Both of Whitworth’s track teams took first place in the UPS 5-way meet this Saturday. The Pirates took first place in 15 events over Western Washington University, Lewis & Clark College, Seattle Pacific University, and University of Puget Sound. Junior Katie McKay broke her personal record for the 800-meter run with a time of 2:15.58. McKay was ahead of the pack the entire race and finished with more than a five second lead.
“It’s exciting to start out with a PR, because then I look forward and see that I have about two months left, which is plenty of time to look ahead to nationals,” McKay said.
McKay holds 4th place in the NWC for the 800 meter.
The Pirates won the men’s javelin event due to a 63.35m throw from senior Chase Wright. Wright had been recovering from an injury prior to the meet, but overcame the challenge and qualified for the NWC Championships.
“It’s all on the trainers and the coaches. The whole week before the meet they made sure I was ready to go,” Wright said.
Three Pirates received qualifying marks in the women’s discus event, including senior Courtney Fairhart who won the event with at 42.66m throw. Second and third place went to sophomore Danielle Openiano and senior Elke Neuenschwander, respectively.
“I’m going to take each meet one day at a time. If I win again, that’d be great, but if one of my teammates also wins, that’d be awesome,” Fairhart said.
Whitworth took many other first-place finishes. Senior Kendall Chin received a time of 11:35.35 in the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase and freshman Kayla Brase took first place in Women’s Long and Triple Jump. The women’s 4x100 meter relay team ran a time of 49.79.
The men were able to claim victory in the 100, 200, and 400-meter dash. Freshman Daniel Harper ran a 1:57.51 800, while Whitworth’s 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams each took first place. Senior Joseph Green cleared a 15’11” pole vault and senior Corey Burt threw the shot 49’4.5” for first place for the shot put as well.
At the end of the meet, the Pirates walked away with 56 qualifying marks between 42 people. Head Coach Toby Schwarz said he hopes every member of the team will receive a qualifying mark to go to the NWC Championships.
“We had 27 men and 27 women on this trip and 21 men and 21 women qualified. We are about halfway there to getting everyone qualified. Not bad in the first meet,” Schwarz said.
Whitworth’s next meet will be on Tuesday, March 10 at the Pine Bowl. The Pirates will compete in a dual meet with Lewis-Clark State.