Track Teams Chase NCAA Invites at Stanford
May 29, 2003
NCAA West Regional Championships
OUTDOOR VOL. 9: Duck Test Regional Qualifying Waters for First Time.The Oregon men's and women's track and field teams prepare for the second stop of the championship slate - the first-ever NCAA West Regional Championships - at Stanford, and one of four regionals held nationally, Fri.-Sat., May 30-31. The top-five finishers from each event will advance to the NCAA Championships in Sacramento, 1 1/2 weeks later, while another 6-8 athletes per event will be selected at-large nationally based on season bests (in case the athlete was sick, injured, fell or was DQ'ed in the regional). The Duck men will send 24 individuals and both relays, and the women enter 21 individuals and a 4x400 relay. Each Duck qualifier earned their regional invite after meeting a national qualifying standard based on the 100th best mark nationally from last season. The M&W return after third- and seventh-place finishes in the Pac-10 Championships two weekends ago. The Duck men featured three individual champions - seniors Adam Kriz (hammer) and Santiago Lorenzo (decathlon) and junior Adam Jenkins - while women's champ and redshirt senior Becky Holliday upped the school and Pac-10 meet record (14-6) and moved to #8 all-time on the U.S. list. Looking ahead, the Ducks close the collegiate season in the NCAA Championships at Hornet Stadium at Sacramento State University, Wed.-Sat., June 11-14. The following weekend, a handful of Ducks return to Stanford for the USA Championships (Thu.-Sun., 6/19-22) and USA Junior Championships (Fri.-Sat., 6/20-21).
WOMEN TO WATCH: Holliday On Top of Collegiate Pole Vault World.
The nation's top-ranked pole vaulter outdoors this season, senior Becky Holliday continued to soar higher with a 3/4-inch personal best in her recent Pac-10 victory and school record (14-6). That mark moved her to eighth all-time among Americans, third all-time among collegians (and second among U.S. collegians), and second in the world on the season best list. Another of Oregon's five regional invites in the pole vault, senior teammate and fellow All-American Niki McEwen recently matched her best Pac-10 finish (second-tie, 13-3 1/2), and currently ranks fourth nationally. Continuing their return from various injuries, the sophomore All-America javelin duo of Roslyn Lundeen and Elisa Crumley enter this weekend's meet seeded fifth (159-8) and eighth (157-11) and were top-12 NCAA finishers last year (seventh / 12th). Other high-ranking Ducks include two-time discus All-American Mary Etter (fifth, 176-0), and fellow seniors Amanda Brown (triple jump, ninth, 40-9 1/2), Jordan Sauvage (hammer, eighth, 191-4) and Eri Macdonald (800, seventh, 2:07.40).
MEN TO WATCH: Eight Ducks Ranked Top-Five Heading into Regional.
Redshirt senior Adam Kriz leads the UO men as the top regional seed in the hammer thanks to his personal best from his Pac-10 win (221-4). Other highly-ranked Duck individuals include seniors Samie Parker (100, third, 10.18), Foluso Akinradewo (triple jump, fifth, 51-2 3/4) and John Stiegeler (javelin, fifth, 212-0), junior Adam Jenkins (javelin, fourth, 221-4), redshirt sophomores Brett Holts (steeple, fifth, 13:52.62) and Eric Logsdon (5,000, fifth, 13:52.62) and freshman Eric Mitchum (110 hurdles, second, 13.73w). Parker and Mitchum moved to #2 all-time for the Ducks in the 100 and 110 hurdles in the Pac-10 finale, with other UO career chart climbers from the USC stop including senior Terry Ellis (110 hurdles, fifth all-time, 13.93) and freshman Jordan Kent (100, eighth all-time, 10.46; 200, seventh all-time, 21.09). With the rest of the team taking last weekend off, Mitchum was the only collegiate hurdle entrant in the Pre Classic and clocked the second-fastest wind-legal time of his career (eighth, 13.84, w:+1.0).
TENTATIVE DUCK ENTRIESWest Regional Championships
Cobb Track & Angell Field
Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif.
Fri.-Sat., May 30-31, 2003
Friday, May 30 Field Events
Noon - M Hammer (Kriz)12:05 pm - W Javelin (Crumley, Lundeen)3 pm - W Pole Vault (Holliday, McEwen, Moore, Moyle, Riley)5:30 pm - W Shot Put (Etter)5:35 pm - M Long Jump5:40 pm - W Long Jump (Brown)5:50 pm - M High Jump (Clason, Lindsey)5:55 pm - M Discus (March)
Friday, May 30 Track Events
4 pm - W 4x100 Prelim4:15 pm - M 4x100m Prelim4:30 pm - W 1500m Prelim (Harmon, Zografos)4:50 pm - M 1500m Prelim (Logsdon, Paulson)5:15 pm - W 100m Hurdles Prelim (Andrus)5:40 pm - M 110m Hurdles Prelim (Ellis, Mitchum)6 pm - W 400m Prelim (Davis)6:15 pm - M 400m Prelim (Scherer)6:30 pm - W 100m Prelim6:45 pm - M 100m Prelim (Kent, Parker)7 pm - W 800m Prelim (Macdonald)7:15 pm - M 800m Prelim (Flaherty)7:30 pm - W 400m Hurdles Prelim (Andrus, Mellott)7:45 pm - M 400m Hurdles Prelim (Holliday, Lorenzo, Mitchum)8 pm - W 200m Prelim8:15 pm - M 200m Prelim (Kent)8:30 pm - W 5000m (Feest, Sandoval, Zografos)8:50 pm - M 5000m (Logsdon)
Saturday, May 31 Field Events
10 am - W Hammer (Sauvage)10:05 am - M Javelin (Jenkins, Stiegeler)Noon - M Pole Vault (Derby, Slye, Woods)2:15 pm - M Shot Put (March)2:20 pm - M Triple Jump (Akinradewo, Strubel)2:25 pm - W Triple Jump (Brown, Hayward-Lee)2:30 pm - W High Jump (Brogdon)2:35 pm - W Discus (Etter)
Saturday, May 31 Track Events
2:45 pm - W 4x100m Relay2:52 pm - M 4x100m Relay3:00 pm - W 1500m (Harmon, Zografos)3:07 pm - M 1500m (Logsdon, Paulson)3:15 pm - W 100m Hurdles (Andrus)3:25 pm - M 110m Hurdles (Ellis, Mitchum)3:35 pm - W 400m (Davis)3:42 pm - M 400m (Scherer)3:50 pm - W 100m3:57 pm - M 100m (Kent, Parker)4:05 pm - W 800m (Macdonald)4:12 pm - M 800m (Flaherty)4:25 pm - W 400m Hurdles (Andrus, Mellott)4:35 pm - M 400m Hurdles (Holliday, Lorenzo, Mitchum)4:45 pm - W 200m4:52 pm - M 200m (Kent)5:05 pm - W 3000m Steeplechase (Snyder-Carlson)5:35 pm - M 3000m Steeplechase (Holts)6:05 pm - W 4x400m Relay6:20 pm - M 4x400m Relay
PAC-10 REVIEW: Ducks Combine for 4 Individual Wins & 1 School Record.
Two weekends ago, (5/17-18) the Duck men and women took third (127) and seventh (60 points) in the Pacific-10 Conference Championships, hosted by USC in Los Angeles, Calif. The UO men came within 12 points of the win, and trailed USC (first, 139), Stanford (second, 128), and edged UCLA (123) in tightest 1st-4th race since 1969's 14-point spread. Individually in the league finale, collegiate season leader and redshirt senior Becky Holliday paced the UO women with their first-ever pole vault title (14-6) and her third outdoor meet above 14 feet in '03, to go along with two others indoors. Redshirt senior teammate Niki McEwen tied for second in the same event (13-3 1/2), and sophomore Roslyn Lundeen also claimed runner-up honors in the javelin (159-8). The Duck men featured three individual champions - redshirt senior Santiago Lorenzo (decathlon, 7,564), junior Adam Jenkins (javelin, 217-9) and redshirt senior Adam Kriz (hammer, 221-3) - and three runners-up - redshirt sophomore Brett Holts (steeple, 8:55.00), redshirt junior Jason Hartmann (10,000, 29:18.00) and freshman Eric Mitchum (110 hurdles, 13.73w, w:+3.8).
NEW NCAA FORMULA: Explaining the Inaugural Regional Qualifying System.
After several years of research and urging by the U.S. Track Coaches Association, the NCAA Championships Division 1 Board of Directors switched to a regional qualifying procedure for the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Sacramento (Wed.-Sat., 6/11-14/03). Four, two-day regionals, drawn in a vertical fashion geographically, will be held nationally on Fri.-Sat., May 30-31 with regional qualifying standards based on the 100th best performance nationally from the previous year (while all conference champions are also automatically invited to their respective regional). Except for the 10K and heptathlon/decathlon (which will still operate on an automatic/provisional standard system), the top-five finishers from each regional event automatically advance to the NCAA Championships, nearly two weeks later. Besides the automatic advancers, an additional 6-8 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. Coaches hope that the easier regional qualifying standards (compared to previous national provisional standards) will enable athletes to obtain marks during the regular season and avoid 'chasing marks', especially in mid- to late-May, while the regional competition will encourage head-to-head competition at the end of the season and increase fan and media interest. In other NCAA committee news, the championships field sizes were raised approximately 40 percent - most individual events were previously 18-21 deep with relays inviting 11-12 entries, and will now grow to 27-29 and 15-16, respectively. Previous men's and women's fields were set at 388 athletes among the 21 individual and relay events, and in 2003, the number expands to 544 each.
MR. PAC-10 FOR A WEEK: Lorenzo Adds Fourth Duck Honor of 2003.
Two weeks ago, redshirt senior Santiago Lorenzo claimed Oregon's fourth Pacific-10 Conference Athlete of the Week honor of 2003. The Buenos Aires, Argentina native was rewarded for his Pac-10 decathlon victory (5/10-11) in USC (7,564) as he led the field in the javelin (187-4) and 400 (48.96), and stood top three in seven of the 10 overall events. Lorenzo's win was also his fourth, top-two league decathlon finish after runner-up nods in 2000 (7,649) and 1999 (7,150). Lorenzo's athlete of the week honor also stood as the fourth of his career. As a junior in 2001 he was honored after winning the Pac-10 (7,617) and the Texas Relays (7,726) decathlons, and as a sophomore in 2000 after his Texas Relays decathlon then-personal best (third overall, 7,580). The previous week (Tue., 5/6), redshirt sophomore Brett Holts was selected in the men's track category after he took the Pac-10 steeplechase lead with his four-second personal best in the Cardinal Invitational (8:48.81, Fri., 5/2). The week before (Mon., 4/28), junior Adam Jenkins was selected in the field event category after he leapfrogged senior teammate John Stiegeler to the top of the Pac-10 javelin rankings, thanks to his three-foot personal and six-foot, seven-inch season best in the Oregon Invitational (221-4). Redshirt senior hammer thrower Adam Kriz claimed his first conference award two weeks prior in 2003's inaugural honor for his then-best and Pepsi Team Invite win (217-10). Besides this year's quartet of honorees, three other current Ducks have combined for five other Pac-10 honors the past three seasons - senior John Stiegeler (Texas Relays 4/02, javelin, first, 242-11; Texas Relays 4/01, javelin, second, 245-9; Oregon Invite 4/01, javelin, second, 241-11), and juniors Trevor Woods (Pepsi Team Invite 4/02, pole vault, first, 18-0 1/2) and Sarah Malone (Oregon Twilight 5/01, javelin, first, 174-0).
2003 MEN'S OUTLOOK: Eight All-Americans & Four Pac-10 Champs Return.
With a pair of NCAA and Pac-10 champions back from 2001 - senior Santiago Lorenzo (decathlon) and redshirt junior John Stiegeler (javelin) - the Ducks will chase another top-10 NCAA finish when the collegiate finale travels to Sacramento (6/11-14). The sprints feature senior Samie Parker, fourth indoors the past two seasons in the NCAA 60, and one of the football squad's top deep receiving threats in 2001 (41 rec., 18.2 ypc, 4 TD) and 2002 (45 rec., 15.1 ypc, 7 TD). Junior Brandon Holliday clipped nearly two seconds off his 400-hurdle personal best last season and claimed the Pac-10 title in his league debut (50.73). Three-time harrier All-American and redshirt junior Jason Hartmann has posted two, top-four NCAA 10K finishes (third-'01; fourth-'02). The field events will supply a healthy portion of the team's conference firepower, paced by All-America sophomore Trevor Woods who took third indoors in the 2002 NCAA finale (pole vault, indoor PR 17-11 3/4, outdoor PR of 18-0 1/2), and redshirt senior Adam Kriz, the Pac-10 hammer champion in 2002 and 2003 and an NCAA qualifier outdoors in 2002 (14th) and indoors in 2003 in the weight throw (15th). A quartet of NCAA provisional qualifiers from 2002 will also challenge for their first NCAA invites - redshirt senior Jason Slye (pole vault, 17-3 1/2), redshirt junior John Lucas (5K-indoors, 14:16.40), and redshirt sophomores Eric Logsdon (5K, 14:04.85) and Noel Paulson (mile-indoors, 4:04.31). On the trails in the 2002 NCAA Cross Country Championships, the fifth-place Ducks featured four All-Americans - Hartmann (20th) and first-time honorees Ryan Andrus (34th), Logsdon (41st) and Brett Holts (43rd) - the highest Duck tally since 1989.
2003 WOMEN'S OUTLOOK: Field Events Will Fuel Championship Runs.
Returning all five of last year's NCAA participants, head coach Tom Heinonen's Ducks also returned 19 Pac-10 finalists. The javelin unit again looms among the nation's best, led by sophomores and returning All-Americans Roslyn Lundeen (seventh, 165-4) and Elisa Crumley (12th, 157-4), although All-American and two-time Pac-10 runner-up Sarah Malone redshirted this season. The Ducks also boast arguably the nation's top pole vault unit and features a pair of redshirt seniors and three-time All-Americans - Becky Holliday and Niki McEwen - who finished second (14-3 1/4) and fourth (13-11 1/4) in the 2003 NCAA Indoor Champs in March. Junior Kirsten Riley also finished top-10 in the NCAA indoor finale (10th, 13-3 1/2) and matched her personal best and improved on her 13th-place seeding. Senior Amanda Brown is one of two Duck returnees that scored in multiple Pac-10 events last year (triple jump, sixth, 40-2 3/4; long jump, eighth, 18-10). Senior Jenny Brogdon returns as one of three Duck Pac-10 runners-up from last year (high jump, 5-9 1/4) with potential redshirt Malone (javelin, 171-9) and Holliday (13-9 3/4). Senior Mary Etter has paced the team in scoring at the end of the two seasons and is a two-time third-place Pac-10 discus finisher and eighth-place All-American in both 2000 and '02. Senior Jordan Sauvage raised her hammer best last season by 11 feet en route to her first Pac-10 points and year-end personal best (eighth, 183-9). Senior sprinter Janette Davis ranks seventh all-time in school history in the 400 (54.31) and was sixth in the league finale last year (54.35). Senior Eri Macdonald missed an NCAA invite by .03 seconds last season in the 800 (2:06.37), ranks seventh all-time in UO history, and is a two-time Pac-10 finalist (2000, '02). School steeplechase record holder and redshirt senior Carrie Zografos (10:42.02) led the 2002 cross country team with All-America honors (33rd) and top-eight Pac-10 (eighth) and Western Regional (sixth) finishes.
MEN'S 2002 SEASON REVIEW: Ducks Second in Pac-10 with Five Champs.
The Duck men return in 2003 after their best Pac-10 team finish since 1996 - second with 125 points - and their most individual champions (5) since 1990 (6). Indoors in 2002, the squad claimed its highest ever NCAA indoor finish (ninth, 15 points) and featured three All-Americans among its four qualifiers (Trevor Woods, pole vault, third; Samie Parker, 60, fourth; Simon Kimata, 800 fifth). Outdoors in the collegiate finale, the UO sent seven men - their most since 1996 (8) - and finished 35th as a team with seven points and featured two All-Americans (Jason Hartmann, 10,000, fourth; Micah Harris, 110 hurdles, seventh) and two other top-12 finishers. During the year, the Ducks flexed their depth with NCAA qualifying marks in nine of the 21 outdoor events, and points at the Pac-10 level in 15 of them. In the dual setting, the Ducks went 3-0 with wins over Montana, Washington and Weber State, and ranked ninth in the national USTCA Power Rankings, based on a team's dual-meet potential. Academically, the men featured a league-high four first-team Pac-10 All-Academic selections (Ryan Andrus, Adam Bergquist, Billy Pappas, John Stiegeler), and two Verizon Academic All-America Second-Team selections (Adam Bergquist, Billy Pappas).
WOMEN'S 2002 SEASON REVIEW: Four Ducks Claim Five All-America Nods.
The Ducks took flight in one of the best seasons in recent memory in 2002 as head coach Tom Heinonen guided five Ducks to the NCAA outdoor finale and 27th place as a team - their highest team finish since 1995. Individually, four Ducks took All-America honors outdoors (Becky Holliday, pole vault, third; Roslyn Lundeen, javelin, seventh; Mary Etter, discus, eighth; Elisa Crumley javelin, 12th), and indoors Holliday earned similar reviews for her seventh-place finish and Niki Reed (McEwen) also finished top 10 (10th). In the league showdown, the women were only three points away from doubling their score from 2001 and finished sixth (67 points). The 24-woman Oregon contingent featured three runners-up (Sarah Malone, javelin; Jenny Brogdon, high jump; Becky Holliday, pole vault) among its 13 scorers in 12 events. In the year-end USTCA Power Rankings, Oregon weighed in at 12th nationally and second among league members, and ended its dual slate with a 3-0 record with wins over Montana, Washington and Weber State. On the Pac-10 All-Academic charts, Oregon sported one first-team honoree (Jenny Kenyon) and two second-team selections (Eri Macdonald, Kirsten Riley), and a Verizon Third-Team Academic All-American (Kenyon).
NEWCOMERS TO WATCH: Duck M&W Feature 25 First-Year Ducks.
In 2003, the Duck men welcomed 16 men's newcomers in one of their deepest and most talented newcomer classes in recent memory. Assistant coach Steve Silvey quickly restocked the sprint and middle distance corps with four 48-second or faster quarter-milers (Travis Anderson, 47.09; Jordan Kent, 47.46; Matt Scherer, 46.87; Kyle Sunderland, 47.9) and four 1:53 or faster 800-meter runners (Jan Olszowy, 1:50.14; Kyle Sunderland, 1:52.4; Tomas Finol, 1:52.59; Ryan Flaherty, 1:52.73); and the seventh-ranked prep high hurdler last season (Eric Mitchum, 13.82). The field events corps features an equally accomplished group of new faces, including three freshman high jumpers with prep bests of 6-10 or better (Jeff Lindsey, 7-2; Teddy Davis, 6-11; Chad Clason, 6-10 1/4), a prep All-America pole vaulter (David Moore, 16-6), and another Pac-10 scoring hopeful in the decathlon (Gabriel LeMay, 6,832). Redshirt junior transfer and 2002 junior college heptathlon runner-up Abby Andrus headlined eight women's additions and owned prior personal bests and Pac-10 caliber marks in the hep (4,903), high jump (5-7), long jump (18-10 3/4), 100 hurdles (14.34) and 400 hurdles (62.70). Among freshmen, Nicole Feest (3,200, 10:59.7), a three-time cross country scorer last fall, and Montana state prep champion Whitney Gum (shot put 44-5; discus 136-3) also saw extensive duty as top UO newcomers in their specialties.
HAYWARD FIELD PROFILE: Eugene Welcomed its Ninth NCAA Finale in '01.
One of the most famous track facilities in the world, Hayward Field is named for Bill Hayward, who coached the Oregon's men's team from 1904-1947. Originally dedicated in 1919, the 10,205-seat stadium now boasts a capacity of 10,505 (including standing room). In 2001, the venue welcomed the world's fastest, strongest and most explosive to a Triple Crown of great meets - the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Prefontaine Classic (www.preclassic.com) and USA Outdoor Championships. Altogether, nine NCAA Championships (1962-64-72-78-74-77-91-96-01) have visited Track City USA, along with three Olympic Trials (1972-76-80) and six U.S. Championships (AAU 1971-75, TAC 1986, USATF-1993-99-01).
AT THE HELM: Duck Head Coach Profiles.
The dean of Oregon coaches, Tom Heinonen wraps up his 27th and final season as women's head coach and has led the Ducks to one NCAA track crown (1985) and six NorPac and Pac-10 Conference titles since the meets began in 1983 (1983-84-85-86-92-93). For the men, 2002 Pac-10 and West Region Track & Field Coach of the Year Martin Smith has seen Ducks collect 24 All-America honors and 14 Pac-10 titles in cross country and track already in his first 4 1/2 seasons in Eugene, including NCAA titles by Santiago Lorenzo and John Stiegeler outdoors in 2001 in the decathlon and javelin, respectively. Prior to his arrival in Eugene in July 1998, his Wisconsin runners posted two cross country NCAA team titles (1982-88), five NCAA individual track and cross country titles and 78 All-America honors (44 track and 34 XC).
ALL-AMERICA EQUATION: Breaking down the NCAA Honor.
Based on their NCAA Championships performances, individuals are awarded All-America honors at season's end by the U.S. Track Coaches Association. The top-eight finishers from each event are honored regardless of citizenship, and any additional U.S. finishers that are among the top eight American finishers are also rewarded. If necessary, the U.S.-based honors can even extend to the top performances in the preceding qualifying round if there are not eight Americans in the event's final.
TOP DUCK: Smith Pegged Top Men's Regional and Pac-10 Mentor.
At the end of the 2002 outdoor season, the U.S. Track Coaches Association (USTCA) tabbed University of Oregon men's track and field head coach Martin Smith as West Regional Men's Coach of the Year. The fourth-year Oregon mentor guided the Duck men to Pac-10 runner-up honors (125 points) as the squad featured five individual winners - the most by the Ducks since 1990 and tops among the conference last season. At the national level, seven Duck men qualified for the NCAA Championships in Baton Rouge, La., and indoors featured four NCAA participants and three All-Americans. The Ducks also ranked ninth on the USTCA power rankings, a dual-meet power index based on a squad's top two individuals and their season bests in each event (except the 10K and decathlon). His honor was based on a vote by regional coaches. In related news, Men's and Women's Regional Athlete of the Year honors went to Anson Henry and Ellannee Richardson from Washington State. For more information on the USTCA, go to their website (www.ustrackcoaches.org).
NCAA INDOOR MEN'S REWIND: Parker Repeats Fourth in 60.
In Fayetteville, Ark., in mid-March (3/14-15), senior Samie Parker led the UO men with his second straight fourth-place honor in the 60 (6.64). The first day, he lowered his school record in the event prelim by .01 seconds (fourth, 6.62), even after the field was whistled back after two false starts. The Long Beach, Calif., native entered the meet seeded 13th of 17 entries with a regular season best of 6.68, and in the final stood as the highest returning finisher from the 2002 edition. Overall in the event final, East Carolina's Julien Dunkley (first, 6.54) lowered his collegiate season best for the second straight day, this time by a .01-second margin, and edged Mississippi State senior and Canadian Pierre Browne (6.60) and Texas senior Tre Gardner (third, 6.62). In first day action, senior Adam Kriz added 15th in the 35-lb. weight throw in his NCAA indoor debut with his third-best mark ever (64-9 1/4). The Toledo, Ore., native entered the meet seeded 15th with a season best of 67-7 that ranked him 15th nationally, as the fifth-year Duck notched personal bests in his previous four meets in 2003, and all five of season marks, including the NCAA finale, outdistanced his preseason best of 61-7 1/2. In the collegiate indoor showdown, he launched his daily best on his first effort, then lost control and never released his second throw as he slowed his momentum, while his third throw - likely a new daily best - crossed over the left sector line by a couple inches.
NCAA INDOOR WOMEN'S REWIND: Duck Vaulters Put Three in Top 10.
In mid-March (3/14-15), redshirt senior Becky Holliday (second, indoor school record 14-3 1/4) led a trio of top-10 Duck finishers in the NCAA Indoor Championships pole vault and just missed winning the event. Second seeded entering the competition, she did not miss an attempt until her final height of 14-7 1/4 and was in prime position to win after first-attempt clearances at 13-3 1/2, 13-7 1/4 and 14-3 1/4, until Florida State sophomore Lacy Janson cleared her third and final attempt at 14-7 1/4 (then missed her three attempts at the next height of 14-10 3/4). Even more impressive, the Sparks, Nevada native Holliday cleared the last three heights on a borrowed pole from an Arkansas vaulter, after the correct pole was inadvertently left in Eugene. In contrast, Holliday's final clearance was nearly two feet higher than her season opener in mid-January, the Pole Vault Summit (12-5 1/2 ). Afterwards in February, she picked up momentum with marks of 13-2 1/4 and a school record 14-1 3/4 in a pair of meets in Nampa, Idaho. Redshirt senior Niki McEwen also wrapped up her indoor collegiate career by matching her highest NCAA placing with her second-highest clearance ever (fourth, 13-11 1/4). The Newport, Ore., native also began the competition with a clean slate converting opening attempts at 13-3 1/2, 13-7 1/4 and 13-11 1/4, before narrowly missing several of her chances at 14-3 1/4. The third seed entering the meet, McEwen's finish marked her third All-America honor for the Ducks in her sixth NCAA appearance indoors and outdoors, including fifth place outdoors in 1999 (12-9 1/2) and fourth place indoors in 2000 (13-5 1/4). Indoors in 2003, she stood out as the Ducks' most consistent pole vaulter with four clearances of 13-9 1/4 or better, including a then-school record in her season opener (14-1 1/4) in the Pole Vault Summit. However, her toughness stood out after she had missed two weeks of training in mid-February because of a bout with shingles. Rounding out Oregon's third, top-10 finisher in the event, junior Kirsten Riley enjoyed an auspicious NCAA debut, matching her personal best (10th, 13-3 1/2) and just missed her attempts at a 4 1/4-inch improvement (13-7 3/4). The Eugene native and South High School graduate entered the meet seeded in a tie for 13th, and opened the evening with first-attempt clearances at 12-5 1/2 and 12-11 1/2. She then needed a third-attempt clearance at 13-3 1/2 on the same borrowed pole that Holliday used for her runner-up finish. Overall in the event, indoor collegiate record holder and top seeded Amy Linnen of Arizona followed in sixth, while other top placers included Arkansas' April Steiner (third, 14-3 1/4) and Georgia' Fanni Juhasz (fifth, 13-7 1/4). The NCAA field altogether featured six Pac-10 entries - all of whom finished top-12.
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