Saturday, March 12, 2011

James Cameron, Jeremy Taiwo and Joe Abbott earn All-America status as NCAA indoor champs conclude...

COLLEGE STATION, Texas--All-American efforts from sophomores James Cameron and Jeremy Taiwo gave the Husky men's track team a boost today, as the Dawgs finished 18th at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at Gilliam Indoor Stadium Saturday, bringing the indoor season to a close.

Cameron capped off one of the best indoor seasons in school history with an eighth-place finish in the men's mile final today, adding another point to UW's team score. It was the first NCAA meet of any kind for Cameron, who became UW's fourth sub-four-minute miler just a week ago at the UW Final Qualifier.

"It feels amazing. I feel so blessed to be where I'm at looking at where I was about five months ago. It's been a night and day difference," Cameron said. "I felt like I had a good start, but the pace was fluctuating back and forth. I was trying to make a move and it wasn't working every time. Going into the bell lap I gave it everything I've got, and grabbed that eighth-place which is great, so I'm so stoked. It was so much fun."

Jeremy Taiwo, a redshirt sophomore indoors, finished up a mostly stellar heptathlon today, placing eighth overall and bettering his own school-record with 5,780 points. But the Renton, Wash. native was left to lament one event on each day of the competition that kept him from contending for first. Yesterday it was the shot put; today it was the pole vault, but he came away with four career-bests out of the other five events en route to becoming the first UW multi-event athlete to score at NCAAs since Jacob Predmore in 2000.

Taiwo clipped the first couple barriers in the 60m hurdles but then became increasingly clean and smooth, and he pulled away to win his heat in 8.14 seconds, a big PR that ranks ninth on the UW indoor Top-10 list.

Whereas the shot put threw a wrench into Taiwo's day on Friday, today it was the pole vault which gave him problems. He had set a personal-best in his previous heptathlon this season, clearing 15-7, but after a first attempt clearance at 13-9 ¼, Taiwo was unable to get over 14-9, which essentially put him out of contention.

Despite the setback, Taiwo capped off the event the way he began on Friday, with a new career-best. He was ninth going into the race, and said he "decided to run that race with a little bit of rage." He powered around the track for five laps, placing third in the 1,000-meters in a time of 2:34.35, and moving up to grab a point for the Dawgs.

Courtesy of gohuskies.com, here's a video interview with Taiwo after his eighth place finish.



Meanwhile, Washington State's Joe Abbott, a junior from Reno, Nev., ran a time of 1-minute, 50.14 seconds in the final to finish seventh overall after running a prelim time Friday night of 1:48.80. He earns first-team All-America status.

Fred Samoei, a senior from Alabama, won the men's 800m in a time of 1:48.33.

"I'm proud of the way I competed this weekend," Abbott said. "I fought my way into the final and while it didn't go as well as I hoped, I never quit. This will be great momentum for the outdoor season.

WSU's 4x400m relay squad of Greg Hornsby, Brandon Dawson, Jacob Sealby and Jeshua Anderson ran in the first of three final heats in the timed-section format.

Running the lead leg, Hornsby pulled a hamstring before the second turn of the first lap but gutted out the next 320 meters, running a 400-meter split time of 49.90 seconds. Dawson started his leg about 50-meters behind the field at the handoff but ran a split of 47.70 followed by Sealby's 47.49 split. Anderson, a two-time NCAA 400m hurdles champion, ran a split time of 46.93.

Texas A&M won the event with a time of 3:04.24.

The Cougar relay time was 3:12.01 which was 10th-best but the team was disqualified when Hornsby stepped out of the lane after he was injured.

University of Kansas sophomore Andrea Geubelle from Tacoma's Curtis HS finished eighth in the women’s triple jump. On her third attempt she jumped a distance of 13.02m (42-08.75ft.), which is an indoor personal best for the sophomore and third best in school history.

Husky freshman distance runners Katie Flood and Megan Goethals inished 10th overall in 9:22.59, while Goethals was just a second behind in 13th-place in a time of 9:23.48.

Washington senior distance runner Colton Tully-Doyle finished a disappointing 18th in the men's 3000, running 8:24.26

Complete results from the NCAA Division I championships are available here.

DIVISION II RECAP

At the NCAA Division II championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Western Washington University's Ryan Brown successfully defended his national championship in the men's pole vault, clearing 17-2 3/4 (5.25 meters), as the Vikings had three top 10 performances in final-day action Saturday.

"Ryan skipped the first two heights and was down to his third and final attempt at 16-2 3/4, but he kept his composure and cleared it," WWU coach Pee Wee Halsell said. "Then he got into a rhythm and it may have been his best competition as far as progression. It was amazing to watch."

The Vikings' Sarah Porter, hampered by a strained hamstring, placed third in the women's 5,000 with a time of 16:44.04.
Western's Jordan Welling (Sr., Burlington/Burlington-Edison) placed seventh in the men's 5,000, being timed in 14:58.85.

On Friday, the Western women's distance medley relay team placed ninth. The quartet, clocked in 12:15.45, included Rachael Johnson, Eleanor Siler, Megan O'Connell, and Lauren Breihof.

Siler did not qualify for the finals in the 400m.

Central Washington freshman Becca Clark finished sixth in the women's pole vault with a mark of 11-7 (3.53m) while Seattle Pacific pole vaulter Melissa Peaslee failed to clear a height Friday.


Complete results from the NCAA Division II championships are available here.

NOTE:  The NCAA, University of Washington, Washington State University, University of Kansas, Western Washington University,  Central Washington University, and Seattle Pacific University contributed to this report.

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