WSU Indoor Track & Field Opens Season at EWU Early Bird Open

Jan. 11, 2001

OFF TO THE 2001 RACES: Washington State University's indoor track and field teams opens the 2001 season at the Eastern Washington University Early Bird Open Saturday, Jan. 13, at Cheney...the Early Bird Open features limited events including a 500m dash...field events begin at Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse at 9 a.m. with running events at 11:30 a.m.

TEAM HISTORY: Because the Pacific-10 Conference does not sponsor indoor track and field competition, Washington State University competes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation for indoor track season joining teams from the Pac-10, Mountain West, Western Athletic, West Coast and Big West Conferences...the Cougar women's team won the MPSF Indoor Championships in 1999 and 2000 while the WSU men's team finished fourth in 2000...Cougar coach Rick Sloan was named West Region Women's Indoor Coach of the Year by the US Track Coaches Association.

ABOUT THE COUGAR COACHES: Head coach Rick Sloan is in his 28th season with the Cougar track program (seventh year as a head coach, sixth year as mentor to the combined men's and women's program)...Sloan was named District VIII Coach of the Year in 1998, 1999 and 2000...he is joined by associate coach Debra Farwell, assistant coaches Dr. James Li, Mark Macdonald, Kris Grimes, and Francesca Sewell...WSU's volunteer assistant coaches are Dan O'Brien and Bernard Lagat.

ABOUT THE COUGAR WOMEN: Three outstanding All-Americans returning from redshirt seasons: sophomores Whitney Evans and Ellannee Richardson, and junior Megan Maynard...Evans tallied two All-American honors at the 1999 NCAAs after finishing fourth in the high jump and seventh in the heptathlon...Richardson snagged her award from her fourth place heptathlon finish that same year...Maynard became the first Cougar woman to earn All-American honors in cross country when she finished 22nd at the 1999 NCAA Cross Country Championships....four Cougar veterans are coming off NCAA participation last spring led by senior All-American and team captain Cicely Clinkenbeard (triple jump)...seniors Agneta Rosenblad (long jump) and Andrea Thornton (hammer) along with World Juniors competitor Randi Smith (junior, intermediate hurdles) provide invaluable experience to the team...the frosting on the cake may be a recruiting class that is ranked in the top ten nationally by Track & Field News...newcomers expected to make an immediate impact are: Tamara Gulley, a sprinter and hurdler from San Jose, Calif., Angelita Green, a middle distance runner from Long Beach, Calif., Karla McGee, a pole vaulter from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, Shannon Rance, a thrower from Renton, Wash., Erin Reed, a sprinter from Woodland Hills, Calif., Bree Skinner, a sprinter from Pasco, Wash., and Blessing Ufodiama, a triple jumper from Long Beach, Calif.

ABOUT THE COUGAR MEN: As for NCAA experience, only senior All-American Arend Watkins can make that claim off this year's squad...Watkins, a high hurdles specialist, has been hampered by illness or injury which has kept him out of the national final standings for two years and away from the conference championships last year...having clocked the fourth fastest collegiate time in the 110m hurdles last spring, Watkins is projected to be the top returnee in this race nationally in 2001...junior intermediate hurdler Eric Dudley had a provisional qualifying mark last year but didn't survive the NCAA competition cut so will be anxious to qualify and compete this year...throwers Vinnie Pecht and Cameron Graves are possibilities but will have to improve another 10-12 feet to make the NCAA qualifying cut...promising newcomers include freshmen sprinters J.K. Haines (Redmond, Wash.) and Anthony Buchanan (Spokane, Wash.), freshman 400m specialist Qieed Ishmael (Richmond, Va.), sophomore triple jumper Benson Jones (Concord, Calif.), redshirt freshman distance specialist Ian Johnson (Spokane, Wash.), redshirt junior pole vaulter Ryan Turner (Spokane, Wash.), redshirt freshman javelin thrower Curt Borland (Cowiche, Wash.), and freshman thrower Sam Lightbody (Huntington Beach, Calif.).

WSU Indoor Track & Field Schedule

Jan. 13        EWU Early Bird Open, CheneyJan. 20        EWU Jerry Martin Invite., CheneyJan. 27        OpenFeb. 3         Wolf Pack Invite, Reno / McDonald's I, MoscowFeb. 9-10      Idaho Scoring Meet, MoscowFeb. 16        Vandal Indoor, MoscowFeb. 17        McDonald's II, MoscowFeb. 23-24     Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships, Long Beach, Calif.Mar. 2-3       McDonald's Last Chance, MoscowMar. 9-10      NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships,Fayetteville, Ark.
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