April 25, 2003
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State won seven women's events and 11 men's events at the Fourth Annual Cougar Invitational Track & Field College Meet Friday at Pullman.
Collegiate and unattached competitors from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Alberta, Canada, battled the morning rain showers but ended the day in the sun at Mooberry Track. Meet records were broken in seven events.
Blessing Ufodiama broke her own meet record in the triple jump with a winning leap of 40-feet, 6 3/4 inches (12.36m). The WSU school record-holder in the shot put, Georgette Reed (1991), a 1992 Canadian Olympian, won the shot put with a meet record throw of 48-11 1/2 (14.92m).
Cougar sprinters Bennie Chatman bested Nikela Ndebele and his meet record with a win in the 100m dash with a season-best time of 10.37 seconds. Anthony Buchanan won the 200m dash with a meet record and season-best time of 21.22. Eric Dudley won the 400m hurdles in 51.61 and bettered his meet record time of 51.79 set in 2001.
University of Montana's Jas Gill won the men's high jump with a meet record leap of 6-10 3/4 (2.10m). WSU' Rick Collins and Paul Nicoletti both cleared 16-8 3/4 (5.10m) in the pole vault with Collins winning on fewer misses but both getting the meet record.
Former WSU All-American Andrea Thornton won both the discus (172-4) and the hammer (189-7) while competing for the Cougar Track Club.
Cougar winners in women's events included Tamara Gulley (100m), Tiffany Giles (200m), Ellannee Richardson (100m hurdles), Louise Akesson (400m hurdles), Karla McGee (pole vault), Blessing Ufodiama (triple jump), and the 4x100m relay (Gulley, Giles, Bree Skinner, Richardson).
Giles' 200m time of 23.95 was a personal record and an NCAA Regional Qualifier.
Men's winners from WSU included Bennie Chatman (100m), Anthony Buchanan (200m), Ian Johnson (1500m), Eric Dudley (400m hurdles), Rick Collins (pole vault), Jamil Smith (triple jump), Sam Lightbody (discus), Tim Gehring (hammer), Matt McGee (javelin), the 4x100m relay (Larmarr Kirk, Chatman, James McSwain, Buchanan), and the 4x400m relay (Kirk, Dan Brink, Jon Manthey, Eric Nygard).
Gehring's hammer throw of 196-10 (59.99m) was a lifetime best and an improved NCAA RQ. Gerhing was also the top collegiate placer in the shot put at 57-8 1/4 (17.58m) behind Simon Stewart's 61-8 1/4 (18.80m). McGee also bettered his NCAA RQ with his javelin toss of 206-1 (62.82m). Lightbody, usually at football practice on a Friday afternoon, threw 174-1 (53.067m) in the discus, a PR mark and an NCAA RQ.
The Cougar Invitational Meet continues Saturday with the high school portion beginning at 10 a.m. at Mooberry Track. The Cougars' next competition is Saturday, May 3, against the Washington Huskies in Seattle.