Dec. 9, 2011
SEATTLE - Husky track and field opened up the Dempsey Indoor for track season tonight, holding its third annual intrasquad meet. After two years of purple supremacy, Team Gold finally took home the gold tonight, winning the final 9,824-meter relay to secure a ten-point win over Team Purple, 228 to 218.
The meet opened with the high jumps, and ended with the full team relays, where 32 members of Team Gold and 32 from Team Purple lined up for one lap around the Dempsey's 307-meter oval. In-between, there were competitions in the long and triple jumps, pole vault, weight throw and shot put, sprints, hurdles, and a 600-meter run. Returning NCAA competitors such as Jaleecia Roland, Gianna Woodruff, and J.J. Juilfs.
Gold went into the final relay with a five point lead, but Purple could have tied it up with a win in the relay. The lights on the infield went dark so just the track was illuminated. Kasen Covington led off for the Purple squad and Shayne Moore started for Gold. The Gold team lapped the Purple squad at one point but Alaka made up a lot of ground for Purple. After more than twenty minutes of racing, the teams were still surprisingly close, but Gold took the final hand-off first with mid-distance runner Brad Whitley staked to a lead as Purple closed with junior thrower Conner Larned. Sporting racing spikes and spandex, Larned looked the part and gave a great effort, but Whitley finished off the win for the Gold in 22-minutes and 52-seconds. Purple finished in 23:01.
The Gold team got two wins and a runner-up effort from freshman Jaleecia Roland, as she won the long jump at 18-9, the shot put at 37-11 ¼, and took second in the high jump at 5-5. All-American Logan Miller won the pole vault at 12-6 with a short approach. All-American sophomore Maurice McNeal was the winner in the 300-meter dash in 34.58. Whitley won the 600m run by a hundredth of a second, outleaning Dan Sanders of the purple squad in 1:19.94.
Gold also did well in the men's jumps, as Julian Bardwell won the long jump, Clayton Johnson took the triple jump, and Robby Fegles cleared an impressive 16-6 in the pole vault, with freshman Juilfs, the U.S. Junior Champion, going 15-6 on a short run-up. Sophomore A.J. Maricich nearly equaled his PR in the high jump, clearing 6-10 ¾ for the Gold.
Freshman Naivasha Sophusson-Smith was a winner for Gold in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.99 seconds, and sophomore Alisha Oden took the women's 600-meters in 1:37.13.
Woodruff, a freshman from Los Angeles, was a double winner for the Purple team, as she took the 88-meter dash (the full length of the straightaway) in 11.11 seconds, and also edged teammate Kayla Stueckle in the 300-meter dash, winning heat two in 40.69 while Stueckle took the first heat in 40.99 seconds.
Caroline Soules was the first winner of the evening, clearing 5-5 in the high jump and winning on fewer attempts. Senior Taylor Nichols, a Pac-10 scorer a year ago, was the winner in the triple jump, and Alaka breezed to the victory in the men's 88-meter dash in 9.79 seconds, though senior Ryan Hamilton was nearly as fast in the next heat, running 9.84 for the Gold Team. Sophomore Howard Lao won the 60m hurdles in 8.39 seconds.
Team Purple excelled in the throws, as Elisa Bryant won the weight throw at 56-7 ¼, and Angus Taylor took the men's weight throw with a very strong mark of 57-1 ½, which would have scored at the MPSF Championships last year. Rich Anderson also gave Purple the win in the shot put at 45-10.
After the Gold team celebrated, head coach Greg Metcalf gathered the team together and announced eight individual captains for each event area, based on voting from the team. For the women, Jordan Carlson was voted captain of the sprints group, Christine Babcock will lead the distance runners, Taylor Nichols heads the jumpers, vaulters, and multis, and Elisa Bryant will captain the throwers.
The track squad will break to wrap up finals and head home for winter break, meeting again on January 2 in the new year, with the first official meet just two weeks later on January 14.