SEATTLE – With the Ken Shannon Invitational and the home season winding to a close for the Husky track team, sophomore Jax Thoirs provided one more thrill to wrap the regular season. The Scottish national record-holder in the pole vault broke his own record once again, and raised the facility record as well at Husky Outdoor Track with a clearance of 18-feet, 4.5-inches.
The Huskies won 13 events over the two-days of competition, none more impressively than Thoirs. The indoor All-American cleared two lower bars on first attempts, then made it over 17-7 on one try to solidify his win in the event. He then asked to set the bar at 18-4 ½, four inches higher than he had ever cleared indoors or out. After barely missing his first try, Thoirs gained confidence that he could get it, and on his second jump the bar stayed up, despite a wobble or two.
The native of Glasgow now moves up to a tie for fourth in the NCAA this outdoor season, and he claims third by himself on the Husky top-10 list. His clearance matches Steve Lewis for the best mark by a British vaulter in 2014. Thoirs took one run at 18-9 ½, which would have been a school record, but did not get a good jump and passed his last two tries, happy with the day’s progress.
Many of the Huskies expected to compete at the Pac-12 Championships next weekend in Pullman took this week to rest, but other athletes were looking to make a case for inclusion on the Pac-12 travel squad, or else end their season on a PR note.
In the sprints, sophomore Travis Marshall had another solid day, winning the 100-meters in 10.86 into a -1.9 mps headwind. Chris Williams took the 110m hurdles in 14.82 and freshman Devin Liebel got the victor in the 400m hurdles in 54.21 seconds.
Brad Whitley and Hap Emmons went 1-2 in the men’s 1,500-meters, Whitley winning his final UW home appearance in 3:50.04 and Emmons right behind in 3:50.67, a season-best. On Friday night, freshman Colby Gilbert won the 10,000-meters, competing unattached, in 30:35.58, with A.J. Yarnall going 30:47.08, each achieving the standard for the Junior World Championships.
Senior Julian Bardwell closed out his home career with a triple jump win in 45-9 ¾, while Brian Hutchison won the shot put for a second week in a row, throwing 51-7 today. Freshman Dan Boyden was just barely off his PR in the discus, picking up a win with a best of 164-8.
The women’s team had a couple unattached athletes show that they’re in fine shape with wins today. Sophomore Maddie Meyers ran a 1,500-meter PR of 4:25.29 to win, and freshman Gina Flint won the discus at 153-7 and took second in the shot put at 47-5 ¼.
In the women’s pole vault, sophomore Kristina Owsinski and Ashley Schnapp each cleared 12-11 ¾, with Owsinski winning thanks to one fewer miss on the day. That’s an outdoor PR for Schnapp and could be enough to qualify her for NCAA Prelims for the first time as it currently ranks 42nd.
Sophomore C.J. Smith was a strong runner-up in the women’s 800-meters, running an outdoor PR of 2:10.86. The last win on the track for UW came from sophomore Krista Armstead, running the 400-meter hurdles for just the second time, and clocking 1:02.95 for first.
The Huskies will now begin the three-pronged postseason with Pac-12s next weekend, followed by the NCAA West Prelims and ending in Eugene for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
PFEIFFER IN PAC-12 DECATHLON: One Husky already back in Pullman is decathlete Nick Pfeiffer, as the Pac-12 multi-events began today at Mooberry Field. Pfeiffer currently sits in 12th-place after day one with 3,450 points. His best individual event finish today was the 400-meters, where he ran a PR of 50.91 seconds to finish seventh. Pfeiffer ran the opening 100-meters in 11.54 seconds, then went 21-3 ½ in the long jump. He threw the shot 37-9 ¼ and then high jumped 6-0 ½ before the 400-meters. He’ll have five more events on Sunday as he tries to chase a top-eight finish.
Dual Meet Scores