May 24, 2012
AUSTIN -- Washington State had a trio of field athletes advance to the NCAA Final Championships and another trio of runners advance to the quarterfinals Thursday at the NCAA Track and Field West Preliminary Rounds at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin. The top 48 competitors in each event from the West region are competing in first round or quarterfinals during the three-day prelims with the top 12 in each event advancing to the NCAA Final Championships, June 6-9 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Stephan Scott-Ellis, a junior from Tacoma, qualified in the men's long jump after landing a leap of 25-feet, 2 3/4 inches (7.69m) with a 3.3 meters per second wind, for the 12th and final spot from the West Region. Scott-Ellis, an All-American in the event, reached his best Thursday mark on his first attempt followed by three fouled attempts. He leaped 24-7 3/4w (7.51m) on his fifth attempt and then passed on his sixth try, having already sewn up his trip to Des Moines. Arkansas sophomore Raymond Higgs had the top long jump of the day, a distance of 27-0w (8.23m) which he accomplished on his first attempt and then passed on the next five attempts.
In the women's javelin, freshman Anna Adamko, from Vancouver, Wash., threw a lifetime-best distance of 159-7 (48.65m) to take the 10th spot of the advancing 12 throwers. Two-time All-American Courtney Kirkwood Simmons (senior, Othello, Wash.) threw a distance of 159-2 (48.51m) to claim the final spot in Des Moines. Adamko, who came into the prelims with the 33rd-best mark of the 48 competitors, tossed her PR javelin on her final attempt of the day while Simmons threw her qualifying mark on her fifth attempt. The 10th and the 13th-place finishers were separated by six inches. Christine Kirkwood (freshman, Othello, Wash.) threw a distance of 146-9 (44.74m), 21st overall, and Celena Ward (freshman, Spokane) tossed the spear 135-9 (41.39m), to finish 37th. DePaul senior Melissa Fraser had the top throw of the day at 173-9 (52.96m).
Shawna Fermin, a junior from Victorville, Calif., won her heat of the women's 400m dash in a time of 53.85 seconds, and was the fifth-fastest heat winner of the first round. Fermin, who ran a PR time this spring of 52.66, will run in the Friday evening quarterfinal.
Two-time All-American Joe Abbott's 800m prelim time of 1 minute, 48.81 seconds was next best in the final heat and he advanced to the quarterfinal tomorrow evening. Abbott, a senior from Reno, has a season-best 800m time of 1:48.53 and a PR time of 1:46.84.
In the men's 400m hurdles, J Hopkins (senior, Everett) advanced to the Friday quarterfinal after running a first round time of 52.44, 25th out of the 27 advancing. Rashaun Johnson (sophomore, West Seattle) ran a first round time of 54.68 (46th) and Dana Wells (junior, Tieton, Wash.) ran a time of 55.86 (47th).
"Joe Abbott ran a good race today. He took care of his business and ran smart," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "So did Shawna, winning her heat and now running in the quarterfinal. J Hopkins will need to get down to what he's already run this season but he can do that. Stephan struggled in the long jump with the wind a little bit today. But this is all about doing enough to get by and move on. And he did that. Having both Anna and Courtney advance to Des Moines is great for the Cougars."
Three other Cougars competed Thursday but did not advance. Jacob Sealby (sophomore, Wenatchee) ran the men's 400m dash in a time of 47.95 which was 37th and ended his season Thursday. Sam Ferenchak, a freshman from Vancouver, Wash., threw the javelin a distance of 214-0 (65.22m) for 16th in the men's competition, well above his 28th-place ranking coming into the NCAAs. Joe Bartlett, a senior from Reno, threw the shot put 57-0 3/4 (17.39m) which was 22nd-best in the competition.
The NCAA West Preliminary Round competition continues Friday afternoon for the Cougars.