March 12, 2004
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Washington State's Matt Mason finished sixth in the long jump and Tim Gehring was 13th in the shot put during the first day's competition at the NCAA Div. I Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships held at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus.
Mason, a redshirt junior transfer from Marietta, Ga., leaped 25-feet, 7 1/2 inches (7.81m) in his second long jump attempt of the competition. It was the identical distance as Florida freshman Mike Morrison who took fifth place because of the longer distance of his second-best mark. John Moffitt, a senior from LSU, won the long jump with a leap of 26-9 3/4 (8.17m).
"Matt didn't touch the takeoff board on his first two attempts which were 25-foot jumps," Cougar Coach Rick Sloan said. "He touched the very back of board on his second jump of 7.81 (meters). His last jump was a legal jump but not far enough."
Mason did not qualify for the men's 60m hurdles final after running a season-best time of 7.79 seconds in the first heat of the prelims. Mason, who has a lifetime best of 7.73 seconds, had the 11th fastest time of the 13 preliminary competitors. Josh Walker, a junior from University of Florida, ran the fastest time in heat one at 7.70. Anton Hicks, a junior from the University of Mississippi, had the fastest time in the prelims of 7.67.
"Matt flinched in the blocks and they should have called it off or called a false start but they didn't," Sloan said. "He was on his way back into the blocks when the gun went off. He ran a season best time of 7.79 but he just got killed with that bad start."
Senior Tim Gehring (Kettle Falls, Wash.) finished 13th in the men's shot put with a toss of 57-7 1/4 (17.50m). Gehring's mark was sandwiched between two fouled attempts in the prelims and he did not advance to the final. Ohio State's Dan Taylor won the event with a throw of 66-7 1/4 (20.30m).
"His first throw was over 60-feet for sure and it was barely a foot foul. He almost hung on to it and kept it in," Sloan said. "He will be an All-American because of the large number of foreign athletes in the field."