Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Husky senior Scott Roth captures NCAA outdoor pole vault title...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Washington senior Scott Roth (left/photo by Mike Scott) who entered the NCAA championships as perhaps one of its biggest favorites in an unpredictable event, battled the elements to emerge victorious in the pole vault to highlight the first day of competition in the NCAA track & field championships at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University.

After experiencing a slight weather delay, Roth entered the competition at 17-6.5 (5.35m), clearing the bar on his first attempt.

With only Oral Roberts' Jack Whitt and BYU's Chris Little remaining in the competition, Roth put pressure on the other two by clearing 17-8.5 (5.45m) on his first attempt, while both missed on their first, forcing them to pass their remaining two attempts and have to clear the next height of 17-10.5 (5.45m) in order to retake the lead from the Washington senior.

Neither Whitt nor Little made their two attempts at 17-10.5, which made Roth's three misses at that height academic, as the California native secured his first NCAA outdoor title to go with two national championships indoors.

Chehalis native Tanner Emrich, competing for BYU, no-heighted at 16-4 3/4 (5.00m).

"I came into this meet thinking I'm going to win this thing," said Roth. "I need to win it, I'm going to, I really want to, and that attitude helped me. I can't ask for a better way to end my time here at U-dub. It's just been awesome. I want to thank all my coaches. I've just really had a great time here and I'm going to miss everybody. And I want to thank my dad because I wouldn't be anywhere without him and he gave me crazy opportunities."

"It went really well, it went smoothly. I was dealing with some crazy winds out there. So it was difficult to deal with but I had been prepping myself since Pac-10s, because I didn't deal with the conditions very well there," said Roth. "And (assistant coach) Pat (Licari) and I had a talk about how I'm going to prepare myself mentally for these conditions ... and it's really changed my attitude about it. I knew when I walked on the track that it would be a difficult day as far as conditions, but I kept a positive attitude that I'd be able to deal with it."

In other finals, Washington's Kyle Nielsen finished a disappointing eighth in the javelin, throwing 234-5 (71.45m), while teammate Joe Zimmerman, who was fourth in this meet last year, failed to make the nine-man final, throwing 217-10 (66.41m).

Walla Walla's Nick Lyons, competing for Baylor, was tenth at 231-9 (70.64m).

Sequim's Stephanie Marcy of Stanford, the Pac-10 champion in the 10000, finished sixth in her race, running 34:35.18, while Oregon's Bronwyn Crossman from Bellingham's Squalicum HS finished 15th at 35:25.12.

In other action, Washington's Jeremy Taiwo won the decathlon high jump competition, clearing 6-9.75 (2.08m) for 878 points. The junior from Renton sits in sixth with 4074 points at the halfway mark.

Washington State's Jeshua Anderson led all qualifiers in the 400 hurdles, running 49.18 to advance to Friday's finals, where he will shoot for a third career national title in this event.

"The race felt good," Anderson said. "It was real windy on the backstretch. I just ran as smooth and relaxed as possible and then pushed it the second 200. I knew Reggie was going to run up on me but I just ran the way I do in practice and finished pretty good. I tried to relax and get these jitters out. I'll feel better on Friday. The national prelims race is always a little scary."

Neither Washington's 400-meter relay squad of Maurice McNeal, James Alaka, Colton Dunn & Ryan Hamilton (39.86) nor Washington State's team of Greg Hornsby, Nate Washington, Brett Blanshan, and Marlon Murray (39.85) advanced to Friday's final.

Texas-El Paso, with Lakes HS grad Anthony Wright on the anchor, ran 40.37, and didn't advance.

McNeal didn't advance in the 400 meters, running 46.27. Oregon freshman Michael Berry from Seattle's Rainier Beach HS ran the third fastest time of the day at 45.23.

Sophomore Andrea Geubelle of Kansas via University Place's Curtis HS finished 21st in the women's long jump at 19-8 (5.99m).

Washington State 800 meter runners Anna Layman and Joe Abbott didn't advance in their events, as Layman, the 2011 Pac-10 champion, ran a time of 2:06.60 which was seventh in her heat and 19th overall. Abbott ran a time of 1:47.73 which was fourth in his heat but 13th overall with only the top eight advancing.

Action at the NCAA championships continues Thursday beginning at 1 pm, pacific time. A live video stream will be available via ncaa.com.

Complete day 1 results are available here.

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