Dudley Fifth in Hurdles, Martus Sixth in Pole Vault at NCAA Track Championships

June 1, 2001

EUGENE, Ore. -- Washington State's Eric Dudley ran a lifetime best time of 50.28 seconds for fifth place in the men's 400m intermediate hurdles and Jeannette Martus cleared 13-1 1/2 for sixth in the pole vault Friday at the NCAA Track & Field Championships, at Hayward Field on the Oregon campus.

Dudley, a junior from Bellingham, Wash., bettered his PR time of 50.46 seconds clocked in the Wednesday preliminary heats. Dudley won the PAC-10 400m hurdles title two weeks ago. He was the seventh of eight qualifiers for the NCAA final after entering the 19-man field ranked 18th. Dudley earned All-America honors for his place and put the Cougar men on the scoreboard with five team points and in a seven-way tie for 36th.

'I wanted to run under 50 (seconds),' Dudley said after the race. 'That was my goal all year. My times indicated I could do it, but it didn't happen so that's what the fourth year's for. This race went a lot more as planned this time. I felt good. Having the day off in between (prelims and final) helped a whole lot, I'm not used to that. I nicked the last hurdle, which I don't usually do, and that slowed down my big kick, which I usually have at the end. But other than that, it went as planned, just not as fast as I hoped to. Coming in my goal was to make All-American and coming into the final I thought I could do at least fifth.'

In the women's pole vault final, Martus finished sixth after clearing 4.00m/13-feet, 1 1/2 inches. The senior from Livonia, Mich., cleared the opening height of 3.75m/12-3 1/2 with her second attempt. She missed on her first two attempts at 3.90m/12-9 1/2 but cleared on the third. Martus cleared 13-1 1/2 on her opening attempt but missed all three at 4.10m/13-5 1/4. Andrea Dutoit, Arizona, won the event at 13-9 1/4. Martus' three points, added to the one point from Andrea Thornton's eighth place discus finish give the Cougar women four points, and in a eight-way tie for 34th place after 11 events.

Richardson, a redshirt sophomore from Gladstone, Ore., opened the day with a lifetime best time of 13.70 seconds in the 100m hurdles. Her time was third fastest among the 22 competitors on the day. She cleared her first three high jump attempts on the first try until missing all three at 1.64m. Her clearance of 1.61m/5-3 1/4 tied for 13th and was good for 747 points. After the second event of the first day's four, Richardson was in 11th place overall.

In the shot put, Richardson tossed a 10.34m/33-11 1/4 and finished 20th overall. She remained tied for 11th after three events. The evening brought very cold temperatures and Richardson finished third in the second heat of the 200m dash with a season-best time of 24.63, sixth-best in the event. She moved to 10th overall with 3,241 points at the end of the first day. Kansas State's Austra Skujyte leads the field with 3494 points.

Arend Watkins caught Aubry Herring at the fifth hurdle to win the first heat of the men's 110m high hurdles semi-final in a time of 13.65. Watkins, a senior from San Jose, Calif., had the second fastest time of the day as Alabama's Ron Bramlett ran 13.63 in the second heat of the semi-finals, after clocking in the top prelim time of 13.43. This is the first time in his career Watkins will compete in the high hurdles outdoor final. He is a two-time indoor All-American. The high hurdles final is scheduled for 5:20 p.m. Saturday.

'Finally, I made it through (to the final), first time,' Watkins said. 'No sicknesses, no ailments, nothing. The hardest part is done so I'll run my hardest and hopefully my time will be good enough to win the meet. I thought my time today would be a lot faster but I think the headwind took a lot out of the time. I was dead tired after I crossed the line. It was a nice headwind. (My time) wasn't too fast but it was one of the fastest out of the pack so you can't complain. It's going to be a real nice race tomorrow. As everybody expected, it's going to be me, Aubry (Herring, Indiana State), and Ron (Bramlett, Alabama) in the middle of the track. It's going to be fun tomorrow. I couldn't let Eric Dudley be the only Cougar All-American out there.'

Unfortunately, a slow start plagued Anthony Buchanan, who did not advance from the men's 100m semi-finals. Buchanan, a redshirt freshman from Spokane, Wash., ran a time of 10.50 in the faster of the two heats and finishing 14th out of the 16 participants. Thursday, he ran a wind-aided 10.32 Thursday in the prelims for 12th among the 23 competitors. In Friday's semi-finals, Tennessee's Justin Gatlin clocked the top time of 10.16.

Cougars competing in Saturday finals are Thornton in the women's hammer, Whitney Evans in the women's high jump, Watkins in the 110m high hurdles, and Richardson with the long jump, javelin and 800m race in the heptathlon.

Ellannee Richardson results, first day of the heptathlon: 100m Hurdles - 13.70 (1021 points), High Jump - 1.61m/5-3 1/4 (747 points), Shot Put - 10.34m/33-1 1/4 (552 points), 200m - 24.63 (921 points) - Total - 3,241 points, 10th.

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