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Barton Defends Title, Huskies Add Three Silvers

May 14, 2022

2022 Pac-12 Championships
May 13-15
Eugene, Ore. | Hayward Field

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EUGENE, Ore. – Washington made repeated trips to the podium on day one of the three-day Pac-12 Track & Field Championships, highlighted by a repeat victory for Makenna Barton in the pole vault made all the more rewarding after she fought back from injury to defend her title. The Huskies posted a combined 52 points at Hayward Field today through a relentless rain, with three runner-up finishes to go with Barton's title.

 
BARTON, HELMS GO 1-2: An upset winner at the 2021 Pac-12 Championships, Makenna Barton's senior season got off to a great start indoors way back in December, but she then came down with a stress injury in her back that kept her out of competition for months. Barton's outdoor season opener was just three weeks ago at the UW-WSU Dual, where she failed to make a bar. She made 12-5 ½ two weeks ago at the Fresno State Invite, but had to be a long shot to win another conference title.
 
But the wet conditions throughout the competition bothered the southern Pac-12 competitors more than the three Huskies in the field. Ashleigh Helms jumped her way into the lead with a first-attempt clearance of 12-10 ¾. Barton made that bar on her third and final attempt, and only two more vaulters stayed alive.
 
Going to 13-2 ½, Barton now made it on her first jump, and she would be the only one to clear. Helms wound up alone in second-place with her first-attempt make at the previous bar. Delaney Ezeji-Okoye also collected sixth-place points with a make of 12-4 ¾, giving the Huskies a huge 21 points in the event.
 
Barton's win gives UW six titles in the past eight Pac-12 meets in the women's pole vault. She joins Elizabeth Quick (2016-17) as repeat Husky winners.
 
ALLEN LETS FLY THROUGH RAIN: Senior Roan Allen made the most of his first and only Pac-12 appearance, as the former NAIA national runner-up added a Pac-12 runner-up trophy. Allen threw the javelin 223-5 on his third attempt as the rain continued to pour and keep the longest throws in check. That would be good for second-place honors today.
 
Senior Zach Annanie added a sixth-place finish as he posted a best of 210-11 on the first attempt of his series.
 

 
10K RECORDS CRUSHED: The first finals on the track delivered plenty of drama, with a combined fifty laps of the men's and women's 10,000-meters. The longest races of the meet still came down to the final lap of both races, and the final few strides in the men's race.
 
For the men, Kieran Lumb and Tibebu Proctor were part of a fast moving lead pack until late in the race, when Lumb and Stanford's defending 10k champion Charles Hicks both made decisive moves to pull away from a lead group that had dwindled to five. Hicks looked to break free at a few moments on the final lap but Lumb covered each move. The UBC transfer, who has gone to No. 2 in UW history in both the 5k and the 10k this season, tried to slingshot by Hicks on the outside on the final turn, but Hicks wouldn't break stride.
 
Hicks held on to win in 28:11.17 and Lumb shattered the UW record right behind him in 28:11.49. Hicks' time was the second-fastest winning time in meet history, and Lumb's time was faster than every other winning time save for Hicks and Henry Rono's 1978 meet record. That time also moves Lumb to No. 8 in the NCAA this season, and broke the record set just a few weeks ago by teammate Brian Fay by eleven seconds.
 
Proctor came through in 28:49.77 in eighth-place to post another point for the Dawgs. Isaac Mohn also ran a PR of 29:38.92 for 14th.
 

 
The women's 10k final saw the four fastest performances in Pac-12 Championships history. Haley Herberg led for approximately 9500 meters of the 10,000-meters, setting the race up as the fastest in conference history, but the three runners who trailed Herberg the whole way benefited, and passed her on the final lap. Herberg settled for fourth, still running a PR of 32:34.67, which was faster than the old Meet Record by over four seconds.
 
Those times were also four of the five-fastest in the NCAA this season. Meanwhile, Allie Schadler ran her first career 10k, and went right to No. 4 in school history, as she was fifth overall in 32:56.80. That will also rank Schadler 9th in the NCAA this season.
 
Andrea Markezich also posted a big personal-best of 33:42.18 to take seventh for two team points. That time ranks her 11th in school history. Camila David-Smith was 13th in 34:14.24, Naomi Smith ran 34:15.47 for 14th, and Kiera Marshall was 17th in 34:37.96.
 
NINE HUSKIES ADVANCE IN THREE EVENTS: Three finals on Sunday will each have three Huskies, as UW put a trio through in both the men's and women's 1,500-meter prelims today, as well as the men's 400-meter hurdles prelim.
 
In the women's 1,500-meter prelims, Anna Gibson cruised through to the final with a third-place finish in the first heat, going 4:20.76. Sophie Cantine came up just spots short in 4:24.22 for 14th overall. But in heat two, Sophie O'Sullivan turned in a big PR of more than four seconds as she reached the final with a second-place finish in 4:17.54. Madison Heisterman was right behind to also auto-advance in third in 4:18.01.
 
The men put all three of their qualifiers through in the second heat. They were led by Joe Waskom, as he made an aggressive move early in the final lap and he would not be caught, coming through in a career-best 3:41.62. Close behind was Brian Fay, who moved on in second in 3:41.74, and Luke Houser was fourth in the heat in 3:42.30 to reach the final. Ryan Renken was just one spot out of the final as well, as he ran 3:44.91 for 13th overall.
 
In the 400m hurdles, Cass Elliott, Jonathan Birchman, and Matthew Wilkinson all moved through to the final. Elliott was third in his heat in 52.08, while Birchman and Wilkinson were second and third in their heat in 52.11 and 52.25, respectively.
 
MULTIS THROUGH ONE: Three Huskies worked their way through day one of the decathlon and heptathlon events, dealing with the persistent rain.
 
In the men's competition, Jami Schlueter sits fourth overall with 3,514 points, while Hannah Rusnak ranks sixth in a very close women's heptathlon with 3,231 points. Ollie Thorner was unable to get a clearance in the high jump, but is still in the mix for team points as he is currently eighth.
 
Schlueter opened with a 100-meters time of 11.19 seconds and then long jumped 21-8. He followed that with a shot put mark of 41-1 ½. Schlueter made 5-11 ¼ in the high jump and ran 52.58 in the 400m.
 
Thorner ran 11.24 in the opening 100-meters, then long jumped 22-2 ½. He set a PR in the shot put of 42-9 ¾, but then Thorner was unable to make his opening height in the high jump, spoiling his chances of a return to the podium. He still closed out the day with a second-place finish in the 400-meters, in 49.90.
 
Rusnak tied for third in the opening 100m hurdles in the women's heptathlon, running 13.94 seconds. She made 5-4 ½ in the high jump and then was second overall in the shot put at 39-7 ¾. She finished up running 26.02 for 200-meters.
 
All-American Ida Eikeng, who had the top score in the conference coming in, pulled out of the women's heptathlon to focus her attention on NCAAs.
 
NOTABLES: In the 200-meter prelims, Olivia Ribera was 18th overall in a time of 24.48, while Anthony Smith placed 13th in 21.49.
 
Kathleen Horn made the final of the women's javelin but fell one spot short of scoring, placing ninth at 141-5. Natalie Holmer was 11th in the javelin throw with a best of 133-9. Beatrice Asomaning finished 18th in the hammer at 167-3.