Stanford's Jesse Thomas Wins The 3,000 Meter Steeplechase at Pacific-10 Championships

May 19, 2001

Berkeley, Ca - Jesse Thomas, a junior from Bend, Oregon, became Stanford's first Pac-10 champion ever in the 3,000 meter steeplechase when he passed the defending champion Jeremy Rasmussen of Arizona State down the stretch at the 2001 Pacific-10 Track & Field Championships on Saturday at Edwards Stadium.

With 75 meters to go, Rasmussen approached the final hurdle with Thomas only one meter behind. Then the unexpected happened. Rasmussen fell over the barrier, Thomas cleared the barrier, passed a fallen Rasmussen and went on to win in a time of 8:51.48. Rasmussen was timed in 8:51.57.

'I saw him (Jeremy Rasmussen) fall, and I saw the light,' said Thomas. 'I was still hoping to pass him even if he hadn't fallen. He ran a great race. I feel bad for him because I've been in that position before.'

Jayna Smith broke her own school record in the 400 meters during the prelims on Saturday. Smith, a senior from Trotwood, Ohio, toured the oval in 53.27, breaking her previous record of 53.62 set last year. Smith finished first in her heat and overall had the the best time among 14 runners in the prelims. Her time meets the NCAA provisional qualifying standard.

Jillian Camarena broke her own freshman school record in the shot put with a NCAA qualifying throw of 53-9. That broke her previous mark of 52-7 1/2, and is second-best all-time in the Cardinal record book.

'Today's performance was definitely exciting because it was a PR for me,' said Camarena. 'I'm ready to throw. My coach (Robert Weir) was telling me that my technique still has a couple of glitches, so that makes me really excited about how I can do once I work out those things.'


Camarena finished third in the competition won by Christina Tolson of UCLA at 58-3 3/4.


Laura Turner finished second in the 3,000 meter steeplechase in a time of 10:16.52. Kelly MacDonald of Arizona State won the event in 10:03.20.

Nick Welihozkiy finished second in the hammer in a season-best 201-6. USC's Nobert Horvath won the event at 230-1.

Another second place finish was produced by Anne Gunnison at 34:21.99. Washington's Anna Aoki won the event in 34:19.63.

Milton Little finished third in the long jump at 23-11 3/4. USC's Djeke Mambo won the event at 25-2 3/4.

'Today's performance was the worst day I've had in about four weeks,' said Little. 'If I go to the NCAA's, I hope to stay composed and stay focused. I need to stay focused and not worry about certain things. I wasn't coming off the board like I needed to.'

Qualifying heats in the men's and women's 1,500 meters were not held. All runners advance to Sunday's final.

The finals in many events will be held on Sunday. Stanford qualifiers included Jayna Smith in the 400 meters (53.27, school record), Gabe Jennings (1:51.39), Michael Stember (1:48.55), Ryan Carroll (1:51.40) and Mark Hassell (1:48.92) in the 800 meters, Lindsay Hyatt (2:07.89) and Maurica Carlucci in the 800 meters (2:07.37), Stanley Wilson in the 200 meters (21.56), Lindsey Johnson in the 100 meter hurdles (13.68w), the men's 400 meter relay team (41.18).

After the first day of competition, the Stanford women lead with 48 points. USC is second with 41. The Cardinal men are tied with California in third place with 44 points. UCLA leads with 53 points followed by Oregon with 50 1/2.

The Pacific-10 Track & Field Championships continue on Sunday at Cal's Edwards Stadium. The field events start at 9:30 a.m. with the women's hammer. Running events start at 1:00 p.m.

First Day Team Results (Men)
1. UCLA 53
2. Oregon 50 1/2
3. Stanford 44
3. California 44
5. USC 42
6. Washington State 28 1/2
7. Arizona State 26
8. Washington 15
9. Arizona 9

First Day Team Results (Women)
1. Stanford 48
2. USC 41
3. Washington State 37
4. Arizona State 27
5. Oregon 23
6. Washington 21
7. Arizona 16
8. UCLA 12
9. California 9

Stanford Men's Results
100 meters (prelims, Heat 3) - 5. Stanley Wilson (10.47, non-qualifier)
200 meters (prelims, Heat 1) - 5. Stanley Wilson (21.56, qualifier)
400 meters (prelims, Heat 1) - 6. Evan Kelty (48.80, non-qualifier)
800 meters (prelims Heat 1) - 1. Michael Stember (1:48.55, qualifier), 3. Mark Hassell (1:48.92, qualifier)
800 meters (prelims, Heat 2) - 1. Gabe Jennings (1:51.39, qualifier), 2. Ryan Carroll (1:51.40, qualifier)
3,000 meter steeplechase (final) - 1. Jesse Thomas (8:51.48)
10,000 meters (final) - 4. Daniel Parris 29:49.84, 7. Adam Tenforde 29:57.55, 9. Thomas Murley 30:10.82
110 meter hurdles (prelims, Heat 2) - 5. Michael Harte (14.39w, non qualifier)
Hammer (final) - 2. Nick Welihozkiy (201-6, 61.42m)
Javelin (final) - 5. Chad Wassink (217-2, 66.20m)
Long jump (final) - 3. Milton Little (23-11 3/4, 7.31m)
Shot Put (final) - 8. Chris Sprague 56-3 3/4 (17.16m), 11. Omer Inan (54-1 3/4, 16.50m)

Stanford Women's Results
200 meters (prelims, Heat 2) - 3. Jayna Smith (24.30, qualifier)
400 meters (prelims, Heat 2) - 1. Jayna Smith (53.27, school record, qualifier)
800 meters (prelims, Heat 1) - 3. Maurica Carlucci (2:07.05, qualifier)
800 meters (prelims, Heat 2) - 2. Lindsay Hyatt (2:07.89, qualifier)
800 meters (prelims, Heat 3) - 3. Malindi Elmore (2:11.36, non-qualifier)
3,000 meter steeplechase (final) - 2. Laura Turner (10:16.52)
10,000 meters (final) - 2. Anne Gunnison (34:21.99), 4. Heather Tanner 34:40.05, 5. Erin Sullivan 34:47.19
100 meter hurdles (prelims, Heat 1) - 4. Robyn Woolfolk (14.11, non-qualifier)
100 meter hurdles (prelims, Heat 2) - 3. Lindsey Johnson (13.68w, qualifier)
400 meter hurdles (prelims, Heat 1) - 4. Danielle Spurlock (59.88, qualifier)
Javelin (final) - 5. Allison Beatty 153-11 (46.92m)
Long Jump (final) - 4. Julie Tinker (19-8 1/2, 6.01m), np, Shannon Overly (17-11, 5.46), np Lillian Bush (17-3 3/4, 5.28m)
Shot Put (final) - 3. Jillian Camarena (53-9, 16.38m, freshman school record)

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