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Track and field athletes etch their names in school record books

Two Cougars had marks in mile that placed in top-five in WSU history

WSU+freshman+Oyinlola+Akinlosotu+competes+at+the+Cougar+Indoor+on+Feb.+3+at+the+Indoor+Practice+Facility.
WSU freshman Oyinlola Akinlosotu competes at the Cougar Indoor on Feb. 3 at the Indoor Practice Facility.

WSU freshman Oyinlola Akinlosotu competes at the Cougar Indoor on Feb. 3 at the Indoor Practice Facility.

ABBY LINNENKOHL | Daily Evergreen File

ABBY LINNENKOHL | Daily Evergreen File

WSU freshman Oyinlola Akinlosotu competes at the Cougar Indoor on Feb. 3 at the Indoor Practice Facility.

SAM HEIKELL, Evergreen reporter

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For the second time this season, WSU track and field split its team by sending athletes to a pair of meets this weekend, during which several athletes broke personal records.

The Cougars sent their distance runners, vertical jumpers and throwers to compete in the Husky Classic at UW’s Dempsey Indoor Center, and the sprinters and horizontal jumpers traveled to New Mexico to compete in the Don Kirby Elite at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

After the first day of action, one of the big takeaways was senior Vallery Korir’s performance at the Husky Classic. Korir broke the school record for the women’s 5000 meter with a time of 16 minutes 7.72 seconds, winning the top collegiate heat.

After the race, Korir said hearing Director of Cross Country/Track and Field Wayne Phipps call out her times as she ran around the track pushed her to run faster.

“The race was really good. I was being calm, and listening to Coach Wayne yell splits helped a lot,” Korir said in a WSU news release. “Having the support from everyone on the infield made it better, so thanks to all the Cougars. I wouldn’t have done it without my teammates.”

Redshirt junior Brock Eager continued his success this season taking second place in the 35-pound weight throw with a toss of 20.17 meters Friday. Eager’s teammate, redshirt junior Amani Brown, finished fourth in the competition with a personal record of 19.09 meters, good for eighth best in school history.

“I thought we had a great night. We started out with an outstanding win in the women’s [distance medley relay],” Phipps said in the release after the first day of competitions. “Vallery was the big highlight for us tonight, breaking the school record and running a very intelligent race. She stayed behind the leaders until the last lap and then moved away quite easily.”

Korir followed up Friday’s performance with another personal record Saturday, this time in the women’s premier section of the mile. Sophomore Kaili Keefe also notched a personal record time in the event. Both performances landed in the top five in school history.

Junior Christapherson Grant came in fourth in the men’s 60 meter hurdles with a season best time of 8.08 seconds, and sophomore teammate Nick Johnson placed sixth during the competition in Albuquerque.

Redshirt senior Alissa Brooks-Johnson ran a personal record time of 8.50 seconds in the women’s 60 meter hurdles to take seventh place in New Mexico.

The Cougars have only one more meet left before the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Championships later this month. They will participate in the Alex Wilson Invitational in Notre Dame, Indiana, on Saturday.

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Track and field athletes etch their names in school record books