May 18, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State's Whitney Evans won the women's high jump for the second consecutive year Saturday during the first day of the Pacific-10 Conference Track & Field Championships at Mooberry Track on the WSU Pullman campus.
With blue skies, temperatures in the low 70s and a moderate breeze, Evans, a redshirt junior from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, equaled her season-best leap of 5-11 3/4 (1.81m) for the conference 2002 high jump title. At that NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark, Evans is ranked eighth best nationally.
Her ten points helped put the Cougar women in fifth place after the first day's events. Stanford leads both the men's and women's team standings with 51 points for women and 58 points for men. The Oregon women are second with 57 points but the Duck men are back 10 points at 41. The WSU men are eighth with 19 points.
"I have been off from jumping for about a month (with a sore foot), so I was a little nervous coming into it, but things went pretty well," Evans said. "I was pretty positive coming in. Darnesha Griffith from UCLA is always tough to beat, so I was a little worried about that. I wanted to go out and jump my best and it ended up working out. It's nice to have a positive weekend before NCAA's to go in with a positive outlook."
Other Cougar women contributing points during the first day's competition included Ryan Gilmore's seventh place in the 10,000m (38:18.90), Hillary Smith's seventh place in the 3000m steeplechase (11:14.21), and Briana Willis' eighth place high jump finish (5-7 1/4 - 1.71m).
The highest finish for the day for the Cougar men came from Curt Borland who threw the javelin 212-9 (64.84m) for fourth place on his final attempt of the day, just four inches behind Matt Wagner's (Arizona) third place throw.
Other Cougar men with points Saturday included Tim Gehring's sixth in the hammer (190-11 - 58.19m), Jon Welsh's seventh place steeplechase (9:12.34), and three eighth place finishes: Oscar Franco-Parra in the 10,000m (31:37.16), Mat McGee in the javelin (200-8 - 61.17m), and Jamil Smith in the long jump (23-4 3/4 - 7.13m).
In preliminary heat action, Tiffany Giles ran an NCAA PQ and lifetime best 400m dash time of 53.40 to advance to the Sunday final. Giles will also run the 200m final after running 24.22 in the prelims. Ellannee Richardson, winner of last weekend's heptathlon, ran season-best times in the 200m (23.99) and the 100m hurdles (13.69). She finished 11th in the long jump but will be busy Sunday with the 200m and 100m hurdles finals and running anchor legs of the 400m and 1600m relay teams.
Randi Smith ran an NCAA PQ time of 57.96 in the 400m hurdles, second-fastest of the prelims but slightly slower than her season-best and NCAA PQ time of 57.88. Tamara Gulley will join Richarson in the 100m hurdles final.
In the men's sprints, Anson Henry ran the top prelim time in the 100m dash of 10.33 while teammate Anthony Buchanan had the second-fastest finish at 10.35. Cougar sprinter Bennie Chatman will join them in the final after clocking in with a 10.48 time. Henry and Buchanan both ran 20.99 times to advance to the 200m dash final. Decathlete Steve Dwyer, coming off a third-place finish last weekend, had the fifth-best time in the 400m hurdles Saturday and will run in the Sunday final.
The Pacific-10 Conference Track & Field Championships resumes Sunday, May 19, at Mooberry Track on the Washington State University campus.