Jeshua Anderson of Washington State aims for his third consecutive NCAA outdoor championship in the 400-meter hurdles, and Scott Roth of Washington tries to add the outdoor pole vault title to his indoor crown.
Jeshua Anderson and Scott Roth both know what an NCAA title feels like.
Anderson just knows the feeling a little better.
The Washington State runner will not only be attempting to win his third consecutive NCAA title in the men’s 400-meter hurdles at this week’s outdoor NCAA Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., but the junior will also try for the final time this season to break his school record of 48.47 seconds.
On the day Anderson is expected to revisit the rare — but familiar — air of the winner’s podium, UW pole vaulter Scott Roth will try to get there for the first time at the NCAA outdoor meet.
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Roth, a junior, won the NCAA indoor pole-vault championship in Fayetteville, Ark., in March, becoming the Huskies’ first individual track and field champion since 2007 by jumping 18 feet, 4 ¼ inches.
And he has also tasted some success at the outdoor level, finishing second in that competition at last year’s NCAAs. He’s seeded third this season after tying for first in the preliminary round two weeks ago in Austin.
He says his best may be yet to come.
“I can’t say I’ve had a meet yet where I’ve been like, ‘That was my day to jump high,’ ” Roth said. “This weekend in Eugene, it could be really good conditions. I’m really excited.”
Roth hasn’t jumped at many outdoor meets this season, which could provide motivation.
It also won’t hurt that Roth’s teammate, senior Ryan Vu, qualified for the NCAAs alongside him and will also compete in Eugene. Vu actually pulled off an upset at this year’s Pac-10 Championships, topping Roth — the NCAA’s third-ranked vaulter — for the conference title with a jump of 17-7 ¾.
“It’s awesome,” Roth said. “When you’re in a national meet and you’ve got a teammate there with you, you just can’t help but jump higher. I feed off his energy. If he clears a bar, it gets me kind of pumped up when I see it.”
Anderson will run in the 400 hurdle semifinals on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m., then will compete in the finals on Friday at 5:05 p.m. Roth and Vu will compete in the men’s pole vault final Thursday at 4 p.m.
• The UW men enter the week as the No. 18 team in the country. If they finish in the top 25, it would be the first time they’ve had top 25 finishes in five consecutive seasons at the outdoor meet since a six-year run from 1974 to 1979.
• Three of the four UW women competing will be making their final appearances as Huskies. Seniors Katie Follett (1,500), Anita Campbell (10,000) and Falesha Ankton (100 hurdles) will finish their careers in Eugene. Sophomore Mel Lawrence (3,000 steeplechase) is Washington’s fourth entry in the women’s field.
• Senior Trent Arrivey, a Woodinville High School graduate, is the other member of the WSU men’s team to qualify for the NCAAs. He’ll compete in the high jump final at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Arrivey finished second in that event at this year’s Pac-10 Championships, at 7-1 ½.