WSU’s outdoor track and field team dominates at weekend meets

Junior hurler Jared McAlvey named Pac-12 Athlete of the Week after his performance at the GCU Invitational and Sam Adams Classic.



The track and field men’s team placed sixth in the pole vault with a 5.06 meter vault.

ALENA RINEHARDT, Evergreen reporter

With the weather warming up, WSU’s outdoor track and field team made a successful debut Friday and Saturday at the GCU Invitational and Sam Adams Classic.

The women’s hammer group at the GCU Invitational in Phoenix started the meet off strong with three top-five finishes on Friday by Tara Koonce (54.07m), Amy Kraemer (50.98m) and Alex Payne (50.90m). It was also these women who led every Cougar who competed and advanced to the finals, quickly establishing their dominance at the meet. 

Nana Gyedu secured a first-place finish (14.99) in the women’s shot put event. 

Ronald Grueso Mosquera (18.18m) also finished first in the men’s shot put event, after finishing runner-up in the discus just ahead of Max Moore.

Luceris Suarez Pacheco broke the previous GCU Invitational meet record to take second in the javelin (48.56m), and Maelyn George came to impress (39.86m) by rounding out the top five of the women’s javelin while Josh Farr (63.08m) achieved fourth for the men’s.

Long jump also excelled with Anna Rodgers (5.74m) achieving her first win of the season and eighth in her career and Kolby Weiss (3.77m) taking third place in women’s pole vault. 

Daylon Hicks also finished as runner-up in high jump with 2.02m on his second attempt. 

The track team had lots to celebrate after the meet as well, with the women’s 4×100 team finishing first (44.70 seconds) with not only a meet record but also ranking the third-fastest time in WSU history. 

The team sprinted to a first-place finish and made another meet record (3:50.95). 

Jasneet Nijjar impressed at the meet with a win for the 400m in 53.87, which is not only a personal best but also the fourth-fastest time in WSU history. 

The Cougs also took the 100m by storm with a first-place finish by Skyler Walton (11.73) and a close second-place finish by Elise Unruh-Thomas (11.91).

Mackenzie Fletcher (1:01.10) and Jared McAlvey both took first in the women’s and men’s 400m hurdles, respectively. McAlvey also broke the GCU Invitational meet record for the hurdles by finishing with a time of 50.90 seconds. On Wednesday, the Conference named him the Pac-12 Athlete of the Week.

The track team continued their ongoing success throughout the meet as Parker Duskin (14.56) took second place in the 110m hurdles, and Zach Stallings (1:51.53) and Evan Gonzalez (1:51.91) finished first and second, respectively, in the men’s 800m. 

Cristina Molteni (4:26.12), Alaina Stone Boggs (4:26.59) and Neema Kimtai (4:27.63) dominated the women’s 1500m, finishing the event in first through third, respectively, and all within seconds of one another.

The Sam Adams Classic Recap that was held in Spokan and did not disappoint, especially with Laura Lindquist (44.29m) excelling at the javelin and out-throwing the nearest thrower by nine feet for her first career win and also a personal best. She continued her winning streak by throwing another personal best in the women’s hammer throw and placed second.

Caden Hottman, a freshman at WSU, celebrated achieving his first collegiate win by placing first (44.96m) in the men’s discus and placing second (51.77m) in the hammer throw.

Justin Sands is another WSU freshman who secured his first collegiate win in the men’s long jump (6.74m), and teammate Matthew Metcalf (6.38m) was close behind, taking fourth in the long jump event.  

This week, the Cougs will take on the Buc Scoring Invite in Spokane Thursday and Friday.