April 11, 2011
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - After three victories on Saturday in Eugene, sophomore sprinter James Alaka pocketed another win today, as he was named the Pac-10 Men's Track Athlete of the Week for the week of April 4-10, the conference office announced today.
The London, England native becomes the first Husky male to win the honor since sprinter Jordan Boase picked up the award in 2008.
Alaka accounted for three victories at the Pepsi Team Invitational on Saturday at Oregon's Hayward Field. The sophomore won both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes and then ran on the victorious 4x100-meter relay squad. Alaka won the 100-meters in 10.53 seconds into a strong headwind, winning by nearly three tenths. He then cruised to a 21.18 second win at 200-meters, again winning by a large margin into the wind.
UW's 4x1 relay clocked a season-best 40.24 seconds for the win. Maurice McNeal led off then handed to Alaka on the backstretch, who passed to Colton Dunn for the third leg and then Ryan Hamilton brought the stick home to win by more than eight tenths over second-place Stanford.
Alaka should already have his NCAA Prelim spot secured in the 100- and 200-dashes, and UW's short relay is also sitting in the Top-15 in the West. Last season, Alaka was the top freshman finisher at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at 200-meters and the number two freshman at 100-meters.
This is the 16th all-time Pac-10 Athlete of the Week honor for the Husky men's team.
2011 Pac-10 Track and Field Athletes of the Week
Men's Track: Apr. 11 - James Alaka, So., WASH
Men's Field: Apr. 11 - Mike Morrison, RS Sr., CAL
Women's Track: Apr. 11 - English Gardner, Fr., ORE
Women's Field: Apr. 11 - Julie Labonte, So., ARIZ