Feb. 11, 2013
SEATTLE - Senior Jeremy Taiwo from the men's track and field team has been named the GoHuskies.com Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of Feb. 4-10.
Taiwo, an All-American from Renton., Wash., broke a world record by clearing 7-feet, 4.50-inches in the heptathlon high jump, the fourth and final event of the first day of the competition at the Boise State Team Classic.
That high jump clearance is the best ever by an athlete competing in the heptathlon, the seven-event indoor competition which includes the 60-meter dash, long jump, shot put, and high jump on day one, then the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault, and 1,000-meter run on day two. Taiwo had already been having a career day in the first three events, but then wrote his name into the history books in the high jump, clearing a remarkable five-inch career-best. The previous heptathlon high jump world record was 7-4 ¼, set by Scott Sellers in 2007.
He had a bit of a wait for the high jump, as the bar started low. He would take his first attempt at 6-7.
Taiwo, the 2011 Pac-12 Decathlon Champion and three-time All-American missed the entire 2012 season recovering from Tommy John surgery to his elbow as well as surgery on his hips to correct osteitis pubis.
He began the day in the 60-meter dash, and ran 7.02 seconds, already a personal-best by four hundredths. Moving on to the long jump, Taiwo eclipsed a mark he had been long chasing, going past the 24-foot barrier for the first time. He went well past it, going 24-4 ¼ on his first attempt, which ties Kasen Williams for sixth on the UW indoor top-10, as Williams jumped the exact distance just two weeks ago.
That left the high jump. After finally obtaining the 24-foot mark in the long jump, Taiwo set his sights on clearing seven-feet for the first time in the high jump, as he had cleared 6-11 ½ on multiple occasions. Once he got over that barrier, he just kept rolling, winding up with the 7-4 ½ mark that likely will qualify him for the NCAA Indoor meet in the high jump, let alone the heptathlon. His day one total was a smashing 3,507, as he led the competition by over 600 points.
He wrapped up on the second day with one of the best overall heptathlon scores in U.S. history with a total of 6,156 points that put him third in NCAA history and seventh in U.S. history.
On the second day he started off with yet another personal-best, as he ran 8.08 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles. The first and only subpar event on the weekend for Taiwo came next in the pole vault, but he was able to clear 13-11 ¼ to add nearly 700 points to his total. In the final event, the 1,000-meter run, Taiwo was well in front and had to do most of the work on his own, but he still was less than a tenth of a second off his PR, as he ran 2:34.44.
The 6,156 points is the fifth-best performance in NCAA history, trailing three marks posted by Ashton Eaton, and one by Trey Hardee. Eaton and Hardee are not bad company to keep, as the two won Gold and Silver, respectively, in the decathlon at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The score ranks Taiwo No. 1 in the world so far in 2013. It was also a Jackson Track facility record, and needless to say Taiwo shattered his own Washington school record, which previously was 5,780 from the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Other nominees include: Hooch Fagaly (softball), Jazmine Davis (women's basketball), Allison Northey (gymnastics), Aziz N'Diaye (men's basketball), Trevor Simsby (men's golf), Emmett Egger (men's tennis) and Megan Goethals (women's track and field).