Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jessica Pixler records twelfth NCAA Division II title; WWU's Ryan Brown wins pole vault...

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Seattle Pacific's Jessica Pixler (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, closed out her storied career as one of the most decorated athletes in school history by winning her second straight NCAA Division II title in the 1500 meters Saturday.

The senior from Eastlake HS in Sammamish, who began her career at Seattle Pacific as a soccer player, took command about 250 meters into the race, then stretched her lead way out so that by the time she crossed the finish line, she was 7.5 seconds in front of her nearest pursuer, stopping the watch in 4 minutes, 15.43 seconds.

However, her attempt to add No. 13 never got very far beyond the starting line. Having felt some ankle pain during her 1,500 run, Pixler nevertheless planned to go for the 800 in the second of two timed-finals heats, but dropped out after running 50 meters.

“My ankle has been kind of mess up the last couple weeks. It hasn’t been right since conference", Pixler said. “And being in spikes all weekend took its toll.

“It hurt during the 1,500, and it tightened up a lot,” Pixler added. “I tried to get it loose enough for the 800. We talked about scratching, but if I ran on it, I wasn’t going to hurt it any more. I was hoping when the gun went off, I thought I would get a lot of adrenaline and I wouldn’t feel it. I don’t regret trying -- I just really couldn’t do it.”

Next up for Pixler is the USA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa in late June, where she plans to run the 1500 in her pro debut.

Western Washington junior pole vaulter Ryan Brown won the national title in his event to match the indoor title he won in March, skying a new personal best of 17-8.5 (5.40m).

Brown easily cleared the first three heights attempted, then clinched the national title with a second attempt clearance at 17-0 (5.18m).

He then cleared 17-8.5 on his second attempt, eclipsing his personal best of 17-7 (5.36m) set on May 8th at Husky Stadium in Seattle.

Brown attempted a meet record 18-2 1/2 with a new pole that arrived last week, but it wouldn't allow him to go that height.

The Vikings' Sarah Porter placed third in the women's 5,000 and Alex Harrison was fifth in the men's javelin.

Porter broke her own school record set earlier this season with a time of 16:23.52.

Harrison, who ranked eighth nationally going into the competition, posted a mark of 200-9 (61.20m) on his fourth throw. He was ninth heading into the finals.

Seattle Pacific senior Lisa Anderberg was a beneficiary of Pixler's DNF, as the Kamiak HS grad, who came in as the No. 8 seed, ran a personal-best 2 minutes, 10.37 second, That gave her eighth place, a spot on the awards podium and All-American status.

Complete results from the NCAA Division II championships can be accessed here.

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

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