Track and Field Ready to Take on Pac-12 Championships
May 10, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State track and field team will travel to Eugene, Ore. this weekend to compete at the 2012 Pac-12 Track and Field Championships, hosted by the University of Oregon at Hayward Field.
The Pac-12 Championships are set to take place May 12 and 13, with the trials of each event being held on Saturday and the finals on Sunday. The Beavers will have 17 student-athletes competing this weekend, including five of the men.
The men of the Oregon State track and field team will kick things off for the Beavers on Saturday with the 4X100 meter dash. Brandin Cooks, Malcolm Marable, Keynan Parker and Markus Wheaton are are the first 4X100 meter relay team to compete since the men's program was disassembled.
Cooks, Parker and Wheaton will also be competing in the 100 meter dash, just a week after Wheaton and Marable turned in impressive performances in the 100 meter dash at the Oregon Twilight. Obum Gwacham will round out the men in the high jump.
Senior Laura Carlyle will be the lone Beaver running in the 1,500 meter race. She currently holds a top-25 time in the country with her time of 4:17.77, which also set a new school record in the event.
A trio of Beavers will compete in the 800 meter run. Lacey London, Emily LaValley and Taylor Hunt will all compete in the 800 meter run on Saturday. LaValley currently holds the second fastest time on the team in the event.
Oregon State will have one athlete running in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with Taylor Nowlin. Saturday’s race will serve as the final for the event as well. Nowlin is coming off a strong performance in the 3,000 meter steeplechase notching the fastest time on the team last weekend.
On Sunday, the Beavers will have Kristin Oenning and Justine Bird competing in the high jump. Also competing on Sunday will be Sandra Martinez, Audrey Botti and Kinsey Gomez in the 5,000 meter run, with Jones joining them in that race.
Sunday will also hold the finals for the 1,500 meters, 800 meters, 4X100 meter relay and the 100 meter dash. To qualify for the finals of the 800 meters, 100 meter dash and the 4X100 meter relay, the athletes must finish in the top-eight, while in the 1,500 meters the top-12 will qualify.
Fans wishing to follow along with the action this weekend can find live results here.
Breakdown of Events
4X100 Meter Relay/100 Meter Dash: The men of the Oregon State track and field team have made an impact on the track and field community quickly. The Beavers had four football players competing during the indoor season, but then took a break from the track during spring football. They have made a loud and convincing return with their performances at the Oregon Preview and the Oregon Twilight. The team of Brandin Cooks, Markus Wheaton, Malcolm Marable and Keynan Parker competed in the 4X100 meter relay at the Oregon Preview, becoming the first Oregon State men’s track athletes to compete in that event since the men’s program was disassembled. Last weekend, Wheaton made headlines when he finished in second place overall in the 100 meter dash at the Oregon Twilight, beating University of Oregon’s running back De’Anthony Thomas. Check out the ESPN blog about the race here.
1,500 Meters: Laura Carlyle will be the lone Beaver competing in the 1,500 meter race this weekend. Carlyle has been a star for the Beavers since she stepped on the track wearing the orange and black uniform, and this season has been no different. Carlyle broke her own school record in the indoor mile three separate times and became the first Oregon State athlete to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. She kept the momentum going into the outdoor season. She broke her own school record in the 1,500 meters last weekend at the Oregon Twilight. Her time of 4:17.77 was good enough to give her the 22nd best time in the country and the fifth best time in the conference. This summer, she will become the first Olympic Trials qualifier from OSU since Cindy Greiner made the 1992 U.S. team, when she will compete at the Canadian Track and Field Olympic Trials.
800 Meters: The Beavers will have a trio competing in the 800 meter run with Lacey London, Taylor Hunt and Emily LaValley. Hunt has been a staple in the 800 meters this season, with her best time coming at the Willamette Invite (2:18.09). In the Beavers first outdoor meet, Hunt came out of the gates ready and ended up winning the event with a time of 2:19.87. London, a transfer, has turned in several impressive performances in the 800 meters. She currently holds the third fastest time on the team when she ran a time of 2:14.06 at the John Knight Twilight and has never finished out of the top-five in the event. After redshirting during the cross country season, LaValley had not been in a competition setting in quite a while, but that obviously didn’t bother her. She holds the second fastest time on the team (2:13.89) and finished first in the event at the Oregon Relays.
3,000 Meter Steeplechase: Taylor Nowlin has been one of three athletes regularly competing in the 3,000 meter steeplechase. Nowlin currently holds the fastest time on the team (10:51.14), which she ran in her first full attempt at the event this season at the Oregon Twilight last week. Her time of 10:51.14 puts her third all-time at OSU.
High Jump: The Beavers will be traveling three high jumpers this weekend, with Kristin Oenning and Justine Bird competing for the women and Obum Gwacham competing for the men. Oenning has been one of the most consistent athletes on the team this season, constantly turning in impressive performances in the high jump. She jumped a season and personal record of 5-04.50 at the Oregon Relays and turned in five top-five finishes this season. Bird, a newcomer to the team this year, holds the second highest jump on the team this season with a jump of 5-01.00. Gwacham has stepped into the spotlight this year for the men, jumping a season best height of 6-11.75 last weekend at the Oregon Twilight. That jump is good enough for a top-50 in the country height and the second best jump by a football player competing in track this season.
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