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Track and field looks ahead to BSC Championships

Last Saturday, the Portland State track and field teams sent six athletes to compete at the Ken Foreman Invitational in Seattle.

Viking head coach Tony Veney was hoping the event would lead to a few more Big Sky qualifiers, while at the same time giving some non-qualifiers one last shot at competition before season’s end.

Three athletes, including previous qualifier Annie Kawasaki, were able to obtain spots at the upcoming championships.

Competing against athletes from Seattle Pacific, Spokane Community College, University of Washington and a number of junior colleges, Vikings Mike Davenport and Blake Flanders took sixth and 12th places in the 1,500 meters. Colin Olcott came in 20th in the 800m with a time of 2:00.95, while Seth Henson took 12th place in the discus with a distance of 124 feet, 5 inches.

For the women, Kawasaki took 17th in the 1,500m at 4:54.35, and Kristin Boyd came in fourth in the 400m hurdles at 1:04.72.

Now the Vikings are looking ahead to the BSC Championships, being held May 14-17 in Bozeman, Mont. Though the games kicked off with decathlon events yesterday, PSU is not scheduled to compete until Friday.

Twenty-nine Vikings have earned places in the competition, a number that comes very close to Veney’s estimate of 16 men and 18 women that he foresaw qualifying at the beginning of the season.

Among the 13 men who will travel to the games are Tim Overfield (400m hurdles), Chris Hollis (10k), Anthony Robinson (100m), Jim Webster (shot put) and Evan Garich (800m).

Ena Shemi (100m), Gayle Imran (high jump), Kerine Harvey (100m hurdles), Lisa Gunderson (high jump) and Holly Diimmel (javelin) will be members of the 16-person squad representing the women.

Veney is especially looking to Overfield, who is ranked number one in the 400m hurdles, to make his mark in the championships. He is also expecting a great performance from Gunderson, who already has successful championship experience under her belt.

Both the men and women have been taking it easy this week, preparing themselves mentally for the upcoming competition and the end of a solid season.

“The hay is in the barn,” Veney said. “When you’re this close, there’s nothing more you can really do to prepare. The most important thing is to keep rested so that you’re ready when the time comes.”