April 17, 2009
WALNUT, Calif. - Junior Anita Campbell and freshman Christine Babcock turned in outstanding runs today that rank among the fastest in school history, highlighting several strong efforts for UW track and field athletes at the Mt. SAC Relays held at Hilmer Lodge Stadium.
Both members of UW's national champion cross country squad, Campbell and Babcock turned in two of the best track performances of the season this evening. Campbell ran the second-fastest 5,000-meters in school history, setting a 15-second personal best with a time of 15:45.85 that will put her fourth in the NCAA, matching her standing in the 10,000-meters which she ran three weeks ago.
Campbell now ranks behind only UW legend Regina Joyce, who set a mark of 15:35.60 in 1982. More remarkable is the fact that Campbell is the third Husky this year to run 15:50 for the 5k. At the end of March, Katie Follett ran 15:48.72 and Mel Lawrence went 15:50.36 at the Stanford Invite. Including Joyce, only three Huskies had ever gone under 16-minutes for 5,000-meters prior to this season. The Huskies now boast three of the top-six 5k times in the NCAA this year.
Shortly after Campbell, sophomore Kenna Patrick also wrote her name into the recordbooks with a 16-second personal best in another heat of the 5k. Patrick took second in a 27-woman heat in a time of 16:28.83, which places her ninth all-time. Campbell, Follett, Lawrence, and Patrick now account for four of the Top-10 5k times in school history, all run over the past month.
Babcock continued her outstanding freshman season earlier in the day, as she ran the sixth-fastest 1,500-meter time in school history in just her second attempt at the distance.
Competing close to her hometown of Irvine, Calif., Babcock was running on the same track where she set the National High School 1,500-meter record last year in 4:16.42. She was just a fraction of a second off that time today, crossing the line in 4:16.50. Babcock moves into sixth on the school's Top-10 list, settling in just ahead of Amanda Miller (2005-08), who earned her fourth career All-American honor just last year in the 1,500m. Just last week Babcock ran the fourth-best 800-meter time (2:06.55) in UW history at the Sun Angel Invite.
In the men's 1,500-meter invitational, Husky senior Austin Abbott was just off his personal-best, finishing third in 3:41.70. Abbott's 3:41.62 effort earlier in the year is the second-best in school history. Junior Jake Schmitt also cracked the school's Top-10 list in the 5,000-meters, securing a spot at Regionals with a time of 14:03.95 that puts him 10th at UW.
In the field events, senior All-American Jared O'Connor won the pole vault competition with a clearance of 17-2 ¾, while sophomores Kyle Nielsen (210-7) and Brooke Pighin (156-10) each surpassed the NCAA Regional marks in the javelin throw, but did not improve on their season-bests.
Junior Zack Midles set another new PR in the discus, coming even closer to the Regional mark with a throw of 167-5.
The Relays wrap up with another full day of action on Saturday.