April 10, 2000
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Four high school athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to attend Washington State University and compete for the track and field team during the 2000-2001 season, Cougar coach Rick Sloan announced Monday.
The four signees are: Tamara Gulley, a sprinter/hurdler from San Jose, Calif., Karla McGee, a pole vaulter from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, Blessing Ufodiama, a triple jumper from Long Beach, Calif., and Ana Cabrara, a distance specialist from Vancouver, Wash.
Gulley, a senior at Oak Grove High in San Jose, won the 100m hurdles at the Arcadia Invitational last weekend in a time of 13.87 seconds. She also won the 100m dash at the 2000 Fresno Relays. Gulley is currently ranked third in the national prep girls high hurdles standings.
"Tamara was a unique situation," Sloan said. "From the first phone call coach (Mark) Macdonald made, 12 days later she signed our Letter of Intent. Within that short amount of time, we talked with her and her father in a home visit, and she came for a campus visit and liked what she saw. She is one of the top hurdlers in the nation, having just won the prestigious Arcadia Invitational, and the invitational section at that. She is also a very good sprinter and has run a 12.09 in the 100m already this year. Tamara will be a huge addition to our team in the sprints and hurdles areas."
McGee attends Kate Andrews High School in Lethbridge, and is currently the Canadian Junior record-holder in the pole vault with a cleared height of 3.70m / 12-1 1/2. McGee competed in World Youth Championships in Poland last summer. She plans to major in education/kinesiology at WSU.
"Karla McGee, to this point, hasn't had big jumps," Sloan said. "We've watched her on video tape and in person. She is very tall and lean, and very athletic. I think she is going to be one of the great pole vaulters in the NCAA during her career here."
Ufodiama, a senior at Long Beach Poly High, won the girls triple jump at the Arcadia Invitational Meet last weekend with a leap of 41-1 3/4. She also won the girls triple jump at the 2000 National Scholastic Indoor Championships in New York City last month, with a mark of 41-0 1/2. Ufodiama is currently the national prep girls leader in the triple jump.
"We have two athletes coming to us from Long Beach Poly - Blessing and Angelita Green," Sloan said. "Blessing Ufodiama won the invitational section of the triple jump at the prestigious Arcadia meet. With Blessing and Cicely (Clinkenbeard) on our team, we're going to have a huge one-two punch next year in the triple jump at the Pac-10, and hopefully, the national championships."
Cabrara, a senior at Skyview High in Vancouver, finished seventh at the 1999 Washington State 3A Cross Country Championships with a time of 18:58. Cabrara moved from Colorado prior to her junior year at Skyview.
"Ana is one of the top distance runners in the state and an outstanding student," Sloan said. "She is one of the strongest students we have ever recruited to Washington State. She's going to make a very strong contribution to both our cross country teams and our women's indoor and outdoor track and field program."
These four athletes join five recruits who signed NLIs to WSU last fall: sprinter Bree Skinner, from Pasco, sprinter J.K. Haines, from Redmond, sprinter Atia Weekes, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, middle distance runner Angelita Green from Long Beach, Calif., and Benson Jones, a long and triple jumper from Concord, Calif., currently enrolled at Diablo Valley Community.