Sunday, May 6, 2018

Alissa Brooks-Johnson claims third career Pac-12 heptathlon crown...

PALO ALTO—Alissa Brooks-Johnson of Washington State (above/photo courtesy WSU Athletics) won her third career heptathlon title Sunday at the Pac-12 Multi Events championships at Cobb Track and Angela Field on the campus of Stanford University.

Brooks-Johnson, a redshirt senior from Doty, scored a personal best 5977 points to outdistance UCLA’s Kendall Gustafson, who scored 5886 points to take second, and Arizona’s Alyssa Thompson, who grabbed third with 5761 points.

Brooks-Johnson, who led at the break with 3568 points, opened the day with a personal best in the long jump of 19-feet, 4 inches (5.89m). She then threw a season-best javelin distance of 136-6 (41.60m) but UCLA's Kendall Gustafson took the overall heptathlon lead after throwing the javelin 152-9 (46.56m) bringing her six-event total to 5122, 40 points ahead of Brooks-Johnson's 5082.

In the final event, the 800m, Brooks-Johnson ran a time of 2 minutes 14.82 seconds while Gustafson's time was 2:24.39, providing Brooks-Johnson 131 more points and according her the conference heptathlon title for the second consecutive year, along with the third best score in the collegiate ranks this season.

Brooks-Johnson had lifetime-best marks in five of the seven events in addition to her finally tally of 5,977 points which is second-best in WSU's all-time records, trailing only Olympian Diana Pickler's 6,205 points tallied at the 2007 NCAA Championships.

WSU’s Lindsey Schauble finished ninth among the 15 competitors with a PR total of 4,952 points. Schauble had scored a first day PR of 2,989 points and was in 10th place starting Sunday's events. She long jumped a season-best wind-aided distance of 17-11 3/4 (5.48m), threw the javelin 99-8 (30.39m) and ran the 800m in a PR time of 2:22.27.

Washington’s Hannah Rusnak, a native of Lynden, finished tenth, breaking the school freshman record by scoring 4934 points.

The previous UW freshman record was 4891 set by Angie Tasker in 1987.

Sitting in sixth at the break, Rusnak started things in the long jump where she jumped 17-2.75 (5.25m) for 628 points. She then finished seventh overall in the javelin with a best of 120-5 (36.71m) for 604 points. She finished running a season-best 800-meter time of 2:37.86 for 598 points.

Afterwards, Brooks-Johnson, the three-time Pac-12 champion said, "This whole weekend was such a great experience and competition! I had a great first day with four PRs. I've been waiting a while for this type of hep and competition, so I'm glad it came together at conference. I still have lots of points left on the track and I'm excited to see what I can do at nationals!"

Brooks-Johnson joins former Cougar Ellannee Richardson (2001-03), Stanford’s Tracye Lawyer (1997-99), Arizona State’s Jacquelyn Johnson (2004, 2006, 2008) and Oregon’s Brianne Theisen (2009-10, 2012) as the only three-time winners of the event.

Stanford’s Harrison Williams was an easy winner of the men’s decathlon with a final total of 7925 points.

The Pac-12 track & field championships resume Saturday and Sunday at Stanford. paulmerca.blogspot.com will have on-site coverage of the meet.

Overall results from the Pac-12 Multi-Events championships are available here.

WEEKEND ROUNDUP

On Saturday, the Huskies tuned up for next weekend’s Pac-12 championships under sunny skies at the Ken Shannon Invitational at Husky Track.

Washington athletes won 14 events during the meet, which consisted primarily of teams and individuals from the Northwest region.

The best mark of the day was set by Canadian Olympian Mike Mason in the high jump, as he tied his own facility record, clearing 7-5 (2.26m) on his second attempt.

In the women’s pole vault, Washington’s Annika Dayton set a personal best of 13-4.25 (4.07m) to beat UW alum Kristina Owsinski (13-2.25/4.02m).

UW’s recap of the meet is available here, while results are available here.

Friday, Eastern Washington sent a group of athletes to Missoula, Montana for the Tom Gage Last Chance meet to give those on the bubble an opportunity to state their case to be on the team that competes at Thursday and Friday’s Big Sky Conference championship meet in Moscow, Idaho.

In the women’s pole vault, junior Elizabeth Prouty and senior Erin Clark tied for first in the event with a clearance of 12-2 3/4 (3.73m). Senior Macey Weitz also had the same mark, but placed third due to a tiebreaker.

Eastern’s meet recap is available here, while complete results of the Tom Gage Last Chance meet are available here.

Finally, Bellevue native Katie Burnett, the American record holder in the women’s 50-kilometer walk, did not finish the race at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Saturday in Taicang, China.

Burnett started the race in the low teens, and was 19th at 25 kilometers, which she passed in 2:14.01, but began falling back, and dropped out after the 30k mark.

China’s Rui Liang won in a new world record of 4:04:36.

The home page of the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships can be accessed here.

NOTE:  The Pac-12, the IAAF, and the sports information offices at Eastern Washington, the University of Montana, Washington State University and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

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