Track & Field Opens Indoor Season At UW Invite
Jan. 24, 2013
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State track and field program will take a group of seven jumpers, three distance runners and one thrower north on I-5 when the Beavers open their indoor schedule at the UW Invite at Dempsey Indoor in Seattle on Saturday.
Kinsey Gomez, Kelsi Schaer and Kira Kelly will get things started for OSU when the trio races in the 3,000-meter run at 8:55 a.m. At 10:00 a.m., Michele Turney, Kaitlyn Mason, Rylee Marshall and Jessica Lautenbach will compete in the long jump, followed by Kristin Oenning, Justine Bird, Sara Almen and Lautenbach again in the high jump at 10:30 a.m. and Mary Claire Brenner will throw the shot put at 11:00 a.m.
"The first event of 2013 is always exciting, especially of a season that's going to have a couple of home meets," Oregon State assistant coach Travis Floeck said. "The size of the group we are taking is comparable to years past, but the really exciting thing is that we are taking up a group of athletes in other events than usual. It's different to go to a meet to have some long jumping, high jumping and throwing all in about an hour-and-a-half window."
Oregon State, which has featured primarily distance and middle distance runners since the program was reinstated, will be bringing a group of young student-athletes to Seattle for their first taste of collegiate competition. Almen, Bird, Lautenbach and Turney are all freshmen; Mason transferred from George Fox; and Brenner will be the school's first thrower since the rebirth of OSU track and field after a standout four-year career on the Beaver softball team. Of the jumpers and thrower competing this weekend, Marshall and Oenning are the only ones who have previously done so for Oregon State.
"It's going to be the first time a number of them have competed in an Oregon State uniform," Floeck said. "It's a pretty big deal because that group, besides Sara who played volleyball, spends all fall getting prepared. It's a long build up and it will be good for them to get out there, compete and measure where they're at."
"It's a big test for us because since so many of them are new, we really had to spend a lot of time in the fall doing a lot of base training and conditioning," assistant coach Collin Cram, who works mainly with the Beavers' jumpers and multi-event athletes, added. "We started doing more technical work at the end of last term so this will be a challenge to see where they're at and how they're adapting."
The Beavers weren't originally planning on taking any distance or middle distance runners on Saturday, but Gomez, Schaer and Kelly all showed that they were prepared to get their 2013 season underway.
"It's a competitive meet," Floeck said of the UW Invite. "You have schools from all around the Northwest and a lot of schools traveling to get here because Seattle is a destination to compete indoor. It's definitely one of the best facilities in the whole country and there are great fields in all the events."
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