Top-25 Track Squads Head to Pullman for Pac-10 Championships

May 13, 2002

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On the Track: A contingent of 40 Pac-10 qualifiers will lead Washington's nationally-ranked track and field squads this weekend at the 2002 Pac-10 Championships, hosted by Washington State University. The Huskies can only hope that this week's visit to Mooberry Track Complex in Pullman is as successful as the last, which saw two school records and two other NCAA provisional qualifiers in dual-meet losses on May 4. Pole vaulter Brad Walker, steepler Mike Hill, and 1500-meter ace Eric Garner each enter the conference meet ranked among the top two competitors in their events, giving the 23rd-ranked Husky men their best chance to improve upon last year's eighth-place finish. On the women's side, fifth-ranked 10000m competitor Kate Bradshaw will be gunning for her second Pac-10 title, while double-qualifier Courtney Inman will try to score for the Huskies at both 800- and 1500 meters. Pole-vaulter Kate Soma, school-record hammer star Kameko Gay and top-10 javelin throwers Megan Spriestersbach and Heather Reichmann will all help the 13th-ranked Husky women better the ninth-place finish of a year ago. In all, four Pac-10 men's teams and five Pac-10 women's teams are ranked in the top-25, including the No. 1 women of UCLA.

Pac-10 Championships Event Schedule

Saturday, May 18
12:00 p.m. -- Hammer (Men)
12:00 p.m. -- Long Jump (Women)
12:00 p.m. -- 400m Relay Prelim (Women)
12:10 p.m. -- 400m Relay Prelim (Men)
12:25 p.m. -- 1500m Prelim (Women)
12:30 p.m. -- Shot Put (Women)
12:30 p.m. -- Javelin (Men)
12:40 p.m. -- 1500m Prelim (Men)
12:55 p.m. -- 100m HH Prelim (Women)
1:15 p.m. -- 110m HH Prelim (Men)
1:30 p.m. -- 400m Dash Prelim (Women)
1:30 p.m. -- Pole Vault (Men)
1:30 p.m. -- High Jump (Women)
1:45 p.m. -- 400m Dash Prelim (Men)
2:00 p.m. -- 100m Dash Prelim (Women)
2:15 p.m. -- 100m Dash Prelim (Men)
2:30 p.m. -- 800m Prelim (Women)
2:45 p.m. -- 800m Prelim (Men)
3:00 p.m. -- Steeplechase (Women)
3:20 p.m. -- Steeplechase (Men)
3:30 p.m. -- Shot Put (Men)
3:30 p.m. -- Javelin (Women)
3:35 p.m. -- 400m IH (Women)
3:50 p.m. -- 400m IH (Men)
4:05 p.m. -- 200m Prelim (Women)
4:20 p.m. -- 200m Prelim (Men)
4:35 p.m. -- 10000m (Women)
5:20 p.m. -- 10000m (Men)

Sunday, May 19
11:30 a.m. -- Hammer (Women)
11:30 a.m. -- Triple Jump (Women)
11:30 a.m. -- Discus (Men)
1:00 p.m. -- Pole Vault (Women)
1:00 p.m. -- High Jump (Men)
1:00 p.m. -- 400m Relay Final (Women)
1:10 p.m. -- 400m Relay Final (Men)
1:20 p.m. -- 1500m Final (Women)
1:30 p.m. -- 1500m Final (Men)
1:40 p.m. -- 100m HH Final (Women)
1:50 p.m. -- 100m HH Final (Men)
2:00 p.m. -- 400m Run Final (Women)
2:10 p.m. -- 400m Run Final (Men)
2:20 p.m. -- 100m Dash Final (Women)
2:30 p.m. -- 100m Dash Final (Men)
2:30 p.m. -- Triple Jump (Men)
2:30 p.m. -- Discus (Women)
2:40 p.m. -- 800m Final (Women)
2:50 p.m. -- 800m Final (Men)
3:00 p.m. -- 400m IH Final (Women)
3:10 p.m. -- 400m IH Final (Men)
3:20 p.m. -- 200m Final (Women)
3:30 p.m. -- 200m Final (Men)
3:40 p.m. -- 5000m Final (Women)
4:00 p.m. -- 5000m Final (Men)
4:35 p.m. -- 1600m Relay Final (Women)
4:40 p.m. -- 1600m Relay Final (Men)

2001 Pac-10 Review: Stanford's men snapped a nine-year hold on the conference crown by UCLA and USC, one of which had won the title every year since 1992. Washington's men placed eighth. On the women's side, the Huskies finished ninth as UCLA walked away with the Pac-10 crown for the fifth-straight year, its 12th win in 15 years of Pac-10 women's competition. The Huskies swept the 10,000-meter races, with seniors David Bazzi and Anna Aoki each winning their first conference titles. The two also matched each other with third-place finishes in the 5,000 meters, Bazzi in 14:12.04 and Aoki in 16:33.44. Junior Marcus Kelly earned a third-place finish in the triple jump, while Megan Spriestersbach was third in the women's javelin. Other returning 2001 Pac-10 scorers include Jason Fayant (4th, steeple), Kate Bradshaw (6th, 10000m), Heather Reichmann (7th, javelin), and relay specialists LeTesha Moore (5th, 4x400m; 7th, 4x100m), Devin Golob (5th, 4x400m), Kelsey Sheppard (5th, 4x400m), and Zee Ogarro (7th, 4x100m).

Huskies Move Up in Final Regular-Season Poll: Both Husky track and field squads improved their standing in this week's U.S. Track Coaches' Association Dual Meet Power Rankings, which simulate head-to-head competition by the nation's elite collegiate squads. The Husky women's squad jumped four spots to 13th, buoyed by strong javelin marks from Heather Reichmann and Megan Spriestersbach, and a pair of PRs on the track by senior Zee Ogarro at last week's Ken Foreman Invitational in Seattle. Those improved marks earned the Huskies 339.01 points in this week's ranking, up from 334.22 last week. Washington is fourth among Pac-10 squads, with everyone looking up at No. 1 UCLA, whose 408.11 points kept them on top for the fifth-consecutive week. Washington's men climbed one notch to 23rd in this week's poll with a total of 318.32 points, up from last week's 24th-ranked total of 314.9. Indoor national champion held steady at No. 1 with 374.49 points, while UCLA led five top-25 Pac-10 squads with 370.16 points, good for second overall. UCLA's women and Tennessee's men also earned top billing in this week's Trackwire 25, which ranks teams based on expected performance at the 2002 NCAA Championships. Both Husky squads went unranked.

Captains Fantastic: Eight Husky athletes, including two underclassmen, were selected team captains for 2002 by a vote of their teammates. On the men's side, seniors Mike Hill, Marcus Kelly, Frank Remund and Josh Robinson were bestowed the honor, each of the first time. Hill, a four-year letterwinner in cross-country and track, is currently the Pac-10's No. 2 steeplechaser, while Kelly placed third in the triple jump at last year's conference meet. Remund was a top-10 finisher in the high jump at the 2001 Pac-10 meet, while Robinson boasts a Pac-10 qualifying mark in the javelin. On the women's team, seniors Zee Ogarro and Searan Salibian were chosen as captains, along with juniors Kate Bradshaw and Le Tesha Moore. Ogarro has accomplished the rare feat of leading the UW in the long jump both indoors and out for four consecutive years, and has bettered the Pac-10 qualifying standard in the event this season. Salibian has been one of Washington's most consistent performers, competing in the shot put at the Pac-10 championships in each of the last three seasons. Bradshaw won the 10,000 meters at the conference meet in 2000, while Moore holds Washington indoor school record in the 60-meter dash, and has led Washington's relay squads to top-five Pac-10 finishes in two of her three years at UW.

Leading the Pac: Freshmen Sean Williams (400m) and junior John Snyder (800m) each earned Pac-10 qualifying marks at last week's Ken Foreman Invite, bringing to 40 the number of Husky qualifiers for this week's conference meet. Each school is limited to 24 athletes per team at the conference meet, but can enter at least one competitor in each event for which it has no qualifier. With 20 qualifiers each on the men's and women's teams,, including a remarkable seven men's qualifiers at 5,000 meters, expect to see some names not on this list join the squad this weekend. Likewise, some qualifiers listed here may not compete due to injury or depth in a specific event. Ten Huskies have earned qualifying marks in more than one event. Sophomore Eric Garner (800m, 1500m, 5000m) is a three-way qualifier, as is senior Kelsey Sheppard (400m, 100m HH, 400m IH) and true freshman Lisa Gibbs (1500m, 5000m, 10000m). Five UW women have done the double, with junior Kate Bradshaw (5000m, 10000m), freshman Lindsey Egerdahl (800m, 1500m), junior Kameko Gay (hammer, shot), junior Courtney Inman (800m, 1500m) and ) sophomore Brittiny Roberts (high jump, triple jump) each qualified in multiple events, while the men's athletes Mike Hill (Steeplechase, 5000m), Michael Kiter (1500m, 5000m) and Jeremy Park (1500m, 5000m) have each met more than one conference standard. Those 10 may be joined at the Pac-10 meet by a talented crop of true freshmen qualifiers including Andy Fader (1500m), Jamie Gibbs (5000m), Laura Halvorsen (steeplechase),James Sims (triple jump), Kate Soma (pole vault), Williams and Rigel Wise (javelin). First-time qualifiers Cristian Adams (400m), Jesse Giordano (400m IH), Ben Koss (5000m), Erik Lanigan (high jump), Josh Robinson (javelin), Snyder and junior transfer Sabrina Monro (1500m), the 2000 Big Sky Conference champion, will also make their Pac-10 debuts. The conference newcomers will be joined by a strong corps of experienced athletes including sophomore Todd Arnold (1500m), junior Sandy Erickson (pole vault), senior Jason Fayant (5000m), sophomore Brad Goodrich (400m IH), sophomore Marc James (400m IH), sophomore Seth Jens (javelin), senior Marcus Kelly (triple jump), senior Zee Ogarro (long jump), junior Heather Reichmann (javelin), senior Frank Remund (high jump), senior Searan Salibian (shot put), junior Mat Schwinn (discus), junior Megan Spriestersbach (javelin), junior Brad Walker (pole vault) and senior Susan Werner (1500m).

One More Hill to Climb: Bellevue's Mike Hill is making quite a splash - literally - in his senior season. The Huskies' star steeplechaser managed to avoid the perils of the pond at last month's Stanford Invitational to post the nation's third-fastest time in 2002 with an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark of 8 minutes, 46.92 seconds. The mark was the eighth-fastest all-time at Washington, places Hill second in the Pac-10 standings, and moved him to within three seconds of the NCAA's automatic-qualifying standard. Two weeks ago, however, Hill posted what be an even more lasting accomplishment, overcoming difficult weather and a talented field to win the steeple at the Drake Relays, the most impressive win of his career. For his efforts at Drake, Hill was named the Pac-10 Conference's Track Athlete of the Week, one of three Huskies to earn the weekly honor this season. Having already shaved 15 seconds off of his steeplechase PR, Hill seems poised to make his NCAA Championships debut. A distance specialist, Hill was one of Washington's most consistent competitors during the 2001 cross-country season, and has managed to avoid serious injury throughout his Husky career, priming the senior for what could be his most impressive track season to date. Already in 2002, Hill boasts Pac-10 qualifying marks in the steeplechase and 5000 meters, having notched a time of 14:13.89 at the UW Indoor Qualifier that ranks as the second-fastest indoor 5000-meter mark in school history. Hill's best Pac-10 finish came during the 2001 season, when he placed eighth in the steeple in 9:09.78.

Record-Setting Vaulters: Washington's vaulters have dominated the Huskies' stat sheets in 2002. Freshman Kate Soma, an NCAA provisional qualifier with a best mark of 13-1 1/2, has been unstoppable, shattering the school's outdoor and indoor school records. The Portland, Ore., native delighted a large contingent of family and friends at Eugene's Washington-Oregon Dual by becoming the first Husky ever to clear 13 feet in the pole vault. Soma's vault of 13-1 1/2 was two inches beyond the previous school record of 12-11 1/2 set by junior Sandy Erickson in 2000. Such early success by a true freshman is usually cause for surprise, but Soma had already run the expectations of Husky fans through the Dempsey Indoor roof, having bettered Washington's all-time indoor pole vault record by nearly a foot with a vault of 12-11 1/2 at the UW Invitational in February. Soma shattered the previous record of 12-0 3/4 set by MerryJane Bendico in 2001, and established herself as the competitive leader of a stellar group of vaulters, including 2002 NCAA provisional qualifier Erickson. After sitting out the 2001 season, Erickson has returned to the form which helped her establish the previous school record en route to a pair of top-10 Pac-10 finishes in each of her first two seasons. Erickson graduated from Whitefish (Mont.) High School in 1998, after earning team MVP honors three consecutive seasons.

Flying High: Washington's women's vaulters may be greater in number, but men's vaulter Brad Walker is breathing rare air this season. At the May 4 UW-WSU dual meet, the 2001 indoor All-American reached heights unattained by any Husky vaulter to come beforeWalker with a leap of 18-1, half an inch better than the 10-year-old school record of 18-0 1/2 set by Garth Willard in 1992. Walker took over first place in the Pac-10 Conference with the vault, a feat recognized by the conference office with it's Pac-10 Field Athlete of the Week honor, which was bestowed upon the Husky junior for the first time in his career. Currently tied for third in the nation, Walker enters this month's NCAA Championship meet with a chance to improve upon his 12th-place finish at last year's outdoor nationals. An indoor All-American in 2001, Walker required surgery during the offseason to repair a stress fracture in his foot suffered sometime during the season. Walker returned to limited competition during the 2002 indoor season, appearing unattached at several of Washington's home meets. On Mar. 23, Walker made his 2002 Husky debut, vaulting 16-8 3/4 at the California Invitational to best the Pac-10 qualifying standard, and cleared a then career-best 17-8 1/2 at the Stanford Invite one week later. A 1999 graduate of Spokane's University High School, Walker earned regional and district titles in 1999 before placing second at the state championships.

Courtney, Queen of the Mile: British Columbia native Courtney Inman seems determined each week to top her performance at the previous meet. On May 4, Inman won the 800-meter and 1500-meter races in dual-meet competition against Washington State. The week prior, she ran the anchor legs of Washington's distance medley and sprint medley relays at the Drake Relays,which placed first and second, respectively, the latter losing by just .02 of a second. In April, she climbed to fourth on Washington's 1500m record list with a career-best mark of 4:20.58 to earn an impressive victory at the elite Mt. SAC Relays. The junior also boasts an 800m best of 2:06.46 from the Oregon Dual that is within seven tenths of a second of the school record. The mark is second all-time at UW, and 18th in the nation this year. Inman has made the unexpected the norm in 2002. The junior set the tone for her 2002 season on Mar. 2 at the UW Indoor Qualifier in Dempsey Indoor when she ran 4:45.40 in the mile to become the first Husky woman ever to run a mile in under 4:50. Inman shaved more than five seconds off the previous indoor school record of 4:50.65 set by Margaret Butler in 2000. She also boasted a top 800-meter time indoors, with a mark of 2:11.90 at the Feb. 2 UW Quad Classic that ranks third all-time indoors at UW. As a prep at W.J. Mouat in Abbotsford, B.C., Inman competed on the Canadian Junior Pan Am and Junior World teams. In 1998, she capped her prep career with a run to the semi-finals of the World Junior Track and Field Championships in France, and helped the Huskies' cross-country squad to a best-ever ninth-place NCAA finish. A stress fracture cut short her 1999-2000 season, and kept her out of action until midway through the 2001 season, when she posted a Pac-10 qualifying mark at 800m. Limited by the injury during the 2001 cross-country season, Inman returned for the postseason, running fifth on the squad in a 14th-place team finish at the NCAAs.

Shepparding Records Her Way: Senior Kelsey Sheppard, a graduate of Lake Washington High School in Kirkland, has kept Husky track researchers busy this season. Sheppard added the indoor 400m run and 60m hurdles marks to her list of accomplishments, which includes top-10 marks in the 100m- and 400m-hurdles, the 400m dash, and both the indoor and outdoor 4x400m relays. At last week dual meet with Washington State, Sheppard was nipped at the line in the 400m hurdles by WSU's Randi Smith, but posted a mark of 58.59 seconds that is the sixth-fastest in school history, and well under the NCAA provisional standard. The senior is one of just five women in Husky track history to complete the 400m hurdles in under 59 seconds, boasting a career-best of 58.29 that ranks fourth all-time at UW. In addition to her success in the low hurdles, Sheppard is also qualified for the Pac-10 Championships in the 100m hurdles, with a hand-timed mark of 13.9 seconds that places her among the conference's top-10, and moves her up to fifth all-time at Washington. Sheppard's success has not been limited to the outdoor oval, either, having posted a Pac-10 qualifying mark of 55.11 seconds in the 400m run in Idaho on Feb. 16, the fastest indoor 400 in school history. Sheppard has experienced nearly every level of success in her four years at Washington. She placed 20th in the intermediate hurdles at the NCAAs in her only previous trip, following a terrific 2000 season in which she placed in the top-15 at the Pac-10 Championships in both hurdles events, including a fourth-place mark in the 400m IH. A seven-time Pac-10 qualifier, Sheppard has posted at least one conference mark in each year of her Husky career.

Garner-ing Acclaim: Already in 2002, sophomore Eric Garner has established himself as not only the Huskies' man to beat this season, but one of the school's top distance competitors of all-time. At April's Oregon Dual, Garner lowered his NCAA provisional-qualifying mark in the 1500m to 3:43.40, the sixth-fastest ever at UW. Just for good measure, Garner also boasts Pac-10 qualifying marks in the 800m and 5000m events, and was named the Pac-10's Track Athlete of the Week on Apr. 15. The Kelso, Wash., native was making waves this season even before his All-American performance in the mile at the NCAA Indoor Championships, where he placed13th overall. Garner battled injuries through his first year and a half at Washington, running competitively for the first time in February of 2001. Since then, he has steadily improved, culminating with a stunning 3:58.93 mile win at the UW Indoor Qualifier on Mar. 2, the first-ever indoor four-minute mile in Washington state and the third-fastest in the nation in 2002. Garner became just the second Husky to cover a mile in under four minutes, joining Greg Gibson, who ran 3:59.1h in 1974. Garner also holds the school's all-time top mark at 3000m, with an 8:02.56 mark that is a full four seconds ahead of David Bazzi's mark of 8:06.57 in 2001.

Spree Breaks Free: Sometimes all it takes is one throw. For junior Megan Spriestersbach, the 18th-place finisher in the javelin at last year's NCAA Championships, that throw came at Saturday's Ken Foreman Invitational. Spriestersbach had struggled to find her rhythm in 2002, with only one victory and a season-best mark of 147-0 that was more than nine feet behind her career-best of 156-4 set en route to a second-consecutive top-five conference finish at 2001. Then, on her final throw of the 2002 regular season, Spriestersbach snapped out of her funk in a big way with a throw of 158-2, passing dozens of nationally-ranked competitors to place herself 25th in the NCAA, and in the top-10 of the Pac-10 entering this weekend's conference meet. A 1999 graduate of Tacoma's Bellarmine Prep, she won nine prep letters combined in track, basketball and soccer.

20 Years of Spear Success: From Fred Luke, to Duncan Atwood, to Darryl Roberson, Washington has a long-standing tradition of excellence in the javelin. This year's crop is no exception, with no fewer than four Husky spear specialists exceeding the Pac-10 standard. Juniors Heather Reichmann and Megan Spriestersbach are among the conference's top-10 in the event with NCAA provisional-qualifying throws better than 157 feet. Meanwhile, sophomore Seth Jens has continued to build upon his terrific freshman season with a Pac-10 qualifying mark of 209-5, 10th in the conference this season. Jens is joined by senior Josh Robinson and true freshman Rigel Wise on the Pac-10's qualifying list. Last year, Spriestersbach eamed with Reichmann to give the Huskies a terrific 1-2 punch at the Pac-10 Championships, with Spriestersbach placing third and Reichmann seventh. Spriestersbach went on to finish 18th at the NCAA Championships, re-establishing the Huskies' long-standing javelin tradition. Since 1982, when women's track and field joined the NCAA, the Huskies have sent at least one competitor in the javelin to all but two NCAA Championships, a span of 20 years. The list includes four Pac-10 Champions (Helen Uusitalo -- 1987, Roberson -- 1988-89, Troy Burkholder -- 1996), one NCAA champion (Uusitalo -- 1986) and a U.S. Olympian (Atwood -- 1984). In all, three different Huskies have thrown the javelin for the U.S. at the Olympic Games and three more have earned NCAA titles.

Reichmann for Three?: Whether streaking for a layin in the paint, or gliding down the javelin runway, junior Heather Reichmann hasn't had mcuh time to rest recently as she bids for her third-career top-10 conference finish. A standout track and basketball star at Seattle's King's High School, Reichmann came to Washington in 1998 on a basketball scholarship, but with a desire to continue to excel at both of her favorite sports. In the four years since, the business major has done just that, having helped Washington's basketball squad to a Pac-10 title and NCAA Elite Eight berth in 2001, and placed among the top-seven javelin finishers in the Pac-10 Championships twice. This year has perhaps been Reichmann's most succesful. Unable to join the track squad until Apr. 27 due to basketball commitments, Reichmann debuted with a career-best and Pac-10 qualifying mark at the Oregon Dual. She then followed up her impressive performance with career-bests at three of the next four meets, including an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark of 157-3 in a victory at last week's Ken Foreman Invitational. The mark ranks Reichmann eighth in the Pac-10 Conference entering next week's Championships. Reichmann, who has completed her basketball eligibility, redshirted the 2000 track and field season with a shoulder injury, and plans to return for her senior season next spring.

Just Win, Baby: Junior LeTesha Moore and seniors Shavon Hawkins and Zee Ogarro may not have any NCAA qualifying marks between them, but an argument could be made that perhaps no three athletes have been more important to the success of Washington's track and field squad in 2002. Hawkins, a 1998 graduate of Jefferson High School in Aurora, Colo., has competed in six different events outdoors for Washington, with a stunning 13 event victories under her belt this season. She has been at her best in recent weeks, with four victories at last week's Ken Foreman Invitational and nine in her last 11 overall, including the sprint medley relay title from the prestigious Drake Relays. Moore, likewise, has posted a total of 11 outdoor wins, in five different events. A Pac-10 competitor in each of her first two seasons, Moore established Washington's all-time indoor school record in the 60-meter dash with a mark of 7.60 seconds at January's season-opening UW Preview Meet. Ogarro, meanwhile, adds field success to her track prowess. The Inglewood, Calif., native boasts a best finish of sixth in the long jump at the Pac-10 Championships, and will return to the conference meet in 2002 for the fourth-consecutive year. Ogarro has earned seven victories during the 2002 outdoor season, and ranks among Washington's top competitors in five different events, including two relays and two sprints.

Hammer Time: At the May 4 dual meet with Washington State, junior Kameko Gay proved that 'u can't touch' this Husky athlete when it comes to the hammer throw. Gay's mark of 170-10 was nearly two feet beyond the school record of 169-1 established by Rebecca Morrison during the 1998 season. With the record-setting heave, Gay also bettered her own career-best mark by nearly four feet, a terrific accomplishment for a thrower who has shown steady improvement throughout her Husky career. A graduate of St. Mary's Academy in Portland, Ore., Gay was twice a top-10 state discus competitor, and competed in the shot put and discus at the 1998 Junior Olympics. Gay signed with Arizona during her senior season, and spent two up-and-down years heaving the hammer for the Wildcats. After missing all of her freshman season due to illness, Gay finally made her collegiate debut in 2000 and earned a Pac-10 qualifying mark with a career-best throw of 163-2, sixth-best in Arizona history. Feeling the need for change, however, Gay opted to transfer to Washington, where she again earned Pac-10 qualifying marks, both in the shot put and hammer throw, in 2001. This season, Gay upped her career bests with conference qualifiers in both events, culminating with the dramamtic record throw at WSU's Mooberry Track and Field Complex on Saturday.

As Easy As One, Two, Three: Not many women in Washington track history can boast the same accomplishment as that achieved by sophomore Brittiny Roberts at the season-opening Salzman Invitational in Tacoma, Wash. Roberts, a graduate of Bullard High School in Fresno, Calif, joined an exclusive club with a leap of 40 feet, zero inches in the triple jump. Only four other Husky women - Tara Davis (1995), Michelle Reid (1997), Angie Tasker (1989) and Suzanne Silvis (1994) - have ever cleared 40 feet in the triple jump, with Davis' leap of 41-7 3/4 setting the standard. More remarkable is that Roberts added more than a foot to her previous career-best of 38-7, set during a run to the Pac-10 Championships in 2001, an event for which she is currently qualified among the conference's top-10 this season.

What Goes Up ...: Junior Mat Schwinn knows the laws of gravity - he just tries to forestall the inevitable for as long as possible. At the May 4 dual meet with Washington State, Schwinn befuddled Sir Isaac Newton with a heave of 181-8 in the discus, placing the Castle Rock (Wash.) High School graduate on the list of athletes provisionally qualified for the 2002 NCAA Championships in Baton Rouge, La. Schwinn's throw, then the Pac-10's sixth-best in 2002, is all the more impressive considering that the junior and two-time conference qualifier had never before thrown longer than 167-8, and did not even boast a Pac-10 qualifying mark in the event before the meet. Schwinn placed 12th in the discus at the conference championships in 2001, after missing the 2000 season due to injury. Schwinn earned back-to-back state discus titles in 1997 and 1998, and was the sixth-place finisher in the event at the 1994 Junior Olympics. As a freshman at Washington in 1999, Schwinn ranked second only to All-American Ben Lindsey in all three standing throws, providing Husky fans with a glimpse of the success he is now reaping. Schwinn's 2002 discus mark is among the top-30 in the nation this year, and is just five inches shy of Washington's all-time top-10.

10,000 Meter Tandems: Junior Kate Bradshaw and true freshman Lisa Gibbs are this year continuing a Washington tradition that dates back to the 1996-97 season. Both ran NCAA provisional qualifying marks in the 10,000-meter run at March's Stanford Invitational, marking the sixth-consecutive year that the Huskies have qualified two women's runners at 10,000 meters. The tradition began when then-sophomore Deeja Youngquist was joined by a true freshman, Anna Aoki, at the 1997 championship meet. The two teamed at the NCAAs for the next three seasons, with Aoki earning All-American honors with a ninth-place finish in 1998. Youngquist's departure following the 1999 season could have signaled the end of the streak, but then-freshman Bradshaw defeated an experienced field at the Pac-10 meet to better the NCAA's 10,000-meter qualifying mark and keep the streak alive. Last year, Bradshaw and Aoki performed the double again, and in 2002, Bradshaw is joined by true freshman Gibbs.

USA's Top Dawg: As a reflection of the high esteem in which he is held by track and field coaches and administrators around the country, Husky head coach Orin Richburg was elected to head the U.S. National Team at the 2001 World Track and Field Championships, the most prestigious honor for a track-and-field coach in a non-Olympic year. Richburg capitalized on the opportunity, directing the U.S. to a meet-high 19 medals, including nine golds. In his 17th year at UW, Richburg is responsible for molding the Husky track squad into one of the nation's elite dual-meet teams, as evidenced by both teams' top-10 finishes in the 2001 U.S. Track Coaches' Association Dual Meet Power Rankings. Richburg was an All-American sprinter at Kent State, and has mentored four Olympic athletes in his 17-year tenure at Washington.

Huskies on the Web: For of the latest news and information about Husky track and field visit the official website of Husky Athletics at

Have A Question?: Have a question about something in this release, or a general question about Husky track and field? Contact SID Brian Beaky at

Washington's 2002 NCAA Track and Field Championships Qualifiers

Kate Bradshaw
10,000 meters
Junior, Issaquah, Wash. (Issaquah)

Ran a provisional-qualifying mark of 34:20.86 in the 10,000m at Mt. SAC, a mark which ranks27th in the nation this year.

Ran the 10,000m in 34:41.03 at the 2000 Pac-10 meet to win the conference title as a true freshman.

Missed much of the 2002 indoor season with an IT band injury in her foot, but returned to post a Pac-10 qualifying mark of 16:57.56 in the 5,000m at the Feb. 16 McDonald's II meet in Idaho.

A three-time NCAA qualifier at 10,000m, placed 17th in 2001 in her lone appearance at the national meet.

Was one of 25 athletes invited to compete at the 2000 U.S. Cross Country Winter Nationals, where she placed sixth overall to earn a spot on the U.S. team that competed at the World Junior Cross Country Championships in Portugal.

Sandy Erickson
Pole Vault
Junior, Whitefish, Mont. (Whitefish)

Top 2002 mark of 12-7 1/2 is tied for 31st in the nation this season.

Vault of 12-7 1/2 at the 2002 Ken Foreman Invitational trails only her own personal-best and the school record held by freshman Kate Soma on Washington's all-time pole vault list.

Career-best vault of 12-11 1/2 in 2000 stood for two years as Washington's all-time best, before being surpassed this March by Soma's vault of 13-0 1/2.

Placed fourth in the pole vault at the 2000 Pac-10 Championships, and was the eighth-place finisher at the conference meet in 1999, the first season of NCAA women's pole vault.

Did not compete during the 2001 season.

Was the third-place finisher at the 2000 North American Pole Vault Championships in Clovis, Calif.

Eric Garner
1500 meters
Sophomore, Kelso, Wash.. (Kelso)

Earned All-American honors with a 14th-place finish in the mile run at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Boasts a provisional-qualifying mark of 3:43.40 in the 1500m that ranks 24th in the nation in 2002.

Ran his provisional-qualifying 3:43.40 in the 1500m at the Oregon Dual on Apr. 13, the sixth-best 1500m ever at UW.

Was named Pac-10 Track Athlete of the Week on Apr. 16.

Also boasts Pac-10 qualifying marks at 800 meters (1:50.80) and 5000 meters (14:16.86).

Ran the mile in 3:58.93 at the UW Indoor Qualifier at Dempsey Indoor, becoming the first athlete ever to run a four-minute mile in Washington state.

Indoor qualifying time of 3:58.93 in the mile broke a 28-year old school record of 3:59.1h set by Greg Gibson in San Diego in 1974. Gibson is the only Husky besides Garner ever to accomplish the four minute mile.

Set an indoor school record in the 3000m with an 8:02.56 at the UW Invitational on Sat., Feb. 9, besting the previous record by more than four seconds.

Lisa Gibbs
10,000 meters
Freshman, Arvada, Colo. (Arvada West)

Boasts a provsional-qualifying mark of 34:34.79 in the 10,000m that ranks 34th in the nation in 2002.

Ran 34:34.79 at the Stanford Invitational on Mar. 30 in first-ever 10,000m race, the sixth-best mark ever by a Husky woman in the event.

Was unstoppable indoors, posting the school's second-fastest indoor 5,000m mark with a 16:45.58 finish at the UW Indoor Qualifier on Mar. 2.

Led all Husky cross-country runners with a sixth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships, the eighth-best placing ever for a Husky at the conference meet.

As a prep, won the 3200m against a national field at the 2001 Simplot Indoor Games in Pocatello, Idaho.

Mike Hill
Senior, Bellevue, Wash. (Bellevue)

Boasts a provsional-qualifying mark of 8:46.92 in the 3000m steeplechase that currently ranks 15th in the nation.

Posted a mark of 8:46.92 in the steeplechase at the Mar. 30 Stanford Invitational to climb to eighth-place all-time at the University of Washington, and shave 15 seconds off of his PR entering the season.

Currently ranks second to Stanford's Jesse Thomas in the Pac-10 standings.

Earned the most impressive win of his career at the 2002 Drake Relays on Apr. 25, overcoming a powerful wind and a strong field to finish first in 8:54.38.

Was named Pac-10 Track Athlete of the Week on May 3 for his efforts at Drake.

Ran the second-fastest indoor 5000m time in school history with a mark of 14:13.89 at the UW Qualifier on Mar. 2, besting the NCAA's indoor provisional and Pac-10 outdoor qualifying standards.

Was among the leaders in the steeplchase at the 2001 Pac-10 Championship meet before injuring his knee after striking a barrier.

Placed eighth in the steeplechase at the 2000 Pac-10 meet, in 9:09.78.

Courtney Inman
800m, 1500m
Junior, Abbotsford, B.C. (W.J. Mouat)

Boasts a provisional-qualifying mark of 4:20.58 in the 1500m that ranks 17th in the nation in 2002.

Earned an impressive win in the 1500m at the Apr. 20 Mt. SAC Relays, finishing in 4:20.58 to move up to No. 5 all-time at Washington.

Is Washington's lone double-qualifier, with a mark of 2:06.46 in the 800m that is 18th in the nation in 2002.

Covered the 800m run at the Apr. 13 Oregon Dual in 2:06.46, the second-fastest half-mile ever at Washington and just seven tenths shy of Sarah Bolender's all-time school record of 2:05.73.

Placed 14th in the mile run at the NCAA Indoor Championships in 4:46.83, nearly matching her school record of a week before.

Shaved five seconds off the school's indoor mile record with a time of 4:45.40 at the UW Indoor Qualifier at Dempsey Indoor, nearly 10 seconds better than her previous best.

Anchored UW's winning sprint medley and runner-up distance medley relays at the 2002 Drake Relays..

Heather Reichmann
Junior, Seattle, Wash. (King's HS)

Career-best javelin mark of 157-3 currently ranks 26th in the nation this year.

Added 10 feet to her 2001 best with a throw of 157-3 at the Ken Foreman Invitational.

Has posted career-best marks in four of five competitions this season (no legal mark at only other meet). --

Owns a pair of top-10 conference finishes, with a third-place finish in 1999 and a seventh in 2001.

Did not compete in 2000 due to a shoulder injury suffered during the 1999-2000 Husky basketball season.

A four-year letterwinner for Washington's women's basketball squad, served as team captain in 2002.

Led Husky basketball team to a Pac-10 championship and NCAA Elite Eight berth in 2001.

Kelsey Sheppard
400m Hurdles
Senior, Kirkland, Wash. (Lk. Washington)

Provisional-qualifying time of 58.50 in the 400-meter hurdles currently ranks 22nd in the nation in 2002.

One of just five Husky women all-time to complete the 400-meter hurdles in under 59 seconds,with a career-best mark of 58.29 that ranks fourth all-time at Washington.

Is currently qualified for the Pac-10 Championships in three events, including the 400m run, the 100m high hurdles and the 400m intermediate hurdles.

Notched a pair of indoor school records during the 2002 winter season, running the 400 meters in 55.11 seconds (a Pac-10 qualifier) and the 60m hurdles in 8.73 seconds.

In addition to her set of indoor school records, owns all-time top-10 marks outdoors in the 400m, 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles, and indoors in the 4x400m relay.

Placed 20th in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2000 NCAA Championship meet.

A seven-time Pac-10 qualifier, with bests of fourth in the 400m IH and 13th in the 100m HH (2000).

Mat Schwinn
Junior, Castle Rock, Wash. (Castle Rock)

Provisional-qualifying mark of 181-8 is currently ranked 29th in the nation.

Add 14 feet to his previous career-best with a throw of 181-8 at the May 4 dual meet in Pullman between Washington and Washington State.

Redshirted the 2000 season with an injury, but returned in 2001 to post a 12th-place finish in the discus at the Pac-10 Championships, posting a mark of 159-6.

Earned backt-back state discus titles in 1997 and 1998.

The sixth-place finisher in the discus at the 1994 Junior Olympics, and third-place finisher at the 1996 Junior Olympics trials.

Kate Soma
Pole Vault
Freshman, Portland, Ore. (Grant HS)

Became Washington's all-time outdoor pole vault record holder with a provisional-qualifying vault of 13-1 1/2 at the Apr. 13 Oregon Dual that is tied for 14th in the nation in 2002.

Bested teammate Sandy Erickson's previous school record vault of 12-11 1/2, set during the 2000 season.

Currently ranks sixth in the conference entering next week's Pac-10 Championship meet.

Only a true freshman, shattered Washington's indoor pole vault record by nearly a foot with a vault of 12-11 1/2 at the Feb. 9 UW Invitational at Dempsey Indoor.

Provisional-qualifying indoor mark obliterated the old record of 12-0 3/4 set in 2000 by MerryJane Bendico, and ranked 24th in the nation during the 2002 indoor season.

Won the pole vault at the 2001 Junior Olympics in Eugene, Ore.

Megan Spriestersbach
Junior, Tacoma, Wash. (Bellarmine Prep)

Season-best mark of 158-2 ranks 25th in the nation this season.

Improved season-best mark by 11 feet with an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark of 158-2 on her final throw of the regular season, at the May 11 Ken Foreman Invitational. --

Is the Pac-10's seventh-ranked competitor entering the conference championships.

Was the 18th-place finisher in the javelin at the 2001 NCAA Championships, her first appearance at the national meet.

Placed third at the Pac-10 meet last season, and was the fourth-place conference finisher in 2000.

Was an eighth-place finisher at the 1998 Junior Olympics.

Brad Walker
Pole Vault
Junior, Spokane, Wash. (University)

Provisional-qualifying vault of 18-1 is tied for third-best in the nation in 2002.

Became Washington's all-time pole vault leader with an NCAA provisional-qualifying mark of 18-1 at the May 4 dual meet with Washington State in Pullman.

Career-best vault of 18-1 broke the 10-year-old record of 18-0 1/2 set by Garth Willard in 1992.

Was named Pac-10 Field Athlete of the Week on May 7 for his record-setting accomplishment.

Leads all Pac-10 competitors in the pole vault entering this week's conference championships.

Had offseason surgery to repair a stress cfracture in his foot suffered sometime during the 2001 season.

Despite the fracture, posted top-10 all-time Husky marks in the pole vault both indoors and outdoors, and placed among the NCAA's top-12 competitors at each event.

Tied for 12th at the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships in Eugene, Ore. with a vault of 16-10 3/4.

Earned Indoor All-American honors by placing seventh with a personal-best vault of 17-11 3/4 at the 2001 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, three inches better than his previous best.

Indoor vault PR shattered the school record of 17-10 held for 22 years by Steve Cravetz.

Was the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation champion in the event in 2001.

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