Watkins, Buchanan Advance to Semi-Finals at NCAA Track Championships

May 31, 2001

EUGENE, Ore. -- Washington State's Arend Watkins and Anthony Buchanan both qualified to advance to Friday's semi-finals races during the second day of competition at the NCAA Track & Field Championships, at Eugene's Hayward Field. Watkins will compete in the high hurdles while Buchanan will run in the 100m dash.

Watkins clocked in at 13.56 windy seconds to win the first heat of the men's 110m high hurdles and ran the second fastest time overall in the 19-competitor field. The senior from San Jose, Calif., has a season and lifetime-best time of 13.47 and was the second-fastest competitor coming into the national meet. Watkins is a two-time All-American and has qualified for every indoor and outdoor national meet in the past four years but has never advanced to the outdoor finals. Alabama's Ron Bramlett had the quickest prelim time, running a 13.43, while Indiana State's Aubry Herring ran third at 13.60 after clocking the fastest collegiate time this year, 13.42. The high hurdles semi-finals are scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Friday.

'I was confident because I knew they were only going to eliminate three people so I could sort of take it easy,' Watkins said. 'I had a good start and I knew to not press too hard and just carry the speed through the whole race and it worked out well. This is the best field I've seen in a long time. With 11-13 people with automatic times to come here and the slowest time is 13.82, so it's a real talented field this year. I think the winning time is going to be a very fast time. Last year it took a 13.45 to win and I think it's going to be somewhere around a 13.38 or 13.37 to win this year. I think I can go 13.36. I'm just trying to make the finals and make All-American and put my name out there for myself. I'm not going to press in the semi's so I'll just try and make it through comfortably.'

Buchanan, a freshman from Spokane, Wash., qualified for the men's 100m dash, running a wind-aided 10.32 for fourth in the first heat and 12th among the 23 competitors. Buchanan, a redshirt wide receiver on the Cougar football team, has clocked in at 10.25w, which is the school freshman record and the fourth-best in all-time WSU records. Tennessee's Leonard Scott ran the fastest prelim time, a blistering 10.05. Buchanan and Arizona State's Marcus Brunson (10.10, 3rd) are the only PAC-10 runners in the 16-man semi-final field. Brunson, a senior, won the conference title while Buchanan finished sixth two weeks ago. The men's 100m dash semi-finals will be run at 5:55 p.m. Friday.

'I came out and did my best for the first time in the championship meet and it felt pretty good to make it to the semi-finals,' Buchanan said. 'I'm not worried about the hamstrings at all. The heat helps you loosen up and gets you ready for the race and keeps you warm the whole time so you don't worry about getting cold and stiff. My start is what I have to think about the most because I'm a little shaky, a little slow getting out of the blocks so the start is what I need to work on. Today it went better than it usually does but I was a little tight coming out. I could have run a little faster but I did pretty good for the first time.'

Cougar senior Agneta Rosenblad had her second disappointing day at the national championships as she did not advance to the semi-finals of the women's 100m high hurdles. Rosenblad finished 18th in the prelims with a time of 13.64. The top sixteen advanced to the Friday semi-finals and the last time to move on was 13.45. Rosenblad, a senior from Lidingo, Sweden, finished 13th in the long jump Thursday night, and now has completed her collegiate career.

In addition to the high hurdles and 100m dash semi-finals, Friday's action will see Eric Dudley compete in the final of the 400m intermediate hurdles, Jeannette Martus in the women's pole vault final, and Ellannee Richardson competing in the first day of the heptathlon.

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