March 26, 2011
PALO ALTO, Calif. - A wet and chilly Stanford Invitational came to a close today at Cobb Track and Angell Field, and while the Husky contingent was lighter on day two, there were still a number of PRs to be had despite the conditions, and again the Washington sprints group had a lot to be proud of.
The sprints group had another strong day following Friday's 100-meter dash wins by James Alaka and Dominique Lauderdale. Today it was a freshman, Maurice McNeal out of Federal Way, who posted a speedy debut at 200-meters, winning his section in a time of 21.23 seconds, edging Oregon freshman Michael Berry, and placing fourth overall on the day. That time is just a tenth of a second off UW's Top-10 list and would have qualified for NCAA West Prelims a year ago. Husky sophomore Colton Dunn was fourth in that same heat, running a big PR of 21.74.
The top Husky men's relays also had strong openings, as the 4x100-meter group clocked a 41.33 to place second overall. Sam Rucker led off, followed by Alaka, Dunn, and Ryan Hamilton on the anchor. In the 4x4, the Husky quartet of Rucker, Alaka, Dunn, and McNeal ran a 3:12.89 to again take second overall, with Dunn pulling triple duty for the day. That's nearly three full seconds faster than UW ran at any point last year.
At 800-meters, redshirt freshman Brad Whitley blew about six seconds off his outdoor 800-meter PR, as he led UW with a time of 1:51.94. As a whole, the 800 times were sluggish due to the conditions. But Justine Johnson still ran to a big PR on the women's side, as she clocked 2:10.91. Freshman Mackenzie Carter also had a good run in the conditions, going 2:14.23.
Leading the throws was junior Angus Taylor, who opened up in the hammer throw with a best toss of 192-feet, 11-inches on his fifth attempt. That will already likely be good enough for NCAA prelims but Taylor surpassed the 200-foot mark at the end of his sophomore season and will be aiming to get past that point again soon.
Freshman Kasen Covington placed fourth in the triple jump with a best of 49-2 ¼ which came on his sixth and final jump.
Also worth noting was the victory by Husky signee Eleanor Fulton, as the high school senior from Colorado won the top heat of the women's mile run by over 10 seconds, clocking 4:50.78.
Washington will compete again in two weeks at Hayward Field in Oregon as part of the Pepsi Team Invitational which will include the Huskies and Ducks plus Stanford and Nebraska in a quad-meet format. That meet is set for Saturday, April 9.