Nasty Spill Derails Taiwo In NCAA Decathlon

June 11, 2010

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EUGENE, Ore. - The Huskies were hit by misfortune from the very start of the third day of the NCAA Outdoor Championships, as sophomore Jeremy Taiwo took a hard fall in the 110-meter hurdles and was unable to finish his first NCAA decathlon after coming into the final day ranked sixth. Senior Zack Midles then concluded his career in the men's hammer throw with an 18th-place finish.

11,972 fans packed a sold-out Hayward Field on the first dry day of the week, but Washington was unable to add to its point total and now sits 10th with 16.5 points. The Husky women did not compete today, with Katie Follett and Mel Lawrence set to run in Saturday finals.

Taiwo, a Newport High grad out of Renton, came into the second day ranked sixth overall with a career-best day one score of 3,944 points. Lined up in a fast section of the 100-meter hurdles to start day two, Taiwo got out well but started clipping a few hurdles and slipping back. Trying to push back into the race, Taiwo got out of rhythm and caught his foot on the eighth hurdle, propelling himself down into the track head first at full speed. The impact knocked Taiwo unconscious for what paramedics later timed at 40 seconds.

With training staff, coaches and family coming to Taiwo's side, he eventually sat up and was walked off the track after about 10 minutes. Taiwo was evaluated by the paramedics on site and showed signs of a concussion. He quickly was alert and didn't lose his sense of humor, as when one paramedic asked if he knew where he was, Taiwo started to say Hayward Field before pausing and adding 'historic Hayward Field', Oregon's preferred terminology. He was mostly concerned with how the rest of his decathlete competitors were doing in the hurdles. Taiwo was taken to Riverbend Hospital for evaluation but cleared and released and he was back at Hayward later in the day to watch Midles in the hammer.

Had Taiwo duplicated the 3,733 points he scored on day two of his last decathlon at Pac-10s, he would have finished with 7,677 points and placed fourth overall.

Midles, a product of Capital High School in Olympia, stepped up for his final collegiate hammer throw at 4 p.m. Midles didn't get a good angle on his first throw and fouled, then went 204-11 on his second attempt. With family, coaches, and teammates cheering him on, Midles threw approximately 206 on his final attempt but was whistled for another foul. Sitting seventh after flight one, he knew that might not get him through to the final, and shook hands with Coach Metcalf and thanked his supporters.

Midles winds up fourth in UW history with a best of 212-7 in the hammer. He earned All-America honors in 2009 and was third at Pac-10s the past three years. He also earned Pac-10 All-Academic First Team honors for the first time this year.

Tomorrow, Follett will run in the 1,500-meter final at 10:18 a.m. and Lawrence goes in the steeplechase final at 10:54 a.m. Both races will be televised live on CBS.

Washington Track & FieldNCAA Outdoor ChampionshipsEugene, Oregon - Hayward FieldFriday June 11, 2010 - Day 3 of 4

Men's Results (UW Only)Hammer Throw (Finals): 18. Zack Midles, 204-11; Decathlon (Day Two): Jeremy Taiwo, DNF.

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