PULLMAN, Wash. – For the third time in the history of the Pac-12 Conference Track & Field Championships, the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase championship hardware will remain in Boulder as senior Shalaya Kipp defended the Buffaloes dominance with a winning time of 10:04.19, on day one of the conference championships at the Mooberry Track & Field Complex.
Kipp, who came into the event ranked first among conference runners after establishing a speedy 9:39.12 two weeks ago at the Stanford Payton Jordan Invitational, has now won the conference steeplechase title twice (won the inaugural race 2012). Last year, Emma Coburn claimed steeplechase honors.
“We got out on the track and actually it’s a lot warmer than it looks in my opinion, but still the same race plan, the steeplechase,” said Kipp. “I knew from the beginning I wanted to get to the front and that’s what I did and I didn’t really look back.”
CU also placed freshman Melanie Nun and senior Courtney Bouchet among the top finishers in the steeplechase. Nun finished fourth with a season-best 10:26.56, while Bouchet came in seventh (10:46.80).
“Shalaya looked great,” said CU head coach Mark Wetmore. “She had a big lead early and then cruised. We may call on her tomorrow for the 5,000, but I’m really happy with her defending her title (Kipp redshirted last year). Melanie and Courtney both scored us points in the steeple.”
The CU women are in fifth place with 25 points. Oregon is atop the standings with 64 points, followed by UCLA (32.50), Arizona (30), Stanford (29). Cal is in sixth with 23.50 points, followed by host Washington State (19) and Stanford (19); USC is ninth (18), then Washington (12) and Utah (1.0).
On the men’s side, the Buffaloes are ninth with 21 points. The Ducks lead the men standings with a commanding advantage with 70.25 points, followed by Washington (40.25), Arizona (30), USC (29) and UCLA in fifth (28.25). Cal is sixth (26), Stanford (25), Arizona State (24.25), CU, then Washington State in tenth (18).
There was also a number of stellar CU performances on the first day of competition.
CU saw a silver finish in the men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase, and a third place tally in the men’s 10,000 meter run. Junior Blake Theroux ran a strong steeple time of 8:52.93 coming up short of the winning time of 8:49.09 (Aaron Nelson, Washington), while senior placed third in the 10,000 meter run of 29:26.25. Sophomore Morgan Pearson was seventh at 30:01.72.
In the women’s 10,000 meter run, senior Abby Levene recorded sixth with a 35:01.72.
Qualifying for Sunday’s finals:
- men’s 4×100 meter relay team of Blake Berens, Shaw Gifford, Garrett Losty, and Austin Mitsch clocked in on a seventh place finish of 40.85. The quartet finished fifth in the first heat of two.
- Freshman Ben Saarel will race in Sunday’s 1500 meters after qualifying with a 3:47.76 time. He recorded a second place tally in heat one, .55 seconds from finishing first overall.
- Freshman Jaron Thomas qualified for two events on Sunday, finishing sixth overall in the 400 meter hurdles with a 53.0, and in the 110 meter hurdles, ran to seventh place finish in the 110 meter hurdles with a 14.44 (14.437).
Others who failed to qualify for Sunday, however set personal bests in their respective events:
- Senior Liz Tremblay missed qualifying for Sunday’s 800 meters by the smallest of margins (.06 second), tallying a ninth place finish of 2:08.54, which was third in heat one.
- Sophomore Maddie Alm was 15th overall in the 1500 meters, ran a 4:29.30, shattering her previous time of 4.37.93.
- Junior Alexandra Haskell was 15th in the 400 meters, ran a season-best 55.99.
- Senior Blake Berens finished 19th overall in the 100 meters and bettered his best run of 10.95 (previous 10.96), while in the 200 meters, Berens narrowly missed a PR in the 200 meters with a time of 21.97 (his PR is 21.62).
In the field events, sophomore Brittany Lewis performed a season-best 5.88m (19-3 ½) in the long jump and was just off her personal best of 19-07; and sophomore Abrianna Torres placed 10th in the high jump final, however topped her previous jump of 5.325 (1.61m) with a 5-5.25 (1.66m).
“Coach (Drew) Morano and the sprint groups are doing quite well,” Wetmore said. “Jaron (Thomas) qualified for two events Sunday, and a fast run for Shaw Gifford in 200 meter run, but didn’t quite make the final.
“Nice run for Joe Bosshard in the 10,000, he had a great indoor season, then missed five, six weeks when that was over. To come back tonight and run with the guys he ran with the time he did with these conditions, it was real good day for him. Blake Theroux was second in the steeplechase, and he was not happy with that, and I like that, he’s disappointed being second. He’ll put his nose to the grindstone and be back next year, still 8 points for the team. All-in-all, a typical first day, a number of good events to go tomorrow.”
Day two of the conference championships begins Sunday (Noon, mountain time) with seven field events, then beginning at 2 p.m. (MDT) 20 final running events (10 men, 10 women). Live results can be found at http://results.flashresults.com/2014_Meets/Outdoor/5-10-Pac12/