In the 60-meter finals at the UW Invitational at Dempsey Indoor on Saturday, 15-year-old Hannah Cunliffe from Federal Way was able to control the jitters and finish in fourth place, running against a field of collegiate sprinters.
With University of Oregon junior Amber Purvis, the reigning Pac-10 100-meter champion, lined up two lanes away Hannah Cunliffe couldn’t help but be a little nervous.
In the 60-meter finals at the UW Invitational at Dempsey Indoor on Saturday, the 15-year-old from Federal Way was able to control the jitters and finish in fourth place, running against a field of collegiate sprinters.
Cunliffe’s time of 7.54 seconds was a personal best. Purvis won the event in 7.35.
After the race Cunliffe shook Purvis’ hand. She was smiling as she walked off the track. Later, when asked about competing against Purvis, Cunliffe tried to make a serious face, but she started to giggle and had to look away to hide her wide grin.
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“It was so cool,” said Cunliffe, talking in excited bursts. “I really enjoyed it. It was fun.”
Cunliffe said she didn’t feel in sync during the prelims, but was able to win her heat in 7.66.
“The first race I was kind of disappointed with my time,” she said. “I just said, ‘Forget about it.’ I relaxed and just did my thing.”
In the finals she was able to overcome the nerves by running with a nothing-to-lose mentality.
“I’m coming out here and I don’t really have anything to lose, because I’m a freshman in high school and they’re in college,” Cunliffe said.
• Washington State senior Jeshua Anderson won the men’s 60-meter hurdles in 8.02 and also the 400 (47.12). Anderson, the two-time outdoor 400 hurdles national champion, also anchored the winning 1,600 relay team (3:11.84). He was joined by Greg Hornsby, Brandon Dawson and Jacob Sealby.
• Washington’s Jeremy Taiwo won the heptathlon with an NCAA automatic score of 5,746 points.
• Husky Scott Roth won the pole vault with an NCAA automatic height of 18 feet, 1 inch.
• UW’s Kelly McNamee and WSU’s Holly Parent tied for first in the women’s high jump at 5-10.
• Rubin Williams of the Heritage Track Club won the 60 (6.77) and 200 (21.12).