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Track and field hosts sole outdoor meet of season

Cougars battle UW for bragging rights, to set marks for NCAA’s

Freshman+Sander+Moldau+competes+in+the+pole+vault+at+the+Pacific+Coast+Intercollegiate+in+Long+Beach%2C+California.
Freshman Sander Moldau competes in the pole vault at the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate in Long Beach, California.

Freshman Sander Moldau competes in the pole vault at the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate in Long Beach, California.

Courtesy of WSU Athletic Communications

Courtesy of WSU Athletic Communications

Freshman Sander Moldau competes in the pole vault at the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate in Long Beach, California.

AVERY COOPER, Evergreen reporter

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After successful meets in California, WSU track and field turns its attention to University of Washington in the WSU-UW Dual on Saturday.

Wayne Phipps, director of cross-country and track and field, said they took a shotgun approach to this past weekend and tried to send athletes to as many events as they could. He said it worked out for the team.

“We came out with some great marks,” Phipps said. “A school record, numerous season bests, a lot of personal bests. Moved up in national rankings, Pac-12 rankings, so a very productive weekend.”

Last season the event was decided by the 4×400 meter relay in rainy Seattle, where the Huskies came out on top.

Phipps said they are not spending much time developing a strategy specifically for the Huskies.

“At the end of the day, we put people into their correct events,” Phipps said. “I think the initial entries wouldn’t suggest that.”

The Cougars will look to improve their marks this weekend to qualify for both the Pac-12 Championships and NCAA Regionals in coming weeks.

To qualify for the NCAA West Regional, track and field athletes need to have marks in the top 48 in the region

“We don’t look at this as simply a dual meet,” Phipps said. “It’s a great opportunity, with great competitions on a great facility, to improve upon our marks and to get some more student athletes to that first round.”

Redshirt senior multi-event athlete Alissa Brooks-Johnson will lead the Cougars in the meet. She currently ranks eighth nationally in the heptathlon, eighth in the region in the 400-meter hurdle and 45th in the region in the 100-meter hurdle.

Phipps said the middle-distance runners, who compete in the 800- and 1,500-meter runs, are a talented group.

“I think this is a great opportunity for them,” he said, “to really demonstrate what they’re capable of.”

The competition kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mooberry Track in Pullman.

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Track and field hosts sole outdoor meet of season