Feb. 25, 2011
SEATTLE - The Husky track and field teams had solid first days at the MPSF Championships, with the bulk of the points at the indoor conference meet still up for grabs on Saturday at the Dempsey Indoor. Washington had seven new program Top-10 marks on the first day of action, the majority coming in the distance medley relays, and 5,000-meters towards the end of the evening.
At the end of day one, the Arizona State women have a wide lead over No. 1-ranked Oregon with 54 points to 35 for the Ducks. The Huskies are tied with UCLA for sixth overall with 17 points. The Stanford men have a slim three point lead over UCLA, the two-time defending champs, while the Huskies are sixth out of 10 teams with 19 points. The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation is made up of eight Pac-10 squads plus three Big West teams as those conferences do not sponsor indoor track and field.
Sophomore James Cameron continued to have one of the best indoor seasons ever for a Husky distance runner, as he moved up to 5,000-meters and placed sixth in the deepest field of the day. Cameron's time of 13:54.77 ranks fourth in school history and would have placed him 20th nationally coming in. Cameron already posted the No. 3 time in school history at 3,000-meters two weeks back and anchored the No. 8 distance medley relay. Also breaking into the Top-10 list for the first time was Rob Webster Jr., who placed 11th in 14:05.50, good for sixth on the list.
The women's 5k was also strong for the Huskies, as sophomore Phoebe Merritt ran her first career 5k and took fifth in 16:34.50, just ahead of sophomore Lindsay Flanagan who was sixth in 16:36.20, a PR of 12 seconds. Those times now put the pair fifth and sixth on the Husky Top-10 list.
In the men's DMR, senior Colton Tully-Doyle ran a sub-four-minute anchor carry over the last 1,600-meters to lift the UW men past UCLA, California, and Washington State and into fourth-place with a season-best time of 9:38.23 that ranks seventh in school history. On the women's side, Justine Johnson, Michelle Fero, Chelsea Orr, and Katie Flood ran the fourth-best time in school history, placing fourth in 11:20.85, not bad for a sophomore and three true freshmen.
The high scorer of the day though was senior pole vaulter Ryan Vu, who was second overall with a clearance of 16-9 1/2 to earn eight points for the Husky men.
Sophomore Conner Larned posted the first points of the meet for the Huskies in the men's 35-pound weight throw. The Enumclaw native took sixth with a personal-best toss of 57-11 1/4 coming on his fourth attempt, to pick up three points for the Dawgs. That was exactly two feet better than his best coming in, and strengthens his own standing on the UW top-10 indoor list, remaining 10th overall.
Elisa Bryant picked up five points in the women's weight throw despite an off day. The junior had a best toss of 58-6 ½ on her second throw but fouled four times as she still looks to regain her form coming off a redshirt year.
Setting the Huskies up well for Saturday was senior Dominique Lauderdale, who qualified for the finals in the 60-meter dash with a strong run of 7.53 seconds.
Washington's heptathlon duo of senior Andrew Ferleman and freshman Kale Schmidt also looked great on Friday, and the two sit in fifth and sixth-place, respectively, heading into the final day of competition, but just 50 points out of second-place.
Action resumes on Saturday at 11 a.m. with finals in the women's pole vault, men's triple jump, men's high jump, and men's shot put. The first track final will be the men's mile run at 12 noon.