Jan. 12, 2013
SEATTLE - In case anyone had forgotten, one of the NCAA's best all-around athletes reminded the Huskies what they had been missing, as senior Jeremy Taiwo put up two of the top performances today at the UW Indoor Preview, in his first action since the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Taiwo's efforts stood out among a field of more than a thousand athletes, including a handful of Olympians, as the Dempsey opened up the 2013 season.
Taiwo, the 2011 Pac-12 Decathlon Champion and a three-time All-American, missed 2012 after a pair of surgeries, one to repair a torn tendon in his elbow and another on his hips to alleviate an osteitis pubis injury. But before 10 a.m. this morning, Taiwo had already set a career-best in his first action back. In the 60-meter hurdles, Taiwo charged down the straightaway in 8.10 seconds, bettering his previous best from the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships by .04 seconds. Not bad for a prelim in the first meet of the year. It ties him for eighth on the UW top-10 list indoors.
The Renton, Wash. native did not run the 60m hurdles final, choosing instead to move on to the high jump, which he won with a first attempt clearance of 6-11 ½, also tying his career-best. He had some very good attempts at 7-1 ½ as well.
"Jeremy Taiwo was operating like a superstar today, and like someone who will make big things happen this year," said Head Coach Greg Metcalf. "He's been through everything you could go through, and it was fun to watch him back having fun today. He looks outstanding."
With Taiwo ceding the hurdles spotlight for the finals, three more Huskies took over and made their own marks. Freshman Chris Williams narrowly edged senior Shayne Moore, 8.17 seconds to 8.18 seconds to win the final. That's an excellent hurdles debut for Williams, the talented freshman from Philadelphia who would then head over to the pole vault pit and clear 16-5 ½. And it was also an excellent start for Moore, nearly a tenth of a second faster than his best time in 2012, and still in the first meet. Sophomore Howard Lao also had a huge PR, running 8.30 to take third, and another freshman, Kaid Tipton, ran 8.48 to place fifth overall.
The Dempsey Indoor mile record was potentially in danger today as 2012 Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp started his 2013 season running the mile today, but the mark of 3:54.52 by Chris Solinsky from 2011 proved too tough for even Rupp today, as the Nike Oregon Project pro settled for a still blistering 3:57.15. Fellow Team USA member Donn Cabral, a steeplechase finalist at London in 2012, took second in 4:00.56. Rupp's time was the 87th four-minute mile run in the Dempsey's history.
Washington's All-American quarter milers each had excellent starts to their seasons, albeit heading different directions on the distance spectrum. Senior Jordan Carlson, the 400m school record-holder indoors and out, dropped down to 200-meters, her first time ever running that distance indoors. She took second overall in 24.79 seconds, jumping to fourth on the UW indoor top-10. Junior Dan Sanders, taking third in 1:19.59, his first time under 1:20 at that distance in four tries.
"Jordan and Maurice came out of the gate swinging today and overall it was a really nice first day for our sprints group," said Metcalf. "It was an exciting atmosphere today with some U.S. Olympians running around the building, and a lot of new Huskies getting to put the uniform on for the first time. Now they can get a better sense of what they need to work on and come back and make it happen in practice."
Freshman Quadelle Satterwhite out of Lincoln High School in Tacoma turned heads with a quick sprint in the 60m dash finals, taking second overall in 6.92 seconds. Fellow newcomer Travis Marshall won his flight and was seventh overall in 7.02 seconds.
Also in the women's sprints, freshman Daje Pugh made a nice debut in the 60-meter hurdles, running 8.86 in the prelims and then lowering that to 8.73 in the finals, less than a tenth of a second out of UW's top-10. Sophomore Haley Jacobson had a big PR in the 60m dash finals, placing seventh in 7.68 seconds, also just .04 seconds away from the Husky top-10 lists.
Moving up to the mid-distances, true freshman Nick Harris made his official in-uniform debut and won his flight of the 800-meters in 1:55.61. Sophomore Aaron Nelson ran the mile for the first time in college and clocked a solid 4:14.11. The women's 4x800-meter relay of freshmen Maddie Meyers, and Joelle Amaral, all looked strong in winning in a time of 9:01.01.
Another victory for the Dawgs in the field was supplied by junior Kasen Covington, who matched his indoor PR in the long jump, going 22-10 ½ to win by nearly a full foot over second-place. Reigning Pac-12 pole vault champion J.J. Juilfs got his sophomore season off to a solid start, clearing 16-11 ½ today on his first try before going out at the next bar. Also in the high jump, All-American honorable mention A.J. Maricich was second behind Taiwo, clearing 6-9 ½.
Sophomore Jaleecia Roland had a busy and successful day, as she set a collegiate-best in the high jump going 5-5 ¾, then placed fourth in the triple jump at 37-11 ½, to go with 9.55 seconds in the 60m hurdles.
In the throws, freshman Jack Scheideman took sixth overall in the shot put, going 48-8 ¾ on his second attempt. For the women throwers, freshman Robert Henderson, a transfer from Spokane Community College, was fourth in the men's weight going 53-7 ½.
The Dempsey will be back in action in two weeks for the UW Invitational, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25-26.