June 12, 2008
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Washington State University senior Rickey Moody finished eighth in the decathlon and freshmen Jeshua Anderson and Anna Layman advanced to the finals of the intermediate hurdles and 800m, respectively, Thursday during the second day of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships held at Drake Stadium.
"We had a good day with people performing well like Anna and Jeshua, Rickey giving his all in the decathlon, and I was happy with our relay team," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said.
Moody's 7,477 points in the decathlon placed him eighth and earned the senior from Puyallup, Wash., All-America honors. Oregon's Ashton Eaton won the decathlon with 8,055 points and Jangy Addy of Tennessee was second with 7,916 points.
Moody ran a 110m hurdles time of 14.56 seconds, fifth-fastest of the day. In the discus, he threw 134-3 (40.93m), 11th of the 22 remaining competitors, and dropped to fourth place by 12 points. Moody struggled in the pole vault after a solid warm-up. After passing the first three bar heights of 12-1 1/2, 12-5 1/2, and 12-9 1/2, he cleared 13-1 1/2 (4.00m) on his first attempt but missed all three attempts at 13-5 1/4 (4.10m). Sloan said they worked to adjust with bigger poles as he moved up in bar heights but it was a disappointing ending for Moody who has cleared 14-feet in practice. After the vault he dropped to sixth place in the point standings. Moody's javelin throw of 185-9 (56.63m), which was tied for fourth-best in the event, moved him up to fifth in overall points going into the final event. He ran the 1500m in a PR time of 5:03.61, six-seconds faster than he's ever run that distance in his career, but his final point total of 7,477 was eighth-best in the decathlon. His finish also gave the Cougar men one point in team standings.
"I was really proud of Rickey; I thought he competed well. He was disappointed that he didn't get the points in the vault because he knew other guys were going to jump well," Sloan said. "If Rickey could have performed in the long jump, pole vault and the discus as he had consistently performed all year, he would have finished in fourth place."
Anderson, a freshman from Woodland Hills, Calif., won his heat of the men's 400m hurdles semifinals in a time of 49.51, and had the second-fastest time of the day as Auburn's Rueben McCoy won the second semifinal heat with a time of 49.12. Eight hurdlers advanced to the Friday night final and will earn All-America honors when they finish the race.
Spokane Valley, Wash., redshirt freshman Anna Layman ran the fifth-fastest time in the women's 800m semifinals and will race in the Saturday afternoon final. Layman's time of 2:04.03 was a PR by .84 seconds, and is the second-best time in WSU women's 800m history. California senior and two-time NCAA 800m champion, Alysia Johnson, withdrew from the semifinals, citing a minor foot injury suffered in the Wednesday prelims but there is speculation in the media that she is preparing for the Olympic Trials and not concerned with the national collegiate championships. Eight women advanced to the 800m final and when they finish the final, all will be accorded All-America status.
Both Anderson's and Layman's final races should be televised nationally. The men's 400m hurdles is slated to begin at 7:05 p.m. Pacific time and the CBS College Sports Network (formerly called CSTV) will broadcast competition from 5 to 8 p.m. PT. Layman's 800m final is scheduled to begin Saturday at 1:19 p.m. PT, and should be a part of the live coverage on CBS TV stations nationally that will broadcast from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific time.
WSU assistant coach Mark Macdonald coaches both Anderson and Layman. Commenting on Anderson, Macdonald said, "He's been running easy. We haven't been trying to go crazy. The goal for the prelim race was to run it correctly and then he would make the final. Today we tried to have him race a little more to get a good lane (for the final) but he still hasn't let it out yet. He really hasn't been challenged since the Texas Relays. We'll see what he has tomorrow. The final is going to be very fast. It is one of the best fields I've ever seen. There are five guys who can win it and Jeshua's one of them. Everyone is noticing that Jeshua looks the best technically; he is the future of the sport but we'll see if at 18 years old he is strong enough to make it through three rounds and run in the mid 48s (seconds) tomorrow. He's looked great, he feels great and he's ready to see what he's got tomorrow."
Macdonald's observations on Layman: "She continues to be the most amazing thing I've ever seen but I was saying that back when she was running 2:08 and now I'm running out of things to say about her. We are preparing to win it Saturday and with what I saw today, I think she can win it. I think she is just as good as everybody out there (in the final) and all year long she's talked about the only person she can't beat is Alysia Johnson (Cal) and she scratched today. The biggest challenge now, since she has the day off Friday, is to convince her that she can win. If she believes that, and runs with the purpose of winning, I think she can win."
Lorraine King (junior, Fontana, Calif.) did not advance from the women's 400m hurdles after running a time of 58.81 in the semifinals Thursday. King's time was just .5 seconds off her PR time set this year, but 14th overall and only the top eight times advanced to the final.
The Cougar men's 4x400m relay team did not advance from the prelims after posting a time of 3:09.45, 15th of the 17 teams racing with the top eight advancing to the Saturday final. The WSU relay team consisted of Barry Leavitt (junior, Benton City, Wash.), Reny Follett (redshirt sophomore, Lewiston, Idaho), Justin Woods (junior, Buena Vista, Calif.) and Marlon Murray (freshman, Des Moines, Wash.). The 400m split times for the Cougars were 47.2 for Leavitt, 46.1 for Follett, 47.3 for Woods, and 48.6 for Murray.
"We had three good splits," Sloan said. "Reny ran a really strong second leg. I was happy with Marlon because he competed hard but his body gave out and he struggled to get to the finish line. I think it was a good experience for all these underclassmen. It was a great experience for Reny, as our top quartermiler. I wanted him to race and see that he could compete with the best 400m runners in the country and he did. That will be a big help to him next year."
Freshman Marissa Tschida (Missoula, Mont.) threw the javelin a distance of 156-7 (47.73m) on her third throw of the qualifying round which was 18th-best overall with the top 12 throwers advancing to the final.
The third day of the four-day meet begins with Jon Jeffreys in the men's javelin final Friday afternoon. McKenzie Garberg will throw in both the women's hammer and discus finals. High jumpers Trent Arrivey and Ebba Jungmark will compete in their event finals, and Anderson will run in the men's intermediate hurdles final.