Team struggles at Indoor Championships, individuals succeed

The Vikings were in Flagstaff, Ariz., this past weekend for the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships.

Both the men’s and women’s teams have shown steady improvement since the beginning of the season, and this event was no exception.

The men came in eighth place with a school record of 35 points, while the women also took the eighth spot with a score of 20. Considering only eight schools took part in the Big Sky Conference competition, Portland State’s rankings are not really noteworthy. However, several Vikings stepped up to give impressive individual performances.

Junior Ryan Brown was the men’s long jump champion with a distance of 24 feet, 8.5 inches. He was the only Viking to snag a first-place title at the games.

“I just found out that I’m the first Big Sky indoor champion for Portland State,” Brown stated in a press release. “So while I’m happy that I won, I’m super happy that I won now and I’m able to put myself in the record books as the first, but I believe that we will continue to get better.”

Other top performers for the men included Jay Williams, who finished in third place in the 55 meter hurdles with a time of 7.57, and Hashim Hall who completed the 55 meter dash in 6.43, earning him a fourth place finish. Patrick Sideris took fourth place in the triple jump and Evan Garich came in fifth in the 800 meters with a time of 1:54.81.

For the women, Lisa Gunderson was able to grab the second spot in the high jump competition, clearing 5’7 1/4″. Ena Shemi earned third place in the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.06, and Kerine Harvey was not far behind in fifth place. Jenny Rodgers was able to place 10th in the 1,600 meters and 12th in the 3,000.

Host Northern Arizona took the men’s top spot in the championships with an overall score of 165.5. As predicted by a pre-season Big Sky Conference coaches’ poll, the Weber State women dominated with a top overall score of 164.5.

The Vikings’ next competition will be the Sacramento State Multi-Score Meet on March 8.