Jan. 28, 2011
SEATTLE - The first night of the UW Invitational gives just a taste of what's to come on the lengthy Saturday, so with records falling and Olympians racing on Friday night in the Dempsey, one can't help but look ahead to a memorable follow-up tomorrow.
Tonight featured some of the top all-around athletes in the country competing in their first pentathlon or heptathlon of the season, and Husky NCAA qualifier Jeremy Taiwo had a strong day one and sits in second place with three events to go. But Oregon's Brianne Theisen, the defending NCAA Champion in the pentathlon indoors and heptathlon outdoors, racked up points like no one before her, as she broke the NCAA pentathlon record with 4,507 points. The record comes with the asterisk of Dempsey's oversized oval, which was used to Theisen's advantage on the final 800-meter run, but technicalities aside, Theisen was a cut above.
Taiwo's day started off in the 60-meter dash, where he clocked a new PR of 7.15 seconds. He then bettered his long jump on each attempt, ending with a mark of 22-11 3/4. He moved up to second overall after the shot put, with a mark of 42-9. He then cleared 6-5 in the high jump, just an average mark for the Renton, Wash. native, but good enough to place him second overall heading into Saturday with 3,080 points. The 60m hurdles, pole vault, and 1000-meters remain on Saturday. Freshman Kale Schmidt also had an impressive first day, as he sits sixth with 2,930 points, and Andrew Ferleman is 12th with 2,771 points.
The race of the day for the Huskies came in the men's distance medley relay. Ryan Soberanis took the opening 1200-meter leg and handed off to sophomore Colton Dunn with a slim lead. Dunn ran a great 400-meter split to keep the Huskies in the hunt. Junior Ryan Styrk took over for 800-meters, splitting about 1:50. On the final 1600-meter section, sophomore James Cameron hung behind UCLA's Scott Crawford until making a move on the last lap and powering in for second-place behind Oregon. Washington's time of 9:39.29 places them sixth in school history, and ranks them second in the early-going in the NCAA this season right behind the Ducks.
The Husky women's DMR also ran into the school's Top-10 list, as sophomore Justine Johnson led off and passed to freshmen Michelle Fero, Mackenzie Carter, and Katie Flood, who finished up the 4,000-meter run in 11:34.20. That puts them eighth on the school list.
One treat for track fans was watching 2008 U.S. Olympian Kara Goucher, recently a new mother, win the women's 5,000-meters tonight, running a very controlled race early before pulling away from her competitors over the final three laps to win in 16:11.50. Another iconic Olympian, Shalane Flanagan, is scheduled to run the women's mile on Saturday.