Portland State competed in the Willamette Invite this past weekend in Salem, Ore. Both the men’s and women’s teams competed against many Northwest teams including Gonzaga, University of Portland, Lewis & Clark, Western Oregon and Willamette. The Vikings had three new qualifiers for the Big Sky Conference outdoor championship.
The biggest qualifier for the weekend was freshman Kenneth Mackins. Mackins had a time of 10.83 in the 100-meter dash, where he competed against 13 other runners. The second place runner, Javon Johnson from Cascade College, finished .24 seconds behind Mackins with a time of 11.07. Mackins time in the 100m dash is the fifth best time in the history of Portland State. Mackins also finished seventh out of 28 in the 200m Dash with a time of 22.97.
Junior Anne Kawasaki finished in third place in the 5000m race. Her time of 17:46.38 was a Big Sky qualifying time. “It was Anne’s best race all year,” said Head Coach Kebba Tolbert, “[it’s] so exciting to see her making a comeback.”
Saturday’s third qualifier was senior Brady Randall. This hurdler not only qualified for Big Sky outdoor championship, but she set a personal record in the 400m hurdles. Randall had a time of 1:03.08 and finished in second place out of 10. “She’s learning how to race more aggressively and it’s paying off for her,” said Coach Tolbert.
Freshman Staci Bielenberg took third place in the 800m run with a time of 2:13.31. Head Coach Tolbert said, “Staci Bielenberg had been running very consistently over the last few weeks in the 800m so the assistant coaches and I thought she was due for a breakthrough. Today, Staci pr’ed [personal record] by over a second and is developing well.”
Other noteworthy accomplishments for the women Vikings include freshman Lynae Newby who broke her own school record with a 10’6″ jump in the pole vault. Coach Tolbert commented on her success in this event saying, “She’s made tremendous strides mentally in the last six to eight weeks and is working hard”. Senior Mandy Peterson placed first in the women’s 3000m steeplechase. She had a time of 11:29.30. Bobeya Krishnek placed third out of 35 in the women’s 1500m run with a time of 4:45.71.
Five Portland State runners placed in the men’s 800m run. Out of 46 runners total, freshman Brandon Lopez placed second (1:53.54), Senior Evan Garich placed third (1:54.11), junior Mike Kebbe placed fourth (1:54.12). Viking freshman Joel Hoff placed 12th (1:56.57), and Viking sophomore Mike Davenport placed 13th (1:56.66). Lopez’s time in this event ranks fifth on PSU’s all-time outdoor best list.
In the men’s 5000m race, sophomore Blake Flanders placed tenth (14:56.54) and junior Chris Hollis placed 18th (15:11.99) out of 62 runners.
The Vikings will compete at the Mt. Hood Relays in Gresham, Ore. on Saturday, April 10, 2004. Concerning the upcoming weekend races, Coach Tolbert had this to say, “We’re really looking forward to that meet because we will get a chance to do some different event such as the 4x200m, 4x800m, distance medley and 4x mile. It should be a fun, yet productive day for the team.”