March 1, 2013
SEATTLE - The 2013 Dempsey season came to a close with the smallest but most critical meet of the year for many of the athletes in action tonight in which, as the meet's name suggests, it was the Final Qualifier in advance of next weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Washington's hopefuls had several great efforts and close calls tonight, and while no postseason bids were clinched tonight, it was still a strong end to the indoor home season for many Huskies, and four new top-10 marks were posted tonight, bringing the season total for new top-10 entries to twenty-seven.
The top mile heats carried a lot of drama, as seniors Christine Babcock and Joey Bywater looked to post season-bests and break into the NCAA Indoor fields. Babcock tried to push the field from the front over the final couple laps, but pushed across the line in 4:37.95, just a split second off her career-best. Bywater was hoping to be the one to run the 100th four-minute mile in Dempsey history today, and he pulled away late in the race to win by a couple seconds, but the clock had ticked to 4:01.81, so it was a tough-to-swallow near miss for the Lake Stevens, Wash. native.
Also running well in the miles was Michael Miller Jr., who clocked a PR of 4:04.18 to nab the 10th spot on the UW indoor top-10. Taylor Carlson also placed third in the first heat in a three-second personal best of 4:09.30.
Senior Jordan Carlson made one last push at qualifying in the 400-meters, but despite her usual valiant effort, she was unable to lower her PR in a heat that came down to just herself and one other runner. Carlson won in 54.47 in what will likely be the 400-meter and DMR school record-holder's last race as a Husky.
In the women's 800-meters, sophomore Baylee Mires was also looking to make a late jump into the top-16 nationally. Mires went out hard and came around the final turn with a shot, but she ended up third in 2:07.39, a few tenths off her season-best.
A pair of top-10 marks were posted by the men's sprinters as they continue to build momentum heading outdoors. Freshman Quadelle Satterwhite capped a very impressive first indoor season with a big PR in the 60-meter dash, as he ran 6.80 seconds to tie for the 10th-best mark in school history. And junior Howard Lao PR'd twice today, first running 8.13 seconds in the 60m hurdles prelims, and then dropping that down to 8.08 in the final. That ties him for seventh on the list in the same time that Jeremy Taiwo posted in his record-setting heptathlon earlier this year. Freshman Chris Williams was just off his hurdles season-best in the final, as he ran 7.94. Williams, Taiwo, and Lao gave the Huskies three new top-10 marks in the hurdles this season, and Shayne Moore was close behind with an 8.15 best. Freshman Travis Marshall also became the sixth Husky under 7.00 seconds this season in the 60m dash, as he ran 6.98 today.
In the field, redshirt freshman Kristina Owsinski crept closer to the 13-foot mark in the pole vault, as she got over a PR of 12-11 today to move onto the Husky top-10 list at No. 10. On the men's side, freshman Jax Thoirs had his best day in the Dempsey despite fighting through a leg cramp. He cleared 16-10 to take second overall.
A season of growth for Washington's very young group of throwers ended with several positive signs today. Freshman Jack Scheideman competed in the shot put for the sixth time this season, and he improved for the sixth consecutive meet. And today was the biggest jump of all, as he went from a season-best of 51-11 up to 53-11, which came on his first throw.
The women's shot putters had a solid day as a unit as well, with season-bests across the board. Bev Coleman's toss of 43-10 ¾ was a season-best by nearly four feet, while fellow rookie Alyx Toeaina was close behind with a season-best of 43-6. Hannah Sherrill, throwing the shot for the first time all season, also went 41-9 ¾.
Also closing out their indoor seasons with good showings were Sarah Schireman, who went 18-1 ½ in the long jump and 36-11 ½ in her first triple jump try, and A.J. Maricich who went 6-11 in the high jump and will look to get back up over the 7-foot mark outdoors. Kasen Covington was also just shy of the 50-foot mark in the men's triple jump, going 49-6 ½.
The final fields for the NCAA Indoor Championships will be settled by tomorrow evening, with entries announced this coming Monday. The University of Arkansas will then host indoor nationals in just a week's time.