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Pac-12 Invitational Recap

University of Washington hosted the inaugural Pac-12 Invitational this past Friday and Saturday (February 25-26) at the Dempsey Indoor Facility. This was the last chance for athletes to secure a trip to the NCAA Indoor Championship or end the indoor season with a personal best.

To start off the distance events Friday night, Alessia Zarbo of Oregon and Cara Woolnough waged a battle in the women’s 5000 with Zarbo finishing at 15:50.15 which was more than a 30 second improvement in her previous time in the 5000. She also became the sixth fastest indoor 5000 runner in Duck history. On the men’s side of the 5000, Andrew Kent of Colorado won a decisive 5000 in a time of 13:43.08.

The final distance event of Friday evening was the distance medley relay. Oregon and Oregon State’s women’s team battled back and forth throughout the race. In the last leg of the 1600, Oregon’s Aneta Konieczek and Oregon State’s Grace Fetherstonhaugh traded leads. In the last stretch of the race, Stanford’s Julia Heymach closed on the leaders. The final time was Oregon 10:57.28, Oregon State 10:57.35 and Stanford 10:57.74. Oregon’s finish was the third fastest time of the season, based on Friday’s results and Oregon State set a school record. All three teams should be in the top 16 and qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

The mile started Saturday’s distance events and the Colorado Buffaloes showed their strength in the event. The women of Colorado finished 1-2-3 in the mile with Madie Boreman where she won in 4:33.59 which as of this writing has her ranked 10th and will get her into the NCAA Championship. Eduardo “Lalo” Herrera won the men’s mile in 3:57.16 which is the school record for Colorado.

The Women of Troy took the top two spots in the 800 with Alyssa Brewer coming away victorious with a time of 2:05.07. The men had a photo finish with Tomas Palfrey (1:48.38) of Oregon edging out Cass Elliott (1:48.40) of Washington.

The last distance event was the 3000. Kaylee Mitchell of Oregon State outlasted a talented field in a school record time of 8:58.39. Kaylee’s time ranks her 11th for the 3000 and should make the field for the NCAA Championships in two weeks. Stanford men took the top three spots in the men’s 3000 with Cole Sprout winning in 7:43.10 which places him sixth this season in the indoor 3000.

Download our photos from Saturday’s distance races here:

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