UW Freshman Earns U.S. Junior National Team Berth

June 26, 2004

Washington freshman Brian Harris placed second in the javelin Saturday at the 2004 USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships, earning junior All-American honors and one of two spots on the United States' junior national team which will compete in Italy next month at the IAAF World Junior Championships. The three-day USA Junior Nationals at Texas A&M's Anderson Track and Field Complex began Friday and conclude Sunday.

American athletes who are at least 14 years of age as of the day of competition, and will not turn 20 before Dec. 31 of the current year are given a 'junior' designation by USA Track and Field, and are eligible to compete at the Junior National Championships. The top two finishers in each event at the Junior Nationals are automatically qualified for the World Junior Championships., provided they have met the world meet's qualifying standard.

A native of Hillsboro, Ore., Harris tossed his first attempt 211 feet, 8 inches, a mark unbeaten until the final round of throws, when high-schooler Mark Taylor of Ruston, La., launched a 214-foot, 10-inch effort for the win. Having not surpassed the world qualifying standard of 215-0 at any point this season, however, Taylor will not compete in Italy; Harris, with a season-best of 221-0, will instead be the United States' top qualifier at the world meet, where he will be joined by Emporia State's Andrew Vogelsberg, the third-place finisher Saturday.

Nearly 18 hours passed between Harris' first throw and Taylor's last, as persistent thunderstorms forced officials to postpone the men's javelin finals -- originally scheduled to follow Friday night's prelims -- to Saturday morning.

In his first year at Washington, Harris rocketed up the U.S. junior rankings, his best mark of 221-0 at May's dual with Washington State in Pullman the third-best by a freshman thrower in the United States this year. He was the fourth-place finisher at the Pac-10 Championships, and took seventh at the NCAA West Regional meet, just missing an NCAA Championships berth.

Washington will have one athlete in action Sunday, as freshman Stevie Marshalek of Kent seeks a World Junior Championships qualifying effort in the women's pole vault. The 14th-place finisher at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, Marshalek has already exceeded the World Junior Championships standard in the event, and thus needs only a top-two finish Sunday to join Harris in Italy next month.

For complete schedules and results from the 2004 USA Junior National Track and Field Championships, visit www.usatf.org.

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