Gibson, Heisterman Lead Top Mile Marks
SEATTLE – Without a doubt one of the top meets in the NCAA in 2022 wrapped up this afternoon in the Dempsey, as the Husky Classic lived up to its billing once again. Once all the marks are in from around the country, the Husky Classic is sure to account for a major percentage of top-20 marks, as meet and facility records were falling with regularity this weekend.
After seeing three school records on Friday night, the Washington record books made room for six more top-10 marks on Saturday. Anna Gibson and Madison Heisterman firmed up their NCAA Indoor Championships chances in the women's mile with two more PRs, and Luke Houser and Cass Elliott climbed up into NCAA contention as well in the mile and 800-meters, respectively, with lifetime-bests.
Heisterman came into the weekend in the top-10 nationally in the mile, but Gibson was ranked in the 20's and likely needed another PR. Both were fully locked in throughout today's top women's mile section, and Gibson gained the outside for a final kick that got her second-place today in 4:32.34, another huge PR of five seconds for the Wyoming native. Heisterman was less than a second back in her own PR time of 4:33.24. The two now rank third and fourth in school history, and Gibson is fourth in the NCAA this season while Heisterman is seventh.
In earlier heats, the Huskies also got a big PR from Taylor Chiotti, who clocked a 4:40.51 time, and a season-best from Sophie Cantine of 4:45.53. Freshman Julia David-Smith, running unattached, went 4:40.96.
The men saw their fourth sub-four-minute miler of the season today as Joe Waskom became the 15th Husky all-time under the mark, and the ninth in just four years under Head Coach Andy Powell. Waskom was in the second-fastest heat, but he didn't let that prevent him from chasing the mark, and he pulled away from the field down the homestretch and laid out across the line to win in a time of 3:59.65.
This is the first time in school history that four men have broken four minutes in one season. One of those four, Luke Houser, improved his PR again, running in the top section. Houser finished just a split second behind Alex Maier of Oklahoma State in second-place with a time of 3:56.57, taking over half a second off his previous best, and moving up into the top-20 nationally this season. In any other year, that time would be a lock for NCAA admittance, but this season has proven to have the deepest mile fields ever.
Cass Elliott climbed up to the No. 4 spot in the 800-meter records with a big win today. Elliott, an All-American outdoors in the 400m hurdles, went from third to first on the final lap and collapsed across the line with a new PR of 1:48.77, taking nearly a second off his previous best.
Sprinters Victoria Gersch and Anthony Smith also broke into the top-10 lists today. Smith, who last week went to No. 8 in the 200-meter top-10, today tied for the ninth-best mark in the 60-meter dash. He put down a time of 6.78 seconds to take fifth in the final.
Gersch also made it two weeks in a row with a top-10 mark. Last week she posted the No. 10 time at 200-meters, and this week she stepped up to the 400-meters and went 55.37 for the No. 7 mark.
Washington went 1-2 in both men's and women's shot puts, as Jonah Wilson made his season debut for the men and had a best of 61-8 ¼, with Sam Van Peursem taking second at 59-1 ¼. MaKayla Kelby had another win in the women's shot, going 52-3 ¾. Freshman Kaia Tupu-South also competed for the first time, though unattached, and took second at 51-0 ¾, a mark that would have ranked her fifth on the top-10 list if done in uniform.
Delaney Ezeji-Okoye and Makenna Barton each cleared 12-9 ½ in the women's pole vault today. It's a collegiate best for Ezeji-Okoye. Ashleigh Helms made 12-3 ½, while on the men's side, Ollie Thorner had an indoor PR clearance of 15-9.
Jelani Heath won the women's long jump, competing unattached, at 18-10 ¾, while Hannah Rusnak jumped 18-5. Jaylen Taylor was third in the men's triple jump at 47-2 ¼.
Washington will be sending a few athletes on the road next week before finishing up in the Dempsey in two weeks with the Pac-12 Invitational.