Vikings and the great outdoors

After a successful indoor season and an impressive start to the outdoor schedule, the Portland State track and field program is currently running at full speed.

After a successful indoor season and an impressive start to the outdoor schedule, the Portland State track and field program is currently running at full speed.

Back in February the Vikings claimed five medals at the Big Sky Indoor Championship, and for the first time in the history of the program PSU had both a male and female win medals in the multi-events.

Senior Nick Trubachik took his second consecutive gold medal in the heptathlon with a score of 5,432 points, and sophomore Joenisha Vinson claimed the bronze in the pentathlon with a score of 3,579 after entering the meet ranked ninth.

Great achievements like this helped boost morale and gave the team a running start to the outdoor season.

“The championship brought the team together,” head coach Ronnye Harrison said in a statement released by the school. “In my two years [here], we have not been in a championship where there has been this much support—athletes in the stands clapping for each other, athletes wanting to know what a person needs to run or what the team needs to do.”

The Vikings opened the outdoor season at the Mt. Hood Community College-hosted Saints Open on March 13, and the men’s and women’s distance teams came out of the gate with a vengeance.

 Junior John Lawrence posted a personal best in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to win the event with a time of 9 minutes, 22.26 seconds, and freshman Julie Pedersen won the 800m with a time of 2:22.35.

A week later, the Portland State teams squared off with many of their rivals from the indoor championship once again, this time at the Oregon Preview in Eugene.

At Oregon’s world-renowned Hayward Field, two Portland State student-athletes clocked the fastest times in their events, and three won their assigned heats.

Just three weeks after winning gold in the 55m at the indoor championship, sophomore Gerrone Black clocked an impressive 12.09 seconds in the 100m to post the fastest women’s time in the meet. Also at the head of the Viking pack was junior Karene King, who placed first in the 200m with a 24.75-second time.

Junior shot putter Adrienne Davis took second place in her event with a throw of 43 feet, 11.25 inches—merely a half-inch shy of first place.

At last weekend’s Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., the Vikings brought the quickness to compete among nine of the ten Pac-10 schools.

King finished the 100m in 11.92 seconds to mark Portland State’s first sub-12-second time in the event. She also raised the bar in the 200m with a 24.35-second finish, which places her in the third spot in the record book. 

Sophomore DeShawn Shead placed fourth in the meet and third in the Big Sky in the 110m hurdles. Shead clocked in at 14.49 seconds to beat his preliminary time by .43 seconds.

Trubachik took second in the javelin throw with a toss of 197 feet, 10 inches. He was only eight feet short of first place, but his toss still qualifies him for the Big Sky Outdoor Championship in May.

Black earned the Big Sky’s Track Athlete of the Week for her performance at Eugene, and barely lost her lead spot in the 100m at Stanford, clocking in at 12.01 seconds.

Only three meets into the outdoor season, Portland State has already qualified 14 individuals and four relay teams for the Outdoor Championship.

The teams compete again today at the Willamette Invitational in Salem.

Vikings qualified for Outdoor Championship

Geronne Black, 100m
Adrienne Davis, Shot put
Amirah Karim, Long jump
Karene King, 100m, 200m
Julie Pedersen, 800m, 1,500m
Alyssa Rife, 400m hurdles
Amber Rozcicha, 800m, 1,500m
Stephanie Sprauer, Javelin
Joenisha Vinson, 100m hurdles
4x100m relay team
4x400m relay team

Tony Crisofulli, 800m
John Lawrence, 3,000m steeplechase
Nate Lightner, 400m hurdles
DeShawn Shead, 110m hurdles
Nick Trubachik, Javelin
4x100m relay team
4x400m relay team