Track Soaks Up The Sun At The Ken Shannon

May 8, 2010

SEATTLE - The Husky track and field team enjoyed a picture perfect afternoon at Husky Stadium for today's Ken Shannon Invitational, and the Huskies warmed up with dozens of season and career bests. The meet was UW's only home outdoor track meet of the season, but they made the most of the cloudless skies.

The Ken Shannon brings the regular season to a close, and all that remains in front of the Huskies are the Pac-10 Championships next week in Berkeley, Calif. then the NCAA Prelims in Austin, Texas and the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. in June. A number of Huskies helped their cause for Pac-10s and beyond with great efforts today.

Senior Ryan Vu proved that the winds in off Lake Washington are perfect for his personal sails as he soared to a new lifetime-best in the pole vault, clearing 17-feet, 7-inches with ease. The clearance ties the Interlake grade for eighth on the UW all-time top-10 list, and also moves him up to 12th on this year's NCAA descending order list. Vu had two near-misses at 17-11 before running through on his final attempt. Also of note was sophomore Jeremy Lashinske going over 16-feet for the first time as he cleared 16-1 ¾.

On the track, sophomore Ryan Styrk picked up the win in the 800-meter run, clocking 1:51.43, while freshman Michael Miller cut nearly a second off his PR to take second in 1:51.97. Sophomore Max O'Donoghue-McDonald looked strong in a second-place finish in the 1,500-meters, running 3:53.49.

Redshirt freshman Rob Webster Jr. had the best 5k of his young career, as he took second overall in 14:32.56, which is 15 seconds faster than he ran one month ago at the Pepsi Team Invite.

One impressive win came from true freshman Dan Sanders as he lowered his PR in the 400m hurdles to 54.35 while junior Miles Timpe was close behind in 54.59. Multi-eventer Jake Vetter also had a PR in the 110m hurdles despite a strong headwind, clocking 16.11, and also cleared 6-5 in the high jump. Redshirt freshman Greg Drosky also clocked a PR in the steeplechase, taking second in 9:18.79.

In the jumps, redshirt frosh Clayton Johnson continues to improve by leaps and bounds in the triple jump, as he PR'd with a mark of 48-feet, 9-inches that was tops among collegiate competitors. That was a full foot beyond his previous PR. Freshman Julian Bardwell also went a foot past his old PR, going 47-3 ½ as well as a 22-7 ¼ long jump that was second overall.

All-American Kyle Nielsen went 239-6 to win the javelin throw despite taking just four throws. Nielsen will battle NCAA leader Cyrus Hostetler of Oregon for the Pac-10 title next weekend.

Moving over to the women's action, sophomore Jordan Carlson got the win in the 200-meter dash in a PR of 25.11 despite running into a 1.9-meter headwind and freshman Justine Johnson had a strong season-best at 800-meters, taking second in 2:13.01.

In the top heat of the women's 1,500, freshmen Grace Green and Breanna Huschka, and redshirt frosh Courtney Lightfoot all broke the 4:40 mark, with Green posting a big PR of 4:38.16 to take second. Lightfoot was third in 4:38.73 and Huschka fifth in 4:39.43, a six-second PR.

Senior Syreeta Martin was second in the 400-meter hurdles in her final Husky Stadium appearance, clocking 1:02.55. She should move on to the Pac-10 Championships next weekend.

The Husky ladies also won the 4x400m relay with three freshmen and a sophomore. Skye Atchley, Carlson, Laura Schmitt, and Elaine Tran won by five seconds in 3:59.07.

Sophomore Kelly Mudlo and freshman Logan Miller both cleared 12-4 in the pole vault, which matches Miller's best and was a new season-high for Mudlo. Freshman Alana Alexander competed unattached but won the long jump with a best of 17-8. Yet another true freshman, Shaniae Lakes, earned the triple jump victory with a best of 39-10 ½ while senior Nicole Vielma showed she's not done improving as she had a PR of 39-3 ¾.

In the throws, senior Korede Oyetuga made her last discus throw in Husky Stadium the best of her career, as she tossed 144-feet, 11-inches to get the win in a new PR. Anyka Ozog also PR'd with a throw of 132-9. In the javelin, junior Brooke Pighin got in a good tune-up for the Pac-10 meet with a solid toss of 159-11, about eight feet off her season-best.

The Huskies will now assemble their strongest group of athletes and head down to Berkeley to compete at the Pac-10 Championships, hosted this year by Cal. The Pac-10s run next Saturday-Sunday, May 15-16.

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