Friday, April 23, 2010

Kara Patterson sets stadium record at Drake Relays; UW's Kyle Nielsen leads Husky javelin sweep at Brutus Hamilton...

Vancouver native Kara Patterson (left/photo by Paul Merca) unleashed a throw of 202 feet 9 inches on her third attempt, bettering the stadium mark of 194-4 by Nebraska's Denise Thiernard in 1983 to win the women's javelin at the Drake Relays Friday.

Patterson, a 2008 Olympian and World Championships team member in 2009, set a Drake Stadium record by posting the top mark by an American this spring.

"I kind of came in with no expectation because I've been battling injuries (back tightness and muscle spasms)," said Patterson, the Purdue University alum and two-time US national champion, who currently resides at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California. "So, I just kind of wanted to go out there and see how it felt. And I guess I just started trusting my body more and I let if fly."

Results of Friday's events at the Drake Relays can be accessed here.

Meanwhile in Berkeley at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational hosted by California, University of Washington junior All-American Kyle Nielsen stretched his PR out once again and crept ever closer to the school record.

Nielsen won with a throw of 247-feet, 1-inch, the second-best mark in the NCAA this season. James Alaka and Jeremy Taiwo also earned wins Friday at Edwards Stadium.

Nielsen, a Langley, B.C. native who was sixth at last year's NCAA Championships, led a Husky sweep of the top three spots in the javelin throw. Freshman Joe Zimmerman was second at 224-6 and freshman James Brookman was third with a toss of 203-2. Nielsen's new PR surpassed his earlier best of 241-9, set just two weeks ago, and pulled him closer to Darryl Roberson's 1989 school record of 249-6. He set the PR on his first attempt, and passed his final three throws.

In a race that finished up after 10 p.m., senior Jake Schmitt set a new outdoor PR in the 5,000-meters, running 13:59.26 to take seventh overall. Schmitt was the top collegiate finisher in a field of mostly pros including Olympian Galen Rupp who won in 13:32.53. Schmitt moves up to ninth on UW's all-time Top-10 list with the run. Sophomore Max O'Donoghue-McDonald was 15th in 14:21.73.

The freshman Alaka continued his winning ways, as he ran 21.09 in the 200-meters for the victory, just off his season-best. Sophomore Ryan Hamilton was fourth in 21.81.

Sophomore Jeremy Taiwo, coming off an excellent decathlon last week at Mt. SAC, won the open section of the long jump with a mark of 22-7 ¼. He also had a season-best high jump clearance of 6-6.

Action resumes Saturday with UW All-Americans Scott Roth, Brooke Pighin, and Falesha Ankton in action.

Live results from the Brutus Hamilton meet can be accessed here.

In Bellingham, Michael Hoffman (So., Bellingham/Sehome) set a school record in the men's hammer, highlighting Western Washington University performances Friday at the 10th annual Viking Twilight Track and Field meet at Civic Stadium.

Hoffman won with a toss of 194-9, just two feet and one inch short of the NCAA Division II automatic national qualifying standard. Hoffman had already achieved the provisional standard, but his heave Friday which was nearly 10 feet farther all but clinches him a spot at nationals.

"It started raining just as our flight began, and I scratched on the first throw which would have been a 204, but then I got the 194," said Hoffman, who also won the discus, improving on his provisional qualifying mark with a toss of 163-7. "It was awesome, but there's still a lot of room to go." Hoffman broke the school record of 187-2 set in 1991 by Dennis James.

For the Western women, Courtney Olsen (Sr., Bellingham/Squalicum) and Sarah Porter (Jr., Hockinson) each achieved their third qualifying standard of the season. Olson won the 800 meters in 2:13.89 to reach the provisional qualifying standard. She had already reached the provisional mark in the 1,500 meters and 3,000 steeplechase, both in school-record times.

Porter won the 5,000 in 17:00.69 to reach the provisional standard. She has already reached the automatic standard in the 10,000 in school-record time, and has hit the provisional mark in the 1,500.

Olson and Porter helped an outstanding effort on the track for the women, as the Vikings won six of the 11 events. The other winners were Sarah Brownell (Jr., Yelm) in the 400 (57.85), Rachael Johnson (Jr., Yakima/West Valley) in the 1,500 (4:39.72), Michelle Howe (Jr., Lakewood) in the 100 hurdles (14.76), and the 4x100 relay team of Howe, Brownell, Joana Houplin (Jr., Olympia) and Megan Zukowski (Jr., Maple Valley/Tahoma) (48.38).

In addition, Emily Warman (So., Sedro-Woolley) won the long jump (16-8 3/4).

Western's men had a total of 10 triumphs. Besides Hoffman's two victories, Ryan Brown (Jr., Bellingham/Squalicum) won the pole vault (16-8 3/4) and the Vikings had seven victories on the track, including all of the flat events of 400 meters or less.

Alex Tilley (So., Edmonds/Kamiak) won the 100 (11.17), Shane Gruger (Jr., Shoreline/Shorewood) triumphed in the 200 (22.48), Toby David (Jr., Cathlamet/Wakiakum) claimed the 400 (50.19), Jordan Welling (Burlington/Burlington-Edson) won the 3000 (8:24.61) and Kyle Johnson (So., Nine Mile Falls/Lakeside) was victorious in the 3,000 steeplechase (9:47.7).

The Vikings claimed both the 4x100 (41.72) and 4x400 (3:27.20) relays.

Western Washington's press release can be accessed here
(complete results were not available at 11 pm on their site; a link to results will be posted later).

NOTE: The Drake Relays, the University of Washington, and Western Washington University contributed to this report.

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