Saturday, March 31, 2012

Washington State men sweep Bruins and Vols in double dual; Western men & SPU women win Vernacchia...

LOS ANGELES--Senior Joe Abbott's (left, #751/photo courtesy WSU Athletics) win in the 800 meter run and more importantly, his anchor leg in the 4 x 400 meter relay proved to be the difference as the Washington State University men claimed seven event wins en route to dual meet wins over both UCLA and Tennessee Saturday at the double dual meet at Drake Stadium.

The Cougar men defeated Tennessee 92 to 66, and overtook the host Bruins 85.5 to 77.5.

The Cougar women had four event wins but were edged by UCLA 82 to 81 and surpassed by No. 14 Tennessee 99 to 63. The UCLA men defeated Tennessee 115 to 46, and the Tennessee women beat UCLA 96 to 67.

"It was an exceptional day for Cougar track and field, both men and women and I'm so proud of our teams," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "Defeating UCLA men and Tennessee men was as good as we could have hoped for entering the meet. And we really had to battle all day long, right down to the final event, to get those wins. Joe Abbott and the UCLA anchor ran neck-and-neck the entire last leg of the men's four-by-four, and Joe beat him by half a stride and that was the difference in the meet."

Abbott won the men's 800m run in a time of 1:48.57 which is a UCLA dual meet record, and David Hickerson finished fourth (1:53.41). Abbott ended the day anchoring the 4x400m relay team of Ryan Barrett, J Hopkins, and Brandon Dawson to a second-place finish in a time of 3:14.62.

WSU All-American Stephan Scott-Ellis was a double-winner, first taking the men's long jump with a leap of 24-feet, 9 1/4 inches (7.55m), then finished his day with a victory in the triple jump with a leap of 50-5 1/4 (15.37m).

Lee George won the men's 1500 in a PR 3:47.93, while J Hopkins took the 400 hurdles in 51.52, and Andrew Gonzales won the 3000 steeple in 8:59.23 to round out the Cougar winners.

On the women's side, freshman Christine Kirkwood (Othello) led a first through fourth Cougar finish in the javelin, throwing 158-4 (48.26m), a UCLA dual meet record. Courtney Kirkwood Simmons was second to her sister after throwing a distance of 146-10 (44.75m), with Anna Adamko third (PR 146-6/44.66m), andJaclyn Onosko finished fourth (141-4/43.07m).

Caroline Austin (junior, Chehalis) led a one-two Cougar finish in the women's 3000m steeplechase, winning in a time of 10:47.01, which is a UCLA dual meet record, with Emily Farrar second in a time of 10:53.01.

Shawna Fermin claimed the women's 400m dash in a time of 53.86, which is a UCLA dual meet record time, and then claimed third in the 200m with a time of 24.20.

Christine Rice took the Cougars' final win of the day in the high jump with a leap of 5-8 1/2 (1.74m).

Complete results from the UCLA-Tennessee-WSU double dual are available here.

In Bellingham, the Western Washington University men's track and field team extended its string of team championships in the WWU Ralph Vernacchia Meet to 15 on Saturday at Civic Stadium, but the Viking women had their string of victories snapped at six, narrowly finishing second behind Seattle Pacific University.

WWU easily won the men's team title with 217.5 points, well ahead of second place Central Washington at 119.5.

By winning the final event, the 4 x 400 meter relay, Seattle Pacific took home the team title, as the Falcons finished with 142 points to 140 for the Vikings, the closest finish since 1995. British Columbia was third with 125.

Pole vaulter Cal Rosenberg led the charge for the Vikings, with a NCAA D2 provisional qualifier, clearing 15-9 (4.80m) in rainy conditions to finish behind WWU alum Ryan Brown, who cleared 16-8.75 (5.10m) for the win.

One of the best marks of the day was set by Canadian Olympian Mike Mason, who won the high jump with a mark of 7-2 1/2 (2.20m).

Some of the top marks included a win by Karis Anderson of Western in the pole vault, clearing a NCAA D2 provisional mark of 12-7 1/2 (3.85m), along with Seattle Pacific javelin thrower Brittany Aanstad, who won with a NCAA D2 provisional mark of 141-11 (43.27m), though she's thrown farther this season.

Complete results of the Ralph Vernacchia meet are available here.

In Salem, Oregon, Zach Stanfield of Seattle University won the 100 meters in 10.74, and the 200m in 21.75 at the Willamette Invitational.

SeattleU's Katie Tougas won the long jump with an outdoor PR of 17-6.75 (5.35m).

Complete results from the Willamette Invitational are available here.

Former Western Washington All-American Sarah Porter won the 5000 meter run late Friday night at the Raleigh Relays in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Porter, who now competes for North Carolina based Zap Fitness, won section I of the 5000 in 16:02.06, over seven seconds ahead of Brittany Copeland of East Carolina (16:09.67).

Complete results from the Raleigh Relays are available here.

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

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