The WSU track and field team had strong performances in both the Husky Classic and Don Kirby Open meets during the weekend, even with the competition at a higher level.
“We were performing consistently coming into this weekend but our objective was to get up to the next level with everyone improving their performances and reestablishing their baselines,” WSU track and field head coach Rick Sloan said in an interview. “The vast majority of our people did exactly that.”
The Husky Classic in Seattle consisted mostly of long distance runners, a few sprinters and field competitors for WSU.
Freshman sprinter Bryan Howell won the men’s 200-meter dash and was the runner up in the 400m dash with a time of 48.96 seconds.
“Howell impressed us last fall and we thought he was really coming along then he sprained his ankle before Christmas and it has taken him awhile to come back,” Sloan said. “He’s coming around quickly.”
Seven WSU men set personal best records over the weekend in Seattle.
WSU long distance runner Lee George cut seven seconds off his mile time and ran a four minute and eight second race. This led him to finish in 18th place for the event.
WSU women’s long distant runner, Ruby Roberts finished in third place in the mile with a time of 4:48 - a personal best for her.
“Roberts ran a gutsy and competitive mile race,” Sloan said.
WSU runner Courtney Zalud ran a season best 800m race with a time of 2:10.
“Zalud did a terrific job in 800m race, which was very competitive, and finished really strong,” Sloan said.
Even though WSU didn’t come out on top in multiple events in Seattle, Coach Sloan said he was still happy with the performances, which will hopefully lead to success in future events.
“It was exciting to see this weekend,” Sloan said. “I think we are going to be representative and compete very well even though the competition will be even tighter than it was here but we will be competing for a team score. That always brings out the best in our athletes.”
At the Albuquerque meet, the best athletes on the WSU track and field team competed and succeeded, starting with All-American jumper Stephan Scott-Ellis, who won the long jump event on Friday night and was runner up in the men’s triple jump.
Ellis was the only WSU competitor to win an event in New Mexico, while other WSU competitors had personal best performances. This included freshman sprinter Dominique Keel who ran a personal best 60m race with a time of 7.65, finishing in 6th place for the event.
“The sprint crew did a great job and our jumpers for the most part,” Sloan said.
WSU’s next meet is the Idaho Collegiate II meet on Feb. 15 in Moscow.