Nine Cougs Reach NCAA RQs at USC Trojan Invite Track Meet

March 21, 2009

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Nine Washington State track and field competitors reached NCAA Regional Qualifying marks at the USC Trojan Invitational, the opening track and field meet of the 2009 outdoor season for the Cougars, held at Loker Stadium and Cromwell Field in Los Angeles Saturday.

Anna Layman and Lisa Egami finished one-two in the women's 800m, both with NCAA RQ times. Layman (sophomore, Spokane Valley), a 2008 All-American in the 800m, won the race in a time of 2:09.23, while Egami (junior, Coquitlam, B.C.) finished second in a time of 2:09.58.

Three Cougar women reached NCAA RQ marks in the javelin with Marissa Tschida (sophomore, Missoula, Mont.) tossing a PR distance of 165-4 (50.40m), Lynnea Braun (junior, Yakima) throwing 151-9 (45.25m), and Courtney Kirkwood (freshman, Othello) throwing 145-3 (44.27m). Tschida's mark is the second-best mark on the WSU all-time list.

WSU had a solid outing in the men's hurdles races. Robert Williams (senior, Riverside, Calif.) ran an NCAA RQ in the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.02, despite running into 1.4 meters per second headwind. Trevor Habberstad (sophomore, Santa Clarita, Calif.) ran a high hurdles PR time of 14.89. In the intermediate hurdles, defending NCAA champion Jeshua Anderson (sophomore, Woodland Hills, Calif.) won in an NCAA RQ time of 49.52 with Barry Leavitt (senior, Benton City) also reaching NCAA RQ with a time of 51.56. Habberstad ran the intermediate hurdles in a PR time of 53.79 and J Hopkins (freshman, Everett) made his 400m hurdles debut with a time of 53.71.

In the hammer throw competition Friday afternoon, Phil MacArthur (senior, Ione) threw an NCAA RQ distance of 199-5 (60.78m), finishing second by a mere 8 inches. WSU freshmen women, Kjirsten Jensen (Arlington) tossed a hammer PR of 169-10 (48.73m), and Cassie Whitfield (Puyallup) threw a PR of 152-9 (46.56m).

In other notable performances Saturday, Mark Presby (redshirt sophomore, Richland) had a consistent series of throws in the javelin and tossed a PR 199-0 (60.66m). Princess Joy Griffey (junior, Federal Way) ran the 100m in a time of 11.93 and the 200m in a time of 24.40.

'I thought we had a solid opening day to the outdoor season,' WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. 'There were several bright points and good performances to be excited about, in spite of a lot of competition taking place in the early part of the day which was not an exciting environment. Next weekend we'll send the distance runners and the jumpers, with some other selected competitors, to the Stanford Invitational.'

A small group of Cougars also competed at the Dusty Lane Open meet held at Spokane Community College. Freshman Emily Farrar (Bainbridge) won the women's 3000m steeplechase in a time of 11:25.20, the eighth-fastest time in WSU women's history. Two more WSU women posted wins. Maria Creech (redshirt freshman, Durango, Colo.) won the high jump (5-3 3/4, 1.62m) and Alex Huestis (sophomore, Chehalis) won the pole vault (11-6 1/4, 3.51m).

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