March 6, 2010
SEATTLE - The Dempsey Indoor track & field season wrapped up Saturday with the UW Final Qualifier, but not before another handful of athletes blazed a trail from Seattle to next week's NCAA Indoor Championships at Arkansas. One of those qualifiers was Husky sophomore Mel Lawrence, who assured herself a spot with a win in the 3,000-meter run.
Lawrence, who was 12th in the 3k at the NCAA Indoor meet last year, needed to improve her standing on the national performance list today to book a return trip to NCAAs. She made sure she was firmly inside any bubble by going well under the NCAA Automatic standard of 9:13.00, finishing first in a time of 9:08.74 that was just a split second off her own school record. Lawrence now ranks fifth in the NCAA at the distance.
In the same race, redshirt freshman Kendra Schaaf continued to improve coming off a foot injury, as she cut seven seconds off her 3k time from just one week ago, clocking 9:20.53, third-best in school history. Junior Kenna Patrick also had a strong finish, clocking 9:39.90 for ninth.
A number of Huskies set themselves up for great things outdoors with big PRs on Saturday. The women's mile saw three personal-bests, led by freshman Justine Johnson, who barely missed her first NCAA Provisional mark by less than a second as she ran 4:47.90. Freshman Grace Green had a seven-second PR to win the first heat in 5:00.68, and freshman Breanna Huschka also lowered her best mile to 5:03.17.
On the men's side, Max O'Donoghue-McDonald broke into the Top-10 on UW's mile list with a great run of 4:05.30 that shoots him up to seventh in school history. Sophomore Ryan Soberanis cut three seconds off his mile best, running 4:06.48, and freshman James Cameron was right behind in 4:06.99, more than six seconds faster than his PR.
Sophomore Kelly Mudlo broke through in the women's pole vault, clearing 12-11 ½ for an eight-inch lifetime-best that now puts her eighth on the indoor Top-10 list. All four of UW's women's vaulters have PR'd during this indoor season, led by Mudlo's mark.
Senior Kenjamine Jackson won the 200-meter dash in his final competition as a college athletes. Jackson, who only had indoor eligibility remaining, was a key leader of the men's sprints the past two years, and made it to the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships on the 4x100m relay last year. Head coach Greg Metcalf thanked Jackson in front of the team for his effort and attitude during his two-year Husky career.
Elsewhere, Lindsey Fleishman passed the 39-foot mark in the triple jump for the second week in a row, taking second overall with a mark of 39-4 ½ that was just off her season-best.
The Huskies expected to advance on to the NCAA Indoor Championships are Scott Roth and Colton Tully-Doyle on the men's side, and Lawrence and Katie Follett on the women's side. The rest of the UW team will look ahead to the first outdoor meet of the year, the Stanford Invitational, on March 26-27.