Feb. 22, 2002
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Washington State freshman Dan Wolf won the men's 3000m race while Anthony Buchanan and Brittany Hinchcliffe broke their own school records during Friday's Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Walkup Skydome on the Northern Arizona University campus.
The Cougar men's and women's teams are in fourth place after the first day's competition with UCLA leading the men and Arizona taking the women's lead. Washington State had ten women and eight men qualify in Friday prelims in the 60m, 200m 400m, 800m and 60m hurdles for the Saturday finals.
Wolf, from Reno, Nevada, used a last lap surge to win the 3000m race in a time of 8 minutes, 44.41 seconds. Cougars Jon Welsh and Scott Johnson finished in scoring position in seventh and eighth, respectively.
"Danny Wolf continues to amaze us," Cougar coach Rick Sloan said. "He hung back off the pace and when the pace started picking up he moved up and then at the end took off with his patented kick and ran all the way to the victory. Unfortunately, someone rang the bell with 300 meters to go when there were still two laps. Jon Welsh, who usually comes with a strong finishing kick, actually passed three runners and moved into fourth place when he realized he had another lap and was out of gas. Had they not rang that bell, Jon would have hung in his position and started that move with 300m to go and I'm sure he would have beaten those guys with that last lap kick of his."
For the fourth consecutive week, Brittany Hinchcliffe (Olympia) broke her own freshman school record in the weight throw. Friday night's toss of 56-4 3/4 placed Hinchcliffe fifth as Cal State Northridge's Laura Sauao threw an NCAA PQ of 62-7 3/4 for the win. Cougar Marie Muai (Tacoma) finished ninth and Tim Gehring (Kettle Falls) was 13th in the men's weight throw competition.
Ryan Gilmore (Seattle) finished fifth in the women's 3000m race with a time of 10:27.19 as Arizona All-American Tara Chaplin led a first through fourth sweep by the Wildcats with a time of 10:08.59.
Freshman Jamil Smith (Palmdale, Calif.) placed fourth in the men's long jump with a personal best leap of 24-1 3/4 after only jumping in the prelims. Sloan wanted to rest Smith's sore calf muscle and keep him ready for the men's triple jump Saturday. UCLA's Juane Armon had an NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark of 24-11 1/4 to win the event while WSU freshman Darion Powell (Kirkland) finished out of the scoring (14th) with a distance of 21-9.
Cougars had PRs in the women's long jump as Blessing Ufodiama (Long Beach, Calif.) finished sixth with a leap of 19-0 3/4, and Ellannee Richardson (Gladstone, Ore.) finished seventh with a mark of 18-11 1/4. Arizona State's Tiffany Greer won the long jump with an NCAA PQ of 20-9 3/4.
After a month of nursing a sore foot, freshman Tamara Diles (Renton) finished a disappointing sixth in the women's pole vault with a height of 12-9 1/2, well below her earlier clearance of 14-3 1/4. WSU's Karla McGee was 10th at 12-3 1/2. UCLA's Tracy O'Hara won the pole vault and Arizona's Amy Linnen was second with identical heights of 13-11 1/4. In national rankings with better marks from earlier competitions this indoor season, Linnen is first, O'Hara second and Diles third.
Patrick Harrigan, a freshman from Reno, Nev., finished seventh in the high jump with a PR leap of 6-9 1/2. Cougar teammates Joel Gordon (Spokane) and Piero Vojvodic (Lima, Peru) also had PR performances with leaps of 6-7 1/2 but finished ninth and tenth respectively. Oregon's Kyley Johnson and Jason Boness finished one-two at 6-11 1/2.
In preliminary races Friday, Ellannee Richardson clocked in with an NCAA PQ time of 21.01 in the women's 200m and will be joined by Erin Reed (Woodland Hills, Calif.) in the faster heat of the two-heat final. Tiffany Giles (Seattle) will also race in the 200m final. Reed will also be running in the 60m dash final with Bree Skinner (Pasco). Angelita Green (Long Beach, Calif.) and Molly Bull (Oak Harbor) advance to the 800m final. Richardson and Tamara Gulley (San Jose, Calif.) will run in the 60m hurdles final.
Other Cougar men advancing from the prelim heats include Buchanan, Henry, and Bennie Chatman (Houston, Tex.) in 60m dash. Dione Cason (Long Beach, Calif.) will run in Saturday's 400m final as will Justin Ireland (Issaquah) in the 800m. Both Cason and Ireland are freshmen. Steve Dwyer (Redmond) will be WSU's sole competitor in the men's 60m hurdles with a lifetime best time of 8.20.
"I'm very pleased with the way we competed and am looking forward to the finals coming tomorrow," Sloan said. "I think we have people in place to score some points and I'm looking forward to a great competition."
The MPSF Championships competition concludes Saturday.