May 2, 2009
SEATTLE - Washington's 16th-ranked women's track and field squad edged out the rival Washington State women today by a third of a point at Husky Stadium, earning just the second win for the women over WSU since 1997 and the first in five years. The 14th-ranked Husky men won eight events but the Cougars earned their first win in Seattle since 2003.
Holding a slim lead with just the 3,000-meter run and the 4x400m relay remaining, the Huskies knew if they swept the top three spots in the 3k they would clinch the win. Head coach Greg Metcalf unleashed the Dawgs, so to speak, and UW captured the top six spots, led by junior Anita Campbell who won in a UW-WSU meet record time of 9:23.42. That was nearly eight seconds faster than the old dual record set by WSU's Jennifer Bravard in 1993.
The final tally on the women's side came out 81.66 for the Huskies to 81.33 for the Cougars. The women's last win in the series was in 2004 in Pullman; their last home victory was 1997. It was an especially satisfying win given that the Cougars had trounced the Husky women by 59 points last year in Pullman.
For the second straight year the Cougar men came out ahead, winning 92-70.
"We have the meet laid out on the form charts based on what we think the athletes will do and what we hope they will do, but then what it really just comes down to is what each of them actually accomplishes out here today," said coach Metcalf. "A year ago our women took one of the biggest drubbings in the history of the dual meet, and we just weren't very good. To come back today and turn that around took phenomenal efforts and performances and I couldn't be prouder of this group as a whole."
In a meet decided by less than one point, every single point was obviously necessary, so the heroes were many for the Husky women. In addition to Campbell's meet record in the 3k, redshirt freshman Mel Lawrence crushed both the meet record and the Washington school record in her first collegiate steeplechase, and freshman Christine Babcock took down a 26-year old record in the 1500-meters.
Lawrence was the national junior steeplechase champion in 2006, and ran 10:07.52 in the early afternoon rain to break Laura Halverson's five year old school record by over 25 seconds. Halverson 10:33.28 in 2004. The UW-WSU steeple meet record was held by Lawrence's older sister Collier from two years ago. Lawrence now also ranks sixth nationally in the steeple after just one attempt.
"It felt good. I was a little nervous actually going into it just because I hadn't run (steeplechase) in a while," said Lawrence. "But I just planned to go out there and run and let it happen and I was pretty satisfied in the end. I kind of like running in (wet conditions) so that was perfect."
Babcock added another record to her overwhelming list of freshman achievements today, breaking Susan Gregg's meet record in the 1500 that was set back in 1983. She won in 4:18.32, but finishing right by her side was junior Kailey Campbell, also well under the old record in 4:18.43. Last week at the Penn Relays, Campbell was the lead-off and Babcock the anchor on UW's 4x1500m relay squad that placed third.
Kailey Campbell would come back soon after to run another PR in the 800-meters in one of the pivotal finishes of the meet. She outkicked WSU's Lisa Egami down the stretch to take second and earn three points to Egami's one. Campbell finished in 2:06.51 while Egami crossed in 2:06.72. Washington's Katie Follett took the title in a lifetime-best 2:06.07, the third-fastest in school history.
Last year Falesha Ankton was the only sprinter that competed for the Huskies, and UW was crushed in the sprints. This year, however, a young group of Dawgs helped close the gap, with Ankton still leading. Ankton captured the 100m hurdles in 13.63 seconds, and led off UW's 4x100m relay which ran a season-best 45.95 to defeat the Cougars.
Sophomore transfer Dominique Lauderdale had her best day of the season in the 100m dash, placing second in 11.91 seconds, the fastest time by a Husky this year and ninth-fastest in school history. Freshman Jordan Carlson also picked up a point with a PR in the 400m dash (56.13) and both she and Lauderdale were part of the 4x1 relay along with another freshman, Bianca Greene. Greene also got a point for third in the 200m (24.69), while junior Syreeta Martin was second in the 400m hurdles in a season-best 1:01.09.
Sophomore All-American Elisa Bryant led the Huskies in the throws. She won the hammer throw on Friday in West Seattle with a huge PR of 190-6, then today she placed second in the discus with a throw of 147-4, and got another point with a shot put of 42-8. All told Bryant scored nine points by herself. Sophomore Brooke Pighin also moved up to 13th in the nation in the javelin with a PR of 168-11, good for second behind WSU's Marissa Tschida, who had the third best throw by a collegian this year to win.
Also picking up wins today for the Husky women was redshirt freshman Taylor Nichols in the triple jump (38-8 ¼) and freshman Kelly McNamee in the high jump (5-7). Freshman Allison Linnell also qualified for Regionals in the steeple with a time of 10:44.96.
Despite coming up short on the scoreboard, the Husky men had a number of outstanding performances, starting in the 200-meter dash where Jordan Boase took the win for the second-straight year, clocking 20.61 seconds, which ranks the 400m specialist fifth in the NCAA. Senior Joe Turner also earned his first Regional time of the season, running 21.24.
Washington dominated the distance events, sweeping the 1,500-meters and taking the top two 3,000-meter spots. Freshman Joey Bywater took the 1,500m in 3:48.86, while junior Jake Schmitt ran away with the 3k by six seconds, winning in 8:12.15. Bywater came back strong to place second in the 3k in 8:18.09. Faisal Abdullahi and Colton Tully-Doyle were second and third, respectively, in the 1,500m.
In the steeplechase, redshirt freshman David McCary ran a significant PR for the second week in a row, as he placed second in 9:17.74.
Following the lead of the UW women, the Husky men's 4x100m relay dominated the Cougars by over three seconds, securing their first Regional mark of the season in 40.24 seconds. The group was comprised of Randy Bacon, Jordan Boase, Kenjamine Jackson, and Joseph Turner. UW was Pac-10 Champion and an NCAA qualifier in the 4x1 last year.
One of the stories of the day was junior Ryan Vu in the pole vault. He came into the meet with a lifetime-best of 16-6 ¾ outdoors, then PR'd three times in a row today, going nearly a foot higher than any meet in his life. Vu finished at 17-6 ½ which equaled sophomore Scott Roth, with Roth getting the win based on fewer misses. Senior Jared O'Connor was third at 17-0 ¾, giving UW the sweep.
Another new Regional mark was turned in by freshman Jeremy Taiwo, as he placed second in his first collegiate triple jump with a mark of 49-4 ¼. Taiwo also placed first in the long jump with a best of 22-6 ¼.
Washington got wins in two of the throws, starting with Zack Midles who PR'd on Friday to win the hammer throw with a best of 211-6 on his first attempt. Freshman Angus Taylor also had a six-foot PR in the hammer to place third (195-4). UW's other win came from sophomore Kyle Nielsen in the javelin. Nielsen's second throw went 230-9, a full 27 feet farther than the rest of the field.
Midles also took second in the discus throw and the Huskies got a point from Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, who has fallen in with the throws unit once again now that spring football is wrapped up.
Washington will conclude its home season next Friday with the annual Ken Shannon Invite at Husky Stadium at 3:30 p.m. UW's multi-event athletes will also go to Eugene for the Pac-10 Multi-Events hosted by Oregon.
For complete results from the dual meet visit www.gohuskies.com.