Track and field makes history at indoor championships

Men’s team finished in fifth at event, WSU’s highest finish since 2013



WSU sophomore sprinter Jordyn Tucker, left, and junior sprinter Regyn Gaffney run across the finish line during a 60-meter dash heat on Feb. 3 at the Cougar Indoor.

SAM HEIKELL, Evergreen reporter

WSU track and field wrapped up the regular indoor season with the men capturing fifth place at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Championships in Seattle on Friday and Saturday.

It was the best finish at the event for WSU during the tenure of Wayne Phipps, director of cross country, track and field, and the program’s highest finish since 2013.

Action started Friday when the Cougars got out to an overall second-place start on the men’s side. Redshirt junior Brock Eager took first place in the men’s 35-pound weight throw, throwing a personal-best 21.01 meters.

Senior Zach Smith finished second in the men’s 200-meter dash with a time of 21.61 seconds.

“We had a great first day, led by an awesome win by Brock in the weight throw,” Phipps said in a WSU news release. “Zach Smith ran a fantastic 200 out of an inside lane. He won his heat handily but just got edged out by a runner in another heat.”

The men’s DMR team of junior Chandler Teigen, redshirt sophomore Paul Ryan, junior Ja’Maun Charles and sophomore Justin Janke had a season-best time of 9:49.06.

The women’s team of sophomore Kaili Keefe, freshman Zorana Grujic, junior Stephanie Cho and senior Marlow Schulz ran their season-best time as well at 11:20.77 seconds. This also gave them the third-best time in WSU history.

“Both DMRs ran very well,” Phipps said in the release. “The women’s team stayed in great position the entire race, and Kaili ran a great last 400 to move us into second. In the men’s DMR, we got down early but Justin moved us back into good position with a great 800 leg. And in typical Chandler fashion, he closed very well to move us from fifth to second.”

On day two, Charles finished in fourth place in the men’s 60-meter dash final with a time of 6.82 seconds. In the men’s 60-meter hurdles final, sophomore Nick Johnson placed fourth with a time of 8.00 seconds while junior Christapherson Grant finished close behind in sixth place with a time of 8.09 seconds.

Freshman Martin Moldau finished in fourth in the men’s heptathlon with a total of 4,837 points. Moldau pole vaulted 4.50 meters, ran the 60-meter hurdles in a time of 9.00 seconds and ran the 1,000-meter in 3:08.39.

The women’s team finished 10th at the meet, led by performances from redshirt senior Greer Alsop and senior Vallery Korir on Saturday.

Alsop took sixth place in the women’s triple jump with a mark of 12.18 meters, and Korir took home 10th in the women’s 3000-meter with a personal record time of 9:26.91, fifth-fastest in school history.

After the last day, WSU’s men’s team fell to fifth place, but it was still a successful trip, Phipps said.

“I was very pleased with our fifth-place finish in the largest conference meet in the nation,” Phipps said. “The overall team effort and performance at this meet was a great way to end the regular indoor season and bodes well for us as we begin our preparation for outdoors.”

NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships will take place March 9 and 10 in College Station, Texas.