SPU's Worthen wins title in heptathlon
Ali Worthen of Seattle Pacific, who led the country in the women's heptathlon from the very first meet of the season, won the title Friday...
Ali Worthen of Seattle Pacific, who led the country in the women's heptathlon from the very first meet of the season, won the title Friday afternoon at the NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships in Pueblo, Colo.
The Falcon senior finished with 5,340 points, beating Jesseka Raymond from Academy of Art (5,166) and Zoe Sharplin of Central Missouri (5,161). Raymond had been the leader for most of the competition.
SPU senior Katy Gross, who began Day 2 in 13th place, came up big in the long jump and javelin, winning the latter for the second time in her career, and climbing all the way to an All-American sixth-place finish. She totaled 4,986 points.
Worthen's title was the 23rd in the history of the SPU women's program and the fifth in the heptathlon. Worthen was in third place to start the day, 66 points behind Raymond. She climbed into second place after the long jump, cutting Raymond's lead to 16 points, and was within five points after the javelin, 4,536-4,531, with Sharplin right there at 4,528.
All Worthen had to do was beat both by half a second or more, and the title would be hers. She did that, finishing third overall in 2:21.06. Sharplin was 11th in 2:34.85, and Raymond was 12th at 2:35.13.
"It was so perfect, really, to end this way, because I feel like the last five years have been a struggle," a drained Worthen said. "It has always come down to the last event. Going into the 800, it was like, 'OK, you've got to leave it out there, not just go walk in the park ... You're going to have to work for this.' "
Washington sophomore Baylee Mires qualified for the NCAA championship in Eugene in the 800, setting the school record at 2:05.34 in the NCAA West Preliminary at Austin, Texas.
Junior Kayla Stueckle and sophomore Gianna Woodruff qualified in the 400-meter hurdles to make UW one of just two schools to send two athletes to Eugene in that event. Senior All-American Logan Miller won the pole vault at 13-5 ¾ to earn her third straight berth in the NCAA championship.
Washington State's Shawna Fermin was the lone Cougar to advance to Eugene, doing it in the 400 with a time of 52.99.
Washington State rallied from seven runs down to upset No. 3 Oregon State 10-9 in 11 innings in Corvallis.
Jason Monda scored the winning run on an error after his two-run home run in the ninth forced extra innings.
Washington State (23-30, 9-19 Pac-12) was behind 7-0 to OSU (43-10, 22-6) after six innings and 8-1 after seven. The last time the Cougars trailed by that many that late in the game and won was April 27, 1986 when they fell behind Portland State 7-0 after six innings and won 10-7 in 10 innings.
• Senior Joe Meggs' 11th-inning, two-out single drove in Michael Camporeale from second as Washington edged No. 19 Arizona State 8-7 at Husky Ballpark.
Washington (23-31, 14-14 in the Pac-12) trailed 4-0, but scored five in the fifth to go in front. The Huskies also came back from a 6-5 deficit with a run in the eighth, and then had to score a run in the 10th to get it to the 11th against ASU (34-19-1, 15-13 Pac-12)
• Brigham Young knocked Gonzaga out of the West Coast Conference Tournament, winning 8-1 in Stockton, Calif. The top-seeded Bulldogs (32-21-1) lost both of their games in the double-elimination tournament.
Washington freshman Ying Luo shot 6-over 78 in the final round of the NCAA Women's Golf Championship to finish tied for 51st. The walk-on from Shenzhan, China had a four-day total of 301 (+13) at University of Georgia Golf Course.
USC won the team title and Trojans freshman Annie Park won individual crown. UCLA sophomore Erynee Lee from Silverdale was tied for fourth.
• Jamika Parker, a 6-foot-3 center at W.F. West High School in Chehalis, has signed a letter of intend to play women's basketball this fall at Western Washington.