Four Husky Tracksters Edge Closer to NCAAs with Marks at Mt. SAC

April 23, 2001

Walnut, CA--The Husky track teams' first trip back to California since the prosperous Stanford Invitational (March 31-April 1), brought much of the same positive performances as four Washington track athletes reached or surpassed previous NCAA qualifying marks at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., Friday through Sunday.

In Sunday's action, sophomore Brad Walker (Spokane, Wash.) tied for fifth in the invitational section of the pole vault, clearing a career-best outdoor height of 17-7. The mark improved upon his provisional qualifying height of 17-4 1/2, reached at the Cal Quad meet March 17. Walker, who earned All-America status at the 2001 NCAA Indoor meet, won the university/open section of the pole vault in a competition Saturday evening at Mt. SAC, with a height of 17-1.

Senior David Bazzi (Seattle, Wash./O'Dea) broke yet another Washington record clocking an automatic qualifying time of 13:40.61 in the invitational section of the 5,000 meters Friday night. The mark broke his own UW record of 13:47.63 set at the 2000 Stanford Invitational by more than seven seconds. Bazzi, who competed at the 2000 NCAAs in the 5K, finished fifth overall in the event. The Seattle native reached an automatic qualifying and school record breaking mark of 28:34.54 in the 10,000-meter run at this year's Stanford Invitational March 31.

Senior Anna Aoki (Vancouver, Wash.) reached an automatic qualifying time in the 5,000 meter run. Aoki sliced 35 seconds of her season-best time, clocking a time of 16:01.20. Aoki, who competed in the 10,000-meter run at the 2000 NCAA Championships, surpassed the automatic qualifying mark in the 10,000m at the Stanford Invitational March 31. She is one of four Huskies who have qualified for the NCAAs in more than one event.

Sophomore Gillian Palmer (Helensburgh, Scotland) also found success in the 5,000 meter Friday evening, reaching a provisional qualifying mark of 16:22.91 en route to a runner-up finish in the university/open division of the race. Palmer, who boasts a career-best 5,000-meter time of 15:56, finished fourth in the 5K at the 2000 United Kingdom Olympic Trials.

Junior Mike Hill (Bellevue, Wash.) finished ninth in the university/open steeplechase event with a Pac-10 qualifying time of 9:01.62. Junior Marcus Kelly (Seattle, Wash./Garfield) finished third in the triple jump improving his Pac-10 qualifying mark with a leap of 49-4 1/4.

Senior Ja'Warren Hooker (Ellensburg, Wash.) finished second in the 200-meter dash to Pac-10 record holder/Olympian Ato Bolden, with a time of 21.13.

There are now a total of nine Washington athletes qualified for the NCAAs in 10 different events. Aoki, sophomore Kate Bradshaw (Issaquah, Wash.), Hooker and Bazzi are each qualified in two events.

The Huskies will split squads again this weekend. A small group will compete at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa Friday and Saturday, while the majority of team will travel to Eugene, Ore., for the Oregon Invitational Saturday.

Husky Top Finishers

Mt. SAC Relays, Walnut, Calif.

Men's Results

2. Ja'Warren Hooker, 200m, 21.13

3. Marcus Kelly, Triple jump, 49-4 1/4

4. Sean Steele, High jump, 6-9 3/4

5. Brad Walker, Pole vault, 17-7

5. David Bazzi, 5,000m, 13:40.61$

9. Mike Hill, Steeplechase, 9:01.62

12. Jason Fayant, 5,000m, 14:09.51

13. Dustin Duke, 1500m, 4:01.27

Women's Results

2. Gillian Palmer, 5,000m, 16:22.91

13. Anna Aoki, 5,000m, 16:01.20*

21. Kate Bradshaw, 5,000m, 16:59.65

$--Washington school record

*NCAA Automatic qualifier

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