M&W Track Teams Add Four All-America Honors on NCAA Third Day
June 13, 2003
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In the third day of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, the University of Oregon track and field teams added three All-America honors on the men's side, while the Duck women claimed their first honor of the meet.
On the men's side, senior Samie Parker wrapped up his sprint career in the evening finale, the 100-meter-dash, in front of a crowd of 8,900 cheering spectators. The Long Beach, Calif., native overcame two false starts to finish fifth (10.41, w:+2.0), and only .16 seconds behind the winner, Mardy Scales of Middle Tennessee State (10.25).
'It's nice to be in the final and be an All-American, but I was hoping to run faster,' Parker said. 'I know I'm capable of running getting down in the low-10's. Tonight I think I went after it a little too hard going into the middle phase, and I paid for it some in the end.'
Parker, a two-time indoor All-American in the 60 (fourth in '02; third in '03), advanced to his first NCAA outdoor final Friday evening after running clockings on Wednesday of 10.44 (w:0.0) in the semifinal, and 10.53 (w:-0.4) in the prelims. He also improved one place on his sixth-place pre-race seeding based on his season best of 10.18 from the Pac-10 prelims - a time that also ranks him second all-time for the Ducks behind Don Coleman (10.11).
The Long Beach, Calif., and top football receiver from last fall became only the second Duck All-American in the event, and joined another two-sport star Pat Johnson who took eighth in the final as a freshman in 1995. Altogether this season, Parker ran times of 10.34 or faster in his five races before the NCAA finale (including windy efforts), and altogether the year, nine of his 11 races in 2003 were faster than his pre-season personal best of 10.61 from the Oregon Preview his freshman season in 2000.
'I'm most proud of the season as a whole,' Parker said. 'Not many people would have believed that I could accomplish what I did. I knew I was capable of getting there last year, but I got hurt right before Pac-10s (strained hamstring) and couldn't do much in that race. I'm glad I was able to stay healthy this year. Now I'll take two weeks off and get some rest, then start to get back into shape for the fall.'
The Duck men added a pair of additional All-America honors in the field events.
Early in the day in the hammer, redshirt senior Adam Kriz scored in his NCAA return (fifth, 220-2) after entering the meet seeded seventh. The Toledo, Ore., native uncorked his second-best mark of his career on his second throw of the prelims, and also had efforts of 218-2 (first), 195-5 (third), foul (fourth), 211-8 (fifth) and 219-11 (sixth). Overall in the event, Georgia junior Lucais MacKay from nearby Modesto, Calif., improved from a fifth-place seeding to win (230-3) by a nearly eight-foot margin over Colorado's Drew Loftin (second, 222-6).
'My first throw was a play by the numbers one,' Kriz said, 'then I had a more mechanical effort on the second one. On my third throw, I loosened it up. In the finals, I tensed up a little on the fourth, while the fifth one felt alright. I thought the last one was out there, but it didn't go as far as I hoped. I had realized before that one I was thinking too much, so I just tried to slow it down and go back to the basics. (Overall) I wanted to throw better, but at some point you have to look back at what happened and say that wasn't so bad. Then you go back and change your mind a few days later to get fired up again for the next meet.'
Ending his career rankedfourth-ranked all-time for the Ducks, Kriz wrapped up a season that featured his current personal best (221-3) that won his second straight Pac-10 title by a two-inch margin. Altogether during the year, he topped his preseason personal best of 210-7 in six of nine appearances, and will look forward next weekend to a return trip to California for the USA Championships (6/19-22) at Stanford.
'I didn't look at this meet as the end of my career,' Kriz said. 'Partly since I have USA's next week, but also because I'm going to keep throwing. Every time I started to think that way, I tried to refocus and get more prepared for the next throw. USA's should be fun since it's my first one and there's a lot less stress. I really felt a lot of pressure at Pac-10s because the team was depending on me for points, so every inch counted - literally. This meet is more about you, so you have to be selfish, and do everything you can to maximize your finish, and then the team takes advantage of the points from your place afterwards.'
Kriz stood out as another of the team's Cinderella stories from its storied hammer history, walking-on as a freshman after taking top-three finishes as a prep senior at Toledo High School in 1998 in the shot put (second, 52-3 3/4) and discus (third, 156-11). A year later he took sixth in the 1999 U.S. Junior Championships (162-9) with a then-personal best, and was a four-time Pac-10 scorer in the event.
'My philosophy coming in as a freshman is the same as it is now,' Kriz said, 'to try and improve myself, as a person, and to use throwing as a tool. To be honest, what I do in a meet hasn't changed a whole lot since middle schools - I have the same rituals and mentality. (As far as this year), I didn't feel any big sudden improvements this year - more of a subtle progression - although my marks would indicate I was probably doing something notably better.'
In contrast, former NCAA champion John Stiegeler also wrapped up his Duck career with a gutsy fourth-place finish (241-5) thanks to a 13-foot, 3-inch season best that elevated him from an 18th-place pre-meet seeding. Stiegeler posted marks of 227-7 (first throw), 233-2 (second), 241-5 (third), then fouled his last three throws with his trademark rainbow style that could have measured farther if they were legal, but a few feet shy of the right sector line.
'I came in gunning for the win, and even though it didn't happen, I have to be thankful that I had the opportunity to be here,' Stiegeler said. 'On my first throw I tried to get a good safety throw in, and it went OK, so I opened it up a little on the second one,. After I made the final I let it rip and gave it all I had. The difference between popping a big throw in the quadrant is a few hundredths of a second once you hit the block. My timing wasn't quite on, but I know I'm moving the right direction physically. I want to thank my family, teammates and everybody for being behind me and giving me support throughout my career. The injuries have taught me a lot, and it'll make me that much more focused in the next year.'
The school record holder's soap opera career came to a close on another high note Wednesday. The former would-be Oregon State football kicker came to the Ducks the following 2000 season and finished ninth in his Pac-10 debut. A year later, he had hiked his personal best from a freshman collegiate season best of 215-10 to a school record of 252-10 on his second attempt of the NCAA finale in Eugene, and became the Ducks' seventh NCAA champion in the event. However, his 2002 season ended abruptly in April after an ACL knee injury tear in the Texas Relays that required two major knee surgeries in the next two months. He returned this season after 10 months of rehab to step up when the team needed him with third-place Pac-10 (212-0) and fourth-place West Regional efforts (then-eight-foot season best of 228-2).
'I was pretty low after Pac-10s but I talked to (post-collegiate long jumper) Kevin Dilworth at the Pre Meet, and he helped me put things back into perspective,' Stiegeler said. 'That cleared away some of the cobwebs mentally and re-energized me. I'm looking forward to climbing back in the U.S. mix, and I think I'm going to delay my final two terms of grad school for a year to prepare for the U.S. Olympic Trails (which return to Sacramento next summer).'
Overall in the event, Penn's fourth-seeded Brian Chaput won the event by a 12-foot margin (258-2) on his fifth throw, to edge Boise State's Rob Minnitti (second, 246-3).
Also in the field events, junior Trevor Woods claimed his second All-America honor and his first on the outdoor circuit, thanks to a four-way tie for eighth place (16-10 3/4). Nebraska's Eric Eshbach bested the 12-man final (17-10 1/2) at the same height but with fewer overall misses then BYU's Trent Powell (second) and Florida's Brian DaCunha third).
Woods entered the meet seeded in a tie for ninth with a season best of 17-8 1/2 from the Texas Relays in April, but had only cleared 17 feet twice outdoors this year after radically altering his plant and takeoff position to improve his chance to go higher in the future.
'It was a tough way to end a tough year,' Woods said, 'but all the marks were surprisingly low. You never want to complain that the wind effected you, but to be honest it did today - and just the low winning height alone shows that. But place-wise, it effected everyone - it would switch from a crosswind to a headwind constantly, and all I got was headwinds. (With the radical change in my technique) I don't have a lot of margin to adjust my form. I'll take a little time off, but will then get back to work this summer and might do some of the all-comers meets. I have a lot of work to do, and I need to get started.'
Woods' first outdoor honor came after just missing similar NCAA reviews in 2002 in Baton Rouge (ninth, 17-4 1/2) and a no-heigh at home in Eugene in 2001 as a true freshman. Ranked fourth-all-time for the Ducks with an outdoor best of 18-0 1/2, he also owns an indoor best of 17-11 3/4 that placed him third in his only NCAA indoor appearance in 2002.
On the women's side, sophomore javelin thrower Roslyn Lundeen overcame a season battling elbow injuries to notch her second All-America honor with one of her best series of the season. The Victoria, B.C. native recorded marks of 152-0 (first), 159-0 (second), 157-2 (third), 153-2 (fourth), foul (fifth) and 147-8 (sixth).
'It's been a tough year with a lot of distractions,' Lundeen said, 'so I should be pleased with another All-America effort. I had a lot more there today, but I couldn't handle the speed technically and kept losing my tip. It's been similar to the problems all year, but I did the best with what I had today.'
Lundeen entered the meet seeded 17th with her slightly-better season best of 159-8 from her runner-up Pac-10 mark. Altogether in 2003, she topped 155 feet in her seven of eight appearances, including a win in the Pepsi Team Invite (157-7) and another runner-up finish in the Oregon Twilight (158-3). As a freshman, Lundeen weathered similar elbow troubles but overcame them for similar honors in the NCAA finale (seventh, 165-4) with a mark just shy of her Canadian junior record and season best of 166-11 - and also ranks her fourth all-time for the Ducks.
'I think I only had one meet this year that was better than my worst last year,' Lundeen said, 'so obviously I wasn't there 100 percent mentally and physically. I couldn't keep my elbow healthy for any extended periods, and gave the team what I had, which wasn't always a lot. All in all, I was fairly pleased with the finish so hopefully it's something I can build off for next year.'
Friday's competition was won by Indiana senior Irina Kharun who broke the collegiate record by almost six feet with her final throw (202-1) after climbing to third all-time among collegians on her third throw of the competition (193-8). Overall, the Hoosier won by more than 30 feet over USC's Inga Stasiulionyte (second, 171-5), the top returnee from last year and also the NCAA runner-up inj 2002. 'It was exciting to see her (Irina) throw,' Lundeen said. 'Watching her launch it that far gets you going, and let's you know the conditions are ripe for good marks.'
Also Friday, redshirt junior Abby Andrus competed in the opening day of her first NCAA heptathlon, as the Peoria, Ariz., native and Paradise Valley CC transfer ranks 27th of 27 entries after the first day with 2,926 points. Event-wise, she posted a .01-second personal best mark of 25.69 in the 200, and also claimed marks of 32-3 in the shot put, 5-2 1/2 in the high jump, and 14.86 in the 100 hurdles.
'It was a disappointing start because I was hoping to run so much faster in the hurdles (her best is 13.99w), although I haven't been able to do much training the past two weeks due to a leg injury. I still I had a decent finish in the 200 to end the day, so the only thing I can do is look ahead to Saturday and do my best.'
Overall in the event, Georgia junior Hyleas Fountain leads with 3,684 points, ahead of Idaho senior Angela Whyte (second, 3,506) and Washington State senior Ellannee Ricdhardson (third, 3,432).
Andrus and the rest of the heptathlete field returns for three events Saturday - the long jump, javelin and 800. Other Duck competitors in the meet's fourth and final day include seniors Niki McEwen and Becky Holliday in the pole vault, and redshirt sophomore Eric Logsdon in the 5,000.
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