Track teams capture second, fourth

Dominic Baez

News editor

Despite the on-again, off-again rain, hail and snow that beleaguered the Wildcats all day at the Northwest Conference Championship on    April 19, the men were able to secure second place overall, and the women finished fourth.

The NWC Championship, which took place at George Fox University’s Colcord Memorial Field, was an
all-day event, with both qualifying and score-earning races.

Senior Scott Vanassche had a phenomenal performance at the meet.

He placed first in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and anchored the victorious 4×100-meter relay. He retained his 100 and 200 conference championship titles despite the
uncooperative weather.

“Repeating (the win) was a big goal for me,” he said. “I think I can still go faster; it was only the second meet of the year for me. When it’s cold, I can’t get my body going as fast and that
didn’t help.”

In both his individual races, Vanassche recorded season-best efforts, as well as when he teamed up with sophomore brothers Jeremy and Josh Lovell and junior Mat Strum to capture the 4×100 for a second season.

“It was fun to win the 4×100,” Strum said. “(Getting fourth) in the 400 was a real big disappointment. I just had an off-day.”

Josh Lovell was runner-up behind Vanassche in the 100. He also placed 10th in the pole vault.

Senior Harrison Wilson also raced a personal best, claiming runner-up in the men’s 5,000 in 15 minutes 12.24 seconds. Wilson was four seconds short of claiming the title.

“Overall, this run was one of my best races,” Wilson said.

Given that Wilson had barely qualified for the second round, he was able to make believers out of his competition.

“No one really expected anything from me,” he said. “I was able to surprise them, though.”

Freshman Mike Eldredge was runner-up in the 110 hurdles, clocking in at 15.54 seconds. Sophomore Shawn Fisher was third in the 1,500, with a time of 4:04.70.

For the running events, weather played a detrimental force that hampered even the most prepared athletes.

Wilson, however, said he did not even think about the weather as he ran.

“It’s not like it’s just hailing in Harrison world; it’s hailing for everybody,” he said. “We all had to deal with it.”

In the field events, junior Gabe Haberly placed second in the pole vault, jumping 4.29 meters, while Jeremy Lovell was fourth in the same event, with a height of 3.91. Senior Kreig Holland was NWC runner-up in the triple jump, recording a season best of 13.47. Sophomore Clint Moore secured second place in the discus throw
with 45.58.

For the women Wildcats, senior Casey Stepan took fifth place in the 1,500, running it in 4:45.93. Freshmen Brooke Bekkedahl placed fourth in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:05.55. Bekkedahl also ran in the 4×400 and 4×100 relays,  placing third and fourth respectively.

“It was great to win a medal for (the 4×400),” Bekkedahl said. “You can’t ask for much more than beating your (personal records), but you always want to do a little better.”

She said considering the conditions, beating her previous records was amazing.

Freshman Kaycee Hallstrom threw for second in the discus, covering a distance of 33.83.

Next up for the ’Cats are the Oregon Relays on April 25. The goal is to qualify
for nationals.

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