Freshman Soma Sets UW Pole Vault Record at 91st Oregon Dual

April 13, 2002

EUGENE, Ore. - Washington true freshman Kate Soma today established a new benchmark for Husky women's pole vaulters with a school-record leap of 13-feet, one and one half inches at the 91st dual meet between the Huskies and the Oregon Ducks. The Husky men fell to Oregon by a team score of 117-81, while the Ducks' women avenged a pair of early-season losses to UW with a narrow 105-95 win.

With the win, Oregon improved to 59-32 all-time in the series between the schools, which began in 1900 and has continued uninterrupted since 1946. Washington had won three of the previous four meetings entering this season. The schools' women's squads have met annually since 1977, with Oregon improving to 20-6 with Saturday's win.

Soma, a native of Portland, was cheered on by a large crowd of family and friends as she soared two inches higher than the previous school record of 12-11 1/2, set by current Husky junior Sandy Erickson in 2000. The mark improved Soma's provisional-qualifying status for June's NCAA Championships, moving her up to 11th on the national list. The true freshman now owns both Washington's outdoor and indoor pole vault records, having established the latter with a vault of 12-11 1/2 on Feb. 9 at Dempsey Indoor.

Also providing highlights for Washington, as she has all season, was junior Courtney Inman, who added a provisional-qualifying mark in the 800 meters to her impressive list of accomplishments thus far in 2002. Inman's time of 2:06.46 in Saturday's 800-meter race ranks second all-time at Washington, and moves the British Columbia native up to third in the national rankings. Inman already owns the country's third-best time at 1500 meters, having posted an NCAA-qualifying mark of 4:21.80 last month at Stanford.

On the men's side, indoor All-American Eric Garner continued to roll, winning both the 800 meter and 1500-meter races. Garner's time of 1:50.80 in the half-mile marked his third Pac-10 qualifier of the season, while his NCAA provsional-qualifying time of 3:43.40 moved the Kelso native into sole possession of sixth-place all-time at Washington, and seventh in the nation this year.

In addition to the above, several Huskies earned Pac-10 qualifying marks at the meet. Senior Susan Werner bettered the conference standard with a time of 4:37.95, as did senior Kelsey Sheppard in the 100-meter hurdles. Sheppard, already a conference qualifier this season in the 400-meter hurdles, won the high hurdles in 13.90 seconds to move up to No. 5 on Washington's all-time performance list.

Junior Heather Reichmann, competing for the first time since wrapping up her senior season for the Huskies' women's basketball team, earned a Pac-10 berth with a throw of 147-8. Washington also qualified two men's runners at 1500 meters, with both Jeremy Park (3:45.27) and Andy Fader (3:49.30) coming in under the Pac-10 standard.

The Huskies will split up next weekend, with a handful of athletes traveling to the elite Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., while the rest head to Boise, Idaho to tackle a field of Northwest foes at the Bronco Invitational.

For complete results of the Washington-Oregon Dual, visit

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