EUGENE, Ore. – Freshman Melissa Ausman significantly improved her PR the discus, finishing second and moving into fourth on Oregon State’s all-time list, leading the OSU track and field squad’s solid start to a six-week stretch of competition at the Oregon Preview in Eugene on Saturday afternoon.
The Nyssa, Ore. product threw the discus 151’ 10”, an improvement of more than seven-feet over her season-opening mark from two weeks ago, to finish second in an 11-person field. She’s only the fifth female in Oregon State history to throw over 150 feet and is now fourth on the school’s all-time list, behind Beth Nygren (155’ 2”; 1988), Lori Souza (154’ 10”; 1988) and Kam Johnson (153’ 1”; 1986).
“Melissa had a great day,” Oregon State assistant coach Travis Floeck said. “To throw seven feet farther than our opening meet shows significant progress, but at the same time we know there’s a lot more there based on what she’s done in practice. She’s teasing us a bit and is definitely going to be able to expand on that mark.”
Ausman’s discus performance highlighted the day for the Beavers, which saw OSU enter student-athletes in 13 different events. Oregon State’s women won five of six dual meets against other schools competing at Hayward Field on Saturday, something that bringing a comprehensive squad makes possible.
“It’s a great experience as a coach and for every person in our program to go to a meet,” Floeck added. “In the past we were participating in three events, maybe 10 to 15 percent of the meet. But now with a comprehensive team it’s a whole different experience. You want to be all over the place because we are covering all events now. The dual scores represent that. There isn’t a lot of importance placed on them, but it shows me how much we’re expanding.”
Rachel Picknell, in the second-ever hammer competition for an Oregon State female, increased her distance to 146’ 3”. Christina MacDonald’s javelin mark of 133’ 2” was also an improvement of nearly 25 feet from the OSU Invite on March 8.
Michele Turney finished second in the triple jump, leaping 38’ 6.75” while in the high jump Sara Almen, competing unattached, also came in second crossing 5’ 9.75” and nearly besting the bar at 5’ 11”.
“We had a good day and people competed well,” Floeck added. “As a staff we are really happy with where everyone is at. There are a lot of opportunities and meets coming up. We’re excited to see people continue to improve and progress and are aiming to hit our best marks next month.”