Track & Field Opens Outdoor At Willamette; Sends Pair To Last Chance
Feb. 28, 2013
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State track & field program begins its outdoor season this Saturday when it sends a bevy of student-athletes in numerous disciplines to the Willamette Opener in Salem. Additionally, a pair of Beavers will compete at the UW Final Qualifier in Seattle on Friday night at Dempsey Indoor.
Willamette Opener (Outdoor)
OSU will have an action-packed day at Charles Bowles Track on Saturday. Previously confined to mainly middle-distance and distance races, the Beavers will have entries in nine of the 18 women's events at the Willamette Opener. Additionally, freshman football player Ryan Cope will represent Oregon State in the men's 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles.
"This meet kick starts the outdoor season that we think has a lot of promise," Oregon State assistant coach Travis Floeck said. "We took a low-key approach to the indoor season, so for a lot of them it's their first opportunity to compete in 2013. It's just going to be a different experience. [In years past] we would run 16 people in the 1,500 and be done. We weren't truly having that track & field meet experience, but this is going to be that."
The meet begins with field events at 9:30 a.m. and for the first time since the program's re-establishment nearly a decade ago, the Beavers will be busy in Salem from the start. Kicking off the day with the women's high jump, Oregon State will have six competitors in what was historically the school's signature event. Justine Bird, Lucinda Howard, Jessica Lautenbach, Kristin Oenning, Kaitlyn Mason and Michele Turney will jump for the Beavers in this year's first outdoor meet.
At noon, Lautenbach, Mason and Turney will participate in the long jump and that trio will be closely followed by Howard and Rylee Marshall in the triple jump.
The Beavers' field event entries on Saturday will conclude with Brenner and Fleskes throwing the discus at 1:00 p.m. Earlier this indoor season, Brenner became the first Oregon State student-athlete to compete in the shot put since 1988, and on Saturday, Fleskes will be the first Beaver to throw the javelin in a quarter century and both will accomplish the same feat when they throw the discus.
On the track, Oregon State will feature a third of the entries in the 1,500, as Adrienne Demaree, Taylor Hunt, Kira Kelly, Lacey London, Aly Nielson, Sarah Olson, Whitney Pitman, Kelsi Schaer and Hilary Sharpe will open their outdoor seasons with the event at 12:50 p.m.
At 1:15 p.m. Lautenbach, Mason and Turney will compete in the100-meter hurdles before Cope runs his race in the 110-meter hurdles at 1:25 p.m.
Carly Januzzi will be Oregon State's lone competitor in the 400 at 1:40 p.m. before Cope wraps up the day's action for the Beavers in the 400-meter hurdles at 2:50 p.m.
UW Final Qualifier (Indoor)
Almen, who at the same venue earlier this year, jumped an impressive 5' 10" and had two very good attempts at 6' 0" will attempt to achieve an NCAA qualifying mark for the final time this season. In the past, automatic and provisional qualifying marks were used to select championships fields, but all guidelines have been removed this season - leaving just the top 16 performers in individual events eligible for championships competition in Fayetteville, Ark.
"The difference between Sara and everybody else on this list is they all went to conference championships and competed last weekend," Floeck said. "[Qualifying] is a big goal of hers and since she did have a good attempt last time at 6' 0", I think it's an attainable one."
Her 5' 10" mark is currently tied for 37th in the country. Almen would need a jump of around 6' 0" or 6' 0½" to give herself a shot of making the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Gomez will be traveling to Seattle with a different goal in mind, instead trying to PR in the 3K. The sophomore competed twice in the indoor mile last season, posting the eighth-fastest time in OSU history of 4:59.48 at the UW Invite on Jan. 28, 2012. In the outdoor season, she ran 10:03.10 at the UO Preview on March 18, 2012, among the top 15 marks at Oregon State.
At the UW Invite on Jan. 20 this year, Gomez finished third in the 3K with a time of 9:50.63, the second-fastest time in school history. Laura Carlyle holds the indoor 3K school record of 9:35.99, which she ran at the same UW Final Qualifier on March 5, 2011.
"Kinsey is very fit, has put in the work and is deserving of having an opportunity to go and PR," Floeck said. "It'll be really exciting for her because she can really run a great time. She's made some huge improvements in a lot of different areas that have shown up in her training."
The women's high jump begins at 6 p.m. and the 3,000-meter run starts at 8 p.m. Live stats and video for the UW Final Qualifier can be found by visiting gohuskies.com.
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.