Soma, Charles Lead Record Barrage at UW Invite

Jan. 29, 2005

SEATTLE - Husky senior Kate Soma soared into a tie for the NCAA pole vaultlead Saturday with a vault of 13 feet, 9 1/4 inches at the UW IndoorInvitational, one of three indoor school records, six NCAA qualifying marksand 18 performances among Washington's top-10 all-time set by UW athletes atthe two-day meet.

Soma and junior Shane Charles each set UW records Saturday, while freshmanlong-jumper Norris Frederick soared to 13th in the IAAF World Rankings. Inall, collegiate athletes combined for 45 NCAA qualifying marks, two DempseyIndoor facility records, and one national record at the meet, which included11 of the top-25 men's and women's teams in this week's Trackwire nationalrankings.

'This meet has me fired up about out team this year,' said third-year headcoach Greg Metcalf. 'We had some of the best teams in the country here, andour team matched them stride for stride. If we can perform like that allseason, we're going to knock some people's socks off.'

Soma flew higher than any Husky Saturday, clearing the UW-record height of13-9 1/4 inches on her first attempt to crush her own UW record of 13-5 3/4set last season. The reigning Pac-10 champion and 2004 NCAA runner-up, Somaautomatically qualified for the NCAA Championships with the vault, which istied for the best by a collegiate woman this year, and equals the fifth-bestby an American woman of any age in the 2005 IAAF World Rankings.

'Kate's jumping better at this point in the year than she ever has before,'Metcalf said. 'This is shaping up to be a special year for her.'

Also special on Saturday was junior transfer Charles, who broke a12-year-old UW indoor record in his 800-meter debut. A junior-collegeAll-American in the 400-meter hurdles in 2004, Charles blazed to a time of1:50.24 at 800 meters Saturday, nearly a half-second below Mitch Leffler'srecord of 1:50.24 set in 1993. The Grenada native, competing in just hissecond meet for UW since transferring from Central Arizona JC this fall,returned two hours later to lead the Huskies to second in the 4x400-meterrelay, their time of 3:10.60 the third-fastest in UW history and justfour-tenths of a second off the pace set by UCLA.

Soma and the 4x400-meter relay were among six Huskies to better NCAAqualifying standards at the meet, but few drew a bigger crowd than RooseveltHigh School grad Frederick, who claimed the 2005 under-20 world lead with ajump of 25-4 1/2 in his UW debut two weeks ago. The Husky freshman rewardedthe crowd with three jumps over 25 feet, the last a 25-foot, 6 1/4-inchmonster that nearly took him out the back of the Dempsey Indoor pit. Thejump ranks second among collegiate vaulters in 2005 and 13th in the IAAFWorld Rankings, and is just one-quarter inch shy of the UW record of 25-61/2 set by former world record holder Phil Shinnick in 1965.

'Coming into this year, we were returning two of the best teams we've had ina long time, so to have newcomers like Shane and Norris step up the way theyhave has me super-excited,' Metcalf said. 'I have to remind myself sometimesthat it's still early in the season; these guys are in championship formalready.'

Sophomore Ashley Lodree, meanwhile, moved to second on both UW's indoor 60-and 200-meter dash lists with respective times of 7.44 and 24.81 seconds,the former an NCAA provisional qualifier. Lodree is already provisionallyqualified for NCAA competition in the 60-meter hurdles, the event in whichshe placed fourth at the national meet in 2004.

Additionally, junior Ashley Wildhaber bettered the NCAA provisional standardin the pole vault with a best of 13-5 _, second all-time at UW, while seniorSidney Brown (3rd all-time, triple jump, 40-3 1/4), freshman Austin Abbott(3rd, 800 meters, 1:51.02), senior Sean Williams (5th, 400 meters, 47.93),junior Bruce Jackson (6th, 800 meters, 1:51.17), freshman Kelley DiVesta(t6th, pole vault, 12-4), freshman Sheree Ellis (7th, shot put, 46-11 3/4),freshman Arlecier West (8th, weight throw, 46-5 1/4) and sophomore KevinPeters (8th, 5,000 meters, 14:33.86) each set marks among UW's all-timetop-10.

Senior Grace Vela set a UW pentathlon record of 3,723 in competition Friday,while freshmen Bonnie Snyder and Liz Fuller each cracked UW's pentathlontop-10. Washington's distance medley relay also broke into the team'sall-time rankings, with of Abbott, Ryan Brown, Tim Freeman and Andy Fadercombining for a 9-minute, 51.36-second effort.

Washington's track squads, both ranked among the national top-20 in thisweek's USTCA Dual Meet Power Rankings, will take the next weekend off beforewelcoming back many of the same teams for The Husky Classic, Feb. 12 atDempsey Indoor.

Competition continued late Saturday with the final two events of the men'sheptathlon. Complete results will be uploaded to www.gohuskies.comimmediately upon the meet's conclusion.

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