UW Signee Roth Wins USA Junior Title; Frederick, Zahn Finish Strong

June 23, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Washington track and field signee Scott Roth won the pole vault Friday at the FinishLine USA Junior National Track and Field Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., highlighting the third of five days of competition for current, former and future UW athletes at the national track championships.

The 18-year-old Roth, who graduated from Granite Bay (Calif.) High School earlier this month and will enroll at Washington in the fall, became the first Husky pole vaulter to capture a U.S. junior national title when he cleared 17 feet, 0 ¾ inches on his third attempt Friday, besting a field that included the best high school and college vaulters under the age of 20 in the entire United States.

By virtue of his win, Roth will represent the United States in August at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Beijing, China. The two-time prep All-American already boasts significant international experience, having won the silver medal at the 2005 World Youth Championships following his win at last year's USA Youth Outdoor Nationals.

'It's exciting to have someone of Scott's caliber joining our program next fall,' said fifth-year head coach Greg Metcalf. 'Hopefully he'll walk in our door next September with a gold medal around his neck as a souvenir from China.'

Washington will be looking for a sweep of junior and senior national titles Saturday, when 2004 UW alum and two-time NCAA champion Brad Walker attempts to defend the U.S. title he won last June. The world's No. 1-ranked pole vaulter, Walker has won the last three USA Championship events (including one outdoor and two indoor titles), and was the silver medalist at the 2005 IAAF World Championships.

In addition to Huskies past and future, two members of the 2006 Washington team competed Saturday, including long jumper Norris Frederick and thrower Tiffany Zahn.

The reigning Pac-10 long jump champion and a two-time indoor All-American, Frederick placed 12th in the event Friday, his best a 24-foot, 11 ¼-inch effort into a strong headwind. Zahn, meanwhile, finished her collegiate career on a high note with an eighth-throw of 159 feet in Friday's javelin final. Zahn was originally scheduled to compete Thursday, but saw her event postponed when a thunderstorm rained out the evening's events.

Both Frederick and Zahn were competing in the AT&T USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the senior national event held in conjunction with the junior national championships featuring Roth. Marion Jones and Justin Gatlin swept 100-meter titles Friday at the meet, which continues through Sunday.

Washington will have a number of competitors in action Saturday, including favorites Walker and 1998 UW alum Aretha Thurmond (discus) , and reigning NCAA 1,500-meter champion Amy Lia. Assistant coach Kelly Strong will also compete in the finals of the women's steeplechase, while former Huskies Rob Minnitti and Justin St. Clair will join 2006 Pac-10 champion Juan Romero in the finals of the men's javelin.

For complete results from the FinishLine USA Junior Track and Field Championships, or the AT&T USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, visit www.GoHuskies.com.

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