Saturday, April 30, 2011

Husky men, Cougar women prevail in final UW/WSU dual meet at Husky Stadium...

SEATTLE--As dual meets go, it was closer than expected, especially in this in-state rivalry meet, but in the end, form held true, as the Washington men's squad and the Washington State women's team emerged victorious in the final dual meet between the two squads at Husky Stadium.

The Washington men took the victory by a 83-80 margin in one of the oldest continuous dual meets in collegiate track and field, while the WSU women prevailed 92-71 over the Huskies, despite Washington capturing individual wins in 10 of 19 events.

"I think both of our teams came out swinging and they competed incredibly well today," said head coach Greg Metcalf. "I think today's meet was the right way for us to close out our dual meet history with the Cougars in Husky Stadium."

Both men's and women' javelin competitions were worthy of at least a Pac-10 final, as Washington State's All-American Marissa Tschida (left/photo by Paul Merca) repeated as the javelin winner with a season-best toss of 177-feet, 2 inches (54.54m), and freshman Jaclyn Onosko contributing a point in third place with a PR throw of 135-8 (41.35m), with new Washington school record holder Amanda Peterson splitting the Cougar duo with a mark of 171-11 (52.41m).

In the men's javelin, it was a Husky sweep, as 2010 US junior champion Joe Zimmerman got the better of reigning Canadian champ and NCAA finalist Kyle Nielsen, winning with a mark of 239-9 (73.09m) to Nielsen's 239-2 (72.89m), with James Brookman of Washington making a major breakthrough with a toss of 227-2 (69.24m).

The men's steeplechase proved to be one of the day's turning points. Sophomore Michael Miller Jr. came in with the No. 3 time in the field, and WSU's Andrew Gonzales was the only entry to have broken nine minutes, but Miller held strong down the final stretch to get the victory in a 12-second personal-best of 8:57.32.

For the Husky men, one of the keys of the meet was the performance of freshman Maurice McNeal, who refused to fold under pressure in the heat of an in-state rivalry meet.

McNeal ran the leadoff leg on the Huskies' 4 x 100m relay team that clocked a season best 39.93, beat the talented Jeshua Anderson in the 400 with a PR 46.63, and finished second to teammate James Alaka in the 200 21.00-21.02, a season best for both runners.

Alaka repeated as champion of the 100 as well, winning the 100 in 10.44, then saluted the crowd by pointing a la Billy Hicks in the 1975 meet. Hicks, whose taunt of the Cougars' Gary Minor in the 1975 meet was captured in the Seattle Times, attended the meet and the post event alumni function afterwards.

Afterwards, WSU coach Rick Sloan tipped his hat to the frosh from Federal Way, saying, "The men's short relay was an event we thought we had to have," Sloan said. "Maurice McNeal was the difference maker for the Huskies in the meet: he won the 400 dash, took second in the 200m and they would not have won the 4x1 relay without him. He hurt us. We ran fast on the men's 4x100m relay and should have won the race but we didn't pass the baton well and that hurt us at the start of the meet. We really made a charge at the end of the meet to get back into it."

It was field event power that gave the Cougars the victory in the women's meet, as they finished first through fourth in the shot put with Jennifer Hamilton's heave of 41-11 1/4 (12.78m) just edging Ashley Kenney, the discus winner at 158-3 (48.42m), who put the shot a PR distance of 41-10 /12 (12.76m). Mary Barnett took third place points with a toss of 41-3 3/4 (12.59m) followed by Kjirsten Jensen, a second-place point-scorer in the hammer (165-11/50.58m), who tossed the shot 41-1 (12.52m).

Holly Parent won the high jump with a leap of 5-8 1/2 (1.78m) and Christine Rice's clearance at 5-6 1/2 (1.69m) took second place.

Cougars went one-two in the long jump as Shaquana Logan won with season-best leap of 18-11 1/2 (5.78m), and Candace Missouri finished second with a season-best distance of 18-10 1/4 (5.75m).
Two of the biggest surprises on the track came in the 400 and 400 hurdles, as junior Jordan Carlson from Spokane set a UW school record of 54.18 to beat WSU's Shawna Fermin at 55.68.

Freshman hurdler Kayla Stueckle, who had to score somehow during the meet for the Huskies to have a chance at an upset, won the 400 hurdles in 59.84.

Though nowhere near 100 percent, NCAA steeple All-American Mel Lawrence won her specialty in 10:27.66, and 2008 US Olympic Trials 1500m qualifier Christine Babcock was gutty, running 4:42.71 for fifth in the 1500 in 4:42.71.

Courtesy of, here is a video interview with UW coach Greg Metcalf.

Complete results from the meet are available here.

Here are links to the UW and WSU press releases.

NOTE: The University of Washington and Washington State University contributed to this report.

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