Opening the season with the Linfield Erik Anderson Memorial Icebreaker, Linfield hosted athletes from not only Northwest Conference schools but athletes from other schools and some who competed independently.
Kicking off the first day of the meet March 2, the men’s and women’s 10,000-meter run was the featured event of the night.
“As a team, we had a good start to our season at Icebreaker,” senior Scott Gage said. “We got a lot of people qualified for conference in our first meet of the season. There were also a handful of people already improving on their marks from last year.”
In the women’s 10,000-meter run, Linfield alumna Marci Klimek, representing the Oiselle running team, headed the race with a time of 34:54.5.
Linfield senior Shanna Peaden came in fifth place, coming in above any other NWC athlete in the event.
Peaden finished the race in 38:41.88, almost a whole minute faster than her seeded time.
On the men’s side of the 10,000-meter run, Gage placed sixth. Gage completed the race in 31:24.26, the fastest student athlete in the event.
Greg Mitchell, assistant cross country coach, also participated in the event, placing ahead of Gage, in third place.
Not far behind was teammate sophomore Joe Gladow, who placed 13th with a time of 32:47.87.
“My [event] went fairly well,” Gage said. “It gave me a good starting point to work from this season.”
Starting off the second day of the meet, the Wildcats strived for the lead of each event. On the track, runners worked for fast times.
For the women’s 100-meter dash, junior Melany Crocker took first place finishing in 13.02 seconds. Crocker was also third in the women’s 200-meter dash. In the women’s 800-meter run, freshman Madison Throwbridge finished third the fastest of NWC athletes competing in the run.
Also placing well was sophomore Mimi Seeley, who placed third in the women’s 5,000-meter run.
For the men’s side of the track, sophomore Nick Turner and junior Jason Cheyne placed third and fourth in the 100-meter dash with only .01 seconds between final times.
Also placing well in a sprinting event was freshman Colin Nelson, who placed seventh in the 400-meter dash. In the 800-meter run, senior Lucian Battaglia finished the race in 1:58.65 and came in fourth place.
Linfield athletes not only ran well during the two day meet but also performed well in the field events.
Junior Amy Bumatai pole vaulted a height of 2.7 meters putting her in a tie for fourth place with Pacific Lutheran jumper Michelle Domini.
Sophomore Courtney Alley also placed fourth in her events, the women’s shot put and the hammer throw, with a distance of 9.66 meters in the shot put and a distance of 35.97 meters for the hammer throw. Alley also placed fifth in the women’s discus throw, where she threw the discus 34.41 meters. Placing third in the women’s javelin was sophomore Kate Shear, who threw the javelin 41.44 meters.
On the men’s side of field events, freshman Garrett Soumokil placed third in the triple jump with a final distance of 13.26 meters.
Junior Josh Melander and senior Sean Boedeker placed third and fourth in the men’s javelin throw. Melander threw a distance of 47.12 meters, while Boedeker threw the javelin 46.71 meters.
Several Wildcats also competed in the Washington Indoor Final Qualifier on March 3 in Seattle, Wash.
Sophomore Anna LaBeaume finished first in the women’s shot put, where she threw the shot put a final distance of 13.2 meters. In the women’s pole vault finals, senior Catherine Street tied for second with two other athletes with a height of 3.89 meters.
With the first meet of the season done, the goals are set for the season.
“As a team I think we can be competitive to finish in the top four at the conference meet,” Gage said.
The Wildcats will compete in the George Fox Invitational on March 10 in Newberg, Ore.
Also, selected athletes will be competing at the NCAA III Indoor Championships on March 9 and 10 in Grinnell, Iowa.
Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.