Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday recap at the NCAA Championships...

DES MOINES, Iowa--University of Washington junior Jordan Boase’s (left/photo courtesy University of Washington Sports Information) magical mystery tour of the NCAA ended Saturday at the national championships, as Boase finished an oh-so-close fourth in the finals of the men’s 400 meter dash.

Oral Roberts University’s Andretti Bain, the reigning indoor champion, held off the charge of USC’s Pac-10 champ Lionel Larry to win, clocking 44.62 to Larry’s 44.63.

Boase, a junior from Bothell, Wash., was running sixth with 150 meters to go before he unleashed his finishing kick, pulling closer with each second until he crossed alongside Baylor's LeJerald Betters just behind the top two. Both Boase and Betters ran 44.83, but taken out to thousandths of a second, Betters finished in 44.825 and Boase was fourth in 44.828.

"I didn't get out as fast as I wanted, but all in all it was a good race," said Boase. "Running 44.83 in windy conditions is nothing to complain about. It's just a fast year in the 400, that's not usually a fourth-place time. I think I left a little too much in the tank, but I'm happy."

Boase’s season is not done yet, as he is scheduled to compete in the US Olympic Track & Field Team Trials in two weeks in Eugene, Oregon.

800 meter runner Austin Abbott finished seventh in his event, as the Husky senior from Chehalis clocked 1:48.46

"I couldn't bring it like I did the other two days," said Abbott. "I ran well the first two days. Just getting to the finals is an accomplishment. I would have liked to get by a few more guys though. I knew it was going to go out quick, I just tried to lay back and wait for the homestretch, it just wasn't there like it had been."

The seventh-place finish also emphasizes Abbott's skills as a racer, as he was seeded just 20th coming into the meet. Abbott picked up a valuable two points for UW and registered his fifth career All-American award, tying him for fifth-most in Husky history. While he is listed as a senior, he is expected to return next year, regaining a year of eligibility that he lost to injury in 2007.

Washington State freshman Anna Layman from Spokane finished eighth in the women’s 800, running 2:06.93.

North Carolina’s Brie Felnagle from Tacoma, the defending champion at 1500 meters, who had been fighting an illness since the regional championships two weeks ago, was a non-factor, as she placed a non-scoring 9th in 4:17.76.

Washington senior Amanda Miller from Wenatchee finished 11th in a time of 4-20.71,

In the final team standings, the Husky men finished sixteenth with 19.33 points, its most at NCAA's since 1983, and coupled with last year's 15th-place finish, the Huskies have now had back-to-back Top-20 finishes for the first time since 1978-79.

Washington State’s men’s squad finished 23rd with 11 points, thanks to Jeshua Anderson’s win on Friday in the 400 hurdles, while their women’s team was 31st with 8 points.

For those on the cusp of qualifying for the Olympic Trials, the waiting game begins, as Sunday, June 15th is the final day to attain marks to enter the Trials. Others who are under the age of 20 throughout this year are eligible to compete in the USA Junior Track & Field Championships next week in Columbus, Ohio.

NOTE: Special thanks to the University of Washington's Michael Bruscas for assistance with quotes this week.

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