Track and field participates in trio of meets

WSU athletes look to put up marks that will qualify them for NCAAs



WSU redshirt junior pole vaulter Tucker Mjelde participates in the Cougar Indoor on Feb. 3.

AVERY COOPER, Evergreen reporter

WSU track and field will be vaulting, throwing and sprinting at three different meets Friday and Saturday to continue the outdoor portion of its season.

The first meet is the prestigious Stanford Invitational, where the Cougars’ premier distance runners and hammer throwers will compete.

“You’re looking at the best collegiate distance meet in the nation for sure,” said Wayne Phipps, director of cross country and track and field. “A lot of the NCAA top marks will come out of this meet and will stand the test of time, all the way to the end of the season.”

Phipps said the goal for the distance runners is to achieve high marks, regardless of the other competition.

“For every one of them, it’s their first race of the year,” Phipps said. “This is a great opportunity to run a time that can get them to the NCAA first round meet. Once you get that out of the way, then you can really start your full preparation for the meets at the end of the year, which are the most important.”

The throwers, led by redshirt junior Brock Eager, are attempting to achieve marks that will qualify them for the Pac-12 Championships and beyond.

Phipps said the motivation for the throwers going to the Stanford Invitational, primarily a distance meet, is the fact that it’s the same place where the Pac-12 Championships will take place.

“We’ve got some athletes that are looking beyond Pac-12,” Phipps said, “and I think Brock has established himself as one of the top hammer throwers in the entire nation and it’s a great opportunity for him.”

The Cougars will also send their sprinters and hurdlers to participate in the Jim Bush Legends Invitational at University of California, Los Angeles.

Redshirt senior multi-performer and hurdler Alissa Brooks-Johnson headlines the competitors at the UCLA meet. She will compete in the women’s 100- and 400-meter hurdles, the high jump and long jump.

“She’s looking absolutely fantastic in practice,” Phipps said.

Another name to watch for at the meet is junior hurdler Stephanie Cho. She had a successful meet at the University of Southern California Trojan Invitational and Phipps said he expects her to continue improving.

The third meet the Cougars will compete in this weekend is the San Francisco State Distance Carnival where middle distance runners will compete.

“The San Francisco meet ends up being some of our younger athletes, that may have not yet put up a mark, because they are freshmen or redshirted last year,” Phipps said. “That will be a small group of our distance runners there.”

Live results from all three events can be found at