For the WSU men, it was the third dual win this season after defeating UCLA and Tennessee last month in Los Angeles, and now cross-state rival Washington.
The Cougar men had several event winners Saturday but none as noteworthy as Jake Baertlein’s win in the men’s pole vault. The WSU men’s team captain and a senior from Portland, Ore., Baertlein soared to a personal-record height of 17-feet, 1 inch (5.21m) to grab the five first-place points for the Cougs.
“Last week I was very close to a PR and so jumps Coach Matt McGee and I have been working out some kinks,” Baertlein said. “Today was about a team performance and having the support of my team got me over 17-feet.”
“Jake’s performance today was a huge four-point swing for the Cougars at a time when we really needed it,” Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. “As our team captain, to jump his lifetime-best by nearly a foot and to win the competition was really special. The Huskies did a good job and competed well and almost made a challenge near the end. But I think the Cougar men’s team as a whole did a nice job competing.”
WSU men swept the top four spots in the intermediate hurdles with J Hopkins running a season-best 51.26 seconds to cross the finish line first, and Andrew Gonzales tallied a 3000m steeplechase win in a time of 9:02.19. In the field, Joe Bartlett opened the day with a PR hammer throw (165-2 / 50.34m), led a first through fourth place Cougar sweep in the shot put (56-10 1/4 / 17.33m) and then claimed the discus title (168-5 / 51.34m).
Stephan Scott-Ellis easily won the long jump with a PR leap of 25-1 3/4 (7.66m) and opened the triple jump with an impressive mark of 50-3 1/4 (15.32m) to lead the field. In the second half of the triple jump, Scott-Ellis trotted across the infield to the 200m dash and ran just 1/100s second above his PR time for fourth place. While the Cougar All-American was away from the pit, UW’s Kasen Covington soared in his final attempt and equaled Scott-Ellis’ mark to tie for first. Scott-Ellis closed the competition with a distance of 49-3 (15.01m), his only other mark in the event and settled for second place as Covington’s next-best mark was 49-7 (15.11m).
After a one-two finish in the 200m dash by James Alaka (also the 100m winner) and Ryan Hamilton, the Husky men started to rally as the meet was winding down. The Cougar 3000m sweep by Andrew Kimpel (8:18.10), Drew Jordan (8:20.89), and Jono Lafler (8:21.50) ended all speculation as to the team outcome. WSU took an 82-76 lead and the five points from the last event of the day, the 4x400m relay, would not be enough for UW to win. The Cougar squad of Brandon Dawson, Hornsby, Brett Blanshan and Jacob Sealby won the 1600m relay and Coach Sloan was headed to a water bucket shower.
“Jacob Sealby, even taking second place in the men’s 400m dash, shows that he is coming back now (from a prolonged illness) and his time of 47.34 is his second-fastest time ever, indoors or out. Ramsey Hopkins and Josiah Sims did a great job in the men’s high hurdles. Greg Hornsby out-leaning Ryan Hamilton for second place in the 100m dash, that 100th of a second was a plus two, minus two in the point total. We stuck J Hopkins out in the outside lane and he ran the 400m hurdles in 51.26, his fastest non-championship race ever. The sweep by the intermediate hurdles guys was big for us point-wise. Joe Bartlett competed great and threw a huge PR in the hammer and came back in the shot and discus and was an ironman for us. Oliver Henry had PRs in both the shot and the discus. Joe Abbott was very sick today but came out and sucked it up and won.”
On the track, the Cougar women had wins from Cindy Robinson in the 100m dash (11.86), Shawna Fermin in the 200m (24.44), Shaquana Logan in the 100m hurdles (14.04), and the 4x100m relay squad of Logan, Robinson, Candii McFarland and Fermin (season-best 45.14). In addition to her racing duties, Logan also won the long jump (18-10 1/2 / 5.75m) winner. WSU throwers took three of the four events with Christine Kirkwood capturing the javelin (161-11 / 49.35m), Mary Barnett winning the shot put (PR 45-10 3/4 / 13.99m), and Jasmine Johnson-McKeown taking the discus (144-9 / 44.13m).
“We needed to jump the Huskies early in the women’s contest and we didn’t have any room to lose predicted points,” Sloan said. “We had a dope sheet with us winning and then hope we could match that or make plus points on it. We predicted Shawna Fermin would win the 400m dash and she ran a great race but didn’t win. How close the score was is shown in the fifth round of the women’s long jump when Chanel James fouls by half an inch what would have been the leading jump, we missed a one-two finish and a seven plus points. That would have had the ball rolling. We’d get a plus point but in another event would give that right back. We knew going in we had to have everybody perform and we just didn’t quite get it done. We have a lot of talent on the women’s team and a lot is young and inexperienced so those people will improve and with our incoming recruits be an improved team next year.”
Washington’s Megan Goethals was a double-winner with firsts in the 1500m (4:29.86) and 3000m (9:31.91). UW’s Jordan Carlson won the 400m dash in a meet record time of 53.15, surpassing the 1990 time of 53.44 run by Cougar Celestine N’Drin. Husky Shaniae Lakes leaped a meet record triple jump distance of 41-4 1/2 (12.61m), replacing WSU’s Blessing Ufodiama’s 2004 mark of (41-2 1/2 / 12.56m).
Next up on the competitive schedule, the Pac-12 Multi-Events (men’s decathlon and women’s heptathlon) Championships are May 5 and 6 in Eugene. Several Cougars will also be competing in the Vandal Jamboree meet May 5 in Moscow