One more hurdle to jump

This weekend the men and women’s track and field team will head back down to Duck town and compete at the Oregon Twilight in Eugene.

This weekend the men and women’s track and field team will head back down to Duck town and compete at the Oregon Twilight in Eugene. This meet will serve as the Vikings’ last chance to qualify competitors for the Big Sky Outdoor Championship, which will be held down in Sacramento, Calif., on May 11–14.

“This time of year is both exciting and sad,” assistant coach Cassie Stilleys said. “It’s so exciting to see people putting the pieces together after months of hard work, yet there are always a few that you know they could really make a splash if they just had one more meet or one more week.”

Some of those Vikings who are close to qualifying but not quite there are the men’s 4×400-meter relay team, freshman Shae Carter in the discus, as well as senior Nate Endicott and sophomore Brittany Long in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Also returning to action this week is junior Anaiah Rhodes, who had taken a break from competition to help heal a back injury.

“Anaiah’s an integral part of our 4×100 relay,” Stilley said. “I hope this will be a chance for her to come back feeling strong before the conference meet.”

Recapping the successes of last week at the Pacific Twilight, the Vikings walked away with a few victories, many new personal records and even some favorable movement in the Portland State record books.

Seniors John Lawrence and Karene King, as well as sophomore Geronne Black, were all victorious in their respective events, the 3,000-m steeplechase, the 200-meter and the 100-meter.

In the men’s steeplechase, Lawrence took the lead after almost a month long break from the race. Endicott is currently close on the heels of his teammate.

King set a new meet record in the 200-m with a time of 24.54 seconds. Former Viking Jernise Sanders held the previous record; however, King broke her mark by .10. Black, a native to New York, finished the 100-m only a miniscule .02 seconds away from setting a new meet record, another record in Sander’s name. Black’s time came in at 12.24.

As for athletes who made new personal records, junior Spencer Moe threw about a 17-foot improvement in the hammer and freshman Luke Leddige threw his new PR in the discus by roughly 37 feet. Lastly, for the third meet in a row, junior Quiana Jackson broke her own personal record in the 400-meter. The Arizona native set her new PR time at 58.47 seconds.

At this point in the season, there are 16 Vikings qualified for the Big Sky Championship. Combined, they cover 14 different events. In the running events, there are Vikings running in the 100, 200, 800, 5,000 and 10,000-meters, the 100 and 400-m hurdles and the 3,000-m steeplechase. The field events consist of triple jump, high jump, javelin and shot put. Junior Joenisha Vinson is the only Viking qualified in the multi-event category, as she competes in the heptathlon.

There are also five athletes that are recognized on the NCAA West region as well. Black is ranked 42 for the 100-m, and King for the 100-m and 200-m, ranking her 45 and 43, respectively. Vinson is ranked 43 in the 100-m hurdles. She is also ranked 15 in the heptathlon for the west region and 25 nationally. The women’s 4×100 relay team is ranked 34. The relay team is made up of Black, King, Vinson and Rhodes. On the men’s side, junior Tony Crisofulli is number 20 for the 800-m, and fellow classmate Mackelvie is number 19 for javelin. ?