Theisen smashes pentathlon record
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Setting personal bests in the high jump and shot put, Brianne Theisen broke the collegiate record in the pentathlon, scoring 4,507 points Friday night at the UW Invitational at the Dempsey Indoor Facility.
In the high jump, the junior from Humboldt, Sask., cleared 6-0/1.83 meters for the first time in her career. That height was tied for the best clearance with Biola's Natasha Miller. In the shot put, Theisen threw 41-8/12.70m, which was a two-inch PR. That distance was second overall.
She won the 60 meter hurdles, the first event of the day which began at 3 p.m., in 8.45 seconds. Following her bests in the high jump and shot put, Theisen won the long jump with an effort of 19-9/6.02m. Just before 10 p.m. - seven hours after the opening event, Theisen set a pentathlon personal best in winning the 800 meters in 2:14.50.
"It's pretty cool but I'm pretty tired," said Theisen. "There was some talk around the track going into the 800 and I knew I had to run 2:15, but I wasn't really focusing on breaking the record. I decided to focus on the first 500 (meters) and then just see where I was after that. So all the work came in the first 500 and once I got there, the last 300 was easy.
"We put in a lot of work running this fall, more than I've ever done in the past and I think that really paid off in the 800."
Theisen was also pleased with the personal bests in the high jump and shot put, but said there is still more left in the tank, and added that the hurdles - normally one of her best events - may have been her worst Friday night.
"The high jump actually felt a little rusty," she said. "It felt awkward which is strange to say clearing 6-0. I am really happy with the shot, but I know I can go farther.
"My start in the hurdles was really bad," Theisen said. "I felt like everyone was two steps in front of me before I finally got going. But scoring 4,507 and breaking the record really gives me a lot of confidence going forward the rest of the season.
Theisen surpassed the previous NCAA record - 4,496 points in 2008 by Arizona State's Jacquelyn Johnson - by 11 points. She needed to run 2:15 in the 800 to surpass Johnson, and she beat that time by half a second.
"Not bad for January," said Theisen, who neared the Canadian national pentathlon record of 4,550 points, set in 1982 by Jill Ross-Giffen.
Theisen led a number of NCAA automatic qualifiers for Oregon on Friday.
"It was a very impressive meet for the multis, Luke Puskedra and the distance medley relays," said Oregon Associate Athletic Director Vin Lananna. "Brianne Theisen positioned herself well for the NCAA meet. 4,507 is a huge mark for the pentathlon."
Junior Luke Puskedra won the men's 5,000 meters in 13:46.70, which was less than two tenths of a second off his PR. Puskedra's time also automatically qualified the Ogden, Utah, native for the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.
Senior Danny Mercado was second in 14:09.53, while freshman Parker Stinson was third in 14:10.91.
The Ducks broke the Dempsey Indoor Facility record in winning the women's distance medley relay. The quartet of Jordan Hasay, Chizoba Okodogbe, Laura Roesler and Alex Kosinski ran 11:02.15, which was an NCAA automatic qualifying time and the third fastest in school history. Oregon broke the stadium record of 11:05.16 set by Stanford in 2003.
The Ducks were also a winner in the men's distance medley relay. Cole Watson, Michael Berry, Elijah Greer and Matthew Centrowitz teamed to run 9:35.98.
David Klech, one of four Ducks competing in their first career heptathlons, was leading the competition after the first four events with 3,159 points.
The senior from San Ramon, Calif., won the 60 meters, the long jump and the high jump. Klech ran 7.01 in the 60 meters, jumped 24-4.25/7.42m in the long jump and cleared 6-8.75/2.05m in the high jump.
Also in the heptathlon, Dakotah Keyes set a personal best in the long jump, going 22-3.75/6.80m, which was seventh overall. The freshman from Sweet Home, Ore., set another PR in the high jump, clearing 6-6.25/1.99m, tied for second. He also was sixth in the shot put at 42-11/13.08m.
Keyes had a first day total of 3,012 points which was good for fifth overall.
Bronwyn Crossman recorded a huge PR in a second-place finish in the women's 5,000 meters. The sophomore from Bellingham, Wash., ran 16:20.83 in finishing behind Nike's Kara Goucher (16:11.50). Crossman lowered her PR by 29 seconds.