Saturday, May 7, 2011

Jeremy Taiwo becomes fifth Husky to win the Pac-10 decathlon title...

TUSCON, Arizona--Washington junior Jeremy Taiwo (left/photo courtesy University of Arizona) took home the victory in a spirited two-day decathlon battle with Oregon senior David Klech, scoring a personal best of 7742 points, but made things interesting in the final two events.

With his victory, Taiwo became the fifth Husky to win the Pac-10 decathlon title, joining Brian Mondschein (1977), Gary Gefre (1979), Steve Erickson (1985) and Mike Ramos (1983, 84, 86).

Pending the results of various conference championship meets around the country, Taiwo's score currently ranks him number six in NCAA Division I.

After opening day two of the competition with a solid 14.41 clocking in the 110 hurdles worth 922 points, the Newport HS grad threw the discus 118-10 (36.22m), worth 588 points.

A personal best of 15-9 3/4 (4.82m) in the pole vault put him in position going into the penultimate event, the javelin, to possibly challenge the 8000-point barrier.

However, due to an elbow injury, he opted to throw left-handed, only propelling the javelin 107-9 (32.85m), worth 340 points. Taiwo's personal best in the javelin is 176-2 (53.70m), which is worth 644 points.

"Not trying to sound overconfident, but I trusted my athletic ability enough to still be able to win even if I threw with my left hand, so I wasn't feeling like taking a risk," said Taiwo.

With a solid lead over Klech entering the 1500 meters, he could've coasted and still taken the victory, but he chased down and passed the Oregon senior on the final lap to place second overall in a time of 4:18.69, worth 821 points.

Despite the win, Taiwo knows that there is more in the tank.

“I’m happy with the win,” Taiwo said. “I wish today would have went a little better. I didn’t get any sleep last night so I was scared coming into today. I just went out today and my goal was to stay close to my personal records. I knew coming in I would have to throw with my left hand since I messed up my right arm. I’m just really glad I could help my team out and give us a good start. I’m feeling healthy.”

Husky senior Andrew Ferleman wrapped up his final collegiate decathlon in 12th-place, scoring 6,281 points and getting his biggest point total in the 110-meter hurdles where he was fourth overall in 15.25 seconds for 820 points.

Though he failed to finish the 1500 meters, WSU sophomore Sean Harris finished 13th overall with a final score of 6248 points.

Harris opened Saturday with a 110m hurdles time of 15.29 seconds, fifth-best of the day, which popped him up from his first-day ninth place finish into seventh place. He had the top discus throw of 131-feet (39.93m) and then pole vaulted a lifetime-best height of 14-2 (4.32m) to remain in seventh and only five points behind sixth place. Harris threw the javelin 161-1 (49.11m) and moved into sixth place going into the final event. He started the 1500m race and nearly completed one lap before his leg spasms forced him to stop running.

In the heptathlon, Washington State's Angela Jensen finished fifth and Shaquana Logan was seventh in her multi-event debut.

Jensen, a senior from Tacoma, tallied 4,967 points for her fifth-place finish, while Logan, a sophomore from Tacoma making her debut in the heptathlon, took seventh place with a score of 4,859 points. Samantha Henderson, a senior at Arizona State, won the heptathlon title with 5,470 points.

Jensen leaped 17-6 1/4 (5.34m) in the long jump and moved up to sixth place. She threw the javelin 113-1 (34.58m) and moved to within 10 points of fifth place. Jensen ran the 800m in a season-best time of 2:28.13.

Logan long jumped 18-3 1/4 (5.57m) and then in her initial javelin competition threw a distance of 63-3 (19.29m) which moved her down to seventh place. Logan ran the 800m in 2:26.17, the second-fastest time of the day.

"Both Angela and Shaquana competed well and were solid throughout the competition," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "Shaquana did about what we expected, competing in events she had never performed before."

Washington sophomore Sarah Schireman moved up to finish ninth for the second year in a row, but set a new career-best in the process with 4,657 points, while freshman Shelby Williams was tenth in a season-best 4372 points.

Schireman, an Everett native, made her biggest gains in the javelin today, as she threw a 14-foot personal best mark of 107-4. She carried that momentum to another PR in the 800-meters, as she placed third in the final event in 2:26.63. Williams had a PR in the long jump to start the day, going 17-0 ½. Her 81-4 javelin throw was also a four-foot best.

Complete results of the decathlon are available here; complete heptathlon results are available here.

The Pac-10 championships resume on Friday at Drachman Stadium.

NOTE: The University of Arizona, the University of Washington, Washington State University, and the Pac-10 Conference contributed to this report.

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