PHOENIX—Washington State University alum Jeshua Anderson (left/photo by Kirby Lee, Image of Sport) continued his strong early season performance Saturday at the Puma Outdoor Invitational hosted by Paradise Valley Community College.
Eight days after running a world leading time of 49.61 in the 400 hurdles at the Willie Williams Classic in Tucson, Anderson, a 3-time NCAA champ and 4-time Pac-10 champ, continued his roll, taking the early season world lead (pending results of other meets around the USA & world this weekend) down to 49.34 in what essentially was a solo performance, with the next runner 5.01 seconds behind.
In the women’s 400 hurdles, former Husky Gianna Woodruff, who is now training with Anderson under former Washington State hurdles coach Mark MacDonald, finished second in a time of 58.36, as Arizona State alum Keia Pinnick ran 57.94 to take the victory.
In Seattle, Western Washington’s Katie Reichert joined teammate Bethany Drake as an automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division II championships as she threw the javelin 164-7 (50.16m) to highlight competition at the first Doris Heritage Distance Festival, hosted by Seattle Pacific at West Seattle Stadium.
Host Seattle Pacific emerged with 10 wins at the meet, with Kyra Brannan leading a 1-2-3-4 finish in the women’s 200, as she ran 26.29 into a -1.9 head wind.
Though she finished second to Club Northwest’s Haley O’Connor (2:12.67), the Falcons’ Chynna Phan came the closest to an NCAA qualifying mark, as she ran 2:13.59, short of the 2:13.33 provisional mark.
For local track & field fans, the Doris Heritage Distance Festival replaced the traditional Club Northwest Spring Break meet, as Seattle Pacific took over the meet management this year.
In Moscow, Idaho, Washington State’s Brock Eager, who competed unattached, won the men’s hammer at the Idaho Invitational, hosted by the University of Idaho on Saturday.
Eager threw the hammer 193-6 (58.97m) on his final attempt to nip Washington State’s Travis Pickett, who threw 193-1 (58.86m).
The Cougars’ Matt Wardell won the shot put with a toss of 54-9.5 (16.70m).
On the track, highlights included a win by Gonzaga’s Maggie Jones in the women’s 3000 (9:58.02), and Sumner Goodwin (3:55.59) in the men’s 1500.
NOTE: Paradise Valley CC, along with the sports information offices of the University of Idaho, and Seattle Pacific, contributed to this report.