Jan. 31, 2009
SEATTLE - Washington's women's distance runners continued to excel and freshman Jeremy Taiwo set a new school record in the heptathlon as the two-day UW Invitational came to an end today at the Dempsey Indoor facility. Husky track and field athletes combined to hit eight NCAA qualifying marks today, and picked up ten total for the weekend.
Five members of UW's NCAA Champion women's cross country team chalked up NCAA provisional qualifying marks this afternoon in the mile and the 3,000-meters. Junior Katie Follett took second in the mile in a time of 4:41.73, less than 24 hours after she anchored UW's NCAA-leading distance medley relay. Close behind Follett were junior Kailey Campbell, also a DMR runner yesterday, in 4:45.29, and redshirt freshman Mel Lawrence, who ran 4:46.07 to go under the provisional qualifying mark in her first collegiate track outing.
In the 3,000-meters, Colorado's Jenny Barringer stole the show, winning in a Dempsey Indoor record and world-leading time of 8:53.88. Barringer was a U.S. Olympian in the steeplechase in Beijing. The entire field was packed with talent, and produced Barringer's record time, two more NCAA automatic marks, and fourteen more provisional times, including personal bests from junior Anita Campbell (9:24.45) and sophomore Lauren Saylor (9:31.24).
The men's heptathlon concluded today, with freshman Jeremy Taiwo scoring a Washington school record 5,317 points to take fifth. Taiwo's mark was a provisional qualifier. His highest-scoring events came in the 60m hurdles which he ran in 8.47 seconds and the 1000-meter run, completed in 2-minutes, 41.76 seconds. Oregon's Ashton Eaton ran away with the overall victory. The 2008 NCAA decathlon champion broke the Dempsey record with 6,174 points.
"This weekend we started to see more of the types of performances that will shape our track team this season," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "It was great to see Mel Lawrence out there running a very solid mile time in her first official college race, and Katie Follett just never has a bad day. Jeremy Taiwo showed the type of athlete he can be for us, setting a school record in a very demanding event for any athlete, let alone a freshman. All in all, there was a lot to be excited about in just about every area for our men and women."
Also picking up a provisional mark was senior Austin Abbott in the 800-meters, in which he is a two-time All-American. Abbott finished in 1:49.81, which is the fifth-best mark in the NCAA this season based on marks heading into the weekend. Senior All-American Jared O'Connor also passed the NCAA provisional mark in the pole vault, setting a new indoor personal-best with a clearance of 17-feet, 1-inch.
Elsewhere, Falesha Ankton took fourth in the 60m hurdles in 8.71 seconds. Senior Daria Amiad-Pavlov was second in the women's triple jump in a new PR of 39-9 ¼. Sophomore Elisa Bryant placed third in the weight throw with a mark of 60-11 ½, and Zack Midles and Angus Taylor were third and fourth, respectively, in the men's weight throw.
All told over the two-day meet, there were four new Dempsey records, 20 marks that eclipsed the NCAA Automatic qualifying mark, and 84 NCAA provisional marks.
The Huskies will be back in the Dempsey two weeks from today, as they host the Husky Classic on Saturday, February 14.