Friday, May 28, 2010

Alex Harrison finishes tenth in NCAA D-II decathlon as weather wipes out day two...

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Day two of the NCAA Division II track & field championships at Irwin Belk Stadium belonged to the weather gods, as two lengthy weather delays due to threats of lightning stopped the meet.

Officials finally canceled the day’s competition at approximately 7:05 p.m. PDT. When they did, Seattle Pacific's Melissa Peaslee was still waiting to take her first try at the pole vault, Amanda Alvarez hadn’t attempted her first triple jump, and Jessica Pixler and Lisa Anderberg never got to the starting line for the 800-meter preliminary heats.

All competition now will be crammed into Saturday.

“It was thunder and lightning and heavy rain, and that’s ultimately why they put it away,” Falcons coach Karl Lerum said. “It wasn’t going anywhere. (Saturday) is not supposed to be great, so we’ll see.”

Saturday’s forecast calls for a chance of more thunderstorms and highs in the mid 80s.

The only events that were completed Friday in Charlotte were the men's and women's multi-event competitions.

In seventh place heading into the final event of the decathlon, Western Washington University's Alex Harrison (above/photo courtesy Western Washington University) finished tenth in second-day action Friday.

Physically spent from the competition, heat and humidity, Harrison scored just 40 points in the 1,500 meters with a time of 7:16.62 for a 6,142 total.

"It was heartbreaking," said Western coach Pee Wee Halsell . "His began cramping up 150 meters into the race and he showed a lot of guts to finish. It was a miracle that he was able to do that."

Harrison, who was 11th after Thursday's five events, moved up to seventh with solid efforts in the Friday's first four events. He scored 759 points with a 15.77 110 hurdles, then had the fourth-best discus mark of 124-0 (620), the third-highest pole vault of 14-3 1/4 (716) and the second-best javelin throw of 194-7 (727).

Competing for the Vikings Saturday are Sarah Porter & Jordan Welling in the 5000m; Courtney Olsen in the 3000m steeplechase, Harrison in the javelin, and Division II's number one ranked pole vaulter, and reigning NCAA indoor champ Ryan Brown.

Central Washington will have no competitors in action Saturday.

The revised start list for Saturday's competition is available here. Note that due to Friday's weather problems, several events will be timed finals, and all field events postponed will revert to a final.

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

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