May 26, 2012
AUSTIN -- The Washington State women's 400m relay squad earned the right to compete at the NCAA Final Championships next month during Saturday's final day of competition 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 competed 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.
The WSU women's 4x100m relay of ran a time or 44.92 seconds and took the 12th and final spot into the NCAA Final Championships. The squad, comprised of Chanel James (senior, Tacoma), Cindy Robinson (junior, Norwalk, Calif.), Candii McFarland (freshman, Las Vegas) and Shawna Fermin (junior, Victorville, Calif.), ran the third-best time in school history, ascending to the number 12 spot after the team from Kansas was disqualified for passing the baton out of the zone. The Cougars, who came into the West Prelims with the 17th-best time, and Texas Christian University hit the finish line in nearly identical times: TCU was determined to have clocked in at 44.910 seconds and WSU was in at 44.916 seconds.
Fermin, the relay anchor, had already punched her ticket to the national meet with her 400m dash quarterfinal finish Friday. Javelin throwers Anna Adamko and Courtney Kirkwood Simmons, and Stephan Scott-Ellis (men's long jump) advanced to the NCAA Final Championships in Thursday competition.
Saturday on the track, Shaquana Logan (junior, Tacoma) ran the 100m hurdles semi-finals in a time of wind-aided lifetime-best time of 13.43 seconds for 16th place.
In the men's 5000m, Drew Jordan (redshirt freshman, Medford, Ore.) ran a time of 14:31.02, 12th in his heat and 18th overall, while Andrew Kimpel (redshirt sophomore, Spokane) ran the 5000m in a time of 14:36.48, 10th fastest in his heat and 22nd overall.
In men's field events, Jovan Vukicevic, a junior from Trstenik, Serbia, cleared 6-feet, 11 3/4 inches (2.138m) in the high jump and finished 19th. Jake Baertlein (senior, Portland, Ore.) cleared a pole vault height of 16-2 3/4 (4.95m) to place 40th.
"I was thrilled with our women's 4x1 relay team moving through to the national meet and with the fact they ran under 45 seconds," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "Shaquana ran a great race yesterday to qualify for today and she was really moving today until the last couple of hurdles. Jovan looked really good through the first two bars but couldn't get over the bar at 7-1 1/2. Jake did okay especially that his opening bar was his second-highest clearance ever. Drew and Andrew ran well today although none of the times in those races were very good."
The Cougars return to Pullman Sunday and the seven competitors who have qualified will spend the next two weeks training for the NCAA Final Championships, June 6-9, in Des Moines, Iowa.