Ducks Close Texas Relays With Three Wins
April 6, 2002
AUSTIN, Texas - In final day action in the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, a pair of javelin throwers -- sophomore Sarah Malone and redshirt junior John Stiegeler -- and redshirt junior pole vaulter Becky Holliday led the Duck track and field teams with wins at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas.
On the men's side, NCAA champion and redshirt junior John Stiegeler won the competition with a first attempt effort and NCAA mark of 242-11, barely four feet short of his season best and national-leading mark of 247-0. The Coos Bay native, however, scratched from the competition after his fourth throw due to a apparently serious knee injury.
Scott Russell of Kansas followed in second place (239-1), and Duck sophomore Adam Jenkins followed in 12th place (194-0).
Withstanding similar cooI, breezy and overcast conditions as the women's pole vaulters, All-American and sophomore Trevor Woods looked right at home tying his outdoor season best (fifth, NCAA prov. 17-6 1/2). The Coos Bay native boasted first-attempt clearances at his two heights -- 17-2 3/4 and 17-6 1/2 -- before missing three attempts at 17-10 3/4.
'I didn't feel on today but I hung in there,' Woods said, 'and that gives me confidence that I can still put up decent marks when I don't feel it physically. There were a lot of good vaulters that were effected by the swirling winds, so I can't really be disappointed, even though I wanted to go higher. Of course, the top four vaulters were from Texas, so that gives an indication of how the event was effected. I'm looking forward to coming back home, and going higher at Hayward Field.'
Brian Hunter of Texas won the event (18-2 1/2) over Adam Keul of Stephen F. Austin (second, 18-2 1/2), while a trio of 18-foot vaulters - Oklahoma's Mike McNamara and Mike Westlund and BYU's Jeff Hansen -- tied for ninth at 16-8 3/4.
In the high jump, All-American and senior Jason Boness added a second-place tie (6-11 3/4) with Einar Hjartarson of Texas, while Abilene Christian Terrance Woods claimed the victory (7-1 3/4). In the 'B' section of the event, redshirt senior Kyley Johnson took third (6-9 3/4), and redshirt junior Jake Horner no-heighted at the opening height of 6-8.
On the women's side, Malone upped her javelin personal best and school record (first, 179-2) by more than five feet over her previous best of 174-0 from last season, and the heave also stood as an almost eight-foot season best. The win also marked the first by a Duck female in the event at the event, while junior Charyl Weingarten started the sweep with her 'B' section victory, Friday.
'I'm fired up,' Malone said. 'I felt really quick and relaxed on the runway. This is also a fun meet to compete at, because it's like an NCAA Championships with its crowd and multi-day format. You get a chance to arrive a few days early, and relax some, and cheer on your teammates before you throw.'
Tracking the All-American's progress through her best series ever, she opened at 157-4 and improved on every throw - 166-6, 171-5 and 179-1, with scratches on her fourth and sixth throws. However, on the national list, Malone did not improve her second-place ranking, after USC rival Inga Stasiulionyte took the collegiate lead last weekend in the Stanford Invite (183-7, 55.97m).
'Normally I have my best throws early, then go downhill,' Malone said, 'so I'm psyched to keep improving through the competition. That indicates I'm getting stronger, and gives me confidence that I'm closing in on my goal of 180 feet. (But) I also don't like being second, and that gives me some motivation to throw farther, too.'
Not to be outdone, freshman Elisa Crumley (second, 166-1) also improved her personal best by more than six feet from her 159-8 effort last weekend, in Tempe, Ariz.
'Today was a great experience, because I was excited to see what I could do against a great field,' Crumley said. 'We were ready for the headwinds, and brought the correct javelins and we're ready for big marks. Even though she couldn't come on this trip, Coach (Harmon) had us prepared to compete. She trains us hard early in the week, then give us a little taper heading into the meet.'
The Duck javelin troops solidified their reputation as the nation's best this weekend with four top 16 nationally-ranked throwers heading into the meet. With junior Charyl Weingarten's Friday NCAA provisional improvement and season best (B section, first, 155-1), the Ducks boast twice as many automatic or provisional qualifiers (4), as second-best Kansas State (2).
In the remaining Duck women's action, All-American and redshirt junior Becky Holliday claimed an NCAA automatic mark in her first mark of the outdoor season in the pole vault (first, 13-7 1/4), edging Texas A&M's Erica Boren (second, 12-5 1/2) and Indiana's Emily Tharpe (third, 12-5 1/2).
'Technically I'm almost there,' Holliday said. 'I came in wanting to hit my first attempts at each height to get some momentum and did pretty well at that. I'm happy with the performance overall. The weather effected the marks a little, but we're from Oregon so we're use to any (cool, overcast, breezy) conditions.'
The transfer from Clackamas and Sparks, Nev., native missed her shared school record of 13-9 3/4 by 2 1/2 inches (set indoors in February), but was still pleased with the win, especially after a no-height the week before in Arizona State.
'I haven't no-heighted in two years, so I needed to adjust some things,' Holliday said. 'I went from an eight-step approach, to switching to a nine-step approach this week, and everything suddenly seemed to click. The crowd (20,000 counting the entire stadium) also helped. I always jump well in front of big crowds, that's why I love Hayward Field.'
In the same elite section, Duck sophomore Kirsten Riley claimed seventh (11-11 3/4) in the 13-jumper field.
Looking ahead, the Duck men and women take on Washington in a dual, Saturday, April 13 at Hayward Field in Eugene.
Full meet results and entries are available at the www.texassports.com web site.
Mike A. Myers Stadium
University of Texas
Saturday, April 6, 2002
High Jump - 1, Terrance Woods, Abilene Christian, 7-1 3/4. 2, Einar Hjartatson, Texas, 6-11 3/4. 2, Jason Boness, Oregon, 6-11 3/4. B Section - 1, Cedric Scott, Northwestern State, 6-11 3/4. 2, Chris Koger, Middle Tennessee State, 6-11 3/4. 3, Kyley Johnson, Oregon, 6-9 3/4. NH - Jake Horner, Oregon.
Pole Vault - 1, Brian Hunter, Texas, 18-2 1/2. 2, Adam Keul, Stephen F. Austin, 18-2 1/2. 3, Eric Eshbach, Nebraska, 17-10 1/2. 5, Trevor Woods, Oregon, 17-6 1/2.