Saturday, May 27, 2017

Husky quartet set school record in women's 4x400 relay, and headed to the 'ship...

AUSTIN, Texas—In a meet where twelfth place is just as good as first, the University of Washington women’s 4 x 400 relay team team of Whitney Diggs, Imani Apostol, Darhian Mills, and Laura Anuakpado (left/photo by Paul Merca) ran a school record 3:35.65 to get the 12th and final spot to the national championships Saturday night at the NCAA West Preliminary meet at Mike A Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.

Thanks to a strong anchor by Anuakpado, who herself got the 12th and final spot in the women’s 400 Friday night, the Dawgs finished fifth in the first of three heats of the final event, won by USC in 3:26.09, then had to sweat out two other heats to find out if their tickets to Eugene for the national championships in two weeks were punched.

Both of the time qualifiers for the national championship came from the first heat (three heats, with the top three places obtaining the automatic qualifying spots).

The same quartet held the previous school record of 3:36.50, set at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 15th.

Another Washington native who scored the 12th and final ticket to Eugene was Seattle Prep graduate Joe Hardy, competing for the University of Wisconsin, as he earned the final spot in the men’s 5000, placing fifth in his heat, running 14:36.16.

In an earlier heat, Cobert native John Dressel from the University of Colorado punched his ticket to Eugene with a fourth place finish in his heat of the men’s 5000, running 14:15.23.

Washington’s Amy-Eloise Neale comfortably qualified for the NCAA championships in the women’s 1500, running 4:18.82 to take fourth in the second of two heats, with the top five places advancing, plus the two fastest times.

Tacoma’s Marcus Chambers ran the anchor for Oregon’s 4 x 100 relay squad that ran the third fastest time of the day, as the Ducks ran 38.94.  Chambers qualified yesterday in the 400 meters.

Complete results of the NCAA West Preliminary round are available here.

UPDATE ON HANNAH CUNLIFFE

On Friday's recap of the NCAA West Regional meet, we noted that Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe of the University of Oregon was a scratch from the quarterfinal round of the women's 100, and the first round of the 200.

Oregon coach Robert Johnson issued a statement via the Oregon track web site stating that Cunliffe had some soreness in her hamstring after Thursday's first round of the 100, and could not loosen it up Friday.

This is the second season in a row that Cunliffe's season has ended at the regionals.

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