A season in the books

A rebuilding year for head coach Ronnye Harrison and the Portland State Vikings came to an end this weekend. The men’s and women’s teams both finished in ninth place over the weekend.

A rebuilding year for head coach Ronnye Harrison and the Portland State Vikings came to an end this weekend. The men’s and women’s teams both finished in ninth place over the weekend.

Despite the last-place finish, individual team members showed brilliant performances over the weekend. The Northern Arizona men took home the crown on the men’s side with a total of 169 points, while the Sacramento State women took first place with a total of 161 points.

In the decathlon, the Vikings had a dominant presence throughout the competition. At the end of the first day of competition, sophomore DeShawn Shead had a dominating lead over the rest of the field.

In the end, Idaho State’s Nathan Capps out-kicked junior Nick Trubachik in the final 300 meters of the last event. Capps secured a victory by only 36 points on the final event and finished with a total of 7,272 points.

Trubachik landed in second with a total of 7,236 points. Shead lost a podium spot and finished fourth with a total of 6,876 points after finishing in last place in the final event, the 1,500-meter run.

“I look forward in working with these two over the next year and see how much they can improve,” Harrison said.

Despite the loss in the decathlon, Trubachik’s effort earned him a spot in the NCAA National Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., in three weeks. Earlier in the year Trubachik stated that was one of his major goals for the season.

Another amazing performance came at the hands of senior Jernise Saunders, who improved her impressive resume. She won her fourth and fifth Big Sky Conference titles this weekend.

Saunders finished the women’s 100-meter dash at 11.79 seconds to easily secure her victory. She came back in the women’s 200-meter dash later that day and smoked away the field with an impressive time of 23.96 seconds.

In the process, Saunders broke a 30-year-old school record in the 200 and earned her a spot in the Western Regional Championships in Eugene, Ore., on May 29 and 30. Saunders came in to this meet expecting to win, and she lived up to her expectations.

Senior Kelsey Kahle also had an impressive high-jump performance and made her way on the podium with a bronze medal. While Kahle jumped the same height as the winners, 5 feet 8.75 inches, she ended up third due to tiebreaker rules.

However, her strong performance was good enough to earn a spot at the Western Regional Championships as well.

Amirah Karim also had a very impressive day with a third-place finish in the long jump, which pleased Harrison.

“Karim was not expected to make the finals and she surprised us all,” Harrison said.

Senior Jason Tait also scored for the Vikings as he landed on the podium with a second-place finish in the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 14.56 seconds.

“He might have won the whole thing if he didn’t hit the second-to-last hurdle and stumble a little bit,” stated Harrison. “He was in the lead up until he hit the hurdle.”

Tait also scored in the 100 with a seventh-place finish.

Mikeya Nicholson and Katie Blue added points to the women’s score with seventh-place finishes. Nicholson had a jump of 39 feet, 4.5 inches in the triple jump, and Blue ran 39:59.25 in the 10k.

Despite the season being over for most of the team, Portland State will send five athletes to compete in postseason action.

Trubachik will be heading to the NCAA Championships in the decathlon. He and teammate Westin Morrill will also be heading to the Western Regional Championships in the Javelin.

Saunders earned a spot in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, while Kahle earned a spot on the Western Regional team in the high jump. The finish is extremely impressive considering that she just started competing in the high jump less than two months ago.

Freshman Tony Crisofulli qualified for Junior Nationals in the 800-meter run as well and will compete among the best in the nation under the age of 19.

As Harrison reflects on the season, he knows that this was a learning experience for his roster.

“I have a few athletes that will be coming in next year and help the program,” Harrison said. “Hopefully next season we can have a more complete team and be more competitive in the conference.”