Meet Records Fall Along with Rain and Lightning at Cougar Invite Meet

April 23, 2005

PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Sixth Annual Cougar Invitational Track & Field Meet saw seven meet records fall in spite of an 80-minute suspension of competition due to a thunderstorm Saturday at Mooberry Track on the Washington State University campus.

Cougars broke meet records in the women's javelin, men's pole vault, men's and women's 3000m race, and the women's 400m dash. Jenna Dean and Rachel Bertholf went one-two for the Cougars in the women's javelin with throws of 161-6 (49.22m) and 160-9 (49.00m), respectively. While both are NCAA Regional Qualifying marks, both women have better marks this year.

WSU's Tyson Byers and Paul Nicoletti were the last men competing in the men's pole vault when lightning struck the area and the storm broke open. Byers cleared 17-4 1/2 (5.30m) and Paul Nicoletti soared to an outdoor PR of 17-0 3/4 (5.20m), both NCAA RQs but only Nicoletti's was an improved mark this season.

Setting meet distance records were Ryan Friemuth in the men's 3k race in a time of 8:39.22 and Natalie Smith in the women's 3k at 10:32.34.

Terran Legard, running unattached, won the women's 400m dash with a time of 54.94 seconds while WSU's Julie Pickler clocked in second at 55.26, both meet records.

James Stacey, Team Alberta, men's hammer 228-5 (69.62m) while WSU volunteer assistant coach Ebbie Metzinger won the women's pole vault with a meet record 13-3 1/2 (4.05m).

WSU freshman Sarah Burns won both the long jump and triple jump events while redshirt freshman McKenzie Burgess won the women's shot put and then finished behind Cougar volunteer assistant coach Andrea Thornton in the discus and the hammer. WSU women won both relay races.

Ryan Thomas was a double winner in the men's high jump and the long jump. With James McSwain resting, Cougar Jaycee Robertson stepped up with a win in the men's 100m dash and WSU won both relay races.

WSU swept the top three spots in the men's intermediate hurdles with John Cassleman, Eric Nygard and Tyler Fischback leading the way. Phil Hinrichs won the men's 1500m.

Cougar freshman Jon Jeffreys did not win the men's javelin but did throw an NCAA RQ and PR of 207-1 (63.12m), losing to former WSU All-American Curt Borland who threw 214-5. Drew Ulrick won the men's discus with an NCAA RQ throw of 170-10, but not his best of this season.

'I'm not sure what went on with the Huskies down in Oregon today but I feel good about where we are right now,' Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. 'It seems like we got through this meet healthy. We just have to get two to three days of training in this week and get well-rested and go over and put our best out there against the Huskies. It is going to be a very difficult challenge. They are good on the men's side and they are good on the women's side. We have to be spot-on with our performances to have an opportunity to beat them but I think it can be done. But we're going to have to be at our best. Some of the marks we got today are encouraging especially leading us into the conference championships. Championship season starts tomorrow for the Cougs and we're in that level of preparation.'

Washington State travels to Seattle next weekend for the Husky Dual Meet, Saturday, April 30, at Husky Stadium.

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