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Track holds its own against tough competition

Over spring break, the Portland State outdoor track team competed in one of its main meets of the season. The meet took place on March 29 and 30 in Palo Alto, Calif., and was hosted by Stanford University. The invitational is one of the biggest on the West Coast.

“One of the reasons we go is to compete against big schools. It is tougher on us. We saw teams from the Pac-10, Big East, Big 12, Big Sky and Mountain West to name a few,” head coach Tony Veney said.

Big Sky competitors Montana and Weber State also participated in the meet. Weber was the strongest of Big Sky schools in competition with both men’s and women’s indoor championships under its belt.

“Weber is very strong on the men’s and women’s side in the Big Sky,” Veney added.

Portland State competed in many events over the course of the meet. In women’s competition Lisa Gunderson and Keisha Harvey finished in the final heat of the women’s high jump. Gunderson finished with a mark of 5’2.5″ and 19th place overall. In the women’s javelin, Harvey finished 23rd overall, with a mark of 111′. Anne Kawasaki ran in the 5000-meter and was able to improve her personal record by 34 seconds.

“It was great for a freshman (Kawasaki) to be able to improve her personal record by that much in one race, and made the distance coaches very happy,” Veney said.

On the men’s side, Portland State showcased three athletes in three final events. The best overall finish came from Ryan Brown in the men’s long jump elite section. Brown finished third overall and with a seasonal best at a mark of 24’3.5″. Brown moved to second in the Big Sky with his performance. Jimmy Sattem was a top finisher in the men’s 100-meter dash finals. Sattem was able to finish ninth out of a field of 54 sprinters total. In the men’s triple jump, Patrick Sederis finished 17th overall with a mark of 43’8″. Portland State also finished ninth in the men’s short relay with a time of 41.94.

“We still have a ways to go competitively, we need to compete better in some races and we definitely have room for improvement,” Veney said.