Huskies Win Team Titles At UCLA’s Jim Bush Meet
LOS ANGELES – The Huskies are getting their outdoor legs back under them. At the first big outdoor road meet for the Dawgs in practically two years, Washington won both the men's and women's team titles at the Jim Bush Legends Invitational, hosted by UCLA at Drake Stadium. The Huskies won 11 of the 30 events against the Bruins, UC Riverside, and UC Irvine.
The meet centered on the sprints, jumps, and throwing events, as UW's distance runners are in North Carolina this week for the Raleigh Relays.
The Dawgs put up five new Top-10 marks in their first chance to compete this year under the sun with warm weather. That included a freshman record in the women's javelin from Kathleen Horn, who lined one up and tossed 162-3 to move to No. 5 in school history.
Associate Head Coach Toby Stevenson led the group in Los Angeles today and came away pleased with how it sets the Huskies up for what's ahead.
"The team performed very well today," said Stevenson. "We were super happy all-around with the performances. We really had some highlights. In general this was a great meet we're going to be able to build off of for future outdoor competitions. Kathleen Horn started with a freshman record and it ended with Elijah in the discus and we had the whole team around hooting and hollering.
"The sprinters ran some very good times for this early in the year. Really excited to see how they progress throughout the year. It was great to get down to Southern California, get some sun and start rallying the team around the outdoor season. The group performed well, had a great time, and seemed tighter as a unit."
Mason, the 2019 Pac-12 Champion in the discus, got to throw his main event for the first time since the 2019 NCAA Outdoor meet, and he opened up impressively, throwing 191-2 on his first attempt, moving to No. 4 in the NCAA so far this season.
Indoor All-American Jayden White opened up in the hammer throw just a few days ago at the Doris Heritage Festival in West Seattle, throwing 198-feet. Today he bettered that by ten feet, going 208-9 to move to No. 5 in school history and No. 15 so far in the NCAA. Sam Van Peursem and Connor Jost also raised their season-bests, Van Peursem going 187-4 and Jost going 184-1.
Dalton Sugg won the men's javelin with a best toss of 200-8 and on the women's side, along with Horn's big toss, Natalie Holmer threw 143-7 and Tanya Simora went 141-4.
MaKayla Kelby finally got to throw the discus in her first official outdoor meet now three years into her collegiate career. She took second with a best of 161-3, and she was also second in the shot put with a best of 51-3 ½ that puts her sixth on the outdoor shot Top-10 list. Redshirt freshman Beatrice Asomaning PR'd in the hammer at 164-6 and also went 154-2 in the discus while Ginny Mehl went 162-11 in the hammer and 143-2 in the discus.
In the sprints, Julian Body was a double winner for the Dawgs, taking both hurdles titles. He ran a career-best 14.22 in the 110m hurdles and moved into a tie for ninth in school history with that time. He then clocked a mark of 52.62 to win the 400-meter hurdles. Freshman Jonathan Birchman was third in the 110m hurdles at 14.67 and third in the 400m hurdles at 55.42.
Kemuel Santana and Evan Mafilas both had strong times for early in their outdoor seasons. Santana was just off his 100-meter PR with a time of 10.66 seconds and then he turned in a wind-aided 200-meters of 21.23 to finish second, just ahead of Mafilas who was third in 21.25. Mafilas also was second in the 400-meters in a time of 47.31 seconds.
In the women's sprints, Olivia Ribera raced to a win in the 400-meters in 55.39 seconds with Victoria Gersch third in 56.42. Ribera also had a big PR in the 200-meters despite running into a -1.2 headwind, as she went 24.55 seconds with Gersch running 25.34.
Ida Eikeng had another impressive day following her multiple wins in West Seattle on Saturday. Eikeng won the 100m hurdles in 13.55 seconds which would have ranked tied for fourth in UW history were it not just slightly wind-aided at +2.1. Lyndsey Lopes also had a great time of 13.89 to take second.
Eikeng then had a career-best in the long jump, going 19-5 ½ to win, with Jelani Heath second at 18-11 ¾ then Lauren Heggen third at 18-9 ¼ and Lopes fourth at 18-7 ¾.
Heggen would break into the Husky top-10 list in the triple jump today, as she leapt a new career-best of 40-feet, 8.25-inches to get the win. That moves her to a tie for No. 6 in school history and was eight inches beyond her best indoor mark this year.
Another win came in the pole vault, where Ashleigh Helms and Makenna Barton shared the win, as both made 12-9 ½ today. Freshman Delaney Ezeji-Okoye competed for the first time with a make of 11-7 ¾. Donald Jones had a make of 15-7 to take third in the men's vault.