May 9, 2013
May 11-12 at USC's Loker Stadium
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LOS ANGELES -The Pac-12 Championships are finally at hand for the Husky track and field squad, with the months of base mileage, weight lifting, workouts and fine-tuning leading to this part of the schedule where podium spots and team points are at a premium. USC hosts the two-day meet which goes this Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12, at Loker Stadium.
The Pac-12 meet represents the first peak of the postseason, followed by NCAA West Prelims on May 23-25 and then the NCAA Championships from June 5-8.
Coverage of the meet can be best accessed on Pac-12.com. There will be no live video of the meet because the meet will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks on a tape delayed basis, though with a quick turnaround, as the first broadcast is set for next Wednesday, May 15, at 6 p.m. Pacific.
The multi-event athletes got a head start on the rest of the athletes, as the Pac-12 decathlon and heptathlon champions were decided last weekend. Senior Jeremy Taiwofinished second-place in the decathlon in the closest finish ever, scoring a career-best 7,998 points, and giving the Husky men eight points to build on heading into this weekend.
Saturday begins in the field at 10 a.m. and on the track at 1 p.m. Big field events for UW on Friday will include the men's pole vault, men's long jump, and women's and men's javelin throws. The only finals on the track will be the 3,000-meter steeplechases and 10,000-meter runs, but both should be key events for the Huskies.
The men's hammer starts off Sunday early at 9 a.m., and the 4x100m relay finals start on the track at 1 p.m. The women's pole vault, men's high jump, and men's triple jump will be ones to watch, and the track will be one final after another from 1 p.m. until the 4x400-meters closes things out at 5:45 p.m.
Last year the Husky men tied for fifth-place with Stanford with 78 points, which was their best team finish since 2006, while the women finished in sixth-place, matching their best since 1998.
Returning scorers on the men's side include defending conference champions James Alaka and J.J. Juilfs, though both will likely need season-bests to return to the top of the podium. Alaka won his second-straight 200-meter title last year and is also the 100-meter champ in 2011. Juilfs won the pole vault title last year as a freshman. Also looking to return to the podium with a top-three finish are Joe Zimmerman, second in the javelin last year, and A.J. Maricich, who was a surprise second-place finisher in the high jump last year. Quinn Hale was fourth last year and Jimmy Brookmanwas fifth in the javelin.
Back after scoring points a year ago for UW are Logan Miller (runner-up in the pole vault), Megan Goethals (3rd in the 5,000m), Kayla Stueckle (6th in 400m hurdles), Christine Babcock (7th in 5,000m), and Liberty Miller (7th in 10,000m). Mel Lawrence also returns, the 2009 Pac-10 champ in the steeplechase.