Track and field sending 39 men and 26 women to conference championships
by Meghan Dellinger
The Pirate track and field teams dominated in meets on April 9, 10 and 12, with many more athletes qualifying for conference and others improving their conference scores in the process.
On April 9 and 10, junior Luke Mathews, sophomore Stephen Cooper and senior Janelle LeMieux traveled to Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore., to compete in the Northwest Conference Multi-Event Championships. Mathews placed second overall in the meet, improving his previous mark for the decathlon by five points, and Cooper placed third, with 500 points better in his marks for the decathlon than previously.
“Overall, it was a great trip and a great meet,” head coach Toby Schwarz said.
Mathews won the high jump on the first day with a height of 5-11.25, and took second in the shot put with a throw of 34-2.75. He also finished third in the pole vault on the second day, clearing 12-7.5. Cooper won the long jump on the first day, finishing with a distance of 20-9.75. He also won the discus on the second day with a throw of 117-7.
Because of their performance in the meet, Mathews and Cooper gave the Pirates 14 points going into the 2012 NWC Championships.
LeMieux also did well at the meet, finishing in ninth place for the heptathlon. She said she did 390 points better on her conference score for the heptathlon, and this was her first meet competing in it.
“I PRed in four out of seven events which is good,” LeMieux said. “And I qualified for the long jump [in conference]. I PRed on the javelin and that’s normally one of my worst events. It was just exciting.”
On April 12, Whitworth hosted the Whitworth Twilight Open meet at its own Boppell track, giving more athletes the chance to qualify for conference.
Schwarz said that the meet really paid off for the team.
“It was awesome, we’ve never done a twilight meet like that before,” he said. “It was definitely a successful meet. A lot of people PRed in their events and a lot more qualified for conference.”
Junior Carter Comito won both the shot put and the discus, throwing 54-4.5 for the shot put and throwing 180-2 for the discus, only 12 feet off of his season best.
Comito said his favorite part of the meet was being able to compete on home turf again this season.
“It was nice to be able to compete on our own track again,” he said.
Sophomore Jonathan Hoff also won both of his events in the meet. He won the long jump with a jump of 20-11.75, and the 110m high hurdles with a time of 15.42.
Comito and sophomore Sam Wright also traveled to Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash., on April 14 to compete in the CWU Spike Arlt Invitational. Comito won the discus with a throw of 168-4, and Wright took second with a throw of 152-4.
The meet on April 12th was the last one before the 2012 NWC Championships on April 20 and 21, and Schwarz said Whitworth will be represented by 39 men and 26 women.
“Now all the hard work is done,” he said. “Now it’s just maintaining and resting, trying to get their bodies rested but also sharp. The ideal outcome [for the conference meet] is the men winning and scoring 300 points, and the women finishing in the top two or three.”
Contact Meghan Dellinger at firstname.lastname@example.org.