Saturday, January 29, 2011

Washington's Jeremy Taiwo wins heptathlon to highlight UW Invitational...

In a meet that traditionally has strong distance racing, it was the multi event competition that took center stage on day two of the UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor Facility.

The University of Washington's Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo courtesy University of Washington) used three personal bests in the hurdles,  pole vault and the 1000 meter run to take the men's heptathlon competition with a lifetime best score of 5746 points.

Taiwo found himself in second place at the first day break behind Oregon's David Klech at 3159 to 3080.

While Klech won the opening 60 hurdles in 7.99, he could not shake Taiwo's solid run of 8.29, a marginal PR, as the Duck stretched his lead to 4143-3990 or a 153 point lead.

In the penultimate event, Taiwo set a personal best in the pole vault, clearing 15-7 (4.75m) to score 834 points, while Klech struggled to clear 12-7.5 (3.85m) and tally 576 points, wiping out the 153 point lead, and put Taiwo at a 4824-4719 advantage.

In the 1000 meters, for Klech to earn the victory, he needed to beat Taiwo by at least 10 seconds.  Klech led wire to wire, winning in 2:31.90, but not enough, as Taiwo finished less than four second back at 2:35.68 to score 922 points in the event.

Taiwo's mark is the second best by a collegian this season, behind Miller Moss of Clemson's 5903. The Newport HS grad's 5746 total is also the fourth best mark in the world this season, but will not count because of the oversized oval at the Dempsey.

In reflecting on his two days, he felt that he needs to work on his jumping, particularly in the high jump and long jump.

The women's mile produced a minor surprise, as headliner Shalane Flanagan was upset by Lauren Johnson 4:33.64 to 4:33.81, with Johnson, primarily known as an 800 meter runner, pulling out the victory in the last 50 meters over the Olympic bronze medalist at 10000m, who is sharpening for next week's USA cross country championships in San Diego.

Washington's freshman duo of Katie Flood and Chelsea Orr finished 6-7 in 4:47.45 and 4:47.51, while Washington State's Ruby Roberts finished tenth in 4:48.97, a WSU freshman record.

In the sprints, Washington State senior Jeshua Anderson won both the men's 60m hurdles and the 400m dash and ran the anchor leg of the winning 4x400m relay.

Anderson's Saturday 60m hurdles time of 8.02 is 2/100s seconds off his lifetime-best. Anderson came back later in the afternoon to win the 400m dash in a time of 47.12.

The Cougars' 4x400m relay team of Greg Hornsby, Brandon Dawson, Jacob Sealby, and Anderson ran a time of 3-minutes, 11.84 seconds to overtake Oregon on the anchor leg, as the Ducks ran Rainier Beach graduate Michael Berry on the third leg and hope that Anderson wouldn't catch their anchor.

"I think Jeshua had real solid times in both the hurdles and the 400m but he is still evolving," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "He ran a very easy-looking 45.8 split on the anchor leg of our 4x4 relay. He is running the 400m as well right now as he ever has and I think when he puts the race together he will be very fast."

Oregon's Jordan Hasay pulled away from teammate Alex Kosinski to win the women's 3000 in 9:05.42 to 9:08.60, as both dipped under the NCAA auto qualifying mark of 9:13.00.

On the field, fans were treated to exciting action in the pole vaults, as Scott Roth of Washington and Melissa Gergel of Oregon handily took care of their competition.

Roth took the win in the men's competition, clearing 18-1 (5.51m), then took three shots at 19-0 3/4 (5.81m), one of which was decent.

Gergel beat out former Husky Carly Dockendorf 14-3.5 (4.36m) to 13-5.75 (4.11m).

Complete results of the UW Invitational are available here.

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