Friday, March 13, 2009

Elisa Bryant scores UW school record in weight throw; Boase advances to finals at NCAA Indoor...

COLLEGE STATION, Texas--Washington's track and field teams raked in six All-American honors today on day one of the NCAA Indoor Championships hosted by Texas A&M. Senior Jordan Boase also moved on to the 400-meter dash final by winning his preliminary heat.

Sophomore Elisa Bryant (left/photo courtesy UW Sports Information), a Seattle native and Inglemoor High grad, started the meet with a bang for the Dawgs, as she broke her own school record in the weight throw to finish eighth. Bryant threw 65-feet, 8 3/4-inches to become Washington's first ever All-American in the weight throw. She is the first Husky female to earn All-America honors in any throwing event since Megan Spriesterbach in 2004.

Junior Jake Schmitt earned his first career All-America honors as well, placing ninth in the 5,000-meter run. Schmitt finished his run in 14:04.20. He is Washington's first ever 5,000-meter All-American indoors.

The women collected four more All-America honors all at once, as Washington's distance medley relay placed eighth in 11:06.81. That marks the best-ever finish for the women's DMR at nationals. Freshman Christine Babcock held the lead for much of the 1,200-meter leg despite hesitating at the gun and needing to sprint right away to catch up. She handed to senior Falesha Ankton for the 400-meter leg, who kept the women in the top-eight. Kailey Campbell ran a solid 800-meter leg, and junior Katie Follett ran the 1,600-meter anchor leg.

All four legs of the DMR collected All-America honors for their efforts. It is the first for Ankton and Campbell, the second for Babcock and fourth for Follett counting their cross country honors.

Senior Anita Campbell placed 13th in the 5,000-meter run in her first NCAA Indoor track appearance, while freshman Kelly McNamee tied for 14th in the high jump with a best clearance of 5-feet, 8 ¾-inches. McNamee, the only freshman in the field, just missed a clearance at 5-10 ¾.

Boase put himself in great position for the 400-meter dash final on Saturday. The finals are split into two heats and based purely on time, but Boase made sure he would be in the second heat on Saturday, thus knowing the time to beat. Running in the second of four prelims, Boase held off Florida's Calvin Smith for the win in 46.64 seconds. That was the second-fastest time posted, just barely behind Robert Simmons of LSU who ran 46.63.

Boase's path to the national title was made easier when NCAA leader Gakologelwang Masheto of Illinois was surprisingly eliminated in the semis.

After four events, Husky freshman Jeremy Taiwo stands seventh in the two-day heptathlon competition with 2324 points.

Former Bellarmine Prep standout Brie Felnagle, representing North Carolina, advanced to Saturday's final in the women's mile, running 4:41.08. Shelton's Alex McClary ran on Arkansas' distance medley relay which finished second to Oregon, clocking a 800m split of 1:49.24.

Mattie Bridgemon, formerly of Eastern Washington, and a grad student at Oregon, finished 16th in the 5000 at 16:20.95.

The news wasn't as good for senior Austin Abbott, the new UW school record-holder in the mile run. Abbott took seventh in the first heat of the mile, and will not advance to Saturday's final.

Saturday, Boase will compete for the Huskies, along with Follett and Mel Lawrence in the 3000, while high jumper Trent Arrivey and the 4 x 400 meter relay team of Barry Leavitt, Reny Follett, Justin Woods, and Jeshua Anderson are in action for Washington State.

Look for Twitter updates throughout the day on the right hand side of the blog, plus a recap of the day's highlights after Saturday's competition.

NOTE: The University of Washington sports information office contributed to this report.

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