May 9, 2011
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Fresh off the first Pac-10 decathlon win for a Husky in a quarter century, Jeremy Taiwo was named Pac-10 Men's Field Athlete of the Week, the conference office announced today. Taiwo is the third Husky men's athlete to win the honor this year, the most since the 2002 season.
The junior from Renton, Wash., Taiwo captured the coveted 2011 Pac-10 decathlon title this past Friday and Saturday at University of Arizona's Drachman Stadium, scoring a career-best 7,742 points. He could have been the first decathlete in the NCAA this year to break the 8,000 point barrier, were it not for an elbow injury that forced Taiwo to throw the javelin with his non-dominant left hand and thus finish last in that event by a wide margin. But Taiwo was so strong throughout the rest of the competition that he was able to overcome the setback.
On Friday's first day of competition, Taiwo went five-for-five on personal-bests, with wins in the high jump (6-11) and 400 meters (48.49) as he posted a huge first-day PR of 4,215 points. He also finished second in the 100-meters (10.98), long jump (23-11 1/2), 110-meter hurdles (14.41) and final 1,500m run (4:18.69) and was third in the pole vault (15-9 3/4) and shot put (42-11).
The score ranks him sixth nationally this season. Taiwo gave the Huskies 10 big points to work with as they head into the rest of the Pac-10 Championships this Friday and Saturday in Tucson. Taiwo will be back on the plane to compete in several open events.
He is the first Husky to capture the decathlon title since Mike Ramos in 1986.
Taiwo is the third Husky to earn Athlete of the Week honors this season, following sophomore sprinter James Alaka on April 11 and senior pole vaulter Scott Roth on April 18. The last time UW won three awards in one season was in 2002.
2011 Pac-10 Track and Field Athletes of the Week
Men's Track: Apr. 11 - James Alaka, So., WASH; Apr. 18 - Lawi Lalang, Fr., ARIZ; Apr. 25 - Ryan Milus, RS Fr., ASU; May 2 - Stephen Sambu, Jr., ARIZ; May 9 - Cory Primm, Sr., UCLA
Women's Track: Apr. 11 - English Gardner, Fr., ORE; Apr. 18 - Jasmine Chaney, Sr., ASU; Apr. 25 - Anne Kesselring, So., ORE; May 2 - Jordan Hasay, So., ORE; May 9 - Ashlea McLaughlin, Sr., UCLA
Women's Field: Apr. 11 - Julie Labonte, So., ARIZ; Apr. 18 - Brigetta Barrett, So., ARIZ; Apr. 25 - Julie Labonte, So., ARIZ; May 2 - Marissa Tschida, Sr., WSU; May 9 - Samantha Henderson, Sr., ASU