Cougar Track & Field At Mt. SAC Relays And State Challenge Cup

April 14, 2003

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COUGARS ON THE ROAD IN TWO STATES: The Washington State University track and field teams hit the road this weekend...selected athletes will compete at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays in Walnut, Calif...the rest will compete in the State Challenge Cup at Boise...Boise State hosts and joins Idaho and Idaho State in competition against teams from Washington State, Washington and Eastern scoring will be used (top 8 score - 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1).

ABOUT THE COUGAR COACHES: Head coach Rick Sloan is in his 30th season with the Cougar track program; ninth year as a head coach, eighth year as mentor to the combined men's and women's program...he is joined by associate coach Debra Farwell, and assistant coaches Mark Macdonald, Kris Grimes, Francesca Green and Jason Drake...volunteer coaches are Dan O'Brien and Michael Friedberg.

NCAA REGIONAL QUALIFYING: This is the first year for NCAA Regional Meets...NCAA has divided the Division I schools into four vertically drawn regions: West, Midwest, Mideast, and East....there are 41 men's track and 42 women's track programs in the West Region...the meet will be at Stanford May 30-31...instead of national provisional and automatic qualifying standards (with exceptions for the 10k and heptathlon/decathlon events), the regional qualifying standards are based on the 100th best performance nationally from the previous year with all conference champions automatically invited to their respective finishers from each regional event automatically advance to the NCAA Championships, June 11-14, at addition to top five regional finishers, an additional six to eight athletes nationally per event will be invited by the NCAA Championships selection committee based on a season performance list (in case of injury, illness, false-start/DQ, etc.) as long as that athlete competed in the regional...there will be an approximate 40 percent increase in competitor field sizes...individual events were 18-21 deep and relays 11-12, the 2003 fields will be 27-29 for individual events and 15-16 for relays with the total number of athletes expanded from 388 in 2002 to 544 in 2003.

WSU OPEN HIGHLIGHTS: In spite of early torrential rains, the WSU women won nine events while the men won 10 events at the first outdoor meet hosted by the Cougars this season. The WSU women winners included Tamara Gulley (100m), Anna Blue (1500m), Julia Corbett (3000m), Diana Pickler (100m hurdles), Monique Jessie (400m hurdles), Briana Willis (high jump), Karla McGee (pole vault), and Shannon Rance (shot put). Cougar men stepping in the winners' circle included Bennie Chatman (200m), Qieed Ishmael (400m), Ian Johnson (3000m), Darion Powell (400m hurdles), Kurtiss Dilley (high jump), Rick Collins (pole vault), Sam Lightbody (discus), Thad Cullinan (hammer) and Matt McGee (javelin). Both the women's 4x100m relay team (Gulley, Jessie, Nicole Hatcher and Bree Skinner) and the men's 4x100m relay (Lamarr Kirk, Chatman, James McSwain, and Dan Brink) were also winners Saturday. Cougars achieving or improving NCAA RQs included Paul Nicoletti in the men's pole vault (16-0 3/4), Matt McGee in the men's javelin (205-2), Monique Jessie in the women's 400m hurdles (1:00.92), Briana Willis in the women's high jump (5-7), and Karla McGee in the women's pole vault (12-0). Many Cougars who have already achieved NCAA qualifying marks did not compete at this meet, using the weekend to rest, or competed in events other than their specialties for training purposes.

COUGARS NOT COMPETING THIS WEEKEND: Missing in action this weekend will be several Cougar performers...on the WSU men's side, high jumper Matt Alverson (hamstring), distance runner Danny Wolf (calf), Kyle Kraemer (hamstring)...for the WSU women, heptathlete Julie Pickler (plantar fasciitis right foot).

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