Friday, June 10, 2011

Jeshua Anderson ends Washington State career with third NCAA 400 hurdles title...

DES MOINES, Iowa--Washington State University senior Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Mike Scott) won his first NCAA 400 hurdles title at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University, and bookended his collegiate career with his third and final national title Friday night.

After a one-hour delay due to lightning in the area, and running on a wet track with light rain, Anderson took home championship number three in a time of 48.56, ahead of Pac-10 rival Amaechi Morton of Stanford, who ran 49.08.

Anderson took the lead from the starting gun and motored through the ten hurdles with his trademarked smooth and consistent pace, easily out-distancing Morton in the final sprint to the line.

Speaking to CBS Sports' and former Washington State volunteer assistant coach Dan O'Brien on the telecast, Anderson expressed that he didn't let the weather delay hamper his preparation.

"The big thing was to stay focused. Last year we did a little different training. I came here focused. The track was wet and there was the delay, but I'm blessed with the time and thankful for another title. I wanted to run faster but within the conditions, I'm thankful."

WSU hurdles coach Mark Macdonald said, "He isn't really fazed by this kind of thing probably because he knows he's better at recovering and warming up faster than anybody else. He was not rattled at all, just confident the whole time. The entire week he was very professional in how he handled the wind of the qualifying round and then the wet conditions today. The past few weeks he's had the added pressure of agents telling him that another NCAA win would mean so much money for his professional career. And he did a great job of managing that factor too."

Anderson joins former Washington State greats and three-time winners Gerry Lindgren (three-mile run 1966-67-68, and six-mile run 1966-67-68), John van Reenan (discus 1968-69-70), and John Ngeno (six-mile run 1974-75-76). He also joins two other men who have won the 400 hurdles three times--Danny Harris of Iowa State ('84-'85-'86) and Ralph Mann of BYU ('69-'70-'71).

Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry of the University of Oregon was third in a very close race in the men's 400 meters in 45.18. He was actually the fourth runner to cross the line, but Texas Tech's Gil Roberts was disqualified, moving the freshman from Seattle up a spot.

"I wanted to run the last 150 (meters) as hard as I could," said Berry. "It was a tough race at the end."

In the delayed men's 10000, Stanford's Jake Riley from Bellingham was fifth in a time of 28:27.31, while teammate Miles Unterreiner from Gig Harbor was 22nd at 30:40.39.

University of Washington freshman Megan Goethals finished sixth in the women's 5000 meter run, running a time of 15:47.79, which was the best Husky finish in that event in school history, topping Tara Carlson's eighth place finish from 1996.

"I'd just been feeling really strong and all the workouts had been going really well. The plan was to not lead but go off the pace and I'm pretty good at closing, so just hold on those last couple laps," said Goethals. She said her goal was top three, but smiled and said "I'm still happy with sixth, though!"

"Each race this year I felt like I've been getting stronger and learning a lot about college racing. It's a lot different than high school," she said. "I think I keep learning how to take better care of my body. I've really progressed a lot under Metcalf, J.D., and Lauren; they're great at what they do."

Former Washington All-American Kendra Schaaf, now competing for North Carolina, was ninth in 15:52.33.  Sequim's Stephanie Marcy, competing for Stanford, finished 16th in 16:10.33, after doubling back from Wednesday night's 10000.

Andrea Geubelle of the University of Kansas, from University Place outside of Tacoma and Curtis High School, earned an eighth place finish in the triple jump, with a mark of 42-10.25 (13.06m) on her sixth and final attempt.

In the women's pole vault, former Husky Sarah Pappas, competing for Oklahoma, was eighth with a mark of 13-5 1/4 (4.10m), the same cleared by current Husky Logan Miller, who finished 11th.

Oregon senior Jordan Roskelley from Spokane was 17th at 13-1 1/2 (4.00m).

In the delayed conclusion of the men's decathlon, Washington's Jeremy Taiwo, hampered by a disappointing performance in the pole vault in which he only cleared 14-5 1/4 (4.40m), worth 731 points to sit in seventh after eight events, finished 16th overall with a final two-day score of 7517 points.

With a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, there was no way for him to get a decent score in the javelin, the penultimate event. Nonetheless, he set a personal best left-handed toss of 118-9 (36.19m), but was last among the 23 remaining competitors.

In the final event, Taiwo clocked 4:34.99 to finish 12th, scoring 712 points.

"Overall I was doing okay after the first day but then I messed up the pole vault which always seems to happen at nationals," Taiwo said. "After that I knew I couldn't make it up since I had to throw the javelin left-handed. At the end of the day it's kind of disappointing. I was hoping to do really well in nine (events) and I'd say I only did really well in a couple. But that's the decathlon, things happen."

The NCAA championships conclude Saturday morning at 9 am, pacific time, with the live CBS Sports telecast starting an hour later.

Complete day 3 results are available here.

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

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