Saturday, April 4, 2009

Scott Roth wins at Jim Click, while Jeshua Anderson defends title at Texas Relays...

Sophomores Scott Roth and Kyle Nielsen both turned in a pair of efforts that rank among the very best in school history today, highlighting a great day for Washington's field athletes at the Jim Click Shootout, hosted by the University of Arizona at the Roy P. Drachman Stadium in Tuscon.

Roth, out of Granite Bay, Calif., made it two-for-two in pole vault wins to start his outdoor season, and set a new personal-best clearance of 18-feet, 1-inch to win the event by more than a foot. Roth becomes the fourth Husky ever to clear 18-feet outdoors, and now ranks behind only 2008 Olympian and American Record-holder Brad Walker on UW's Top-10. He is currently the NCAA's top-ranked vaulter.

In the men's javelin throw, Nielsen shattered his lifetime-best for the second week in a row, throwing 239-feet, 2-inches to win the javelin and move into fourth-place nationally. The Langley, B.C. native has made great strides over the offseason following a very solid freshman season in which he threw 212-5. Nielsen's right arm now ranks third all-time at UW with the new javelin implement, which has been in use since 1986.

Seven Washington athletes including Roth and Nielsen earned NCAA Regional Qualifying marks this afternoon, but only sophomore Elisa Bryant's PR in the discus was a new qualifier. Bryant, who qualified for Regionals in the hammer throw last year and was an All-American indoors in the weight throw, has started to take to the discus as well, and took second today with a throw of 158-6.

In the women's pole vault, seniors Lara Jones and Andrea Peterson placed second and third, respectively, each with significant new personal-bests. Jones cleared 13-3 ½ on her first attempt, becoming the sixth Husky woman ever over the 13-foot mark outdoors. Peterson just missed joining her, as she got over 12-11 ½ on her third and final attempt. Both Jones and Peterson had cleared only the minimum Regional mark of 12-7 ½ last week at Stanford in the outdoor opener.

Freshman Angus Taylor took third in the hammer throw and senior Jared O'Connor was fourth in the pole vault with Regional qualifying marks, but neither improved their showings from a week ago.

The Jim Click Shootout was organized as a scoring meet combining two teams from the Pac-10, Big 10, and Big 12. Washington was partnered up with host-school Arizona, while Kansas and Nebraska shared points, as did Wisconsin and Penn State. The Big 12 came away with the conference bragging rights, as they combined for 531.5 points, compared to 474 for the Big 10 and 464.5 for the Pac-10.

Meanwhile, Washington State sophomore Jeshua Anderson successfully defended his intermediate hurdles title Saturday at the 82nd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas Austin campus.

Anderson, a sophomore from Woodland Hills, Calif., ran a season-best and improved NCAA Regional Qualifying time of 49.48 seconds. Barry Leavitt, a senior from Benton City, Wash., finished fourth with a season-best and improved NCAA RQ time of 51.39. Anderson won the 2008 intermediate hurdles title with a time of 49.68.

"I feel really good. I'm still trying to get in shape because I feel as though I'm still in my football shape," Anderson was quoted as saying after the race. "I have to keep on training and push myself to secure more victories in the future. I had a few things I wanted to work on, and I feel like I accomplished those goals today."

The Cougars finished seventh in the Cleburne Price, Jr. men's University invitational 4x400m relay with an NCAA RQ time of 3:09.28. Leavitt led off the relay with a split time of 48.8, handing off to Anderson who cruised his leg in a time of 46.2. Reny Follett (junior, Lewiston, Idaho) ran the third leg in a time of 47.6 and Justin Woods (senior, Buena Vista, Calif.) ran an anchor leg split time of 46.4. The Baylor squad won the race in a time of 3:02.68.

The Cougar men did not run in the 4x100m relay, choosing to be fresh for the 4x400m relay.

Marissa Tschida (sophomore, Missoula, Mont.) took fifth place in the women's University/College Section A javelin competition with a toss of 161-10 (49.32m), thrown on her opening attempt. Lynnea Braun (junior, Yakima, Wash.) took eighth place after tossing a distance of 142-11 (43.56m). Both Cougars threw NCAA RQ marks but have already thrown longer distances this season. Braun suffered an injury and passed on her final four attempts.

Robert Williams (senior, Riverside, Calif.) did not finish the men's 110m hurdles final after falling after the second hurdle. Anderson skipped the high hurdles final after qualifying in the prelims.

Washington will return to the desert next weekend but shift sites, heading to Arizona State for the Sun Angel Classic, held April 10-11.

The next competition for the WSU track and field teams will be April 9-11, at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational at UCLA.

NOTE: The University of Washington and Washington State University sports information departments contributed to this report.

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