Burning up the track
Tyler Smith | Sports Writer
PSU’s track and field teams were busy Saturday, March 31, competing in the Wendy’s/Pitt State Invitational at Carnie Smith Stadium.
On the men’s side, sophomore Keenan Soles earned top honors for the Gorillas. Soles had the best long jump in Division II this season, and helped the 4×100 relay team to the third-fastest time in the country this season.
Soles posted a mark of 25- 7 1/4 to qualify for the NCAA Division II National Championships.
The Pittsburg native also ran in the 4×100 relay, running the third leg for the Gorillas. Soles helped the team earn a time of 40.78 seconds which is a national qualifying mark. Freshmen Jason Crow, Jordan Riffel and Austin Riggs ran the first, second and fourth legs of the relay.
Junior John Talbert competed in the hammer with a throw of 194-6 to take the top spot. Talbert’s throw was the third best in Pitt State history. Cody Holland finished second in the same event with a throw of 163-3.
Senior Mike Beeler continued his string of outstanding performances in the javelin. Like Soles, he has the best throw in the country this season at 228-4. Beeler took first in javelin at the Invitational with a distance of 227-10.
Kiara Jones won the triple jump for the Gorillas with a jump of 49-7 1/4. Jeff Piepenbrink came up big in the pole vault, tying for first with a vault of 15-9. Adam Volkert also did well, winning the 1500-meter race with a time of 3 minutes, 57.90 seconds.
Senior Heidi Smith led the women’s team with a school record for the hammer throw. She tossed the hammer 181-4 to win by 10 feet. Smith beat her old record by one inch.
The 4×100 relay team of Jalexis Peterson, Bridgette Kendricks, Ramie Grayson and Rosalyn Nelson earned first place with a time of 47.79 seconds. The 4×400 relay team of Hilary Dickey, Jessica Reichenberger, Whitney Southard and Jacque Timberlake also posted a winning time of 4:03.73.
Senior Larissa Richards had a big day scoring victories in the shot put and discus. Richards won with throws of 47-4 1/4 and 153-1 respectively.
Jalexis Peterson won the triple jump with a distance of 38-5 1/2 while Hillary Dickey won the 400-meter dash with a time of 57.50 seconds. Rosalyn Nelson also added to the dominant Gorilla showing, winning the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.13 seconds.
Next up for the PSU track team is the Fort Hays State Quad held in Hays, and the Emporia State Heptathlon/Decathlon in Emporia.