Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jeshua Anderson advances to 400H finals at Texas Relays; WSU & UW in weekend action...

AUSTIN, Texas--Three-time defending Texas Relays champion Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Paul Merca) of Washington State University opened his quest for a four-peat by advancing to the finals of the 400 hurdles Thursday as the Texas Relays got underway.

Anderson, a senior from Woodland Hills, Calif., ran a 400m hurdles prelim time of 50.94 seconds. His time was fourth-fastest of the 54 runners in the prelims where the top nine times advanced to the final. Texas Tech's Jamele Mason ran the top prelim time of 49.97 seconds. WSU's J Hopkins ran a time of 53.22 which was 18th-best on the day.

Anderson is the three-time Texas Relays intermediate hurdles champion and a two-time NCAA intermediate hurdles champion, finishing second at the national meet last year. He is the WSU record-holder in this event with at time of 48.47 and has the national season-best time of 49.33.

At Texas, WSU will have Brett Blanshan, Marlon Murray, Nate Washington in the 100 meters. Brandon Dawson (4 x 100m) and Jacob Sealby (4 x 400m) will see relay duty for the Cougars. On the women's side, Washington State has Ashley Kenney in the discus and Marissa Tschida & Courtney Kirkwood in the javelin.

Heat sheets and results from the Texas Relays are available here.

The larger group of Cougars will compete in Saturday's SCC War IV at Spokane CC, where Washington teams from CC of Spokane, Central Washington, Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, Seattle Pacific, Seattle University, Washington State and Whitworth are competing against the “World” teams from Eastern Oregon, Treasure Valley, Lewis-Clark State, Northwest Nazarene, University of Idaho, Boise State University, Great Falls University and University of Montana.

Meanwhile, the University of Washington heads to Eugene for the Pepsi Team Invitational scoring meet against Oregon, Stanford and Nebraska, one of two scoring meets the Huskies have on their schedule this season.

This will be the first outdoor meet with the full Husky squad in action. Two weeks ago the Stanford Invitational lured a big group of distance runners and sprinters, but many of UW's top field event athletes will be competing for the first time this weekend.

Senior Scott Roth will open up his outdoor season in the pole vault on Saturday, competing for the first time since winning the NCAA Indoor Championship last month. He'll be joined by sophomore transfer Robby Fegles, who vaulted last year for Lane CC, set to wear his new Husky jersey for the first time.

Also entering into their first action of the year are UW's All-American javelin duo of senior Kyle Nielsen and sophomore Joe Zimmerman. Nielsen and Zimmerman were third and fourth, respectively, at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last season. NCAA prelim qualifier Jimmy Brookman gives UW a third big javelin arm.

The distance battles on the women's side between Washington, Oregon, and Stanford should be fierce as usual. At 1,500-meters, freshmen Katie Flood and Megan Goethals will run against Oregon's NCAA mile champion Jordan Hasay. Sophomore Lindsay Flanagan has the top seed time in the 5,000-meters, coming off a great 10k run at Stanford that ranked fifth in school history. Freshman Mackenzie Carter will make her collegiate debut in the steeplechase as well.

Washington's sprints group will look to build off an impressive opening weekend at Stanford. Sophomore James Alaka comes in as the favorite in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and will be joined by junior Ryan Hamilton. Sophomore Colton Dunn and freshman Maurice McNeal will run the quarter-mile, with McNeal coming off a very impressive 21.23 opening at 200-meters at Stanford.

The men's 1,500-meter race boasts a loaded field with numerous All-Americans and NCAA competitors. Senior Colton Tully-Doyle and sophomore Joey Bywater, plus junior Ryan Soberanis and redshirt freshman Gareth Gilna give UW strong representation in one of the day's top fields.

At 5,000-meters, junior Max O'Donoghue-McDonald will look for a strong encore from his Stanford 5k where he broke 14-minutes for the first time. Sophomore Rob Webster Jr. and freshman Aaron Beattie will also run. Sophomore James Cameron, on a roll since the indoor season began, will try out the steeplechase this week after running the third-best 5k in school history at Stanford.

Action at Hayward Field gets underway at 11:30 am. For those not able to drive to Eugene, Comcast Sports Net (channel 179 on Seattle area Comcast) will have live TV coverage of the meet from 12:30pm-3 pm with announcers Rich Cellini, Tom Jordan, Brad Barquist and Jill Savage.

In addition, the University of Oregon will stream the meet live in HD on for $9.95

The entry lists for the meet are available here.

Finally, Western Washington's multi-events meet got underway Thursday in Bellingham with Michelle Howe, who had top times in both the 100-meter hurdles (15.13) and 200 (27.11), leading the heptathlon with a four-event total of 2,580.

In the decathlon, Central Washington's Jason Caryl leads 10 decathlon participants with 3,344 points. He had top efforts in the 100 (11.50), long jump (21-3 1/4) and 400 (52.45).

The multi-events resumes Friday at 9 am, along with the Ralph Vernacchia Team Classic at Civic Stadium, with field events at 2:30 pm, and running events at 3:30.

Besides Western, the field includes British Columbia, Central Washington, Everett CC, Evergreen State, Green River CC, Northwest, Olympic CC, Pacific Lutheran, Saint Martin's, Seattle U., Simon Fraser, Skagit Valley CC and Puget Sound.

You can read Western's preview of the meet here.

NOTE:  The University of Texas, University of Oregon, University of Washington, Washington State University, and Western Washington University contributed to this report.

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