Weather Doesn’t Hold Falcons Back

Daniel Newman

Featured image: Freshman Krystal Kaufman ran the 800 meter at Civic Stadium in Bellingham. Jacky Chen | the Falcon

Windy weather at the Western Washington Invitational in Bellingham forced the pole vaulters indoors and interfered with the timing and cameras at the finish line during the races. Both of Seattle Pacific University’s Men’s and Women’s track teams finished in fourth place in the team scores. Despite all this, many Falcons achieved good, or even personal best, individual performances at the meet.

With the wind blowing wildly and often, the pole vault event was moved indoors. It was a decision that the Falcons took advantage of, as it became one of their best events of the day.

Distance Coach Chris Reed thought that moving the pole vault event inside helped the athletes, saying “Most vaulters like competing indoors as it is a more controlled environment.”

On the women’s side, Madison Licari took third place after clearing the bar at 11 feet and 3.75 inches, tying a personal best that she set in Pullman on February 2nd. Fellow Falcon Emma Lambert jumped the same height, but was given fourth place after a judge’s decision.

The men were led on the pole vault by Sean Barbour, whose personal best jump of 13 feet and 9.75 inches was good enough for fifth place. Davis Flintoff placed seventh, after clearing the bar when it was 6 inches lower.

Reed thought that the Falcons may have been hurt more by the timing system malfunctioning, “There were significant delays during the meet, and that affects the athletes’ ability to properly prepare to compete…. When things like that happen, it’s up to the athletes to be resilient and tough-minded.”

It was a good day for the first-years among the Falcons on both the Men’s and Women’s sides. Starting with the Women, Anna Farner achieved a fourth-place finish in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dash, with times of 13.07 and 27.3 seconds. Finishing right in front of Farner in the 200-meter dash was Rebecca Troescher in third place with a time of 26.8 seconds. Troescher also took home the only first place finish for the Falcons on the day in the 400-meter run, with a time of 1:00.1.

The Falcons also took part in the 1500-meter run, and Elizabeth Thompson finished in sixth place, running the race in 4:58.50. Katherine Walter and McKenzie Diaz also participated in the race and finished in eighth and tenth places, respectively .

For the men, Alec Llamas finished in seventh place in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:03.99. First-Year Silas Newby had a good day for the Falcons as well, finishing in sixth place in the long jump, jumping to a mark of 20 feet and 5.75 inches. Newby also ran in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash, finishing in eighth place in the 200 and eleventh place in the 100. Christian Wong finished right behind Newby in both races at ninth place in the 200 and twelfth place in the 100.

In the 1500-meter run, Jared Putney led the Falcons with an eighth-place finish. Other Falcon finishers were Ben Hansen in tenth, Shad Galloway in eleventh, and Brayden Schultz in thirteenth.

“Whether an athlete is a freshman or an upperclassman, good performances always enhance self-confidence,” said Reed. “This sport requires a high level of hard work and dedication, so it’s always encouraging for them to be rewarded with favorable results.”

The next meet for the Falcons will be on Saturday, Apr. 13 at St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Washington, for the Jay Hammer meet. The Falcons will then take on a pair of meets in California the next week.

“We are pleased with where most of our athletes are at to this point. We have had some nice performances across a variety of events. That said, we are always seeking excellence at the highest level possible, so we look forward to continued progress as we close out our season,” said Coach Reed.