May 19, 2002
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Anson Henry, in his final collegiate meet at his home track, won both the 100m and 200m dash titles Sunday during the final day of the Pacific-10 Conference Track & Field Championships held at Mooberry Track on the WSU Pullman campus.
Henry's 20 points were not enough to carry the Cougar men as Stanford won the men's team title with 151 points and WSU was seventh with 71 points. The women's title was won by UCLA with 160 points, narrowly edging cross-town rival Southern California's 157 final tally. WSU's women finished fifth with 85 points, just four points behind number four Arizona State.
With a high overcast but very warm day, Henry, a senior from Pickering, Ontario, Canada, won the 100m title in a time of 10.29 seconds and captured the 200m crown in a season in a lifetime-best time of 20.52 seconds. Henry missed the NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the 200m by a mere 2/100s of a second. He also ran the second leg of the Cougar men's 4x100m relay team which finished second with an NCAA Provisional Qualifying and season-best time of 39.69 seconds. It is very likely Henry will be headed to the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Baton Rouge, La., in both sprints and the 400m relay.
Besides Henry's 100m win, Cougars Anthony Buchanan finished third (10.43) and Bennie Chatman fourth (10.51). Buchanan, bothered by a hamstring pull that was re-aggravated in the 100m dash final, scratched from the 200m dash.
"This race (100m dash) was really important to me," Henry said. "Some people think that nationals is more important, but this was important because it was at home and this was my final year. My first three years I struggled with injuries. I got fourth my sophomore year and third last year. This win meant a lot to me. My start felt good. I kind of expected to be out there and I just tried to stay focused and not give up at the end."
"I knew I wanted to come out good in the 200 because my freshman year I got hurt on the turn, and my turns haven't been the same since because I was always thinking about it. I have just been trying to get my head right this season and I knew today that I was going to run a fast time. Coming off the turn, I felt really good. I knew that I was moving on them a little bit and I knew that by the time I crossed the line I would get past them. I was expecting this kind of a result so I'm not too surprised. It feels good to finally get it over with. I happy."
"I'm pretty happy with the 4x100m relay race," Henry said. "We made a substitution pretty late (last week). We had to work with what we had and Steve (Dwyer) ran a really good first leg. That was our fastest time of the year. I can't complain, we ran faster and we are going to get into nationals with that time."
Dwyer, the third place decathlon competitor last weekend, finished in eighth place in the 400m hurdles (54.00).
Fifth-year senior Cicely Clinkenbeard (Okanogan, Wash.) also finished her Cougar home career in style, adding a second-place in the triple jump to her third place heptathlon finish last week. Clinkenbeard, an All-American in the triple jump, leaped an NCAA PQ mark of 42-5 1/2 (12.94m), and fellow Cougar Blessing Ufodiama placed fifth with a leap of 40-5 1/2 (12.33m). Clinkenbeard has a strong possibility of competing in both the hep and the triple jump in Louisiana at the end of the month.
"I wasn't feeling any pressure in terms of placing (after going into finals in fourth)," Clinkenbeard said. "I was feeling pressure because this might be my last time triple jumping and I need to qualify for nationals if I don't want this to be my last time triple jumping. It's going to be real close getting to nationals. Hopefully, I can squeeze in there."
Freshman Patrick Harrigan from Reno, Nev., joined an exclusive club at WSU when he became the 26th Cougar to clear seven-feet in the high jump. Harrigan came to WSU with a 7-0 clearance in high school but hadn't reached that height in collegiate competition. In a field that included three past Pac-10 champions - Oregon's Jason Boness (2000) and Kyley Johnson (2000) and Stanford's Michael Ponikvar (1999) - four competitors cleared the bar Sunday at 7-0 1/2 (2.15m). The judges sorted out Ponikvar for first, USC's David Jaworski for second, Johnson for third and Harrigan, who missed his first two attempts at 7-0 1/2, for fourth place. Boness did not advance to the final.
"I just needed to get more speed at the bar," Harrigan said. "I need to speed up the higher the bar goes and get more practice at those heights. I was real close (at 7-2 1/2). It would have been weird to make that. I hadn't even tried that height before . I will have to start practicing at higher heights."
Another Cougar freshman, Jamil Smith (Palmdale, Calif.), added a third place in the triple jump (lifetime-best of 50-9 1/4w - 15.47m) to his Saturday eighth place long jump finish. "This season has been kind of off and on for me, but I kind of got better at the end of the season," Smith said. "I'm glad that I was able to come through at Pac-10's. I have high expectations for myself."
Tiffany Giles (Seattle, Wash.) grabbed fifth place in the women's 400m dash with a time of 54.02 after running a prelim time of 53.43, an NCAA PQ and PR. Giles also finished seventh in the 200m dash with a PR time of 23.97, and ran the second leg of the women's 400m relay (third place - 45.50).
Cougar heptathlete and two-time Pac-10 champion Ellannee Richardson (Gladstone, Ore.) took finished sixth in the 200m dash (23.92), and fifth in the 100m hurdles in a time of 13.87 after clocking a season-best 13.86 in the prelims. Richardson was looking at the back of teammate Tamara Gulley (San Jose, Calif.) who clocked in at 13.77 for third place in the final.
"I think I was just expecting to finish the race," Gulley said. "I had a very trying season. I have had back problems, Achilles aches, hip flexor problems, and I just wanted to finish. I was trying to hang in there with the best of them and I did."
Senior Randi Smith (Valencia, Calif.) had a seventh place finish in the 100m hurdles (14.19) and then ran a season-best and improved NCAA PQ of 57.61 for third in the 400m hurdles.
"This is the best place I have finished in the Pac-10's," Smith said. "It is my last year so I was really happy. I did my best; it is all I can ask for. In practice I have been working on my stride pattern for the first 350 meters, then after the seventh hurdle I try to blast out. I was a little slower to the seventh hurdle and I think that's is where I lost time."
The only other Cougar woman to add to the team point tally Sunday was Anna Blue (Olympia, Wash.), who placed sixth in the 5000m with a time of 17:12.98.
Cougar coach Rick Sloan enjoyed watching Anson Henry's final day at Mooberry Track. "It was a great performance. We had Steve Dwyer lead off the (4x100) relay and Anson had a little bit of making up to do and he did a great job. Everything he did was great today. (In the 200m race) he came out and committed to that straightaway and put the hammer down and really ran away with it. That was a great run."
Sloan also had high praise for the Cougar high jumpers. "Whitney Evans didn't high jump for a month. Not one take off for a month and then she comes out and wins the Pac-10 Championship. Patrick Harrigan cramped a rib or something on Thursday and had to be taken to the hospital. That was bothering him, yet he comes out and gets a lifetime best. Those were great performances."
"Jamil Smith was in second place for most of the (triple jump) competition," Sloan said. "He still got third with almost a lifetime best. That was the best he has jumped all year in a Cougar uniform. That was a great performance under these conditions and under this type of pressure for a freshman."
Plenty of excitement was provided by other individual performances including many Mooberry Track record breakers. USC's Angela Williams set a Mooberry Track record with her 100m time of 11.42 seconds, breaking USC's Inger Miller's 1994 Pac-10 time of 11.45. Brianna Glenn, Arizona, led a foursome in bettering the Mooberry Track and Miller's 1994 200m dash time. Glenn won in 22.91 with UCLA's Monique Henderson second at 23.04, Williams third at 23.04, and Kinshasa Davis, USC, fourth at 23.14, all faster than Miller's 23.27. In the 400m, USC's Nakiya Johnson clocked in at 52.29, surpassing WSU's Celestine N'Drin's 1989 time of 52.67. USC's 400m relay team ran a 44.14 time to best a 1987 time of 44.56 by the USA Juniors. UCLA claimed the Mooberry Track 1600m relay record with a time of 3:31.97, breaking the 1994 time of the ASU Pac-10 team. Amy Linnen (Arizona), Tracy O'Hara (UCLA) and Becky Holiday (Oregon) all cleared 13-9 3/4 in the pole vault for a 1/2 inch improvement over Shae Bair (Utah State) 2000 height. The javelin throw record was broken by seven women but now belongs to USC's Inga Stasiulionyte who threw 186-10, shattering Purdue's Serene Ross' 157-10 throw in 1999. WSU's Richardson surpassed Oregon's Kelly Blair heptathlon mark last weekend.
Men's performances going into the Mooberry Track record book include Arizona State's 1600m relay time of 3:06.03 which surpassed the 3:06.64 run in 1994 by USC. Julien Kapek, USC, would have broken the triple jump mark with a leap of 55-3 (16.84m), but a wind reading of 3.4mps negated his effort.
Several members of the Cougar track and field teams will now wait for the NCAA Championships bids, set to come out Wednesday, May 22, for the national meet May 29 - June 1, at Baton Rouge, La.