Kristin Hall and Jeremy Park pace Vikings

The Portland State men’s and women’s track teams didn’t produce the most impressive performances at the Pelluer Invitational. But despite the overall lackluster team effort, the weekend highlighted individual Vikings.

On Friday, April 20, the Vikings traveled to Cheney, Wash. for the Pelluer Invitational.

Marcia Bomber finished 11th with a hammer throw of 130-5, breaking her personal best of 129-9 set earlier in the season at the Sacramento State Quad meet in California.

“She’s definitely making those improvements and starting to reach her potential,” said women’s head coach Keith Woodard. “It’s kind of an unusual to have a sprinter doing field events.”

Bomber also rallied to a 14th place finish in the discuss with a mark of 107-5. “Marcia has all the tools to be a very good hammer thrower,” said assistant coach Ryon Edwards. “Sometimes she fouls so she’s getting more consistent and is very strong. I think she should be throwing 160. She’s one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. She’s a good student and it’s really great to have her on the team.”

Jeremy Park led the men’s field in the 800 meter with a time of 1:54.0 while teammate Evan Garich finished 13th in the same race and closed in 1:58.2. “He (Park) won it going away. We were hoping there were a couple of guys that would push him so he could break the school record,” men’s head coach Ken Woodard said.

“It’s always great to see him tear up the field,” Edwards added. “It’s like people just let him go run. My personal opinion is that you get people that make names for themselves and they will run a race to just win. And Jeremy goes out to win. He goes out to say ‘I’m gonna beat you bad.’ A lot of people are starting to get to know who Jeremy is. They’re still not respecting that talent level yet.”

Garich wasn’t pleased with his performance in the half mile.

“I had bad tendinitis and I wasn’t able to train and run indoor track. I’ve been trying to do what I can. I feel like I’m getting into better shape,” Garich said.

In other running events, Andre Gittens made his comeback in the 100-meter dash and rallied to a sixth place finish in a time of 11.27. In the 400, the Vikings’ Austen Pitchlynn marked his best performance of the season and crossed the line in 51.75 for a 19th place finish.

“He finally realized that he had a lot of gas at the end,” Edwards said. “He knows he’s a quarter miler(400 meter), it’s just a matter of getting him to run like a quarter miler. We’re just trying to get him to run it.”

Ken Woodard said he thought Pitchlynn turned in a respectable performance.”He improved his time,” Ken Woodard said. “He ran away from a couple of runners down the stretch.”

Brian Orth cruised his way to 20th place in the 1500 meter and crossed the line in 4:09.39.

In the field events, Jeremy Wilson finished ninth in the long jump (20-5) and eighth in the triple jump (41-6) while Ian McPhillips was 15th (18-2.25) and (39-4.5), respectively in the same events. Pitchlynn also competed in the long jump and closed in 14th place with a mark of 18-3.75.

Philip Nethers finished in 15th place in the shot put, throwing his best mark of the season – 36-6.75.

PSU’s Joe Slaughter finished 17th in the same event (33-8), followed by Mike Johnston (23-10) and Paul Dzurec (19-6.75). In the discuss, Scott Rotrock finished in 13th place with a mark of 138-1.

In other field events for the women’s team, Lisa Gunderson finished runner up in the high jump and cleared 5-5. Wiyanna Kramer finished in 10th place in the same event with a mark of 16-7.75. Mariah Farley was 17th in the shot put with a throw of 25-6.75.

PSU’s Rachel Codiroli led the Vikings in the 100 meter en route to a time of 13.00 which was just 0.06 faster than Bomber, who finished in 12th place. Megan Lucas, who ran the 400 for the first time this season, crossed the line in 64.73. In the 400 meter hurdles, Kristen Hall, who had one of her best performances of the season, sealed the victory with a time of 64.32.

In the 800, Sharon Burnett and Jill Salmon finished fifth (2:15.35) and ninth (2:18.02), respectively. Brady Lukkari closed in 18th place with a time of 2:29.51.”Sharon’s having a breakthrough season,” Keith Woodard said. “Lisa Gunderson is still jumping really consistently. She’s ready for a big jump.”

Jamie Breese led the way in the 1500 meters, finishing in eighth place with a time of 4:49.55. Sage Linter finished 11th and rallied to a season-best of 4:54.90. Salmon doubled in the 3000 meter and finished in 10th with a time of 11:07.3. The women’s short relay finished in sixth place overall with a time of 49.68.

PSU competed in dual scoring against Washington, Portland, Seattle Pacific, Whitworth and other colleges. PSU finished 1-3 in dual meet scoring. The men fell to Eastern Washington (116-36), Montana (107-34) and Washington (111-30). The women also lost to Eastern Washington (81-49), Montana (110-47) and Washington (106-41).

The Vikings will travel to Eugene on Saturday for the University of Oregon invitational.