May 28, 2011
EUGENE -- The Washington State men's 4x100m relay team advanced to the NCAA finals during the last day of the West Preliminary Round Track and Field meet, Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene Friday. The No. 24 Cougar men's team will have Joe Abbott (800m), Jeshua Anderson (400m hurdles), and the 400m relay team competing June 8-11 in Des Moines, Iowa, while the No. 14 WSU women's team will have Anna Layman (800m), Marissa Tschida (javelin) and Courtney Kirkwood (javelin) competing for national titles.
The men's 4x100m relay team of Greg Hornsby, Nate Washington, Brett Blanshan and Marlon Murray ran a time of 40.26 seconds, eighth-best of the competition, but finished third in the first heat of the quarterfinals and will advance to the NCAA finals. Hornsby (sophomore, Moreno Valley, Calif.), Washington (senior, Everett), Blanshan (sophomore, Selah, Wash.) and Murray (senior, Des Moines, Wash.) are the 2011 Pac-10 champions, running a time of 39.48 two weeks ago. Saturday Murray ran a split time of to come from fourth to take third, sprinting by the anchor from Stephen F. Austin.
"Marlon took an okay pass and had a little curve before he got moving down the straightaway and ran down Stephen F. Austin and came within a hundredth of running down UCLA," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said.
Washington's sore hamstring did not allow him to return for usual second leg of the 4x400m relay, and lead leg Brandon Dawson was also injured, so Coach Ellannee Richardson mixed up the Cougar men to run in an order of Jacob Sealby (freshman, Wenatchee, Wash.), Hornsby, Anderson (senior, Woodland Hills, Calif.) and Abbott (junior, Reno). The squad ran a time of 3 minutes, 9.39 seconds, with Anderson's split a time of 46.09 seconds. But the Cougars were fourth in the heat (top three advance on place) and their time was 13th overall with the top 12 teams advancing to the finals. WSU missed taking both relays by 63/100s second.
In other racing action, Matt Cronrath (sophomore, Odessa, Wash.) finished 20th in the 1500m quarterfinals with a time of 3:51.09. The women's 4x100m relay team of Shaquana Logan (sophomore, Tacoma), Chanel James (junior, Tacoma), Cindy Robinson (sophomore, Norwalk, Calif.), and Morgan Clem (sophomore, East Wenatchee, Wash.) ran a quarterfinals time of 46.48 which was 22nd overall. In the women's 4x400m relay, Shawna Fermin (sophomore, Victorville, Calif.), Anna Layman (senior, Spokane Valley), Veronica Elseroad-Wall (senior, Casper, Wyo.), and Logan ran a time of 3:42.17 for place.
In the field events, Stephan Scott-Ellis (sophomore, Tacoma) finished 16th in the triple jump after leaping 50-10 1/4 (15.50m). High jumpers Holly Parent (sophomore, Victoria, B.C.) and Christine Rice (sophomore, Ridgefield, Wash.) only cleared the opening bar at 5-5 (1.65m) but did not clear the next height of 5-7 (1.70m) and had early exits. Ashley Kenney (junior, Spokane Valley) threw the discus a distance of 152-4 (46.44m) which was 28th overall. Joe Bartlett (junior, Reno) had a discus throw of 160-1 (48.79m) for 36th place.
"We knew there was a possibility of not that great of weather and we thought that would favor us because we've dealt with it all year long," Sloan said. "But we were just like everybody else that succumbed to the bad conditions."