A smashing weekend for the Vikings

New school records, conference records, personal records—the list goes on about the success the men and women’s track team had at this past weekend’s Big Sky Outdoor Championship meet.

New school records, conference records, personal records—the list goes on about the success the men and women’s track team had at this past weekend’s Big Sky Outdoor Championship meet.

“My goals are to win conference in as many events as I possibly can,” Senior Karene King said in a statement to the media before the event. “Mainly the 200-meter, and finish my final outdoor season here at PSU healthy and with a bang.”

King, a native to Tortola, British Virgin Islands, accomplished what she set out to do, as she will be representing her home country in the International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships, due to her stellar performance in the 200-m. King broke the 23.50-second barrier in her preliminary round, sweeping away the competition with a time of 23.46. She then continued to the final round where she won gold. The IAAF World Championship will be held in Daegu, South Korea, August 27 to September 4.

King was awarded with two other gold medals, one in the 100-meter and the other for the women’s 4×100-meter relay. On top of King’s medals, her time in the 200-meter broke the Big Sky Conference record by .06, but she also broke Portland State’s record by .31.

King also helped to keep the PSU tradition of winning the 100-m alive by defeating fellow teammate and defending Big Sky Champion, sophomore Geronne Black, who was right on King’s heels, finishing second only .03 behind. Adding to her list of successes, King also broke the school record in the 100-m with a time of 11.59, which she set in the preliminary round.

Out of the 65 points scored by Portland State, King was responsible for 20 of them. Overall, the women placed seventh and the men ninth for the entire event. In total, there were eight medals awarded to the Vikings, the most won since head coach Ronnye Harrison took over the track team in the fall of 2008.

Another triple-medal winner was junior Joenisha Vinson, a native of Phoenix, Ariz. She began her competition in the heptathlon two days earlier than the rest of the team, as the multi-event athletes started off the championships. After two days of action, she finished second with a score of 5,117. Her combined total was the highest recorded score by a Viking in the Big Sky Conference since 2005.

During the second day she recorded a new personal record in the 800-meter, with a time of 2:28.93, her first time running below the 2:30 mark. She also had strong marks in the field events, with a 17-9.50 in the long jump and 111-8 in the javelin, placing third and fifth, respectively.

Her other two medals were earned in the 100-meter hurdles, where she won silver and set a new school record at 13.72. Ironically, in an earlier preliminary race she broke the school record; however, she would simply break it again in the final round. King also earned a third medal with the 4×100 relay team, taking gold in the event.

The 4×100 relay is comprised of Black, junior Anaiah Rhodes, Vinson and King (listed in order of each leg of the race). The team won the Viks their first gold medal in the event since 2006.

Two out of the last three medal winners placed second, and the last one third. The two silver finalists were junior Tony Crisofulli in the 800-meter, and Black in the 100-m, right behind King. This medal was Crisofulli’s first outdoor medal. He also set a new school record, and he almost broke 1:49 in the preliminary race, clocking in at 1:49.02, which would have been a first in his career. With his preliminary time, he did improve his season best by .09 seconds.

Bronze medal winner, junior Deshawn Shead, who is also a member of the Portland State football team, had an impressive run. Due to spring football practices, Shead only had about an hour’s worth of practice last Thursday night before racing the 100-m. However, that didn’t stop him from pushing through and coming in third place by only .02.

Freshman Luke Leddige competed in his first ever decathlon and placed ninth with a score of 6,100. He had three new personal records in the pole vault (12-3.50), the javelin (139-11) and the 1,500-meter (5:07.20). In his two primary events, the 110-m hurdles and the discus, he finished third with marks of 15.12 seconds and 119-10 feet. His goal was to qualify for the USATF Jr. National meet, but he ended up being only 150 points shy.

The final school record broken at the meet was by the men’s 4×400 relay team, made up of Shead, junior J.J. Rosenberg, Crisofulli and sophomore Nate Lightner (listed in order of each leg of the race). They finished sixth overall with a time of 3:15.06, an eight-second improvement from their previous run.

For many on the track team, this was the final meet of the 2011 outdoor season, but for some the year continues with the NCAA West Regional meet, which is to be held in Eugene on May 26–28. However, at the time of press release a complete list of those athletes moving on was not available. ?