The WSU track and field team excelled as it closed its 2011 season, seeing senior Jeshua Anderson claim his third 400-meter hurdles NCAA title in his career.
Anderson came into the title race with the nation-leading and fifth-best intermediate hurdle time in the world of 48.13 seconds.
Racing at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa, Anderson captured the title with a time of 48.56 seconds.
Anderson is now racing overseas in the World University Games in Shenzhen, China. Anderson finished with the fourth fastest time of the 24 men competing with a time of 49.72.
As the season came to a close, selected WSU athletes also took part in the West Preliminary Round meet, which offered athletes a chance to take part in the NCAA finals.
At the preliminary meet, the men’s 4x100-meter relay team, consisting of Greg Hornsby, Nate Washington, Brett Blanshan and Marlon Murray, were able to punch their ticket to the NCAA finals meet with a time of 40.26 seconds.
After running a time of 39.48 seconds before the preliminary meet, the relay team was named Pac-10 champions.
Junior Joe Abbott secured a spot in the NCAA finals in the 800-meter along with Anderson in the 400-meter hurdles.
Anderson was the only WSU male to win in the NCAA finals as both Abbott and the 4x100-meter relay team were eliminated prior to the final round.
The women’s squad also made some strides as the season came to a close. Numerous Cougars were able to secure a spot in the NCAA finals.
Seniors Anna Layman and Marissa Tschida and junior Courtney Kirkwood all secured berths in the NCAA finals. Layman, the Pac-10 champion, ran a time of 2:05.86, which was the eighth fastest time of the day at the preliminary meet.
Tschida and Kirkwood both reached the NCAA finals in the javelin. Tschida had the best throw of the preliminary meet with a throw of 174 feet, 10 inches. Kirkwood, also competing, finished tenth with a throw of 162 feet, five inches.
In the NCAA final, Layman did not advance to the finals as she finished 19th overall with a time of 2:06.60.
Both javelin throwers placed at the NCAA finals. Tschida solidified third place with a throw of 171 feet, three inches and Kirkwood finished in ninth with a throw of 160 feet.
WSU will look to improve next year regardless of the athletes they lost due to graduation. After being ranked nationally for much of the year, both the men’s and women’s team finished in seventh place at the Pac-10 Championships.