SEATTLE, Wash. – In the second indoor meet of the season, the Oregon State track and field team saw marked improvements across the board at the UW Invite in Seattle over the weekend, posting four top-10 finishes and a number of PRs at Dempsey Indoor.
“You can never complain about improvement,” Oregon State assistant coach Travis Floeck said. “You always want to be moving forward and we saw that this weekend. We really are still working out some of the kinks and bettering technique, but our student-athletes are getting the opportunity to compete and get in right mindset to set them up for success in outdoor season. It shows we are getting better and I expect the same thing in two weeks.”
Stevie Coury had arguably the best performance for OSU on Saturday when he earned a berth in the finals of the 60m dash, winning his preliminary heat with a 6.89. In the final, the football wideout matched up with three Olympians, including Ryan Bailey, and ran 6.90 to come in eighth overall.
Coury, who had a limited track background at Lake Oswego High School, has now won two of the three career races at OSU, finishing first in both of his prelim heats in the 60m at the UW Indoor Preview and UW Invite. His time of 6.89 on Saturday bettered his effort from two weeks ago by 12 hundredths of a second.
“It’s a pretty remarkable improvement, 12 hundredths of a second in just two weeks,” Floeck said. “He definitely has natural talent, we’ve been cleaning up his form and he is very coachable. He’s worked really hard to improve and it showed today. It was incredibly exciting to see him make the finals today and run with the big boys.”
Allie Church had a busy weekend for OSU’s women, running the 200 on Friday night and the 400 and 60 on Saturday. She won her heat and finished eighth overall in the 200 improving her school-record time to 25.31. She also won her heat of the 400 and finished ninth overall with a time of 58.05, the second-best indoor time in OSU history. She ran 7.77 in the 60 to come in 11th out of nearly 60 entries.
“She had a big weekend with three races,” Floeck said of Church. “She improved in the 200 and ran another strong race. Came back today and looked good. We’re really pleased with her 400 because she had already run twice. She went in, competed really hard and to run right at her PR at the beginning of February really opened up her eyes. She continues to impress and I’m excited for her to come back in two weeks.”
Improvements also extended to the Beaver throwers. Rachel Picknell threw 42’ 0.75” in the shot put, more than two feet better than last time out to finish 12th. On Friday night, Melissa Ausman reached a mark of 50’ 11.50” in the weight throw to come in ninth, a four-foot improvement.
“Rachel had a great week of practice,” Floeck said. “I’m really pleased with where she’s at. She knows she has a lot more left, but when you step in with confidence you’re going to hit some marks and she did that today.
“Melissa had a really big improvement in the weight throw as well and is just learning that event. She got into the finals and was able to get three more throws, experience which is incredibly valuable.”
Ausman threw the shot 38’ 3.25” to finish 23rd and Tricia Ingraham, in her first OSU appearance, threw 36’ 7.50”. In the weight throw, Picknell’s mark of 44’ 6.25” was good enough for 20th.
In the jumps, Michele Turney’s mark of 36’ 10.50” in the triple jump placed her 12th. She was also 25th in the long jump (16’ 3.25”) while teammate Kaylene Rust was 27th (16’ 1.50”). Walter Jones’ long jump of 22’ 6.25” put him in a tie for eighth.
Oregon State will have another two-week break before it returns to Dempsey Indoor for the Husky Classic on Feb. 14 and 15.