Eight New Regional Marks For Track In Tempe

April 12, 2009

TEMPE, Ariz. - Rain put a damper on many of the expected fast races today at Arizona State's Sun Angel Classic, but the Washington track and field squad still managed to post eight new or improved Regional qualifying marks during the meet. Three Top-10 school marks were set and Christine Babcock broke the UW freshman record in the 800-meters.

Weather wreaked havoc on several events in Tempe today, including canceling the ASU softball game, though the meet went on as planned. While personal bests were hard to come by, several Huskies successfully persevered through the conditions to post impressive times and marks.

Babcock, already an All-America in cross country and indoor track during her first season, ran 2:06.55 in the 800 to break Mary Dong's freshman record of 2:06.75 that had stood since 1987. The time is her second Regional qualifier, along with the 1,500m.

Five-time All-American Jordan Boase made his outdoor debut in the 400-meters following his third-place NCAA Indoor finish, and won the premiere heat in 45.67 seconds. Running out of the same heat, junior Jeff Gudaitis also secured a Regional mark with a time of 47.17 seconds.

One Husky shrugging off the rain was sophomore Brooke Pighin, who PR'd in the javelin with an outstanding throw of 162-feet. That mark is the second-best in school history with the new implement which came into use in 1999. Pighin now ranks 12th nationally.

In the men's throws, junior Zack Midles qualified for Regionals in the hammer throw, held Friday afternoon, then set a new PR in the discus today. Friday, Midles threw 206-4 in the hammer, then went 166-4 with the discus to take second, just three feet shy of a Regional mark in that event as well.

Washington had its usual stellar showing in the women's 1,500-meter run, with four women running under 4:30. Five-time All-American junior Katie Follett, the reigning 1,500m Pac-10 Champion, opened up at the distance for the first time since the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, and ran 4:20.00, a strong showing given the conditions. Junior Kailey Campbell also ran 4:22.65, just off her season-best, and redshirt freshman Mel Lawrence hit the Regional mark in her first ever 1,500 in a time of 4:24.10. Also notable was the showing by junior Anita Campbell, who ran 4:28.09 in the B heat, a PR of 10 seconds for the long distance specialist.

The last new Regional mark came from senior Austin Abbott, whose qualification in the 800-meters was little more than a formality, but the five-time All-American took care of business with a time of 1:49.18.

In the women's 200-meter dash, junior Falesha Ankton moved into 10th on the school's Top-10 list with a time of 24.52 seconds. Ankton now ranks in the Top-10 in nine different events indoors and outdoors.

One event most negatively impacted by the weather was the pole vault, but senior Jared O'Connor still managed to place second with a clearance of 16-6 ¾ as everyone's heights were well down across the board.

The Huskies will hope for better conditions next week at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. which run April 16-18.

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