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Taiwo Leads First Day Of Pac-12 Decathlon
Release: 05/04/2013
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May 4, 2013

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LOS ANGELES - While the rest of the Husky track squad was putting the final touches on the regular season at the Ken Shannon Invite today, a trio of Dawgs was down in L.A. getting a jump start on the postseason at the Pac-12 Multi-Event Championships. After the first of the two-day competition, senior Jeremy Taiwo holds the decathlon lead, looking for his second conference crown.

Hosted by USC at Loker Stadium, the Multi-Events are a precursor to next week's Pac-12 Track & Field Championships, and the team points earned this weekend will carry over to next week. Taiwo, who won the Pac-10 decathlon title in 2011 before redshirting in 2012, has the lead through five of the 10 events. Freshman Josh Gordon also sits ninth while junior Shelby Williams is currently 10th in the women's heptathlon through four of seven events.

Taiwo has an even 4,200 points heading into the second day, just 15 points off his day one career-best, which he set at Pac-12s two years ago. Three athletes are in close pursuit: Dakotah Keys of Oregon with 4,030 points, Viktor Fajoyomi of USC at 4,025, and UCLA's Dominic Giovannoni with 3,992 points today. Josh Gordon scored 3,520 points.

"I'm just kind of happy about being able to push through the high jump with my knee bugging me," Taiwo said. "It's a battle, so I'm glad Day One is done. I'm really excited to pole vault tomorrow, and I just want to go out and do good in each event."

In the opening event, Taiwo ran just off his PR in the 100-meter dash, clocking 10.95. His was the only heat of three with no tail wind, as Keys had a nice boost and ran a 10.94 and WSU's Spencer Wordell ran 10.90. Gordon was sixth out of 13 entries with an 11.17.

Taiwo didn't have his best day long jumping, but still secured a solid mark of 23-6 ¾, the exact same mark as Keys, giving Keys a two-point lead after two events. Gordon, who has jumped 23-feet several times this year, went just 22-1 ½.

The shot put has typically not been one of Taiwo's strengths, but today he tossed an outdoor career-best by about a foot and a half, going 44-6 ¼ on his second throw to take second overall in the event and move into the lead. That was followed by the high jump, always one of Taiwo's strengths, though today it was a battle due to a sore knee he mentioned was bothering him. He was able to clear 6-10 ¼, again tying with Keys for the day's top mark.

Rounding out the day in the 400-meter dash, Taiwo grabbed the win out of the second of three heats, running 48.56 seconds, just .07 seconds off his PR. That was a full second faster than everyone else in the field save for Wordell, who ran 48.84. Gordon was 11th in 51.20 seconds. Day two picks up at 11 a.m. tomorrow with the 110-meter hurdles.

Williams is competing in her third straight Pac-12 heptathlon, and had a solid day one. The Ridgefield, Wash. native started with a 15.27 time in the 100m hurdles, a season-best. She then took seventh in the high jump with a clearance of 5-feet, 3-inches.

In her last heptathlon, at Mt. SAC, Williams had won the shot put with a toss of 40-4, but she was three feet short of that today and took fifth at 37-5 ¾. That left the 200-meter dash, where she clocked a 26.53 to give her a day one score of 2,916 points.

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