NCAA Regional Meet Awaits WSU Track & Field

May 27, 2003

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WSU 2003 Outdoor Track & Field Remaining Schedule
5/30-31 NCAA West Regional Championships @ Stanford
6/11-14 NCAA Div. I Championships @ Sacramento

COUGARS TO COMPETE AT FIRST NCAA REGIONAL TRACK & FIELD MEET: Washington State University will send 17 women and 14 men to the NCAA West Regionals Track & Field Meet this weekend at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the Stanford campus...the Cougars will compete in the May 30-31 meet against student-athletes representing 40 men's and 42 women's individual finishers from each regional event automatically advance to the NCAA Championships, June 11-14, at Sacramento...there is team scoring at the Regionals...Friday's action starts at noon with the men's hammer throw and concludes with the 8:50 p.m. men's 5k race...Saturday's events begin at 10 a.m. with the women's hammer throw and will wrap up at 6:20 with the men's 4x400m relay...results can be obtained at the Stanford website,

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: The NCAA has divided the Division I schools into four vertically drawn regions: West, Midwest, Mideast, and East....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 regional...the top-five finishers from each regional event automatically advance to the NCAA Championships, June 11-14, at addition to the 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) with the 2003 fields 27-29 for individual events, 15-16 for number of athletes expanded from 388 in 2002 to 544 in 2003.

EVANS CLAIMS THIRD CONFERENCE HIGH JUMP TITLE: Redshirt senior Whitney Evans (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) was a three-peat as the women's high jump champion at the conference meet last 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...after the Pac-10 win she said, 'I tied my PR at Stanford earlier this year so I'm excited to go back there for Regionals. I'm feeling really good. I've had my best outdoor season ever so I'm looking for a PR (at the regional or national meets).'

BUCHANAN BUSTS THROUGH: Junior sprinter Anthony Buchanan (Spokane, Wash.) ran a lifetime-best 100m time of 10.10w to win the Pac-10 was the second consecutive 100m dash title for the Cougars after Anson Henry won the event in 2002 with Buchanan third and Bennie Chatman the 2003 Pac-10s, Buchanan pulled up in the 200m dash finals and did not finish after posting a season-best time of 20.95 in the prelims...the explosive sprinter also anchored the winning 4x100m relay to a season-best time of 39.68, the fourth-fastest time run in school history....after the relay, Buchanan said, 'Today we all felt good and ran well. Last year, USC beat us at our place (Pac-10s) which was burning in our minds. We felt we had to come back here and do it at their place.'

BENNIE JOINS BUCHANAN AS COUGAR SPEED DEMONS: Senior sprinter Bennie Chatman (Houston, Texas) ran a lifetime-best 10.12w for second place in the 100m dash at the Pac-10 Championships May was the first time in school history the Cougars had finished one-two in the 100m dash...Chatman also ran the second leg of the winning 4x100m relay, to end a 10-year drought in this event.

DUDLEY LOWERS INTERMEDIATE HURDLES PR AT CONFERENCE RACE: Redshirt senior Eric Dudley (Bellingham, Wash.) finished second at the men's intermediate hurdles at the Pac-10 Championships with a PR time of 49.59...he was the intermediate hurdles champion at the 2001 Pac-10 meet and finished fifth in the NCAA Championships that year...injured and redshirt for the spring 2002 season...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.

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.

PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS HIGHLIGHTS: Anthony Buchanan won the men's 100m dash and joined Lamarr Kirk, Bennie Chatman and James McSwain to win the 4x100m relay...the Cougar men's team finished sixth with 77 points, WSU's best finish since 1998 when the Cougars were fourth. USC (139 points) won its 16th team title...the Cougar women's team finished fifth with wins from Ellannee Richardson (heptathlon) and Whitney Evans (high jump)...UCLA (155 points) won the women's team title for the seventh straight time and 14th time since the women's championships began in 1987.

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 Southern Methodist) 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 10th and WSU men are 15th.

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