Sunday, May 17, 2009

Washington's Katie Follett & WSU's Jeshua Anderson defend Pac-10 titles...

Katie Follett (left/file photo by Paul Merca) of the University of Washington successfully defended her conference title in the 1500 meter run at the Pac-10 Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Follett, from Ft. Collins, Colorado, withstood the challenge of Stanford's Alicia Follmar in winning her second straight Pac-10 title in a time of 4:26.62, nipping Follmar by 4/100ths of a second.

Husky teammate Kailey Campbell, a graduate of Seattle's Ballard High School, finished sixth in 4:29.24, while Lisa Egami of Washington State was one place behind in 4:29.87.

"That was an exciting race," said Follett. "It actually played out a lot like last year. When I got out I wasn't really anticipating being in the lead, which is what happened to me last year, and it kind of worked for my advantage. I was able to go out at a more conservative pace and then I was in a good position with 400 meters to go when it kind of started to break up. So I felt good about my position and coming into the last hundred meters I was thinking about Mel's race yesterday and Anita's race yesterday and I was just really fired up."

Washington senior Jordan Boase captured the elusive Pac-10 title, as he emerged victorious in the men's 400, circling the oval at historic Hayward Field in 45.64, defeating USC's Joey Hughes by .29 seconds.

"I felt fine, I tried to go out hard and then coast to the line," said Boase. "I know I don't have to run real fast yet, so I hoped to hold back the final 200, and that's what I did."

Washington State's Jeshua Anderson finished fifth with a time of 46.73, while fellow Cougar Reny Follett was seventh in 47.68.

In the men's 200, Boase, who was a mild favorite to add the furlong title, suffered a cramp in the race, and limped home in eighth place (39.58).

Ahmad Rashad of USC won the race in 20.82, with Washington State's Justin Woods second in 20.91. The Cougars' Marlon Murray was sixth in 21.37.

Anderson, the reigning NCAA, USA junior, and world junior champion successfully defended his 400 hurdles title, running a dominant 48.90, the fourth fastest time by an American this year.

Cougs Barry Leavitt (51.00), Trevor Habberstad (51.67), and J Hopkins (51.86) trailed Anderson in places 4-6 and 7.

Anderson said, “I was looking to run in the 48’s. Once I got past the wind in the first part of the race, I finished strong in the last segment.”

While his winning jump was modest at 7-2 1/4 (2.19m), Washington State's Trent Arrivey from Woodinville left Hayward Field with a Pac-10 title in his pocket. Teammate Ryan Deese placed fifth in the event with a jump of 6-8.75 (2.05m).

"I'm glad I could do my part to help my Cougs place well at this meet," Arrivey said at the conclusion of the meet. "I dedicate this title to my good friend and training partner Shawn Swartz, who was just diagnosed with leukemia and couldn't be here this weekend. We're all thinking about him and hoping for the best."

Another Cougar who made the winner's circle was Lorraine King, as the senior from Fontana, California won the 400 meter hurdles in 57.51.

A happy King said, “Finally! Other teams don’t even know what we have been through. I knew I could do this, I did this in last Sunday’s practice, and I thought why can’t I do this now?”

“This is a huge blessing to get through this. Getting to this point, knowing who I am, it brings everything together.”

The University of Oregon won both the men's and women's team titles, scoring 158 and 165.5 points, respectively.

Washington State (91) finished fourth in the men's competition, while Washington finished ninth again with 52 points.

Washington, thanks to its efforts by Follett, along with Mel Lawrence and Anita Campbell from Saturday's steeple and 10000, finished sixth with 63 points, while Washington State was ninth with 44 points.

Complete results from the Pac-10 Championships can be accessed here.

The University of Washington's recap of the meet can be accessed here. Washington State's meet summary can be accessed here.

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