Monday, June 2, 2014

Huskies announce 2014 team awards at Don James Center...

SEATTLE--The University of Washington held its annual track & field and cross country team banquet at the Don James Center overlooking iconic Husky Stadium and Lake Washington on a picture perfect  Monday night.

Washington coach Greg Metcalf honored the group of seniors graduating from the school and thanked them for their contributions during their careers competing for the Huskies.

Pac-12 pole vault champs Diamara Planell Cruz (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Jax Thoirs won three, and two awards, respectively in a vote of staff and members of the media that regularly cover the team.

Planell Cruz, the current Puerto Rican national record holder via San Jose City College, won the team award as the top newcomer, top field event performer, and team most valuable performer for a season that saw her win the Pac-12 championships, qualify for both the NCAA indoor and outdoor championship meets, and become the third Husky in school history to clear 14 feet with her winning jump of 14-0.5 (4.28m) at the conference championship.

Thoirs earned the award as the team's top field event performer as well as the team's most valuable performer for a season that saw him earn All-America honors indoors, as well as winning the Pac-12 title and set a new Scottish national record of 18-4.5 (5.60m) at the Ken Shannon Invitational at Husky Track on May 10th.

Other awards were presented to 800/1500 runner Izaic Yorks, a transfer from the University of Portland who broke 4 minutes in the mile indoors and qualified for the NCAA outdoor championships in the 1500, along with helping the Huskies win two Drake Relays titles in April as the men's top newcomer; 800 meter runner Derrick Daigre, the Pac-12 champ in that event, as the men's top track athlete; 400 hurdler and NCAA qualifier Gianna Woodruff as the women's team's top track performer; Katie Flood as the women's top cross country athlete; and All-American Aaron Nelson as the men's top cross country runner.

Metcalf capped off the evening with a message for his outgoing seniors to stay connected with the program, noting that the connection between the alumni and the team is one of the differences between a good program and an elite collegiate track & field program.

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