April 27, 2013
|UW-WSU Dual Meet
UW Men def. WSU, 92-71; WSU Women def. UW, 86-77
SEATTLE - Cloudy skies threatened all day but Mother Nature seemed more interested in watching the first ever meet at Husky Track than dropping any rain on the more than three thousand spectators that turned out to watch Washington and Washington State renew one of the oldest rivalries in the sport. The UW-WSU Dual completed its 97th installment and first on the new purple track and grass infield, with the Washington men getting the victory but the Washington State women salvaging a split.
The first head-to-head meeting between the Northwest track rivals dates back to 1901. Two years ago the Huskies ran their final race in Husky Stadium, and although the focus of the day was the typically intense battles in the rings, runways, and homestretch, it was also a celebration of a new home for UW Track & Field.
"I've been to a lot of these dual meets over the years, but this was by far my favorite one," said 11th-year Head Coach Greg Metcalf. "To see so many alums and fans out here today in this new intimate setting, it just feels like a very special place already. It's a venue our kids can be proud of and call their own, and our alumni can look at and know they helped build the program and get excited about the direction it's heading."
As is usually the case, the dual meet today was a back-and-forth affair with a number of turning points for each side. The men posted a 92-71 victory, the biggest margin in UW's favor since the 2007 season. The women's dual came down to the final event, the 4x400-meter relay, but WSU secured an 86-77 win by taking the relay by two seconds. The Huskies and Cougars have now split the dual meet for three straight years.
Individual wins were nearly even, with Washington winning 10 of the 19 events on the men's side, and eight of 19 on the women's side. The Huskies got top-three sweeps in the women's 3,000-meters, the men's 110-meter hurdles, and the men's javelin. Washington also produced five new top-10 marks today, and even got a national record out of the day, as freshman Jax Thoirs broke the Scottish national pole vault record with his winning clearance of 17-7 ¼.
The first event of the day was the women's hammer throw at 10 a.m., followed by the men's hammer. Washington took both, with freshman Carolyn Gravelle winning with a season-best toss of 148-5, and fellow freshman Bev Coleman taking second at 143-4. Junior Robert Henderson won a close men's hammer with a third-attempt throw of 175-1, a PR by almost two feet.
A trio of women's field events got started at 12:30, with strong showings from the Dawgs in all three. Logan Miller became a four-time dual meet champ with a win in the pole vault, as she cleared a season-best 13-5 ¼. Right behind her was redshirt freshman Kristina Owsinski, who got a PR over 13-feet for the first time, clearing 13-1 ½, which puts her to the No. 10 spot on the top-10 list. Senior Sarah Schireman captured the long jump with a best of 18-8 ½. In the javelin throw, senior Jordin Seekins had another career-best toss, going 151-3 to finish second.
The first two track races ever around the purple oval were the women's and men's steeplechases, both of which were won with gutsy Husky sprints to the line. Senior Mel Lawrence led wire to wire but had to bear down to hold off a hard-charging Cougar and win the first race in 10:08.52, exactly one second off her meet record from 2009. Junior Liberty Miller was close behind in third place in 10:11.11, a PR by 22 seconds, moving her to No. 2 on the Husky all-time list behind Lawrence. In the men's steeple, redshirt frosh Aaron Nelson also sprinted all out to edge WSU's Andrew Gonzales by just .05 seconds, 9:02.48 to 9:02.53.
Washington State then got wins in the next four races, before the Huskies got the crowd fired up again with wins in the high hurdles. Freshman walk-on Kimberly Stueckle out of Puyallup went out and earned a photo finish win over Morgan Clem of WSU in the 100-meter hurdles, 14.16 seconds to 14.17, with freshman Daje Pugh getting a PR of 14.24 for third. Stueckle's previous best coming into today was 14.28.
Then came the men's hurdles, with the top three Huskies separating themselves from a quartet of Cougars. Freshman Chris Williams earned the win in 14.36 seconds, followed by senior Shayne Moore in 14.52 and sophomore Howard Lao with a PR of 14.63 in third to give UW a nine point burst.
Back in the field, the men's javelin crew was wrapping up another sweep, the fourth year in a row that the Dawgs have owned the top-three in the event. Senior Joe Zimmerman was just short of his season-best with a mark of 237-4, with fellow senior Jimmy Brookman tossing 229-9, also barely off a season-best, and sophomore Quinn Hale taking third at 218-7. Freshman Carson Fuller added fourth for good measure with a 206-4 throw.
Jeremy Taiwo had a busy day as usual, making his way back and forth between the long and high jumps. The All-American won the high jump with a new outdoor-best of 7-1, which will move him into a tie for fourth on that top-10 list. That clearance was matched by junior A.J. Maricich, who looks to be well on his way back after a hamstring issue, as he got over 7-1 on his third attempt today. Maricich made the final site of NCAAs last year, placing 23rd.
Back at the long jump, Taiwo took second with a best of 24-0 ¼, and freshman Josh Gordon grabbed a third-place point at 22-10, a quarter-inch better than the next-in-line Cougar.
Just over halfway through the meet, the projections for the Husky men weren't so favorable, but a quick one-two punch of wins helped swing momentum. Over at the shot put ring, the Cougar faithful erupted when John Fullington passed sophomore Danny Shelton on his final throw to take the lead. But UW's two-sport star responded to the pressure on his ensuing sixth and final throw, surpassing Fullington's mark by more than two feet to win at 53-1 ½, and share some leaping chest bumps with his teammates. That was a PR for Shelton, who had not thrown shot since hurting his hand back in January after two indoor meets.
Moments later, sophomore Derrick Daigre earned some more points the Cougars might not have been expecting, as the Kent, Wash. native made a late move and then just barely held off Jesse Jorgensen to win the 800-meters in 1:50.14, with Jorgensen at 1:50.16. Daigre had been redshirting, but ran an excellent race at the Oregon Relays last week unattached, so Coach Metcalf changed his shirt from red to purple.
The women's 800-meters also had some drama, but it happened in the battle for second, as sophomore Baylee Mires ran out to a big lead early and cruised to the win in 2:08.01. A big kick from sophomore Eleanor Fulton carried her past WSU's Courtney Zalud for second-place in 2:10.77.
Senior James Alaka was able to officially retire undefeated from his individual dual meet races, as he proved to be the state's fastest man yet again with wins in both the 100-meters and 200-meters. The times won't rank among his best, but the three-time Pac-12 Champ got the job done once again. Freshman Quadelle Satterwhite was close behind in both races, as he took third in the 100m at 10.76 and second in the 200m at 21.65. In the women's sprints, sophomore Haley Jacobson took third in both the 100- and 200-meters.
Along with Alaka's two wins, another U.K. product scored a win today, as Glasgow native Jax Thoirs flew to a pole vault win, clearing a career-best of 17-7 ¼ on his second attempt. The 6-foot-5 redhead set the Scottish National Record in the process, while also moving to 10th on the Husky career list and into a tie for 15th on the NCAA list. Sophomore J.J. Juilfs was second in the vault.
In the 400-meter hurdles, junior Kayla Stueckle earned her third straight dual victory, following up the win from her younger sister Kimberly. She clocked 59.84 seconds with Gianna Woodruff taking third. Senior Dan Sanders gave a valiant effort in the men's long hurdles, but was caught by Dana Wells, Sanders running 53.42 for second, and freshman Derrick Jones getting third in 55.25.
In late throwing events, UW got some more points from dual meet rookies. Freshman Hannah Sherrill, battling a hip problem, still threw 150-10 for second in the discus. Bev Coleman added a second-place shot finish to her second-place hammer finish, throwing 43-7, with Alyx Toeaina third at 42-4 ¼. Robert Henderson had a two-foot season-best of 154-6 for third in the discus.
Heading into the 3,000-meters, the Huskies needed one more point to guarantee a win on the men's side. They'd get four as sophomore Tyler King took second in 8:15.97, and Aaron Nelson came back after winning the steeple earlier to finish third in 9:17.47.
The women's 3k was a bit of a mismatch, as 11 Huskies went against one Cougar. It turned into a tempo run for the Huskies, with Megan Goethals and Lindsay Flanagan running together ahead of the pack, and finishing side by side in just over 10 minutes. Senior Kayla Evans got the third-place point.
That sweep gave UW a chance going into the women's 4x400-meter relay, but down four points they had to win it. Despite WSU owning a several second edge in season-bests entering today, the Huskies went all out, with Baylee Mires taking the lead on the second leg, and freshman Krista Armstead holding it through the third leg. But WSU's Shawna Fermin, the Pac-12 runner-up last year at 400-meters and winner of the 400m earlier today, overtook Gianna Woodruff with 50 meters to go, and won by two seconds.
With the drama of the dual meet and the excitement of the new home opening now behind them, the Huskies will look to take the positives into another home meet next week, the Ken Shannon Invitational, which will bring the regular season to a close next Saturday.