Tuesday, March 22, 2016

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Washington schools open outdoor season with meets in LA, Spokane & Portland...

Apologies for the delay, but while we were away in Tucson and Portland over the last four days, here’s a recap of what happened with Washington’s Division I and II track & field teams, as many opened up the 2016 outdoor season:

—In Los Angeles, a limited number of athletes from Washington State competed at the USC Trojan Invitational, as the Cougars are in LA to train over spring break.

High jumpers Lateah Holmes (above/photo courtesy WSU Athletics) and Thane Pierson won the men’s and women’s high jump titles at USC, with Holmes clearing 5-7 (1.70m) and Pierson over at 6-11 (2.13m), while Brad Stevens (223-5, 68.10m) won the javelin.

—In Spokane, Eastern Washington, Gonzaga, and Washington State each had athletes competing at the Buc Scoring Invitational at Whitworth University.

Troy Fraley of Gonzaga, who competed unattached, won a double, taking the 800 in 1:53.60, and the 1500 in 3:49.14.  Jeremy VanAssche of Eastern Washington won the 100 in 10.54 to qualify for the Big Sky championship meet in May. Aaron Cunningham of the Eagles won the shot with a toss of 53-2.75 (16.22m).

Gonzaga’s Shelby Mills was impressive in winning the 5000 in a solo 16:25.81.  Teammate Maggie Jones won the 1500, running 4:39.14 to turn back Paula Gil-Eehevarria (4:41.94) and Mayra Chavez (4:42.94) of Eastern Washington. On the field, Kaytlyn Coleman of Eastern won the hammer with a toss of 189-7 (57.78m), and Dominique Butler of the Eagles won the triple jump at 38-0.75 (11.60m).

Results of the Buc Scoring Invite are available here, while Eastern Washington and Gonzaga’s recap are available by clicking the name of the school.

—While the track and field world was focused on the IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Oregon Convention Center,  athletes from SeattleU, Seattle Pacific, Western Washington, and Central Washington were across town at the Lewis & Clark Spring Break Open meet at Griswold Stadium.

Western Washington’s women’s javelin crew were impressive, led by national D2 leader Bethany Drake, who won the event with a throw of 160-5 (48.91m), as the Vikings put four in the top five.

Miranda Osadchey of the Vikings won the high jump as she cleared 5-7.25 (1.71m).  Jalen Tims of Seattle Pacific, who ran the previous week at the NCAA indoors in Pittsburg, Kansas, opened the outdoor season with a 61.30 clocking in the 400 hurdles, finishing second to Devin Collins of Oregon State’s 60.95.

In the men’s competition, Shaddye Melu of SeattleU took the 200 (21.90) and the 400 (48.08).  Matt Dehan of Saint Martin’s won the pole vault with a best of 16-2 (4.93m).

Washington State continues its spring break schedule with a meet Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles, as they compete in the Jim Bush Collegiate Invitational at Drake Stadium on the campus of UCLA, as they face the host Bruins and Arizona in a triangular meet.

The Cougars are expected to run most of their top-flight competitors in the triangular, which will be shown live on the Pac-12 Network starting at 4 pm.

NOTE:  The sports information offices at Washington State, Western Washington, Seattle Pacific, Lewis & Clark, and UCLA contributed to this report.

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