March 25, 2011
PALO ALTO, Calif. - The Huskies started the outdoor track season with a bang from their top two sprinters, James Alaka and Dominique Lauderdale, who each won the 100-meter dashes this afternoon at the Stanford Invitational. After doing short so well, Washington went long, as senior Colton Tully-Doyle and sophomore James Cameron ran the second and third-fastest 5,000-meters in school history.
The Stanford Invite is known for producing some of the best distance races of the outdoor season right from the get-go, but Washington made its mark early in the sprints. Alaka, the London native, was one of the top freshman in the NCAA last year in the short sprints. He made his season debut in style, as he won the men's 100-meters in 10.37 seconds, edging out pro runner Josh Norman. It's the fifth time Alaka has gone under 10.40 seconds in his Husky career.
Lauderdale, the senior out of Bakersfield, Calif., ran to a big PR to start her outdoor season, just as she did at the end of her indoor season. She easily outpaced the field in the final, winning in 11.54 seconds, well under her previous career-best of 11.77 seconds. Lauderdale's time would tie for third-best in school history but it was wind-aided. Still, there will be many more chances in faster fields after several more weeks of practice, and the 1985 school record of 11.47 seconds by Zelda Johnson definitely appears within reach.
Later in the evening it was time for the distance runners to dig in. Despite less than pristine conditions in Palo Alto, the times in the top races were still impressive overall. Husky freshman Megan Goethals, who competed two weeks ago at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 3k, crushed the UW freshman record at 5,000-meters, as she placed fourth in the top heat in a time of 16:06.64, surpassing Anita Campbell's 16:29.91 freshman mark from 2006. That also ranks eighth on the Husky top-10 list and will certainly be fast enough to qualify for NCAA prelims.
The top heat of the men's 5,000-meters was up next, and three UW men broke the 14-minute barrier. Tully-Doyle bounced back impressively from the disappointing end to his indoor season at NCAAs to post the number two 5k time in Washington history at 13:47.25, which was five seconds under his old PR. That was seventh in the fast heat, fourth among collegiate athletes.
Right behind Tully-Doyle was Cameron, who earned All-America honors indoors in the mile. Cameron showed his versatility today by stopping the clock in 13:51.83, which now ranks him third right behind Tully-Doyle and record-holder David Bazzi (13:40.61). Also getting into the mix was junior Max O'Donoghue-McDonald, who set a 20-second personal-best and broke 14-minutes with a time of 13:59.82, which barely misses the Top-10 list. Sophomore Joey Bywater also set a big PR in a time of 14:20.40.
A lot of work was still left to be done, however, as the 10,000-meter races closed out the first night. Sophomore Lindsay Flanagan turned in a fantastic effort, becoming just the fifth Husky woman ever to go under 34 minutes in the 10k, and she was well under at that, running 33:42.50 to jump up to fifth in school history. Flanagan's only previous 10k came as a freshman at the Pac-10 meet a year ago, when she ran 35:30, so she was almost two minutes faster tonight.
Jordan Carlson started her outdoor season with a big PR in the 400-meters. She won her heat by more than a second and stopped the clock in 55.24 seconds, well under her previous PR of 55.96. Junior Ryan Hamilton had a solid opening run in the 100-meters, finishing in 10.89 seconds to barely miss the final.
Sophomore Justine Johnson had a good opening at 1,500-meters, as she clocked 4:26.80, just a couple seconds off her PR. In the men's 1,500-meters, junior Ryan Soberanis had the top time for the Dawgs, placing seventh in the second section in 3:51.81.
In the men's discus throw, fouls were rampant in the wet conditions. Senior Peter Follmer got just one legal toss in six attempts, going 151-feet, 3-inches. Sophomore Angus Taylor threw 152-1, a new best by a couple feet.
Relays will be one of the focal points on Saturday as the Stanford Invite wraps, and finals in the 200-meters and 800-meters will also be key races.