LACEY, Wash. – (April 14) Eli Boudouris and Johanna Erickson took first place in the men’s and women’s 3000m steeplechase respectively, leading the Seattle University track and field team to an impressive performance at the Jay Hammer meet hosted by Saint Martin on Saturday.

Boudouris set a new personal record, beating his previous record by 23 seconds, and his 9:19 mark also broke a school record that stood for seven years. Erickson’s 11:03 mark also gave her a new personal best, beating her old best by 22 seconds.

“We had not competed either Eli or Johanna in a 3000m steeplechase yet,” head coach Kelly Sullivan said. “So last week we discussed lets run our season opener at St. Martins knowing they would have no competition, but need to race solo efforts on their own and for them both to run 22 second personal bests and Eli set a Seattle University school record, speaks volumes.”

Sullivan was also very pleased with today’s overall results.

“Overall our staff is really impressed with how our team is competing,” he said. “Be it a big meet like two weeks ago at SF State or a meet like today at St. Martins in less than ideal conditions. We are seeing our men and women ‘showing up’ and being focused and competing in either venue now, and that is exciting. That is a big step and will continue.”

The less than ideal conditions included rain, wind and cold weather for most of the day. Despite the conditions, the Redhawks performed very well and stepped up in different events.

“We took a really specific group today, moving them around in events like our two 400 Hurdlers, Steve Brown, who ran an open 400m and PR’ed and Abby Wachter who ran a great open 200 today,” Sullivan added.

Brown’s PR time of 51.91 in the 400m led him to a 6th place finish out of 25 finalists. Wachter ran the 200m in 26.22, which was good for sixth on the women’s side.

In her first ever 100m race, Renee Soliman ran it in 12.65 and finished in fifth place out of 32 competitors.

 “Renee Soliman ran a brilliant 100m race as did Kailan Claiborne in the 200m as another example - as did the rest of the folks we had compete today,” Sullivan added.

Michelle Newblom also impressed in the 100m hurdles, finishing in fifth place. 

“Next week we will head south with two full teams to the Bryan Clay Invite and better weather, so we should see a lot more great things,” Sullivan concluded.

Next week’s meet is set for Thursday and Friday at the Bryan Clay Invitational at the Cougar Athletic Stadium in Azuza, Calif.