WSU Sprinters Race Well at NCAA West Region Track & Field Championships

May 26, 2006

PROVO, Utah -- Washington State University's sprinters and men's relay team led the way as the Cougar track and field teams competed Friday at the 2006 NCAA Div. I West Region Track & Field Championships atClarence F. Robison Track and Field Complex on the Brigham Young University Provo campus. Competitors who finish first through fifth place will go on to compete at the NCAA Div. I Championships, June 7-10, at Sacramento.

In the preliminary races, WSU's men's 4x100m relay team of Brian Woods, James McSwain, Justin Woods and Jaycee Robertson won the second of two heats to advance to the Saturday final. The Cougar squad ran the third-fastest time of the day at 39.81 seconds, behind USC and Oregon's times of 39.67.

McSwain (senior, Las Vegas) and Robertson (junior, Spanaway, Wash.) did not have to run in a prelim for the 100m dash but Robertson and Justin Woods did run in the 200m prelims and both advanced to the final. Woods, a freshman from Buena Vista, Calif., ran the second-fastest time of the heats, a personal-best wind-aided 20.66. Robertson's time of 20.91w was also a PR. Robertson was fourth in last year's West Region meet and competed at the NCAA Championships.

John Cassleman (junior, Pullman) ran the second-fastest 400m hurdles prelim time of 51.06 and will compete in the final. Brandi Probasco-Canda (junior, Portland, Ore.) ran a 400m dash prelim time of 55.30 to be the eighth qualifier for the Saturday final.

Cougar high jumper McKinnon Hanson (sophomore, LaPush, Wash.) cleared 5-feet, 7 1/4 inches (1.71m) to finish in a three-way tie for fourth place with Long Beach State's Emily Forsythe and Arizona State heptathlete Jacquelyn Johnson. In the jump-off to break the tie, all three missed at 5-9 1/4 (1.76m) but Forsythe was the only one to clear the bar at 5-8 (1.73m) to claim fourth place. At the next height, 5-7 (1.70m), both Hanson and Johnson cleared the bar. With the bar back up to 5-8 (1.73m), Johnson cleared for fifth place and Hanson missed, dropping her to sixth place.

Senior Jenna Dean (Glenwood, Wash.) was in fifth place in the javelin after the preliminary round with a toss of 156-11 (47.48m) but dropped to sixth place after the final three throws. Dean, who competed at the 2005 national meet, still has a chance to be chosen as an at-large competitor for the 2006 NCAA Championships as does Cougar freshman Matt Lamb. Lamb (Emmett, Idaho) finished seventh in the men's discus with a toss of 187-8 (52.21m) while Drew Ulrick (junior, Spokane) threw 173-2 (52.78m) which was 16th.

Sophomore cross country All-American Haley Paul (Phoenix, Ariz.) ran a time of 17:45.67 in the women's 5000m for 11th place.

Robert Williams (freshman, Riverside, Calif.) ran a PR time of 14.22w seconds in the 110m hurdles prelims but was ninth overall, missing the top eight spot by .02 seconds. Katie Miller (senior, Vancouver, Wash.) finished 12th in the women's 100m hurdles prelims with a time of 14.03w.

In field finals, Phil MacArthur (redshirt-freshman, Selkirk, Wash.) threw the hammer 183-11 (56.06m) for 14th place. Jessica Zita (sophomore, Echo, Ore.) threw the shot put 40-10 1/2 (12.46m) for 21st place.

In the women's team standings after the first day, UCLA leads with 32.5 points and Arizona State was second with 31 while WSU's seven points was ninth. On the men's side, Arizona leads with 44 points, UCLA is second with 29.5, and WSU is 14th with two points.

'I think the Cougars competed very well today, for the most part,' WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. 'People brought their 'A' game and competed very well throughout the day. We'll have to wait and see about some people I think can get through to the national championships based on the marks they have been able to acquire. We have to wait to see who makes declarations into the events. Hopefully we will get a sizable team going to the national championships in Sacramento.'

The NCAA West Regional competition concludes Saturday.

MORE Rick Sloan QUOTES:'James was a little rusty but he looks good. He said he felt a little out of control but he still looked good running the back stretch on the relay. We had very conservative passes on the relay and still ran 39.81, our third-fastest time on the year. That squad's best time is 39.76 so we are 5/100s off with very conservative passes. What we want to do is make sure we get the baton around and stay in our lane tomorrow and I think there is an outstanding chance that team will go to the NCAA.

'Justin Woods, a spectacular run by him. He looked very strong in the end. I'm anxious to see both him and Jaycee in the 200m final tomorrow.

'John Cassleman did a great job. He was back in third place at about the eighth hurdle and then began to move strongly and ran his way all the way to the front. I'm sure he will be ready to race tomorrow and do a great job. He's a person that by virtue of his season-best time (49.53), if he stays in his lane around to the finish line, he'll be competing at the national championships.

'Matt Lamb did an outstanding job of competing his way into a seventh-place finish. We'll have to wait and see if he and Jenna Dean can get into the national championships off the defending order list.

'Robert Williams ran his fastest (110m hurdles) time of the year, just missing the final by 2/100s of a second.'

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