Monday, May 9, 2011

Pole vaulter Peaslee & decathlete Taiwo each earn conference honors...

Seattle Pacific pole vaulter Melissa Peaslee (left, with SPU vault coach Carly Dockendorf/photo courtesy Seattle Pacific), and the University of Washington's Jeremy Taiwo were each named as the athlete of the week by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, and the Pacific-10 Conference for their performances over the weekend.

Peaslee cleared 12 feet, 6 ¾ inches (3.83 meters) last Saturday in the Ken Shannon Invitational meet at Husky Stadium to earn the GNAC honor. That was 1 ¼ inches better than her previous SPU and conference record of 12-5 ½, which she set last season. Peaslee's all-time PR is an indoor mark of 12-9.

Saturday's performance elevated her into the No. 7 spot on the NCAA Division II list, far enough up to assure of a trip to Turlock, Calif., for the national championships on May 26-28.

This marks the third straight week and the fourth time this outdoor season that the Falcons have won the weekly women's track award. Junior Ali Worthen got it on April 4, followed by the relay team of Kishia Mitchell, Emily Quatier, BryAnne Wochnick and Crystal Sims on April 25, and junior javelin thrower Brittany Aanstad on May 2.

Meanwhile, Taiwo captured the coveted 2011 Pac-10 decathlon title this past Friday and Saturday at University of Arizona's Drachman Stadium, scoring a career-best 7,742 points. He could have been the first decathlete in the NCAA this year to break the 8,000 point barrier, were it not for an elbow injury that forced Taiwo to throw the javelin with his non-dominant left hand and thus finish last in that event by a wide margin.

The score ranks him sixth nationally this season. Taiwo gave the Huskies 10 big points to work with as they head into the rest of the Pac-10 Championships this Friday and Saturday in Tucson.

Taiwo joins sprinter James Alaka and pole vaulter Scott Roth as winners of the weekly Pac-10 award this season.

NOTE: The Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the Pacific-10 Conference contributed to this report.

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