May 15, 2006
EUGENE, Ore. - Washington quarterback Isaiah Stanback placed fifth in the finals of the 100-meter dash Sunday at the 2006 Pac-10 Track and Field Championships. Stanback was one of two current Husky football players and one former Husky competing in the two-day meet, held at Oregon's Hayward Field.
The senior-to-be advanced to Sunday's final after clocking the fifth-fastest time in Saturday's preliminary heats. Stanback's prelim effort of 10.48 seconds was the eighth-fastest in Washington track and field history, and the third-fastest ever by a UW football player.
"[UW Sprints] Coach [LaMonte] Vaughn has been telling me that I could run that fast, but I didn't really believe it until then," said Stanback of his prelim effort.
Only former wide receiver Ja'Warren Hooker (10.18) and tailback Sterling Hinds (10.27) have run faster for UW in a competitive 100-meter dash than Stanback, who bumped former Husky and current Denver Broncos cornerback Roc Alexander (10.53) off of UW's all-time top-10 list.
Stanback proved it was no fluke with a 10.50-second time in Sunday's final, his fifth-place finish a full seven places higher than his No. 12 seed entering the competition.
"I really just wanted to make the final, and score at least a point for our team," Stanback said of his expectations before the meet. "Once I made the final, I set my goal at getting into the top three. It was a little disappointing not to improve my time in the final -- now that I've done that [10.48] once, I feel like it should be my standard. But, I was pretty happy getting fifth; I know it helped the team a lot."
The Garfield High School graduate also anchored UW's 4x100-meter squad to fifth, helping score valuable team points towards the Huskies' ultimate fourth-place finish -- the best team effort by a UW men's squad at the Pac-10 Championships since 1997.
"Isaiah really showed something this weekend," said Huskies' track and field head coach Greg Metcalf. "He might not have had the fastest time coming in, but he wasn't going to let that stop him from getting to the finish line in front of a lot of guys who were supposedly faster. He has a real hunger to win and to be the best, whatever he's doing."
Stanback was not alone among Husky football players at the Pac-10 Championships -- freshman Daniel Te'o-Nesheim threw both the shot put and discus, placing 14th in the former and 16th in the latter. Former Husky linebacker Will Conwell also competed for UW, taking fourth place in the discus.
Stanback's effort this weekend earned him one more opportunity to lower his 100-meter time, which qualified him for the NCAA West Regional Championships later this month. The quarterback will also run with the UW relay at the Regional meet, where the top-five individuals and top-three relay teams earn automatic bids to June's NCAA Track and Field Championships.