Jeshua Anderson Wins 400m Hurdles at NCAA West Regional Track & Field Championships

May 31, 2008

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -- Washington State freshman Jeshua Anderson won the men's 400m hurdles with a personal-record, NCAA West Regional record time 49.41 seconds Saturday at the NCAA West Regional Track & Field Championships held at Matador Stadium on the California State University at Northridge campus. WSU's Barry Leavitt, Lorraine King, Marissa Tschida, Sara Trané and the men's 4x400m relay team also advanced to the NCAA Div. Outdoor Championships, June 11-14, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Anderson, a graduate of nearby Taft High in Woodland Hills, Calif., led the intermediate hurdles race from the gun to the finish line. His time improved his freshman school record and became the second-fastest time in WSU history. The 49.41 seconds also surpasses the USA Olympic Trials 'A' standard. WSU's Barry Leavitt (junior, Benton City, Wash.) will also be going to the NCAA Championships after he finished third with a PR time of 50.44, seventh-best time in WSU all-time records.

'I wanted to keep a steady pace, get in rhythm and then finish through,' Anderson said. 'I prayed over this race and God blessed me and got me through it. I felt good about it. I tried to take control at the beginning, pass up the field, get on the front end, run my race and finish.'

Leavitt said, 'Me and Mac (WSU hurdles coach Mark Macdonald) put a little plan together right before I raced and I stuck to it. It was for me to go 13 steps sometimes through the fifth or sixth or seventh hurdle and I mess up yesterday so today I just went 13 steps through the fifth and then starting 14, and that's what I did. I felt good and when I made it to the homestretch I knew I was in the top five.

'This was a huge event for us with Jeshua winning and Barry coming in third, both with lifetime bests and going to the national championships,' WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said.

Lorraine King (sophomore, Fontana, Calif.) was the runner-up in the women's 400m hurdles with a time of 58.67.

'It was crazy. I was stuttering (stepping) in the first part of the race, which is a good thing for me because it means I was taking 15 steps,' King said. 'I was very confident in the first 200 meters. I had to just sprint it out to the finish. I was just happy to hang on to second place.'

Freshman Marissa Tschida (Missoula, Mont.) finished fourth in the women's javelin and qualified to compete at the NCAA Championships. Tschida threw a distance of 158-4 (48.25m) in her first attempt of the day and held on for the trip to the national meet.

'Today wasn't my best day but it got the job done and that is all that matters,' Tschida said. 'I'll fix a couple of things in my form that weren't quite right today and I'm looking forward to the higher level of competition, and more intensity at national competition.'

Sara Trané (junior, Pixbo, Sweden), the 2007 and 2008 Pac-10 steeple champion, finished fifth in the women's 3000m steeplechase with a school record time of 10:14.29. Meghan Leonard (senior, Newberg, Ore.) took ninth place after running a time of 10:31.88 and Collier Lawrence (senior, Reno, Nev.) finished 13th in a time of 10:30.99. Amanda Andrews (freshman, Oak Harbor, Wash.), running in the first section of the two-section final, finished 31st in a time of 11:12.24.

The Cougars men's 4x400m relay team of Barry Leavitt, Jeshua Anderson, Justin Woods, and Reny Follett qualified for the national meet with a third place finish in a time of 3:07.48. For Leavitt and Anderson, it was a quick turn-around after their performances in the intermediate hurdles final. Leavitt kept the Cougs in contention in the first leg but Anderson's second leg of 45.5 seconds gave WSU the lead at the 800m mark. Woods ran a strong leg and put Follett in third place. The redshirt sophomore from Lewiston, Idaho, ran a strong and steady race, holding off a late surge by Arizona State in the final 60 meters as the Devils finished fourth in a time of 3:07.50.

'A great run by all four of our guys qualifying for the national championships,' Sloan said. 'This was a big bonus and a big end of the meet for us.'

Moreno Zapata (junior, Lakewood, Wash.) leaped 50-8 1/4 (15.45m) for eighth place, but only three inches behind the fourth-place finisher. Moreno's mark is a season-best and his lifetime, non-wind-aided PR.

It was a disappointing day for the Cougar women in the high jump. Freshman Ebba Jungmark (Onsala, Sweden), the 2008 NCAA Indoor champion passed on the opening height of 5-7 1/4 (1.71m), cleared 5-9 1/4 (1.76m) on her third and final attempt, finishing in eighth place. McKinnon Hanson (senior, LaPush, Wash.) finished tied for ninth after clearing 5-7 1/4. Jungmark's season-best leap of 5-11 1/4 (1.81m) is tied for ninth on the national list and should accord her an at-large bid to the national meet.

Anna Layman (redshirt freshman, Spokane Valley, Wash.) finished in the women's 800m after running a time of 2:06.97 but her season-best time of 2:04 87 is 10th-fastest nationally and should land her an at-large bid to the national meet next month.

In the men's steeplechase race, Sam Ahlbeck (redshirt sophomore, Renton, Wash.) finished 19th in a time of 9:07.07. Senior Alex Grant (Bellingham, Wash.) was in the lead pack but fell and was injured early in the race, valiantly continuing on in the race and finishing 30th in a time of 9:49.23.

Robert Williams (junior, Riverside, Calif.) struggled for a second day coming out of the starting blocks, hit all 10 hurdles and ran a disappointing 14.16 for eighth place in the men's 110m hurdles.

Lisa Egami (sophomore, Coquitlam, British Columbia) ran a 1500m time of 4:29.53 to finish 10th. Phil MacArthur (junior, Selkirk, Wash.) threw the hammer a distance of 194-5 (59.26m) for 17th place. Jessica Zita (senior, Echo, Ore.) finished 13th in the women's shot put after a throw of 48-0 3/4 (14.65m).

In the team standings, WSU's women's team tied for eighth with 31 points and the Cougar men's team tied for ninth with 39 points. Arizona State won both the men's and women's team point totals.

'I'm very satisfied with the performances at the regional meet,' Sloan said. 'I'm sure some people on the team are disappointed and wanted to do better and we have some areas where we had some misfortune and didn't get the job done. Overall, from the indoor season on, people are competing very, very well. It has become a tradition with this group that every week we come out and compete well and improve. This meet was no different. We have a good-sized group going to the NCAAs and hopefully we'll be just as competitive there.'

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