Friday, March 13, 2009

Western Washington's Christy Miller gets fourth in pole vault at NCAA D-II championships...

HOUSTON, Texas--Western Washington University's Christy Miller (left/photo courtesy Western Washington University) earned All-America honors by placing fourth in the women's pole vault Friday at the NCAA Division II National Track and Field Championships.

Miller matched her school record by clearing 12-5 3/4. She entered the competition ranked eighth nationally.

The Western women's distance medley relay team finished ninth with a 12:01.79 clocking. Making up that quartet were Courtney Olsen, Ellie Siler, Rachel Johnson and Sarah Porter.

In the women's mile qualifying rounds, Seattle Pacific's Jane Larson posted a 4:55.45 in her preliminary run on a day when most runners simply want to run quick enough and well enough to make finals.

Falcon teammate Jessica Pixler, the two-time defending champion in the mile, led her prelim heat in at 4:56.07. The top six times runners enter the finals within 1.01 seconds of each other.

The only other Falcon in action on Friday was sophomore pole vaulter Melissa Peaslee. She had a rough day, clearing just 11-9¾ to finish 13th.

Johnson advanced to Saturday's final in the women's 800, placing fifth in her heat and eighth overall. She broke her own school record with a time of 2:13.08. Siler was unable to advance in the women's 400, finishing fourth in her heat and 11th overall with a 58.06 clocking.

Besides Johnson, four other Vikings will compete Saturday. They are Ryan Brown in the men's pole vault, Emily Warman in the women's triple jump, Porter in the women's 5,000 and Jordan Welling in the men's 5,000.

Porter was an automatic qualifier in the 5,000 as was Brown in the pole vault.

For SPU, Larson and Pixler will do double-duty on Saturday. They’re both running in the 5,000 meters, which does not have prelims. Pixler is the top seed in that event, while Larson is seeded eighth.

Falcon freshman Ali Worthen will compete in the high jump on Saturday. She comes in seeded third, having cleared 5-8½ to win the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship on February 21st.

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

NOTE: The sports information office of Seattle Pacific and Western Washington University contributed to this report.

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