Monday, May 4, 2009

Dawgs squeeze out victory over Cougs; Cougs return favor in men's competition...

Washington's 16th-ranked women's track and field squad edged out the rival Washington State women Saturday by a third of a point at Husky Stadium, earning just the second win for the women over WSU since 1997 and the first in five years.

The 14th-ranked Husky men won eight events but the Cougars earned their first win in Seattle since 2003 and their second straight triumph, winning 92-70.

Holding a slim lead with just the 3,000-meter run and the 4x400m relay remaining, the Huskies knew if they swept the top three spots in the 3k they would clinch the win. Head coach Greg Metcalf unleashed the Dawgs, so to speak, and UW captured the top six spots, led by junior Anita Campbell who won in a UW-WSU meet record time of 9:23.42. That was nearly eight seconds faster than the old dual record set by WSU's Jennifer Bravard in 1993.

The final tally on the women's side came out 81.66 for the Huskies to 81.33 for the Cougars. The women's last win in the series was in 2004 in Pullman; their last home victory was 1997. It was an especially satisfying win given that the Cougars had trounced the Husky women by 59 points last year in Pullman.

"We have the meet laid out on the form charts based on what we think the athletes will do and what we hope they will do, but then what it really just comes down to is what each of them actually accomplishes out here today," said coach Metcalf. "A year ago our women took one of the biggest drubbings in the history of the dual meet, and we just weren't very good. To come back today and turn that around took phenomenal efforts and performances and I couldn't be prouder of this group as a whole."

In the UW/WSU dual, where every point counts, doubling was the order of the day, as distance runners Mel Lawrence, Katie Follett & Kailey Campbell ran two events to contribute points towards the victory.

Lawrence was the national junior steeplechase champion in 2006, and ran 10:07.52 in the early afternoon rain to break Laura Halverson's five year old school record by over 25 seconds. Halverson 10:33.28 in 2004. The UW-WSU steeple meet record was held by Lawrence's older sister Collier from two years ago. Lawrence now also ranks sixth nationally in the steeple after just one attempt.

"It felt good. I was a little nervous actually going into it just because I hadn't run (steeplechase) in a while," said Lawrence. "But I just planned to go out there and run and let it happen and I was pretty satisfied in the end. I kind of like running in (wet conditions) so that was perfect."

Christine Babcock added another record to her overwhelming list of freshman achievements, breaking Susan Gregg's meet record in the 1500 that was set back in 1983. She won in 4:18.32, but finishing right by her side was junior Kailey Campbell, also well under the old record in 4:18.43. Last week at the Penn Relays, Campbell was the lead-off and Babcock the anchor on UW's 4x1500m relay squad that placed third.

Campbell would come back soon after to run another PR in the 800-meters in one of the pivotal finishes of the meet. She outkicked WSU's Lisa Egami down the stretch to take second and earn three points to Egami's one. Campbell finished in 2:06.51 while Egami crossed in 2:06.72. Washington's Katie Follett took the title in a lifetime-best 2:06.07, the third-fastest in school history.

Last year Falesha Ankton was the only sprinter that competed for the Huskies, and UW was crushed in the sprints. This year, however, a young group of Dawgs helped close the gap, with Ankton still leading. Ankton captured the 100m hurdles in 13.63 seconds, and led off UW's 4x100m relay which ran a season-best 45.95 to defeat the Cougars.

Sophomore transfer Dominique Lauderdale had her best day of the season in the 100m dash, placing second in 11.91 seconds, the fastest time by a Husky this year and ninth-fastest in school history. Freshman Jordan Carlson also picked up a point with a PR in the 400m dash (56.13) and both she and Lauderdale were part of the 4x1 relay along with another freshman, Bianca Greene. Greene also got a point for third in the 200m (24.69), while junior Syreeta Martin was second in the 400m hurdles in a season-best 1:01.09.

Sophomore All-American Elisa Bryant led the Huskies in the throws. She won the hammer throw on Friday in West Seattle with a huge PR of 190-6, then placed second in the discus with a throw of 147-4, and got another point with a shot put of 42-8. All told Bryant scored nine points by herself. Sophomore Brooke Pighin also moved up to 13th in the nation in the javelin with a PR of 168-11, good for second behind WSU's Marissa Tschida, who had the third best throw by a collegian this year to win and eclipsed her own school record by more than five feet and improved her NCAA RQ with her winning toss of 181-8 (55.38m), and obliterated the meet record of 163-11 set by Cougar Rachel Bertholf in 2005

Also picking up wins for the Husky women was redshirt freshman Taylor Nichols in the triple jump (38-8 ¼) and freshman Kelly McNamee in the high jump (5-7). Freshman Allison Linnell also qualified for Regionals in the steeple with a time of 10:44.96.

Justin Woods (senior, Buena Vista, Calif.) won the 100m in an improved NCAA RQ time of 10.42 seconds, and took second in the 200m with an NCAA RQ time of 21.01. Marlon Murray (sophomore, Des Moines, Wash.) coming off several weeks of no competition due to injury, ran a PR time in the 100m of 10.58 for second place, and an NCAA RQ time in the 200m of 21.23 for third place.

Jeshua Anderson (sophomore, Woodland Hills, Calif.), nursing a sore hamstring, won the 400m dash in a PR and NCAA RQ time of 46.08, fifth-fastest in WSU history.

"We were being very cautious with Jeshua Anderson all the way through the meet," Sloan said of the Pac-10 and NCAA intermediate hurdles champion. "All he did was run the open 400m, and he ran a great time and won the race for us. We wanted to minimize his usage but we swept both hurdles races and got it done without abusing him. We still won the 4x400m race and I was happy we could still compete and win that race without our "A" team and ran a good time as well."

Luke Lemenager (junior, Maple Valley) won the 800m and lowered his PR and NCAA RQ time to 1:49.28. Freshman Joe Abbott (Reno) took third in a PR and NCAA RQ time of 1:59.10. Lemenager also ran a very memorable 800m win in the 2008 dual meet in Pullman, as the Cougs defeated the Dawgs for the first time in four years.

"The major turning point in the meet for the men was the 800m race," Sloan said. "We should never doubt Luke Lemenager in this meet because he brings a different level of competition to the Huskies. He did it again this year, running a great 800m time and an improved regional qualifying mark and taking Joe Abbott with him down to 1:50.10, a regional mark for Joe. That gave us a boost in the meet.

Cougar senior Robert Williams (Riverside, Calif.) took to the track after resting a sore hip for several weeks to run 14.74 and lead a first-through-fifth finish for WSU in a slow 110m high hurdles race. The Cougar men also swept the intermediate hurdles with Barry Leavitt (senior, Benton City) winning with an improved NCAA RQ time of 51.18, freshman J Hopkins (Everett) second in 51.63, and sophomore Trevor Habberstad (Santa Clarita, Calif.) third with a PR and improved NCAA RQ time of 52.15. Sam Ahlbeck (junior, Renton) won the 3000m steeplechase in 9:12.64 while David Hickerson (redshirt freshman, Spokane) took third in a PR time of 9:19.83, and senior Evan Blanshan was fourth in a PR time of 9:47.32.

In the field events, Trent Arrivey and Ryan Deese finished one-two in the high jump with neither 7-footer reaching that height. Moreno Zapata (senior, Lakewood) won the triple jump with a season-best and improved NCAA RQ distance of 50-2 1/2 (15.30m) while Devin Timpson (senior, North Beach) took third with a PR leap of 46-4 3/4 (14.14.m). Christian Crain (freshman, Seattle) and Kyle Schauble (junior, Kennewick) finished second and third, respectively, in the long jump.

Matt Lamb (junior, Emmett, Idaho) won the discus with a season-best and improved NCAA RQ of 185-10 (56.64m) and Joe Bartlett (freshman, Reno) won the shot put with a heave of 54-8 (16.66m). Lamb also took second in the shot with a distance of 54-7 1/4 (16.64m) and Bartlett was third in the discus (159-9-48.69m). Phil MacArthur (senior, Ione) improved his NCAA RQ with a hammer throw of 201-6 (61.41m) for second place while Mark Presby (sophomore, Richland) reached an NCAA RQ mark in the javelin with his PR toss of 203-9 (62.190m) for second place.

While the outcome wasn't significant in the team scoring, Washington's Kelly Spady added his name to the lore of athletes in the heated rivalry in the men's 3000, by providing the chilled fans inside Husky Stadium something to talk about for years to come.

With teammate Jake Schmitt comfortably ahead, Spady was running in a pack with WSU's Sam Ahlbeck and Dominic Smargiassi, when he took exception to something done or said to him, then took a swipe at Smargiassi down the home straight with 850 meters to go, flinging his elbow at him, then exchanging words as he sprinted to the second spot.

As the runners entered the final lap, Spady was greeted by a chorus of boos from the Cougar fans sitting in the stands.

Schmitt won in 8:12.15, with Washington freshman Joey Bywater second in 8:18.09, and Smargiassi third in 8:20.37. Spady was fifth in 8:22.47.

Summing up his sentiments on the meet, WSU head coach Rick Sloan said, ""Every event people were performing either season-best or lifetime bests throughout the entire meet"

Complete results from the meet can be accessed here.

Click here to see videos from the meet, courtesy of media partner

NOTE: The University of Washington & Washington State University contributed to this report.

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