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Alaka, Peterson Lead Dawgs At Pepsi Team Invite
Release: 04/09/2011
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April 9, 2011

» Complete Results

EUGENE, Ore. - Six event victories and a new school record wrapped a big day for the Husky track and field squads as they completed their first scored meet of the outdoor season at the Pepsi Team Invitational at Oregon's Hayward Field on Saturday. Three wins for sprinter James Alaka and a school record for newcomer Amanda Peterson helped set the tone for the early season tune-up.

The quad-meet dual pitted Washington against Oregon, Stanford, and Nebraska. 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, easily outpacing eighth-ranked Stanford which had 121. Third-ranked Oregon took the women's team title as well with 205 points, with Washington coming in fourth with 112. A crowd of over 5,000 people were on hand for the meet.

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. A transfer from Eastern Washington, Peterson threw 168-feet, 5-inches on her first attempt, jumping her to third on the Top-10 list. Once the arm was nice and loose, however, she 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 on her way to a fourth-place finish at NCAAs. Peterson would pass her final three attempts and win by nearly 20 feet.

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. Sophomore Jimmy Brookman also had a PR throw of 215-9. Sophomore All-American Joe Zimmerman debuted with a 216-4 toss to take fourth.

Head Coach Greg Metcalf had a lot of positives to digest after the long day. "Any time you go to Eugene for a scored meet there's going to be some fun battles out there," he said. "For a portion of our team this was their outdoor debut, so you keep that in mind in knowing that there's better things to come, but there were some really awesome performances today starting with Amanda. I knew she was capable of throwing far but to go right out and get our school record, shoot, that's just phenomenal.

Metcalf had hoped to see the men's team fighting for the title but gave credit to the home team. "I thought we'd give the Ducks a better fight today but they're tough to beat at Hayward Field."

Three more wins came on the heels of sophomore sprinter James Alaka. An NCAA final site qualifier last year in the 100- and 200-meters, Alaka won both on Saturday in the chill, windy conditions. 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 to win by several tenths.

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. Stanford was second, eight-tenths back.

"James was spectacular today. Our 4x1 won and ran well but there's definitely more in there so that's exciting," said Metcalf.

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, the same height he cleared to win the NCAA Indoor Championship last month. Roth took three attempts at 18-6 ¾, which would have surpassed Brad Walker's outdoor school record, but couldn't quite get it on this day.

Sophomore Joey Bywater got back to running the 1,500-meters for the first time since the 2009 Pac-10 meet, and he ran well to take fourth in 3:48.30, just 0.05 seconds out of second-place. Ryan Soberanis was right behind in a good time of 3:49.47. 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. Miller ran the first steeple of his career and impressed with a time of 9:09.07.

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, and Richard Anderson also had a solid 164-4 PR. Junior Angus Taylor improved upon his season-best in the hammer throw with a second-place finish, tossing 195-6 on his first attempt.

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, a ten second PR over her prep days. Flood nearly chased down NCAA indoor mile champion Jordan Hasay of Oregon, who held on for the win in 4:18.61. Flood's time puts her 10th on the Top-10 list, one of the toughest to crack at UW, just one race into her outdoor season.

"Down the homestretch, every stride that Katie took she got closer, and man that would have been an awesome way to start her outdoor career, but it still is," Metcalf said. "She looked fantastic and to run 4:18 in your outdoor debut is pretty impressive."

Maybe the biggest PR of the day came from sophomore Laura Schmitt, who sliced more than five seconds off her lifetime 800-meter best to run 2:10.05 and place sixth overall. Schmitt had previously run 2:20 this season after going 2:15.85 during the indoor season. Also PRing was sophomore Lindsay Flanagan, who lowered her career-best 5,000-meter time with a third-place finish in 16:34.11.

Metcalf was definitely pleased with Schmitt. "That was a great day for Laura. She just looked confident. That's what we thought she was capable of as a freshman, but it just takes a little while with different athletes. That's a massive confidence boost for her."

In the sprints, senior 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. Junior Jordan Carlson continues to creep closer to breaking the 55-second mark for the first time, as she PR'd in 55.08 to take third.

Highlighting the women's field events, senior Taylor Nichols was fourth in the triple jump at 39-11 ¼, and junior Elisa Bryant single-handedly accounted for 15 team points with a fourth-place finish in the hammer and fifth-place finishes in the discus and shot put.

Washington Track & Field
Pepsi Team Invitational - Eugene, Oregon
Hayward Field

Men's Results
1. Oregon, 195
2. Nebraska, 181
3. Washington, 159
4. Stanford, 121

Women's Results
1. Oregon 205
2. Nebraska, 195.5
3. Stanford, 143.5
4. Washington, 112

Washington Track & Field
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