Thursday, May 27, 2010

Javelin throwers from UW & WSU advance to highlight day 1 at NCAA West Regionals...

AUSTIN, Texas--Washington javelin throwers Joe Zimmerman (left/photo courtesy University of Washington) and Kyle Nielsen were the first two Huskies to punch their ticket to Eugene for the NCAA Championships as they finished second and fourth in the West Regional qualifying meet at Mike Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

Zimmerman, who was fifth in the Pac-10 championships two weeks ago in Berkeley, threw the spear 235-3 (71.71m) on his first attempt to earn a spot in the national championships in two weeks. On his second attempt, Zimmerman threw 228-3 (69.57m), then followed up with a foul, before passing on his last three attempts.

On moving on to the finals Zimmerman said, "I'm stoked. I was pretty concerned I wasn't going to make it to nationals, and I never thought I'd get second."

Nielsen, the bronze medallist in Berkeley two weeks ago, was one centimeter short of the 70-meter mark, as he threw 229-7 (69.99m) on his second attempt. Like his teammate, Nielsen passed on his remaining three throws.

"We got here early this morning to check in and then we waited about three hours to compete just because of the numbers," said Nielsen. "It was a weird competition, and I think Joe was the only guy who PR'd. Just happy to be moving on."

The third Husky, freshman James Brookman, was four spots short of qualifying for Eugene, as he threw 209-4 to finish 16th. Eastern Washington's Aaron Mettler was 30th with a toss of 194-6 (59.28m).

In the women's javelin, Washington State's Marissa Tschida (171-10/52.37m) and Courtney Kirkwood (164-7/50.18m) earned their spots in the NCAA championship meet by finishing second, and seventh, respectively.

2009 NCAA finalist Brooke Pighin finished 24th with a toss of 145-3 (44.27m), while WSU's Jennifer Hamilton was 33rd at 138-8 (42.26m), and Eastern Washington's Michelle Coombs was 45th at 109-1 (33.26m).

According to UW's media release, Pighin has been plagued by a sore tendon on her elbow that will require off-season surgery.

In the men's 10000, Bellingham's Jake Riley finished third, as the Stanford junior ran 29:38.64 to advance to Eugene. Washington senior Jake Schmitt, a two-time NCAA qualifier in this event, finished 19th in 30:12.06, despite running in the front pack for most of the race.

Eastern's Paul Limpf was 33rd in 31:23.97, UW's Alec Bromka 34th in 31:34.08, while the Huskies' Jordan Swarthout was 37th in 31:55.13. WSU's Dan Geib was 38th in 32:02.22, and Eastern's Kyle King was 40th in 32:43.24.

After running in the lead group for the better part of the race, senior Anita Campbell finished 11th in the women's 10000m run in a time of 34:39.60, two spots behind former Eastern Washington standout Mattie Bridgmon from Oregon, who clocked 34:34.81.

Among the top runners in first round action advancing to the round of 24 in Thursday's first round included defending NCAA 400 hurdles champ Jeshua Anderson of WSU (49.47), the Washington duo of Katie Follett (4:23.33) and Kailey Campbell (4:21.17) in the 1500, along with WSU's Lisa Egami (4:24.24).

In the women's 400 hurdles, WSU's Veronica Elseroad-Wall (59.46) and Brittnay Crabb (1:00.30) also advanced to the round of 24, setting PRs en route.

800 meter runners Joe Abbott (1:48.66 PR) and Anna Layman (2:08.71) of Washington State also advanced to the second round in their events.

The competition continues in Austin Friday afternoon with field events beginning at noon Central Time and running events starting at 4:30 p.m. CT.

Results from day 1 of the NCAA West Regional/Preliminary Round Track & Field Championships are available here.

NOTE: The sports information offices of the University of Washington, Washington State University, Eastern Washington University & the University of Texas all assisted with this story.

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