May 8, 2009
SEATTLE - The regular season came to a close tonight for the Washington track and field teams, as the Huskies held court in Husky Stadium this evening for the annual Ken Shannon-Ken Foreman Invitational, co-hosted with Seattle Pacific.
With the Pac-10 Championships looming next weekend, most of UW's top track stars rested up, but many field athletes still were still sharpening their skills tonight. Senior All-American Jared O'Connor turned in the performance of the evening, as he set a new pole vault PR with a clearance of 17-feet, 6-inches that will tie him with teammate Ryan Vu for ninth-best in the NCAA. Sophomore Scott Roth ranks third nationally with a best of 18-1, giving the Huskies a triple threat at Pac-10's and beyond.
The field tonight was comprised mostly of Northwest universities and colleges, and many of the most intense races came from Division II athletes trying to make the cut for NCAA's. O'Connor's mark was the only improvement to a Regional qualifier on the night for Washington, but there were still several new personal-bests and Husky wins to be had.
Starting with the women, sophomore Lindsey Kirschman won the 800-meter run in a personal-best time of 2:12.85. Junior Syreeta Martin won the 400m hurdles in 1:01.36, and freshman Joi Glass PR'd in 1:02.95, good for fourth.
UW's 4x100m women's relay fell short of a Regional qualifier, but they still dominated the competition. Falesha Ankton, Dominique Lauderdale, Jordan Carlson, and Bianca Greene carried the stick once around the track in 46.36 seconds, two seconds faster than the rest of the field.
The Huskies also made a strong showing in the 1,500-meter run, led by Pac-10 Cross Country Athlete of the Year Kendra Schaaf, in her first race since the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Schaaf, who is redshirting the track season, won in a time of 4:23.55, which would be well under the Regional qualifying mark if she ran attached. Mo Huber (4:36.65), Allison Linnell (4:39.15), and Ellie Bonner (4:43.11) also ran PR's in the top heat.
Peter Follmer took second in the men's discus throw only to former Husky and Olympic Trials qualifier Will Conwell. Follmer threw 163-feet, 9-inches, just a few feet short of the Regional mark. The story was the same for David Nyland in the javelin throw, as he eclipsed 200-feet for the second-straight week but needs just a few more inches to hit the RQ of 202-0.
Tomorrow, postseason competition officially kicks off as three Husky multi-event specialists are already in Eugene for the Pac-10 Multi-Events which take place Saturday and Sunday at Hayward Field. Jeremy Taiwo and Andrew Ferleman tackle the decathlon, while senior Liz Fuller represents the women in the heptathlon.