Hilary Mawindi is known for his ability to get up, just not always before noon.
With the Pacific-10 Conference triple-jump final scheduled for Sunday morning at 10:30, Washington State’s leading leaper will have to lay off the snooze button.
“It’s the same thing with most jumpers, jumping early in the morning,” said Mawindi, who should have less trouble making Saturday’s 2 p.m. date with the long jump. “But hey, this is crunch time, so I just have to forget about that and wake up.”
Mawindi joins Ian Waltz, Bernard Lagat, Rasto Kiplangat and Matt Stadelman in leading WSU into Seattle for this weekend’s two-day Pac-10 Track and Field Championships at Husky Stadium.
While WSU’s men are looking to improve upon last year’s fifth-place finish, the women may have trouble matching their seventh-place showing.
Despite improved depth, particularly in the sprints, the women are weakened significantly by the loss of injured sophomore Francesca Green, who won the long jump and scored 20 of the Cougars’ 56 points last year.
“That’s going to hurt us,” coach Rick Sloan said. “We have no entry in the long jump at all.”
A quick look at WSU’s teams:
Mawindi ranks first among Pac-10 long jumpers (25 feet, 6-3/4 inches) and second among triple jumpers (52-2). A sore throat this week has kept Mawindi from punctuating jumps with his familiar yell, but he expects to otherwise be at full strength… . Waltz ranks third in the shot put (61-7) and discus (191-6). The sophomore’s best chance may be in the shot, where his season best is within 5 inches of Pac-10 leaders Wade Tift and Travis Haynes, both from UCLA… . The absence of injured All-American Leo Slack, who last year won the decathlon and finished third in the long jump, could keep the Cougars from a topfour finish. USC, UCLA, Oregon and Stanford are considered favorites… . Stadelman’s 213-11 in the javelin ranks a solid third in the Pac10, 7 feet ahead of Oregon’s Ben Mitchell. UCLA’s Josh Johnson (228-11) and USC’s Henrik Kjaereng (227-0) are favored. . . . Lagat is WSU’s lone NCAA automatic qualifier (3:41.19 in the 1,500).
Tamika Brown ran an 11.82 earlier this month to become WSU’s leader in the 100, but the junior feels better about her chances in the 200.
“The 200 is my race, my heart and soul that I care about,” said Brown, whose season-best of 24.24 came during the indoor season. “The 100 is more about fun, and it’s very important to the team.” Brown probably needs to cut a hefty .7 seconds off her 200 time to fulfill her goal of making the NCAAs. It’s all a matter of concentration, she believes.
“I need to really put my head into it from the very start,” Brown said. “I’ve got the physical abilities.” WSU’s 4x100 relay team of Brown and freshmen Attrina Higgins, Sharika Higgins and LaTroya Mucker ranks third in the Pac-10 (44.97)… . Mucker ranks fifth in the 200 (24.20) and sixth in the 400 (54.56)… . Freshman Anna Church ranks sixth in the javelin (154-4).
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