June 12, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Washington State University sophomore Jeshua Anderson successfully defended his NCAA title and lowered his own school record time Friday night at the 2009 NCAA Div. I Track & Field Championships at John McDonnell Field on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.
Anderson, a sophomore from Woodland Hills, Calif., used his long, methodical strides to keep control of the race from the starting gun with only a slight wobble at the ninth hurdle. Anderson powered across the finish line with a school record time of 48.47 seconds and back-to-back NCAA titles. Johnny Dutch, a sophomore from South Carolina finished second in a time of 48.62. This finish mirrored the 2008 USA Junior Outdoor Championships intermediate hurdles race where Anderson won in 49.28, setting a meet record in Columbus, Ohio, and Dutch took second with a time of 49.74. Anderson went on to run in the 2008 Olympic Trials and to win the 400m hurdles title at the World Junior Championships in Poland where he set the previous WSU record time of 48.68.
When questioned immediately following the race about the slight stumble after the ninth hurdle, Anderson told CBS television commentator Dwight Stones, "I need to work on my alternate leg more but my coaches said to come off of hurdle eight and try to run through it. Hopefully it looked better but that one was nasty. My legs are tired but all of this has been a blessing. I'm happy to be here and I thank God. I know Dutch was on me the whole time and we've been going at it since last year and I'm looking forward to years to come."
Dutch told Stones, "Me and Jesh have both been running hurdles for a while. I remember hearing about this cat back in high school. He is a good competitor, a strong competitor. He pushes me even though he's thousands of miles away."
"Jeshua ran pretty much to perfection tonight, except for that ninth hurdle, and some of that could be from feeling so good at the end of the race that he got a little close. We'll have to look at that on tape because we can't have that happen in two weeks and make the World team," WSU hurdles coach Mark Macdonald said. "The hamstring trouble has probably slowed his development a little bit but based on his races this year I felt he would be strong enough to win. The last month we have only been doing strength work and for the past three weeks I went to practice every day with the only goal of getting Jeshua to the line at this meet in one piece and healthy. The training has been cautious so that probably hurt his chances of a meet record here but with a sore hammy that is what you have to do."
Marissa Tschida (sophomore, Missoula, Mont.) finished sixth in the women's javelin final with a toss of 166-feet, 5 inches (50.72m). Oregon's Rachel Yurkovich repeated as the NCAA winner with a javelin throw of 195-7 (59.62m). Tschida's best throw in the Friday final came on her second of six attempts after throwing 168-6 (51.36m) in the Wednesday qualifying round. She set the WSU women's record this season of 181-8 (55.38m).
"I wish I'd had a little bit better day but I'm happy with what I have," Tschida said after the competition. "I'm happy to be an All-American but I wish I'd had the performance I know I could have. That makes it a little bitter but for the most part it's really sweet."
Cougar Associate Coach and throws mentor Debra Farwell was happy with Tschida's NCAA performance. "Marissa was kind of broken coming into this meet," Farwell said. "She struggled through the Pac-10 and regional meets so we trained pretty hard to try and get her back up to speed technically for this meet. She worked harder physically the last week and a half than we normally would before an NCAA meet. In qualifying she threw well and today she threw well in spite of no wind and very heavy air here. I think Marissa did a great job to finish up where she did."
Trent Arrivey (junior, Woodinville, Wash.) high jumped 7-feet, 1/4 inch (2.14m) for ninth place in the final. He cleared the opening bar of 6-10 3/4 (2.10m) on his second attempt, cleared 7-0 1/4 on his first attempt and then missed all three attempts at 7-1 1/2 (2.17m). Kansas State's Scott Sellers won the men's high jump with a height of 7-5 (2.26m). Arrivey earned his third All-America certificate but was disappointed with his finish after reaching a lifetime-best height of 7-4 1/2 (2.25m) earlier this season.
"It was a great competition at a great facility and WSU had a solid showing. I'm just disappointed I wasn't able to score any points for the team," Arrivey said.
Cougar jumps coach Matt McGee said, "Trent looked fine physically and executed very well with the bar at 2.14m but seemed to lose his rhythm when the bar moved to 2.17m."
Once again the weather delayed the meet with an early afternoon storm causing a delay to nearly all events.
Matt Lamb (redshirt junior, Emmett, Idaho) will throw the discus in the final Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Central Time. The CBS network will broadcast live from Fayetteville, Saturday, June 13, from 10 a.m. - Noon PT.