Follett Breaks Mile Record In Historic Day At The Dempsey
Feb. 13, 2010
SEATTLE - Senior All-American Katie Follett smashed her own school record in the mile to lead the Washington effort on the final day of another landmark Husky Classic at the Dempsey Indoor facility. Once the invitational heats rolled around in the early afternoon, the times dropped quickly and it seemed every new final went hand-in-hand with the phrase 'a new Dempsey record' over the loudspeakers as seven new facility marks were set this weekend by some of track and field's elite.
In addition to all the new Dempsey marks, there were 29 NCAA Automatic qualifying marks posted by eligible Division-I athletes, plus 115 more NCAA Provisional qualifying marks and times.
Follett, an All-American in the mile in 2008 and the two-time defending Pac-10 1,500m champion, earned one of the automatic marks, lowering her old school record (4:37.22) by more than two seconds. She finished in 4:34.98 to go well under the NCAA Auto mark of 4:37.00. Follett's run would have given her the NCAA Division-I lead if not for Florida's Charlotte Browning, who won the same race while also breaking the Dempsey record with a time of 4:31.24 that was a full four seconds faster than the previous NCAA best coming into the weekend.
A few minutes later in the men's mile, a stunning 13 men broke the four-minute mile mark led by Adrian Blincoe, a professional runner for New Balance, who won the fast heat of the invite in 3:57.05. Ten men, including six current collegians, went under four-minutes in the final heat, and three more broke through in the secondary heat led by Stanford's Dylan Ferris in 3:58.90.
The men's 3,000-meter run was another barnburner as 20 of the 21 men entered in the top heat hit the NCAA Provisional mark or better. Husky junior Colton Tully-Doyle got in on the action, as he raced to a new PR of 7:56.67, becoming just the second Husky to crack 8-minutes indoors. He's cut a total of 12 seconds off his 3k PR in one year's time. Meanwhile, Northern Arizona All-American David McNeill got the win in a new Dempsey record time of 7:47.52, which blows past the previous NCAA leading mark by eight seconds. McNeill edged the previous Dempsey record of 7:47.97 held by Oklahoma State 1,500m national champ German Fernandez, who was back today and took third in 7:51.02.
'The Dempsey was the star of the show this weekend,' said head coach Greg Metcalf. 'The fields were phenomenal and the place was in full swing from the incredible distance races, to records in the high jump, the vault, the sprints; it was a great track meet. From our team's point of view, I was thoroughly impressed with Katie Follett. That's as good as I've seen her look and there's more in there. Then just to watch Colton's steady improvement has been fun. For him to run 7:56 will put him right on the bubble to get into the NCAA meet.'
The men's 800-meters produced another facility record but this one wouldn't change hands, as Oregon's Andrew Wheating lowered his own Dempsey record to 1:46.36. All told, 21 runners hit NCAA qualifying marks in the invitational 800, with four eligible NCAA athletes earning the Auto mark and eight more college athletes making the provisional cut.
The men's 60-meter dash saw the second facility record of the weekend, as Ryan Bailey tied Ja'Warren Hooker's mark of 6.63 in the prelims for the second time this season, then finally went under it in the final as he won in 6.61 seconds. That's tied for the fourth-fastest mark by an American this year. Husky sophomore Ryan Hamilton cut into his own PR, running 6.93 in the prelims that was the ninth-best mark of the day. Fellow sophomore Jordan Polk made his season-debut and clocked 7.02 in the prelims, barely missing the final.
Bailey was back in record-setting form later in the day for the 200-meter invitational. He turned in his second Dempsey record of the day and the fifth overall for the meet by registering a 20.84, the third-fastest by an American man this year. That surpassed Brent Gray's two-year-old mark of 20.93 seconds. Hamilton was solid again in the 200m for UW, posting the best time during the earlier heats, and the third-best overall today at 21.98.
One major bright spot today for the Dawgs was seeing sophomore All-American Mel Lawrence get back on a starting line for the first time since the NCAA Cross Country Championships in the fall. Back then, Lawrence was fighting through an achilles tendon problem that limited her training, and today in the 3,000-meters marked her first race back. Lawrence took fifth overall and third among college athletes with a time of 9:22.98 that is good for a Provisional qualifier.
Leading UW's efforts in the field events was All-American junior Scott Roth once again. Roth handily won the pole vault, entering the competition at 17-11 ¼ and clearing it on his second attempt. He then passed all the way up to 18-8 ¼ which would have been a new PR but couldn't quite get up and over. Still, Roth remains undefeated in three competitions this year.
Another Husky vaulter of some repute had a record-setting day. 2006 grad Carly Dockendorf, an All-American in 2005, broke the Canadian national indoor record in the women's vault with a clearance of 14-feet, 6-inches.
Further captivating the Dempsey crowd was the incredible leaping ability of Jesse Williams, the 2008 U.S. High Jump Champion and a Beijing Olympian. Williams handily defeated an extremely talented high jump field and claimed yet another Dempsey record when he cleared 7-feet, 7-inches on his first try. That leap ranks him seventh in the world in 2010.
Additional UW positives included sophomore Amber Finley establishing a new career-best in the 400-meter dash, as she broke 57-seconds for the first time, clocking 56.83. Senior Falesha Ankton showed she's in fine form heading towards outdoor season as she dropped a PR in the 60m hurdle finals, running 8.38 to take third overall. Ankton has just outdoor eligibility remaining.
In the first race of the morning, sophomore Allison Linnell won the opening heat of the 3,000-meters in 10:07.52 while competing unattached. The men's side had some more impressive runs in the 3k, as freshman James Cameron PR'd by nine seconds with a time of 8:18.33, and Max O'Donoghue-McDonald finished a few seconds ahead in 8:14.84.
In the throws, sophomore Richard Anderson added a foot to his season-best in the shot put, measuring 52-3 ¼ while sophomore Angus Taylor placed eighth overall in the weight throw with a season-best mark of 58-3.
In another two weeks it will be time for the annual Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships at the Dempsey. The MPSFs will be contested over Friday-Saturday, Feb. 26-27.
'We know a lot more about our team than we did two months ago, but there is still a great deal of work to be done,' said Metcalf. 'I'm excited to see our kids show up for the Mountain Pacific meet and do the best job they can.'
Dempsey Indoor Facility Records Set At The Husky Classic
Men's Distance Medley Relay
Oregon Track Club (Symmonds, Scherer, Mulder, Leer), 9:21.77 - American Record
Men's 100m Dash
Ryan Bailey, Nike, 6.61
Men's 200m Dash
Ryan Bailey, Nike, 20.84
Men's 800m Run
Andrew Wheating, Oregon, 1:46.36
Men's 3,000m Run
David McNeill, Northern Arizona, 7:47.52
Men's High Jump
Jesse Williams, Nike, 7-7
Charlotte Browning, Florida, 4:31.24