March 26, 2010
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Husky track kicked off the outdoor season today with a long day of action at the Stanford Invitational. Washington's sprints and distance group made the trip south, with several strong marks on day one of the two-day meet. Senior All-American Katie Follett picked up right where she left off in the indoor season, as the NCAA mile runner-up set a new personal-best in the 1,500-meters.
Follett covered nearly four laps of Stanford's Cobb Track in 4:15.04, surpassing her 2008 PR of 4:15.78. Starting the season off with a lifetime-best is always a good sign, and the two-time defending Pac-10 Champ is certainly running with a great deal of confidence now. No Regional marks exist this season, as the NCAA fields will be selected based purely off the performance lists. However it's safe to say there will not be 48 better times than Follett's mark this evening. Follett remains fifth on UW's all-time Top-10 list.
In the same heat, steeplechase All-American Mel Lawrence dropped down to 1,500-meters and cut three seconds off her PR, running 4:21.89. Senior Kailey Campbell also made her 2010 debut in 4:20.82. Both times will likely qualify Campbell and Lawrence for the NCAA Championship prelims, but there's a long ways to go before that top-48 takes shape.
In one of the last events of the night, senior Jake Schmitt dipped under 29-minutes in the 10,000-meters for the third time in his career, placing 10th in 28:56.21, just off his PR. Schmitt has competed in the 10k at the past two NCAA Outdoor Championships and is one of just four Huskies to break 29-minutes.
Freshman sprinter James Alaka made an impressive outdoor debut, taking third in the 100-meter dash in a time of 10.63 seconds. He ran the same time in the prelims as well. Alaka was the highest-finishing collegiate competitor. Sophomore Ryan Hamilton took seventh in the final though his best time came in the prelims where he ran 10.89.
Two weeks after running at his first NCAA meet, taking 12th in the 5,000-meters, junior Colton Tully-Doyle carried his indoor momentum through to his first outdoor race, as he set a new PR at 1,500-meters, placing second in his heat in 3:47.03 which is nearly a four-second best. Sophomore Ryan Soberanis also had a strong debut, clocking 3:49.40.
Senior Falesha Ankton qualified for Saturday's final in the 100m hurdles, clocking 14.05 seconds in the prelims.
Saturday features relay action, hurdles finals, and 200- and 800-meter runs.