Holliday Nabs All-America Honors in NCAA Indoor Opening Day
March 8, 2002
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The University of Oregon men's and women's track and field teams opened action in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Arkansas, as three Ducks scored top-10 finishes, and two others qualified for their respective finals Saturday.
A pair of pole vaulters - redshirt juniors Becky Holliday and Niki Reed - led the way with seventh- and 10th-place finishes thanks to final clearances of 13-7 1/4 and 13-3 1/2, respectively. Holliday passed at the opening height of 12-5 1/2 (3.80m), then made first-attempt clearances at 12-11 1/2 (3.95) and 13-3 1/2 (4.05m), and her second attempt at 13-7 1/4 (4.15m). Reed also passed at 12-5 1/2 (3.80m), made her first attempt at 12-11 1/2 (3.95m) and her second try at 13-3 1/2, before missing her three tries at 13-7 1/4.
'The girls jumped well, but there were opportunities for them to go higher,' assistant coach Mark Vanderville said. 'Niki has been using bigger poles more and more in practice, so we knew how she responded to them today would influence her finish. Becky is doing OK transitioning into a new system and has picked up a lot of new things, but more importantly is setting the stage for higher marks.'
With her top-eight finish, Holliday earned Oregon's fourth All-America honor in the event's five-year history, while Reed just missed her third honor. During the season, they upped the school record by 4 1/2 inches to 13-9 3/4 with their season bests from the University of Washington Quad Classic in February.
Holliday's effort Friday deserved even more respect considering she had practiced only once the past two weeks after a snapped pole accident led to seven stitches in her head and bruises to her hand and shoulder. Regardless, Holliday's NCAA indoor collegiate debut just missed Oregon's highest NCAA finish in the event - fifth-place by Reed outdoors in '99 and former Duck Karina Elstrom indoors in '99 - because of her opening miss at 13-7 1/4 since the three others that also finished at the same final mark made their first chances at that height.
'Physically, the injuries from the accident didn't effect me today, although I got some stomach cramps in warm-ups that were a minor distraction,' Holliday said. 'But there weren't enough to effect me, and I was happy with my technique that I finally rocked back and stay with the pole. Once I do that more often, I'll get 14 feet easy, so I'm looking forward to outdoors and utilizing more of those techniques.'
Reed made her fifth NCAA appearance for the Ducks and her second indoors after taking fourth in 2000 (13-5 1/4). Outdoors she is a one-time All-American (1999, fifth 12-9 1/2) and an NCAA participant two other seasons (2000, 13th, 12-9 1/2, 2001 No Height).
'I felt confident that I could clear 13-7 because it's become a relatively easy height,' Reed said. 'Now I'll up my training and focus on the outdoor season. Although I'm redshirting, I'll still travel to a couple meets besides the ones at home, and will go to USA nationals.'
Overall in the event, Arizona sophomore Amy Linnen broke her collegiate record by 1 centimeter with a mark of 14-10 1/4, edging UCLA's Tracy O'Hara (second, 13-11 1/4) and Washington State's Tamara Diles (third, 13-11 1/4).
On the men's side, redshirt junior high jumper Jason Boness capped his third NCAA indoor appearance with a 10th-place finish and final clearance of 6-11 3/4 (2.13m). The Casper, Wyo., native opened his afternoon passing the opening height 6-8 3/4 (2.05m), cleared his second attempt at 6-10 1/4 (2.09m), then missed his three attempts at 7-1 1/2 (2.17m), although he barely caught the bar with his heel on his first attempt.
'I wasn't really happy with the effort, but I was partly starting from scratch,' Boness said. 'I tweaked my inner left hamstring two days before the Mountain Pacific meet, so I haven't jumped the past two weeks. But I can't blame my performance on it - it effected me more mentally because I didn't have a lot of confidence.'
Friday's effort still marked his third-highest effort of the year after clearing 7-1 3/4 in the Frank Sevigne Invite and 7-1 in the University of Washington Quad in the opening weeks of February.
Boness captured his first indoor All-America honor last year in Fayetteville and also appeared at the indoor collegiate finale as a freshman in 1999 for the University of Northern Iowa (14th, 6-10 3/4). The Duck school record holder - thanks to his Pac-10 winning leap of 7-5 from 2000 - now looks ahead to his senior outdoor season as he chases his third All-America award after similar honors in 2000 (seventh, 7-2 1/4) and 1999 (10th, 7-3).
Overall in the event, Princeton senior Tora Harris won the competition (7-5), edging fellow top seed Adam Shunk of North Carolina (second, 7-3 3/4) and last year's indoor runner-up, Shaun Guice of Purdue (third, 7-2 1/2).
Among Friday's qualifying action, two Duck men put themselves in position for All-America honors in Saturday's finals.
Junior sprinter Samie Parker continued to shine in his fifth meet of the indoor season, finishing second in his heat of the 60 in a .03-second personal (6.63), trailing only 1999 NCAA indoor champion Leonard Scott of Tennessee (first, 6.55) who clocked the fastest time of the day.
'The 60 is so short, that it all comes down to the start, so I did everything I could to be out of the blocks quick, and try to win the heat,' Parker said. 'From there I just tried to relax and keep moving along as smoothly as possible.'
Parker's time was fourth fastest overall Friday and the second-fastest of the six time-based qualifiers, with each heat winner automatically qualifying for the eight-man final. The Long Beach, Calif., native entered the competition seeded 11th of 16 entries based on his previous season best of 6.66 from last weekend's Washington Qualifier in Seattle.
Redshirt junior Simon Kimata also advanced to Saturday's final after taking third in the second of two preliminary heats in the 800 (1:48.55), trailing only Penn's Sam Burley (first, 1:48.41) and Florida's Moise Joseph (second, 1:48.44).
Kimata, the third seed overall entering the competition, ran in second through the first two, 200-meter laps and clocked a 52.0-second split, then strided to the lead momentarily in the third lap and a 1:20 split, before holding for third on in a furious finish in the faster of the two qualifying heats.
'I was worried about the time (as we were running) more than the place,' Kimata said. 'Because I needed to make sure I was in tomorrow's race. Running an indoor national championship is new to me since I never raced at indoor nationals in junior college. It's also challenging since I'm taller than most guys and it's hard to pass on a small track. I gave it my all, because I felt really tired at the end.'
Looking ahead to Saturday's other entries, sophomore Trevor Woods competes in the pole vault and enters the competition seeded seventh with a season best of 17-9 3/4.
NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships
Randal Tyson Track Center
University of Arkansas
Friday, March 8, 2002
Women's Team Scores (after 7 events) - 1, LSU 21 points. 2, Florida 20. 3, Arkansas 18 1/2. 4, UCLA 18. 5, Indiana 16. 5, Illinois. 7, Arizona 14. 8, Colorado 11. 8, BYU 11. 10, Texas A&M 10. 10, Auburn 10. 10, Oklahoma State 10. 29, Oregon 2.
Men's Team Scores (after 7 events) -1, Alabama 26. 2, Arkansas 21. 3, Tennessee 20. 4, Colorado 14. 5, Mississippi State 13. 6, Nebraska 11 1/2. 7, Princeton 10. 7, Clemson 10. 7, Villanova 10. 10, North Carolina 8. 10, LSU 8. 10, Wisconsin 8. 10, Texas 8. 10, Texas A&M 8. 10, Idaho 8.
Women's Pole Vault - 1, Amy Linnen, Arizona, 14-10 1/4. 2, Tracy O'Hara, UCLA, 13-11 1/4. 3, Tamara Diles, Washington State, 13-11 1/4. 4, Andrea Wildrick, Liberty, 13-7 1/4. 4, April Steiner, Arkansas, 13-7 1/4. 6, Lacy Janson, Florida State, 13-7 1/4. 7, Becky Holliday, Oregon, 13-7 1/4. 8, Megan Westfall, Florida, 13-7 1/4. 9, Ebbie Metzinger, Purdue, 13-3 1/2. 10, Niki Reed, Oregon, 13-3 1/2. 10, Shannon Jones, Monatna State, 13-3 1/2. 10, Erin Nett, West Virginia, 13-3 1/2 10, Hanna Palamaa, Eastern Michigan, 13-3 1/2. 14, Leslie Dunlap, Oklahoma, 13-3 1/2. 15, Eric Boren, Texas A&M, 12-11 1/2.15, Connie Jerz, Long Beach State, 12-11 1/2. 17, Brooke LoBue, Utah, 12-5 1/2.
Men's 60 Prelims - Heat 1 - 1, Leonard Scott, Tennessee, 6.55. 2, Samie Parker, Oregon, 6.63. 3, Dwight Thomas, Clemson, 6.64. 4, Latonel Williams, Alabama, 6.65. 5, Chris Johnson, Arkansass Little Rock, 6.65. 5, Chris Johnson, TCU, 6.66. 6, Michael Frater, TCU, 6.68. 7, Tre Gardner, Texas, 6.70. 8, Julien Dunkley, East Carolina, 6.71. Heat 2 - 1, Justin Gatlin, Tennessee, 6.57. 2, Terence Newman, Kansas State, 6.62. 3, Pierre Browne, Mississippi State, 6.64. 4, Anson Henry, Washington State, 6.65. 5, Mardy Scales, Middle Tennessee, 6.65. 6, James Shelton, South Carolina State, 6.69. FS - Taiwo Ajibade, UTEP.
Men's 800 Prelims - Heat 1 - 1, Otukile Lekote, South Carolina, 1:48.57. 2, Marc Sylvester, Tennessee, 1:48.59. 3, Fred Sharpe, Auburn, 1:48.99. 4, Said Ahmed, Arkansas, 1:49.41. 5, David Freeman, Kentucky, 1:49.45. 6, Chadwick Johnson, Kentucky, 1:49.83. 7, Timothy Dunne, Missouri, 1:50.13. 8, Mike Taylor, Arkansas, 1:54.60. Heat 2 - 1, Sam Burley, Pennsylvania, 1:48.41. 2, Moise Joseph, Florida, 1:48.44. 3, Simon Kimata, Oregon, 1:48.55. 4, Jonathan Johnson, Texas Tech, 1:48.73. 5, Robbie Stevens, Arkansas, 1:49.57. 6, Aldwyn Sappelton, Oklahoma, 1:50.34. 7, Elliott Blount, Connecticut, 1:51.32. 8, Stewart Kimball, Missouri, 1:51.86.
Men's High Jump - 1, Tora Harris, Princeton, 7-5. 2, Adam Shunk, North Carolina, 7-3 3/4. 3, Shaun Guice, Purdue, 7-2 1/2. 3, Doug Ameigh, Clemson, 7-2 1/2. 5, Ryan Olkowski, Penn State, 6-11 3/4. 5, Shawn Brown, Florida State, 6-11 3/4. 7, Kyle Odvody, Nebraska, 6-11 3/4. 7, Matt Vincent, Florida, 6-11 3/4. 9, Mike Beasley, Texas Tech, 6-11 3/4. 10, Jason Boness, Oregon, 6-11 3/4. 11, Shaun Kologinczak, Nebraska, 6-10 3/4. 11, Einar Hjartarson, Texas, 6-10 1/4. 11, Eric Bergemann, Campbell, 6-10 1/4. 14, Claston Bernard, LSU, 6-10 1/4. 15, Tim Bell, Tennessee, 6-10 1/4.