Athletes seek to extend their track, field season

WSU sends six women, 16 men to the NCAA West Preliminaries, hopes to advance them to next round



Senior Keelan Halligan clears the bar in the high jump at the WSU Indoor Meet Jan. 19 at the Indoor Practice Facility. Halligan placed fourth in the event with a jump of 2.05 meters. He will compete at the 2019 NCAA West Preliminaries which start Thursday.

JACLYN SEIFERT, Evergreen reporter

The Cougars’ track and field teams will head to Hornet Stadium in Sacramento, California this weekend for the 2019 NCAA West Preliminaries.

The track and field teams will send 22 athletes to compete in 21 entries this weekend. The competition will begin early this afternoon and finish Saturday night.

Athletes who qualified ranked among the top 48 in their event. Additionally, the teams with the best 24 relay times advanced. For many athletes, this will be their first time advancing to the preliminaries.

Director of Track and Field Wayne Phipps said his goal for the weekend is to advance as many entries as possible to the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Phipps said last year six entries advanced to the NCAA championships and is aiming for those same results again this year. He said that getting to this level in track and field is difficult and rewarding.

“It is exciting this time of year because you have people who have been absolutely amazing throughout the season,” Phipps said. “It takes an amazing time and mark to be able to advance to this point and is an awesome experience for all of them just to make it to this meet.”

The field events will only host the first round each day. Track events will feature most first rounds today and most quarterfinals tomorrow and Saturday.

Redshirt seniors Brock Eager and Amani Brown will start things off for WSU today at noon in men’s hammer throw.

Redshirt junior Aoife Martin will compete in women’s hammer throw at 4 p.m. Freshman Jacob Englar will follow in the men’s pole vault at 4:30 p.m.

For the track events, Senior Christapherson Grant will compete first for the Cougars in the 400-meter hurdles at 5 p.m. Junior Paul Ryan will follow in the 1500-meter race at 6 p.m. Junior Emmanuel Wells Jr. will finish the day with the 100-meter dash at 6:55 p.m. Each of them will compete in the first round of their events.

Tomorrow evening redshirt junior Molly Scharmann and senior Katelyn Frost will compete in women’s pole vault. In the 110-meter hurdles Grant and juniors Nick Johnson and Sam Brixey will race for the Cougars. Both events will start at 5 p.m.

Track events will continue with Wells Jr. competing in the 200-meter at 7:55 p.m. Sophomore Zorana Grujic and senior Kyler Little run in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at 8:20 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively.

Saturday’s events for WSU will begin with freshman Charisma Taylor competing in the women’s triple jump at 3 p.m.

Seniors Peyton Fredrickson and Keelan Halligan and sophomore Mitch Jacobson will compete in the men’s high jump at 4 p.m.

Senior Chrisshnay Brown will throw shot put at 5:15 p.m. to wrap up the field events for the Cougars.

The last scheduled event for the Cougars is the 4×100-meter relay at 6:15 p.m. The athletes listed to compete are Wells Jr., sophomore Jake Ulrich, seniors Ja’Maun Charles, Ethan Gardner and Ray Littles.

Entries that advance to the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships will compete June 5-8 in Austin, Texas.

The 2019 NCAA West Preliminaries can be viewed on FloTrack with a subscription starting at noon Thursday.