Walker Leads Host of Huskies at U.S. Indoor Championships
Feb. 25, 2008
Current and former Washington track and field standouts were out in force this past weekend at the U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. Former Husky NCAA Champion Brad Walker led the way, capturing his third U.S. Indoor title in the pole vault.
Walker was one of five former Huskies competing at the two-day event, and current UW All-Americans Norris Frederick and Scott Roth were also on hand to measure up against elite level competition. The top two finishers in each event earned spots on Team U.S.A. for the upcoming IAAF Indoor World Championships in Valencia, Spain from March 7-9.
The reigning World Indoor Champion, Walker proved he is back from a slight early-season injury, winning the men's pole vault with a clearance of 18' 8 ¼'.
'I had gotten a little banged up in a meet in Glascow, Scotland. My ankles and feet took a hit in the plant box. But I'm pretty much back to normal now,' said Walker. 'This was the plan from the beginning to compete indoors, head for the World Indoors and then begin gearing up for the outdoor trials. I was pleased with the way I competed today. For some reason it's tough to get a really good mark here. Not sure why. But I'll take the win.'
Also representing the Huskies in the pole vault was Roth, a sophomore who just made his season debut at the Husky Classic on Feb. 16. Roth finished eighth, clearing his third attempt at 17' ¾' but falling short when the bar was raised to 17' 6 ½'.
Just missing out on a World Championships berth was former Husky Ryan Brown, the 800-meter NCAA Outdoor Champion in 2006 and Indoor Champion in 2007. Brown, competing for Asics in his first professional indoor circuit, finished third in Sunday's 800-meter final behind Khadevis Robinson and Nicholas Symmonds. Brown ran a 1:47.99 after getting pinned inside on the final lap and settled for the bronze medal.
Bruce Jackson, another former UW All-American, also ran in the 800m, but placed 13th in the preliminaries and did not advance to the final.
Frederick, one of the current NCAA long-jump leaders, finished fourth in the long jump on Sunday with a best mark of 24' 10 ½'. Frederick's season-best jump would have been good enough for first place in the event, but more national competitions certainly await the five-time All-American.
On the women's side, 2007 graduate and six-time All-American Ashley Lodree ran fifth in the 60m Hurdles in a time of 8.24. Kate (Soma) Conwell, the 2005 NCAA Champion in the pole vault, competed on Sunday for Club Northwest but was unable to get past the first height.
For complete results from the weekend's meet visit www.usatf.org.