Friday, January 28, 2011

Oregon's Brianne Theisen sets collegiate best in pentathlon to open the UW Invitational...



Capping off an exciting first day of competition at the UW Invitational, the University of Oregon's Brianne Theisen (left/photo courtesy goducks.com) set a collegiate best in 4507 points, eclipsing Arizona State's Jacqueline Johnson's mark of 4496 points set at the 2008 NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Theisen got things rolling by winning the  60 hurdles in 8.45 for 1028 points, and tying for first in the high jump with a mark of 6-0 (1.83m), worth 1016 points.

In the shot put, she scored her lowest total, picking up 707 points with a throw of 41-8 (12.70), then came strong in the long jump, with a leap of 19-9 (6.02m) for 856 points to put her at 3607 with the 800 meter run remaining.

Needing to run at least 2:15.23 to get the record, she shot out of the gate, taking command of the race from the start. 

The Oregon senior from Canada crossed the 400 meter mark in 63 seconds, then went through the 600 in approximately 1:37. 

Asked afterward about her fast start, she said that she looks at the 800 as a 500, followed by a 300 that she knows will hurt.

"If I could hang on the last 200, I thought to myself I'd have a shot at it,", Theisen said afterwards, knowing that she had an 800 meter personal best of 2:15:58.

"I thought that it would be cool to score about what I did at last year's NCAA championships.  I didn't think that I'd score as high as I did tonight".

Because of the Dempsey's 307 meter oval length, Theisen will not get credit for a collegiate record, as marks must be set on tracks of 200 meters or less.

Nonetheless, her score is a current world leader, eclipsing the current world best this year of 4446 points set by Russia's Anna Bogdanova three weeks earlier.

Here is a video interview with Theisen, courtesy of media partner Flotrack.


In other events Friday, the University of Oregon women's team set a new facility record in the distance medley relay, running 11:02.15, with Jordan Hasay, Chizoba Okodogbe, Laura Roesler, and Alex Kosinski on the anchor, eclipsing Stanford's mark of 11:05.16, set in 2003.

The University of Washington finished fourth in 11:34.20, with Pac 10 Cross Country newcomer of the year Katie Flood on the anchor.

2007 World Championship bronze medalist in the 10000 meter run Kara Goucher used the women's 5000 meter run as a glorified workout, winning the race in 16:11.50 wearing racing flats instead of spikes over Oregon's Brownyn Crossman (16:20.83) from Bellingham's Squalicum HS, and Western Washington's Sarah Porter (16:26.66), as Porter easily got an NCAA D2 auto qualifier.

Oregon's Luke Puskedra earned a NCAA qualifying mark in the 5000 winning in 13:46.70.

In the men's heptathlon, David Klech of Oregon has the day 1 lead, with a score of 3159, with Washington's Jeremy Taiwo close behind at 3080.

Complete day 1 results are available here.

The UW Invitational resumes Saturday at 8 am, with some of the hot distance races run in the 330-530 pm time slot, featuring Olympians Shalane Flanagan and Matt Tegenkamp in the women's and men's mile runs.


LAGAT GETS THE L AT THE GARDEN...

Just when it seemed Bernard Lagat would never be defeated again in the Wanamaker Mile, it happened Friday evening at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Lagat, who leads the all-time list with eight Wanamaker Mile wins, including six in a row, appeared to be primed to win it again as he sat right behind 2008 and 2010 World Indoor 1,500m champion Deresse Mekonnen of Ethiopia with four laps to go.

The two stayed in that position until Lagat turned on his kick with a lap and a half remaining. However, this time Lagat’s usual blistering finishing speed was not enough as Mekonnen beat him to the finish line in the world-leading time of 3:58.58. Mekonnen, who posted a 55-second final quarter, was victorious in his first-ever trip to Madison Square Garden. Finishing third was David Torrence in 4:00.13, with Lee Emanuel of Great Britain fourth in 4:04.91.

Complete results from the Millrose Games are available here.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

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