Track teams keep busy over break

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – No rest, not even on spring break. This is what the Portland State men’s and women’s track teams have gone through in the last couple of weeks.

The Vikings took a road trip to California on Saturday, March 24, to Sacramento State University’s Hornet’s Stadium. The meet also featured athletes from Fresno State and Cal State-Fullerton.

PSU’s Jeremy Park led the men’s squad, clinching victories in the 800 and 1500 meters. He finished the 1500 in a blistering time of 3:49.67. The Vikings’ Brian Orth finished ninth with a time of 4:05.86. Parks’ performance in the 1500 qualified him for the Big Sky Championship. Park missed the Big Sky qualifying mark of 1:53.65 in the 800 with his time of 1:54.20.

“That was an amazing race to watch,” said Assistant Coach Ryon Edwards about the 1500. “He had the lead for most of the race. With about 450 (meters) to go, the Fresno guy took the lead. But at about the 200 mark Jeremy took the lead and the last 50 meters was a dog race all the way through.”

PSU’s Evan Garich also ran the 800, finishing ninth with a time of 1:59.50. The Vikings’ Josh Carlson won the javelin for the third time this season with a throw of 193-11.00. His throw was 24 feet better than the second-place finisher. In the other field events, Scott Rotrock placed third in the discus, throwing the weight 135-06.00.

“He was hoping to crack 200, but he’ll have a better chance after he gets more strength and conditioning,” Edwards said.

PSU’s Austen Pitchlynn came in second place in the long jump, clearing 20-07.75. Ian McPhillips came in ninth in the same event with a jump of 19-06.75 and Gerald Swanson came in 10th, clearing 19-00.75. Andre Gittens finished in 10th place in the shot put, with a mark of 22-06.25.

PSU’s Patrick Sideris finished sixth in the triple jump with a mark of 44-02.50. Swanson and McPhillips finished in seventh and eighth respectively. They cleared marks of 40-09.50 and 39-09.75 each.

Jim Sattem ran the 100 in a time of 11.9, which earned him a seventh place finish. PSU’s Marwan Granville finished in 10th (12.20) and Mike Johnston finished in 11th place (12.54). Sattem doubled in the 200-meter dash and crossed the line in 22.69 clinching fourth-place.

The men’s 4×400 relay team, who ran as a unit for the first time this season, finished in sixth place with a time of 3:36.66.

“We had three distance guys and a guy who never ran the 400 before,” Edwards said of the long relay team.

The women got key performances from Lisa Gunderson and Sharon Burnett. Gunderson won the high jump with a mark of 5’04”.75.

“Lisa’s becoming more and more consistent with her high jump,” Edwards said. “As we continue she’s going to see higher improvement. When she gets consistent she jumps really well at the meets.”

Burnett cruised to victory in the 800 in a time of 2:15.12, barely missed the Big Sky qualifying mark of 2:14.34. PSU’s Jamie Breese finished eighth with a time of 2:21.12. Jill Salmon finished in 10th crossing the line in 2:25.44.

Breese was the runner-up in the 1500, crossing the line in 4:41.53. Burnett finished third with a season-best 4:42.36.

In the field events, PSU’s Marcia Bomber came in seventh in the hammer throw (129-09) and the discus (107-03.00). Wiyanna Kramer finished in 11th place in the long jump, clearing 15-09.00.

Bomber also finished in eighth in the 100 with a time of 12.96, and Keri Cain came in 11th in the same event (13.41). Kelsey Mazzotta ran a season-best in the 200, finishing 11th in a time of 28.46.

In the 400, Tony Adair ran a personal record 59.53 en route to a fifth-place finish. Kristen Hall finished third in the 400 hurdles crossing the line in 1:04.36.The women’s relay teams improved their times in the 4×100 and 4×400. The Vikings finished fourth in the 4×100 in a time of 49.04, and finished fourth in the 4×400 while crossing the line in 4:02.49.

“The women’s 4×100, I was pleased because they ran really well,” Edwards said. “The handoffs were great and they’re improving.”

The Viking men and women both finished fourth. Fresno State won the men’s side with 239 points followed by Cal State-Fullerton and Sacramento State who finished with 181 and 147 points respectively.

The women scored 67 points, finishing behind Sac State (198), Cal State (146), and Fresno State (232).

On Saturday, March 17, the Vikings traveled to University of Oregon’s legendary Hayward Field for the Ducks’ preview meet.

The meet featured athletes from many schools, including Southern Oregon University, Clark Community College, Mt. Hood Community College, University of Portland and Willamette University.

In the men’s field events, the Vikings received season-best performances by four athletes. One of those performances was by Carlson, who finished in fourth place in the javelin with a mark of 199-03. In the triple jump, the Vikings’ Mike Duncan finished seventh and cleared 43-7.25; however, Sideris also delivered a respectable performance jumping 43-1.75. Sideris earned himself a ninth place finish. In the discus, PSU’s Rotrock came in sixth place with a personal best 145-7.

In the running events, Park finished fourth in the 3000-meter run. He dueled with the well-known distance runners from Oregon for seven and a half laps en route to a time of 8:11:64.

In the 800, Garich finished in 1:59.04, earning ninth place.

On the women’s side, Gunderson sealed the victory in the high jump, clearing 5-6. Kramer also rallied to victory in the triple jump with a mark of 36-09. Kramer’s performance marked her first personal record of the season. She also finished sixth in the long jump clearing 16’08”.

In other field events, Farley clinched an 11th place spot in the shot put and threw the weight 26-0.75 that earned her a season best.

In the 400, Adair crossed the line in 1:00.85, which earned her a sixth-place finish. The Vikings’ Hall had another productive performance in the 400-meter hurdles, finishing third in a time of 1:04.93. Oregon’s Cameo Davis ran away with the victory and crossed the finish line in 1:03.81.

“There was pretty good competition,” Hall said after her race. “University of Oregon always has good athletes. Last week I had about a second of a faster time, but I was hoping to win. I had a few bad hurdles and it slowed me down and little bit. That’s what probably led to my time.”

“We’re short on numbers but we have lots of quality athletes,” Hall said about the team in comparison to last year. “At the meets we get lots of good places but it’s hard.”

The Vikings will travel to Missoula, Mont. on Saturday for the Al Manuel Invitational.