PALO ALTO, Calif. – In perhaps one of the best collective nights for Husky distance runners on the track, multiple new UW top-10 marks were posted in the 5,000-meters and 10,000-meters as the Stanford Invitational once again provided a great venue for some excellent long runs.
Sophomore Aaron Nelson, stepping up for his first career 10k on the track, showed the speed and stamina that made him UW’s first cross country All-American in 15 years this past fall, as he rolled his way to a time of 28-minutes, 44.65-seconds, the No. 2 mark in school history and the best by a Husky since David Bazzi’s school record of 28:34.54 in 2001. Nelson, the Walla Walla product, was sixth among D-I athletes tonight which is where he will likely rank nationally after the weekend.
Nelson’s run came after a string of four straight outstanding efforts from the UW women’s distance crew just earlier in the evening. It started with freshman Katie Knight breaking 16-minutes in the 5,000-meters for the first time, as she went 15:58.42 to take third overall in her section of 25. Knight will grab the No. 10 spot on the UW top-10 list.
In the next flight of the 5k, All-American junior Katie Flood, accustomed to the 1,500m, stepped up to the longer distance for the first time on the track, and she impressed with a 15:45.60, 11th in the top heat, and fifth among collegiate athletes. Flood moves right into the No. 4 spot in school history, between 2013 grad Christine Babcock (15:44.98) and 2010 grad Anita Campbell (15:45.85).
Last year at this same meet, Megan Goethals broke the 10k school record and Lindsay Flanagan added the third-best time in school history. Both returned this year, and both ran great races once again. Goethals was fifth overall and second among collegians with a time of 33:05.77, just over 10 seconds off her school record for the 25-lapper. Flanagan finished ninth, and broke her PR by eight seconds as she went 33:15.12, just two seconds short of Regina Joyce’s No. 2 mark from 1983.
Another top-10 mark was turned in by sophomore Izaic Yorks in his first race since the NCAA Indoor Championships last month. Opening up in the top heat of the 1,500-meters, Yorks finished fourth overall with a PR of 3:43.48, which already jumps him to eighth in school history. In the second heat, Meron Simon had a PR of 3:45.43, and Blake Nelson also ran a career-best 3:49.36. Nick Harris also clocked a 3:49.11 in heat three, while on the women’s side, junior Eleanor Fulton ran a nice time of 4:22.50 which should assure her an NCAA Prelims spot once again and is just a couple seconds off her career-fastest.
The field events concluded much earlier in the day, with the best event for the Dawgs coming in the men’s javelin. Junior Quinn Hale followed up his big PR from two weeks ago with another strong showing today, tossing 226-3 to take second overall. Sophomore Curtis Clauson also returned for his first meet in nearly two years after an elbow injury sidelined him last season. Clauson nearly threw a PR on his first attempt, as he rifled the javelin 217-feet, 4-inches, just a foot off his career-best. That would stand up as his best mark. Sophomore Carson Fuller had a tougher go, with a best of just 205-6 after throwing 225-feet two weeks back.
Also in the throws, freshman Ashley Alexander went 137-1 in the invitational javelin toss, a couple feet off her season-opener at USC. Sophomore Alyx Toeaina led the way in the shot at 43-6.
Also earlier in the day, Tim Cummings had a major PR in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, breaking the nine-minute mark for the first time with a 8:57.66 this evening. That was a career-best by more than twenty seconds. In an earlier 5k, Kaylee Flanagan, Lindsay’s freshman younger sister, had a solid PR of 16:42.90.
Sophomore Kimberly Stueckle advanced to Saturday’s final in the women’s 100m hurdles, crossing the line in 14.18 seconds. Kayla Stueckle and Gianna Woodruff were off their season-bests today, but Woodruff still took third in the top heat of the 400m hurdles in 60.01 seconds and Stueckle was fourth in 60.12.
Senior Julian Bardwell had a good sixth and final jump in the men’s long jump, as he went 23-5 ½ despite going into a stiff headwind.
The Stanford Invite continues Saturday, highlighted for the Huskies by the relays, the 200-meters and 800-meters, the triple jump and men’s shot put.