Friday, May 30, 2014

Dawgs add four, while Cougs and Eags each add two to NCAA finals roster...

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas--The University of Washington track & field team added four athletes to its NCAA finals roster in two weeks, while Washington State and Eastern Washington qualified two athletes each as day 2 of the NCAA West Preliminary Round concluded at John McDonnell Track on the campus of the University of Arkansas.

400 meter hurdlers Gianna Woodruff (above/photo by Paul Merca) and Kayla Stueckle, running in heat two of three, finished third and fourth in identical times of 57.72, with Woodruff across the line first in 57.713 to 57.717.

With the top three finishers in each heat assured of advancing to the national finals in Eugene, plus the three fastest times from the three heats, Stueckle had to wait for the results of the third heat to learn her fate.

As it turned out, the third heat was the slowest of the three heats, with Iowa's Montayla Holder finishing third in 58.19 to grab the last automatic spot to Eugene, thus making Stueckle the fastest time qualifier.

This was a big turnaround for Stueckle, who set a new personal best Friday, after finishing a disappointing eighth two weeks ago at the Pac-12 meet in Pullman.

University of Oregon senior Michael Berry from Rainier Beach HS in Seattle won his heat in 45.39, which was the third fastest time of the day to easily advance to the national championships on his home track.

The mens' 800 saw Pac-12 champ Derrick Daigre of Washington and MPSF indoor champ Jesse Jorgensen of Washington State advance.  Daigre set a new personal best of 1:48.03 to finish third in heat 3 and grab an auto qualifier, while Jorgensen ran 1:49.05 to take third in heat 2.

In the men's steeplechase, Washington State's Andrew Gonzales set a new personal best, running 8:47.14 to place fourth in heat 2.  In the process, the senior was the fastest time qualifier out of the three heats.

The women's steeple saw Washington's Liberty Miller and Eastern Washington's Catie Arrigoni punch their tickets to Eugene.  Miller ran a personal best 10:07.52 to finish second in heat 3, while Arrigoni, a junior from tiny class B Oroville HS via Everett Community College, finished fifth in the same heat in a school record 10:14.99 to grab the final qualifying spot to the national championships.

On the field, the Eagles' Jordan Arakawa earned the twelfth and final spot in the men's hammer with a throw of 202-4 (61.68m).

The recaps for Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, University of Washington and Washington State are available by clicking on each school's name.

At the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, University of Oregon alum Galen Rupp broke the American record in the men's 10000 to highlight the first night of competition.

Rupp ran 26:44.36 to break his own American record of 26:48.00 set at the 2011 Van Damme Memorial meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

In other events, Croatia's Sandra Perkovic set a meet record in the discus, with a toss of 227-5 (69.32m).  Ivana Spanovic of Serbia won the women's long jump with a co-world leading leap and new national record of 22-7 (6.88m), the same mark as Russia's Darya Klishina.

Reese Hoffa won yet another Pre Classic shot put competition, with a toss of 71-0 (21.64m) to lead an American sweep of the first four places.

In the first of two sections of the women's USATF high performance 800, Seattle's Phoebe Wright finished fifth in 2:03.37.

NOTE:  The sports information offices of Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, University of Washington, and Washington State University contributed to this report.

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