May 10, 2009
EUGENE, Ore. - Husky freshman Jeremy Taiwo made quite an impression in his first completed decathlon, as the Renton, Wash. native placed third at the Pac-10 Multi-Event Championships, which wrapped up today at Oregon's Hayward Field.
Taiwo, a graduate of Newport High, picked up six points for the Huskies heading into the main Pac-10 Championships which take place next Saturday and Sunday, May 16-17, also at Hayward Field.
An All-American indoors in the heptathlon, Taiwo had only attempted one previous decathlon and was unable to finish due to a nagging injury. Today, not only did he finish the two-day endurance test, but he posted one of the best scores in the NCAA this season and in Husky history.
Taiwo finished with 7,299 points, placing just behind Oregon's Marshall Ackley, who was second with 7,337, and Oregon's Ashton Eaton, the 2008 NCAA Champion in the event, who scored 8,091. Taiwo trailed Ackley by just eight points heading into the final event, the 1,500m run, but Ackley took second in the event to Taiwo's third-place finish to hold off the rookie.
"You never think it's going to come down to the 1,500 but it did and we made it exciting," said Taiwo. "I made a move close to 500 meters left and I tried to give it all I had but I tip my hat to (Marshall) Ackley he stepped it up and got me at the end."
Taiwo's 7,299 points ranks as the 16th-best score in the nation this season, and is the sixth-best in school history. His best events were second-place finishes in the high jump (6-6), 110m hurdles (14.88) and long jump (22-5 ¼).
"Hopefully the 7300 points will be enough to get me to nationals, well see," said Taiwo.
Sophomore Andrew Ferleman, also a Newport High grad and a Bellevue native, posted a significant personal-best as well today with 6,357 points. That was nearly 300 points higher than his previous best. Ferleman finished 10th overall.
On the women's side, senior Liz Fuller just barely missed out on scoring points for the Dawgs in the heptathlon, as she placed ninth with 4,844 points. Eighth-place was just 37 points out of reach.
Fuller, out of Vancouver, Wash., missed her career-best heptathlon score by just one point. A fifth-place showing in the shot put was her best single event finish.