May 16, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Washington State's Sara Trané successfully defended her title as the women's steeplechase champion and led a trio of Cougar women to top places Friday night at the Pacific-10 Track & Field Championships presented by 76 Gasolines at Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium. The temperature on the track at the start of the racing was measured at 104 degrees.
Trané, a junior from Pixbo, Sweden, won the women's 3000m steeplechase for the second consecutive year with a time of 10 minutes, 17.80 seconds. Cougar teammates, senior and school record-holder, Meghan Leonard (Newberg, Ore.) finished third with a time of 10:23.25, and Collier Lawrence (senior, Reno, Nev.) took fifth place with a time of 10:34.24. Freshman Amanda Andrews (Oak Harbor, Wash.) finished 13th in time of 11:08.24.
"Sara ran really well in spite of it being really hot at race time," Cougar distance coach Jason Drake said. "We knew from the way the USC runner (Zsofia Erdelyi) had run in the past that she might go out a little fast and sure enough, she took off after a couple of laps. Sara let some of the runners pass her and then slowly came back and reeled them off. In the last lap she passed Lindsay Allen from Stanford. Sara ran a really smart race especially for the conditions which weren't ideal for distance running. Meghan and Collier also had battles with someone in the last 200 meters and beat them to get their places. It was a good race for all of them."
Trané laughed as she recounted her last lap of Friday's race and compared it to her sprint to victory at the 2007 championships saying, "In the last 200 meters I kept thinking, `I can't do this again' but then I had to. Last year was such a surprise but this year I wasn't as far behind the lead runner but I really didn't think I would win again so I am really happy."
In the men's 3000m steeplechase, WSU's Alex Grant and Sam Ahlbeck both finished in scoring places, ran personal-records, and improved NCAA Regional Qualifying times. Grant (senior, Bellingham, Wash.) finished fifth with a time of 8:51.24, and Ahlbeck (redshirt sophomore, Renton, Wash.) took seventh place with a time of 8:55.26. Chris Concha also ran the steeple in a time of 10:00.80 (18th).
"Both steeplechase races had great performances by the Cougars tonight," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "To have five runners place showed that all raced well."
Jon Jeffreys (senior, Spokane Valley, Wash.) took third place in the men's javelin with a toss of 230-feet, 9 inches (70.34m) while Nathan Bache just missed scoring with his ninth place javelin throw of 200-5 (61.08m).
Freshman Marissa Tschida (Missoula, Mont.) also finished third but in the women's javelin with a toss of 158-5 (48.29m) while Jasmine McCormack (junior, Arlington, Wash.) threw a distance of 132-2 (40.28m) for 16th place.
McKenzie Garberg (senior, Benton City, Wash.) finished sixth in the hammer throw with her day's top throw of 194-5 (59.25m). Later Friday evening, Garberg joined Jessica Zita by scoring in the shot put. Zita (senior, Echo, Ore.) tossed the shot a distance of 48-1 3/4 (14.67m) for seventh place while Garberg heaved a distance of 47.0 1/4 (14.33m) for eighth.
WSU decathlete Rickey Moody (senior, Puyallup, Wash.) finished eighth in the men's long jump with a leap of 23-4 1/2 (7.12m), after placing second in the decathlon last weekend.
In the men's 10,000m final, Chris Williams (senior, Federal Way, Wash.) finished ninth in a PR time of 30:41.22, Drew Polley (senior, Bellingham, Wash.) finished 11th in a time of 31:02.21, and Dan Geib (sophomore, Reno, Nev.) finished 16th in a time of 31:39.44.
Cougars ran the top prelim times in both the men's and women's intermediate hurdles. Lorraine King (junior, Fontana, Calif.) had the top women's prelim time in the 400m hurdles of 59.13 and Veronica Elseroad-Wall (freshman, Casper, Wyo.) also qualified for the final with the eighth-fastest time of the day, a PR of 1:00.62. WSU freshman Jeshua Anderson (Woodland Hills, Calif.) ran the fastest men's 400m hurdles prelim time of 49.97 while Barry Leavitt (junior, Benton City, Wash.) also qualified for the final with the seventh-fastest prelim time of 51.59. Robert Williams (junior, Riverside, Calif.) did not advance to the final but ran a PR time of 52.87 (13th).
Williams did advance to the Saturday final in the high hurdles along with Anderson. Williams ran a prelim time of 13.92, fifth-fastest in the early heats as well as a PR and improved NCAA RQ. Anderson's time was 14.26, the ninth and final qualifying time.
Anna Layman (redshirt freshman, Spokane Valley, Wash.) finished sixth in the prelims of the women's 800m and will run in the Saturday final. Layman ran a PR and improved NCAA RQ time of 2:07.80, which is sixth-fastest in WSU women's history.
Sprinters Justin Woods and Marlon Murray will run in the 100m dash final after Woods ran a prelim time of 10.62, sixth-best, and Murray ran a PR time of 10.67 for the ninth and final spot in the final. Neither qualified for the 200m final with Murray's time of 21.45 standing 11th and Woods' running a time of 21.66 for 15th.
Princess Joy Griffey and La Shawnda Porter-Red both qualified for the women's 200m final. Griffey ran a time of 24.17 for eighth in the prelims and Porter-Red ran a season-best time of 24.27 for ninth.
"The Cougars did a really good job today of qualifying into the finals and getting a chance to score points Saturday," Sloan said. "I was impressed by how our kids stepped up today. Someone like Marlon Murray did a really nice job; he out-competed three guys at the wire of the 100m to advance to the final. That's impressive and we saw it in the many events today."
Cougars competing but not advancing in the women's prelims included Griffey in the 100m dash after running a time of 11.95 (11th). In the women's 1500m, Lisa Egami ran a time of 4:33.47 (14th) and Karen DeMartini clocked in at 4:34.53 (16th). Angela Jensen ran a 100m hurdles prelim time of 14.39 (12th) and Jalisa Williams ran a time of 14.74 (15th).
For the Cougar men, Reny Follett ran a PR time of 47.40 in the men's 400m dash prelims but his time was 10th overall with the top nine advancing to the final. Luke Lemenager ran an 800m time of 1:52.26 for 17th.
In team standings, the Arizona State women lead with 84 points followed by Stanford with 59. The Cougar women are in fourth place with 31 points. The Oregon men lead with 61.5 points with UCLA second with 48.5 points. The WSU men are currently in seventh with 21 points.
The Pac-10 Track & Field Championships conclude Saturday night at Arizona State.