LACEY, WASH. – Despite incredibly wet and blustery conditions, Seattle U track and field managed to produce some stellar performances on Saturday at the St. Martin’s Jay Hammer Invitational. Junior Shannan Higgins took first place and set a new personal record in the 3k steeplechase with a time of 11:58.10, over 21 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Senior Caylah Lunning also ended the day with a first-place finish, leaping 5.45m in the long jump. In total, 14 different Redhawks reached new personal bests in their respective events.
Although Higgins and Lunning stood out with their top finishes, the other Seattle U women also delivered praiseworthy outings. Both sophomore Rachel Kastama (10:35.22) and freshman Courtney Gelmini (11:05.39) set PR’s in the 3k run, with Kastama finishing in second place overall. Similarly, freshman Marie-Therese Chahrouri (4:47.35) and junior Emily O’Hara (4:53.99) had PR’s of their own in the 1500m run. Junior Michelle Newblom took second place in the 100m hurdles with a time of 15.35, while Lunning added to her accolades by taking third in the 400m dash with a time of 1:01.19. She was followed closely by freshman Rachel Van Liew’s mark of 1:03.44 in the race.
Many of the throwers for the Redhawks also achieved new personal bests. Freshman Jami Tresselt set a PR of 29.84m in the discus throw, and classmate Sylvia Hendrix’s hammer throw of 32.85m was enough to establish her own best collegiate mark. In the javelin throw, sophomore Jamie Hegg had a PR of 28.98m, following freshman Tallia Sova’s score of 29.09m. Sova also threw 10.86m in the shot put. Rounding out the Seattle U women were sophomore Nicole Golba, who finished in the triple jump with 10.09m, and the 4x100m relay squad (49.20), which included Newblom, freshman Regie Grady, junior Laurel Mack-Wilson, and sophomore Michaela Moore.
For the men, the 3k steeplechase was the standout event, as all three competitors set PR’s. Freshman Ansel Pendley-Griffin’s finish of 9:49.60 topped the standings for Seattle U, followed by classmate Stephen Crocker’s time of 10:03.70 and sophomore Kyle Kennedy’s 10:08.30. Senior Evan Talan also set a personal best in the 1500m run at 4:20.60, as did freshman Epheson Giday (9:24.65) in the 3k run and junior Aidan Smith (5.70m) in the long jump. The men’s 4x100m relay squad of junior Jarod DeGuzman and freshmen Lucas Milne, Brant Yamamoto, and Isaiah Payne combined for a total time of 43.32 in the race, while freshman Zach Gonzalez finished the 400m dash in 51.04 and junior Kailan Claiborne posted a triple jump score of 12.60m.
“We had some solid finishes today, despite the weather,” said Head Coach Kelly Sullivan. “Our competitors really put things together.”
Next, the Redhawks will have a quick turnaround and split their squad for two separate meets held concurrently in Southern California. The Brian Clay Invitational will take place on April 17-18 in Azusa, Calif., while the Mt. SAC Relays in Torrance, Calif., will last from April 18-20.