Friday, March 12, 2010

Scott Roth wins NCAA Indoor pole vault title...

Husky junior Scott Roth (left/photo courtesy University of Washington) vaulted his way into the history books Friday as he claimed the NCAA indoor pole vault title at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships hosted by the University of Arkansas.

Roth is the first individual track and field champion for the Huskies since 2007 and the third NCAA champ in the pole vault for UW assistant coach Pat Licari.

The runner-up at the 2009 NCAA outdoor meet, Roth had to out-jump the man who beat him for the outdoor title, Jason Colwick of Rice. The two came in ranked first and second, and the expected showdown eventually developed. Colwick passed all the way up to 18-0 1/2, while Roth came in at 17-6 1/2 and cleared that on his second attempt. Roth then passed up to 18-0 1/2 which he cleared on his first try and the rest of the competitors dropped away.

Roth chose to jump next at 18-feet, 4.25-inches, and after two misses, he came through with the clutch final attempt clearance that would ultimately prove decisive. Colwick would miss at 18-8 ¼ and Roth celebrated the win. With the victory in hand, Roth took one shot at 19-1 which would have been the Pac-10 record.

"It just feels so great knowing that all my hard work has paid off," said Roth. "Jason and I were going back and forth. He would pass a height so I would jump at it and then he would jump at one so I'd pass it and that's just the way things work when two guys are really close. It's a game of strategy knowing which ones you should jump at an which you should pass."

In regards to that critical third-attempt clearance, Roth said, "I was a little nervous but I felt so good on the first two that I was pretty confident on that third one. I went down and cleared it and that ended up being the bar that won the meet."

Senior Katie Follett started the day well for the Huskies by winning the first of two preliminary heats in the women's mile run. Follett led throughout much of the race, and wound up coasting to the finish in 4:41.84. Her time wound up being the fastest of the day. The ten remaining women will shoot for the NCAA title Saturday afternoon at 4:25 p.m. Pacific time.

Junior Colton Tully-Doyle, a San Diego native competing at his first NCAA Track Championships, hung in well against a phenomenal field in the men's 5,000-meter run. He placed 12th overall in a time of 14:07.50.

Washington State University freshman Holly Parent finished in a three-way tie for 12th place in the women's high jump.

Parent, from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, cleared 5-feet, 10 inches (1.78m) on her third attempt and did not clear the next height of 5-11 1/4 (1.81m) after three attempts. She cleared the opening height of 5-7 (1.70m) which was the highest opening bar for Parent this season, and cleared the second height of 5-8 3/4 (1.75m), both on her first attempts. Parent's lifetime-best indoor high jump is 5-11 1/2 (1.82m), which is sixth-best in WSU's all-time records and was the 13th-best high jump in Div. I coming into the NCAA meet.

Arizona senior Elizabeth Patterson won the high jump event after clearing a height of 6-4 (1.93m).

"Overall, I'm disappointed with my performance today," Parent said after the competition. "I feel I am capable of much better jumping than I did today. I am pleased I was able to clear the first two bars clean and I feel that I jumped well. My performance was average for me this season. I guess when I look at my competition from a results standpoint, I would like to have cleared 5-11 1/4 (1.81m) but I finished better than I was ranked. That's all I can ask for."

In the women's 5000, former Eastern Washington standout Mattie Bridgemon, now competing for the University of Oregon, finished 15th in 16:51.48. Eastern Washington senior Nicole Luckenbach finished 14th in the women's weight throw with a mark of 60-6.75 (18.46m).

Nathan Hale HS standout Abdi Hassan, a sophomore at the University of Arizona, qualified for the finals in the men's mile, running 4:03.11. Stanford's Jake Riley from Bellingham finished tenth in the men's 5000, running 13:59.85.

In Saturday's competition, three-time All-American Trent Arrivey competes in the men's high jump for WSU, while Washington will run Follett in the finals of the mile, and Mel Lawrence in the 3000, while Hassan will run in the men's mile finals.

Complete day 1 results from the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships can be accessed here.

NOTE: The University of Washington, Washington State University, and the NCAA contributed to this report.

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