Friday, May 25, 2012

Ali Worthen earns spot on podium with third place finish in NCAA D2 heptathlon...

PUEBLO, Colorado--Seattle Pacific senior Ali Worthen (left/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific University) was aiming for a top three podium finish entering this week's NCAA Division II heptathlon championship.

She got it.

After starting the day in fifth place, the Marshfield HS standout put together three strong performances – one of them a personal best – and moved up to claim the women's heptathlon bronze medal at the NCAA Track & Field Championships.

Worthen finished with 5,297 points – also a career-best mark. Defending champion and pre-meet favorite Lindsay Lettow of Central Missouri won easily, as expected, with 5,748 points, the third-highest total in meet history. Teammate Erin Alewine was second with 5,371. Cheryl Bourne of Ashland (Ohio), also in the medal hunt going into the final event, wound up fourth with 5,237.

“I'm just ecstatic. I wanted top-3, and I knew what I had to do,” said Worthen. “I'm so happy to know now that it's done.”

She began day 2 with a strong performance in the long jump, stretching the tape out to 18-8 1/2 (5.70m), her second best mark of the season.

Worthen followed it up with a personal best of 116-0 (35.36m) in the javelin, then ran 2:23.12 to gain 782 points and the third place spot.

Worthen's finish made her an All-American for the fourth time in her career – twice outdoors, twice indoors. Last year, she finished sixth in the hep at Turlock, Calif., with 5,044 points. In February, she took sixth in the indoor pentathlon, and finished fourth in the indoor high jump as a freshman in 2009.

Western Washington's Emily Warman bettered her own school record in finishing sixth in the triple jump, as she had a mark of 40-7 (12.37 meters) on her first attempt. That was two inches further than the WWU standard she set earlier this season. Warman came into the competition ranked 13th nationally.

Western senior Alex Harrison finished seventh in the decathlon, with a final score of 6677 points.

Also placing in the top eight and earning All America honors was Viking pole vaulter Karis Anderson, who tied for eighth with a clearance of 12-3 1/2 (3.75m).

Central Washington's Kati Davis no-heighted, missing two attempts at 11-9 3/4 (3.60m) and one at 12-3 1/2 (3.75m).

Seattle Pacific's Nate Seely did not advance to the finals in the men's 800, running 1:56.99 for sixth in his semifinal heat.

Saturday, Worthen competes in the high jump finals, while the Falcons' Brittany Aanstad and Western's Katie Reichert are in the women's javelin. Harrison will throw in the finals of the men's javelin.

Day 2 results from the NCAA Division II championships are available through this link.


At the Ostrava Golden Spike meet in the Czech Republic, Vancouver's Kara Patterson finished sixth with a throw of 196-10 (60.00m) on Friday.

Patterson got her best throw on her second attempt, after opening with a toss of 196-2 (59.79m) to momentarily hold third place at the end of the first stanza.

In a tweet posted after the meet, she said that she was, "not satisfied but not totally bummed! Better than all but one of my Europe meets last year, and I felt pretty achy."

Barbora Špotáková of the Czech Republic gave the field notice that she's ready to defend her Olympic title, winning in a meet record and 2012 world leading mark of 222-4 (67.78m), with reigning world champion Maria Abakumova second at 211-1 (64.34m).

Patterson moves on to Rome for the Golden Gala on May 31st.

Complete results from the Ostrava Golden Spike are available here.

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

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