SEATTLE – Senior Kasen Covington added an MPSF indoor conference title to the Pac-12 outdoor title he won last spring, highlighting the final day of the Dempsey Indoor season for Husky track and field. Covington’s win gave the Huskies a total of four wins over the two-day meet, their most MPSF wins since 2009.
Friday brought three titles, as UW won the men’s and women’s distance medley relays, and Kristina Owsinski won the women’s pole vault. The Husky men finished seventh out of the 12 team field with 50 points, while the women’s team finished 11th out of 17 teams, the largest field ever, with 28 points. The premier indoor team battle on the West Coast, the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation is the conference championships for all Pac-12 track squads that compete indoors, along with several teams from the Big West and West Coast Conferences.
The USC women’s team, joining the MPSF for the first time, made the trip well worth it, as the Women of Troy posted 106 points for the win. Arizona State was second with 81, Arizona finished third with 75, and No. 1-ranked Oregon was fourth with 66.5 points. California took home the men’s title with 96 points, holding off Arizona State, which had 93, and Oregon with 88.5.
Covington, competing for the final time in the Dempsey, also broke the UW indoor school record on his third of six jumps on the day. The Boise, Idaho native went 51-6 ½, a PR of about ten inches, surpassing the mark of 50-10 set nearly forty years ago, in 1976, by John Triplett. Covington became UW’s first ever Pac-12 triple jump champion last spring, and is now also the first to win the MPSF crown. On the same runway, senior Julian Bardwell also had a career-best jump of 48-8 to take seventh and add two points.
Another four-year stalwart jumping in the Dempsey for the last time as a Husky today was senior A.J. Maricich. The Spokane native cleared 6-11 on his first attempt, which would be good for second-place overall, though he appears he will likely finish a single centimeter shy of advancing to the NCAA Indoor meet, as he missed his attempts at 7-2 ½. In the women’s high jump, freshman Elizabeth Quick had a PR of 5-6, but had to settle for 11th based on the tiebreaker.
"For our seniors, Kasen and A.J., and Julian as well, to compete well today and leave the Dempsey on a high note, I was very happy for them," said Head Coach Greg Metcalf. "Overall today, we had some solid performances, and some big PRs from a few kids, but there was some fatigue out there on the track after some of our athletes competed hard yesterday. So we need to rest and regroup for the outdoor season, and we'll take a great group to Albuquerque in two weeks and see what they can get done."
One of the biggest PRs of the day came from sophomore C.J. Smith in the women’s 800-meters. Running in the second of the three heats, Smith crossed the line first in 2:10.13, which wound up seventh overall for two points. That was nearly a three-second PR.
Coming off his excellent relay carry on last night’s winning DMR, Derrick Daigre came in looking to add another win in the open 800-meters. He made a move on the last lap to take the lead, but ran out of gas with about thirty meters to go, and settled for sixth in 1:50.40.
The men’s mile shook out in an unusual manner, as the winner came out of the supposedly slow heat, as the fast heat did not push the pace. That worked out just fine for sophomore Nick Harris, who kicked for second in the first heat in a four-second PR of 4:05.09, and when the dust settled after the next heat, that wound up third overall. Izaic Yorks and Blake Nelson finished ninth and tenth overall.
In the women’s 400-meters, junior Gianna Woodruff and sophomore Krista Armstead both had nice personal-bests to close out their indoor seasons on a high note. Woodruff went 56.17 despite a bump on the back stretch, finishing 17th overall, and Armstead ran 56.47 for 23rd overall out of 43 entrants.
Sophomores Quadelle Satterwhite and Chris Williams both made the finals in the 60m dash and hurdles, respectively. Williams hit the first two hurdles and had to settle for sixth in 8.13 seconds, while Satterwhite added two more points with a seventh-place finish in 6.94 seconds.
The men's heptathlon also completed its final three events today, and Nick Pfeiffer wrapped up a big career-best, as he finished eighth overall with 5,147 points. That was more than 300 points better than his previous heptathlon this season, and moves him up to No. 3 on the Husky top-10 lists. Pfeiffer had a big PR in the 60m hurdles of 8.87 seconds, and then another significant career-best in the pole vault, as he cleared 15-3.
A season-best in the shot put from sophomore Jack Scheideman came on his third and final throw today, as he finished 11th overall with a toss of 53-8 ½.
At the longer distances, freshman Katie Knight responded well despite running the mile leg of the DMR last night, as she battled for 10th-place in the 3,000-meters in 9:27.92.
The Huskies will now wait and see how many athletes make the cut for the NCAA Indoor Championships, held in Albuquerque on March 14-15. After that, it’s on to outdoors, as UW opens up at the Trojan Invitational on March 21.