May 25, 2007
EUGENE, Ore. -- Washington State University discus thrower Matt Lamb and long jumper Rickey Moody will continue their outdoor track and field seasons at the national championships in two weeks after earning top five finishes at the NCAA West Regional Championships Friday at Oregon's Hayward Field.
Lamb, a sophomore from Emmett, Idaho, opened his discus flight with a PR discus throw of 196-feet, 5 inches (59.87m) but it was his fifth throw of the competition that sailed 198-5 (60.47m) and propelled him to fourth place and a return visit to the NCAA Championships. Lamb, who achieved All-America status in 2006 as a freshman with his third place finish, moved up in the Cougar men's record books with his 198-4, the third-best mark in school history, behind Ian Waltz (211-5) and John van Reenen (208-10). Drew Ulrick (senior, Spokane, Wash.) finished 11th with a 183-6 (55.93m) and can still be tapped for NCAA Championship competition (top five in each event automatically advance from the four regional meets to the NCAA Championships while the sixth through 12th-place regional finishers are placed in a descending order list and selected to fill the fields). Ulrick's season-best and PR discus throw of 191-6 (58.37m) was ranked 15th nationally prior to Friday's competition.
"Throwing felt really good today. When I got in the ring it was like I didn't have to try as hard, they just kind of came to me," Lamb said. (on the PR throw) "As soon as it came out of my hand and I saw it flying I knew it was going to be a PR. I was hoping for 200-feet and I saw 200 in the ring but I didn't know how close it was. (on progressing through the season) I'm getting into peak form. I think it will happen at nationals. We changed up a few things in the weight room and technically and I think I am starting to come around but don't think I am anywhere near where I can be at the end of the season."
Moody, a junior decathlete from Puyallup, Wash. finished fourth in the men's long jump with a lifetime-best leap of 24-feet, 8 1/4 inches (7.52m). Moody, a national junior college All-American, will make his first appearance at the NCAA Championships. The first and second place long jumpers Friday, Washington's Norris Frederick and Arizona State's Matt Turner, took the leading spots in the men's NCAA list with wind-aided leaps of 26-0 3/4 and 26-0 1/4, respectively. Moody's previous PR in the long jump was 24-7 1/4.
"I think the rest from the decathlon training helped me feel fresh today and the competition too because I got excited after the people jumped 26-feet," Moody said. "You don't usually see a decathlete jump 26-feet. It was fun to be the next person to jump right after (Turner) jumped 26-feet. It was pretty much the Pac-10 guys versus the rest of the West. We were out there pumping each other up and telling each other to jump far. I'm exciting to go to nationals because I only have two years at WSU so I need to go because I was knocked down to number 30 in the decathlon."
Four-time All-American and 2007 Pac-10 heptathlon champion, Diana Pickler (senior, Sachse, Texas) competed in three of the five events where she had reached regional qualifying marks. Pickler placed eighth in the long jump with a leap of 19-11 3/4 (6.09m), in spite of passing on all three of her final attempts. She also won the third heat of the 100m hurdles in a time of 13.31w seconds but will forego the Saturday hurdles final in order to stay fresh for the national heptathlon. Pickler's time was the third-fastest prelim time of the day behind USC's Candice Davis (13.05) and UW's Ashley Lodree (13.28). Pickler also threw a pair of javelin tosses in the 140-range with her second attempt landing a distance of 140-8 (42.89m) and her third throw a distance of 143-0 (43.59m), for 13th place.
Pickler's twin sister Julie competed in the high jump, clearing a height of 5-7 1/4 (1.71m) which tied her at 12th in the high jump. Julie Pickler will also compete in the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships in Sacramento in June.
In Friday qualifying races, freshman Princess Joy Griffey (Federal Way, Wash.) ran a 100m dash prelim time of 11.73 seconds, just off her PR time of 11.72, to be the eighth and final qualifier for the final.
In the men's sprints, WSU's Justin Woods and Jaycee Robertson did not race Friday as the preliminary heats of the men's 100m dash were cancelled when the field dropped to eight competitors with a late scratch necessitating only the final race to be contested Saturday. The men's 200m dash was also reduced to a final-only event.
Rob Williams (sophomore, Riverside, Calif.) equaled his PR time in the 110m hurdles prelims with a time of 14.08 seconds, seventh fastest, and he is one of eight who will run in the Saturday final.
In the men's 400m hurdles prelims, senior All-American John Cassleman (Pullman, Wash.) ran a time of 51.28 seconds, the top time in the third heat and the third-fastest among all prelims. Sophomore Barry Leavitt ran a time of 52.99 which was 13th, and Rob Williams clocked in at 54.24, 18th overall.
La Shawnda Porter-Red (junior, Renton, Wash.) just missed qualifying for the 200m dash final as her prelim time of 23.14 seconds was ninth-fastest and the top eight advanced to the final. Lorraine King (sophomore, Fontana, Calif.) ran a 400m hurdles time of 1:02.82 which was 20th overall in the prelims.
In Friday field event prelims and finals, McKenzie Garberg (junior, Benton City, Wash.) put the shot 48-3 1/2 (14.72m) for 11th place, and Jessica Zita (junior, Echo, Ore.) was 15th with a throw of 47-8 (14.53m). Garberg will compete in the women's discus and hammer events Saturday.
Tyson Byers (senior, Spokane Valley, Wash.) did not clear a height in the men's pole vault, ending the two-time All-American's collegiate career in disappointing fashion. Byers passed at the opening height of 16-1 1/4 (4.91m) and missed on all three attempts at 16-7 1/4 (5.06m).
Phil McArthur (sophomore, Selkirk, Wash.) threw the hammer 192-3 (58.60m) for 13th place.
In team scoring, after five events, the Cougar men are in eighth place with 10 points while the Cougar women's team is tied for 20th with one point. Arizona State's women lead with 25 points while the Oregon men are in the lead with 37 points. The competition resumes Saturday at 11 a.m. at Oregon's Hayward Field.