Alaka Named Student-Athlete Of The Week
May 14, 2012
SEATTLE - James Alaka of the men's track and field team has been named the GoHuskies.com Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of May 7-13.
A junior from London well knows the opportunities ahead of him in 2012. The sprinter took a big step towards those goals in the Pac-12 Championships at Hayward Field, as he became the first Husky ever to win back-to-back Pac-12 titles in a sprint event, defending his 200-meter dash crown in a lifetime-best time of 20.45 seconds. That also is under the `A' standard for this summer's London Olympics, the ultimate goal for Alaka.
The win by Alaka was one of eight top-three finishes on the final day of the Pac-12 Championships, as UW saw itself on the podium again and again. The Huskies had several near misses, but misses that came in school record and lifetime-best efforts, a testament to the superiority of the conference fields. When the points were all added up, the Husky men's team tied for fifth with 78 points, its best finish since 2006, and the Washington women were sixth out of 12 teams with 54 points, tying their best conference finish since 1998.
Alaka becomes the first Husky sprinter ever to win consecutive conference championships. He first went out to defend his title in 100-meter dash, and despite running a career-best 10.22 seconds, he was edged by USC's Aaron Brown, who took the title in 10.18, with Alaka taking second. Clearly upset over losing that title, Alaka came back later in the day in the 200-meters and turned the tables. Running near the outside in lane seven, Alaka, occasionally hindered by slow starts, was out extremely well, took the lead off the turn and held it all the way down the homestretch, with Brown having to settle for second this time, a tenth of a second behind Alaka.
With three individual Pac-12 titles now (winning the 100m and 200m last year), Alaka trails only Ja'Warren Hooker, who won four individual titles, two in 1998 and two in 2000. He'll next set his sights on advancing reaching his first NCAA finals in both events.
Other nominees include: Men's V8 (men's crew), Women's V8 (women's crew), Jacob Lamb (baseball), Kyle McMorrow (men's tennis), Sadena Parks (women's golf) and Logan Miller (women's track and field).
GoHuskies.com Student-Athletes Of The Week: