AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Washington advanced three more athletes, while Washington State advanced two women’s relay squads and a javelin thrower in Saturday’s final day of competition at the NCAA West Preliminary Round at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.
With both NCAA qualifiers from 2014 redshirting with injuries, it was expected that Curtis Clauson (above/photo by Howard Lao/University of Washington) would pick up the void left by Quinn Hale and Carson Fuller.
Clauson popped yet another personal best, throwing the spear 238-5 (72.75m), surpassing his previous PR of 225-3 (68.67m) to finish third overall.
A few technical improvements over the course of the season have paid off at just the right time, said Clauson. “I’ve been working on just following through the throw,” he said. “In the past I’ve been amped up and sitting but not following through as well. The focus for this meet was just being really warmed up for those first throws, because three is all you get this year. I wanted the first throw to be the best, my warm-ups felt good and it worked out. I could tell it was a good flight; I knew I caught it. I didn’t know it was 72-high, but I knew it was a 70-meter throw.”
UCLA senior Derek Eager from Tahoma HS was fifth with a throw of 229-9 (70.02m), and Washington State’s Kyle Stevens took tenth at 221-4 (67.47m).
Reigning Pac-12 1500 champ Izaic Yorks finished third in his heat in a time of 3:42.99 to ensure his seat on the Washington team bus to Eugene.
Maddie Meyers of the Huskies ran comfortably, finishing fourth in her heat and gaining one of the automatic qualifying spots to Eugene, clocking 16:04.70 in heat 1. Kirkland native Tansey Lystad of Portland got the final qualifying spot to Eugene in heat 2, as she ran 16:06.15.
WSU will have both women’s relay teams racing in Eugene. The 4x100m relay squad of Bria’una Watley, Danielle Darden Dominique Keel, and Christiana Ekelem ran a time of 44.61 seconds, second-best in their heat and seventh-fastest of the 24 teams racing. The time is also the second-fastest time in WSU all-time history.
To end the meet, the Cougar women’s 4x400m relay ran a time of 3 minutes 35.66 seconds, third-best in WSU all-time history, fourth in their heat and 12-best in this round. The 1600m relay advancing to the NCAA Championships consists of Erin Allen, Keel, Ekelem and Liz Harper.
Tacoma native Marcus Chambers of Oregon qualified for two more events, as the Ducks got both relay teams into the national finals.
The biggest surprise of the meet was the failure of any of Washington’s pole vault crew, led by Pac-12 champ Jax Thoirs, to advance to the nationals.
After a clearance at 17-0.75 (4.20m), Thoirs pulled up with a cramp at 17-4.5 (5.30m), and passed his remaining two attempts, opting to wait until 17-8.5 (5.40m) to see if he could recover from the cramp.
The national championships takes a new television-friendly format in two weeks at Hayward Field with only men’s events contested Wednesday and Friday June 10th and 12th, while the women go on the 11th and 13th (multi-events excluded).
NOTE: The sports information office at the University of Texas, the University of Washington, and Washington State University contributed to this report.