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Freshman Culpepper Makes Sub-Four Debut

Jan 30, 2021

2021 UW Indoor Preview Results

SEATTLE – Youth was served this weekend at the UW Indoor Preview, as the Huskies wrapped up their first indoor meet of the 2021 season in the Dempsey. After sensational marks from some freshman throwers on Friday, today another Dawg thrilled in his debut, as Cruz Culpepper ran a four-minute mile to become the 11th Husky ever under the historic mark.
One year ago, as a Husky commit but a senior at Niwot High School, Culpepper dove across the finish line at the 2020 Husky Classic, and barely missed joining the sub-four club with a time of 4:00.10. This year he didn't need the dive, as he simply powered through and ducked his head at the finish to stop the clock in 3:59.53, the top collegiate time and third overall today.
"It was fun. It's definitely cool to open up with a sub-four," said the first-year Dawg. "I felt super comfortable all the way through it. I mean, it was tough, but I knew I could do it. I didn't have anything slower than sub-four in my head."

Culpepper is the son of two U.S. Olympians, Alan and Shayne Culpepper. Alan made the 2000 Olympics in the 5,000-meters and ran the marathon at the 2004 Olympics, while his mother, Shayne, was at the same two Olympic Games for the U.S. in the 1,500-meters and the 5k.
It is believed that Alan and Cruz are now the 13th father-son duo to have both run sub-fours.
After the race, Cruz said he hadn't checked his phone yet, "but I assume I'll have a couple text messages. It will be fun talking to my dad about it. It's a pretty cool stat."
Culpepper now ranks 10th in school history and sixth in the NCAA so far this season and No. 1 among freshmen.
Five of the 11 Huskies all-time to run under four minutes have come in the past three seasons under Head Coach Andy Powell, who prior to coming to UW developed a long tradition of elite distance runners at Oregon.
"Cruz is someone who always wants to do more," Powell said. "He has a good knowledge of the sport and he wants to be really good and he shows that in practice."
The women's mile was a thrilling race as well, with Husky senior Allie Schadler doubling back from a great DMR carry last night to run a time of 4:38.08 today that puts her up in the No. 5 spot so far in the NCAA. Senior Katie Rainsberger opened up with a 4:43.77 time and Kelly Makin went 4:53.46.
The sprinters got their first taste of competition since last February today. On the men's side, Evan Mafilas and Kemuel Santana went 1-2 in the 200-meters, both running less than a tenth of a second off their indoor PRs for starters. Mafilas won in 21.73 and Santana was second in 21.79. Santana also ran the 60-meters earlier in the day in a winning time of 6.95 seconds. Senior transfer Julian Body, competing unattached, had a busy and impressive day, as he raced four times total. He ran the prelims and final in the 60m hurdles, with a best time of 8.12 seconds, then he won the 400-meters in 48.23 and took third in the 200m in 22.05.
In the women's sprints, Aaliyah Wilson had a solid opening day, winning the 60-meters in 7.46 seconds, as well as taking second in the hurdles in 8.55. Olivia Ribera was fourth overall in the 400-meters in 56.96.
Julius Diehr ran unattached in the men's 3k, and had a PR time of 8:01.04.
In the last race of the day, Marlena Preigh took fourth in the 800-meters with a time of 2:08.62.

Many of the Washington distance runners will now be embarking for Las Vegas tomorrow, to race on Monday at the first cross country meet of this dual track/cross season. The next meet in the Dempsey will come in two weeks, with the UW Invitational set for Feb. 12-13.