Saturday, January 31, 2015

Taiwo rolls to Dempsey facility record and world lead in heptathlon at UW Invitational...

SEATTLE—University of Washington graduate Jeremy Taiwo (#1 in red/photo by Paul Merca) won all three events in the second day of competition in the heptathlon to capturing the overall title at the UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor Saturday.  

The Newport HS alum won the 60 meter hurdles (8.03), the pole vault (16-0.75/4.90m) and the 1000 meters (2:30.85) to accumulate a two-day score of 6344, breaking the previous meet and facility record of 6174 points set by world and Olympic champion Ashton Eaton in 2009.

Taiwo last completed a multi-event competition at the 2013 USA championship meet in Des Moines, Iowa, where he qualified to represent the USA at the IAAF world track & field championships in Moscow.  His world championship meet experience ended in disaster after suffering a knee injury in the long jump, causing him to miss the entire 2014 season.

“It was great to compete at the place I called home during my collegiate track career in front of my friends and family,” said Taiwo, who now resides at the US Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California under former Cincinnati and Stanford assistant coach Kris Mack, who is now one of the resident coaches at the OTC-Chula Vista.

North Carolina State alum and 2013 world championships team member Ryan Hill led four other men, including two-time US Olympian Andrew Wheating under 4 minutes as he ran 3:56.84, while Wheating ran 3:57.42.  Hill’s mark, though on the oversized 307m track, is the fastest in the world by 2/100ths of a second.

Texas’ Ryan Crouser, the reigning NCAA indoor and outdoor champion in the shot put, took the world yearly lead with a toss of 68-9 (20.95m), besting Ryan Whiting’s mark of 68-4.25 (20.83m) set two days earlier in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Other highlights:

—Colorado alum Joe Morris set his second straight Dempsey Indoor facility record in the finals of the 60 meter dash, running 6.53 to beat his old mark of 6.55 from the UW Preview meet two weeks ago, and  Olympian Ryan Bailey (6.57) in the process; 

—Andrew Bumbalough of the Bowerman TC won the men’s 3000 in 7:51.26 to lead seven other men under 8 minutes; 

—Although she finished second to Liga Velvere (2:04.37), Washington’s Baylee Mires, who was injured for the 2014 season, set a new school record in the 800, running 2:05.14, the second fastest time in the NCAA Division I ranks this season; 

—The men’s 800 saw an interesting battle between BYU’s Shaquille Walker and Mark Wieczorek of the Brooks Beasts, with Walker taking the win in a meet record 1:47.44 to Wieczorek’s 1:48.28.  Wieczorek admitted afterwards that he felt flat, after coming back to Seattle after an extended altitude training stint in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In New York, Rainier Beach HS grad Michael Berry helped Team USA set a new world record in the distance medley relay, as the quartet of Matthew Centrowitz, Berry, Eric Sowinski, and Patrick Casey ran 9:19.93 to beat the listed world record set by the University of Texas in 2008 of 9:25.97 (The Oregon TC squad of Nick Simmonds, Matt Scherer, Tyler Mulder and Will Leer ran 9:21.77 at the Dempsey in 2010, but does not count for record purposes because of the 307 meter track distance).

Centrowitz, who opened his season in Seattle two weeks ago, ran a phenomenal opening 1,200m, splitting 2:49.47. Handing off the baton to World Championships relay gold medalist Berry, the 400 meter leg only aided the quartet’s cause, as Berry passed the stick to Sowinski in a 46.40 400m split.

Sowinski ran a 1:47.60 800m split before Casey, who ran the opening leg of the American record 4x1500m at the IAAF World Relays last May, took over the final 1,600m. Casey finished his leg in 3:56.48 and carried the U.S. to a 9:19.93 finish 

NOTE:  USA Track & Field contributed to this report.

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