The Wildcats’ track and field season is underway, and the ’Cats left an impression at the Linfield mutli-event meet at home March 21 and 22, the Lewis & Clark Spring Break open and the NCAA Preview, both on March 12.
The Linfield multi-event was held in McMinnville during the break and comprised events such as the heptathlon and the decathlon.
With only one woman and one man competing for Linfield, freshman Anna LaBeaume placed eighth overall for her first completed heptathlon, and freshman Michael Madden placed sixth overall for his first decathlon for the Wildcats.
“We have a lot of really young talent, and the freshman class has been a huge success,” senior Brooke Bekkedahl said.
Most of the team competed in Portland at the Lewis & Clark Spring Break open on March 12. The men took second place
overall, and the women took fourth overall.
Junior Alex Van Slyke was the only Wildcat to place first March 12, winning the 3000 steeplechase. Linfield also took second in the race, with freshman Michael Moreland also finishing second individually.
The women were not far behind with top finishes as well. Freshman Morgan Cohen took third in the 100-meter dash with her personal best. Sophomores Shanna Peaden and Jill Boroughs both took third as well with Peaden in the 1500-meter and Boroughs in the steeplechase.
A few athletes competed at the Oregon Preview on March 19 at the University of Oregon at Hayward Field. Some of the women’s top performers were senior Chelsea Machida, who placed third place in the high jump; Bekkedahl, who placed fifth in the 400-meter hurdles; and Catherine Street, who placed third in the pole vault. The top performer for the men was Lester Maxwell, who took eighth in the 800-meter run.
With some members of the team forced to sit out because of injuries during the last few weeks, there are still high hopes for the Wildcats.
“On the guys side, we have been dealing with some injuries but are getting people healthy as of late,” junior Clayton Cooper said. “Come conference, we don’t have the Lovell twins [Jeremy and Josh, class of ’10] to count on since they graduated, so a lot of guys are going to have to step up if we want to compete for a top three finish. The women seem to have tons of talent all throughout, and it will be exciting to see what they can do come conference.”
Bekkedahl shared similar thoughts about the women’s performances.
“We may not have the high numbers like the other teams in conference, but we have a lot of talent and I think we’ll be surprising a lot of people,” she said.
The Wildcats will travel to Willamette University for the Willamette Invitational on April 1 and will host the Jenn Boyman Memorial Invitational at 10 a.m. April 2.
Corrina Crocker/Sports editor
Corrina Crocker can be reached at email@example.com.