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Pierson soars for WSU at the Cougar Invitational

Redshirt+senior+Candice+McFarland+runs+during+her+event+at+the+Cougar+Indoor+in+the+Indoor+Practice+Facility+on+Feb.+6.
Redshirt senior Candice McFarland runs during her event at the Cougar Indoor in the Indoor Practice Facility on Feb. 6.

Redshirt senior Candice McFarland runs during her event at the Cougar Indoor in the Indoor Practice Facility on Feb. 6.

Redshirt senior Candice McFarland runs during her event at the Cougar Indoor in the Indoor Practice Facility on Feb. 6.

JAMIE JONES | Evergreen track and field reporter

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It was a cold gray morning in Pullman at the 16th Annual Cougar Invitational on Mooberry Field, but that did not stop the WSU track and field from dominating its competition.

The Cougars dominated Whitworth, Spokane Community College and Eastern Washington University both in track and field events. The local schools competed in some healthy competition and the spirit each athlete was supporting no matter who was on stage.

High jumper Thane Pierson cleared 7-feet, 3 inches in the final event of the meet. The jump was the seventh best in school history and is tied for the sixth-best in the nation.

“It felt pretty good,” Pierson said in an press release. “I was working on the things we’ve been focusing on the past couple of weeks; a few cues to get up to these higher heights. I’ve found success during the outdoor season with the approach work and keeping my shoulder away from the bar. I feel good about the Pac-12s but I think it’s pretty much open for anyone to take first place.”

WSU senior Candice McFarland ran the 100-meter hurdles and took first place with a time of 14.34 seconds after not seeing the track for an entire year. She wants to set the bar high for herself.

“I’m really excited to be back, but this meet I feel like I could have done better,” McFarland said. “This meet has taught me to work hard in my training so I can look forward to the meets that I have ahead.”

WSU sophomore Abu Kamara represented the men in the 100-meter hurdles and finished seven seconds his teammate WSU freshman Christapherson Grant. Kamara finished with a time of 14.57 seconds.

Kamara excited about his race, thanks the sun for coming out on this gray Saturday morning. He said the weather never affects his performance, but it can sometimes affect the mood of his teammates.

“When it’s cold out and the sun isn’t out, most people have their heads hanging low and saying how much they don’t feel like running,” Kamara said. “But when the sun is out and its warm, everybody is excited about running, saying heck yeah, I am ready to run.”

In high school, Kamara competed in the USATR Junior Olympics in Maryland and had the second-best 100-meter hurdles prelims time.

WSU junior Kiana Davis won her event in the women’s long jump finishing with five feet and eight inches (1.75 meters). Fierce on the field and very humble as a person, she said today wasn’t her best, but she’s happy to take first.

“I didn’t meet my expectations today, and this meet has taught me to have trust in my training,” Davis said.

The Cougar outdoor track and field team is busy this year competing while finishing up the school year and knocking out finals.

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Pierson soars for WSU at the Cougar Invitational