SEATTLE—A trio of Huskies won conference crowns as the first day of competition at the Pac-12 track & field championships at Husky Track on the campus of the University of Washington.
Aaron Nelson (left/photo by Paul Merca), who won the conference title two years ago in Pullman, stayed patient over the first 2000 meters of the 3000 steeplechase, as he stayed away from the early pace set by 2015 champ Connor Winter of Colorado, eventually pulling away from him over the final 600 meters to win in a personal best of 8:39.58 to Winter’s 8:40.77.
Senior pole vaulter Jax Thoirs ended his Husky home career by winning his third straight title in the event in a lackluster competition delayed by rain, as the Scottish national cleared 17-8.5 (5.40m) to turn back Stanford’s Dylan Duvio (17-4.5/5.30m) and Arizona’s Pau Tonnesen, who also cleared the same height as Duvio.
On the women’s side, the Huskies’ Katie Knight won the 10000 meter title, running 33:20.02 to set a Pac-12 championship meet record, turning back Oregon senior Molly Grabill in the process (33:40.38).
Other top three finishes for Washington in Saturday’s competition included Charlotte Prouse in the women’s steeplechase (10:04.71), and Tyler King in the men’s 10000 (29:09.15).
Washington State’s Kiana Davis finished second in the women’s high jump, clearing a season best 5-8.75 (1.75m), the same height as winner Lisanne Hagens of Arizona. Liz Harper was fourth in the event with a mark of 5-7.25 (1.71m), while Lateah Holmes tied for sixth at 5-5.25 (1.66m).
In the women’s javelin, WSU’s Kelsie Taylor was fourth at 144-11 (44.17m), while Brad Stevens was sixth at 220-0 (67.05m).
Significant qualifying highlights:
—Federal Way HS grad Hannah Cunliffe of the University of Oregon was the top qualifier in the 100 dash at 11.08, and had the second fastest time in the 200 at 22.84;
—Tacoma’s Marcus Chambers of Oregon, the defending champion, won his heat of the 400 in 47.04, and also had the fastest time of the day at 200m, winning his heat in 21.04;
—WSU’s CJ Allen, the 2014 champion at 400H, ran the fastest time of the day, winning his heat in 51.01;
—Washington’s Baylee Mires won her heat of the women’s 800 in 2:05.97. In the same heat, Olympia native Brooke Feldmeier of Oregon failed to advance to the finals, finishing third in 2:07.50;
—In the men’s 800, Jackson HS grad Grant Grosvenor won his heat in 1:49.43. 2014 Pac-12 champ Derrick Daigre advanced to the finals, as did teammate Izaic Yorks;
—Speaking of Yorks; he finished second in his heat of the 1500 to Stanford’s Sean McGorty, running 3:43.61 to McGorty’s 3:43.58. If you recall, those two had an epic battle at the MPSF championships in February, with Yorks winning.
In the men’s team competition, the Husky men lead at the break at 61 to Oregon’s 57, with Washington State 10th at 14 points with 8 events scored.
On the women’s side, Oregon leads with 57 points, whlle WSU is fifth at 28 points, and UW stands sixth with 23 points.