Preview Looks Promising For Husky Track
Jan. 14, 2012
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SEATTLE - More than ten hours of track and field officially opened the 2012 Dempsey Indoor this morning beginning as the sun rose and continuing through the first snow of the year, while over a thousand competitors from Northwest as well as national powers kept things toasty for the UW Indoor Preview. As befitting a preview, the Huskies caught glimpses of big things to come this year even though several top returners will not debut for two more weeks.
The emotional high point of the afternoon was provided by a newcomer, freshman Meron Simon, who charged to the victory in the second heat of the men's mile run in a lifetime-best time of 4:10.55. Simon is a graduate of Federal Way High School, where he was coached and taught by Jean Licari, wife of longtime UW assistant Pat Licari, who passed away last weekend. His effort was a testament to his former coach
"I know Meron wanted to try and put out a great effort for Jean today and that was a great moment," said Husky head coach Greg Metcalf. "Our thoughts and support continue to be with Pat and his family through this but it was great to see him out here today doing what he loves with a smile on his face."
A number of Licari's jumpers and vaulters had strong showings today as well. Junior Julian Bardwell had an indoor PR in the long jump of 23-7 ¼ which ties for 10th on the Husky top-10 list and was good for second today.
Over in the northeast corner, the pole vault was in full flight, with Scott Roth competing as an alum in the Dempsey for the first time, and winning with a mark of 17-9. Freshman J.J. Juilfs got his first official action and cleared 16-5 ¼ to place fifth.
All-American Logan Miller matched her indoor personal-best in the women's vault with a mark of 13-1 ¾ to take third. Redshirt freshman Georgia Reynolds competed in her Husky singlet for the first time and went over 12-2 to place fourth. Sophomore Klarissa Wren had a nice PR in the pole vault, clearing 11-6 ¼ to take third in the early flight.
Junior Caroline Soules matched her indoor personal-best in the high jump, going over 5-6 on her first attempt, while sophomore A.J. Maricich was close to his indoor best as well with a clearance of 6-9 ½.
Two of the most exciting races of the day were the 4x800-meter relays, where a quartet of freshmen Huskies won the women's race and a more experienced men's foursome won a spirited battle against teams from Oklahoma and Stanford.
The rookie women's team consisted of Baylee Mires, Eleanor Fulton, Erin Johnson, and Joelle Amaral, with Fulton unofficially turning in the top split of 2:12. The women won in 9:01.33. The men had a good lead-off 800m from senior Charlie Williams, who then passed to Brad Whitley who took over the lead with a carry clocked in the 1:49 range. Ryan Soberanis and Joey Bywater closed out the win for UW in 7:26.20.
Metcalf said "the freshman girls wanted to run together and I think they had fun and competed hard. Then Brad Whitley had a big PR on the relay split and I thought he showed massive progress today."
In the women's sprints, sophomore Alisha Oden took second in the 600-meter run in 1:34.38. Freshman Haley Jacobson was 15th out of 59 sprinters in the 60-meters, clocking 7.87 in her UW debut. Freshman Naivasha Sophusson-Smith and sophomore Sarah Schireman both reached the final of the 60-meter hurdles, with Sophusson-Smith getting under nine seconds in the final at 8.95 while Schireman ran a personal-best 9.05 seconds.
4x100m relay All-American Ryan Hamilton got his senior season started with a finals appearance in the 60-meter dash, clocking 7.01 seconds in the final. Shayne Moore and Howard Lao both made the 60-meter hurdles final, with Moore getting the slight edge in the final to take second in 8.53 seconds with Lao third in 8.55. Moore ran 8.50 in the prelims.
Senior Elisa Bryant earned an outright victory in the women's weight throw, throwing 57-4 ¼ for the win, while junior Erica Huse three a personal-best of more than three feet with a mark of 49-10 ½ for seventh overall.
On the men's side, senior Angus Taylor took second in the weight throw with a best toss of 58-9 ½, a very nice start to his season, while junior Conner Larned was fourth at 55-1. He threw 57-11 ¼ to score at MPSFs one year ago.
The intensity of the Dempsey will only increase in two weeks as the Huskies host the UW Invitational on January 27-28, which is one of the biggest indoor meets of the year on the college calendar.