Feb. 23, 2013
SEATTLE - For the second day a Washington State distance runner scored an upset win as Todd Wakefield won the men's 3000m Saturday and the Cougar men's team finished fourth at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships at the Dempsey Indoor Facility in Seattle.
Wakefield, a junior from Australia, ran a lifetime-best time of 8 minutes 2.06 seconds. He had the 40th-best time nationally of 8:04.27 coming into the meet. Wakefield's win over an elite field was the second of the meet for a member of the Cougar distance corps. Friday night junior Drew Jordan was the upset winner in the men's 5000m.
"When we get in meets like this, it's nice to go fast and jump high and throw far but what it comes down to is how many points did you score for the Cougs? Drew and Todd each put ten big points on the board for WSU men's team," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said.
The WSU men's team scored 70 points for fourth place, the best finish since 2009, while the Cougar women's team finished seventh with 34 points, almost three times the points scored at the 2012 MPSF meet.
"This was a great performance by a group of kids who have worked very, very hard over the course of the fall and through the indoor season and they deserve everything they got today and yesterday," Sloan said. "They put the work in to get there and our coaching staff has really done a remarkable job of preparing these athletes to be at their very best when it matters the most."
The Cougar men's 4x400m relay team of Byron Howell, Lucas Sealby and Jacob Sealby were the runners-up with a season-best time of 3 minutes 10.97 seconds. Chambers, from Federal Way, and Howell, from Seattle, are both freshmen and twin brothers, Lucas (redshirt sophomore) and Jacob (junior) Sealby are from Wenatchee, Wash. Jacob Sealby ran the relay anchor leg in 45.8 seconds and earlier in the day took fourth place in the 400m dash with a time of 47.86.
Tay'lor Eubanks (Everett, Wash.) also scored for WSU with a triple jump of 48-7 1/2 (14.82m) for eighth place.
Also scoring for the Cougar men on the track were Ramsey Hopkins (senior, San Diego) who finished eighth in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.39 seconds, and Jesse Jorgensen (redshirt sophomore, Puyallup, Wash.) who took fourth place in the 800m with a season-best time of 1:50.98.
Spencer Wordell captured fourth in the men's heptathlon with a PR of 5,182 points and Sean Harris was 11th with 4,944 points. Wordell, a junior from Spokane, ran the 60m hurdles in a time of 8.57, leaped a PR in the pole vault of 15-1 (4.60m), ran the 1000m in 2:39.42 to move from sixth to fourth place. Harris, a senior from Kent, Wash., ran the 60m hurdles in a time of 8.63, pole vaulted 13-9 1/4 (4.20m), ran the 1000m in 3:01.17. Oregon's Dakotah Keys won the heptathlon title with 5,753 points.
Ross VanZanten (senior, Longview, Wash.) took eighth place in the men's high jump after clearing the bar at 6-9 (2.06m). Jovan Vukicevic also cleared 6-9 (2.06m) but finished tied for ninth on earlier misses.
For the Cougar women scoring on the track, Cindy Robinson (senior, Norwalk, Calif.) claimed fourth place in the 60m dash with a time of 7.54. The 4x400m relay team of Dominique Keel, Shawna Fermin, Bree Winfrey and Erin Allen ran a season-fastest time of 3:42.93 for sixth place out of the 14 squads competing. Ruby Roberts, a junior from Kingston, Wash., took fifth place in the mile with a PR time of 4:46.67 and Caroline Austin, a senior from Chehalis, Wash., took nearly 20 seconds off her 3000m PR after running a time of 9:32.32 Saturday for eighth place in a highly competitive event.
Shaquana Logan (senior, Tacoma) improved on her season-best 60m hurdles prelim time of 8.56 and ran a time of 8.55 in the final for fifth place. Logan also triple jumped for the first time in her Cougar competitive career and grabbed a sixth-place spot after leaping 38-7 3/4 (11.78m).
"Shaquana Logan was a competitive machine out there," Sloan said. "We put her in the long jump almost as an afterthought and she took eighth place. Then she takes sixth in triple jump when this is the first time she's triple jumped since the one time she did the event in high school. And she competed like crazy in the hurdles like she always does."
Holly Parent (redshirt junior, Victoria, B.C.) tied for fourth in the high jump after clearing 5-7 1/4 (1.71m).
"I couldn't be more proud of our distance crew this weekend," distance coach Tim Riley said. "Drew's and Todd's wins and Ruby's and Caroline's PR races were huge steps toward where this program is headed. The best feeling as a coach is to see your athletes perform at the highest level in a championship competition. I was fortunate enough to feel like that all weekend."
"Dr. Riley, with what he's been able to do since he came onboard at the start of the school year, the distance crew performed like crazy, almost across the board, at the MPSF meet. They really put up some great marks and competed very, very well," Sloan said.
No. 13 Arizona State repeated as the MPSF men's team champions with 125.5 points with No. 11 Oregon second with 102 points, California third with 73.5 points and Washington State fourth with 70 points. This was the WSU men's team highest MPSF finish since 2009 when the Cougars tied for second. The rest of the men's teams, in order, were: Stanford (66), BYU (46), UCLA (39), Washington (37), Arizona (36), Colorado (34), Long Beach State (16), and Cal State Northridge (15).
In the final MPSF women's team standings, No. 2 Oregon won with 112 points with No. 8 Arizona State second with 96 points and No. 11 Arizona third with 92 points. The remaining women's team standings were: No. 16 Stanford (82), UCLA (67.5), Washington (48), Washington State (34, 7th), California (31), BYU (24), Utah (21.5), Colorado (19), Hawai'i (18), Cal State Northridge (15), and Long Beach State (2).
Cougar men's team entrants competing but not scoring Saturday included Drew Jordan, the winner of the 5k Friday night, who was the top WSU placer in the men's mile, running a time of 4:06.98 for 14th. Other mile racers were Andrew Gonzales ran the 3k in a time of 8:17.97 for 20th. In the men's 400m Dana Wells ran a PR time of 48.84 (15th) followed by Lucas Sealby (49.17 - 19th) and Howell (49.48 - 23rd).
WSU women competing but not scoring included a large contingent in the 400m dash with Fermin the top Cougar placer at 11th (54.91), followed by Mercedes Smith (PR 56.72 - 19th), Winfrey (56.91 - 22nd), Bria'una Watley (PR 56.96 - 23rd), Christiana Ekelem (PR 57.46 - 27th), and Kris Tollefson (PR 57.87 - 30th). Courtney Zalud ran a PR time of 2:09.91 in the 800m, finishing 10th in an elite field and Emily Dwyer ran a 3000m PR time of 10:00.09 for 28th place.
In women's field events, triple jumpers and their places were Charlotte Muschamp (37-5/11.40m - 10th), Shantae Young (36-11/11.25m - 13th), and Kayla Warren (foul). Mary Barnett put the shot a distance of 43-9 1/4 (13.34m) for 18th place.
"In some of our events we had some great performances by athletes who weren't our veteran star performers, but our stars showed up and had good performances," Sloan said. "There were a couple we were disappointed in but you're never going to get everybody doing everything well on the same day with that many people. Even the people who didn't score performed well and did their best of the year. We had a whole lot more great stuff today than we had stuff that didn't go great. It was exciting."