Ducks hosts track teams for Oregon Invite

Saturday’s University of Oregon Invitational meet featured 855 athletes from not only the Pacific Northwest, but from around the world.

For Portland State’s Lisa Gunderson, the meet marked one of her best performances in the high jump as she cleared 5-6, taking individual honors. “It was a confidence builder, it helped me know I can do well,” she said.

“I didn’t really know I won. I was told by coaches that I wasn’t Division I material out of high school,” Gunderson said, smiling. “There was good competition. I went into the meet a little timid which isn’t something I normally do. I love jumping in rain because I either want it like, 90 degrees, or pouring rain.”

Jim Sattem led the way for the men by qualifying for the Big Sky Championships in the 100 meter day meet. He crossed the line in 10.83, good for a third place finish.

“It (Sattem’s race) was pretty good,” men’s coach Ken Woodard said. “He tightened up a little bit at about 85 meters. He was actually leading that guy at about 94 meters but he still finished.”

Gunderson and Sattem edged out other competitors from Division I schools such as Oregon, Arizona State, Utah State and Texas-Pan American.

Women’s head coach Keith Woodard said he couldn’t have been more excited about Gunderson’s victory, especially since she beat Division I competitors.

“We got down there about 9:45 a.m. and left 8:45 p.m. It was a pretty tough field,” Woodard said of the competition. “There were three or four jumpers with PR’s [personal records] higher than hers. She rose to the occasion. It’s always a challenge down there because the University of Oregon coaches told her last year that she wasn’t good enough. And she hasn’t lost to an Oregon competitor yet.”

In the field events, Wiyanna Kramer and Jeremy Wilson competed in the triple jump. Kramer finished 10th with a mark of 34-02.75 and Wilson rallied to 14th place with a jump of 42-4.

PSU distance runner Jeremy Park was the only athlete to compete in the 5000 (evening heat). Park already qualified to compete in the 5000 in the Big Sky Championships, but cruised to a seventh place finish at Hayward Field in a time of 14:16.64.

“That was a big PR for him,” Woodard said. “He was hoping for 14:07 so he could qualify for nationals but he still ran well.”

Evan Garich was the other Viking to compete in the daytime finals, finishing sixth in the 800 with a time of 1:59.29.

PSU’s Rachel Codiroli rallied to a season-best in the 100 with a 12.86, good for a fourth-place finish. Kristen Hall placed third in the 400 hurdles and crossed the line in 62.75.

Sharon Burnett and Brady Lukkari ran the “B” 800 race and placed third and fifth respectively. Burnett crossed the line in a time of 2:14.36, just missing the Big Sky qualifying mark by two-hundredths of a second. Lukkari placed fifth in the 800 with a time of 2:16.52.

“She (Burnett) got out real well but probably a little too fast,” Woodard said. “It was really windy down there. She really took charge of the race but they kind of got by her at the end. Brady was in another race (different heat). Brady led her race every step of the way. That’s her best time here at Portland State by two and a half seconds. The venue kind of gets them going.”

The Vikings’ Sage Linter finished sixth in section one of the 1500 run with a time of 4:56.84. Jamie Breese was also sixth in section two of the same event, finishing the race in 4:45.28.

Woodard said he thinks Breese has the potential to go faster.

“Jamie won’t want to admit this but she’s not 100 percent right now,” Woodard said. “But she’s coming back. She’s finishing a little bit stronger. Hopefully in two weeks she’ll be ready to go.”

In the 3000 steeplechase, Jill Salmon finished in 13th place and improved her season-best time in the event to 11:28.42.

“That was a pretty good pace,” Woodard said of Salmon’s race. “She improved her time which is a school record. She is the first Portland State steeplechaser to do that. This is the first year it [steeplechase] is official. Last year we had her do it a couple times to get some practice.”

Since it was an invitational, meet officials didn’t keep individual team scores for the schools. PSU officials said the team may travel to Palo Alto, Calif. Friday for the Stanford University Invitational. The meet will feature competition from the Pac-10 conference.