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Waltz 9th, Thornton 19th At NCAA Track & Field Championships
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 05/31/2000
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May 31, 2000

DURHAM, NC -- Washington State's Ian Waltz earned his seventh All-American certificate but finished ninth in the men's discus during the first day of the four days of competition at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Duke University.

Waltz, a senior from Post Falls, Idaho, threw 58.72m / 192-feet, 8 inches, below his season best of 197-2, and well behind his lifetime best of 211-5. The men's discus title was won by Auburn University sophomore Gabor Mate, from Hungary, with a throw of 65.74m / 215-8. Waltz, who had the top discus throw among the Pac-10 competitors, will compete again Thursday in the shot put.

Junior Andrea Thornton (Shelton, Wash.) finished 19th in the women's hammer, managing just a 52.76m / 173-1 mark, far below her school record of 192-9. This was Thornton's first trip to the NCAA Championships. She placed fifth in the hammer at 190-0 at this year's Pac-10 Championships. The women's hammer throw was won by Southern Methodist University junior Florence Ezeh, from France, who threw an NCAA Meet record of 64.58m / 211-10.

Alishia Booterbaugh, a senior (LaCenter, Wash.) claimed the eighth qualifying spot for the Friday final in the women's 800m run with a personal-best time of 2 minutes, 5.61 seconds (fourth fastest in WSU all-time standings). Georgetown's Sasha Spencer ran the fastest time of the 20 women running the semifinals, 2:03.83. Booterbaugh edged out UTEP's Svetlana Badrankov by just .01 seconds for the final qualifying spot.

Randi Smith, a sophomore (Beverly Hills, Calif.), did not advance to the final of the women's 400m intermediate hurdles after clocking a 58.80 in the semifinals, finishing 16th out of 20 runners. Smith finished fourth in the second of three heats, unfortunately a slower heat with the top three runners advancing to the Friday final. Ohio State's Dominque Calloway, clocked the fastest time of 56.32. The last time to advance to the final was 57.25.

Thursday's NCAA Meet action for the Cougars features Waltz in the shot put final, Agneta Rosenblad in the women's long jump final, and Arend Watkins in the men's 110m high hurdles prelims.

Cougar coach Rick Sloan quotes:

"Day one wasn't especially kind to us.

"Andrea couldn't get her feet moving and didn't throw real well. She would have needed to throw right at her lifetime best and she could have maybe made the final. She just struggled through all three throws.

"Ian didn't throw badly but it was a huge, competitive field: it took 200 feet just to get in the top seven. He made the final but was just on the edge of trying to get something going. He was getting power on the throws and they were too low or he'd get them up and couldn't get the power on them. He was all around a big throw but couldn't quite put it together. We're happy he got his seventh All-American certificate but I just wish he could have finished his discus career with a 200-foot throw or something out there that he's capable of doing. He'll have the shot tomorrow so maybe we get something going there.

"Randi was in the mix for second place in her heat but her heat was out there pretty fast. Going around the turn, she missed a stride or put one too many in. She should have been running a 16 (step) stride from hurdle five to six but wound up being a 17 (step) and it forced her to have to chop down. She lost some momentum and the field got away from her. She finished strongly, but where she had to be moved away from her during that mishap with the steps.

"The track (Wallace Wade Stadium) has very long straight-aways and very, very tight turns - maybe as tight a turn as I've ever been on. Randi had lane six which is good - the further outside you are on this track the better off you are. It's a tough track to sprint on or run fast around the turns.

"Alishia had a rather slow first lap on the race but she got boxed in toward the back. When they got to within 150 meters to go, she was up near the front of the pack and she just eked out a third place finish. They take the top two finishers out of three heats and then the next two fastest times overall (for the final). She ran a lifetime best and beat out the other competitor next to her by 1/100s of a second and she was the last qualifier to the final. We're really pleased she's in the final. She'll be an All-American and hopefully she'll have a good race in the final and score some points for us."

Washington State Cougars Athletics