April 7, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - The Husky track teams put together a great all-around team effort today at the Pepsi Team Invitational, with the women coming in second ahead of three-time defending NCAA Champion Texas A&M and Pac-12 rival UCLA. The Husky men also outpointed UCLA for third place, with the host Oregon Ducks getting both wins at Hayward Field.
Several stand-out efforts were turned in today, highlighted by a monster pole vault win from junior Logan Miller, who cleared 14-feet for the first time in her career, becoming just the second Husky ever over that bar. And senior Jordan Carlson lowered her own school record in the 400-meter dash, becoming the first Husky ever under 54-seconds.
The Huskies also got victories from senior J.J. Juilfs in the men's pole vault, returning to his Eugene hometown. All told the Dawgs had seven new Top-10 marks on the day.
In the final women's standings, No. 1-ranked Oregon got the win with 221.5 points, followed by the Huskies with 157, fifth-ranked Texas A&M with 149.5, and UCLA with 135. The 16th-ranked Oregon men scored 204 points to beat out the sixth-ranked Aggies with 190, Washington with 138, and UCLA with 134.
"Our women's team competed incredibly well today," said Head Coach Greg Metcalf. "It wasn't a perfect day but they were just solid all around. It was a lot of fun. There was great competition on both sides today and a number of the events at this meet were loaded with talent and I thought both our men and women had a number of highlights and definitely took a step in the right direction across the board from our opener two weeks ago."
Miller, a Second Team All-American outdoors last season, strained her hip flexor in warm-ups and had her leg taped up during the meet. But that may need to be a new pre-meet routine, as Miller had first attempt clearances of her first three bars, including a 13-1 ½ vault. She then matched her career-best with a second attempt clearance of 13-5 ¼, the only vaulter over that bar. Miler then had the bar raised to an even 14-feet, and she got up and over on just one attempt, a PR of nearly seven inches. That's the No. 2 mark in UW history, behind former NCAA Champion Kate Soma, who holds the school record at 14-2.
Carlson, who ran the 400-meter leg on UW's NCAA Champion distance medley relay indoors, ran the 400m outdoors for the first time today, and dropped a few more tenths off her school record, clocking 53.84 seconds. That still was just good for fifth in one of the toughest fields of the day, as the Ducks and Aggies have boasted two of the best 4x400m relays the past several years.
Completing a sweep of the pole vault for the Huskies was Juilfs, who won the men's vault going away with a top clearance of 17-4 ½. It was his first appearance at Hayward Field since winning the 2011 U.S. Junior Championship last summer. Senior Robby Fegles took third at 16-2 ¾.
Another sterling field event for the women's team was the triple jump, where the Huskies tripled up with the top three spots. Sophomore Alana Alexander was the surprise winner with a personal-best by nearly a full foot, as she went 40-feet, 7-inches. Junior Shaniae Lakes was just a millimeter behind Alexander in second place with a jump of 40-6 ¾. And senior Taylor Nichols placed third with a season-best of 39-5 ¾.
The fourth and final event winner for the Dawgs was Peterson in the javelin. She upped her season-best on her first throw of the competition, going 160-5. Senior Brooke Pighin took third at 145-2, and junior Jordin Seekins was just an inch behind with a big PR of 145-1, which moves Seekins up to sixth on the Top-10 list.
The men's javelin was also one of the most competitive fields of the day, and features several throwers with NCAA aspirations. All-American Joe Zimmerman had to settle for fourth, throwing 222-2, a few feet off his season-opener two weeks back. But the Huskies got to witness a fantastic debut from freshman Quinn Hale, as the Tacoma native tossed an even 222-feet to take fifth. That jumps Hale all the way up to 15th in the West Region. And fellow frosh Curtis Clauson also added seven feet to his season-best, going 214-7 to take sixth.
Another strong showing was turned in by defending Pac-10 sprint champion James Alaka, who had a solid opener at 100-meters in a time of 10.36 seconds, then followed that up with a 20.90 in the 200-meter dash, taking second in both, which should easily earn him bids to the NCAA Prelims. Senior Ryan Hamilton also lowered his PR to 10.64 seconds.
Senior Angus Taylor and junior Conner Larned both upped their season-bests in the hammer and discus throws, respectively. Taylor took second in the hammer with a best mark of 197-5, while Larned was fifth in the discus at 161-6. Senior Elisa Bryant led the way in the women's throws with runner-up finishes in the hammer and discus. Erica Huse also set a new PR in the hammer with a toss of 154-9, which moves her into the Top-10 list at No. 9.
Leading the way in the distances for the men was senior Ryan Soberanis, who was second at 1,500-meters in a new personal-best time of 3:46.94. Michael Miller Jr. also had an impressive season debut in the steeplechase, placing third in 9:04.69.
In the women's steeplechase, Mackenzie Carter broke into the Husky Top-10 list with a time of 10:39.65, now ranking fifth all-time. Chelsea Orr and Liberty Miller had strong season debuts at 5,000-meters, with Orr running 16:37.21 and Miller going 16:42.91 for fourth and fifth. Phoebe Merritt also went under 17-minutes, stopping the clock at 16:52.75.
All-American Megan Goethals dropped down to 1,500-meters and staged one of the day's most dramatic races, nearly chasing down UO All-American miler Becca Friday, and finishing second in a PR of 4:20.91, a time that ranks her fifth in the West. That's nine seconds better than Goethals' previous career-best.
At 800-meters, All-American Katie Flood also dropped down in distance, opening up her outdoor season with a PR of 2:07.33 to take third. That's the No. 10 mark on the Husky lists, and ranks sixth early in the West Region. Freshman Baylee Mires, another leg of the NCAA Champion DMR, opened outdoors with a 2:09.39, and freshman Eleanor Fulton was right behind in 2:10.76.
All three Huskies in the 400-meter hurdles cut into their season-bests as well. Sophomore Kayla Stueckle was third overall in an even 60-seconds. Skye Atchley dropped her PR down to 1:02.60, and freshman Gianna Woodruff also improved on her PR, going 1:02.92.
The Huskies will now have a couple more weeks to train before taking a group to Southern California for the Mt. SAC Relays as well as the Beach Invitational from April 19-21.