Feb. 27, 2009
SEATTLE - Junior Jake Schmitt and the women's distance medley relay team both won conference titles for the Huskies today during day one of the MPSF Track and Field Championships at the Dempsey Indoor.
Schmitt captured the 5,000-meters in 13-minutes and 57.49 seconds, scoring 10 points for UW's 22nd-ranked men's team, which sits in second place overall after day one with 25 points. 11th-ranked Arizona State currently leads with 28 points, and Cal State Northridge is third with 24 followed by No. 1 Oregon and No. 25 Stanford which are tied for fourth with 20.5 points.
Schmitt is the first Husky to win the 5k since Jason Fayant in 2001. The men's DMR, comprised of Joey Bywater, Jeff Gudaitis, Ryan Soberanis, and Austin Abbott, also added eight points by finishing second in 9:36.21. That time ranks fifth in the NCAA this year and is the fourth-fastest in school history.
On the women's side, the 21st-ranked Huskies are fifth with 25.5 points. Ten of those points came from the DMR, which did its male counterparts one better by winning the first MPSF distance medley relay title in school history. Freshman Christine Babcock opened up a big lead for the Dawgs after the opening 1200-meter leg, then handed off to Falesha Ankton, who kept the Huskies ahead during her 400-meters. Junior Katie Follett took the baton for 800-meters, and widened UW's lead over second-place Stanford. Finally, junior Kailey Campbell took over for the 1600m anchor leg, and led the Huskies to an easy win in 11:16.57. Stanford was six seconds back at 11:22.70.
The women also picked up 4.5 points in the pole vault, as senior Lara Jones, a transfer from Duke, set a new personal-best with a clearance of 13-feet, 5 ¼ inches that tied for the second-best clearance by any vaulter but was fifth based on the tiebreak. Senior Andrea Peterson also PR'd, clearing 13-1 ½ to take eighth in the always loaded field. Jones and Peterson became the sixth and seventh vaulters in school history to clear 13-feet indoors.
"We really had a terrific start to the meet," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "There were major PR's all over the place today. Both of our DMR's ran outstanding, smart races and we hope that our men's group will now be joining the women at NCAA's with the time they ran today. And Jake Schmitt, any time you win a title at any distance in this conference it's special, so I'm happy for him. It was also great to see Lara and Andrea both clear 13-feet within minutes of each other like that. Tomorrow should be very exciting."
The women also got strong showings from senior Daria Amiad-Pavlov, who placed fifth in the pentathlon with an NCAA Provisional score of 3,853, and sophomore Elisa Bryant, who was third in the weight throw with a best toss of 62-feet, 1-inch.
The 25th-ranked Stanford women lead with 56 points followed by 8th-ranked Arizona State and 3rd-ranked Oregon which are tied for second with 47. Cal is in fourth with 28 points just ahead of Washington.
Also scoring for the men was junior Zack Midles who took fifth in the weight throw, and junior Kenjamine Jackson, who placed sixth in the 200-meter dash. Freshman Jeremy Taiwo leads the men's heptathlon after four events, having won the long jump and tied for the win in the high jump as well.
Action resumes Saturday morning at 11 a.m., with conference champs crowned in the majority of the sprints and distance events, plus high and triple jumps, the shot put, and men's pole vault. The men's and women's 4x400m relays bring the meet to a close at around 3:30 p.m.
For complete results, visit www.GoHuskies.com.