PSU track and field springs to new heights

Spring break is over, but the Portland State outdoor track and field teams are still going strong. Over the past weekend, both the men’s and women’s teams competed at the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, California. The Vikings faced collegiate teams from California, Oregon and Washington.

There were some excellent runners and scores this past weekend, as both teams competed with skill and ease. For the Viking men, Michael Devenport and Bobeya Krishnek both had great runs. Devenport took 59th place with a season best time of 14:27.00 in the men’s 5000-meter run.

Viking Head Coach Kebba Tolbert said, “Michael’s run was a 30 second personal record (PR) and he ran a real tough, competitive race and almost qualified for the NCAA regional championships. This was a very important breakthrough for Michael.”

Krishnek clocked 17:40.29, a Viking season best in the women’s 5000m race.

“This was Bobeya’s first ever 5000m on the track and she had a 40-second PR, so it was neat that she was able to put it all together,” added Tolbert.

Another noteworthy runner was Blake Flanders. Flanders had a huge best in the 5000m and broke through the 15-minute barrier. Flanders finished with a time of 14:58.73.

Coach Tolbert said, “Blake had a very solid last month of racing starting with the Big Sky Indoor meet. He is really developing and we’re looking forward to watching him over the next two years. He should be very proud of his effort.”

For the Viking women, Audrey Oswald threw 168’7″ in the hammer throw and set a new school record. Kerry-Ann Blackwood and Gayle Imran both had nice long jump competitions. Blackwood jumped her furthest on her last jump.

Blackwood grabbed third place with a jump of 18’4.50. Imran’s best jump was into a big headwind with 17’11.50″ for 11th place.

“They’re [Blackwood and Imran] learning how to handle and compete under pressure very well. At this level that’s the one of the biggest factors. I think if they can continue to stay relaxed in these types of situations we’ll get some good marks later this season,” said Tolbert.

Both teams will travel to Salem April 2, where they will compete at the Willamette Invitational. Both teams hope to beat and set new all-best records in hopes of proceeding to the Big Sky Outdoor Track and Field meet May 12, in Ogden, Utah