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Eastern roommates swap blazing times

Fri., May 14, 2010, midnight

Kyle King flew off with the rest of Eastern Washington University’s track team to run at the Stanford Invitational earlier this season with a mandate.

“I told him if he didn’t come back with the school record,” said Paul Limpf, “I’d break his leg.”

Well, it’s not exactly a theatrical “good luck,” but close enough – and King indeed came back with the EWU record at 10,000 meters, clocking 29 minutes, 34.21 seconds.

But the record he broke belonged to Limpf … who’s King’s roommate … and who has every intention of getting it back.

Just not this weekend. The Eagles are at the Big Sky Conference meet in Ogden, Utah. Normally the two distance aces would double in the 5,000 and 10,000, but a new NCAA regional format includes the longer race for the first time. So they’ll run that race in two weeks and concentrate on the shorter one in Ogden. That might help them break up the dominance of Northern Arizona, which scored 33 points in the event last year.

“Most of their guys will double, so we’re really excited about it,” said King, “as long as the race doesn’t go out too slow.”

But the real showdown will be at regionals.

It was at Stanford last spring that Limpf broke the 31-year-old school record with a run of 29:45.89. But a bone bruise on his left knee knocked him out for six weeks this winter.

“He was in great shape before he was injured,” King said. “He would probably have blown my time out of the water.”

Limpf took a shot at getting it back at the Mt. SAC Relays but ran 29:44.08.

“Maybe if I run a little smarter I might have had it anyway,” he said. “But it makes it fun with Kyle pushing me to go faster.”

Not since Washington State’s Kenyan pipeline was alive has an area school had two runners dip under 30 minutes in the same year – and these two may not have seemed likely candidates. Limpf’s best state finish was fifth in the 4A 3,200 as a senior at Evergreen of Vancouver; King did win five state titles, but he did it for 1A Coupeville.

“We didn’t come from the powerhouse distance schools,” King said. “We came into college hungry. We always wanted to be good, but in high school we didn’t know how to be.”

Hartz afire

Idaho’s Ulrike Hartz broke the school javelin record by nearly 10 feet with a throw of 168-9 en route to winning the heptathlon at the Western Athletic Conference championships in Ruston, La., on Thursday. The junior from Furth, Germany, scored 5,601 points – the fifth-best collegiate mark this season.

At the Big Sky meet, Kersee Lind climbed from 11th to fourth on the second day of the decathlon, his 6,611 score the second best in EWU history.

Bell lap

For a small affair, Wednesday’s Sasquatch Carnival at Spokane Falls produced some big marks – among them a long-triple jump double of 19-21/2 and 39-73/4 by Chanel James of Community Colleges of Spokane, the latter a school record. Whitworth’s Erica Cox upped her school hammer record to 165-10 to cement a trip to the NCAA Division III meet. … Twenty years have passed since WSU won a Pacific-10 men’s title in the javelin or hammer, events the Cougars used to clean up in – but this is the first conference meet in memory the Cougars don’t even have an entry in either event.

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