CORVALLIS, Ore. – In its final weekend before heading to Pullman, Wash. for the 2014 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships, Oregon State will send a group to Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. for the Oregon Twilight on Friday evening.
The meet, which begins at 4:30 p.m., will have a two-hour live television window on the Pac-12 Networks beginning at 7:30 p.m. The portion prior to the broadcast coverage can be viewed via Oregon’s Pac-12 video portal. Live results will also be available on goducks.com.
Last Time Out Last Friday, the Beavers hosted their second-ever High Performance Meet at the Whyte Track & Field Center in Corvallis. After starting the meet in 2013 with 240 entries, this season’s version welcomed upwards of 700 entries and 500 athletes from six Division I schools - Eastern Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Portland, Portland State and Seattle U.
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. 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.
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.
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 55th in the west.
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” the Triton Invitational in San Diego, Calif.
Record-Setters This season, the Beavers have had 22 performances that are among the school’s 10 best in various events, including the 800m, 1,500m, 3,000m, 5,000m, 10,000m, long jump, triple jump, pole vault, shot put, discus, hammer and javelin. Six school records have also been set in 2014: Kinsey Gomez in the 10K (34:37.80), Michele Turney in the triple jump (40’), Helen Ann Haun and Annie Sidor in the pole vault (11’ 7.75”), Melissa Ausman in the discus (168’), Rachel Picknell in the hammer (160’ 4”) and Christina MacDonald in the javelin [new implement] (138’ 11”).
Good Start Freshman thrower Melissa Ausman has had fantastic start to her young career. Her school-record discus mark of 168’ last Friday bettered 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 also puts her on pretty solid footing to join Kinsey Gomez (10K) in the NCAA West Preliminary Championships at the end of the month. It is currently 35th in the west, fifth in the nation among freshmen, second among U20 collegians and meets the qualifying standard for IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene this summer. Ausman’s shot put PR of 43’ 5.75” from the John Knight Twilight earlier this season is also seventh on Oregon State’s all-time list. Ausman and Kam Johnson are the only OSU women to be in the top seven of each of those events.
Rare Company Sophomore Michele Turney, who already set the OSU triple jump record as a freshman, bettered that mark at the John Knight Twilight on April 11 and at the OSU High Performance last Friday. Her leap of 40’ is the sixth best in the Pac-12 during the outdoor season. Turney’s non-wind-aided long jump of 18’ 1.75” at the same meet also placed her in a tie for sixth in Oregon State history. She joins Colleen Gibson as the only OSU women to be among the school’s 10 best in both horizontal jumps.
First Timers The Beavers’ expanding program has included a number of first-time competitions for OSU women in 2014. Freshmen Helen Ann Haun and Annie Sidor became the school’s first pole vaulters at the OSU Invite on March 8. At the same meet, Rachel Picknell’s hammer throw was a first for an OSU woman and Melissa Ausman and Kayla Fleskes have joined her in that event since. That historic hammer toss was recorded at Western Oregon University, as that part of the Whyte Track & Field Center has yet to be built.
NCAA West Preliminary Championships Junior Kinsey Gomez, running her first-ever 10K, demolished the school record at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. on April 17, finishing in 34:37.80. With the performance, Gomez put herself in strong position to earn a berth at this year’s NCAA West Preliminary Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. at the end of May. A 10K of 34:37 would have placed in the region’s top 35 each of the last two seasons. That time was 50 seconds better than Sandra Martinez’s previous OSU best of 35:27.82 from 2010, which also came at the Mt. SAC Relays.
Gomez’s 10K time is 33rd in the west and joins freshman Melissa Ausman’s discus position (35th) in good standing to earn trips to Arkansas.
Another Step Forward On April 29, Oregon State announced a $220,000 donation to the Whyte Track & Field Center which will fully fund the warm-up, staging and javelin practice areas. That gift puts Oregon State well on its way to fulfilling the matching $2 million donation it received in early 2014.