Husky Track Seeks NCAA Bids at West Regional
May 29, 2008
ON THE TRACK: National Championship berths are on the line this weekend for Washington's track and field athletes, as the Huskies head to the campus of Cal State Northridge for the NCAA West Regional meet. The Huskies will have 22 athletes in competition Friday and Saturday, May 30-31 at the Matador Track Complex.
To automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships, competitors must finish in the top-five at Regionals, or in the top-three among relays. Additional at-large qualifiers will round out each field, and the entrants will then converge on Des Moines, Iowa for the NCAA Championships held June 11-14.
Leading the contingent of Huskies will be Pac-10 Champions Katie Follett in the 1500-meters and Jordan Boase, James Fredrickson, Joseph Turner, and Ryan Hamilton in the 4x100-meter relay. Boase (400m), Fredrickson (400m IH) and Turner (200m) will also each be competing for individual berths. The men's relay is the top seed in the regional, while Follett is seeded second.
Seven-time NCAA All-American Norris Frederick will be hoping to qualify in both the high and long jumps for the third time in his career. The decorated senior is seeded second in the high jump and fifth in the long jump and is the defending West Region long jump champion.
The West Region features arguably the most talented collegiate field outside of the NCAA Championships. Participating schools include every Pac-10 institution, of which six are ranked in the Top-25 on both the men's and women's side. Third-ranked UCLA is the highest-ranked men's squad and No. 3 Arizona State leads the women. Additional teams are highlighted by Boise State, BYU, Cal Poly, Cal St. Fullerton, Cal St. Northridge, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Long Beach State, Northern Arizona, Sacramento State, San Diego State, UC Davis, UC Riverside, Utah State, and Weber State.
RESULTS: Results of the 2008 NCAA West Regional can be found at Cal St. Northridge's athletics website, www.gomatadors.com, as well as at the end of each day on GoHuskies.com along with a full recap of the day's action.
2007 WEST REGIONAL IN REVIEW: Ashley Lodree won the 100-meter hurdles, Ryan Brown won the 800 meters and Norris Frederick won the long jump at last year's NCAA West Regional Championships in Eugene, Ore., leading 12 Huskies to NCAA Championships berths. Those wins -- equaling UW's total number of NCAA Regional titles in the first four years of Regional competition, combined -- helped UW equal its record total of 14 automatic-qualfiying performances, including individual-event doubles for both Frederick and Lodree. Frederick took the NCAA lead with a lifetime-best wind-aided leap of 26-0 3/4 in his long jump win, and was second in the high jump at 7-1, while Lodree won her first postseason hurdles crown in a wind-aided 13.06 seconds, and placed third in the long jump at 20-7 1/2 for her first-ever NCAA bid in that event. In all, six UW men earned finishes of third or better, leading Washington to an all-time best third-place regional finish, close behind only No. 4 USC, and No. 5 Oregon, and ahead of No. 8 UCLA and No. 10 ASU. The UW women were 10th.
PAC-10 TITLES FOR FOLLETT AND 4X1: Five Husky athletes made history at the Pac-10 Championships in Tempe, Ariz. on May 17, capturing conference crowns that no UW athletes had ever won. Sophomore Katie Follett took the women's 1500-meter title in a time of 4:22.41, becoming the first Husky female to win a Pac-10 running event since Anna Aoki in 2001. Follett was running third behind Oregon's Nicole Blood and Stanford's Lauren Centrowitz until the last 75 meters, when she went out wide and sprinted past the pair to win by nearly a second. Just moments before, Washington's men's 4x100-meter relay squad also claimed its first ever Pac-10 title in an event that dates back over 30 years. Junior Jordan Boase, senior James Fredrickson, junior Joseph Turner, and freshman Ryan Hamilton relied on superior transfers to race to the win in 39.52 seconds. It is also just the third relay win of any kind for the Huskies at the conference meet, and first since 1999 when UW won the 4x400-meters. Other major showings were turned in by senior Norris Frederick who took second in the long jump (25-4) and high jump (7-2 1/4), and Boase, who ran under 45-seconds in the 400-meters for the second time this season but was edged by USC's Lionel Larry who ran an NCAA-best 44.77 to beat boase's 44.97. Senior Austin Abbott took fourth in the 800m with the fifth-best time in UW history at 1:48.14, while Turner logged the eighth-best 200m time to finish fourth as well. Senior Carl Moe was fourth in the steeplechase, while sophomore Zack Midles led the throws unit with a third-place showing in the hammer. As a team, both Husky squads placed ninth. The Oregon men won the team title for the second-straight year and the Arizona State women made it three in a row on their home field.
PAC-10 PROWESS: While UW's teams have never claimed a Pac-10 title outright, wins by Katie Follett and the men's 4x100 relay did extend an impressive string of nine straight years with at least one individual titlist. That streak now marks the UW's longest-ever run of individual champions, besting a seven-year run from 1974-1980, highlighted by Scott Neilson's four titles in the hammer. Washington athletes have combined for17 Pac-10 titles over the nine years of the streak, including a high of three in 2006.
Washington has boasted at least one Pac-10 champion in nine-straight years, and at least one NCAA champ for five-straight seasons. Sophomore Katie Follett and the men's 4x100m relay extended the Pac-10 streak at the 2008 meet, while former Husky Ryan Brown was the last NCAA Champion, winning the 2007 NCAA Indoors 800m crown.
Junior Jordan Boase was named Pac-10 Track Athlete of the Week for the week of Apr. 7-13 after his record-setting 400-meter run at the Sun Angel Classic. Boase broke Ja'Warren Hooker's school record in 44.82 seconds, which tied for the second-fastest time in the world this year. He becomes the first Pac-10 weekly award winner since Shane Charles in 2006. The award was the 15th for the Husky men all-time.
The Husky men's 10th-place finish at the 2008 NCAA Indoor Championships was their second-straight Top-10 finish indoors, following 2007's all-time high seventh-place finish. The last two years represent the two-best NCAA Indoor finishes in school history, and the 2007 place equaled UW's third-best NCAA finish overall since 1930.
Senior Norris Frederick was named the 2008 West Region Field Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field Coaches Association. It is the second year in a row Frederick won the award.
Washington has sent a total of 72 athletes to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championship since 2005, the most prolific stretch in team history. Those 64 have returned home with 58 All-America honors, also obliterating all previous three-year records.
Washington's No. 2 indoor preseason men's ranking marked the highest ever ranking for a UW track program, surpassing last season's No. 4 indoor ranking. The ranking was based on returning athletes from last season's final descending order list. The Husky men came in 10th-place in the preseason outdoor list.
In both 2006 and 2007, Washington boasted at least one NCAA competitor in every event area -- sprints, hurdles, middle distance, long distance, relays, horizontal jumps, vertical jumps, pole vault and throws. This season the Huskies already covered every area indoors save for throws, long distance and hurdles.
In 2006-07, the Husky men were one of only four teams that finished in the Top-15 in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track.
NCAA SELECTION PROCESS: Automatic NCAA Championships berths will be granted to the top-five finishers in each individual event, and top-three relays, from each of the four Regionals contested nationwide May 25-26. Athletes qualify for Regionals by meeting pre-determined standards, or by winning their conference title. The NCAA then supplements the Championships field with the highest-ranking competitors (6-7 per individual event and 5-6 per relay) from the national performance lists, provided the athlete competed in their event at a Regional meet and was not among the finishers to earn automatic berths. The lone exceptions are the 10,000 meters and multi-events, in which athletes qualify directly for the NCAA Championships by meeting provisional and automatic standards.
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