Track & Field Kicks Season Into High Gear At Oregon Preview Saturday
March 14, 2013
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State track & field program will have 24 student-athletes competing in 12 different events, including a number making their 2013 outdoor debuts, in the Oregon Preview on Saturday afternoon at Hayward Field in Eugene.
The meet, which is the first in eight straight weeks of competition for Oregon State heading into the Pac-12 Championships in Los Angeles in May, will be streamed live for free at Oregon's Pac-12 portal. Live results will also be available on goducks.com.
"We're looking to keep the momentum [coming off the Willamette Opener]," Oregon State assistant coach Travis Floeck said. "What we ask of the team going into every meet is the same. You want to develop routines and approach races the exact same way by preparing as best you can all throughout the week, focusing on all the things you can control and then when you get in there being competitive. If they keep executing in that manner every time we go to a meet, we are going to continue to get really good results and as the season goes along, then in theory the marks will improve and I think that's what we'll see."
Freshman Kayla Fleskes will kick things off for the Beavers at 12:45 p.m. in the day's third event, throwing the javelin. Two weeks ago at the Willamette Opener in Salem, Fleskes became the first Oregon State student-athlete to compete in that discipline since 1988.
Following the javelin, Sara Almen, Lucinda Howard, Jessica Lautenbach and Kristin Oenning will participate in the women's high jump at 1:05 p.m. In the first outdoor meet of the season on March 2, Howard and Oenning finished first and second in the high jump at the Willamette Opener, clearing 5' 5¼" and 5' 3¼".
The Oregon Preview will serve as the outdoor debut for freshman Sara Almen, who had a fantastic start to her OSU track & field career during the indoor campaign. She improved steadily in each of her three meets earlier this winter, jumping 5' 7¾" at the UW Invite on Jan. 20, 5' 10" at the Husky Classic on Feb. 9 and 5' 11¼" at the UW Final Qualifier on March 1.
Almen's leap of 5' 11¼" tied her for 19th in the country and was the third-best for any freshman. It was also the third-best indoor high jump mark in Oregon State history, behind Joni Huntley's 6' 2½" at a USA-USSR dual in Richmond, Va. on March 3, 1975 and Carina Westover's 6' ½" from the 1984 NCAA Indoor Championships.
"During the indoor season, Sara was coming right off of volleyball," assistant coach Collin Cram said of the dual-sport athlete. "Now that volleyball is transitioning in its training, it's really nice for her. I can tell she's a little fresher. For indoors, she was doing so well, it was hard to take a step back and work on the things she needed to. Now it's nice we're in outdoors. There is not as much pressure at the moment so we can take some time to work on the things she needs to work on."
A quintet of Beavers will also don the singlet for the first time in 2013 at 1:15 p.m. when Kristin Coffman, Lauren Graebner, Emily LaValley, Chelsa McDonnell and Emily Weber run in the 1,500. The event will serve as the first-ever track & field competition for Coffman, McDonnell and Weber at Oregon State. McDonnell, a Klamath Falls native, transferred from New Mexico State over the summer, while Coffman and Weber are both freshmen.
Former Oregon State all-American and 1,500-meter record-holder (4:17.77) Laura Carlyle will also be a part of that field at 1:15 p.m.
Lucinda Howard and Kaitlyn Mason will participate in the long jump at 1:40 p.m. and Michele Turney and Jessica Lautenbach in the 110-meter hurdles at 1:50 p.m. At the Willamette Opener on March 2, Mason won the former with a mark of 17' 5¼" and Turney claimed victory in the latter with a time of 15.61.
Mary Claire Brenner, who this season became Oregon State's first competitor in the shot put in 25 years, will again throw in that event at 2:15 p.m. In atypical fashion, Brenner threw the shot 39' 4" on her sixth and final attempt at Willamette, building confidence and distance with each successive toss and easily eclipsed her previous best of 37' 5¾".
Howard, Turney and Rylee Marshall are entered in the triple jump at 3:20 p.m. and Brenner and Fleskes will throw the discus at 3:35 p.m.
Football player Ryan Cope will also race in the men's 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles at 2:05 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
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