Friday, February 27, 2015

Dawgs get three wins from Owsinski, Thoirs & Nelson on day 1 of MPSF champs...

SEATTLE--Washington’s pole vault crew led by Kristina Owsinski (left/photo by Paul Merca) and Jax Thoirs earned two victories to highlight the Huskies’ first day activities at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championship meet at the Dempsey Indoor.

Owsinski, the defending champion, cleared a personal best of 14-2 (4.32m) to move up on the national performance list and possibly secure a spot in the NCAA championship meet in two weeks in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

After opening with three straight first attempt clearances, Owsinski found herself in a battle with teammates Diamara Planell Cruz and Liz Quick, along with Washington State’s Kristine Felix and BYU’s Anginae Monteverde. 

Both Monteverde and Owsinski cleared 14-0 (4.27m) on their third attempts to eliminate the other three, with Owsinski clinching with a third attempt clearance at 14-2 (4.32m).

Planell Cruz, the reigning Pac-12 champ finished third at 13-6.25 (4.12m), the same height cleared by Quick in fourth, and Felix in fifth.

Thoirs, the NCAA qualifier for the Huskies and reigning Pac-12 champion, only needed four jumps to secure the win, clearing 17-11.5 (5.48m), before taking three unsuccessful shots at a personal best 18-6.5 (5.65m).

Washington State’s Austin Sodorff finished fifth with a jump of 17-0 (5.18m), the same height cleared by the Huskies’ Lev Marcus, who tied for sixth, and JJ Juilfs, who was eighth.

Two time NCAA cross country All-American Aaron Nelson won the men’s 5000, running 13:53.80, just over the 13:47.42 time he posted at the Husky Classic two weeks ago.  Nelson took the win after Arizona State’s Ryan Herson led for the first two miles, then went with a group of three other runners.

Washington’s distance medley relay team of Baylee Mires, Gianna Woodruff, Rose Christen and Eleanor Fulton led early, but finished second to Stanford, as the Cardinal ran 11:02.98 to the Huskies’ 11:09.33.

Oregon, with Tacoma native Marcus Chambers on the 400 leg won the men’s distance medley in 9:27.02, while the Husky squad of Blake Nelson, Andrew Brown, Nick Harris & Colby Gilbert finished third in 9:34.81.

Washington State’s Danielle Darden (24.17) and Dominique Keel (24.44) finished fourth and eighth in the 200 meters.

In qualifying Friday, Washington’s Chris Williams (7.90) had the fastest time in the 60 hurdles, while in the women’s 60 hurdles, Washington’s Kimmie Stueckle (8.42) and WSU’s Candice McFarland (8.55) advanced to Saturday’s finals.

Meet and facility records were broken in the men’s and women’s weight throw by Conor McCullough of USC (77-5.25/23.60m) and Ida Storm of UCLA (73-6/22.40m).  Storm’s mark is the second best in Division I this season behind national leader Kearsten Peoples of Missouri’s 74-11.25 (22.84m).

After seven events in the women’s competition, the Huskies are in second with 36 points with UCLA the first day leader at 51.  Washington State is currently in eighth with 14 points.  In the men’s competition, Washington is the first day leader with 32.5 points, 1.5 points ahead of Cal’s 31.  Washington State is ninth with 10 points.

In Flagstaff, Arizona, sophomore Trenton Osborn of Eastern Washington won the long jump at the Big Sky championship meet at the Walkup Skydome on the campus of Northern Arizona University.

Osborn jumped 24-3.75 (7.41m) to overtake Sacramento State’s Richard Cooper, who had a best of 24-1 (7.34m).

In the women’s weight throw, the Eagles’ Emma Murillo and Kaytlyn Colman finished 2-3, with Murillo throwing 62-3.75 (18.99m), and Colman with a best of 61-9.5 (18.83m).  Eastern also had a strong showing in the pole vault with Anandae Clark (13-0.75/3.98m) and defending outdoor champ Courtney Bray (12-8.75/3.88m) taking second and third.

Reigning cross country champ Sarah Reiter finished sixth in the 5000, running 18:13.97, after being in the top four for most of the race.

The Eagles’ distance medley relay team of Paula Gil Echevarria, Jannessa Day, Katie Lynch, and Katie Mahoney finished third in 12:09.93.

After six events, the Eagle women stand second with 37 points behind Montana State’s 47.  The Eastern men are seventh after six events with 13 points, as Sacramento State leads with 54.

At the Western Athletic Conference championship meet in Colorado Springs, Seattle University’s Shaddye Melu won the men’s high jump to highlight the Redhawks’ day.

Melu cleared a school record 6-11 (2.11m) on his final attempt after surviving a minor scare at his second height of 6-8.75 (2.05m), in which he needed a third attempt clearance to move on.  His clearance at that height clinched the conference crown .

After clearing 6-11 on his third attempt, he took three unsuccessful jumps at 7-0.5 (2.15m).

“Shaddye did a good job of refocusing from jump to jump, making the slight changes he needed to in order to get the most out of himself, which resulted in a personal record, a school record, and a WAC championship!,” SeattleU head track and field coach Trisha Steidl said.

The Seattle U men are in fourth place heading into the final day of the meet with 22 points, while the Redhawk women are in fifth place in the team standings with 16 points. Grand Canyon leads the women’s standings with 73 points, while Utah Valley has taken a commanding lead on the men’s side with 99 points.

Entering this weekend’s array of conference championship meets from around the country, Cunliffe ranks #13 in Division I with a a best of 7.30, set two weeks ago in Albuquerque.

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