Saturday, May 26, 2012

Washington's Goethals, Juilifs, Flood, Maricich, and Alaka along with UW & WSU relay teams qualify for nationals...

AUSTIN, Texas--In this meet, twelfth is just as good as first.

Washington's Megan Goethals (left/photo by Paul Merca), Katie Flood, JJ Juilifs, AJ Maricich, James Alaka, and the men's 4 x 100 meter relay squad all earned the right to move on to the NCAA finals in Des Moines, Iowa, as they qualified in their events on the final day of the NCAA West Preliminaries at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

Additionally, Washington State's women's 4 x 100 meter relay squad also advanced to the NCAA finals in two weeks.

Goethals, a sophomore and former Foot Locker national cross country champion from Rochester, Michigan, won the first of two semifinal rounds in the 5000 meters, running the fastest time of the day in 15:46.82 to advance to her second straight national championship meet in this event.

Pac-12 champion and Sammamish native Jessica Tebo of Colorado was content to run in the pack, as the sixth-year senior and Seattle Pacific alum finished third in the heat in 15:54.13, making sure she was in the top 5 to automatically advance to Des Moines.

In the women's triple jump, University Place resident Andrea Geubelle of the University of Kansas had the best jump of the day, jumping a windy 46-6 (14.17m) on her first attempt, and passing her remaining attempts.

In the men's pole vault, Husky freshman JJ Juilifs cleared five consecutive heights on his first attempts, climaxing with a first clearance of 17-8 1/2 (5.40m) to ensure a ticket to Iowa.

In the women's 1500, Katie Flood ran fast enough to ensure a second straight berth in the NCAA championships in her hometown, finishing second in her semifinal race, clocking 4:17.05.

Bellingham's Becca Friday of Oregon finished second in the other semifinal, running 4:16.79 to move forward to Des Moines.

Another Bellingham native earned a berth in the NCAA national finals, as Chris Kwiatkowski, a fifth year senior at the University of Oregon had the third fastest time in the men's 5000, running 14:07.19.

7-2 1/2 (2.20m) was the magic height, and the Huskies' AJ Maricich cleared that bar on his second attempt, as he was one of five jumpers to successfully navigate the height to qualify for the national championships.

The Huskies' James Alaka qualified for his second individual event, as the two-time Pac-12 champion finished third in his semi-final over 200 meters, running 20.61 to get an automatic berth to Des Moines.

Earlier in the day, Alaka ran the second leg of the Huskies' 4 x 100 meter relay team that squeezed out the final berth to Des Moines, running 39.98 to place 4th in the first of three heats, and sweat out the results of the other two heats to see if he and teammates Sam Rucker, Maurice McNeal and Ryan Hamilton would advance to Iowa.

As it turned out, the Huskies had the 12th fastest time in the three heats (top three teams on place, plus the three fastest times advance), garnering the final spot by 2/10ths of a second.

Like the Huskies, Washington State's 4 x 100 meter relay team had to sweat out and watch two other heats before learning whether they would be going to Iowa.

The Cougars, comprised of Chanel James, Cindy Robinson, Candii McFarland, and Shawna Fermin, finished fifth in their heat in a time of 44.92, after Kansas was disqualified for a pass outside the zone.

Washington State's time was good enough to gain the 12th and final spot to Des Moines.

Oregon's Michael Berry from Seattle's Rainier Beach HS, who qualified Friday in the 400, was a last minute replacement to run the anchor leg on the Ducks' 4 x 100 relay team that earned a place in the national championships, as they ran 39.86, just ahead of the Huskies.

Complete day 3 results from the NCAA West Preliminaries are available here.

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