Track and field takes over Idaho and Washington

The UAA track and field team competed in two back-to-back weekend meets. They first traveled down to Boise to compete in the Ed Jacoby Invitational on Jan. 18. The following weekend, on Jan. 25, they traveled back down to Seattle to participate in the 2019 UW Invitational.

Junior Christopher Brake placed third in high jump (1.96 meters) and second in triple jump (14.24 meters). Photo courtesy of Loren Orr.
Junior Christopher Brake placed third in high jump (1.96 meters) and second in triple jump (14.24 meters). Photo courtesy of Loren Orr.

Senior Yvonne Jeschke is satisfied with how the team has been doing so far.

“Overall, our team did a good job at the second and third meet of the season. We had freshman competing great in their first collegiate races and others set some qualifying marks,” Jeschke said.

The Seawolves saw many successes during their first weekend away.

Kicking off the weekend, junior Elena Cano competed in the pentathlon 60-meter hurdles to finish with a time of 9.22 seconds, placing her at fourth overall. David Sramek, also competing for the multi-event in the men’s heptathlon, placed fifth overall in his first event, the 60-meter dash.

Continuing on to the remaining men’s events, Sramek placed fourth in long jump, ninth in shot put, eighth in high jump, eighth in 60-meter hurdles, and 12th in the 10-meter run.

For the women’s events, Cano finished seventh in high jump, 13th in shot put, tied for 10th in long jump and eighth in the 800-meter run. Overall, Cano finished with 3,115 points to put her sixth in a field of 16th athletes.

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Other Seawolves were able to excel in individual events as well.

In men’s field events, junior Christopher Brake placed third in high jump (1.96 meters) and second in triple jump (14.24 meters).

As for women’s field events, former UAA volleyball player Chrisalyn Johnson placed first (5.48 meters) in the women long jump, followed by freshman Tylantiss Atlas at third (5.01 meters).

In men’s distance events, freshman Drew Johnson placed second in the 1-mile run to finish in 4:17.

As for women’s distance events, Jeschke finished the 800-meter run in sixth place with a time of 2:19.02, followed by senior Yemi Knight in eighth (2:20.92).

“I definitely want to improve my time. We have another intense training block before GNAC Indoor and will use that to improve my strength, speed and stamina to improve my personal marks,” Jeschke said.

In the 3,000-meter run, sophomore Grace Gannon (10:57) placed 11th, followed by junior Riley Burroughs (11:21) at 15th.

The sprinters also saw several successes. Atlas finish seventh in the 400-meter sprint with a time of 59.80 seconds. Senior D’Rhema Alston finished 24th in the 200-meter sprint with a time of 26.68 seconds.

The following weekend, on Jan. 25 and 26, the Seawolves took a small group of athletes back down to Washington to compete in exclusive UW meet.

Placing the highest at the meet of all Seawolves, Caroline Kurgat took first place in the 5,000-meter run. In a time 15:28, she was seven seconds ahead of second place, beating out many Division I and professional runners.

“Caroline [Kurgat] is definitely the outstanding athlete, breaking the DII record for the 3K and 5K [so far in the season],” Jeschke said. “Watching her race was just amazing and really shows that dedication and hard work pays off.”

In the 800-meter, only two UAA females competed. Senior Danielle McCormick finished at 24th in 2:10.90.

Knight was the second UAA competitor, with a time of 2:15.10, placing at 42nd overall.

The Seawolves also took several relay teams, both a men’s and women’s 4×400 meter and distance medley.

The women’s 4×400 meter relay (Vanessa Aniteye, Alston, Cano, Jeschke) placed 15th overall, while the men’s team placed eighth.

The women’s distance medley, composed of Ruth Cvancara, Nancy Jeptoo, Atlas and McCormick finished at 18th in a time of 11:53.47. The men’s finished at 12th, composed of Drew Johnson, Joshua Jackman, Eduardo Orozco and Felix Kemboi.

Alston explained that the Seawolves have had to battle some hardships, but have persevered nonetheless.

“I believe the team has done well considering the circumstances,” Alston said. “People have been injured and many are trying to regain their health. We have had a lot of hamstring issues on the team this year but still done well regardless.”

The Seawolves have a short break before they return to Washington to continue in competition at the Husky Classic on Feb. 8.