May 25, 2013
|NCAA West Preliminary Championships
May 23-25 at Texas's Mike A. Meyers Stadium
Championship Info Page
AUSTIN, Texas - The final day of action in Austin at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships netted the Huskies their biggest haul of qualifiers yet, with a mix of sprinters, throwers, and a dash of distance runners joining the travel roster for the NCAA final site. Eight Husky qualifiers today at Mike A. Meyers Stadium more than doubled UW's total, with 15 Huskies now set to head to Hayward after navigating the best of the West.
Three of those 15 Huskies will be competing in two events, as James Alaka and Chris Williams both made it on the 4x100-meter relay as well as Alaka making it in the 200-meters and Williams in the 110-meter hurdles. Megan Goethals, fresh off of a 10k qualifier on Thursday, came back to win the 5,000-meter prelim tonight to set herself up for a double endurance test in Eugene.
With 12 individuals and relays now left from the initial fields of 48, the athletes will take a breather from the Austin heat and humidity and head to Eugene, Ore. to meet up with the qualifiers from the East Prelims and decide the national championships from June 5-8.
"This weekend had a little bit of everything but I think overall we head to Eugene extremely fired up with a big group of athletes that are ready to perform and fire on all cylinders," said Head Coach Greg Metcalf. "Today we had some eager freshmen step forward and make it to nationals, and we had some seniors fighting tooth and nail to get one more meet in James Alaka and Christine Babcock and our Joe and Jimmy in the javelin and they got it done."
The first Husky out on the final day almost stole the show. Freshman Carson Fuller, a Ferris High grad from Spokane, was in the first of three flights of the javelin. With the flights seeded worst to best, someone from the first 16 finishing top-12 is a longshot. But Fuller had his own long shot in mind. After two throws around his season-best of 208-1, Fuller had one throw to go, likely one left in his freshman season. But on that throw he sent one out 227-feet, 11-inches, nearly a 20-foot PR.
That mark remained in the lead all the way through the second flight, which included sophomore Quinn Hale, who would wind up 24th overall with a best of 209-11. Seniors Joe Zimmerman and Jimmy Brookman, NCAA finals veterans, were up in the third flight. Zimmerman had a big first round toss of 235-7, putting himself safely in the top-12 it appeared. But Brookman made things dicey with a first round foul and then a short second toss. Facing the possible end of his time as a Dawg, Brookman found the form he needed and tossed 224-2 to get into the final and earn three more attempts.
Coming back for three more throws a couple hours after he started his day, Fuller would not improve, but didn't need to, as his mark stood up for 11th overall. Zimmerman got out to 236-4 to place fifth, erasing the bad memories of last year in Austin when he had his worst meet of the year and missed NCAAs for the only time. Brookman improved on his fourth throw to 228-8, and it would turn out that he needed that to remain in the top-12. The Redmond, Wash. native finished 10th, earning his second straight NCAA trip. Washington's three qualifiers in the men's javelin was the most of any school, with only Texas A&M also sending a pair. Fuller was ranked just 41st in the West Region entering the meet.
The big day of sprints started with the 4x100-meter relay, with the Dawgs looking to secure a trip to NCAAs for the fifth time in the last sixth years. The foursome of Chris Williams, James Alaka, Quadelle Satterwhite, and Matt Anthony ran a season-best 40.03 seconds to take fifth in the second heat. That would end up being the third and final time qualifier, and the Dawgs march on.
Williams, who had a tough day earlier in the pole vault, clearing two bars but not at the heights he needed, was back in action for the third time of the day in the quarterfinals of the 110-meter hurdles. Williams had been headed to a third-place Pac-12 finish in the hurdles two weeks ago before a nasty spill over the last hurdle. Today he posted the kind of time he was headed for two weeks back. The Philadelphia native was shot out of a cannon in the third and final heat, leading at the halfway point. He was eventually caught by a pair of hurdlers to his left, but Williams leaned in for third-place and the auto qualifying spot, and looked up to see a big new PR of 13.82 seconds. That moves Williams up to No. 2 on the Husky top-10 list, trailing only two-sport Husky legend Spider Gaines, who ran his record of 13.57 seconds 37 years ago.
Alaka, undoubtedly one of the greatest sprinters in Husky history, has had a rocky homestretch with injuries including a recent hamstring problem and a cramp at the end of his 200-meter heat yesterday. The three-time Pac-12 Champ was determined not to run his final individual race today in the quarterfinals of the 200-meters, after extending his career to another NCAA meet in the relay earlier. Out of lane eight, Alaka got out well around the curve. He looked to be running out of gas down the stretch but he dug deep and pushed across the line in 21.08 seconds. It was not an auto advancing place, but when the dust settled, Alaka had grabbed the last time qualifier, finishing 12th overall same as the 4x100m relay, so his grit was rewarded.
A big weekend for the Husky women's distance group wrapped up tonight with Goethals and senior Christine Babcock going in separate 24-woman heats of the 5,000-meters. Goethals had cruised to third in the 10k on Thursday and proved to have plenty left in the 5k as well. The junior, NCAA runner-up in the 5k last year outdoors, was right to the front and her lead pack continued to dwindle until it was her and Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton of Wichita State. Easily assured of a top-five finish, Goethals still wanted the win, and kicked it up down the homestretch to get the win in 15:55.91. It's the third straight year that Goethals has crossed first in the 5k in Austin.
In the next heat, Babcock was making her NCAA debut in the 5k, after running 1,500-meters last year and as a freshman in 2009, her last time at the NCAA Outdoor finals. She, too, was right to the front, though the pack stayed bunched up much longer in her heat. Babcock was one of three runners that separated, but then were caught by a group of five, making it interesting again. But Babcock never rattled, and crossed the finish line safely in fourth-place in 16:08.17, joining Goethals in that final in Eugene.
Returning for the quarterfinals of the 1,500-meters was sophomore Eleanor Fulton, who advanced through the first round on Thursday. Running in the second of two heats, with the top five finishers in each heat plus next two best times advancing, Fulton was at the back of the pack but comfortably on the rail for the first couple laps. As the pack broke up, Fulton continued to stick on the back, and on the final lap she started to kick, passing a handful of runners to close on the top-five, but Fulton just ran out of room, as she finished sixth in her heat. Her time of 4:20.88 was a new lifetime-best, but she missed the last time qualifier by 0.24 seconds, winding up in the unfortunate No. 13 spot overall.
The men's pole vault was much anticipated as usual for the Dawgs, and sophomore J.J. Juilfs and freshmen Williams and Jax Thoirs all got off to strong starts, all clearing the first two heights up to 16-6 ¾. Juilfs, putting things together late in the season after struggling to match his freshman campaign, had another first attempt clearance of 17-0 ¾, but Thoirs and Williams each went out at that height, a bar they've both cleared. Juilfs was unable to make the next height at 17-4 ½, however, and will have to wait til next year for a return to nationals.
After claiming the program's first Pac-12 title in the triple jump two weeks ago, junior Kasen Covington was looking to earn his first NCAA trip. But it was a tough day for Covington, as he had an opening mark of 48-9, but had a foul on his second attempt and then lost his footing a bit on his third try and ran through the pit, unable to get to the final and earn three more attempts.
Senior Jordin Seekins made her third straight Austin appearance at the West Prelims, but the runway here continued to be unkind to her, as Seekins had a couple short marks before a foul on her third attempt, bringing her strong season and career in a Husky jersey to a close.
Late in the night after Goethals and Babcock moved on in the women's 5k, sophomore Tyler King made his NCAA West Prelims debut in the men's 5k. The Coupeville, Wash. native gave it all he had, running with the lead pack of about a dozen runners in the 24-man field for most of the race. He eventually couldn't keep up the pace of the leaders, but still gritted out a 12th-place finish, 26th overall, in 14:30.99. King was seeded 33rd coming in.
At the end of the night, the Dawgs still had both 4x400-meter relays looking to make runs. Both the women's and men's squads made some lineup adjustments based on earlier results and who would be competing in Eugene. The women went with 400m hurdle qualifiers Kayla Stueckle and Gianna Woodruff, then freshmen Krista Armstead and Daje Pugh in their first NCAA action. The group ran 3:43.86 to take eighth in their heat. The men ran Satterwhite, 800-meter competitor Derrick Daigre, freshman Derrick Jones, and senior Dan Sanders, who brought it home in 3:12.39, also eighth.
Washington Track & Field
NCAA West Preliminary Championships
May 25, 2013 - Austin, Texas
Mike A. Myers Stadium
Day 3 of 3
200m (Quarterfinal 3 of 3):
5. James Alaka, 21.08 (12th overall; Advances to Eugene); 5,000m (Heat 2 of 2): 12. Tyler King, 14:30.99 (26th overall; does not advance); 110m Hurdles (Quarterfinal 3 of 3): 3. Chris Williams, 13.82 (Advances to Eugene); 4x100m Relay (Heat 2 of 3): 5. Washington (Williams, Alaka, Satterwhite, Anthony), 40.03 (12th overall; Advances to Eugene); 4x400m Relay (Heat 3 of 3): 8. Washington (Satterwhite, Daigre, Jones, Sanders), 3:12.39 (does not advance); Pole Vault: 22. J.J. Juilfs, 17-0 ¾ (does not advance); 31 (tie). Jax Thoirs, 16-6 ¾ (does not advance); 35 (tie). Chris Williams, 16-6 ¾ (does not advance); Triple Jump: 35. Kasen Covington, 48-9 (does not advance); Javelin: 5. Joe Zimmerman, 236-4 (Advances to Eugene); 10. Jimmy Brookman, 228-8 (Advances to Eugene); 11. Carson Fuller, 227-11 (Advances to Eugene); 24. Quinn Hale, 209-11 (does not advance).
1,500m (Quarterfinal 2 of 2): 6. Eleanor Fulton, 4:20.88 (13th overall; does not advance); 5,000m (Heat 1 of 2): 1. Megan Goethals, 15:55.91 (Advances to Eugene); (Heat 2 of 2): 4. Christine Babcock, 16:08.17 (Advances to Eugene); 4x400m Relay (Heat 3 of 3): 8. Washington (Stueckle, Woodruff, Armstead, Pugh), 3:43.86 (does not advance); Javelin: 40. Jordin Seekins, 133-9 (does not advance).
Advances to Eugene Today
James Alaka, 200m
Christine Babcock, 5,000m
Megan Goethals, 5,000m
Chris Williams, 110m Hurdles
Men's 4x100m Relay Chris Williams, James Alaka, Quadelle Satterwhite, Matt Anthony)
Jimmy Brookman, Javelin
Carson Fuller, Javelin
Joe Zimmerman, Javelin
Huskies Previously Qualified For Eugene
Baylee Mires, 800m
Megan Goethals, 10,000m
Kayla Stueckle, 400m Hurdles
Gianna Woodruff, 400m Hurdles
Liberty Miller, 3,00m Steeplechase
Logan Miller, Pole Vault
Jeremy Taiwo, Decathlon