The Arizona State track and field teams wrapped competition at the 2015 Pac-12 Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday with senior Shelby Houlihan’s successful title defenses in the 1500m and 5000m and redshirt senior Bryan McBride winning the high jump at Drake Stadium.
Story and Feature Photo Courtesy Sun Devil Athletics
“As we move forward, we’ve really been leaning heavily on our seniors, Shelby Houlihan was herself today, dominating and really good times in the 1500m and 5000m double, Brianna Tate had a lifetime best in the 400m, Bryan McBride scored 20 points and won his first Pac-12 title in the high jump,” Director of Track and Field Greg Kraft said.
As a team, the Arizona State women finished in fourth with 72 points, while the men’s team finished in fifth with 75 points. The Sun Devils finished ahead of Arizona on both sides, to put ASU over the Wildcats in each of the three Territorial Cup Series matchups for 2014-15. Not only did ASU go 6-0 in T-Cup, but also swept Arizona in the dual meet on May 2. Oregon swept the team titles with 185 women’s points and 152 men’s points.
Like the trials, Houlihan led the 1500m finals from wire to wire, finishing in a meet record and season best time of 4:11.06. The Sioux City, Iowa native is now just the second athlete to win three conference titles in the 1500m, joining USC’s Grazyna Oenc, who won in 1996, 1997, and 1998.
“My time in the 1500m (4:11.06) gives me a lot of confidence,” Houlihan said. “It was a 4:11 race and it didn’t feel like it. I had another gear by the end and could have gone even faster if I needed to. It felt really easy and I felt strong the whole way.”
Hours later, Houlihan came back out on the track and closed strong to win the 5000m run finals in a personal best 15:58.45. Houlihan knocked nearly 13 seconds off her previous best, which she set when she won the 2014 Pac-12 title in 16:11.63. The new best moves Houlihan to No. 5 in the ASU outdoor top-10 list.
Up next, athletes who finish in the top-48 in the region will qualify to compete at the 2015 NCAA West Regional Meet, May 28-30, in Austin, Texas.
More from Senior Shelby Houlihan (Three-Time Pac-12 1500m Champion, Two-Time Pac-12 5000m Champion)
“I felt really good today, overall it was just a really great day. I was a little nervous going into the 5000m after the 1500m, my legs were definitely feeling it, but I started out and felt strong, so I focused on what I needed to do, squeezed down that last mile and just felt really strong. I didn’t have much of a race plan going into the 5000m, I wasn’t sure how much I had after the earlier race, but I stayed patient and half way through I knew I could start squeezing it down and that I’d have enough in the end to win it.”
More from Redshirt Senior Bryan McBride (Pac-12 High Jump Champion)
“It felt good today, especially to win the high jump. I was a little sore from long jumping yesterday, so I knew I just had to compete through some things in high jump, and that’s what I did. When I found out I won after clearing 2.19m, I just went to triple jump because I’m here for the team and to get those team points, try to do the best I can. I’m very happy with the way I’ve competed these last two days.”
Redshirt Freshman Magdalyn Ewen (3rd Place Shot/Discus, 5th Place Hammer)
“I think it was really just the adrenalin of the situation in the hammer, the last big chance to get a good mark, and I think I do better under pressure. When it came to it, I knew I was ready, Coach Dumble knew I was ready, everyone was confident, and it was time to do it. The field in the discus was very good, and I’m really happy that I got another top-three finish. I’m glad I’ve been able to contribute so much to the team this year, and I hope that in the future I can finish higher, score more points, and do even better for the team.”
Senior Cameron Taylor (3rd Place, 110m Hurdles)
“We come out here to compete with some of the best track programs in the country, so I’m glad I could finish in the top-three in my event. I have some things to work on going into regionals and try to make it to NCAAs. It’s another step in the process to getting better.”
Senior Brianna Tate (2nd Place, 400m Dash)
“I’m feeling really good, I wanted to break 52 seconds in the 400m and that’s what I did today. We had a good chance to run a season best in the 4x400m relay this afternoon, and we did it, which will help us once we move on to regionals and aim for getting a spot in the NCAA finals.”
ASU’s Top Point Scorers
Shelby Houlihan – 20 points (1500m – 10 points, 5000m – 10 points)
Magdalyn Ewen – 16 points (Shot Put – 6 points, Discus – 6 points, Hammer – 4 points)
Final Team Standings
1. Oregon – 185
2. USC – 182
3. Stanford – 87
4. Arizona State – 72
5. Washington State/UCLA – 64
7. Washington – 63
8. Colorado – 43
9. Arizona – 36
10. Utah – 14
11. Oregon State – 6
12. California – 3
1. Oregon – 152
2. USC – 121
3. Washington – 84.50
4. UCLA – 83
5. Arizona State – 75
6. Arizona – 73.50
7. Colorado – 68
8. California – 66
9. Stanford – 64.50
10. Washington State – 31.50
Arizona State ResultsWomen’s 1500m Run Finals
1. Shelby Houlihan – 4:11.06 (10 points, Pac-12 Meet Record, season best)
Women’s 5000m Run Finals
1. Shelby Houlihan – 15:58.45 (10 points, nearly 13 second PR, No. 5 in ASU Outdoor Record Book)