbia River High, is an eight-time JC All-American and was named Clark CC Athlete of the Year for 2004. She won the NWAACC high jump title in 2003 as the Clark CC women won the league's team trophy.
"We're thrilled to have Katie joining our program for the next two years," Sloan said. "As a heptathlete, I think she has tremendous potential for development. She's just gotten started in the event and immediately made great gains. Katie has shown the potential to be an NCAA entry for us in the heptathlon but also brings a very good long jump at around 18-feet, 10 inches, and a 5-foot, 7-inch high jump. If she continues to develop in those events, she will also be a contributor in the open events at the Pac-10 championships."
TJ Newton comes to WSU from Rancho Cucamonga High in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. She has run a top time of 25.13w in the 200m dash during the 2004 season which ranks among the top 25 in the state.
"TJ has shown potential to run both the 200m and the 400m races," Sloan said. "She has good range. I think she is going to be very helpful in both the open sprints and on the relays and make a strong contribution to the Cougars' success."
These WSU recruits join Phil Hinrichs, a distance runner from Pullman, who signed earlier this spring.