Hayward Field

Sadi Henderson makes it look easy in 800-meter victory

By Bryce Dole

Sadi Henderson’s victory lap around Hayward Field was run with the same ease, relaxation and confidence that she displayed in her 800-meter win at Friday’s Twilight Meet. Minutes after crossing the finish line in 2 minutes, 4.26 seconds, the Boise State redshirt junior took off on her lap of pride at a bright pace filled with smiles.

“We don’t get victory laps in Boise,” Henderson said. “So I was really enjoying it, soaking it all in.”

However, the race was by no means run as easily as Henderson made it look. Pace setter Shea Collinsworth of Oregon Track Club Elite immediately took the field out to a first lap of 1:01, setting Henderson at the speed where she could capitalize.

“It felt really easy — I think we were shooting for like 60 to 59 (seconds),” said Henderson. “It didn’t feel like it was 61. It felt like we were holding back.”

Henderson held the lead close behind the pacer Collinsworth until 300 meters to go, where Henderson stepped in to finish the job.

In third place was Henderson’s Boise State teammate, freshman Kristi Schoffield, who finished in 2:09.17. Henderson has high praise for Schoffield and the Boise State distance powerhouse that has been built over the past few years.

“When I got here we were at the very bottom, so to see it come this far in four years is really fulfilling,” said Henderson. “Having Kristie is really cool because she and I have really similar training, so we can build off each other in workouts.”

Henderson has developed into a strong leader among the Boise State distance squad, and recently won the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association award for West Region Female Track Athlete of the Year.

“The theme for the last few years has been about the team building,” she said. “We’re trying to build a mindset that it’s way more fulfilling if you’re feeling the whole team culture and engaging in relationships. That’s where my mind is at.”

After falling in the preliminary round of the NCAA Indoor National Championships this past season, which she called an “eye opener,” Henderson is looking forward with confidence, enhanced by Friday’s successes.

“You can really take it for granted how easily something can go wrong,” she said. “It just made me a lot more appreciative of my health and fitness.”

Henderson will get her chance at championship redemption next week at the Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Colorado sweeps the Men’s 5,000 meters with no Cheserek

By Maverick Pallack

More than 20 runners dropped out of the 5,000 meters before the gun at the Pac-12  championships, including 17-time NCAA champion Edward Cheserek.

Without Cheserek, confidence was gained by some runners, including Zach Perrin of Colorado, the eventual winner.

“Obviously when a guy like that’s not in it, you start to be a little more hopeful and think you can win it.” Perrin said. “My goal was to place as high as I could and then with two to three laps to go, I was like, ‘Holy smokes. I’m feeling pretty good; I think I might be able to do it today.’” (more…)

USC’s Sloan and Smallwood double down in men’s triple jump

By Shawn Medow

USC triple jumpers Eric Sloan and Dominic Smallwood are called “Dumb and Dumber” by their friends and teammates. The two live next door to each other, and along with high jumper Randall Cunningham, they make up what they call “jump squad.” They train together and compete against one another frequently.

But, that sense of competitiveness was not evident during the Pac-12 championships Sunday at Hayward Field as each celebrated the other’s jumps, even if it bested their own.

“I told him that if he didn’t beat me, I was gonna be mad at him,” Smallwood said.

Sloan won the title with a jump of 52 feet, 6 inches, and Smallwood finished second at 51-8 1/2 inches. On the final jump, Smallwood took the lead ahead of Sloan, who had led since the third jump, but Sloan won it all on his final leap.

“Right before I jumped, coach Caryl (Smith Gilbert) came over,” Smallwood said. “She told me to relax and just do what coach told me to do.”

“I didn’t know it was beating him, but I knew it was a decent jump,” Sloan said. “I knew he jumped big, so I got hyped up and knew I had to jump big too. I just let out the emotion.”

(more…)

Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen Dominates Throws at Pac-12 Championships

By Morgan Sudduth

Maggie Ewen sometimes goes by the nickname “Maggi-tron,” according to one of her athletic trainers at Arizona State, and  she sure lived up to the name at the Pac-12 championships at Hayward Field Sunday.

Maggie Ewen not only won the women’s hammer with a throw of 230 feet, 4 inches, but also women’s discus with her first throw of 196-2.  And the day before, she won the shot put, giving her 30 team points for Arizona State and the honor of Female Athlete of the Meet.

 “It feels great, you know, I couldn’t have asked for obviously any more. I couldn’t have done anymore,” said Ewen. “I’m just so happy it came all together when it needed to.”

Ewen, the defending champion in the hammer throw, had only two good throws, but her best was more than 230 feet and untouchable. Washington’s Onyie Chibuogwu came in second with a throw of 201-5. (more…)

Simpson and Holmes dominate in men’s long jump and place in other events too

By Becky Hoag

Oregon junior Damarcus Simpson was bound to be one of the favorites in the Pac-12 championship men’s long jump, not only because the event took place at Hayward Field this weekend, but also because he broke a 12-year indoor Oregon track record, jumping 26 feet, 3.5 inches to win the Columbia East-West Challenge in New York earlier this year.

After a slight rough start with a foul on the first jump, Simpson jumped 26-1 even with a +2.5 wind, setting a high standard for the rest of the competition. UCLA freshman Isaiah Holmes accepted the challenge.

“He was out there saying, ‘Hey, you better get those spikes back on,’” Simpson said. “Hey, that was great for him. I’m always rooting for competitors to do really good. Even if it’s better than me, we have to compete; that’s what we are out here for.”

Even though Holmes got close, he fouled on his last attempt, settling for second with 25-11, his personal outdoor best. Simpson’s 26-1 stood up as the winning mark.

(more…)

UO Freshman Foster gets unexpected women’s long jump victory

By Becky Hoag

Oregon welcomed competitors of the Pac-12 championships first day with copious amounts of rain. This posed an extra challenge for those coming from warmer areas like Southern California and Arizona. Still, the competition did not let up.

Originally it looked like it would be a competition between Oregon and Oregon State during the women’s long jump, but USC sophomore Margaux Jones would not let the weather get in the way of placing.

“Being a SoCal girl, it is definitely different, but you can’t blame the competition or performance on weather,” said Jones. “You’ve just got to do the best you can.”

While she was hoping to get first place, Jones was satisfied with second place with 20 feet, ½ inch, scoring eight points for her team.

(more…)

Stanford’s Little Makes a Big Mark in Women’s Javelin

By Morgan Sudduth

Mackenzie Little began her track and field career in high school doing hurdles. Although she loved it, it was on a rainy day like Saturday’s Pac-12 Championship where she stumbled upon an event that would change her career.

“The hurdles was canceled and so I went over to the javelin instead, which was still on in the rain,” said Little. “And then the coach told me to come back.”

Little, an Australian, won the Pac-12 javelin title on the final throw with a mark of 173 feet, 11 inches. (more…)

Boreman wins steeplechase for Colorado’s second straight win

By Ariel Sax

Colorado’s Madison Boreman won the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Pac-12 championships on Saturday by sprinting from third place in the last 50 meters to pass Colorado’s Sage Hurta and Utah’s Grayson Murphy.

Her winning time was 10 minutes, 6.83 seconds.

The last two laps were a major turnaround for Colorado and defined their strengths. Hurta, who placed second with a time of 10:07.87, and Boreman came in with specific tactics in mind.

“We weren’t going to go out there and take the lead from the start because it was just about getting to the last 200 meters for us,” said Hurta. “We’re more middle distance runners.”

(more…)

Cal’s Bethan Knights comes third in 10,000 with her biggest fan in attendance

By Shawn Medow

Nerys Knights could not stay seated while her daughter, Bethan, ran the 10,000 meters Saturday at the Pac-12 championships. She rose to her feet, went back down to her seat, then rose again to take a photograph with her camera. Nerys did not take her eyes off the track.

Bethan, a Cal junior, placed third behind Colorado runners Erin Clark and Makena Morley, who finished in 33 minutes and 23.92 seconds and 33 minutes and 29.22 seconds, respectively.

“I wanted to compete for her —Mother’s Day weekend,” Bethan said. “It means so much for me to have my family come out. They make it to all the events and that makes a difference because I want to put myself out there.”

Even with the third-place finish, Bethan set her personal record at 33 minutes, 30.13 seconds—1.12 seconds better than her previous best.

“I wasn’t going for time today—just kind of going in there to get some points for Cal,” Bethan said. “I just like running the 10K. I just went in there to compete today; I didn’t have a time goal —you know I actually thought it was going to be a lot slower — one second PR is pretty good.”

(more…)

Roth Wins 3,000-meter Steeplechase With Help From U.S. Olympian

By Maverick Pallack

Arizona distance runner Bailey Roth’s training partner is no ordinary friend; he is his idol as well. Bernard Lagat is a five-time Olympian and is the American record holder for the 1,500, 3,000 and the 5,000 meters.

“I grew up looking up to him,” Roth said. “I have always studied his form and training. Now to have my dreams come true and to be able to train with him and call him a friend, is just unbelievable.”

Saturday in the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships, Roth used what he learned from his friend and training partner to win the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8 minutes, 39.83 seconds after trailing for most of the race.

Roth used what he calls “the slingshot curve” to take the lead on the last water jump, and take the championship from UCLA runner Austin O’Neil, who finished second in 8:46.78. (more…)

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