CORVALLIS, Ore. – A busy Saturday afternoon of athletics action on the Oregon State campus will begin at noon at the Whyte Track and Field Center when the Beavers host the OSU Invitational, their first home meet of 2014 and just the third since unveiling the facility a little over a year ago.
The event is free and open to the public. Temporary stands have been put in place to accommodate expected crowds, but fans wishing to attend are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs. Free all-day parking is available in the gravel lot by the track and in spaces adjacent to Reser Stadium. The Whyte Track and Field Center entrance is located east of the 26th and Western intersection, between the Hilton Garden Inn and the OSU Softball Complex.
The meet begins at noon with the javelin followed by the high jump, shot put, long jump and pole vault. Field events will wrap up around 4 p.m. with the discus. Events on the track begin at 2 p.m. and will include the 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,500, 3,000, 2,000 steeplechase, men’s 110m and women’s 110m hurdles and both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
This will be the first time the hurdles and pole vault are contested at the facility. Last season, OSU lacked the infrastructure necessary to hold those events until a gift from the Whyte family in early June, which included pole vault and high jump landing areas, hurdles, starting blocks and steeplechase barriers used at the 2013 NCAA Championships.
More history will come from some of Oregon State’s entries on Saturday. When Annie Sidor and Helen Ann Haun compete in the pole vault at 3 p.m. they will become the first female track and field athletes in program history to do so.
Additionally, Western Oregon University is helping put on the meet by hosting the hammer on Friday at 2 p.m. Rachel Picknell is entered for Oregon State in that event and when she throws in Monmouth she will be the first female to do so in OSU track and field history.
Saturday’s edition of action just south of Western Boulevard will be the largest gathering at the facility and boast over 400 entries from Seattle Pacific, Clackamas CC, Corban, Western Oregon, Portland, Clark College, UO Running Club and the OSU Running Club in addition to Oregon State.
The first outdoor meet on the schedule, a number of Beavers will be making their 2014 debuts at the OSU Invite. Kelsi Schaer (800), Morgan Anderson (800), Kristiane Width (800), Emily LaValley (800), Emily Weber (1,500), Holly Cavalluzzo (1,500), Haley Hunt (1,500), Kinsey Gomez (3,000), Sandra Martinez (3,000), Adrienne Demaree (3,000), Aly Nielson (3,000), Monica Anderson (3,000), Taylor Nowlin (steeple), Bethany Imperial (long/triple jump), Christina MacDonald (javelin), Kayla Fleskes (javelin) and Ryan Cope (400) are all scheduled to compete for the first time this season. The aforementioned duo in the pole vault will also be making their Oregon State debuts.
On Wednesday, Oregon State Athletics announced it received a $2 million challenge gift in support of the second phase of the Whyte Track and Field Center that will be used toward the construction of grandstands, a press box, hammer throw area, scoreboard, main entry plaza and other amenities.
As part of the challenge gift, all previous commitments that had been made toward the second phase of the facility will be counted. To date, that includes more than $550,000 in cash and pledges. The total budget for the second phase is expected to be $4.5 million. The deadline for making a gift or pledge toward the $2 million challenge is December 31, 2014, with construction scheduled to begin in spring of 2015. More details can be found here.