May 16, 2010
BERKELEY, Calif. - The Washington men's track team equaled its best finish at the Pac-10 Championships since 2006, coming in sixth today at Cal's Edwards Stadium. Senior Katie Follett led the women's team, but barely was edged out of her third-straight 1,500-meter title.
The men, ranked 20th nationally coming into the weekend, posted 68 points for sixth-place, one point ahead of Washington State and also beating out California, Arizona, and Oregon State. The effort showed a lot of progress from one year ago, when UW was ninth for the second-straight year. The men will lose just two point scorers, including Pac-10 Champ Ryan Vu in the pole vault and Zack Midles in the hammer. The women had a solid day overall but had to settle for ninth.
Follett fell agonizingly short in the finals at 1,500-meters, as she was nipped at the line by .05 seconds by Oregon's Zoe Buckman. Buckman led for the final lap with Follett closing fast and taking Buckman by surprise at the line but Buckman just pulled it out, finishing in 4:15.95 while Follett crossed in 4:16.00. Senior Kailey Campbell was fifth in 4:21.02 and freshman Justine Johnson just missed scoring a point as she placed ninth in 4:26.98.
Leading the way for the men this afternoon was freshman James Alaka, who earned a pair of third-place finishes in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Alaka was the top rookie in each event and in the 100-meters, the top-two finishers are both seniors. The London native also helped carry the stick around in the 4x100m relay, which placed sixth, giving Alaka a hand in 15 points for the men.
Junior Colton Tully-Doyle was a first-time Pac-10 scorer today in the 5,000-meter run, taking sixth in one of the most talented fields of the conference meet. Tully-Doyle ran 13:54.57, when just a year ago he was unable to finish the race due to foot issues.
Sophomore Jeremy Taiwo and freshman Shayne Moore went fifth and sixth in the 110-meter hurdles final to add seven more points. Taiwo ran 14.39 and Moore came across in 14.85 seconds. Taiwo can add his four points to the eight he earned last weekend as the decathlon runner-up, giving him 12 of UW's 68 total points.
For the women, senior Falesha Ankton turned in her best Pac-10 finish in the 100m hurdles, running 13.49 to place fifth. She also led off the 4x400-meter relay which finished sixth at the end of the day. Running behind Ankton on the relay was Codd, Amber Finley, and Jordan Carlson. Their time of 3:46.35 was a season-best by over three seconds.
Junior Dominique Lauderdale was the first Husky to make the 100-meter dash final in three years, and she scored three points with a sixth-place finish in 11.83 seconds.
The Huskies added another point in the mid-distances as sophomore Nikki Codd finished eighth in a fast and talented 800-meter field in 2:07.93.
In the women's 5k, senior Anita Campbell came back after running the 10k Saturday night for a few more laps. She took seventh in 16:27.04, winding up with seven total points for the Dawgs in her final conference meet.
The women tacked on a few more points in the field events. Sophomore Taylor Nichols was eighth in the triple jump with a new PR of 40-1 ¼. Freshman Logan Miller then tied for eighth in the pole vault, clearing an outdoor-best 12-6 ¼. Finally, senior Korede Oyetuga notched her first career Pac-10 point in her final Husky meet, taking eighth in the discus throw.
The Huskies will now see how many athletes make the final cut for the NCAA Preliminary Rounds held in two weeks time in Austin, Texas. Forty-eight athletes in each event out of the entire western half of the country will converge on Austin looking to move on to the NCAA finals in Eugene.