Cougars Punish Huskies Big Time at Dual Track Meet

April 7, 2001

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State University took advantage of poor weather conditions to defeat cross-state and Pac-10 rival Washington in a track and field dual meet Saturday at Mooberry Track on the WSU campus.

The Cougar men blasted the Huskies 111 - 52 while the WSU women took the commanding 114.5 - 43.5 win over UW.

'It was not track meet weather,' Cougar coach Rick Sloan said of the 36-degree snowy, and windy conditions. 'But our teams came out and did a great job competing. The challenge was there for us, especially the men's team, and they responded to it and did a great job of competing. Some of the marks weren't that great but we don't care about marks on a day like today, all we care about are the points and the victories.'

The most exciting match-up of the day came in the women's 400m intermediate hurdles race as Washington's Kelsey Sheppard and WSU's Randi Smith crossed the finish line together. The computer photos from the line showed Sheppard finished ahead of Smith by 7/1000 of a second. The final time for both women was 59.17 seconds, good enough for NCAA Provisional Qualifying but not close to their best times this season, both already NCAA PQs. Sheppard came to Pullman with a 58.76 time, third fastest nationally, while Smith's best of 59.04 was fourth fastest prior to this weekend's action.

WSU's All-American, Whitney Evans, reached NCAA PQ standards with her winning high jump of 1.80m/5-10 3/4, a full inch above her season-best clearance. Cougar Andrea Thornton won the hammer competition with an NCAA PQ mark of 56.02m/183-9, well-below her season-best of 192-5. Thornton also won the discus with Becky Potter and Shannon Rance close behind for second and third. Potter led Rance and Thornton for the sweep of the shot put.

Several prominent names on both teams were missing from the action Saturday. Washington's Ja'Warren Hooker did not compete after being bothered by a recurring abdominal muscle problem last week and WSU's Anson Henry claimed both the 100m and 200m races. WSU freshmen sprinters Anthony Buchanan and J.K. Haines also sat out the meet because of minor injuries.

Cougar Blessing Ufodiama won the women's triple jump and was second to Agneta Rosenblad in the long jump. WSU senior All-American, Cicely Clinkenbeard, will red shirt the outdoor season due to not fully recovering from an ankle injury suffered during the indoor season. Rosenblad also won the 100m hurdles.

Erin Reed was a double winner with victories in the 200m dash and the 400m while Benson Jones captured both the long jump and triple jump for the Cougar men.

Washington out-scored the Cougars in only two women's events, the javelin and the 1500m. Megan Spriesterbach and Heather Reichman went one-two in the javelin while Anna Aoki and Gillian Palmer took first and second in the 1500m.

WSU's Ryan Nichols won the javelin and finished second to Tim Gehring in the hammer. Team captain and javelin thrower Bryan Jones has a shoulder injury that may cause him to miss the rest of his senior year. Sam Lightbody led the Cougar sweep of the shot put with Shaun Straka second and Gehring third. It was Cameron Graves winning the discus with Lightbody second and Vinnie Pecht third.

Mark Wicklander led the WSU sweep of the 5000m race with Oscar Franco-Parra and Ian Johnson next in order.

Washington's men took the point advantage in only two events. Dave Bazzi and Jason Fayant took the top two places in the men's 1500m while Sean Steele and Joel Perry garnered first and second in the high jump.Cougar coach Rick Sloan had these comments about the meet: 'Eric Dudley was second in the high hurdles with a lifetime best time (14.52) and that's a great performance under those conditions. He came back and ran a very good intermediate hurdle race and a very strong relay leg so it was a great day for Eric.

'Ryan Wieseler did a great job winning the 800m. It was a slow-ish time but competed very well and go the win for us when we needed it.

'Benson Jones struggled all day long. His back tightened up on him and he didn't even know if he was going to be able to go or not but got the relay baton around on the first leg, got one jump in the long jump, had to take all six in the triple but he got the job done and was a significant factor in our team scoring.

'Ryan Nichols and the men's throws in general did well with getting us points.

'Not as much excitement on the women's side. They competed very well and it was a great win for our women. We scratched the 4x400m race because we were out there so far and Orin (Richburg, UW coach) scratched his team too.

'I'm very pleased and proud of the performance of both the men's and women's team and the job they did in competing against the Huskies. And dealing with adverse conditions. We have a number of California kids on the team who were asking last week, `Are we going to have it if it rains?' And I said, `We're going to have it if it snows.' And they looked at me like I was kidding. But they didn't expect to perform well yet we got decent performance from people under adverse conditions.'

The Cougars are home again next weekend, taking on Idaho and Eastern Washington in coed dual meets, Saturday, April 14, at WSU's Mooberry Track.

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