Split-squad Viking track team sets records

The PSU outdoor track and field teams have performed withstrength and determination so far in the 2004 season. PortlandState sent some team members from both the men’s and women’s teamsto compete at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, and other teammembers traveled to Monmouth, Ore., to compete in the WesternOregon Twilight Meet. The Vikings made honorable marks at bothmeets.

The Drake Relays, held in Des Moines, are an American Classicevent. PSU Head Coach Kebba Tolbert emphasized the superiority ofthe event, saying, “They really enjoyed the atmosphere and got tobe part of an elite, tradition rich environment. There were over 15NCAA Champions, numerous All-American and Olympians who tookpart.”

Viking freshman Andrea Clarke gained a personal victoryat the Drake Relays last week. Clarke qualified for the NCAAWestern Regional Championships in the javelin. She was 95th with athrow of 145’8.” This mark was a personal best for Clarke. ScottMoran, Vikings throw coach, said this, “Andrea’s throw was a hugeimprovement. Andrea had a solid week of practice in the techniqueof the javelin and the confidence to have a big throw.” More praisecame from head coach Tolbert, “For Andrea to step into thisconfidence to perform was very exciting. She had a great day at theDrake Relays.” Clarke will get her chance to perform at the NCAAWestern Regional Outdoor Championships May 28.

Other accomplishments at the Drake Relays came from the4x800-meter relay team. Brandon Lopez and Joel Hoff, both freshmen,may have been a bit overwhelmed. Coach Tolbert said, “This was thebiggest race they’ve ever been in.” But that didn’t stop these twostellar freshmen from both running 1:55 splits. Evan Garich andMike Kebbe both ran personal best times, 1:52.3 and 1:53.0respectively. “They both had very fast laps,” said Coach Tolbert.Mike Davenport closed the relay very well. Davenport ran a 1600manchor leg at 4:13. The PSU 4x800m relay team placed 11th.

The 4x800m relay team broke a school record with their 7:36.70time. Despite the rain, the distance medley relay team broke theschool record by 15 seconds with a 10:06.13 time. Also, junior EnaShemi placed seventh in the women’s 1003 dash with a time of12.22.

Back in Oregon, some Vikings were also making a splashat the Western Oregon Twilight Meet in Monmouth. PSU throw coach,Scott Maron, said, “We sent several Vikings to compete at WOU tofurther their development.” Almost all of the Vikings that competedat the WOU meet had a seasonal or personal best time.

Sophomore Dayna Tripp improved by 1-foot in the pole vault.Tripp cleared the bar at 8’6.25″ in just her third evercompetition. Freshman Cassie Rossette placed fourth in the hammerthrow with a seasonal best of 152’11”. Coach Tolbert said,”Cassie’s PR was by 13-feet and [she] has really come around thelast few weeks and been mentally focused.”

Junior Mike Schwoebel set his personal record in the 1500m. Withhis time of 4:05.75, Schwoebel took seventh place and shaved twoseconds off his last personal best time. “Mike’s been workingreally hard and has made huge strides this outdoor season,” saidhead coach Tolbert. Freshman Josias Flynn solidly ran the 200m witha personal record time of 22.69. Flynn also placed tenth in the100m dash with a time of 11.29.

Track team members will be participating in the CardinalInvitational at Stanford University April 30, in Palo Alto, Calif.Other Viking team members will be traveling once again to Monmouth,Ore., for the Western Oregon Invite on April 30.