Sprinters Shine As MPSF Comes To A Close
Feb. 23, 2013
SEATTLE - A number of points, personal-bests, and a school record were piled up today by the Husky sprinters, helping lead the Husky track team on the final day of the MPSF Championships, hosted by the Dawgs in the Dempsey for the 10th year in a row.
Among the highlights was senior Jordan Carlson again breaking her 400-meters school record while running on a tender hamstring, and recent football addition Greg Ducre sprinting to second in the finals of the 60-meter dash. Add that to more outstanding efforts from distance standouts Megan Goethals, Christine Babcock, and Joey Bywater, and it was a solid day but one that left Head Coach Greg Metcalf with some mixed feelings.
"The MPSF is like a mid-season evaluation of our track program," said Metcalf. "We had some kids that were pleasant surprises and kids that continue to do a great job. But every coach, whatever the sport, you want the kids that are supposed to do great things to go and do that. We walk away from this meet, and our group needs to be better, and will be better by the time we get to May."
The Husky women's team placed sixth out of the 15 team field with 48 points, as No. 2-ranked Oregon pulled away for the win with 112 points. On the men's side, Arizona State captured the title with 125.5 points, while Washington wound up eighth with 37 points, just two behind UCLA and a point ahead of No. 14 Arizona.
The first races of the day were the mile finals. In the men's race, senior Joey Bywater had another oh-so-close brush with the four-minute mark, as he placed sixth in 4:00.37, a new career-best. The top four finishers all broke four-minutes, bringing the total of four-minute miles in Dempsey history to 99.
Then it was time for all the remaining sprint finals, starting with the 60m hurdles. Junior Howard Lao and senior Shayne Moore were in the first of two finals heats. Lao got a great start but Moore closed the gap late, and the crossed with identical 8.15 times, with Lao getting the edge down to the thousandth. Those times would hold up for fifth and sixth overall, a new PR for Lao and matching the PR for Moore.
In the 60-meter dash final, Ducre came in with the second-best prelim time, and he made that stand up again in the finals today, despite both finals heats running slower than Friday. Ducre powered across the line in 6.81 seconds, with Colorado's Joe Morris running 6.72 for the win.
In the 400-meters, Carlson entered as something of a question mark, as she injured her hamstring two weeks ago running the 200m at the Husky Classic. But two weeks of treatment, and lines of black tape on the backs of her legs, got her back out on the track today in the top heat. She was at the back of the five-woman group most of the race, but made a late push and out-leaned a pair of women at the line to take third in the heat and fourth overall in 53.75, her first time ever under 54-seconds indoors. Carlson has now broken the indoor school record four different times.
The men's 400-meters saw a personal-best from senior Dan Sanders, as he ran 48.29 but just missed scoring as that placed him ninth overall, while Kayla Stueckle also set a PR of 56.05 on the women's side. Sanders came back to anchor the 4x400m relay comprised of him, Quadelle Satterwhite, James Alaka, and Matt Anthony, to a fourth-place effort in 3:12.16.
Less than 24 hours from winning the 5,000-meters and anchoring the DMR to a win, Megan Goethals and Christine Babcock were both back on the track leading the way in the 3,000-meters. The two led for much of the race, but Oregon's Alexi Pappas made a late move to steal a second MPSF title in as many days away from the Husky pair. She won in 9:07.97, just a couple steps ahead of Goethals in 9:09.74, and Babcock in 9:11.02. Both of those times were season-bests and added 14 more points to the UW team score.
In the women's 800-meters final, sophomore Baylee Mires was in great position but just ran out of gas over the final 50-meters, settling for sixth-place in 2:07.29 in a very well-contested heat. Chloe Curtis also had a nice run, winning the first 800m heat in an indoor PR of 2:13.52.
The Huskies will now focus squarely on the NCAA Indoor Championships, and what they can do to get as many athletes to Fayetteville as possible. The top-16 in each event will qualify for NCAAs, held March 9-10. Washington will close the Dempsey out with the UW Final Qualifier next Friday, March 1, where those athletes on the bubble will look to get their qualifying marks, and many other athletes will race for personal-bests to head into the outdoor season on a high note.