Track returns to action

Podium’s inagural meet was on Dec. 11



Then-junior distance runner Janet Okeago pulls ahead in the women’s 5,000-meter run on April 27 at Mooberry Track.

JUSTIN WASHINGTON, Evergreen research editor

WSU track and field begins the 2022 season this weekend in Spokane and Seattle.

WSU’s first home meet, the Cougar Classic Invitational, is set to take place on Friday and Saturday in Spokane at The Podium. 18 teams will be making the journey to Spokane for the invitational meet. Some of those 18 teams include Boise State, Fresno State, Eastern Washington, Gonzaga and Idaho. The Cougar Classic will also have an open meet at the Podium this Friday, for noninvitational athletes that will include community college teams such as Spokane Community College. 

Friday’s events will include men’s high jump, weight throw, distance medley and 5000-meter, alongside the women’s distance medley and 5000-meter run.

Saturday’s events will include men’s long jump, pole vault, triple jump and shot put alongside the women’s weight throw, long jump, pole vault, high jump, triple jump and shot put.

The Cougs are also set to travel across Washington to compete in the UW Preview on Saturday. 10 WSU runners are making the trip to rival-territory to race in the 3000-meter run. Of those competing, in the 3000-meter run, six runners are also entering the mile competition. The UW Preview will feature athletes from Oregon, Washington, Stanford and WSU.

The men’s roster consists of 53 athletes, including Sam Brixey, whose time of 7.82 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles at the Spokane Invitational was the fourth-fastest time in the nation. Brixey is joined by Colton Johnsen, who currently holds the second-fastest 5000-meter indoor time since the start of the program.

On Dec. 11, WSU opened the 2022 season at the Spokane Invitational. The Spokane Invitational was the inagural meet for The Podium complex, which was built in early 2021. Brixey, Nick Johnson and Mitch Jacobson all recored top-10 national times in their events. The trio has expereince racing at The Podium that will likely show this weekend.

The women’s roster consists of 46 athletes, including Antonia Bushendorf, whose time of 8.56 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles at the Spokane Invitational is tied for the 13th-fastest time in the nation. 

The 2022 season is set to run from Jan. 14 to May 15. The Cougs finish the season with the Pac-12 Outdoor Championships hosted in Eugene, Oregon.