June 6, 2007
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A pair of Washington State University discus throwers advanced to the finals of their events during the first day's qualifying at the NCAA Div. I Track & Field Championships at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex.
All-American discus thrower Matt Lamb (sophomore, Emmett, Idaho) will get an opportunity to repeat after throwing 185-feet, 5 inches (56.53m) in the prelims, 11th among the 26 competitors and advancing to the Friday final. Lamb placed third in the discus at the 2006 NCAA Championships with a throw of 189-5 (57.74m) and threw a lifetime-best of 198-5 (60.47m) two weeks ago at the NCAA West Regionals. Lamb opened Wednesday prelims with a throw of 181-1 (55.19m) and hit 185-5 on his second attempt. He passed on his third attempt.
This is probably not the way Matt wanted to get into the discus final. He has been practicing really well but woke up Sunday with a sore back so we have been managing that," Cougar Associate Coach and throws coach Debra Farwell said. "I'm glad he got through the prelims because he has been training really well. If we can get his back calmed down I'm hoping he can come in and light it up a little bit more."
Junior McKenzie Garberg (Benton City, Wash.) had the fifth-best discus throw in the women's prelims with a toss of 173-feet (52.74m), just six inches off her lifetime-best, thrown two weeks ago at the NCAA West Regional meet. She is one of 12 to advance to the Friday afternoon final. Garberg opened the prelims with a discus throw of 167-9 (51.13m), threw 173-0 on her second attempt and then tossed a 147-9 (45.04m) on her third attempt. Texas Tech sophomore D'Andra Carter had the top prelim discus throw of 177-11, followed by Texas senior Michelle Carter's 177-4. Arizona State junior Tai Battle threw 176-2 and California senior Kelechi Anyanwu tossed 174-6 followed with Garberg's toss fifth-best on the day.
"The key for Mac was to stay very relaxed and very calm," Farwell said. "We get concerned when someone comes to the NCAA Championships for the first time that they get over-anxious and press and she did a great job of coming in and staying relaxed and calm. She came in and hit her first throw, threw 167-9 and that was a good first effort and set her up for her second throw of 173-even which was the second or third-best throw of her life. I think she did a great job and stayed cool as a cucumber today. It was a McKenzie Garberg that I was hoping would show up but I really wasn't sure since this was her first time at the NCAA Championships. She did a great job today."
"Both Mac and Matt got the job done today," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "Mac with a great throw in the women's discus, her second-longest throw ever and she competed really well. Fifth in the qualifying was a terrific job by her. Matt's back is bothering him and he's in a little bit of pain so we are lucky to get through and get him into the final. Maybe another day of rest in between the prelims and final he can come out and suck it up and go for a big throw."
The day was not a good for senior discus thrower Drew Ulrick (Spokane, Wash.) who finished 18th in the prelims after a toss of 180-10 (55.13m) on his first attempt. His other two throws went distances of 177-4 (54.06m) and 168-4 (51.31m). Ulrick has a PR of 191-6 (58.37m) thrown at Pac-10 Championships last month.
Robert Williams (sophomore, Riverside, Calif.) ran a PR time of 13.94 seconds in the 110m hurdles prelims, 16th-fastest overall and among the 18 to advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, just one hour and 50 minutes later, Williams ran a time of 13.96, 17th overall and not among the nine to advance to the final. Williams previous high hurdles PR time was 14.05 seconds, run two weeks ago at the NCAA West Regionals in Eugene.
"If you asked me, `what do you hope for Robert' coming into this meet, I would have said that I'd like to see him break 14 seconds and I'd like to see him get out of the first round," Sloan said. "He did the things that we'd hoped for him; obviously we wanted him to get to the final and be an All-American. But for him to run 13.94 legal (no wind) and then to turn around and an hour and a half run a 13.96 legal, that is a terrific job. It's good for him as a sophomore to be here, do that well and that gets him going for next year already."
Justin Woods (sophomore, Buena Vista, Calif.) did not advance out of the men's 100m prelims after running a time of 10.50 seconds with a 2.2 mps wind, which was 21st fastest and three spots out of qualifying for the semifinals. Woods will run in the men's 200m prelims Thursday afternoon with Cougar teammate Jaycee Robertson.
Junior Jon Jeffreys (Spokane Valley, Wash.) finished 24th in the men's javelin throw prelims with a toss of 196-1 (59.77m). Jeffrey's best throw of the day was his first with his second throw going 194-9 (59.35m), and his last throw 195-1 (59.47m). Jeffrey's javelin PR is 226-2 (68.95) thrown in 2006 and his 2007 best mark was 221-10 (67.62m).
Rickey Moody (junior, Puyallup, Wash.) long jumped 23-7 1/2 (7.20m) with a 4.6 mps wind which was 22nd in the prelims. Moody's best jump of the day was his first, followed by a non-wind-aided second attempt of 22-10 (6.96m) and a foul on his final attempt. Moody's lifetime-best long jump of 24-8 1/4 (7.52m) came at the NCAA West Regionals two weeks ago.
Thursday's action for the Cougars at the NCAA Championships includes the first four events of the heptathlon with Diana Pickler and Julie Pickler, Woods and Jaycee Robertson competing the men's 200m prelims and semifinals, and John Cassleman running in the men's 400m hurdles prelims.