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A Gator Flies High

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Published
April 17, 2008
By
Gary Pine
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AZUSA, Calif. – Mike Morrison, a sophomore out of the University of Florida, matched his personal best in the pole vault at 16’ 10¾” to take the overall lead and then pulled away from the field to win the Mt. SAC Relays Decathlon with a school-record 7,803 points.

Morrison again battled Stanford’s Josh Hustedt – the 2 went second and third in the NCAA Indoor Heptathlon last month – in the pole vault with both clearing the same height to collect a whopping 957 points. Morrison’s effort though allowed him to overtake first-day leader Desi Burt of Cal State L.A. Morrison followed with a throw of 195’ 10” in the javelin and then cruised to a 4:56.76 in the 1500 meters to hold of Burt and Husted for the victory and beat his previous personal best by 487 points.

Burt finished second with a personal-best 7,528 points while Husted also posted a PB with 7, \465 points.

Julie Hollman won the Mt. SAC Relays Heptathlon with 5,766 points. Former Idaho State standout Jackie Paulson was second with 5,629 points, the sixth best score in the U.S. this year. Oregon’s Kalandra McFadden with fifth 5,420 points, just missing her personal best by 8 points, while Azusa Pacific’s Zora Golcevska broke the school record with 5,205 points.

Junior Alyssa Hassan of Notre Dame won the California Invitational Heptathlon with an NCAA automatic qualifying and school-record 5,509 points, a personal record by 773 points. Hassan, who was the first day leader with 3,443 points, used a 2:25.83 PR in the 800 to punch her ticket for the NCAAs in Des Moines, Iowa, in June.

Amanda Twigg was second with 5,244 points, while Stanford freshman Whitney Liehr finished third with 5,126 points.

In only his second decathlon ever, former University of Houston athlete Nicholas Garza won the California Invitational Decathlon with 6,984 points. Garza took the overall lead following the fourth event – the high jump – and never trailed again. Azusa Pacific senior David Pichler was second with 6,809 points, his best showing since his 2005 freshman season. Cal Poly’s Corin Duer finished with 6,561, while Azusa Pacific freshman Casey Stevick scored a personal-best 6,488 points.