Jackson sets school record to start indoor track season

| Sports Reporter

The Washington University men’s and women’s indoor track & field teams began the 2011 campaign with a strong showing at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Double Dual Meet on Jan. 15 in Terre Haute, Ind.

Both teams placed second out of three schools in their respective competitions. The men scored 90 points, 14 points behind first place Rose-Hulman, and the women scored 98 points, finishing 23 points behind Illinois Wesleyan University.

Perhaps the most impressive achievement of the day was that of junior hurdler Tyler Jackson, who, in addition to finishing first in the 60-meter hurdles, broke the Wash. U. school record with a time of 8.32 seconds.

“I’m thrilled that I broke the record, but it’s only the beginning of the season, and there’s a lot more our team intends to accomplish with each upcoming race,” Jackson said.

Senior Dave Spandorfer showed no signs of slowing down after the end of his cross-country season and finished second in the mile run with a time of 4:20.92.

“Overall it was a great day,” Spandorfer said. “We have a really talented team, and we’re really looking forward to each race leading up to nationals at the end of the season.”

Fellow senior Ben Harmon also had a memorable day for the Bears, placing first in both the men’s long jump (1.88 meters) and high jump (6.68 meters). Harmon hopes to qualify for nationals in the men’s pentathlon later this year.

The men also received a pair of second place finishes from junior Dan Davis and senior Tom Gulyas, who placed second in the 200-meter dash and 60-meter dash, respectively.

On the women’s side, sophomore Anne Diaz-Arrastia started her season strong. She finished first in the triple jump with an NCAA Championship provisional distance of 11.34 meters. She then was the runner-up in the long jump, clearing 5.06 meters.

“I think it went really well for our first meet,” Diaz-Arrastia said. “It was good to finally get all the rust off and see how well everyone has been practicing.”

Just weeks after finishing another terrific cross-country season, junior Liz Phillips showed that she is just as capable at performing at the same level for the track team by placing first in the women’s mile run with a time 5:08.00, just four seconds short of the provisional standard.

“There were a lot of great performances for the first meet, but we definitely saw areas where we could improve,” Phillips said. “It was great to see everyone together. Everyone always practices individually, so it was good to be finally all be together and to be a team together.”

Other notable finishes include freshman Shannon Howell, who placed first in the 60-meter hurdle, freshman Anna Etherington, who won the pole vault, senior Kelli Blake, who was the runner-up in the 400-meter run and senior Moji Hassan, who finished second in the weight throw.

The next stop for both teams is the Illinois College Snow Bird Open this Saturday, Jan. 22, in Jacksonville, Ill. The meet begins at 11 a.m.

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