March 8, 2003
MOSCOW, Idaho -- The Washington State women's 4x400m relay team ran a school record and NCAA Provisional Qualifying time at the Last Chance Qualifier Meet at Seattle Saturday afternoon.
The Cougar women's team of Tiffany Giles (Seattle), Monique Jessie (Compton, Calif.), Angelita Green (Long Beach, Calif.), and Ellannee Richardson (Gladstone, Ore.) clocked in with a time of 3 minutes, 36.08 seconds, improving their time from last week by over four seconds. They erased the school record time of 3:37.54 set last year in Seattle by Giles, Tamara Gulley, Randi Smith and Richardson.
A team from UCLA was the only other squad in the race and the Bruin women reached an NCAA Automatic Qualifying time of 3:35.06. The WSU women's time should hold up through the "last chance" weekend to be one of the top ten teams nationally and get an NCAA bid next week.
"We really stepped it up today and the confidence level was there," WSU sprints coach Francesca Green said. "UCLA changed their order at the last minute and Tiffany thought she was running against their slowest runner so she just ran her race. UCLA's slowest leg ran third against Angelita and she just hung on and made up some ground. She got Ellannee close to Monique (Henderson, UCLA's All-American sprinter) finishing the race. Ellannee ran a 52-flat."
Saturday was also good day at the McDonald's Last Chance Meet at the Kibbie Dome as Cougar senior Bennie Chatman ran an NCAA PQ time in the men's 60m dash. Chatman, from Houston, Texas, finished second to Idaho's Nikela Ndebele with a personal record time of 6.71 seconds. Ndebele bettered his NCAA PQ time to 6.70.
Twenty Cougars improved personal best marks at the small two-day meet.
Cougar men claiming victories included James McSwain (200m, 22.11), Kurtiss Dilley (high jump, 2.10m/6-10 3/4), Time Gehring (shot put, 17.59m/57-8 1/2), and Sam Lightbody (discus, 48.16m/158-0). Rick Collins and Tyson Byers finished one-two in the pole vault with identical heights of 5.15.m/16-6 3/4.
Next week is the NCAA Div. I Indoor Track & Field Championships at Fayetteville, Ark. The first outdoor meet for the Cougar teams will be the Willie Williams Invitational, March 21-22, at Tucson, Arizona.