Track teams show their stuff in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – It must be quality that makes up this year’s team because it’s definitely not quantity. In fact, there’s really no other way to describe the Portland State’s men’s and women’s track teams this year since both are lacking in numbers.

But according to men’s coach Ken Woodard, what the Vikings aren’t lacking is a group of solid and dedicated athletes.

The Vikings traveled down to Sacramento State University on Sat., March 10, for the Bruce Drummond Invite. The warm conditions were ideal track weather and there was plenty of competition to keep the Vikings busy. Fresno State, Southern Oregon, Humboldt State and UC Riverside were in attendance.

The men were 0-5 in dual meet scoring. However, Jeremy Park made his off-season training evident with another solid performance on the track. Park doubled in the 800 and 1,500 meters, which are shorter distances than he’s used to running. He cruised to victory in the half-mile, while dominating the field, in a blistering 1:53.88.

PSU’s Brian Orth and Evan Garich also competed in the 800. Orth placed third in his heat while clocking a 1:58.47 en route to a seventh place finish overall. Garich finished fourth in his heat and crossed the line in 2:05:24.

Park got out to a solid start in the 1,500 and held it, pulling out front with about 200 meters to go in the final lap. His pace earned him a first place finish in a time of 3:54:80.

PSU’s Josh Carlson took individual honors in the javelin for the second week in a row. His winning throw of 194-10.00 allowed him to edge out six other competitors.

The Vikings’ Jim Sattem led PSU sprinters with the fastest performance in the 100 meters and clocked 11.11. Sattem’s performance was the third best in his heat and fifth best of the day.

The Vikings’ Mike Duncan won his heat in the 100 with a time of 11.59. Marwan Granville and Mike Johnston, finished fifth and sixth in the same heat respectively.Sprinter Andre Gittens, who sprained his ankle while warming up for the 4×100 relay, said both teams ran well.

“I’ll be out for two or three weeks,” he said about his injury. “We probably could have won but instead of using an alternate, they (relay team) saved themselves by not running. We decided it would have been better if I ran on the team.

Everyone performed at a high level. Our sprinters did really good and they improved their times from last week. Even the girls did really well. We came first and second in the 800. We can only improve from here.”

In the field events, PSU’s Austen Pitchlynn placed ninth in the long jump with a mark of 20-02.25. Ian McPhillips followed, clearing 17-08.00 and earning a 15th place finish. In the triple jump, Patrick Sideris led the Vikings with a mark of 41-10.50, which was the fifth best performance at the invitate. Duncan finished seventh in the same event with a jump of 41-09.00. And the Vikings’ McPhillips came in 10th after clearing 40-02.25.

In the shot put, Phillip Nethers led the way and placed ninth with a throw of 36-00.25. McPhillips came back and clinched 10th place in the shot put with a throw of 26-03.75. Scott Rotrock had the best field even finish, next to Carlson, and placed third in the discuss with a mark of 144-04.00.

The women’s strongest event at the meet was the 800-meter run, as the Vikings took three of the top four spots. PSU’s Jill Salmon won the half-mile race in 2:17.66. Brady Lukkari was the runner-up in 2:17.97 and Jamie Breese finished in fourth with a time of 2:22.64.

“It was a pretty good effort,” women’s coach Keith Woodard said. “Jamie took it out and led until the last 30 meters, when she and Jill battled it out.”

PSU freshman Lisa Gunderson made the most of her event by winning the high jump with a personal record 5-6.

“Everyone ran well,” Gunderson said after her performance.

“She’s (Gunderson) doing really well but we’re still working on her approach,”

Woodard said. “Sharon Burnett won the 1500 and ran 4:50 unofficially. She just sat back and out-kicked and went blazing in. The biggest difference in the sprint core is that we lost two of our top runners with Udeme (Elijah) and Sue (Morris).”

Kristen Hall stole the show in the 400-meter hurdles, crossing the finish line in 1:03.96.

“She (Hall) stayed on her feet this week and that’s a plus,” Woodard said. “The girl, who placed second, is one of the Big Sky’s top runners.”

PSU’s Marcia Bomber finished in fifth place in her heat of the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.84. Stacey Storie also finished in second place in her heat of the 100m with a time of 13.12. Wiyanne Kramer finished in seventh place in her heat of the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.12.

In the field events, Mariah Farley and Kelsey Mazzotta came in 15th and 16th place in the shot put. Farley had a mark of 25-06.75 while Mazzotta’s throw was 20-07.25. Bomber also finished in 10th place in the discuss with a mark of 110-00.

Kramer was the runner up in the triple jump, recording a mark of 35-02.25. She also came in sixth in the long jump after clearing 16-11.00.

The women’s 4×100-meter relay team finished third with a time of 50.20. The women managed to go 1-4 in dual meet scoring.

The Vikings will travel to Eugene Saturday for a meet at the University of Oregon.