Eastern Oregon Team Challenge

This past Saturday in Hermiston provided surprisingly warm weather with only one flaw…. wind. Despite the slight headwind for the sprints, the Yotes managed to take down a combined 43 Cascade Conference Championship marks as well as an NAIA B mark from Tiana Thomas in the 400mH.

On the women’s side it was all about knocking out early season conference marks and improving on secondary events. A great example of this was the women’s throwing area. As Claire Otero, Hayley Morse, and Kanessa Uta all hit the conference marks in each event they competed in. Claire dominated in discus, continued her progress in the shot put and showed promise for the future in the hammer. Hayley continued domination in the shot, set the school hammer record with a toss of 37.94m, and continued her improvement in discus as she hit the conference mark. Kanessa, a key piece on the quest for a conference championship, snuck between Claire and Hayley in the hammer throw as well as qualified for conference at the district meet.

On the track, it was a bit of a work piece for the women’s middle distance and distance runners as they looked to practice championship style racing. The 1500m featured a total of 7 Lady Yotes, with two sneaking under the conference mark in Lila Klopfenstein and Mishal Cotugno. On the distance side of things, Amy Pfaff knocked out an early season 5k mark for conference and Tamika Russell showed huge promise as a steeple chaser in her first ever appearance in the event.

On the sprints portion of the track Mekenzie Messick continued her massive improvement in the 100m & 200m as Nichole DeGrange hit the qualifying marks in both. Tiana Thomas continued her streak in the sprints and hit the conference mark in the 110mH & 400mH. In the field events Allison Cossins continued her progress in the pole vault, winning the competition. Briana Pitts knocked out the conference high jump mark with a leap of 1.50m and Kimber Hawkins tackled the triple jump mark with a jump of 9.70m.

The men’s side of the team featured a similar game plan to the women’s with nearly the same result. As a work piece meet for middle distance and distance athletes, the men’s 1500m turned out to be a Yote-a-palooza as the event featured 10 Yotes. Leading the charge of Yotes was Max Hampton followed by Dylan Walker, Austin Fred, and Quinn Radbourne all hitting the conference standard. The rest of the crew showed immense promise as most either hit a new personal best or ¬†very close to it. Continuing his freshman legacy, Billy Godfrey ran an encouraging steeple race as he won his race and snagged the conference mark.

The headline of the men’s sprints side was the 4×100 relay as the team of Kevin Wang, Tyler Higby, Devin Gaskins, and Malik Whitfield put together a new school record time of 42.55 and still left room for improvement. Edmund Ellis continued his mastery of the 400m as he ran a solo 50.39 for the third time this season. Brooks Ney ran solid 400mH and 110mH times, but showed great improvement in his 400mH race as he clipped hurdle seven. Through six, Brooks looked as good as any hurdler we’ve seen. Despite the headwind, Tyler Higby blazed to an 11.03 in the 100m and looks to break the 11 second barrier any time he steps on the track.

Andrew Galloway and Taylor Oppedyk had their fair share of conference marks as both claimed conference marks in all three events. Galloway and Oppedyk both exemplified the toughness and team oriented focus we look to implement on the men’s side as they both are slightly banged up, and still hit the marks. Coming back from his hiatus in the vault due to injury, Tyler Amrhein made his presence known vocally and on the track as himself and Charlie Shepherd both hit the conference qualifier.

Athletes of the day went to Kami Hawkins and Isaac Gonzalez for their performances. Kami mirrored Tiana’s performance as she ran nearly all the same events. In her first 400mH race, Kami showed no fear as she raced throughout and finished in a conference qualifying mark of 66.12. Isaac had a breakthrough meet as he broke the 13m barrier for the first time in the triple jump with his hop, skip and jump of 13.09m. Issac also hit the qualifier in long jump with a jump of 6.40m.

The Yotes have this week off for Spring Break, but look to prep for the trip down to San Francisco for the San Francisco State Carnival on April 1st and 2nd. This is a key sea level meet for the middle distance and distance crew, as well as a great opportunity for the sprints, jumps, and throws crew to face solid competition. Stay tuned on twitter @CoyoteXCTF!

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