Saturday, March 14, 2009

Boase repeats 2008 third place finish at NCAA Indoors...

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Washington sprinter Jordan Boase (left/photo courtesy University of Washington sports information) repeated his third-place finish in the 400-meter dash today as the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships concluded at Texas A&M.

Running in the second heat of the two heat timed final, Boase knew he had to beat the time of 45.69 set by Michael Bingham of Wake Forest who won the first heat. That time was the fastest run in the world this year.

Assigned to the outside lane, Boase got out quickly, but was beaten to the inside lane when the lanes converged, and subsequently boxed in. As Florida's Calvin Smith faded in front of him, Boase had to move wide to go around, and Texas Tech's Gil Roberts pulled away to win the heat in 45.71. Boase passed LSU's Robert Simmons to place second in the heat and third overall in 46.20 seconds. Boase was third at last year's meet as well when the winning time was only 46.19.

Despite falling short of the title, Boase will add a fifth All-America honor to his collection that ties him with teammate Austin Abbott and Steve Anderson (1928-30) for sixth-most in Washington history.

"Jordan had plenty of juice to run a great time, he just got stuck in place a little and couldn't accelerate when he wanted," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "It's unfortunate but that's why the 400-meters indoors is a bit of a roll of the dice. We still believe his time is coming."

Less than an hour later came the women's 3,000-meter run, featuring junior Katie Follett and redshirt freshman Mel Lawrence. Despite being seeded just 13th and having run the DMR last night for UW, Follett crossed the line in fifth-place in 9:15.73. Lawrence placed 12th in 9:19.02, and was second among freshman finishers. Follett earns her second All-American award of the meet, and the fifth of her career counting two in cross country.

Earlier in the day, freshman Jeremy Taiwo became the first Husky All-American ever in the seven-event heptathlon, as he placed 12th with 5,389 points. All-America honors are awarded to the top-eight finishers, with additional honors handed out until eight American-born athletes are honored. Five foreign-born athletes placed in front of Taiwo. Taiwo lost ground as he struggled in the pole vault, but came back strong to win the final event, the 1,000-meter run, in 2:43.90.

The Husky men's and women's teams each scored six points, with the men tying for 33rd and the women tying for 35th. The Oregon men took the team title with 54 points while the Tennessee women beat the host Aggies with 42 points.

"The meet was not everything we were hoping for, and we certainly left some points out there we'd like to have had, but at the same time there were some outstanding performances," said Metcalf. "Jordan and Katie it goes without saying are terrific and will look to win some titles outdoors, then we had a number of freshmen--Christine Babcock, Jeremy Taiwo, Kelly McNamee, and Mel Lawrence who's a redshirt freshman--they got their first taste of Nationals and came away with a couple All-America honors."

Washington State high jumper Trent Arrivey and the men's 4x400m relay team both finished eighth in their respective events Saturday at the NCAA Div. I Track & Field Indoor Championships at Gilliam Indoor Stadium on the Texas A&M campus.

Arrivey garnered his second All-America certificate with his eighth-place finish in the men's high jump. Arrivey, a junior from Woodinville, Wash., cleared the first bar of 6-feet, 10 1/4 inches (2.09m) on his first attempt but did not clear the next height of 7-0 1/4 (2.14m) on any of his three attempts. His lifetime-best leap of 7-3 (2.21m) was accomplished at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships last month in Seattle. Scott Sellers, a senior at Kansas State, won the event after clearing the bar at 7-4 1/2 (2.25m). Arrivey earned his first All-America status at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships when he finished ninth.

"Trent warmed up great and looked good clearing his opening bar. He just missed his take-off at 2.14m and on his third attempt the bar almost stayed up. He is disappointed with this missed opportunity," said Matt McGee, Cougar jumps coach.

"I think Trent came in to win this meet and he just didn't have his best day of performance," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "I'm sure he's disappointed but you look across the board only one guy cleared 2.19m and the next six places after that cleared 2.14m. So it wasn't a really great competition and nearly everyone jumped poorly."

The Cougar men's 1600m relay team of Barry Leavitt, Reny Follett, Justin Woods and Jeshua Anderson, finished third in the second heat and eighth overall with a time of 3:08.97. Last weekend in Iowa the Cougar men ran a time of 3:06.74, the fourth-best in WSU all-time records. The Baylor relay team won the NCAA title with a time of 3:05.81.

Cougar coach Mark Macdonald reported the split times as 47.8 seconds for Leavitt, 47.05 for Follett, 47.6 for Woods, and a time for 45.9 Anderson on the anchor leg.

"I think the WSU guys did a great job," Sloan said. "When you look at the teams we were racing - Florida, Florida State, South Carolina, Baylor - all the perennially great 4x400m relay teams and the Cougars are in there heads-up with them. I think the team competed very well. Our best time of 3:06.74 came on an oversized track and for the first time this year they raced on a banked 200-meters track today and had to make an adjustment. Jeshua ran a strong anchor leg and put us in third place in our heat."

Tennessee won the women's team title with 42 points and Oregon won the men's team title with 54 points while the Cougar men's 2 points in the team standings was tied for 53rd.

Former Tacoma high school standout Brie Felnagle, a senior at North Carolina, earned her 12th All-America honor as she clocked a 4:37.00 for fifth place in the mile.

Former Eastern Washington runner Mattie Bridgemon, now competing for Oregon, finished 14th in the women's 3000, clocking 9:26.32.

All told, UW athletes earned a total of nine All-America awards, six for the women and three for the men. The six for the women equals the most they have ever had at a single meet, matching the 1988 NCAA Outdoor meet.

Complete results from the NCAA Championships in College Station are available here...

Washington opens the outdoor season on Friday March 20th with the UW Outdoor Preview at Husky Stadium, while Washington State opens with the USC Trojan Invitational in Los Angeles.

NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State University and the University of North Carolina contributed to this report.

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