Indoor track hits the ground running

Nick Bullo clears the bar while practicing for high jump during an indoor practice session.

Nick Bullo clears the bar while practicing for high jump during an indoor practice session.

Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert

Nick Bullo clears the bar while practicing for high jump during an indoor practice session.

Simo Rul, Staff Reporter

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The CWU Wildcats track team has had a solid start to the new season that has included athlete of the week honors and a new school record.

The Wildcats are five meets into the season and have traveled to schools throughout Washington and Idaho.

“I think we’re off to a good start,” head coach Kevin Adkisson said. “We had a couple of really good December meets with just a handful of people. [We] got a few national qualifiers [and] a new school record in the pole vault for Kodiak Landis.”

Seniors Ali Anderson, Harlee Ortega, Kodiak Landis, and freshman Braydon Maier all hit provisional qualifiers in multi-events. Junior Mariyah Vongsaveng also hit a provisional qualifier in the 60-meter hurdles.

Multi-events for the men’s team is the heptathlon, which includes the 55 meter sprint, long jump, shot-put, high jump, 55 hurdles, pole vault, and the 1,000 meters. The women compete in the pentathlon, which includes the 55 hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, and 800 meters.

While the Wildcats would normally be practicing inside due to snow, Adkisson said the weather this year hasn’t presented much of a challenge.

“This year we’re very happy because the weather is not as bad as last year,” Adkisson said.  “The [past] two years the winters have been brutal as far as how much snow and last year especially for how cold it was.”

The Wildcats have not competed as an entire team yet, but a majority of the athletes did compete on Jan. 19 and 20 at the Washington State University Open.

“We’ll get to see [almost] everyone, the next couple [meets], as we get everyone rolling,” Adkisson said. There’s a “big chunk of new people for the season getting their first marks in this week.”

Junior Alexa Shindruk is one of the big names rejoining the team after coming back from winter break. She was close to qualifying for nationals during outdoor season last year, but didn’t feel ready to compete until this point.

“It’s tough coming back from break and then having a meet a week and a half later,” Adkisson said. “There is no rush and the team felt pretty good about her workout.”

Landis broke his own school record in the pole vault at the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Candy Cane Open on Dec. 1 2017. and was also named GNAC field athlete of the week for the week of Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 2017. His new record is 15-feet-11-inches, breaking the previous record by two inches.

“It’s nice to have that little bit of affirmation of the hard work paying off. [It] keeps me ready to try to do bigger things this year,” Landis said.

Ortega was named GNAC track athlete of the week and has hit a provisional qualifier in the pentathlon.

“It was cool because I got it because I had a pretty big triple jump, I’m not really a triple jumper anymore,” Ortega said. “I was just doing it because I love the event and I actually had a huge lifetime personal record.”

Ali Anderson was selected as GNAC field athlete and GNAC track athlete of the week back-to-back for the weeks of Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 to 10. She also holds a 400-meter event title at Boise State University on Dec. 9  and a pentathlon win at the EWU Candy Cane Open. She also hit a provisional in the pentathlon.

“I think it definitely gives you a little more boost,” Anderson said. “It’s exciting, you just want to try to get that every week or get the recognition because it means you’re doing something right.”

The next meet for the Wildcats is on Jan. 26 and 27 at the University of Washington.


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Indoor track hits the ground running