St. Louis, Mo., March 29, 2014 – In a field of 50 collegiate teams and more than 3,000 student-athletes, the Washington University in St. Louis men's and women's track & field teams both finished in the top-six in the team standings at the WU Invitational held Friday-Saturday at Bushyhead Track.
The Washington U. women scored 79 points to finish as the runner-up in the team standings behind NCAA Division II Lincoln University (152). The next-highest NCAA Division III team was Rhodes College, who finished eighth with 34 points. In the men's team standings, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville scored 74 points to win by four points over NCAA Division II Lewis University (70). Washington U. was the second-highest NCAA Division III finisher, placing sixth with 50 points, just two points behind NCAA Division II McKendree University and Truman State University (52).
Juniors Drew Padgett and Lucy Cheadle both had record-breaking performances to lead the Washington U. track & field teams at the meet. Padgett broke his own school record in the men's 5,000 by nearly 15 seconds to win the race in the field of 160 runners Friday evening. His time of 14:10.80 also broke the 26-year-old stadium record in the event of 14:21.54, previously held by two-time Olympian Craig Virgin.
Cheadle matched Padgett's performance Saturday evening on her way to winning the women's 3,000 steeplechase by nearly 45 seconds. She clocked a time of 10:29.58, which was more than 10 seconds faster than the previous Washington U. school record of 10:40.00 set by Sarah Fisher in 2012. Cheadle also bettered the stadium record of 10:42.14 set in 2009 by Missouri Baptist University's Meagan Hudson.
The women's steeplechase was a high-scoring even for the Washington U. women. In addition to Cheadle's first-place finish, junior Julie Mulvaney-Kemp (11:53.06) and sophomore Tori Cooke (12:00.53) finished fourth and sixth, respectively. Washington U. also had three of the top-five finishers in the women's pole vault Friday. Senior Anna Etherington won the event with a clearance of 3.95 meters, before just brushing the bar off on her third and final attempt at a school-record height of 4.06m. Junior Claire Simons finished second with a clearance of 3.65m, while senior Moira Killoran equaled her career-best with a height of 3.35m to finish fourth.
Sophomore James Fitzhugh was part of two third-place finishes for the WUSTL men. He ran a career-best time of 49.50 to finish third out of 75 runners in the 400. Fitzhugh then teamed with junior Brendan Stone, sophomore Alex Bastian and senior Arthur Townsend to place third in the 1,600 relay in a time of 3:19.64. Junior Melissa Gilkey accounted for the only other top-three finish for Washington U., placing second in the women's javelin with a toss of 39.38m.
Senior Jasmine Williams, junior Troy Makous and sophomores Alex Arteaga and Ellen Toennies also placed in two events each for the Bears. Williams joined seniors Katie Sandson and Liz Godar, along with freshman Daisy Ogede to finish fourth in the 400 relay in 49.67. Williams added a fifth-place finish in the high jump with a clearance of 1.55m. Toennies was fourth in the women's 1,500 in 4:45.79 and seventh in the 800 in 2:21.90. Senior Elizabeth Worley placed fifth behind Toennies in the 1,500 in 4:46.72, while sophomore Emily Warner raced to fourth in the 800 in 2:18.57. Warner also anchored the 1,600 relay to a fourth-place finish, joining seniors Nkele Davis and Alison Cesarz and freshman Rebecca Ridderhoff to clock a time of 3:59.98 in the race.
Arteaga placed fourth in the men's long jump with a leap of 6.48m, before tying for 11th in the high jump with a career-best clearance of 1.80m. Makous cleared an outdoor career-best height of 4.65m to finish fourth in the men's pole vault. He then led off the Bears' 400 relay team, which also included juniors Nick Alaniva and James Hallwood and senior Alan Komorowski, to finish fifth in a time of 42.41. Stone added a sixth-place in the 400 hurdles in 55.06. Sophomore Britt Henderson (1:55.87) and Bastian (1:56.87) placed fifth and seventh, respectively in the men's 800.
The Washington University men's and women's track & field teams are back in action Saturday, April 5, at the Greenville College Select Meet. Field events are scheduled to get underway at 11:30 a.m., with running events beginning at Noon in Greenville, Ill.