EUGENE, Ore. – Morgan Anderson ran a 1,500m PR of 4:27.15 on Saturday to move into fourth on Oregon State’s all-time list, highlighting a group of six Beaver track and field athletes that put themselves in the OSU record books over two days at the Oregon Relays in Eugene.
The redshirt freshman, competing in just her second 1,500 in uniform, bested her previous PR by more than seven seconds to come in fifth. Anderson, who ran 4:34.22 at the Stanford Invite on April 4, now only trails Laura Carlyle (2012), Casey Masterson (2010) and Kinsey Gomez (2013) all-time.
“Morgan ran incredibly well in a big-time race and big-time situation,” Oregon State assistant coach Travis Floeck said. “She rose to the occasion and did what we always ask them to do, which is compete. That’s how you achieve those times and marks.”
It was a big breakthrough for Anderson, who not only broke her two-week old PR by seven seconds, but also improved on her high school best by 10 seconds. Running a smart, tactical race, the Silverton HS product didn’t get caught up going out too hard and instead ran largely with a group of four, making moves to remain in that pack.
“There were a couple of points in the race where she could have fallen back,” Floeck added. “It’s great to see her have confidence to make the move. It was pretty clear she was committing herself to doing everything she could so stay with pack she was in. It’s almost like she became a whole other runner tonight. We’ve known that was there and are thrilled for her to know what she can achieve.”
Anderson’s effort on the track was buttressed in the jumps by Bethany Imperial and Kaitlyn Mason. Imperial, in just her second triple jump competition at OSU, leapt 35’ 3.75” to move into fourth all-time at Oregon State. Mason PR’d with a mark of 34’ 11” and is now sixth in Beaver history.
“This program has had some great athletes, names and marks before it was reestablished,” Floeck said. “Any time you’re breaking into your school’s top 10 that is an amazing achievement. Especially with such a young group, they will have the next three to four years to chase some of the marks we lay down this season. And with an amazing class coming in it’s a whole new era.”
In addition to those Saturday PRs for Anderson, Imperial and Mason, Rachel Picknell set a personal best in the discus with a throw of 136’ 1” and Michele Turney turned in a 12.67 100m.
Lane CC transfer Allie Church, who is redshirting this season, also ran a 12.15 100m, a time which would place ninth in school history had she been in uniform.
“For Allie it’s all about trying to get better this year and get some momentum behind her,” Floeck commented. “It’s a challenge for her at times because she is our only sprinter, but next year it is going to be a solid group and one that will be a whole new facet of our program.”
Two more meets are on the docket in the coming days for OSU, as the Beavers will split between the Titan Twilight in Eugene next Thursday and the Triton Invitational in San Diego next Friday and Saturday.