Etter Claims Second All-America Honor in Discus

May 31, 2002

BATON ROUGE, La. - The University of Oregon women's track and field squad added its fourth and final All-America award to its tally Friday in third-day action of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Bernie Moore Track Stadium. Team-wise, the Oregon women also ended with nine points -- its highest tally since scoring 10 points in 1995.

Junior Mary Etter concluded individual action for the Duck women in the collegiate finale with her second All-America honor in the discus (eighth, 173-2), also matching her initial NCAA placing as a Duck freshman two seasons ago. The ninth seed entering Friday's competition, Etter tossed her second-best mark of the year and fifth-best of her three-year Duck career.

'I improved a spot from where I was seeded, but I'm still frustrated,' Etter said. 'I've changed my technique the past two weeks -- I'm trying to speed it up -- and have been throwing 180 feet pretty regularly in practice. I know there's so much more there, and was hoping that it would come out today.'

Etter opened the competition with a mark of 52.08 meters, then followed with 50.71m and 49.10m efforts on her remaining preliminary efforts. Seeded fifth in her flight, only four others threw better in the subsequent flight, so the Everett, Wash., native sneaked into the final as the last qualifier. In the finals, she moved up a position in the final standings thanks to her fifth throw and daily best of 52.79 meters, while her fourth effort was 49.48 meters, and her sixth was a foul.

'Since I was on the bubble for the final,' Etter said, 'I couldn't watch the second flight and had to get away. I was so nervous, I went over and watched the (Nets) basketball game. Then when I made it, I knew that was a sign that I was ready to improve. I only wish it was more.'

Ranked second all-time for the Ducks in the event, she wrapped up a season that recently featured her first Pac-10 points in both the shot put (seventh, 49-11 1/4) and discus (third, 168-8). In the discus ring, she upped her personal best to 176-8 in the Nebraska Invite in May, and also topped the 170-foot line in two other regular season contests.

However, despite the honor and strong season, Etter was particularly frustrated that the top throwers were in her sights Friday -- including winner Chaniqua Ross of UCLA (182-0) and runner-up Becky Breisch of Nebraska (177-6).

'Maybe I should have stuck with my previous technique instead of changing so close to the meet,' Etter said, 'but it was a gamble I needed to take. I've improved my consistency this year, and am getting to the point where I want badly to be a national class thrower.'

Regardless of the marks, Etter also helped erase a disappointing NCAA effort last season at home when she finished 19th with a best prelim mark of 139-2 after fouls on her two other throws.

'I came in ready to go today and make it happen,' Etter said. 'I told Sally (Harmon, assistant coach) beforehand that I WAS going to throw at least 170 feet today and make the finals, and I did that on my first throw. My last throw could have been THE one, but I didn't get long or up enough, and those things would have also prevented the foul.'

On the men's side, sophomore All-American Trevor Woods made his second NCAA outdoor appearance and just missed a second All-America effort in the pole vault with a ninth-place tie at 17-4 1/2 -- the same height as fourth place but with more misses.

The Coos Bay, Ore., native opened Firday with a first attempt clearance at 16-10 3/4, then needed three attempts to clear 17-4 1/2. At the next height of 17-10 1/2, Woods barely brushed the bar on his way down on his final two attempts.

Overall in the event, Texas senior Brian Hunter cleared 18-8 1/4 for the win and a track record, edging Washington's Brad Walker (second, 18-2 1/2) and Tennessee's Rocky Danners (third, 17-10 1/2).

The second-year Duck Woods entered the meet seeded in a tie for fifth with a season best of 18-0 1/2 from the Washington Dual in April. During the season he added a fourth-place Pac-10 finish (17-7 1/4), four wins during the regular season, and cleared marks of 17-4 1/2 in seven of eight meets outdoors -- the same marks as his freshman personal best that he cleared only once in 2001. Indoors in 2002, he took third in the NCAA finale with an indoor personal best of 17-11 3/4 -- the same height as the winner but with more misses. On the all-time Oregon list he stands fourth with his personal best against the Huskies.

In Friday's other qualifying action, senior Micah Harris qualified for the final position in Saturday's nine-man 110-meter hurdle final, thanks to a fifth-place finish in his semifinal heat (13.87). The Tempe, Ariz., native earned the lone time-based invite by edging the fifth-place finisher from the first heat by .06 seconds -- Jeff Young of Southern Illinois (13.93).

'Whoohhh, that was close,' Harris said. 'I have to thank God, my coach and my teammates for helping me get to the final. After missing the final last year, I've been waiting for this for 364 days. Technically, I was clean over the hurdles, but I wasn't fast enough between them, so I need to work on that for tomorrow. It's an honor to be advancing because the times were great tonight, even with a slick track. Tomorrow should be even faster. '

Overall in the event, Clemson's Todd Matthews won the first semifinal (13.56), and Texas A&M's Chris Pinnock claimed the second heat (13.54). Top seed Ron Bramlett took fourth in the second semifinal (13.69).

In the decathlon, redshirt senior Billy Pappas began his attempt for repeat All-America honors with a personal best first day score of 3,864 points that ranks him 11th among the 18 entries.

The Azalea, Ore., native posted first day marks of 11.15 in the 100 (+2.9w), 23-9 in the long jump, 44-11 1/2 in the shot put, 6-2 in the high jump and 51.20 in the 400.

'The 100 was a personal best by .01 seconds, my long jump was a PR, and my 400 was just shy of also being a PR,' Pappas said. 'However, all those events have lots of room for improvement. Tomorrow I need to come back with a similar type of second day score, and get things going with a good effort in the hurdles.'

Overall in the event, top seed Claston Bernard of LSU leads the field with 4,385 points, and is ahead of Ryan Harlan of Rice (4,273) and Texas San Antonio's Justin Youngblood (third, 4,202).

Saturday's Duck action features Pappas in the decathlon, and Harris in the hurdles.

*NOTE: Full results are available at the or web sites.


NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships
Bernie Moore Track Stadium
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, La.
Friday, May 31, 2002

Discus - 1, Chaniqua Ross, UCLA, 182-0. 2, Becky Breisch, Nebraska, 181-11. 3, Krista Keir, Ohio State, 179-2. 4, Stephanie Brown, Cal Poly SLO, 177-6. 5, Lara Saye, UCLA, 175-2. 6, Deshaya Williams, Penn State, 174-5. 7, Rachel Longfors, Florida, 174-4. 8, Mary Etter, Oregon, 173-2.

110 Hurdles Semifinals (includes athletes advancing to finals) - Heat 1- 1, Todd Matthews, Clemson, 13.56. 2, Lewis Edmonson, Prairie View A&M, 13.68. 3, Ryan Wilson, USC, 13.74. 4, Derek Zachary, Nebraska, 13.77. Heat 2 - 1, Chris Pinnock, Texas A&M, 13.54. 2, Jermaine Cooper, Texas, 13.56. 3, Antwon Hicks, Mississippi, 13.69. 4, Ron Bramlett, Alabama, 13.69. 5, Micah Harris, Oregon, 13.87.

Pole Vault - 1, Brian Hunter, Texas, 18-8 1/4. 2, Brad Walker, Washington, 18-2 1/2. 3, Rocky Danners, Tennessee, 17-10 1/2. 4, Chris Steddum, South Carolina, 17-4 1/2. 4, Paul Litchfield, Idaho State, 17-4 1/2. 4. Adam Keul, Stephen F. Austin, 17-4 1/2. 7, Jim Autenreith, Baylor, 17-4 1/2. 8, Bubba MacLean, Cal, 17-4 1/2. 9, Trevor Woods, Oregon, 17-4 1/2. 9, Mike McNamara, Oklahoma, 17-4 1/2.

Decathlon - 1, Claston Bernarrd, LSU, 4,385. 2, Ryan Harlan, Rice, 4,273. 3, Justin Youngblood, Texas-San Antonio, 4,202. 4, Bryan Anderson, Montana, 4,186. 5, Stephen Harris, Tennessee, 4,169. 6, Paul Terek, Michigan State, 4,105. 7, Kevin Thompson, Tennessee, 4,080. 8, David Lemen, Georgia, 3,960. 11, Billy Pappas, Oregon, 3,864.

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