Flood Blazes To No. 4 Mile In NCAA History
Feb. 11, 2012
Day One Recap: Goethals Rocks School Record As Husky Classic Opens
SEATTLE - Sophomore Katie Flood ran her second race of the indoor track season today at the Flotrack Husky Classic, and for the second time she left the Dempsey Indoor buzzing about an unbelievable record-shattering run. Her time of 4:28.48 is the fourth-fastest mile in NCAA history indoors, and ranks her as the No. 3 American collegiate in NCAA history, just two weeks after she jumped to No. 5 in the list of U.S. collegiates at 3,000-meters.
A Des Moines, Iowa native, Flood now leads the NCAA in both the mile and the 3,000-meters. Her mile run today ranks second in the world this year, trailing only the woman who just edged her out for the victory, Sally Kipyego of the Oregon Track Club. Kipyego, a native of Kenya, is one of the world's elites as she won the silver medal at last year's World Championships at 10,000-meters. Kipyego won nine NCAA titles at Texas Tech.
Flood and Kipyego both ran comfortably in the pack early and it was Flood who first began to move her way up. Heading into the final lap, Flood moved into the lead, only to be briefly passed by Kipyego and another post-collegiate athlete, Hilary Stellingwerff. But it turned out Flood still had another gear, and she picked it up around the final curve as the clamor in the Dempsey picked up. Flood caught Kipyego and the two went stride for stride, with Kipyego just getting in at 4:28.41, Flood just .07 seconds short. They are also the two fastest mile times in Dempsey history.
After the race, talking to Flotrack.org, a winded but calm Flood said, "This is exciting. I'm glad that I'm taking a step forward too, because I don't want to plateau I want to keep improving. I haven't run a mile in a while so the pace wasn't comfortable for me at first. But with a lap and a half to go I still felt really good, so I just stuck with it and it turned out well."
The remarkable run is one of 14 new marks that will be typed into the Husky indoor Top-10 lists after the exhausting two-day Flotrack Husky Classic. Flood's school record joins the record set by sophomore Megan Goethals in the 5,000-meters Friday night. All told there were three Dempsey Indoor facility records, five meet records, and three more four-minute miles, bringing the all-time Dempsey total to 80.
"This thing was a spectacle," said Head Coach Greg Metcalf in the shadow of the hanging video board brought in for the weekend. "I think we turned it up a notch this weekend (in presentation) and I think the competition was right there with it. Great effort after great effort, from our kids and many other teams. This meet was as advertised. It was competitive from the first gun to the last one and it was a great weekend of track and field for sure."
As for the newest school record-holder, "She's had a great month," said Metcalf, "and I'm hoping for her these are just the coming attractions for what 2012 will actually hold once it's all said and done."
The mile runs were far from a one-woman show for the Huskies. Sophomore Chelsea Orr took second in the first invitational flight with another one of the fastest times in UW history, as the Sammamish native ran 4:39.78, jumping into the Top-20 nationally and into the No. 5 spot on the Husky Top-10 list. Junior Justine Johnson also PR'd in the top heat, clocking 4:43.13, which would have made the Top-10 were it not for Flood and Orr making that the No. 11 mark. Also dropping about two seconds off their previous best mile times were sophomore Mackenzie Carter who ran a 4:46.44, and freshman Erin Johnson, who crept closer to the 4:50 mark at 4:50.77.
The men saw two great attempts at joining the elite sub-four-minute club, with junior Joey Bywater charging down the home stretch but coming up just short in 4:01.21, which was sixth in the top heat. Senior Ryan Soberanis sliced nearly two seconds from his mile PR, running 4:02.32 to move from ninth up to seventh on the Husky lists.
Another six second mile personal-best was turned in by Michael Miller, Jr. who crossed in 4:06.35, and Federal Way frosh Meron Simon continued his excellent indoor campaign with a gutsy run in which he led most of the bell lap before placing third in his heat in 4:05.75, nearly six seconds faster than his first attempt just one month ago. Earlier in the day, freshman Kyle Rae ran a nice PR in the first heat of the mile, finishing in 4:15.77.
The meet ended on a big high note for the Husky sprinters, as both 4x400-meter relay squads posted season-bests which rank in the all-time Top-10 lists. The women's group of Michelle Fero, Gianna Woodruff, Kayla Stueckle, and Jordan Carlson came home in 3:45.13, the best time for the women's team since 2006 and the No. 4 mark all-time. Stueckle also turned in a personal-best in the 400m, leaning to the line to stop the clock and win her heat in 56.71 seconds.
The men then put a stamp on the meet with a win in the top heat of the 4x4. Sam Rucker passed to Dan Sanders, then James Alaka carried and gave to Maurice McNeal, who made up a 10-meter gap and then some on Washington State, as the Huskies got the win in 3:11.06, which is good for tenth in school history.
Leading the way in the field events was senior Robby Fegles, who earned the men's baton for Dawg of the Day from Coach Metcalf as he cleared 17-feet for the first time ever in the pole vault. Fegles went over 17-1 ¾ on his third and final attempt, and gets himself a share of 10th on the all-time lsit.
Sophomore A.J. Maricich equaled his personal-best in the high jump, getting over 6-11 ½ on a third attempt to finish fourth overall.
The 800-meter races produced a couple more Top-10 marks. Freshman Baylee Mires, a seven-time Washington state champion from Mead HS in Spokane, ran her first open 800m and ran 2:09.57, good for sixth on the Husky lists. On the men's side, sophomore Kyle Blume, a Bishop Blanchet product, ran a big PR and won his heat in a time of 1:51.50, good for 10th on the Husky lists. Redshirt frosh Sean Krinik also notched a new season-best of 1:51.89 as he continues to round into shape.
The men's distance crew cruised to some career-best times in the 3,000-meters. Sophomore Aaron Beattie led the way with an 8:14.84 run, a six second best. Freshman Tyler King (Coupeville, Wash.) ran a strong 3k debut of 8:16.81. Redshirt sophomore Bryan Tibaduiza also cut six seconds off his PR, going 8:24.69 and Dylan Morin went 8:30.90, a two second improvement over two weeks back.
In the women's 3k, junior Christine Babcock ran the distance for the first time in her Husky career, and she took to it quickly, finishing sixth among collegiate competitors in a time of 9:17.42, which jumps her right up to fifth on the UW indoor Top-10 and should place her in the Top-25 nationally. The previous heat saw Liberty Miller, a veteran now of two NCAA Cross Country Championships, get to make her first run on the track. Her time of 9:34.82 is just a couple seconds off the Top-10 list as well.
Leading the way in the throws was senior Elisa Bryant, who threw a season-best 63-4 ¼ to take second in the women's weight throw. That mark moves the Seattle native into the top-30 nationally. Freshman Jesse Havens also PR'd by three feet, going 42-3 ¼ on her first throw.
The next big meet on the Dempsey schedule is the MPSF Championships, in which the Dawgs will narrow their team down to 27 men and 27 women to compete against a stellar field for conference titles. The MPSF meet is set for Feb. 24-25.