Huskies Head to Des Moines for NCAA Championships

June 9, 2008

ON THE TRACK: The culmination of months of tireless work for 13 Washington track and field athletes is on hand this week, as a group of Huskies travels to Des Moines, Iowa for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

The national meet runs from Wednesday through Saturday, June 11-14 at Drake Stadium, hosted by Drake University. A total of 544 student-athletes per gender will compete in the championships. Student-athletes qualified for the championships through participation in one of four regional championship meets.

Nine Huskies making the trip have prior NCAA meet experience, while four will be making their debuts. Leading the charge is senior Norris Frederick (Seattle, Wash./Roosevelt), who will be competing for the final time as a Husky. Frederick is a seven-time All-American and will be entered in the long jump and high jump. Frederick has finished third and second in the long jump in his past two NCAA outings, and will look for his first title in his last outing. With two more All-America honors, Frederick would tie former Husky Ryan Brown for second all-time at Washington with nine.

Also competing for the last time in their storied careers are local standouts Carl Moe (Auburn, Wash./Auburn-Riverside) and Amanda Miller (Wenatchee, Wash./Eastmont). Moe, a two-time All-American, makes his second consecutive NCAA appearance in the steeplechase. Miller meanwhile, will be one of three Huskies competing in the 1500-meter run, along with Pac-10 Champion sophomore Katie Follett (Fort Collins, Colo./Fort Collins) and West Regional Champion Michelle Turner (Orem, Utah/Timpanogos/BYU). All three earned All-America distinction in the mile run at 2008 NCAA Indoors and will be looking to duplicate the feat this week.

One of UW's top title contenders is junior Jordan Boase (Bothell, Wash./Bothell) in the 400m dash. Boase became one of the biggest stories in college track this season when he broke Ja'Warren Hooker's school record with a time of 44.82 at the Sun Angel Classic in April that currently ranks Boase seventh in the world this year, and second in the NCAA behind USC's Lionel Larry who won their first encounter at the Pac-10 Chamionships when both ran sub-45-second times.

Boase also runs the opening leg of UW's 4x100m relay unit, which is seeded 10th at NCAA's and captured the school's first ever Pac-10 title in the event this year. Boase hands off to senior James Fredrickson (Kent, Wash./Kentridge/CS Northridge), a two-time All-American who will also be competing in the 400m hurdles. Two newcomers finish the race, starting with Joseph Turner (Fresno, Calif./Fresno) a junior transfer from Modesto Junior College. Freshman Ryan Hamilton (Vancouver, Wash./Evergreen) has anchor leg responsibility, and the smoothness of the passes between Turner and Hamilton have been a big reason for the group's success.

Sophomore Falesha Ankton (Benicia, Calif./Benicia) will make her second NCAA appearance after running on the distance medley relay at NCAA Indoors earlier this year. This time she's on her own, running in the 100m hurdles. Ankton's 13.46 mark at Regionals was the second-fastest all-time at UW. Jared O'Connor (Clifton Park, N.Y./Shenendehowa/North Carolina) and Jake Schmitt (Kentfield, Calif./Redwood/California) will both make their NCAA debuts. O'Connor was a surprise winner in the pole vault at West Regionals, PR'ing on three straight attempts to win at 17-5, while Schmitt owns UW's third-fastest 10k time.

The Husky men come into the meet with a good head of steam, after a fourth-place Regional finish. Their ranking climbed to 23rd this week, and they will be shooting for their third-sraight NCAA Outdoor Top-25 finish. At the last four NCAA meets indoors and out, the Husky men have finished 10th, 15th, 7th, and 22nd.

NCAA COVERAGE: Results of the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships can be viewed at www.ncaa.com, or by visiting Drake University's NCAA Championshisp page found at www.godrakebulldogs.com. CBS College Sports Network (formerly CSTV) will be airing live coverage of the NCAA Track and Field Championships on Friday, June 13th from 7-10 p.m. CST. CBS will also broadcast live coverage of the final day of competition from 3-5 p.m. CST.

Did You Know?
Washington has boasted at least one NCAA champion in each of the past five seasons, and has captured 52 All-America honors since the start of the 2004-05 campaign.

EVENT SCHEDULE: Following is the time schedule for the 2008 NCAA Championships for all events featuring Husky athletes. All times are central and subject to change.

Wednesday, June 11
3:30 Long Jump, Qual. (M)
4:15 Pole Vault, Qual. (M)
4:45 4x100m Relay, Semis (M)
5:15 800m Run, Prelim (M)
6:15 400m Hurdles, Prelim (M)
6:15 High Jump, Qual. (M)
6:45 400m Dash, Prelim (M)
7:45 3000m Steeple, Semis (M)

Thursday, June 12
4:30 100m Hurdles, Prelim (W)
6:00 400m Hurdles, Semi (M)
6:25 800m Run, Semis (M)
6:55 1500m Run, Semis (W)
7:30 Long Jump, Final (M)
8:50 10000m Run, Final (M)

Friday, June 13
4:15 Pole Vault, Final (M)
7:00 High Jump, Final (M)
7:15 4x100m Relay, Final (M)
7:40 3000m Steeple, Final (M)
7:55 100m Hurdles, Semis (W)
8:25 400m Dash, Semis (M)
9:05 400m Hurdles, Final (M)

Saturday, June 14
3:12 400m Dash, Final (M)
3:28 800m Run, Final (M)
3:53 100m Hurdles, Final (W)
4:12 1500m Run, Final (W)

2007 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS REDUX: The Washington men and field team scored its highest team finish in 22 years at the 2007 NCAA Track and Field Championships, as six Washington athletes to earn All-America honors at Sacramento State's Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex. The reigning NCAA outdoor and indoor champion in the event, Ryan Brown was boxed inside early in the race, and forced to drop all the way back to last place at the 400-meter mark to find a clear lane in which to sprint to the front. The Renton High School graduate unleashed his patented finishing kick with 300 meters to go - about 100 meters earlier than usual - and climbed all the way to third before falling just three-tenths of a second shy of his third-straight NCAA 800-meter crown. In total five UW men took home All-America honors. Those outstanding performances - including a third-place long jump finish for junior Norris Frederick, a sixth-place hammer finish for senior Martin Bingisser, an eighth-place pole vault finish for freshman Scott Roth and a 10th-place finish for quarter hurdler James Fredrickson - lifted the 11th-ranked UW men into a tie for 15th in the final team standings with 16 points, equal to No. 14 Baylor and No. 15 Oklahoma. Senior Ashley Lodree's third-place hurdles finish Friday scored three points for the UW women, who tied for 59th place overall. The Huskies' men's team finish was its highest at the NCAA outdoor meet since 1985, and capped a banner year for the UW men's team, which placed 12th at the 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships and seventh at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships, and won its second-consecutive indoor track conference title.

HOW THEY GOT HERE: Automatic NCAA Championships berths were granted to the top-five finishers in each individual event, and top-three relays, from each of the four Regionals contested nationwide May 30-31. Athletes qualified for Regionals by meeting pre-determined standards, or by winning their conference title. The NCAA then supplemented the Championships field with the highest-ranking remaining competitors (6-8 per individual event and 5-6 per relay) from the national performance lists, provided the athlete placed among the top-12 in their event at a Regional 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.

ALL-AMERICA PROCESS: All-America awards are given to the top-eight finishers in each event (including all four individuals of a top-eight relay), regardless of nationality, as well as one additional American for every foreign-born athlete in the top-eight.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS BY THE NUMBERS: Senior Ryan Brown's win in the 800 meters in 2007 was the 32nd all-time by a Washington track and field athlete at the NCAA Championships. Twenty-six UW athletes have combined for those 32 NCAA titles overall -- a total which ranks 20th among NCAA institutions all-time -- including at least one in each of the last five seasons. Additionally, the Huskies have placed 306 athletes on the All-America podium, including a stunning 52 since the start of the 2004-05 season alone. At least one Husky has earned All-America honors in each of the last 16 years, and 46 of the last 48 years, including record-breaking totals of 10 each at the 2005 and 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, and 11 at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships. In addition to the single-meet records set over the past two-plus years, Washington also set single-season records in both 2005 and 2006, with Husky athletes combining for 15 All-America honors in 2005 and 19 in 2006. A regular top-five finisher in the 1920s, Washington's men have placed among the top-15 at the NCAA meet 11 times since 1970, including a 10th-place finish at the NCAA Indoor meet in March. The Husky women, meanwhile, boast six top-25 finishes, including a high of 10th in 1988, and a tie for 22nd at the 2008 indoor championships.

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