Evans won the event with a leap of 5-11 1/2 (1.82m). The Calgary, Alberta, Canada native became the third woman to win the Pac-10 high jump championship three times. Arizona's Tanya Hughes (1991-93) and UCLA's Amy Acuff (1994-97) are the others. Evans ranks second in the West Region and is tied for fourth nationally.
WSU freshman Robin Mikesh earned a fourth place finish in the high jump by improving her NCAA Regional Qualifying mark with a lifetime best 5-8 3/4 (1.75m). Senior Briana Willis finished seventh by equaling her season-best jump of 5-7 (1.70m). The Cougars scored 17 points in the event and finished the first day in fourth place with 39 points.
"The high jump was and probably will be our biggest scoring event in the meet," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "Whitney won the event and could have gone higher. She just missed on her last two jumps. I was really happy with Robin Mikesh's fourth place finish. That was a great job by a freshman."
Other Cougar women scoring points included senior Anna Blue and freshman Jenna Dean. Blue finished fifth in the 10,000m run in a time of 35:21:45. Dean placed seventh in the javelin with a throw of 146-10 (44.75m).
In preliminary heat action, senior Tiffany Giles ran a lifetime best and regional qualifying time of 23.82 in the 200m dash to advance to Sunday's final. Giles also advanced to Sunday's final in the 400m dash with a season-best and regional qualifying time of 53.54. Other Cougars advancing to Sunday finals include senior Ellannee Richardson and junior Monique Jessie. Richardson clocked a 13.58 in the 100m hurdles and a season-best 23.84 in the 200m dash while Jessie ran 1:00.06 in the 400m hurdles.
A pair of Cougar sophomores, Tamara Gulley and Marie Muai recorded lifetime bests in the 100m (11.83) and hammer throw (175-5/53.46m), respectively. Freshman Nicole Hatcher ran a season-best 12.14 in the 100m dash.
On the men's side, the Cougars piled up 11 points in the javelin by taking three of the top eight spots. Senior Matt McGee finished second with a throw of 212-5 (64.74m). Juniors Curt Borland and Nate Cummings finished seventh and eighth with tosses of 202-9 (61.79m) and 200-1 (60.99m), respectively.
"I expected to get three places in the javelin, but I thought it was possible to get a little more out of that," Sloan said.
Other Cougar men scoring points included senior Rick Collins and freshman Tyson Byers in the pole vault and junior Tim Gehring in the shot put. Collins finished sixth and Byers seventh, both with a fault of 16-6 3/4 (5.05m). Gehring's best toss was 58-7 1/4 (17.86m). WSU ended the day in fourth place with 27 points.
The WSU men performed well in the preliminaries of the running events. Junior Anthony Buchanan turned in the day's fastest time in the 200m dash with a season-best 20.95 to advance to Sunday's final. Buchanan with a season-best 10.24 and senior Bennie Chatman, who equaled his lifetime best with a 10.19, both advance to the finals in the 100m dash. Both of Buchanan's times as well as Chatman's are regional qualifying times.
The men's 4 x 100 relay team ran a 39.95, the fastest time in the preliminaries. The time took nearly two tenths of a second off the Cougars' best time this season.
"All of our sprinters ran well, even those that did not advance to the finals, on both the men's and women's teams," Sloan said. "Overall, we have a lot of people competing (Sunday) and I am very pleased with our performance during the first day and I think we are in great shape for day two."
Senior Eric Dudley also advanced to Sunday with the day's best time of 51.06 in the 400m hurdles. Dudley added a season-best regional qualifying time of 14.28 in the 110m hurdles, but did not advance to the finals.
Complete meets results are located at, http://www.flashresults.com/2003_Meets/outdoor/pac10/index.htm