Saturday, February 27, 2010

Youth score majority of team points for Huskies; Cougs disappointed with team finish at MPSF Championships...

The University of Washington's freshmen and sophomores accounted for the lion's share of the team points on the final day of the MPSF Championships at the Dempsey Indoor facility.

Kendra Schaaf (left/photo by Paul Merca), the runner-up at last fall's NCAA cross country championships, made her long-awaited track debut after battling a minor foot injury. Schaaf, who has freshman eligibility in both indoor and outdoor track, finished fourth in 9:27.24.

Freshman James Alaka finished fourth in the 60 meter dash in a time of 6.78 to put himself into a tie for sixth on the all-time UW indoor list in that event with UW high jump school record holder Rick Noji, and football All American Napoleon Kaufman.

Senior Katie Follett broke up the freshman-fest with a strong mile run of 4:39.91 that was good for third-place in her final Mountain Pacific meet. Follett is already assured of a spot at NCAA Indoors and still ranks second in the NCAA with a mile time of 4:34.98.

The Washington State Cougars were led by two time NCAA 400 hurdles champ Jeshua Anderson, who finished second in the 400 meters, running 46.38, behind Arizona State's Donald Sanford who ran down Anderson in the home stretch to win in 46.19. The Cougars' 4 x 400 meter relay team of Anderson, Greg Hornsby, Reny Follett, and Joe Abbott finished third in a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:09.35.

Thirds were the theme of the day for the Cougs, as freshman Stephan Scott-Ellis in the triple jump (50-8.75/15.46m), freshman Holly Parent in the women's high jump (5-10.5/1.79m), and current NCAA high jump co leader Trent Arrivey (7-1.5/2.17m) all earned 3-spots Saturday afternoon.

Some of the outstanding marks at the MPSF championships Saturday included Oregon Olympian Andrew Wheating winning the mile in 3:58.20, after a modest first 1200 of around 3:03; Duck freshman teammate Jordan Hasay winning the women's mile in a meet record 4:35.01; another Duck, Amber Purvis winning the women's 60 in a facility record 7:30; a great duel in the women's high jump between Arizona teammates Brigetta Barrett and Elizabeth Patterson, with Barrett winning with a jump of 6-2.25/1.89m; Stanford's Greek pole vaulter Katerina Stefanidi gambling on a third attempt to win her event in a NCAA auto qualifying mark of 14-1.25/4.30m; and, California's Mark Matusak running down Bay Area rival Elliott Heath of Stanford on the final lap to win a thrilling men's 3000 in 7:59.67.

The UCLA Bruins won the men's MPSF team title, scoring 108.5 points, with Washington State tied for sixth with 59, and the Washington Huskies ninth at 41 points. In the women's competition, Oregon won with a team score of 133, with the Cougars seventh at 45 points, and the Huskies eighth at 34 points.

"We had a lot of PRs in this meet but we have to be better in order to be competitive," WSU head coach Rick Sloan said. "I'm looking forward to the outdoor season because we will add events where we are strong and people haven't been competing during the indoor season. We have good depth in the steeplechase, the intermediate hurdles, the javelin and discus. Our team gets a lot stronger because these competitors are very good at what they do outdoors."

"Today was a barometer of where we're at but we expect to get better and we will," said UW coach Greg Metcalf. "A lot of people are coming along and coming back and the focus of our program is to be our best in May and June."

Complete results of the MPSF championships can be accessed here.

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