Although Saturday, April 7 was the first meet of the season for the Montana Grizzlies in Missoula, it was business as usual for the Vikings, who are well into their season.
The Portland State men’s and women’s track teams competed on Dornblaser Field where the most competitive athletes from the Big Sky Conference were in attendance.
On the women’s side, 800 meter runner Sharon Burnett displayed her middle-distance ability by crossing the finish line in 2:18.35 for first place. In fact, she edged out the runner-up by an entire second. PSU’s Brady Lukkari finished in 11th place in 2:25.51.
The women finished 0-3 in dual meet scoring, falling to Montana (115-53), Idaho State (145-44) and Montana State (115-55).
PSU’s Marcia Bomber improved her 100 meter time, finishing in 12.69 and clinching fifth place. Newcomer Rachel Lodiroli earned eighth place, crossing the line in 12.98, and Keri Cain got 10th with a time of 13.15.
Bomber led the way for the Vikings in the 200 with a personal record of 26.22. That performance earned her a seventh place finish. Lodiroli finished 11th with a time of 26.67 and Kelsey Mazzotta clinched a 13th place finish in 27.64.
Toni Adair, who finally broke the one minute mark in the 400, finished eighth in 59.65.
In the 400-meter hurdles, Kristen Hall finished fifth with a time of 1:05.00. Jamie Breese led the Vikings in the 1500, running a 4:45.95, good for third. Sage Lintner finished in 5:13.40 and in 15th place.
Jill Salmon, the only Viking in the 3000 meter steeplechase, finished in sixth place in 12:17.82.
Lisa Gunderson snapped four of her consecutive high jump victories by finishing runner-up with a mark of 5’3″, while Kim VanDalsen of Eastern Washington clinched the victory.
“It was just a rough day, I didn’t feel too good,” Gunderson said after the high jump. “There was one good jumper but everyone else were heptathalon people. I think it was a cold meet and it started raining but some people were able to do well in their events.”
Bomber came back in the field events and finished 11th in the discus (31.97) and 15th in the hammer throw (37.79).
Wiyanna Kramer finished seventh in the long jump by clearing a season best 5.22. Kramer also finished ninth in the triple jump with a mark of 10.17. Gunderson finished ninth in the long jump with a mark of 4.98.
Both of the women’s relay teams finished in third place. The Vikings ran a 49.26 in the short relay and 4:02.90 in the long relay. PSU’s B long relay squad finished in sixth place with a time of 4:12.29.
In the men’s competition, Jeremy Park led the field for his sixth overall race by winning the 1500 in 3:52.52, his second fastest time of the season. PSU’s Brian Orth finished 10th, crossing the line in 4:09.60.
“He (Park) had a couple of good guys from Montana and Idaho State,” men’s coach Ken Woodard said of the competition. “The guy from Idaho State went out real hard and they probably caught him at about 450 meters.”
The men’s squad went 0-3 in dual scoring. The Vikings lost to Montana (99-40), Idaho State (133-31) and Montana State (132-25). Eastern Washington also competed.
In the 100, Jim Sattem and Mike Duncan ran their fastest times of the season. Sattem rallied to a fifth place finish (11.02) and Duncan finished in 10th (11.04). The Vikings’ versatile Austin Pitchlynn ran the 100 for the first time this year and got 13th place (11.52).
Woodard said that he was pleased with Sattem’s performance.
“One of the things is that his hamstrings have been bothering him the last three races, so we’re pleased when he can run 11.02,” Woodard said.
PSU’s Evan Garich earned himself an eighth place finish in the 800 in 1:58.10. But Woodard says he should improve his time this season.
“Evan had tendinitis really bad in the middle of December. He wasn’t able to do a lot of cross training. But each meet he’s doing better, but he’s not going into the couple races as best as he could. He understands the long-term of it so I hope we can get him down to 1:53 this season. He’s looking real strong this year,” Woodard said.
In the field events, Scott Rotrock finished fourth in the discus with a throw of 44.18. Duncan rallied to a fourth place finish in the triple jump, clearing 13.17.The Vikings’ Phillip Nethers led PSU in the shot put, throwing a personal record 11.07. Teammates Joe Slaughter and Mike Johnston, who competed in the shot put for the first time this season, finished in 15th and 16th place respectively, with throws of 10.14 and 8.18.
Gerald Swanson finished in eighth place in the long jump and rallied to his best performance of the year, clearing 6.21. Jeremy Wilson finished 11th with a jump of 5.86 and Ian McPhillips closed right behind at 5.65.
The men’s short relay (4×100) finished in fifth place with a time of 44.02.
“All three exchanges were good and once Austin (Pitchlynn) got off the ground he got out. Austin slipped out of the blocks and the starter was supposed to call it back but didn’t. I think they would have improved their time if they would have called it back,” Woodard said.
Portland State will travel to the Eastern Washington Invitational on April 20 in Cheney, Wash.