Trané Repeats as Steeple Champion at Pac-10 Track & Field Championships

May 16, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Washington State's Sara Trané successfully defended her title as the women's steeplechase champion and led a trio of Cougar women to top places Friday night at the Pacific-10 Track & Field Championships presented by 76 Gasolines at Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium. The temperature on the track at the start of the racing was measured at 104 degrees.

Trané, a junior from Pixbo, Sweden, won the women's 3000m steeplechase for the second consecutive year with a time of 10 minutes, 17.80 seconds. Cougar teammates, senior and school record-holder, Meghan Leonard (Newberg, Ore.) finished third with a time of 10:23.25, and Collier Lawrence (senior, Reno, Nev.) took fifth place with a time of 10:34.24. Freshman Amanda Andrews (Oak Harbor, Wash.) finished 13th in time of 11:08.24.

'Sara ran really well in spite of it being really hot at race time,' Cougar distance coach Jason Drake said. 'We knew from the way the USC runner (Zsofia Erdelyi) had run in the past that she might go out a little fast and sure enough, she took off after a couple of laps. Sara let some of the runners pass her and then slowly came back and reeled them off. In the last lap she passed Lindsay Allen from Stanford. Sara ran a really smart race especially for the conditions which weren't ideal for distance running. Meghan and Collier also had battles with someone in the last 200 meters and beat them to get their places. It was a good race for all of them.'

Trané laughed as she recounted her last lap of Friday's race and compared it to her sprint to victory at the 2007 championships saying, 'In the last 200 meters I kept thinking, `I can't do this again' but then I had to. Last year was such a surprise but this year I wasn't as far behind the lead runner but I really didn't think I would win again so I am really happy.'

In the men's 3000m steeplechase, WSU's Alex Grant and Sam Ahlbeck both finished in scoring places, ran personal-records, and improved NCAA Regional Qualifying times. Grant (senior, Bellingham, Wash.) finished fifth with a time of 8:51.24, and Ahlbeck (redshirt sophomore, Renton, Wash.) took seventh place with a time of 8:55.26. Chris Concha also ran the steeple in a time of 10:00.80 (18th).

'Both steeplechase races had great performances by the Cougars tonight,' WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. 'To have five runners place showed that all raced well.'

Jon Jeffreys (senior, Spokane Valley, Wash.) took third place in the men's javelin with a toss of 230-feet, 9 inches (70.34m) while Nathan Bache just missed scoring with his ninth place javelin throw of 200-5 (61.08m).

McKenzie Garberg (senior, Benton City, Wash.) finished sixth in the hammer throw with her day's top throw of 194-5 (59.25m). Later Friday evening, Garberg joined Jessica Zita by scoring in the shot put. Zita (senior, Echo, Ore.) tossed the shot a distance of 48-1 3/4 (14.67m) for seventh place while Garberg heaved a distance of 47.0 1/4 (14.33m) for eighth.

WSU decathlete Rickey Moody (senior, Puyallup, Wash.) finished eighth in the men's long jump with a leap of 23-4 1/2 (7.12m), after placing second in the decathlon last weekend.

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