Cougs Fare Well at NCAA West Regional Track Meet First Day

May 27, 2005

EUGENE, Ore. -- Washington State University scored in both men's and women's field events and advanced a relay and three individual runners during the preliminary races Friday at the NCAA West Region Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

The top five finishers at each regional event automatically advance to the NCAA Championships, June 8-11, at Sacramento. The next three finishers in each event in each region will be placed in a descending order list using season-best marks and will be selected for participation in the national meet until competitive fields are filled.

Drew Ulrick (sophomore, Spokane) finished sixth in the men's discus with a lifetime-best throw of 182-feet, 4 inches (55.59m). His mark, just two inches off the 10th-best in school history, is the fifth-best among the at-large competitors and should get him a spot at the NCAA Championships. Stanford's Michael Robertson won the event with a toss of 201-0 (61.26m).

Ulrick's first throw was 172-10 and his second throw was a foul, thrown out of the sector at around the 170 mark. His third throw equaled his PR of 177-5 and he became the ninth and last qualifier for the final. His fourth throw was a PR of 178-3 while the fifth throw only went 172-9. He bounced back for a final toss and PR of 182-4.

'I came into this meet thinking, `I'm ranked 15th and this could be my last meet of the year so I have nothing to hold back',' Ulrick said. 'Usually I don't open up that big but on my first throw I threw 172. I kept building on that mark, barely made finals and I still had nothing to lose. I gave my all, held nothing back and got my season-best and lifetime PR. Just getting to nationals would be a big deal in itself but I want to stay in this moment right here. This has been my goal since the end of last season and I want to savory it.'

Tamara Diles (junior, Bellevue) finished tied for eighth in the women's pole vault. Diles passed on the first two bars at heights of 12-0 (3.66m) and 12-6 (3.81m) and didn't clear until her third attempt at 12-11 3/4 (3.96m). She missed all three attempts at 13-3 3/4 (4.06m) but with her season-best mark at 13-7 1/4 (4.15m), she should make the NCAA Championships field. Washington's Kate Soma won the event after clearing the bar at 13-7 3/4 (4.16m).

The men's 4x100m relay team of Martin Boston, James McSwain, Eric Nygard and Jaycee Robertson qualified for the Saturday final after running a season-best time of 39.91 seconds, the third-fastest time in the prelim heats. Arizona State clocked in with the top time Friday of 39.40, followed by USC's 39.42.

McSwain's time of 10.28 seconds in the men's 100m dash was the top time of the two prelim heats and he will run in the Saturday final. USC's Wes Felix had the next fastest time of 10.53.

Haley Paul (freshman, Phoenix, Ariz.) qualified for the women's 1500m final with a time of 4:29.33. USC's Iryna Vashchuk ran the top time in the prelims of 4:25.34.

John Cassleman (sophomore, Pullman) ran the fastest time in the men's 400m hurdles prelims at 51.36 seconds. Eric Nygard (junior, Wenatchee) ran a time of 53.31 which was 12th overall and did not advance to the final.

In the men's javelin, Cougars Jon Jeffreys (freshman, Spokane Valley) and Ryan Scott (redshirt freshman, Kalama) threw only in the prelims. Scott's 192-11 (58.80m) was 16th and Jeffreys' 182-0 (55.48m) was 20th overall.

Justin Ireland (redshirt junior, Issaquah) ran the men's 1500m in a time of 4:03.03 and did not qualify for the final.

The NCAA West Region action concludes Saturday evening. Results can be found on the NCAA Championships website or

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