Jan. 27, 2012
January 27-28 Dempsey Indoor
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SEATTLE - Capped off by two of the best distance medley relay runs in school history, day one of the UW Invitational ended with a flourish and set the stage for an exceptional second day of track and field in the Dempsey on Saturday. Tonight produced a world leader in the women's 5,000-meters, a meet record in the men's 5,000-meters, and four new Husky top-10 marks.
Friday began with the women's pentathlon and men's heptathlon getting started early in the day. Things picked up with the 200-meter dash finals in the early evening, followed by the 5k runs and the distance medley relays.
The women's DMR quickly turned into a battle between Washington and BYU, which placed 10th at NCAA Indoors last year and featured NCAA Indoor 800-meter Champion Lacey Bleazard on the third leg. UW countered with the quartet of Christine Babcock at 1,200-meters, Jordan Carlson on the 400m leg, Baylee Mires running 800-meters, and Justine Johnson for the closing 1,600-meters. The Huskies clocked 11:18.34, the third-best time in school history, finishing second to BYU's 11:13.62. That will put UW in the top-10 nationally after the weekend.
The men had an all-Washington-native group of Gig Harbor's Charlie Williams, Maurice McNeal of Federal Way, Brad Whitley from Liberty Lake, and Lake Stevens' Joey Bywater, and they ran away with the win in 9:41.17. McNeal raced to the lead on the 400-meter leg and Whitley extended it, so Bywater ran alone for his final mile. The time ranks 10th in school history and ranks sixth nationally after the dust settled Friday night around the country.
The women's pentathlon squeezed all five events into Friday. Husky freshman Jaleecia Roland of Federal Way posted the No. 9 pentathlon score in UW history in her first collegiate multi-event, as she finished eighth with 3,446 points. Sophomore Shelby Williams was close behind, scoring 3,391 points to take over the 10th spot on the Husky list. Roland was helped by a big PR in the shot put, throwing 42-8 to win the event outright. 2008 U.S. Olympian Sharon Day won with 4,430 points, third-best in the world this year.
The 5,000-meters produced a world leader and a meet record. First up, Oregon Track Club's Lisa Uhl, the former Lisa Koll who owns the NCAA 10,000-meter record, cruised to the win in 15:29.85, the fastest mark thus far in 2012. On the men's side, Southern Utah All-American Cameron Levins pulled away from former Olympian Bolota Asmerom, and threw up an automatic NCAA qualifying time of 13:42.90. That broke the former meet record of 13:44.02 from 2009.
Action resumes Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with the men's and women's long jumps, and the early heats of the 3,000-meter runs. The top heats of each track race are grouped together in the afternoon, starting at 2:45 p.m. and running until approximately 5 p.m.