Cook and Schmidt leap to victory in Indoor Championships

The Portland State Vikings jumped, hurled, and dashed their way through the Big Sky Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend in Bozeman, Montana.

The Vikings recorded standout performances in the jumping events, with individual winners on both the men’s and women’s sides. Freshman ChaQuinn Cook claimed victory in the women’s triple jump by a full foot, recording a personal-best of 40-01.50. Cook’s jump places her fifth on the Viks’ all-time list. Sophomore Spenser Schmidt recorded the school’s first long jump victory since 2003. Schmidt’s winning jump of 24-07.00 ft was a personal best by over a foot and placed him in a tie for 45th in the nation this season.

Also jumping their way into the meet highlights were senior Rockwell Tufty and sophomore Ta’mara Richey. Tufty broke the school record in the men’s high jump (6-09.50), moving past former record-holder Nick Trubachik by a half-inch. Richey took home All-Big Sky honors in the women’s long jump with a season-best jump of 18-09.75, finishing third in the finals; she was also third in the triple jump.

The Vikings made their mark on the track as well, with several athletes collecting All-Big Sky honors. Junior Genna Settle finished second in the women’s 60 meter dash and third in the 200 meter dash, taking all-conference honors in both events. Juniors Whitney Diggs and Akayla Anderson also took home all-conference recognition; Diggs finished second in the women’s 400 meter dash (56.36) and Anderson took second in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.52.

Junior Ben Richardson received All-Big Sky honors on the men’s side, finishing third in the 800 meter dash in a personal best time of 1:53.95.

The women’s team finished fifth overall, while the men were tenth. Freshman Rachel Vinjamuri added points for the Vikings with a sixth place overall finish in the women’s 400-meter dash (56.92). The women’s 4×400-meter relay team recorded a fifth place finish and four more points, thanks to the combined efforts of Vinjamuiri, Diggs, Roazena MIller, and Dejuanae Toliver.

Additional points on the women’s side came from the distance medley relay, which boosted the PSU score with an eighth place overall finish. Cheryn Trapp led off for the Viks, followed by Miller, Nyalual Beng, and Kaila Gibson. Brandi Williams took seventh place in the women’s long jump with a final performance of 18-04.50, grabbing two additional points.

Senior Kevin Robinson finished fourth overall in the men’s heptathlon, following a strong first day performance where he set personal bests in all four events. Points on the men’s side also came from freshman Alex Cisneros and Jean-Luc Toku. Cisneros recorded a sixth-place finish in the 3,000 meter run (8:39.29) and Toku took sixth in the men’s triple jump with a final mark of 46-11.50.