Running home from the Big Apple

Last weekend was the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, where the men and women’s track teams competed against some of the top schools in the nation.

Last weekend was the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, where the men and women’s track teams competed against some of the top schools in the nation.  The Vikings also had to deal with the chaos of a big-time meet, jet lag and limited space to warm up and properly prepare for the races, due to the large amount of athletes at this event.

“It’s tough for someone to shine in those conditions, and the fact that several of our athletes did well is a testament to both their physical conditioning and their maturity,” said assistant coach Cassie Stilley. “Knowing they can run fast in spite of adverse conditions means they’re psychologically ready to perform at the high pressure meets, like conference.”

PSU was the only team representing the Big Sky Conference at this meet. For having competed against schools such as LSU, USC and Texas A&M, the Vikings ran considerably well. 

Sophomore Geronne Black beat her previous record in the 60-meter by .01 seconds, clocking in at 7.54 for a 22nd-place finish. Fellow runner Karene King, a senior, was right behind Black in the event, finishing 23rd. Currently Black and King hold the top two places i in the event in the Big Sky Conference.

For the men, junior Tony Crisofulli finished 12th in the 800m, and he continues to be in the lead of his event in the Big Sky Conference. Senior John Lawrence came in 16th in the mile, running it at 4 minutes and 16.32 seconds.

Over the past four weeks, PSU runners and throwers have broken multiple school and personal records. In total, there have been four school records broken: Junior Joenisha Vinson broke records in both the pentathlon and 60m hurdles, Crisofulli in the 800m, and Black in the 60m.  Several other athletes have also pushed their way into the record books.

Eight Vikings are qualified for the Big Sky Championship, which will be held in Pocatello, Idaho on Feb. 25–26. Some athletes, such King and Vinson, are even qualified for multiple events. Others that are qualified include Crisofulli, sophomore Amber Rozcicha, junior Anaiah Rhodes, junior P’Lar Dorsett and senior Adrienne Davis.

The success of the athletes not only shows up in the PSU record book and by those qualified for the championship, but by all the other athletes that are ranked in the conference. Eleven PSU athletes rank among the top 10 in 15 different events. Eight of those 11 are the Big Sky qualifiers, and the remaining three are Lawrence, senior Katie Blue and freshman Zach Carpenter. Despite not being chosen, last week there was a Viking nominated in every category for athlete of the week in the Big Sky Conference.

The Vikings will close the regular season back in Seattle, Wash., at Dempesy Indoor track at the Husky Classic on Feb. 12. ?