Track Heads To Pac-10 Conference Track And Field Championships

May 13, 2003

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CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS SECOND WEEKEND: Washington State University will send 47 student-athletes to the Pacific-10 Conference Track & Field Championships presented by ARCO am/pm, May 17-18, at the University of Southern California's Cromwell Field at Loker Stadium...this is the 73rd annual men's and 17th annual women's championship meet...nine conference schools (Oregon State does not offer track) will compete in the two-day meet with the team champions being crowned Sunday at 5:45 p.m...Stanford is the two-time defending men's title holder while UCLA has held the women's conference crown for the past six years...the Cougar women placed fifth last year and the WSU men were seventh...Saturday's events being at 10 a.m. with the women's hammer throw and end with the men's 10k, set for 6:40 p.m...Sunday's events begin at 10 a.m. with the men's hammer throw and conclude with the men's 4x400m relays set for 5:20 p.m...the hammer throws will be held at West LA College.

PAC-10 TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS ON FOX SPORTS TV NETWORK: The delayed highlight broadcast of the 2003 Pac-10 Track & Field Championships presented by ARCO am/pm will be shown on the FOX Sports Net affiliates around the country between May 22-30- check your cable listings for the exact date and time for your viewing area...FOX Sports Northwest will air the two-hour telecast Saturday, May 24 at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 25 at 4 p.m. and Tuesday, May 27 at noon - all times Pacific.

GOOD START FOR COUGARS: Ellannee Richardson's heptathlon win along with a fourth place from Diana Pickler and eighth place by Louise Akesson put the WSU women atop the team standings after the Combined Events competition...WSU gathered 16 points followed by Stanford's 12 points...Oregon leads the men's team standings with 19 points with WSU second with nine points from Darion Powell's second place and David Turpin's eighth place finish in the decathlon.

RICHARDSON NAMED PAC-10 FEMALE ATHLETE OF WEEK: After claiming her third consecutive Pac-10 Heptathlon title, WSU's Ellannee Richardson was named the Pac-10 Female Track & Field Athlete of the Week for May 5-11...she joins former Stanford heptathlete Tracye Lawyer (1997-99) as the only three-time winners of the event...the redshirt senior from Gladstone, Ore., is a three-time All-American in the heptathlon and her 5,766 points makes her the current national leader...ranked third-best heptathlete (top collegiate) in the United States in 2003 by Track & Field News...set school record of 5,821 points set last season at the Pac-10 Championships...was named to the 2003 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Track & Field first team last month...Richardson is expected to compete in four more events (100m hurdles, 200m dash, both relays) at this weekend's Pac-10 Track & Field Championships.

EVANS LOOKING FOR THIRD TITLE: Redshirt senior Whitney Evans (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) is looking to three-peat as the women's high jump champion at the conference meet this weekend...hampered by Achilles tendonitis in her push foot (left) and patella tendonitis in her plant knee (right), Evans has spent little time in practice...Sloan changed her take-off to a walking two-step start to try to alleviate the foot pain and in the Washington dual meet May 3, she found good results (1.80m/5-10 3/4)...the six-time high jump All-American also has All-America honors in the heptathlon...Evans finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships this year after clearing a personal-record height of 6-feet, 3/4 inch (1.85m) on her first attempt.

DUDLEY ALSO RETURNING CHAMPION: Redshirt senior Eric Dudley (Bellingham, Wash.) won the men's intermediate hurdles at the 2001 Pac-10 meet and finished fifth in the NCAA Championships that year...he was injured for the spring 2002 season and not able to compete on his home oval...Dudley did run a 50.13 at the U.S. National Championships last summer, signaling his return to form...he broke the 50-second mark when he won the men's 400m hurdles race at the Texas Relays in a 49.70 seconds, slicing 43/100s of a second off his former PR and surpassing his best time this year by 1.39 seconds...Dudley's time is second on WSU's all-time list behind Boyd Gittins' 1968 time of 49.27, the collegiate record at that time and the oldest record on the Cougar men's all-time lists...he also moved past his current hurdles coach, All-American Mark Macdonald, who ran 50.05 in 1992.

ANNA BLUE RED-LINES COUGAR DISTANCE RECORDS: Senior Anna Blue (Olympia, Wash.) broke the school's 10,000m record April 17, at the Mt. SAC Relays at Walnut, Calif...her seventh-place finish in the women's invitational race was a school record time of 34 minutes, 25.63 was the first time Blue had run this distance...the previous school record was 35:21.2, run by Lisa Braun in 1988...this year, Blue has raced to school indoor records in the 3000m (9:42.22i) and 5000m (16:35.18i), and the school's outdoor 5000m record (16:14.55)...her time in the 10k is an NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark: the men's and women's 10k, the heptathlon and decathlon are the only events the NCAA still has automatic and provisional rather than regional qualifying standards.

IS IT THE STATE OR THE MOM? Cougar senior sprinter Bennie Chatman is from Houston, Texas, and has performed well in his career when competing in his home the 2003 Texas Relays (Austin) Chatman finished second in the 100m dash with a PR time of 10.19w, in spite of a poor start...Cougar Coach Rick Sloan has considered staging all WSU home meets in the Lone Star State...yet, at last year's Pac-10 Championships in Pullman, Chatman finished fourth in the 100m dash behind teammates Anthony Buchanan and Anson Henry...Chatman's mother, Natalie Wade, has been in trackside whenever Chatman has run his fastest times.

NATIONAL TEAM RANKINGS: The Trackwire 25 projects a hypothetical score for the NCAA meet, factoring in injury reports and other variables supported by information gathered from coaches and NCAA-qualifying competitions across the country...WSU is tied for 17th (with Yale and Indiana) in the latest women's rankings but the Cougar men are not the latest USTCA Team Power Rankings (dual meet predictors and demonstrate team depth), the Cougar women are seventh and WSU men are 15th.

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.

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