Track off to promising start

The Viking Track and Field teams opened their 2003 season with high expectations. So far, the team has been able to meet those expectations head on.

All-conference members Ryan Brown, who completed last season with two long jump titles, and Jim Sattem returned for the men. Impressive runners Chris Hollis and Mike Kebbe will also be looking to make an impact.

The women’s squad boasts returning members Kerine Harvey and Lisa Gunderson. Harvey’s best triple jump and 60-meter hurdle times of last season were the seventh best in Big Sky history. Gunderson won four high-jump titles and helped lead the team to a sixth place finish – the best ever for the women.

The Vikings opened their 2003 season on Jan. 18 at the Husky Indoor Preview on the University of Washington campus. For the men, Ryan Brown earned first place in the long jump at 7.08 meters – a distance that also qualified him for the BSC Championships. Jim Webster set a PSU shot-put record of 14.46 meters and placed ninth in the weight throw. Hashim Hall came in fifth in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.04. Chris Hollis set a school record by finishing the 3,000 meters in 8:37.52, as did Mike Kebbe, who finished the mile in 4:12.59. The men lost to Washington 95-43, but defeated the University of Portland 76-27.

The women had three runners place in the top 10 in the 60-meter dash, with Ena Shemi, Kerine Harvey and Gayle Imran crossing the line third, fifth and eighth, respectively. Jenny Rodgers came in sixth place in the mile with a time of 5:09.56. Lisa Gunderson won the high jump with an NCAA provisional and PSU record leap of 1.77 meters. The women fell to the University of Washington, 95-43, but outscored the University of Portland.

The Vikings also performed well Feb. 1 at the Husky Invitational. Evan Garich gave the men’s team a big boost when he ran a PSU record-breaking 1:53.90 in the 800 meter. Ryan Brown tied for third in the long jump, but his leap of 22 feet, 81/2 inches, was a Big Sky qualifier and personal best. Jim Webster had a season and PSU best in the shot put at 15.01 meters. Tim Overfield also set a PSU record, running the 60-meter hurdles in 8.44 seconds.

Freshman Gayle Imran set a new women’s school record with a time of 25.77 in the 200 meters. Ena Shemi finished second at 60 meters with a Big Sky qualifying time of 7.72. Lisa Gunderson earned a third-place finish in the high jump at 1.68 meters.

Next up, the Viking teams will head back to Seattle for the University of Washington Indoor Invitational on Feb. 15.