Borland, Ufodiama, and Men's 400m Relay Advance to NCAA Track Championships

May 29, 2004

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -- The Washington State University men took 10th place and the women finished 19th Saturday at the NCAA West Region Track & Field Championships, held at Matador Track on the campus of Cal State Northridge. UCLA's men and women took team titles with identical totals of 141 points as 23 men's teams and 25 women's teams scored at the regional meet.

The Cougar men's 4x100m relay team of Martin Boston, Jaycee Robertson, James McSwain and Anthony Buchanan ran a time of 39.58 seconds and finished behind only Arizona State's 38.92 in the final. The finish mirrored Friday's prelims as ASU clocked in with the top time of 39.46 while WSU ran the second-fastest time in the prelim heats of 39.84 and was ranked ninth nationally before the meet.

Later in the afternoon, Buchanan and McSwain finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in the men's 100m dash finals. Buchanan, a senior from Spokane, Wash., ran a time of 10.69 while McSwain, a sophomore from Las Vegas, Nev., ran a time of 10.73. A two-time Pac-10 champion, Buchanan had posted the fastest time of prelims Friday, a wind-aided 10.40 seconds in the second heat in spite of cramping up at the end of the race. Buchanan came into the meet ranked sixth nationally. USC's Phillip Frances won the race in 10.41.

'We told Anthony to run under control in the 400m relay since he cramped up Friday at the end of his 100m dash prelim,' Cougar Assistant Coach Mark Macdonald said. 'Anthony said he ran in control but he got the stick and pretty much powered it home. We feel that both the relay and Anthony should receive at-large bids to the NCAA Championships because of their national standings regardless of the outcome at the West Regional.'

The Cougar coaches also expected Matt Mason (long jump) and Tim Gehring (shot put) to receive at-large bids to the championships next week.

Curt Borland, a senior from Cowiche, Wash., threw the javelin a lifetime-best distance of 69.88m/229-feet, 3 inches, for third place and a trip to the NCAA Championships in two weeks. Borland's PR toss was his fourth attempt on the day and bettered his mark by 7-feet, 3 inches, and is the seventh best in WSU men's javelin history. Doug Lefler, from Long Beach State, won the men's javelin with a toss of 72.35m/237-4.

'Curt had a series of a lifetime and competed so well,' Cougar Associate Head Coach Debra Farwell said. 'I couldn't be more happy for him. He realized how important competing in the javelin was for him, got a second chance and made the most of it. He wasn't going to let anything stand in his way.'

Senior Blessing Ufodiama (Long Beach. Calif.) finished third in the women's triple jump with a leap of 12.78m/41-11 1/4, and will make her first appearance at the NCAA Championships next month. Kamila Rywelska, BYU, won the event with a distance of 13.00m/42-8.

Two Cougar women scored in the javelin as Jenna Dean finished sixth with a throw of 46.11m/151-3 and Rachel Bertholf was seventh with a season-best throw of 45.80m/150-3. Karla Pfaff's javelin throw of 40.75m/133-8 was 23rd. Dean's toss was four feet less than the fifth-place finish, just missing being among the top five place winners to advance to the NCAA Championships. Oregon's Sarah Malone won the event with a throw of 52.98m/173-10.

Jamil Smith's PR triple jump of 15.80m/51-10 was fifth-best going into the final attempts. Smith fouled on a long leap and Cal's Vincent Ibia soared to a PR of 15-85m/52-0, jumping up to fourth place and dropping the Cougar junior down to sixth place, out of the NCAA Championships. Smith's mark is the 10th best men's triple jump in WSU history.

The men's 4x400m relay squad of Dione Cason, Eric Nygard, John Cassleman, and Qieed Ishmael took sixth place with a season-best time of 3:09.63. Arizona State won the 1600m relay with a time of 3:01.77.

Paul Nicoletti cleared only the opening height in the pole vault, 4.86m/15-11 1/4, to finish tied for 16th. Oregon's Tommy Skipper cleared 5.75m/18-10 1/4 to win the event.

Monique Jessie finished ninth in the women's 400m hurdles with a season-best time of 59.76. UCLA's Sheena Johnson won the race in a time of 54.91.

In the women's high jump, Robin Mikesh and Stephanie Jaross both reached a nine-way tie for 11th place after clearing the bar at 1.69m/5-6 1/2. UCLA's Sheena Gordon was the high jump winner after clearing 1.88m/6-2.

Shannon Rance finished 16th in the women's shot put with a toss of 14.12m/46-4. Stanford's Jillian Camarena won the shot put with a throw of 16.96m/55-7 3/4.

Freshman Drew Ulrick finished 16th in the men's discus with a throw of 49.10m/161-1. UCLA's Dan Ames won the discus with a throw of 57.71m/189-4.

The Cougar women's 4x400m relay team did not run in the Saturday after senior Tamara Gulley reaggravated a groin injury in the pre-race warm-up area and the team had no replacement.

The NCAA Div. I Outdoor Track & Field Championships will take place June 9-12, at Austin, Texas.

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