June 5, 2011
June 8-11 Des Moines, Iowa Drake Stadium
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ON THE TRACK: Those remaining Huskies that have successfully battled against the best of the West will now head to the Des Moines, Iowa this week to contend for national titles as the NCAA Track & Field Championships bring the long season to a close from June 8-11. Eleven Huskies will be making the trip, competing in nine different events between them at historic Drake Stadium, the annual site of the Drake Relays.
The NCAA meet technically began back on May 26 with the preliminary rounds in Eugene, Oregon. Twelve athletes from that West Region meet and 12 from the East now meet up in Des Moines to form the final 24-person fields in each event. Every running event shorter than 5,000-meters will have a semifinal round and a final round on separate days, while the 5k and 10k runs are straight finals. All field event competitions will be finished in one day with trials and finals back-to-back.
The Husky men are ranked a season-high 14th and will be looking for a sixth-consecutive Top-25 finish at the outdoor meet, something that has not happened since another six-year run from 1974-79. Washington placed 15th last year and returns all of its point scorers again to the finals. The men bring eight athletes with a combined nine NCAA Outdoors final site appearances between them, while the women take three, all making their NCAA Outdoor debuts. The women have had four Top-25 finishes in the past seven years, after going 15 years without a Top-25 finish prior to 2004.
The first day of competition on Wednesday will perhaps be the biggest of the week for the Dawgs. Senior Scott Roth will wrap his remarkable Husky career with his eighth NCAA Championship appearance. The two-time NCAA Indoor Champ and the top-ranked vaulter in the nation this year will be pursuing his first outdoor championship after finishing second in 2009 and third in 2010. Roth, a six-time All-American, set the UW school record earlier this spring with a clearance of 18-9 1/4 at the Mt. SAC Relays. That mark remains the best by an American this year. His competition begins at 5:35 p.m. Central time.
Wednesday also will feature the title bids of javelin All-Americans Kyle Nielsen and Joe Zimmerman. Nielsen, a senior from Langley, British Columbia, has played a huge role in Washington's current status as a javelin powerhouse. Sixth at the 2009 NCAA Championships and third a year ago, Nielsen is coming off a new career-best, as he threw 253-5 to win the West Prelims two weeks ago in Eugene, setting a new school record. Right behind Nielsen at last year's national meet in fourth-place was Zimmerman, the 2010 U.S. Junior National Champion who is back again at the NCAA finals despite coping with shoulder pain all season. The two look to storm the podium together again on Wednesday beginning at 3:05 p.m.
The first Husky in action this week will be junior Jeremy Taiwo, the Pac-10 Decathlon Champion. The Renton, Wash. grad made headlines by winning the Pac-10 title despite an elbow injury that forced him to throw the javelin with his non-dominant left hand. Taiwo still scored 7,742 points, sixth-best in the nation this year. He will once again be hampered by the elbow injury but is determined to grit it out and make it through his first NCAA decathlon. He qualified as a freshman but could not compete due to a heel injury, and last year Taiwo was in sixth-place before suffering a concussion during the hurdles which kept him from finishing. The first five events of the decathlon begin Wednesday at 12 noon, with the second half pickin gup on Thursday at noon.
The sprints group also steps into the blocks for the first time on Wednesday. First up is the 4x100-meter relay semifinals, featuring the quartet of Maurice McNeal, James Alaka, Colton Dunn, and Ryan Hamilton, at 5:45 p.m. Hamilton, a junior, is the only Husky returning to Iowa from the 2008 NCAA Championships, also held at Drake Stadium. Hamilton anchored UW's 4x1 relay that year as well (Scott Roth redshirted that year). McNeal, the freshman record-holder at 400-meters, will then be back at 7:00 p.m. for the semifinals of the 400-meter dash.
Taiwo finishes the decathlon on Thursday, and then there are just two races on tap for the Dawgs. Pac-10 Champion James Alaka competes in the 200-meter dash semis for the second straight year, and then hometown hero Katie Flood will run in the semis of the 1,500-meters.
Flood had perhaps the greatest high school career in Iowa state history, winning three state cross country titles and cementing her legacy with an incredible four track titles as a senior in 2010. And nobody knows Drake Stadium like Flood. A graduate of Dowling Catholic in West Des Moines, she won six career junior titles at the Drake Relays, including four-straight 3,000-meter titles, and set a stadium record for high schoolers of 9:43.39 in the 3k last year. Flood also set the Iowa high school record at 1,500-meters on the Drake track last year, running 4:28.30. She has lowered that time by 10 seconds in her freshman year at UW.
Two more women will make their NCAA debuts on Friday. First up will be the big surprise of the West Prelims, sophomore pole vaulter Logan Miller of Reno, Nevada. In the story of the weekend, Miller set three consecutive outdoor PRs while assistant coach Pat Licari was absent to be with his wife who was undergoing heart surgery. Miller's teammates Roth and Robby Fegles helped her make the key decisions in the wind, talking things over with Licari on the phone. Miller then stepped up with clearances of 13-1, 13-3, and a first attempt clearance at 13-5 1/4 to move on. Based on the season-best marks entering prelims, Miller is the lowest-seeded athlete to make it to Des Moines, but pole vault is all about momentum, and Miller now knows that bigger heights are within her reach.
The last Husky to see action will be freshman Megan Goethals, who has been gaining confidence and momentum starting with a runner-up finish in the 5,000-meters at the Pac-10 Championships. Another UW freshman record-setter, Goethals then lowered her PR to 16:02.64 two weeks ago in Eugene to claim the victory at West Prelims. The Rochester, Michigan native will toe the line on Friday at 8:10 p.m. Central. Goethals and Flood both competed in the 3k at this year's NCAA Indoor Championships, with Flood placing 10th and Goethals 13th, and both earning valuable experience.
Friday will also bring the finals of the 400-meter dash, should McNeal advance. Saturday's finale then will have the finals of the 4x100-meter relay, the 1,500-meter run, and the 200-meter dash.
MEDIA COVERAGE: GoHuskies.com will provide updates throughout the day from Des Moines, and Drake is also providing a free web stream of all parts of the meet that are not televised live. CBS will provide television coverage on Friday and Saturday. Saturday's coverage, from 12-2 p.m. (CDT), will be carried on the CBS network, with Ian Eagle calling the action, along with analysis and interviews from Larry Rawson, Carol Lewis and Dan O'Brien. Coverage on Friday, June 10, will be provided from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Central on CBS Sports Network on cable.
EVENT SCHEDULE: Following is the schedule in Des Moines for the Husky athletes competing in the NCAA Championships. All times are Central.
Wednesday, June 8
12:00 p.m. - Men's Decathlon: 100-Meters, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, 400-Meters (Jeremy Taiwo)
3:05 p.m. - Men's Javelin; Trials & Final (Kyle Nielsen and Joe Zimmerman)
5:35 p.m. - Men's Pole Vault; Final (Scott Roth)
5:45 p.m. - Men's 4x100-Meter Relay; Semifinals (McNeal/Alaka/Dunn/Hamilton)
7:00 p.m. - Men's 400-Meters; Semifinals (Maurice McNeal)
Thursday, June 9
12:00 p.m. - Men's Decathlon: 110-Meter Hurdles, Discus, Pole Vault, Javelin, 1,500-Meters (Jeremy Taiwo)
5:45 p.m. - Men's 200-Meters; Semifinal (James Alaka)
6:00 p.m. - Women's 1,500-Meters; Semifinal (Katie Flood)
HOW WE GOT HERE: For the second year, the NCAA utilized a two-site preliminary week to send athletes on to the final site in Des Moines. West and East Preliminaries were held last week, featuring the top-48 athletes in every event on the respective descending order lists, making for a total of 96 athletes starting out with at least a shot at an NCAA title. Everyone except multi-event athletes had to go through either Eugene, Oregon or Bloomington, Indiana to reach Des Moines. Through one or two rounds of qualifying, that number was cut down to 12 remaining competitors, combining with 12 from the east to make exactly 24 in every event in Iowa. So essentially the NCAA Championships began last week and now simply continues with later rounds.
ALL ABOUT ALL-AMERICANS: Prior to this year's indoor season, the USTFCCCA instituted a new policy to determine track and field All-Americans, brining different tiers into the mix for the first time. In the new system, individuals and relays that score any portion of a team point in an NCAA Track & Field Championship will earn First-Team All-America honors (place first through eighth). Those individuals and relays that place between nine and 16 overall (including ties) will earn Second-Team All-America honors. Those who do not meet the criteria above, but participate in at least a round of the finals site for an NCAA Championship will be listed as Honorable Mention All-America. If more than one round is contested in an event, prior round results will be used to classify (place) the remainder of the field outside of the finals. Under the new format, at this year's NCAA Indoor Championships, Jeremy Taiwo, James Cameron, and Scott Roth both earned First Team All-America honors, Ryan Vu, Katie Flood and Megan Goethals were named Second Team All-America, and Colton Tully-Doyle earned honorable mention. Roth, with six All-America honors, is the most decorated pole vaulter in UW history and is tied for fifth-most overall at UW. Nielsen has two All-America honors to his credit and Zimmerman has one as a freshman. Taiwo has a pair from the indoor season and will be looking for his first outdoors.
HUSKIES IN THE RANKINGS: The latest set of USTFCCCA Rankings takes its data solely from the athletes that have advanced on to Iowa, and the Husky men consequently moved up to a season-best 14th nationally. Accounting for the big jump for the men's team was the PR javelin throw from senior Kyle Nielsen at West Prelims, which jumped him up to fourth nationally. Also providing big points for the men is Scott Roth, who remains No. 1 nationally in the pole vault. Jeremy Taiwo's Pac-10 winning decathlon score has him ranked sixth nationally. Sophomore Joe Zimmerman is ranked 11th in the javelin among NCAA qualifiers and freshman Maurice McNeal also ranks 11th at 400-meters. UW's 4x100m relay of McNeal, Alaka, Dunn, and Hamilton ranks 12th. The men's team was ranked 21st in the preseason. The women's team took a big hit in the rankings when junior Amanda Peterson was unable to make it through prelims in the javelin, as she was ranked third nationally. So the Husky women dropped to 74th with their three qualifiers. Megan Goethals ranks ninth among the 24 qualifiers at 5,000-meters, while Katie Flood is 17th and Logan Miller is 20th. The men return all of their point scorers to Iowa from the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships at which they finished 15th.
LAST YEAR AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Husky men's team rode its field event prowess to yet another Top-20 finish at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene. Washington racked up points early in the competition thanks to All-American efforts from Kyle Nielsen, Joe Zimmerman, and Scott Roth. On the second day of competition, Nielsen and Zimmerman placed third and fourth in the javelin to stand side by side on the podium. Nielsen threw 241-feet for third place and Zimmerman threw over 233-feet to finish as the top freshman. Roth came in as one of the favorites in the pole vault, but wind and several rain delays made big clearances hard to come by. Roth battled for a third-place tie, clearing 17-4 1/2. That gave the men 16.5 points halfway through the meet. They likely would have added to it, but Jeremy Taiwo suffered a rough fall in the 110-meter hurdles in the first event of the second day of the decathlon, and he was knocked out of competition after heading into day two ranked sixth in the standings. So the men would finish with the 16.5 points and eventually place 15th at the meet. The women did not get their first point until the final day of competition, when Mel Lawrence ran to an eighth-place finish in the steeplechase, capping off an abbreviated season with her second straight steeple All-America honor. Senior Katie Follett reached the final of the 1,500-meters, and led for the first half of the race before surprisingly she was unable to find her usual kick on the last lap and dropped to 10th, though she still earned All-America honors. Senior Falesha Ankton ran the race of her career in the 100-meter hurdles semis, clocking a two-tenths PR of 13.18 seconds to barely miss the final, placing ninth overall for her first hurdles All-America honor. Three other great Huskies competed for the final time at Hayward Field including Zack Midles, who was 18th in the hammer throw, Anita Campbell who took 15th in the 10,000-meters, and Ryan Vu, who tied for 11th in the pole vault, though Vu would return for one more indoor season. Freshman James Alaka also posted top-15 finishes in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, falling just short of both finals.
HUSKIES ADVANCE 11 ATHLETES THROUGH EUGENE: Washington traveled 34 athletes to Eugene for the NCAA West Prelims on May 26-28 at Hayward Field. Nearly a third of those Huskies would navigate the massive fields and move on the Des Moines by placing in the top-12 in their events. Day one was highlighted by the school record javelin heave from senior Kyle Nielsen. On his very first attempt, Nielsen launched the spear 253-feet, 5-inches to break the 22-year old school record by four feet. That would be the day's best mark as he advanced. Also making a return trip in the javelin was sophomore Joe Zimmerman, fourth at NCAAs a year ago. He threw 235-1 after a slow start to move on. Also getting through on Thursday was senior Scott Roth, who made sure he would be at his eighth career NCAA Championships by clearing 17-0 3/4 in the pole vault. Roth entered at that height and needed two tries to get over and advance. Just missing out was junior Amanda Peterson, who had her worst day of the season in the javelin but still finished 15th, and sophomore Lindsay Flanagan who was 18th in the 10k. Advancing through first rounds were James Alaka in the 100-meters, Maurice McNeal at 400m, and Justine Johnson, Katie Flood, and Joey Bywater at 1,500m. Friday saw a huge performance from sophomore Logan Miller, who cleared three outdoor PRs in the women's vault to reach her first national meet. Miller was coached by Roth and junior Robby Fegles, since assistant coach Pat Licari had flown back to Seattle to be with his wife who was undergoing heart surgery. With help from her teammates, Miller cleared 13-5 1/4 on her first try which made her the first Husky female to qualify. In the 400-meter quarters, McNeal punched his ticket going 46.44 in the first heat. Alaka surprisingly struggled in the 100-meter dash quarters and did not move on, but he came back to reach the 200-meter quarters later in the day. Junior Angus Taylor was a few feet short in the hammer, finishing 17th. Saturday saw five more Huskies earn national bids. Flood made a thrilling late charge in the 1,500-meters to grab the fifth and final auto spot out of her heat. Justine Johnson would fall just short of joining her, as would Bywater in the men's quarters. In the women's 5,000-meters, freshman Megan Goethals ran like a seasoned veteran and broke away with the lead group late in the race, before kicking to the victory down the homestretch in a new PR of 16:02.64. The men's 4x100-meter relay earned its third NCAA trip in four years, clocking 40.29 out of lane eight in the wet conditions to advance to Iowa. And Alaka got in the back door in the 200-meter dash, advancing on time with his time of 21.17 seconds.
ALAKA'S ATHLETE OF THE MEET EFFORT LEADS UW AT PAC-10 TRACK: Sophomore James Alaka flashed to some Husky history at the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships, as he captured the 100-meter dash and shortly thereafter came back and powered to the victory in the 200-meter dash as well. Alaka, the London native, stakes his claim now as the fastest man in the Pac-10, becoming the first Husky since Ja'Warren Hooker in 2000 to win both sprint titles. Alaka claimed his first title in the 100-meters in 10.29 seconds, then powered to the 200-meter win in a time of 20.85 seconds. He was also a key part of UW's third-place effort in the 4x100-meter relay, where the Huskies ran a huge season-best of 39.62 seconds, fifth-best in school history. All those points earned Alaka the Pac-10 Athlete of the Meet award for the individual high point scorer. He's the first Husky to win that honor. For a brief moment it looked like the Husky men's javelin crew would make history, as midway through round five the Huskies stood in first, second, and third. But on his fifth throw, USC's Cooper Thompson hit for 238-6, just eight inches farther than Kyle Nielsen's best to that point. Nielsen would take second, his best Pac-10 finish, at 237-10, Joe Zimmerman finished third with a best of 235-8 and sophomore Jimmy Brookman just missed the podium with a fourth-place finish at 226-5, which came on his fifth throw. Highlighting day two for the Husky women was an amazingly gritty effort from freshman Megan Goethals in the women's 5,000-meters. Goethals, took a big lead by herself from the start, holding it for more than half the race, then despite getting caught with four laps to go, she battled back to nearly upset NCAA Indoor Champ Jordan Hasay of Oregon, but Hasay was able to hold on for the win in 16:24.10 with Goethals in second in 16:25.13. Another star of the meet for UW was freshman Maurice McNeal, who rolled to a stunning 45.60 in the prelims of the 400-meter dash, shattering the freshman school record and PR'ing by over a second. McNeal settled for fifth in the final in 46.23, but also took fifth at 200-meters to wrap a great first Pac-10 meet. Additional top-five finishers for the Husky men included senior Scott Roth (4th, Pole Vault), and junior Angus Taylor (5th, Hammer). Top-five finishers for the women included junior Amanda Peterson (4th, Javelin), junior Elisa Bryant (5th, Discus), junior Taylor Nichols (5th, Triple Jump), and sophomore Lindsay Flanagan (5th, 10,000m). The Husky men's team finished seventh with 76 points, but were just 12 points out of third-place. The 76 points was the most since 2007. The UW women were ninth with 37 points.
TAIWO NOW PAC-10'S BEST: Junior Jeremy Taiwo can officially call himself the best all-around athlete in the Pac-10, as the Renton, Wash. native captured the coveted 2011 Pac-10 decathlon title this past Friday and Saturday at University of Arizona's Drachman Stadium, scoring a career-best 7,742 points. He could have been the first decathlete in the NCAA this year to break the 8,000 point barrier, were it not for an elbow injury that forced Taiwo to throw the javelin with his non-dominant left hand and thus finish last in that event by a wide margin. But Taiwo was so strong throughout the rest of the competition that he was able to overcome the setback. On Friday's first day of competition, Taiwo went five-for-five on personal-bests, with wins in the high jump (6-11) and 400 meters (48.49) as he posted a huge first-day PR of 4,215 points. He also finished second in the 100-meters (10.98), long jump (23-11 1/2), 110-meter hurdles (14.41) and was third in the pole vault (15-9 3/4) and shot put (42-11). Taiwo was in a battle with Oregon's David Klech throughout. Heading to the javelin, a torn UCL in Taiwo's right elbow made the event too painful to endure. He was able to throw 107-feet left-handed to still put some points on the board, and maintain his lead heading into the final 1,500-meter run. Taiwo wasn't satisfied with simply sticking close to Klech in the last event, however, as he powered past him on the final lap to take second in 4:18 and sew up the win. Taiwo became the first Husky to win the decathlon title since Mike Ramos in 1986. He also earned Pac-10 Men's Field Athlete of the Week honors on Monday.
ALAKA, ROTH GO BACK-TO-BACK WITH PAC-10 AOTW: Washington collected two Pac-10 Track & Field Athlete of the Week honors over the first two weeks of the season. First up was sophomore James Alaka, who garnered Men's Track Athlete of the Week honors on April 11. That came after the Pepsi Team Invitational, in which Alaka won the title at 100-meters, 200-meters, and ran a leg on the winning 4x100-meter relay team. Alaka won the 100-meters in 10.53 seconds into a strong headwind, winning by nearly three tenths. He then cruised to a 21.18 second win at 200-meters, again winning by a large margin into the wind. The relay clocked a season-best 40.24 seconds. On April 18, senior Scott Roth was named Men's Field Event Athlete of the Week, the first such honor in his decorated career. Roth broke the school pole vault record with a win at the Mt. SAC Relays. Competing against a field of professionals that included vaulters with Olympic Games experience, Roth stole the show with a sterling performance. Roth cleared two bars cleanly and then broke the record with a jump over 18-9 1/4, once again needing just one try. That easily surpassed American record-holder Brad Walker's former school record of 18-6 ½ set in 2003. Roth took three shots at 19-0 ¾, which would have been a new Pac-10 record, barely brushing off the bar on his second attempt. Still, the 18-9 ¼ clearance was the best pole vault by an American in 2011 indoors or outdoors, and the second-best clearance in the world outdoors this season.
HUSKIES SPLIT WITH COUGS IN FINAL HUSKY STADIUM DUAL: The Husky men's track and field team was victorious over the rival Cougars on April 29 in the final UW-WSU dual meet ever to be held in Husky Stadium. Back in 1922, Washington handed Washington State a 93-38 defeat in the first dual meet held in the stadium; in 2011 it was an 83-80 victory for the Dawgs 91 years later. The Cougar women's team came out ahead in a 92-71 victory, although the Huskies got the individual win in 10 of the 19 events on the women's side, but could not overcome WSU's depth. Washington had a school record from junior Jordan Carlson in the 400-meter dash, as she won in a time of 54.18 seconds to surpass Lauran Dignam's mark of 54.31 from 2006. For the men, Angus Taylor picked up the victory in the hammer with a best of 196-6, and former Cougar Conner Larned was second at 177-7. Washington swept the javelin with three season-bests. Jimmy Brookman set a major PR with a mark of 227-2 on his first attempt, a 12-foot best. Joe Zimmerman tossed 239-9, and Kyle Nielsen was right behind at 239-2. In the steeplechase, Michael Miller Jr. came in with the No. 3 time in the field, and WSU's Andrew Gonzales was the only entry to have broken nine minutes, but Miller held strong down the final stretch to get the victory in a 12-second personal-best of 8:57.32. Washington's sprinters then went to work in what would be a banner day for the young group. The 4x1 relay (McNeal, Alaka, Dunn, Hamilton) ran a season-best time of 39.93 for the win. That time ranks seventh in school history and is the second-fastest in the Pac-10 this year. McNeal provided the next big highlight, outdueling multiple All-American Jeshua Anderson in the 400-meter dash in 46.63. Alaka defended his 100m title in 10.44, and Alaka and McNeal would come back later in the day for a critical one-two finish in the 200-meter dash. Alaka won in a season-best 21.00 seconds with McNeal just a split second back at 21.02, a new PR which ranks him ninth on the UW Top-10 list. More wins came from Robby Fegles in the pole vault (16-5 1/4) and a key late win from Colton Tully-Doyle in the 3k. Senior Cameron Elisara clinched the win with a season-best shot put of 54-feet, 5.25-inches to take second despite having recently suffered a serious hip flexor injury. The women got an early lead with a win from Elisa Bryant in the women's hammer throw. Mel Lawrence competed for the first time in 2011 indoors or outdoors, and the five-time All-American picked up the steeplechase win in 10:27.66. Justine Johnson took the win at 1,500-meters and Megan Goethals won the 3k. Sophomore Logan Miller set a new outdoor career-best in a women's pole vault victory, as she cleared 13-0 ¾ to become the eighth Husky to get over 13-feet outdoors in school history. Freshman Kayla Stueckle rolled to a big season-best to upset a trio of favored Cougars and win the 400m hurdles in 59.84 seconds. Dominique Lauderdale came through with a dominant win in the 100-meters, as she ran 11.70. She was back on the track less than an hour later to capture the 200-meter dash in a new PR of 24.16 seconds. Washington's last big point swing came with a triple jump sweep, as Shaniae Lakes, Taylor Nichols, and Alana Alexander went 1-2-3.
ROTH'S RECORD HEADLINES BIG WEEK AT MT. SAC: A big week for the Huskies at the Mt. SAC Relays was capped off by a school record vault from senior Scott Roth on April 16, as he took the U.S. lead with a clearance of 18-9 1/4. Roth broke American record-holder Brad Walker's outdoor mark of 18-6 1/2. Roth got to his record height with no misses and needed just one vault to clear 18-9 1/4 as well. Despite being the only college athlete in a field of mostly professionals, Roth was the only vaulter over at 18-9 1/4. He had the bar raised to 19-0 3/4, which would have been a new Pac-10 record, but was unable to make his three tries. Still, Roth's clearance ranks him second in the world so far this year outdoors. That effort was just one of nearly 20 PRs by Husky athletes at the three-day meet. Saturday, Angus Taylor PR'd in the hammer with a mark of 201-feet, 2-inches, and James Alaka shaved down his season-best at 100m to a wind-legal 10.34 seconds as the top collegiate finisher, fifth overall, in the invitational. The Husky 4x100-meter relay also got its second straight win, taking the Olympic Development Elite section in 40.30 seconds. Friday PRs came from Justine Johnson in the 1,500-meters (4:22.57), and James Cameron at 1,500m (3:44.90), while Joey Bywater (SB 3:46.14), junior Ryan Soberanis (PR 3:47.69), and junior Charlie Williams (SB 3:52.25) all ran well. For the first time in five years, the Huskies have a women's sprinter under the 55-second mark for the quarter mile. Jordan Carlson has battled through injuries early in her career to come on strong in 2011, and the Spokane native broke through with a PR in the 400 of 54.74 seconds. That's the best time by a Husky since 2006 and ties for seventh on the school's Top-10 list. Freshman Michelle Fero also ran a PR of 56.28 seconds. Continuing a big day for the women's sprinters was senior Dominique Lauderdale, who won her 200-meter heat in a big PR of 24.24 seconds, the fastest time by a Husky since Chelsie Pentz in 2000, jumping Lauderdale up to sixth on the all-time list. Shortly thereafter, freshman Maurice McNeal made a big splash in the 400-meter dash, winning his heat by more than a second and placing third out of more than 40 entries in 46.86 seconds. In the javelin, Kyle Nielsen had a season-best toss of 234-feet, 6-inches. Joe Zimmerman added five feet to his season-best with a throw of 221-10. In the women's javelin, Amanda Peterson had a solid follow-up to her school record debut. She threw 165-4 on her fourth attempt to win her flight and place fifth overall as the top collegian. The Huskies continued to accumulate the PRs in the jumps. In the women's triple jump, Taylor Nichols went 40-feet, 7-inches, wind-aided. Then freshman A.J. Maricich cleared 6-10 ¾ to take fifth in the men's high jump with his best outdoor clearance so far this season. Back on the track, UW's top two finishers in the men's and women's 400-meter hurdles had their fastest times of the year. Dan Sanders ran 53.03 and Kayla Stueckle stopped the clock at 1:01.40. The final Husky in action late Friday was Lindsay Flanagan who went under 16:30 in the 5k for the first time at 16:28.86. In the women's hammer throw, Elisa Bryant had a season-best throw of 180-7.
ALAKA, PETERSON LEAD DAWGS AT PEPSI TEAM INVITE: Six event victories and a new school record wrapped a big day for the Huskies as they completed their first scored meet of the outdoor season at the Pepsi Team Invitational at Oregon's Hayward Field on April 9. Three wins for sprinter James Alaka and a school record for newcomer Amanda Peterson helped set the tone for the early season tune-up. On the men's side, the 10th-ranked Ducks got the win with 195 points, followed by ninth-ranked Nebraska with 181. The Huskies were third with 159 points, outpacing eighth-ranked Stanford which had 121. Third-ranked Oregon took the women's team title with 205 points, with Washington coming in fourth with 112. One of the first events of the day was the women's javelin, where it took all of two throws for junior Amanda Peterson to become the new Washington school record-holder. Peterson threw 168-feet, 5-inches on her first attempt, then fired the spear 174-2 on her second toss to set the school record, previously held by Megan Spriesterbach who went 173-7 in 2004. Washington's five other event wins came on the men's side, including another in the javelin, as two-time All-American Kyle Nielsen got his senior season off to a solid start with a toss of 233-10 to get the win. Jimmy Brookman also had a PR of 215-9 and All-American Joe Zimmerman debuted with a 216-4 toss to take fourth. Three more wins came on the heels of sprinter James Alaka. He was first at 100m in 10.53 seconds into a headwind, while junior Ryan Hamilton was third in a time of 10.99. Alaka also rolled to an easy win at 200-meters, clocking 21.18. UW clocked a very impressive 40.24-seconds win in the men's 4x100-meter relay, with Alaka on the second leg. Freshman Maurice McNeal led off, then Alaka handed to Colton Dunn who passed to Hamilton on the anchor. The final Husky victory lap was run by senior Scott Roth, who tied his own meet record with a clearance of 18-0 ½ in the pole vault. In the steeplechase, sophomores James Cameron and Michael Miller went second and third. Cameron, an All-American indoors in the mile, clocked 9:02.83, a huge 36 second improvement over his previous steeple from a year ago. More PRs were had throughout the field events. Sophomore Julian Bardwell had a new best long jump of 23-5 ¼, and freshman Kasen Covington went 49-9 ¾ to take fourth in the triple jump. Conner Larned extended his best in the discus out to 172-10 to place fourth. Angus Taylor was second in the hammer, tossing 195-6. Nearly pulling off the upset of the day was freshman Katie Flood, who simply continues to roll at any track over any distance, as she took second in the 1,500-meters in 4:18.80. Flood nearly chased down NCAA indoor mile champion Jordan Hasay of Oregon, who held on for the win in 4:18.61. Maybe the biggest PR of the day came from Laura Schmitt, who sliced more than five seconds off her lifetime 800-meter best to run 2:10.05 and place sixth. Also PRing was Lindsay Flanagan, who lowered her career-best 5,000-meter time with a third-place finish in 16:34.11. In the sprints, Dominique Lauderdale and the rest of the field was slowed by the windy conditions, but she still placed third in the 100-meters in a time of 11.86 seconds. Jordan Carlson PR'd in 55.08 to take third in the 400m.
SPRINTERS START FAST AT STANFORD INVITE: The Huskies started the outdoor track season with a bang from their top two sprinters, James Alaka and Dominique Lauderdale, who each won the 100-meter dashes at the Stanford Invitational, held March 25-26. After doing short so well, Washington went long, as senior Colton Tully-Doyle and sophomore James Cameron ran the second and third-fastest 5,000-meters in school history. Washington made its mark early in the sprints. Alaka made his season debut in style, as he won the men's 100-meters in 10.37 seconds, edging out pro runner Josh Norman. It's the fifth time Alaka has gone under 10.40 seconds in his Husky career. Lauderdale ran to a big PR to start her outdoor season, winning in 11.54 seconds, well under her previous career-best of 11.77 seconds. Lauderdale's time would tie for third-best in school history but it was wind-aided. Later in the evening it was time for the distance runners to dig in. Husky freshman Megan Goethals crushed the UW freshman record at 5,000-meters, as she placed fourth in the top heat in a time of 16:06.64, surpassing Anita Campbell's 16:29.91 freshman mark from 2006. That ranks eighth on the Husky top-10 list. The top heat of the men's 5,000-meters was up next, and three UW men broke the 14-minute barrier. Tully-Doyle posted the number two 5k time in Washington history at 13:47.25. Right behind Tully-Doyle was Cameron, who showed his versatility today by stopping the clock in 13:51.83, which now ranks him third right behind Tully-Doyle and record-holder David Bazzi (13:40.61). Also getting into the mix was junior Max O'Donoghue-McDonald, who set a 20-second personal-best with a time of 13:59.82. Sophomore Lindsay Flanagan became just the fifth Husky woman ever to go under 34 minutes in the 10k, running 33:42.50 to jump up to fifth in school history. Jordan Carlson had a big PR in the 400-meters of 55.24. Sophomore Justine Johnson had a good opening at 1,500-meters, as she clocked 4:26.80, just a couple seconds off her PR. On Saturday, freshman Maurice McNeal posted a speedy debut at 200-meters, winning his section in a time of 21.23 seconds. That time 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 both placed second overall. 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. 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. Freshman Kasen Covington placed fourth in the triple jump with a best of 49-2 ¼ which came on his sixth and final jump.
2011 INDOOR IN REVIEW: Washington's 2011 indoor season had a little bit of everything, from veteran seniors going out on a high note, to impressive returns to form from familiar faces, and several new faces bursting onto the national scene. The highlight of the season was senior pole vaulter Scott Roth, who successfully defended his NCAA Indoor title with a gritty performance at nationals in College Station, Texas. Roth suffered a hamstring injury early in the season and had not competed in a month by the time NCAAs rolled around, but he was able to regain his form and won the title with a clearance of 18-0 1/2. He becomes just the sixth Husky track athlete to own multiple NCAA titles, and was the first repeat winner since fellow vaulter Brad Walker won the indoor titles in 2003-04. Roth earned the sixth All-America honor of his career, the most by a vaulter and fifth-most in school history. Also earning All-America First Team honors at NCAAs were sophomores James Cameron and Jeremy Taiwo. Cameron capped an incredible indoor season with an eighth-place mile finish, while Taiwo placed eighth in the heptathlon. Cameron punched his ticket to NCAAs by running the second-best mile in school history at 3:58.51, the fourth sub-four minute mile in UW history. Taiwo raised his own heptathlon school record to 5,780 points at nationals. The Husky men posted 12 points to tie for 18th, and while the women did not score, they were well represented by freshmen Katie Flood and Megan Goethals. The young distance runners were the only two freshmen in the 3,000-meter field. Flood placed 10th and Goethals was 13th, earning both of them All-America Second Team honors. Washington had an incredible 35 new marks written into its indoor Top-10 list, with another school record coming from senior Colton Tully-Doyle in the 3,000m (7:53.13). Tully-Doyle would place 18th at NCAAs, and senior Ryan Vu also earned All-America Second Team honors with an 11th-place finish in the pole vault in his final UW competition. Washington's own Dempsey Indoor was once again the place to be for distance runners, as a majority of the NCAA qualifiers posted their top times in Seattle. Looking at the Top-20 on the men's national list from 800-meters through 5,000-meters, exactly 40 of the 80 best times in the four distance events came from the Dempsey, while the Dempsey accounted for 29 of the 80 best marks in the same distances on the women's side.