WashU Sweeps UAA Indoor Track & Field Team Titles

WashU Sweeps UAA Indoor Track & Field Team Titles

New York, N.Y., Feb. 28, 2016 The Washington University in St. Louis men's and women's track & field teams combined to win seven event titles Sunday as both teams finished as the University Athletic Association (UAA) Champions at the 2016 UAA Indoor Track & Field Championships being hosted by New York University at The Armory.

The WashU women won six events Sunday to run away with the team title. The Bears finished with 167 points, while the University of Chicago was second with 128. It was WashU's 12th UAA Indoor title in program history and the first since 2012.

On the men's side, the team title came down to the final event of the meet, the 1,600 relay. Entering that event, WashU and Emory University were tied with 90 points. In the first heat of the relay, Emory broke the UAA record with a time of 3:19.17. The Bears' relay team of seniors James Fitzhugh, Britt Henderson, Alex Bastian and junior Deko Ricketts finished second in heat two of the race, but their school-record breaking time of 3:19.01 clinched the team title by two points (98-96) over the Eagles.

It was the 15th UAA Indoor title for the WashU men, third in a row, and sixth in the last seven years. It is also the fifth time in school history the Bears have swept the team titles at the UAA Indoor Championships.

Junior Daisy Ogede had a monster day for the WashU women, winning four events with four school records and three UAA records. She started her day by winning the 60 hurdles in a time of 8.85, which equaled the WashU record. Junior Rebecca Ridderhoff ran the second-fastest time in school history (8.96) to finish as the runner-up, while freshman Jay Pittman was fourth in a career-best 9.24.

Ogede then broke her own school and UAA records to win the 60 in 7.63. Freshman Elise Grever finished fourth in 7.99. Ogede and Grever both added all-UAA honors in the 200. Ogede again broke her own school and UAA records with her winning time of 24.72, while Grever finished third in a career-best 25.64, the second-fastest time in WashU history.

In the final women's event of the meet, Ridderhoff, junior Kelli Hancock, Ogede and senior Emily Warner broke the UAA record by nearly six seconds and the WashU record by nearly five seconds to win the 1,600 relay in 3:48.04. Ogede's times Sunday rank her second in the 200, tied for third in the 60 and 10th in the 60 hurdles in NCAA Division III this season, while the 1,600 relay's winning time is second in DIII. Warner and Hancock both added individual all-UAA honors in the 400. Warner broke the UAA record and her own school record with her winning time of 56.91, while Hancock finished third in 57.68, the second-best time in WashU history.

Senior Ellen Toennies started the day for WashU by winning the women's mile in a season-best time of 5:08.89. Junior Molly Kuhs also raced to all-UAA honors with her third-place finish in 5:12.27.

Ricketts was the lone event champion for the WashU men Sunday, winning the 800 in 1:55.08. Henderson gave WashU the 1-2 finish in the event with his runner-up time of 1:55.23. Fitzhugh (50.32) and Bastian (50.61) both picked up team points for the Bears in the 400 final, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively.

Sophomore Annalise Wagner ran the second-fastest time in school history (2:12.03) to finish as the runner-up in the women's 800. Junior Ashley Knudson also clocked a career-best time of 2:13.97to finish fourth, while senior Lane Porter was fifth in 2:16.84. Sophomore Alison Lindsay also had a runner-up finish for the WashU women, taking second in the 3,000 in 9:56.51, the second-fastest time in school history.

The WashU men had two other runner-up finishes on the day. Senior Josh Clark was second in the mile (4:12.89), and sophomore Jacob Rother finished second in the pole vault. Rother cleared a career-best height of 4.76 meters, which is tied for third in WashU history, but missed out on the conference title by having more misses than the event winner. Senior Alex Arteaga cleared a career-best 4.41m to finish fourth.

Senior Maisie Mahoney earned all-UAA honors in a pair of field events for the WashU women. She tied for second in the high jump with a clearance of 1.58m, then recorded a career-best leap of 10.69m to finish third in the triple jump.

The sixth all-UAA finish of the day for the WashU men came in the 3,000, as junior Dillon Williams ran a career-best time of 8:35.77 to finish third. Junior Jimmy Qiao also earned a team point for the Bears with his sixth-place finish (8:39.78). Junior Jack MacCarthy (8.73) and Arteaga (8.84) also placed in the 60 hurdles, finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.

Some members of the WashU track & field teams will compete at a last chance qualifying meet next week prior to the announcement of the official qualifiers for the 2016 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships March 7.