May 9, 2010
BERKELEY, Calif. - Sophomore Jeremy Taiwo put the finishing touches on the best performance by a Husky in the decathlon in 24 years today to take runner-up honors at the Pac-10 Multi-Event Championships at Cal's Edwards Stadium. Taiwo amassed 7,521 points over the past two days, and finished with a dominating win in the 1,500-meters.
Taiwo, a Renton native and Newport High grad, finished behind only Oregon's Ashton Eaton, a senior and the two-time NCAA decathlon champ plus the world record holder in the indoor heptathlon. Eaton posted 8,154 points. Taiwo was third at this meet a year ago and seeded third coming in, but he passed Cal's Michael Morrison today to move up a spot on the podium. He will contribute eight points to Washington's team score when the Pac-10 Championships resume next week.
Junior Andrew Ferleman also placed 11th in the decathlon, and in the women's heptathlon, freshman Sarah Schireman was ninth and junior Lindsey Kirschman placed 10th, both setting new PRs in their first Pac-10 multis.
The 2008 Washington State Decathlon Champion, Taiwo's point total is fourth-best in school history and the most since the legendary Mike Ramos won the Pac-10 title with an NCAA-record 8,322 points in 1986. Taiwo also moves up to 10th on the current NCAA descending order list, all but guaranteeing himself a spot at nationals in Eugene next month.
Taiwo started the day off with a strong run in the 110-meter hurdles. He was second overall in 14.54 seconds, earning 906 points, his highest point total in any event. Next came the discus, where Taiwo was second again with an eight-foot PR of 136-feet. He then cleared 14-7 ¼ in the pole vault, but had a higher clearance wiped out when his pole bumped off the crossbar. The javelin proved to be his low-scoring event as he threw 157-7 but he didn't lose much ground.
Finally, Taiwo came out and crushed the field in the final event, the 1,500-meter run. He dropped 13 seconds from his career-best time, winning in 4:17.57 at the end of a grueling two days. He finished 10 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor.
"I wish our entire team could have been here to watch Jeremy today, because he showed a tremendous amount of heart and passion today," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "He was the man. He had a cortisone shot last weekend and just battled through pain, and was always fired up, clapping his hands and excited to compete."
Schireman, out of Archbishop Murphy High in Everett, PR'd by 165 points in just her second career heptathlon. In today's final three events, she started with a season-best long jump of 18-5 ¾ to take sixth in that event. She then closed with a four-second PR in the 800-meters, running 2:27.04.
Kirschman, who made the rare switch from mid-distance events to the multis this season, also raised her PR by 154 points since the Mt. SAC Relays just last month. As usual she was a standout in the 800-meters, taking third overall in 2:15.21 for 890 points, her highest of any event.
Ferleman posted a season-best 6,199 points, starting with a 15.44 second hurdles time that was sixth-best and his highest-scoring event at 797 points. He also took fifth in the discus with a best toss of 115-9.
Next weekend the Pac-10 meet picks back up at Edwards Stadium with the full slate of events on May 15-16.