Evans Wins High Jump at NCAA West Regional Championships

May 31, 2003

STANFORD, Calif. -- The Washington State University women's track and field team had a great day Saturday in the second day of events at the debut NCAA West Regional Track & Field Meet at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the Stanford campus.

Riding the ten points of Whitney Evans' win in the high jump and the eight points of the women's 4x400m relay squad's second place finish, the WSU women's team finished sixth among the 24 teams competing in the first-ever regional qualifying meet. The Cougar women tallied 43 points for sixth place. UCLA's women's team won with 138 points.

On the men's side, WSU finished tied with Washington for 12th place among the 27 teams with 17 points. UCLA's men's team won the title with 101 points. The team scoring format was 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 for eight places in the 19 men's and 19 women's events.

The top five places in each event will advance to the NCAA Div. I Outdoor Track & Field Championships June 11-14, at Sacramento. An additional six to eight additional participants in each event will be selected from among the four regional meets to compete as at large entrants at the national championships.

Evans, a seven-time All-American and senior from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, will be competing in her fourth outdoor national championship after winning the high jump by clearing the bar at 5-10 1/2 (1.79m) and edging out Kaylene Wagner from Cal Poly and Sheena Gordon from UCLA on fewer attempts. Cougar teammates Robin Mikesh (freshman, Sumner, Wash.) and Briana Willis (senior, Ravensdale, Wash.) finished tied for 17th in the high jump with leaps of 5-5 1/4 (1.66m).

The Cougar women's 4x400m relay team broke their own school record with a scorching second-place finish in 3 minutes, 33.65 seconds. The squad of Tiffany Giles (senior, Seattle, Wash.), Monique Jessie (junior, Compton, Calif.), Tamara Gulley (junior, San Jose, Calif.) and Ellannee Richardson (senior, Gladstone, Ore.) ran a school record 3:36.73 at the Texas Relays (April 5) and also finished seventh at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a school indoor record time of 3:35.49i. UCLA's relay team ran 3:31.62 for first place. WSU's Richardson ran down the San Diego State anchor leg to grab second place with a blistering 50.6-second final lap.

Giles, Jessie and Richardson will also be competing at the national meet in individual events. Giles ran a lifetime-best time of 53.34 for fifth place in the 400m dash and Jessie placed fourth in the 400m intermediate hurdles after running a lifetime-best time of 58.32. Richardson, sixth today in the 100m hurdles after equaling her PR of 13.52, is the national leader in the heptathlon.

Joining Evans and the racers at the NCAA Championships in two weeks, is a sprinter turned triple jumper, junior Bree Skinner (Pasco, Wash.). Skinner soared to a PR mark of 41-0 1/2 (12.41m) for fourth place in the triple jump on her final attempt. Teammate Blessing Ufodiama (junior, Long Beach, Calif.) finished seventh after leaping a wind-aided 40-5 (12.32m).

Bennie Chatman (senior, Houston, Texas) finished third in the men's 100m dash with a time of 10.40w, nowhere near his PR of 10.12w. Samie Parker, Oregon, won the event in 10.25w while Rashad Allen, Northridge, was second in 10.36w. WSU's leading sprinter, Anthony Buchanan (junior, Spokane, Wash.) re-aggravated his hamstring injury in the prelims and did not qualify for the final but his time of 10.10w was tied for second in the national standings.

Eric Dudley (senior, Bellingham, Wash.) will make his second trip to the national meet after finishing fourth in the 400m intermediate hurdles with a time of 50.73, in spite of a sore hamstring.

Chatman and Dudley will join junior Kurtiss Dilley at the NCAA Outdoor Championships after Dilley finished fifth in the men's high jump Friday.

Tim Gehring (junior, Kettle Falls, Wash.) also scored a point for the Cougar men Saturday with his eighth place finish in the shot put with a throw of 58-11 1/4 (17.96m).

Results of other Cougars competing Saturday included Marie Muai (sophomore, Tacoma, Wash.) placing 10th in the discus at 162-10 (49.63m) and 18th in the hammer at 167-0 (50.91m). In the men's pole vault, all three Cougars cleared the bar at 16-7 1/4 (5.06m) but Tyson Byers (freshman, Spokane, Wash.) finished 10th, while Paul Nicoletti (sophomore, Snohomish, Wash.) and Rick Collins (senior, Spokane, Wash.) finished tied for 12th, based on attempts. In the men's javelin, Matt McGee (senior, Berkeley, Calif.) finished 10th (215-1/65.56m), Curt Borland (junior, Cowiche, Wash.) 11th (212-8/64.83m) and Nate Cummings (junior, Clarkston, Wash.) 18th (193-9/59.07m). Jamil Smith (sophomore, Palmdale, Calif.) leaped 48-8 1/4w (14.84m) for 14th place in the men's triple jump.

QUOTES FROM WSU HEAD COACH Rick Sloan:'Whitney Evans has viral bronchitis and almost coughed up a lung between jumps and felt very punk. She had no strength in her legs and its amazing she performed at the level that she did feeling the way she did and looking the way she did. I don't know how she got over bars but she just kept making them. She managed to get the thing done, as usual.

'The 4x400m relay splits were Tiffany was 54.2, Monique was 54.0, Tamara was 54.8 and ran for 320 meters and then really died off at the end. Ellannee was just mind-boggling at 50.6 seconds. That was an impressive run.

'Tiffany's 400m run was strong. She said she felt heavy-legged on the back stretch going into the turn and not at her usual full stride. And then she hit her stride on the second turn and started moving great. It was a terrific run for her.

'Monique ran a gigantic PR for her at 58.32. She ran a great race. These women competed great at this thing and just did a terrific job and matching the competition level we were up against and going beyond.

'Ellannee had a great run in the high hurdles. I was pulling for her to get her school record back from Agneta (Rosenblad) but she came within 1/100s of a second of being a qualifier.

'Bree Skinner on her final triple jump got out to 41-feet, 1/2 inch for fourth place. And that is just phenomenal for the limited experience she's had in the triple jump, to be going to the NCAA is a tremendous job.

'At any track and field meet we go to, there are things we expect to have happen and disappointments where we expect more and we don't get it. Generally, there are one or two people who do something that just warms your heart and makes the whole day worthwhile. At the Pac-10 meet and at this meet, Bree Skinner was one of the people who came up with that type of performance where you just say Wow, what a great job.

'Bennie Chatman looked a lot better than his time indicated. He was running well and was probably disappointing for him. The important thing at this competition is to be competing again in a couple of weeks.

'I think Eric Dudley expected a better time for himself. I don't know if his hamstring was bothering him or not but he's been nurturing that along since last week. He took it easy in the prelim. He got out and ran hard (in the final) and was going good down the backstretch then he faded back on the turn. I don't know if he hit his strides correctly. He was back in sixth place going into the last hurdle and then just came with a big push in the end for fourth.'

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