Almen Leads Beavers At Husky Classic; Clears 5' 10'' In High Jump
Feb. 9, 2013
SEATTLE, Wash. - Oregon State freshman multi-sport athlete Sara Almen set a personal record by clearing 5' 10" in the high jump and in the process became just the seventh woman in OSU history to reach that height, leading a sextet of Beavers at the Husky Classic in Seattle on Saturday.
The Santiam Christian product cleared both 5' 4¼" and 5' 6" on her first attempts, took two tries to jump 5' 8" and crossed the 5' 10" threshold on her third attempt at that height. She finished tied for first place in the event with four others. Since team scores were not calculated at the meet, there was no jump off and misses were not taken into account to break the tie.
"We saw a lot of improvement in two weeks and can't be anything by thrilled," Oregon State assistant coach Travis Floeck said. "To come back in two weeks off of what was a fantastic opening mark and better that by over two inches and PR is amazing. She's a great athlete, a great competitor and it was really exciting to watch."
At Dempsey Indoor two weeks ago, Almen tied for third in the high jump with a mark of 5' 7¾". Today, she also had two very good attempts at 6' 0", but wasn't able to clear the bar at the magical mark. Only six other Oregon State female student-athletes have ever jumped 5' 10" either indoor or outdoor: Joni Huntley 6' 2¾" (1976); Carina Westover 6' 2" (1984); Kim Fenton 6' 0" (1988); Sonya Crowther 6' 0" (1982); Sue Blake 5' 11" (1982); and Cindy Greiner 5' 11" (1981).
Almen, a three-time Oregon state champion in the high jump during high school, cleared 5' 9" last May to set a new 3A state record and qualify for the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
"What she did was a pretty significant improvement in that short of a time," Floeck added. "Being indoors and coming off of volleyball, it's pretty remarkable. The higher the bar goes up, the harder it is to make those big gains."
Mary Claire Brenner created a buzz at the meet as the first competitor to represent Oregon State in the shot put since 1988. The former four-year softball letterwinner threw 37' 5¾" on her first attempt to finish ninth in her flight and 33rd overall.
"I think we were all really proud of her," Floeck said of Brenner's performance. "When you put it in perspective, it was her first track and field competition ever. She talked about how her heart had never beaten so fast when she got in that ring to throw, but ... she handled it really well. She's a true competitor and was part of history today."
Turney ran 9.76 (42nd) in the former and jumped 16' 7¼" (26th) in the latter. Mason finished 46th in the hurdles after running 10.06 seconds and came in 18th in the long jump with a distance of 16' 11¼".
"I think they did a great job," Floeck said of the pair. "They improved on their marks in the long jump, which we said would be a great goal, and they went out and competed hard in the hurdles. Michele is fresh out of high school and Kaitlyn is only a sophomore so they're young and we are really happy with how they performed."
The Beavers have one more meet on the indoor calendar, the UW Final Qualifier on March 1, before opening their outdoor season at the Linfield Icebreaker on March 2.
Support Oregon State University Athletics by making your tax deductible donation to Our Beaver Nation. For more information follow this link or call 541-737-2370. i> Former Student-Athletes are invited to join the Varsity O Facebook Page for upcoming Alumni events.
Follow Oregon State Athletics On YouTube.