CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State freshman thrower Melissa Ausman destroyed the school record in the discus by almost 13 feet to lead a banner day for the Beavers in the second-ever OSU High Performance Meet at the Whyte Track & Field Center in Corvallis on Friday.
Ausman, whose stated goal has been to break the school discus record this season, did just that and more in front of the home crowd. Needing to reach 155’ 3” to achieve her mark, the freshman threw 163’ 10” on her first attempt. With the record already in her grasp, Ausman unleashed her sixth attempt and went 168’ (51.20m) to finish second out of 18 competitors.
“I was pretty excited and I’m still pretty excited right now,” Ausman said after her record-setting effort. “I was almost more pleased with the first throw I took which broke the school record. The last throw I just wanted to give it my all. I’m on cloud nine right now. I had really good days out at that ring this week [in practice]. My warm-up throws weren’t that great, but it only takes one throw … or five.”
Not only did that 168’ better her previous PR by over 16 feet (151’ 10”), it also was nearly 13 feet better than Beth Nygren’s 155’ 2” set in Corvallis on May 7, 1988 – the previous Oregon State record. Ausman’s throw puts her on pretty solid footing to join Kinsey Gomez (10K) in the NCAA Regional at the end of the month and is currently 33rd in the west.
While Ausman was rewriting the discus record books, teammate Rachel Picknell was jumping over the freshman on the school’s all-time list in the shot put. Picknell, a sophomore transfer from Sacramento CC, threw 43’ 11.25” on her fourth attempt, topping her previous best (42’ 11”) by over a foot and moving into fourth in Oregon State history. Picknell came into Friday ninth all-time in that event, while Ausman was sixth and slid down one spot to seventh.
In the javelin, freshman Christina MacDonald joined in and set a PR of her own (138’ 11”), solidifying her hold on the school record with the new implement.
“I really liked what I saw,” Oregon State head coach Kelly Sullivan said of his team on Friday. “There were a lot of really good performances. Our throwers had a great day and are very young. Melissa’s high school PR last year was 149’ so her improvement was pretty huge. And Michele Turney went 40’ in the triple for the first time.”
Sophomore Michele Turney, who has set and re-set the OSU triple jump record on three occasions coming into the meet, did so again on Friday. Turney won her signature event with a leap of 40’ on her sixth and final attempt and is currently tied for 50th in the West Region.
She also had her best day in the long jump earlier in the afternoon, finishing second with a wind-aided mark of 18’ 7.25”. Turney’s first attempt of 18’ 1.75”, however, was achieved without the benefit of the wind and moves her into a tie for sixth on Oregon State’s all-time list. She had been ninth after reaching 18’ 0.25” at last weekend’s Triton Invitational in San Diego, Calif.
Annie Sidor PR’d in the pole vault to wrap up the fabulous day for OSU’s field event athletes. Her clearance at 11’ 7.75” was a four-inch improvement over her previous best and is now tied with Helen Ann Haun for the school record.
“It’s nice for our team to have a home meet of this quality,” Sullivan added. “It brings the best out of them and is one of the reasons you want to build a facility. We’ve always had to go to everyone else’s place, so to see all these schools coming into your facility provides just a different energy.”
On the track, the Beavers’ had solid performances in the invitational 1,500m. Morgan Anderson was OSU’s top finisher, coming in sixth in 4:27.58. Kinsey Gomez (4:29.83) and Kelsi Schaer (4:30.32) went 8-9 and Holly Cavalluzzo came in 14th (4:36.05).
Schaer’s time shaved a bit off her previous PR of 4:30.46. She is 10th all-time at Oregon State in that event. Gomez’s 4:26.89 from last year’s High Performance Meet is third and Anderson’s 4:27.15 from this season’s Oregon Relays is fourth.
Next Friday’s Oregon Twilight will be the Beavers’ final tune-up before the Pac-12 Championships on May 17 and 18 in Pullman, Wash.