Cougar runners finish strong in home indoor finale

The Cougars track and field team shined in the men and women’s 200-meter sprint as they near the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Championships in Seattle. 

The WSU women finished 1-2 in the 200-meter with freshman Danielle Darden leading the way with a time of 25.17 seconds and runner up Bree Winfrey not far behind with a time of 25.24 seconds.  Darden said it was a great feeling to pick up a victory and gain some momentum heading into next week. 

 “(Indoor) championships, this is what we’ve been practicing for all year,” Darden said.  “It’s finally time to just show up and show out on the track and just really take this time to learn from our mistakes, learn from our wins, and that way we can progress and have a great race next weekend.” 

 The women kept the momentum going in the races, with junior Erin Allen winning the 400-meter dash in a personal record time of 56.68 and narrowly beating out her own teammate Dominique Keel, who finished second with a time of 57.36 seconds. 

 On the men’s side, senior Rashaun Johnson blasted out of the blocks in the 200-meter sprints and won the race by a wide margin with a time of 22.61 seconds. 

 “Getting out fast and strong that was the key point,” Johnson said.  “After weight lifting this past week, I felt a little bit tired and sore, but overall I know that given this whole week we’re going to be rested and ready for next week.” 

 Redshirt junior Charlotte Muschamp continues to set the bar high in the women’s high jump. She equaled her personal record mark of 5 feet 10 inches for the third time this season.  

Katie Dean, a sophomore, won the long jump in a personal record distance 17 feet 9 inches, while teammate Zoe Moller leaped the same distance, but ended up taking only second, based on the second best marks in the competition. 

Shantae Young won the triple jump with a distance of 37 feet 10 and a half inches.  The senior said she needs to display more consistency in her run up as the Cougars head into tougher competition in the outdoor meets.  

 “I’m heading in the right direction in order to compete for Mount Pacific Indoor Championships and heading into (the outdoor season) it really lets me know where I want to be,” Young said. 

 The men also boasted solid finishes in the high jump, led by sophomore Thane Pierson’s personal record clearance of 6 feet 10 and a quarter inches. 

 “With Thane, we could see this coming in practice and see him start to understand how to run the curves and it showed up today,” Head Coach Rick Sloan said.  “I’ll think he’ll be a seven-footer before he’s done.” 

Sloan said the men’s and women’s distance crew is in great shape right now approaching the indoor championships, along with the men’s hurdle crew who improved significantly since last season. 

 “My objective is to make sure we are well rested, well prepared mentally and physically and then go in and compete against this tremendous talent that’s going to be there,” Sloan said.