Nashonme Johnson, Erica McLain Capture NCAA West Regional Titles
May 27, 2006
Provo, Ut - Senior Nashonme Johnson's distinguished collegiate running career is nearing an end, but she is completing her four years at Stanford University with some impressive results.
On a cold Saturday with threats of heavy rain at the NCAA West Region Track & Field Championship at Brigham Young University's Clarence Robison Track, Johnson captured the 400 meter title and thus earned a berth to the upcoming NCAA Championships for a third straight season.
'I was thinking about getting out really well and finishing strong,' said Johnson, who finished in a time of 53.65. Christna Hardeman of Arizona State was second at 53.74.
The opportunity to run at the NCAA's also gives Johnson a chance to regain her 400 meter school record which was recently broken by teammate Chauntae Bayne-Hackett. Since 2004, Johnson held the record of 52.40 but at the Pac-10 Championship earlier this year, Bayne-Hackett ran to a new school record time of 52.35.
'I'm just going to be working hard to try to get the record back in my final races,' said Johnson. 'If I get it back, I'll be happy. If I don't, I'll know that I gave it all I had the last four years.'
Erica McLain continued her dominance in the triple jump with a winning and NCAA West Regional meet record effort of 44-8 (13.61m). Freshman Lauren Stewart finished fifth (42-1 1/2, 12.84m) and thus will be going to the NCAA's. Stewart's effort is third-best in school history.
Chauntae Bayne-Hackett and Janice Davis finished 2-5 in the 200 meters to gain entrance into the NCAA Championship. Bayne-Hackett, who set the school record (22.78) the day before, was timed in 23.04 while USC's Carol Rodriguez placed first (22.62).
The first Stanford national qualifier of the day was senior Sarah Hopping in the hammer. For the third straight year, Hopping qualified for Nationals. This year, Hopping tossed the hammer 215-4 (65.64m) to finish in second place behind Eva Orban of USC (226-8, 69.10m).
'Actually I was really nervous,' said Hopping, who at the Pac-10 Championship (5/14/06) broke the school record with a throw of 219-8 (66.96m). 'But after my second throw, I knew I was going to be in the top five.' The top five finishers at the Regional are guaranteed a berth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships (June 7-10) in Sacramento.
In the women's 800 meters, Ashley Freeman is heading to the NCAA's for a third straight season after finishing third at the Regionals in a time of 2:08.84.
In the men's 800 meters, Michael Garcia came within an eye lash of qualifying for the NCAA's. His sixth place time of 1:49.05 was just behind fifth place finisher Martell Munguia of UCLA at 1:49.04.
In Stanford's final running event of the day, the Cardinal women's 1600 meter relay team of Janice Davis, Chauntae Bayne-Hackett, Alana Walker and Ashley Freeman ran to a third place finish and a berth in the NCAA's with a time of 3:37.16.
Solomon Welch is heading to the NCAA's for a second straight season after placing fifth in the triple jump (51-2 1/4, 15.60m).
The men's 1500 meters resembled more of a rugby scrum than a running event. Several runners fell to the track throughout the event, and unfortunately one of them was one of the favorites Russell Brown. Brown was keeping pace with the pack but with about two and one-half laps remaining, two runners ahead of Brown fell to the ground. Brown tried to avoid them, but in the process fell to the track. By the time Brown recovered, it was too late. The pack already gained a sizable lead over the Cardinal sophomore. Arizona's Robert Cheseret also fell during the race, but he was able to get back in the race, and in fact won the competition in a time of 3:52.34. Cal's Mark Matusak was among the leaders but he fell 30 meters short of the finish line, and that allowed Rolf Steier to finish fifth and gain a berth in the NCAA's. A protest on Brown's behalf was filed by the Stanford coaches. After several hours of hearing protests from not only Stanford, but also Arizona and California, the judges disqualified Oregon's Michael McGrath who had finished fourth. Thus, Steier moved from fifth to fourth in the standings, and Brown was moved to eleventh place. Brown still has a chance to be selected as an at-large entry at the NCAA's based on his time of 3:44.00 earlier this year.
The Stanford women finished tied for first in the team standings with USC. Both teams tallied 94 points during the two day meet. UCLA was third with 92.5 points. The Cardinal men finished ninth with 27 points. USC was the team champion with 122 points.
During the two days of competition at the NCAA West Regional, eleven women, four men and the women's 1600 meter relay team qualified for the upcoming NCAA Championship. The men's list included Hakon DeVries in the 5000 meters (14:47.19), Graeme Hoste in the pole vault (18-1, 5.51m), Katy Trotter in the 5000 meters (16:57.29), Amanda Trotter in the 5000 meters (17:19.08), Danielle Maier in the javelin (158-11, 48.45m), Erica McLain in the long jump (21-2, 6.45m) and triple jump (44-8, 13.61m), Melissa Yunghans in the shot put (52-1 3/4, 15.89m), Rolf Steier in the 1500 meters (3:53.60), Solomon Welch in the triple jump (51-2 1/4, 15.60m), Chauntae Bayne-Hackett in the 100 meters (11.27wa) and the 200 meters (23.04), Janice Davis in the 100 meters (11.38wa) and the 200 meters (23.35), Nashonme Johnson in the 400 meters (53.65), Ashley Freeman in the 800 meters (2:08.84), Sarah Hopping in the hammer (215-4, 665.64m), the 1600 meter relay team of Janice Davis, Chauntae Bayne-Hackett, Alana Walker, Ashley Freeman (3:37.16) and Lauren Stewart in the triple jump (42-1 1/2, 12.84m).
Complete results are available at www.byucougars.com
2006 NCAA West Region Track & Field Championships
Clarence Robison Track, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Men's Team Results (17 teams)
1. USC 122; 2. BYU 84.5; 3. Arizona 75; 4. Washington 71; 5. Oregon 68; 9. Stanford 27
Women's Team Results (31 teams)
1t. Stanford 94; 1t. USC 94; 3. UCLA 92.5; 4. Arizona State 82; 5. Oregon 62
800 Meters: 1. Duane Soloman (USC) 1:47.87; 2. Raphael Assafo-Agyei (USC) 1:48.10; 3. Ryan Brown (W) 1:48.49; 6. Michael Garcia (S) 1:49.05
3000 Meter Steeplechase: 1. Josh McAdams (BYU) 8:50.12; 2. Aaron Aguayo (ASU) 8:56.21; 3. Ryan Warrenburg (ASU) 8:58.776; 7. Jonathan Pierce (S) 9:13.20
Triple Jump: 1. Ronald Carter (LBS) 52-9 1/4 (16.08m); 2. Ryan Zimmerman (ASU) 52-6 (16.00m); 3. John Temidara (LBS) 52-2 3/4 (15.92m); 5. Solomon Welch (S) 51-2 1/4 (15.60m); 7. Feranmi Okanlami (S) 50-6 1/4 (15.40m)
400 Meters: 1. Nashonme Johnson (S) 53.65; 2. Christina Hardeman (ASU) 53.74; 3. Jackieann Morain (Boise State) 54.76
3000 Meter Steeplechase: 1. Amy Fowler (BYU) 10:32.36; 2. Bethany Nickless (UCSB) 10:33.54; 3. Brooke Bennett (ASU) 10:33.94; 11. Lindsay Allen (S) 10:59.03
Pole Vault: 1. Chelsea Johnson (UCLA) (4.26m); 2. Emily Enders (O) (4.16m); 3. Tamara Diles (WSU) (4.16m); 7. Anna McFarlane (S) 12-11 3/4 (3.96m)
Triple Jump: 1. Erica McLain (S) 44-8 (13.61m); 2. Eleni Kafourou (Boise State) 43-1 3/4 (13.15m); 3. Renee Willliams (UCLA) 42-10 1/4 (13.06m); 4. Michelle Sanford (USC) 42-5 1/2 (12.94m); 5. Lauren Stewart (S) 42-1 1/5 (12.84m); 10. Deborah Akinniyi (S) 41-1 1/2 (12.53m)