May 13, 2011
May 13-14 Tucson, Ariz. Drachman Stadium
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TUCSON, Ariz. - Washington's javelin army did its best to take the Pac-10 Championships by storm today, and despite a Husky holding the lead for nearly the entire competition, senior Kyle Nielsen, and sophomores Joe Zimmerman and Jimmy Brookman had to settle for a second, third, and fourth-place finish, a fantastic but bittersweet evening as the title eluded them. Still, it racked up 17 points for the Husky men's track team, highlighting a busy day at Drachman Stadium, the home track of the Arizona Wildcats.
For a brief moment it looked like the Husky men's javelin crew would make history, as midway through round five the Huskies stood in first, second, and third. But on his fifth throw, USC's Cooper Thompson hit for 238-6, just eight inches farther than Nielsen's best to that point. Nielsen would take second, his best Pac-10 finish, at 237-10, which came on his fourth throw. At that point he had leapfrogged Zimmerman, who finished third after holding the lead through the first three rounds with a best of 235-8. Brookman just missed the podium with a fourth-place finish at 226-5, which came on his fifth throw.
The highlight of the day on the track came from freshman Maurice McNeal. The Federal Way product just continues to build momentum and make a name for himself, as today he shattered the Washington freshman record in the 400-meter dash, clocking a huge PR of 45.60 to break Ja'Warren Hooker's record of 46.42 seconds 1998. That was the fastest time of the day, and shoots McNeal up to third on the UW all-time Top-10. It is a full second faster than his previous season-best.
Also rolling in the sprint heats was sophomore James Alaka, as he matched his PR with a time of 10.32 seconds into a slight headwind to win his 100-meter dash heat. That was the second-fastest time posted today. In the women's 100-meter dash, senior Dominique Lauderdale qualified for her second straight Pac-10 final, as she ran a wind-legal PR of 11.57 seconds. Lauderdale then came back and clocked the No. 3 200-meter time in school history, PRing in 23.98 though it was not quite enough to reach the final.
Alaka and McNeal moved on in the 200-meter dash as well. Alaka won his heat with a season-best 20.85 seconds. McNeal had the seventh-best time at 21.05 seconds to move on to Saturday's finals.
Three Huskies braved the oppressive heat in mid-day to qualify for the finals of the 1,500-meter runs. On the women's side, freshman Katie Flood had the third-best time of the day, running 4:31.59 and sophomore Justine Johnson was close behind, running 4:32.10 to easily advance to the second Pac-10 final of her career. On the men's side, sophomore Joey Bywater is back in the final after his redshirt season a year ago. The Lake Stevens, Wash. native ran 3:51.28 to advance out of the first heat. Junior Charlie Williams just missed the final by two tenths of a second.
Junior Amanda Peterson came in seeded second in the javelin throw and had a solid day, but had to settle for fourth-place with a best mark of 166-0. She threw 163-6 on her third attempt, then improved it on her fourth throw, and was in third-place until getting edged by seven inches on Courtney Kirkwood of WSU's final throw. Sophomore Jordin Seekins also made the final, but just missed out on scoring as she wound up ninth with a best of 134-9.
Junior Elisa Bryant picked up the first point of the day for the Husky women with an eighth-place finish in the hammer throw. She threw 177-feet, 10-inches on her first attempt, but followed with five fouls.
Scoring in the evening was sophomore Logan Miller in the women's pole vault. Miller cleared 13-0 ¾, which tied for the fifth-best clearance overall, but Miller wound up eighth based on the tiebreak procedures as she needed second attempt clearances at 12-6 ¾ and 13-0 ¾. Juniors Taylor Fjeran and Kelly Mudlo both cleared 12-0 ¾.
The first finals on the track this evening were the men's and women's 3,000-meter steeplechases. In the women's race, junior Mel Lawrence just missed a point as she placed ninth overall. Sophomore Michael Miller grabbed the final scoring spot on the men's side, placing eighth in 9:18.25.
Capping off the night on the track was sophomore Lindsay Flanagan, as she battled around 25 laps in the women's 10,000-meters, taking fifth-place overall to add four more points to the women's team score. Flanagan completed her lengthy run in 36:14.46.
Early in the afternoon in the men's high jump, junior Jeremy Taiwo and freshman A.J. Maricich each cleared 6-feet, 9-inches, but it was not enough to score. Taiwo, however, came back an hour later and qualified for the finals in the 110-meter hurdles, as he ran a season-best 14.32 to qualify eighth overall. Finally, Taiwo was the last man in competition again, as he made the final of the long jump and wound up eighth with a best of 23-11 1/2.
Senior Cameron Elisara just missed scoring in what was his final Husky appearance. The former football letterwinner competed in the shot put at his fourth Pac-10 Championships, and placed ninth with a best of 54-3 ¾, less than an inch out of scoring position.
Saturday's action will resume at 3 p.m. in the field with the men's hammer throw, and the first track event is the 4x100-meter relays at 6 p.m.
Washington Track & Field
2011 Pac-10 Championships
May 13, 2011 - Tucson, Ariz.
Roy P. Drachman Stadium
Husky Point Scorers (Top-Eight)
Men's 3,000m Steeplechase: 8th, Michael Miller, 9:18.25
Men's Long Jump: 8th, Jeremy Taiwo, 23-11 1/2
Men's Javelin: 2nd, Kyle Nielsen, 237-10; 3rd, Joe Zimmerman, 235-8; 4th, Jimmy Brookman, 226-5
Women's 10,000m: 5th, Lindsay Flanagan, 36:14.46
Women's Pole Vault: 8th, Logan Miller, 13-0 ¾
Women's Hammer: 8th, Elisa Bryant, 177-10
Women's Javelin: 4th, Amanda Peterson, 166-0