COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The University of Oregon’s Hannah Cunliffe (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com) left no doubt in anyone’s mind who the fastest short sprinter in the country is.
The Federal Way HS grad, one month removed from claiming the collegiate all-time best over any conditions in Albuquerque by running 7.07 over 60 meters, cemented her claim as collegiate track & field’s best indoor sprinter by winning the 60 meter dash at the NCAA Division I indoor track & field championships at Gilliam Indoor Stadium on the campus of Texas A&M.
Though challenged by Kentucky’s Javianne Oliver, Cunliffe powered to victory, running 7.14 to Oliver’s 7.16.
Cunliffe’s teammates, Ariana Washington, and Deajah Stevens, finished third and fifth, respectively in times of 7.20 and 7.22.
In the 200, Washington flipped the script on Cunliffe, winning it in 22.42 to Cunliffe’s 22.53.
All told, Cunliffe scored 18 points for the Ducks as Oregon won yet another national title, scoring a meet record 84 points
One day after a disappointing 15th place finish in the 5000 meter run, Washington’s Colby Gilbert redeemed himself with a fifth place finish in the 3000, running 7:59.41.
Gilbert led for the first half of the race before Oregon’s Edward Cheserek took command, en route to his 17th career NCAA title, winning in 7:55.91.
Colbert native John Dressel of the University of Colorado earned his second podium finish of the meet, finishing in eighth place in a time of 8:01.93, after placing fourth in the 5000 Friday night.
The Huskies’ Liz Quick finished in a tie for seventh with 2016 US Olympian Lexi Weeks of the University of Arkansas in the women’s pole vault, with a clearance of 13-9.25 (4.20m).
Quick made her opening height of 13-3.5 (4.05m) on her first attempt, before clearing 13-9.25 (4.20m). She then had three straight misses at 14-1.25 (4.30m) to end her day, as Alabama’s Lakan Taylor won with a clearance of 14-7.25 (4.45m). Quick became the fourth Husky pole vaulter since 2012 to score at the NCAA championships, joining Diamara Planell Cruz, Kristina Owsinski, and Logan Miller.
Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale finished ninth in the women’s mile, running 4:35.12, as Karisa Nelson of Samford was the upset winner in 4:31.24.
Washington opens up the 2017 outdoor track & field season next weekend, as the Huskies travel to Los Angeles for the Trojan Invitational, hosted by USC.
In Birmingham, Alabama, Saint Martin’s Shannon Porter finished fifth in the women’s 3000 at the NCAA Division II indoor championships at the Birmingham Crossplex Saturday.
Porter, a native of Vancouver, ran 9:29.47, after being in the lead pack for the first 2400, as Alicja Konieczek of Western State (CO) won in 9:23.19.
Porter was able to beat out her sister Georgia, who also competes for Western State (CO). Georgia finished eighth in 9:32.42, to duplicate her finish two days earlier in the 5000, where she took the final podium spot over Shannon in that race.
NOTE: The NCAA, University of Oregon, University of Washington, and Saint Martin’s University contributed to this report.