Track’s impressive outing in Idaho

About half of WSU’s athletes placed with top-five finishes



Then-freshman weight thrower Amy Kraemer competes in the women open weight throw at the WSU Open Indoor Track and Field Meet on Jan. 19, 2019 at the Indoor Practice Facility.

KAT MCKINNEY-ROLEY, Evergreen reporter

The Cougs had a great weekend at the Lauren McCluskey Memorial Open.  

The Cougs sent 25 athletes to the event, held on Saturday in Moscow, Idaho. 

“We only competed a few people today, but that group performed very well,” head track and field coach Wayne Phipps said. “It was great to have a meet so close to home, at which our student-athletes could work on some technical aspects of their event in a competitive environment.”

The WSU women had a solid showing. Four of the women placed in the top three for their respective events. Sophomore Giovanna Rhoads placed in the high jump with a personal best of 1.63-meters. Rhoads continues to break her personal records in the Kibbie Dome, this is the second time the sophomore has done so at the University of Idaho.

Next up, freshman Nana Gyedu had her best meet of the season. The freshman shotputter threw her personal record of 14.05 meters. This was only .20 meters off, tying with the former WSU indoor record for shotput by Shannon Rance in 2001. Teammate sophomore Audrey Hughes finished fourth with a mark of 13.29 meters in shotput.

Two other Cougs had performances that helped them add to another great weekend. Junior long jumper Jasneet Nijjar placed third in the event with a personal record of 5.42 meters. 

Freshman Kolby Weiss also set her own personal record in the women’s pole vault with a jump of 3.65 meters. 

The WSU men joined the women with successes of their own.

Sophomore Lucas Tailin competed and won in the pole vault event, which was WSU’s best placement of the day. Tailin took first place with a mark of 4.67 meters. This was the sophomore’s first career win in a collegiate meet.

To round out the day, freshman Yanai Macon recorded his first sub-seven-second race in the 60-meter dash. He finished fourth with a time of 6.94 seconds. 

Freshman Ben Chappell placed fourth in the weight throw with a mark of 16.64 meters, and senior Marty Munyon finished right behind his teammate with a mark of 16.12 meters. WSU had success in the women’s weight throw as well. Senior Sasha Korolenko finished with a mark of 15.63 meters, and Hughes finished in fifth place with a mark of 15.55 meters.

The Cougs have three runners who recorded a top-10 national time in their event. The three graduate students are Sam Brixey, Nick Johnson and Mitch Jacobson. Colton Johnsen, who is also a graduate student, is ranked nationally for his long-distance event. 

This is the second meet in a row that the Cougs have been in the double digits for top-five finishes. 

The Cougs have a little bit more than a month’s worth of meets in their indoor season before the Cougs start their 2022 outdoor season. The Cougs will face University of Washington for their next indoor meet. 

The Cougs will be splitting off next weekend. Some runners will be going to the UW invitational on Friday and Saturday and some will be traveling to the New Mexico Team Open on Saturday.

The meet is named for Lauren McCluskey. McCluskey was a runner at University of Utah that was killed by a man she had dated. McClusky’s murder exposed the serious flaws that University of Utah had regarding intimate partner violence. McClusky was from Pullman and both her parents worked for WSU. There is a foundation in her name dedicated to plans for campus safety. If you want to learn more about the foundation or donate, please check out

Follow the Cougs on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @WSUCougarXCTF. Also, be sure to check-in at the WSU Athletic department’s website for meet results.