March 12, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - All-American efforts from sophomores James Cameron and Jeremy Taiwo gave the Husky men's track team a boost today, as the Dawgs finished tied for 18th at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at Gilliam Indoor Stadium today, bringing the indoor season to a close. Cameron was UW's first miler to score at NCAAs in seven years and Taiwo is the first UW man ever to score at nationals in the heptathlon.
The 18th-place finish is the fifth Top-25 placing in the past six years for the Husky men. Washington has also placed in the Top-20 at the past four NCAA meets counting indoors and outdoors. The Huskies scored 12 points over the two-day meet, a total they've bettered only five times going back to 1965. Senior Scott Roth's win in the pole vault on Friday provided the lion's share of the points with 10, with Cameron and Taiwo tacking on a point apiece today. Roth's win was his second in a row at NCAA Indoors, and the ninth indoor national title all-time for Washington.
Sophomore James Cameron capped off one of the best indoor seasons in school history with an eighth-place finish in the men's mile final today, adding another point to UW's team score. It was the first NCAA meet of any kind for Cameron, who became UW's fourth sub-four-minute miler just a week ago at the UW Final Qualifier. He matches Eric Garner, who was eighth in the mile at the 2004 NCAA Indoor meet, for the best showing ever by a Husky.
"It feels amazing. I feel so blessed to be where I'm at looking at where I was about five months ago. It's been a night and day difference," Cameron said. "I felt like I had a good start, but the pace was fluctuating back and forth. I was trying to make a move and it wasn't working every time. Going into the bell lap I gave it everything I've got, and grabbed that eighth-place which is great, so I'm so stoked. It was so much fun."
Cameron put his on the UW indoor top-10 lists in four different events this season, just his second full year of college track. "Getting into a routine on race day, calming myself down and knowing that I'm prepared for this," Cameron says has been a key this year. "My teammates and coaches have been there for me. Balancing work and school has been more hectic, but that comes with the territory, and you learn how to do those things."
Jeremy Taiwo, a redshirt sophomore indoors, finished up a mostly stellar heptathlon today, placing eighth overall and bettering his own school-record with 5,780 points. But the Renton, Wash. native was left to lament one event on each day of the competition that kept him from contending for first. Yesterday it was the shot put, today it was the pole vault, but he came away with four career-bests out of the other five events en route to becoming the first UW multi-event athlete to score at NCAAs since Jacob Predmore in 2000.
"That's what the multi is, there are those events where you would really have loved to have those points (back). Today, hurdles I had a good PR there, and I don't know what was up with me in the pole vault. If I would have jumped what I'd been doing all year, I would have been going for first, but it will make me more hungry for outdoors," Taiwo said. "I'm glad I was able to contribute to my team today; I wish I could have contributed a lot more and got those ten points, but it's all right I got a little trophy for my mom."
Taiwo opened the second day clearing the 60-meter hurdles, and perhaps a mental hurdle as well. It was the hurdle race at the start of day two that brought a brutal end to Taiwo's 2010 NCAA Outdoor decathlon competition, as he fell over a hurdle and suffered a concussion. Today, Taiwo clipped the first couple barriers but then became increasingly clean and smooth, and he pulled away to win his heat in 8.14 seconds, a big PR that ranks ninth on the UW indoor Top-10 list. That wound up as the fifth-best time overall.
Whereas the shot put threw a wrench into Taiwo's day on Friday, today it was the pole vault which gave him problems. He had set a personal-best in his previous heptathlon this season, clearing 15-7, but after a first attempt clearance at 13-9 ¼, Taiwo was unable to get over 14-9, which essentially put him out of contention.
Despite the setback, Taiwo capped off the event the way he began on Friday, with a new career-best. He was ninth going into the race, and said he "decided to run that race with a little bit of rage." He powered around the track for five laps, placing third in the 1,000-meters in a time of 2:34.35, and moving up to grab a point for the Dawgs.
Washington's two women's representatives, the freshman duo of Katie Flood and Megan Goethals lined up for the loaded women's 3,000-meter race. The only two freshmen in the field, the two were battling with several NCAA Champions and multiple-time All-Americans.
Goethals led for a few laps early as the field waited to push the pace. Flood was in the back of the pack, and the two then met towards the middle as Flood moved up and Goethals dropped back. As the field strung out, Flood looked to make a move on the penultimate lap, and passed a few runners to wind up 10th overall in 9:22.59. Goethals was just a second behind in 13th-place in a time of 9:23.48.
The Huskies wrapped up with senior and school record-holder Colton Tully-Doyle in the men's 3,000-meters right after the women. Tully-Doyle looked great early, running in the front of the pack. He reacted to one move, pushing back up four spots to third with 11 laps to go, and then he moved behind Northern Arizona's Diego Estrada to second. Then the field bunched even more and Tully-Doyle suffered in some jostling. He got knocked off stride and pushed to the back of the pack and was never able to recover, finishing 18th overall.
Washington Track & Field
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas - Texas A&M
Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium
March 12, 2011 - Day Two of Two
Men's Mile Run (Final): 8. James Cameron, 4:01.88; Women's 3,000-Meter Run (Final): 10. Katie Flood, 9:22.59; 13. Megan Goethals, 9:23.48; Men's 3,000-Meter Run (Final): 18. Colton Tully-Doyle, 8:24.26; Men's Heptathlon: 8. Jeremy Taiwo, 5,780 (Breakdown below).
March 11, 2011 - Day One of Two
Jeremy Taiwo Heptathlon By Event
60-meter dash: 7.06 seconds - 861 points (New PR)
Long Jump: 23-10 ¾ - 881 points (New PR)
Shot Put: 39-2 ¾ - 603 points
High Jump: 6-9 ¾ - 878 points
60-meter hurdles: 8.15 seconds - 947 points (New PR)
Pole Vault: 13-9 ¼ - 673 points
1,000-meter run: 2:34.35 (New PR)
Total: 5,780 (New School Record)