May 28, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- Three Washington State All-Americans advanced to the national championships Friday, giving the Cougars five Eugene-bound athletes with one more day of competition at the NCAA West Regional/Preliminary Round Track & Field Championships, at Mike A. Myers Stadium. The top 12 in each event advance from the West Regional Preliminary meet to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, June 9-12.
Jeshua Anderson is set to defend his NCAA 400m hurdles title for the third consecutive year. Anderson (junior, Woodland Hills, Calif.) ran the top time in the men's intermediate hurdles quarterfinals of 48.65 seconds, just off his season-best and previously nation-leading time of 48.63. Across the country at the East Regional meet, Anderson's nemesis, Johnny Dutch from South Carolina, ran a time of 48.12 so will go to Eugene as the top seed. Three of the top four men to advance to the NCAA semifinals next month from the West Region are from the Pacific-10 Conference: Amaechi Morton (Stanford) finished second (49.19) and Reggie Wyatt (USC) finished fourth (49.46).
"I can't wait to run under 48 in Eugene," Anderson said. "My race felt good today. I was relaxed and still found some things I need to work on, but overall it felt good. I'm ready to work some more in practice and get this race perfected."
Anna Layman (junior, Spokane Valley) ran with the front pack during the entire 800m race and in the final 100 meters looked as though she might be boxed in but the petite Cougar maneuvered into the lead just before crossing the finish line in her quarterfinal heat. She ran a season-best time of 2-minutes, 5.17 seconds, which was the second-fastest time of the day after running the 24th and final time to advance out of Thursday's first round. Layman is a 2008 All-American in the 800m and has run a personal-record time of 2:04.03 but has struggled with injuries throughout her career.
Trent Arrivey (senior, Woodinville, Wash.) was one of seven men to clear 7-feet, 1 inch (2.16m) in the high jump and will return to the NCAA Championships. Arrivey's mark was sixth-best after the three-time All-American passed at the opening height of 6-7 (2.01m) and cleared 6-9 (2.06m) on his first attempt. He didn't clear the final height of 2.16m until his third and final attempt. Arrivey's PR height is 7-4 1/2 (2.25m). WSU's Ryan Deese (junior, Colorado Springs, Colo.) cleared 6-9 (2.06m) in the high jump to tie at 20th.
It was a heartbreaking day for Cougar sophomore Joe Abbott. Abbott (Reno) ran a PR time in the 800m for the second consecutive day but his Friday quarterfinal time of 1:47.87 was the 13th-best time by a mere 9/100s second and only the top 12 runners advance to the national championships. Abbott had run a time of 1:48.66 in the Thursday first round.
WSU senior Sam Ahlbeck (Renton) battled the heat and humidity but just missed a return trip to the NCAA Championships after finishing 14th in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 8:54.72, just 46/100s second off the 12th-place time.
In the women's 400m hurdles quarterfinals, Veronica Elseroad-Wall (junior, Casper, Wyo.) finished 20th with at time of 1:00.80 after running a PR time of 59.46 in the first round. Brittnay Crabb (sophomore, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) finished 23rd in a time of 1:01.54 after reaching a PR time of 1:00.30 Thursday.
Angela Jensen (junior, Tacoma) finished 37th in the 100m hurdles after running a first round time of 14.03. Brett Blanshan (freshman, Selah, Wash.) ran a 200m first round time of 21.43 which was 30th overall.
In field qualifying events, Ashley Kenney (sophomore, Spokane Valley) was 21st in the discus after throwing a distance of 156-9 (47.78m).
"The Cougars are coming up painfully short," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "Joe Abbott was the 13th guy and just missed out, and Sam Ahlbeck was the 14th guy. But Layman came through, Jesh made it through easily and Trent is in. With the two javelin throwers looking good for us yesterday; Tschida and Courtney, got through easily. It's a tough track meet. It's hotter than blazes. We have a good group of competitors in events Saturday and a few have a legitimate shot of getting through to the national final.
The NCAA West Regional competition concludes Saturday evening. WSU competitors to see action the final day are Matt Lamb and Joe Bartlett in the men's discus, Kjirsten Jensen in the women's hammer, Holly Parent in the women's high jump, Stephan Scott-Ellis in the men's triple jump, the women's 4x100m relay team, the women's 4x400m relay team, Lisa Egami in the women's 1500m quarterfinal, and Jono Lafler in the men's 5000m.