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Track to compete in Spokane, Bay Area

A+WSU+thrower+prepares+to+throw+the+shot+put+during+the+Cougar+Indoor+at+the+Indoor+Practice+Facility+on+Feb.+6.
A WSU thrower prepares to throw the shot put during the Cougar Indoor at the Indoor Practice Facility on Feb. 6.

A WSU thrower prepares to throw the shot put during the Cougar Indoor at the Indoor Practice Facility on Feb. 6.

A WSU thrower prepares to throw the shot put during the Cougar Indoor at the Indoor Practice Facility on Feb. 6.

JAMIE JONES | Evergreen track and field reporter

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In another instance of dividing and conquering, the WSU track and field teams will split between three meets, two of which will take place in the Bay Area with the other being in Spokane.

The Cougars going to the Bay Area will compete at either the San Francisco State Distance Carnival at San Francisco State University’s Cox Stadium at 8:30 p.m. on Friday or the Stanford Invitational at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday at Cobb Track and Angell Field.

Not too far from home, the Cougars will also battle in the 11th Annual Sam Adams Classic at Whitworth University’s Pine Bowl in Spokane Saturday. This meet will see the largest group of WSU track and field athletes with 32 men and 24 women jumpers, sprinters and throwers.

Further south, in California, the Stanford Invitational is a major meet for the WSU track and field distance runners. The qualifications to participate in this meet are tough and most performing athletes have long resumes of running in highly competitive environments.

This meet has more than 3,300 athletes entered with open competitors. There will be 109 four-colleges, community colleges and high schools. The event will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

In an invite with stiff competition that is not based on scoring, the Cougars plan to focus on finishing with times that will qualify themselves for regionals and beyond.

WSU’s 10k record holder is senior CharLee Linton. She said she plans to take full advantage of this opportunity to focus on the splits she wants to hit for her race, which is a total of twenty-five laps around the track.

“For distance runners, this is probably the best meet for first rounds in west regionals,” Linton said. “This is where I got my regional time last year.”

Linton made school history by breaking the school record in the 10k event with time of 34:03. Linton said she plans on beating the record once again by breaking 34:00. Her family will be there to support her.

Redshirt senior Forrest Shaffer is also a record holder on the track. He is the current top men’s steeplechaser who will also be competing in Stanford this weekend. Shaffer will be the only athlete in this event who will represent the Cougars at Stanford. He said he takes preparation for meets like these one day at time.

“Every day you evaluate your training and tell yourself, what can I do to get better, what can I do to get do to prepare for this meet,” said Shaffer.

Shaffer doesn’t have any special rituals he performs before meets, but he does do breathing exercises that limits his stress and keeps him focused on what lies ahead. For this meet, Shaffer said he wants to let everyone know he is ready to compete at the national level and that he’s good enough to be at the national championships.

One sophomore who has a lot prove, being one of the younger competitors in this meet, is sophomore Sam Levora. With impressive performances in only his first year of competing in the Pac-12 Championship, he plans to use this meet to continue this momentum by staying strong and making bold times.

“What keeps me motivated the most is the opportunity to go further, I want to qualify for nationals, I want to qualify for big meets based on my performance on the track,” said Levora. “To do that you definitely got to make a statement on the track.”

The meet results will be posted on wsucougars.com.

 

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Track to compete in Spokane, Bay Area