Personal records pile up at Pepsi Invitational

It may be early in the season when fine-tuning technique is more important than results, but that didn’t stop the Washington track and field team from putting forth some impressive performances last weekend at the Pepsi Team Invitational in Eugene, Ore.

The UW’s 159 points easily beat No. 8 Stanford, as it finished third behind No. 10 Oregon and No. 9 Nebraska.

Personal Records (PRs) were the name of the game, as a number of athletes from the UW scored their best-ever mark in their respective events.

The biggest PR of the day came in the women’s javelin, courtesy of junior Amanda Peterson, a transfer from Eastern Washington University. Peterson’s first attempt of 168 feet, 5 inches was remarkable enough, but when the second throw went 174 feet, 2 inches, it gave her the school record, with room to spare.

In the long jump, sophomore Julian Bardwell pushed his new PR to 23-5 ¼, one of many field events that saw new PRs for the Huskies.

“It felt really good starting the first meet of the outdoor season jumping further than I did all of last outdoor season,” Bardwell said.

Connor Larned saw his PR improve in the discus, tossing a 172-10 to take fourth place. Another PR in the discus was set by Richard Anderson, who threw a 164-4. Throws coach Reedus Thurmond believes that Anderson could be his breakout performer, possibly even Pac-10 champion.

“Richard is my pick to do something unexpected,” Thurmond said before the meet, making him seem quite prescient.

Meanwhile, freshman Katie Flood just missed pulling off a monumental upset in the 1,500-meter, but beat her previous personal best by 10 seconds. Flood’s time of 4:18.80 was fewer than two tenths of a second behind NCAA-indoor mile champion Jordan Hasay of Oregon.

Another big PR was achieved by sophomore Laura Schmitt, who cut a whopping five seconds off her PR in the 800-meter. Her time was good enough for sixth place overall in a talented field, but more importantly, such a big improvement could be a sign of things to come.

Some other Huskies may not have set PRs, but they impressed nonetheless. Sophomore James Alaka made sure the Huskies did well in the sprints, winning the 100-meter, 200-meter and running the second leg on the winning 4-x-100-meter relay team.

While windy conditions prevented Alaka from gaining any PRs, consistently winning against top-10 opponents speaks for itself.

The Huskies have grown accustomed to the points that come from winning the pole vault, and this meet was no exception. Senior Scott Roth tied his own meet record by clearing 18-0 ½ to pick up the win. He then raised the bar to 18-6 ¾, enough to break World Championship gold medalist

Brad Walker’s school record, but was unable to clear it in three attempts.

The Huskies won’t have much time to rest. Before they can catch a breath, they’ll be in Walnut, Calif., for the three-day Mt. San Antonio College Relays, which start Thursday.

Reach reporter Jacob Thorpe at sports@dailyuw.com.

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