Jan. 16, 2010
SEATTLE - Junior Husky pole vaulter Scott Roth set the stage for a thrilling 2010 for himself and the UW track team this evening, as the three-time All-American and Pac-10 Champion soared to a new lifetime-best clearance of 18-feet, 6 ¾ inches at the UW Indoor Preview. The mark currently stands as the second-best vault in the world early this year and the best by an American.
Roth, the 2009 NCAA runner-up, cleared 18-1 on his second attempt and as the last remaining competitor had the bar raised to 18-6 ¾. He went over on his first try, just grazing the bar and celebrated mid-air. His mark is also the ninth-best in Pac-10 history in a conference that has produced some of the world's best. Only two-time World Champion and Olympian Brad Walker has gone higher as a Husky. It also was easily beyond the NCAA Automatic qualifying mark for indoor nationals.
"I felt pretty loose when I got on the runway," Roth said, thanks possibly to having run the 60-meter dash earlier in the day. "I can't ask for a better way to start the season. I'm feeling healthy, in really good shape, and I'm vaulting well, so I'm excited."
Washington track & field enjoyed a great number of impressive early results at the Dempsey Indoor today in what is the first of five major indoor meets that will draw thousands of NCAA and professional athletes from around the country. Aside from Roth and some other field event veterans, the focus was mostly on the youngsters, with dozens of Husky newcomers suiting up for the first time in college to test the fruits of their training.
"A meet at the Dempsey is like nothing else in our sport, and something incredible is always bound to happen," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "This meet is especially fun for our freshmen who have been working hard since the fall and now get to see where they stand and the progress they made.
"Then at the same time our newcomers can look at an athlete like Scott Roth and watch someone that operates at an extremely high level. Scott acts like a professional every day and wants to be a champion, and because of that he gets results. Our goal now is to be better in two weeks and add more ingredients, and I think we'll start to be a pretty exciting team."
Standout efforts on the women's side started with freshman Shaniae Lakes (Richland, Wash.) who won the triple jump with a mark of 39-9 ¾ that already ranks sixth on UW's indoor Top-10 list. Freshman multi-event athlete Sarah Schireman was fifth in the long jump at 17-9 ½ and made the 60-meter hurdles final, clocking 9.08 seconds in a busy first day.
Logan Miller from Reno, Nev. cleared 12-feet in the pole vault in her first outing, and sophomore Dominique Lauderdale was ninth in a strong 60-meter dash field with a time of 7.74 seconds. Freshman Lindsay Flanagan, who ran in Washington's cross country top-seven in the fall, looked strong in a sixth-place finish in the 3,000-meters in 9:53.35.
Highlights for the men included sophomore Ryan Soberanis stepping up to the mile from his usual 800-meter distance and running at strong 4:09.61 in a race that saw two more four-minute miles, a regularity in the Dempsey. Alistair Cragg ran 3:59.42 and Tim Bayley clocked 3:59.58.
Shayne Moore out of Blaine, Wash. took third in the men's 60m hurdles in 8.44 seconds. In the men's long jump, despite competing unattached, sophomore Warren Woods showed quickly developing talent with a winning jump of 22-feet, 9.75-inches. And though Roth stole the spotlight, senior Ryan Vu also had a very solid debut, clearing 16-7 ¼.
In the throws, freshman Armin Basic had the day's fourth-best shot put, tossing 48-feet, 3.5-inches. Meanwhile, sophomore Conner Larned, a transfer from Washington State, looked strong indeed throwing the 35-pound weight 56-feet, 2-inches, which would have been 10th-best at UW except Larned competed unattached.
Washington will continue building over the next two weeks for the UW Invitational, held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 29-30 at the Dempsey. The field should only get larger and more dynamic, and the Huskies will reflect that, with many of their top returners expected to open up at the Invitational.