Big start in steeplechase powers Pioneers at George Fox Invite

Big start in steeplechase powers Pioneers at George Fox Invite

NEWBERG, Ore. -- An emphatic personal best for Frances Swanson set a nice tone for the Lewis & Clark Pioneers at Saturday's Rich Allen Classic at George Fox's Stoffer Family Stadium.

The junior won the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase with a 12:03.12 time, clearing the field by over 46 seconds.

"The big highlight was Frances taking the steeplechase with a 30-second personal best," said Director of Cross Country/Track and Field Keith Woodard. "Our distance competitors were good all day long, and we saw some good sprint performances too."

Kori Groenveld finished second in the women's 5,000 meters with a mark of 18:26.69, five seconds behind Corban's Lexi Mitzel. Aviva Browning placed fifth in the 1,500 meters at 5:02.79, a new seasonal best. Meanwhile, sophomores Blake Slattengren and Jeffrey Mullins finished the men's 5,000 meters in first and third place, respectively. At 15:23.40, Slattengren won by 44-hundredths of a second ahead of Pacific Lutheran's Brad Hodkinson, while Mullins crossed at 15:40.33.

In the 100 meters, Dylan Stacy placed third with a 12.22 mark. Colin Brown was 29th in the same event, but bounced back with a sixth place finish in the 200 meters at 22.34, his new personal best.

Emily Thompson ran the women's 100-meter hurdles as runner-up with a 15.71 time. Sarah Schoville finished top eight at 16.35, her new personal best. Rachel Stone finished 12th at 17.32. All three have qualified for the Northwest Conference Championships on Apr. 22-23 at Lewis & Clark.

"Sarah Schoville had a really nice PR in the hurdles," said Woodard. "Colin Brown ran solidly in the 100, and came back with a real fast 200."

Kodie Artner and Deion Mock continued their impressive spring seasons.  Artner won the men's 110-meter hurdles for the third time during the outdoor season. He cleared the field by four-tenths of a second at 15.08. Mock was the top pole vaulter at 4.45 meters.

The women's pole vaulters made progress on Saturday. Rachel Seagren was seventh at 2.96 meters, while Tatyana Benko placed ninth with the same height.

"Both women in the pole vault had some nice attempts at a school record," said Woodard. "They didn't quite pull it off, but they're jumping at that level."

In the women's 100 meters, Jeanie Mullins ran to an 11th place finish at 13.40, followed by Katherine Kowal in 18th place at 13.71. Kowal was 11th in the 200 meters with a 27.92 mark, while Ty Marshal was 19th at 30.07. Boo Kirkwood ran the 800 meters in 2:30.55.

Rachelle Locey returned from injury and jumped 4.82 meters in the long jump, a new personal best. Mullins had a 4.78-meter mark in the same event. Marshal's 4.44-meter mark was her new personal best. Kara Marler marked 3.87 meters before a 10.02-meter result in the triple jump. Mullins had the second-longest triple jump on Saturday with a 10.65-meter mark, a new seasonal best.

"She's starting to get back to kind of jumping she's done in the past," said Woodard of Mullins.

Locey also had a career best in the triple jump at 9.76 meters. Marshal registered a leap of 9.68 meters. Chrislyn DeMattos was 14th in the women's high jump with a 1.39-meter mark, while Sarah Bucknovitz tossed 34.70 meters in the women's discus. Taylor Hudson threw 32.13 meters in the women's javelin, while Kirkwood had a mark of 23.75 meters.

George Shoemaker and Evan Gamza finished ninth and 10th, respectively, in the men's 1,500 meters with times of 4:24.55 and 4:28.09. Ivan Ramos-King was 15th at 4:43.97. Walter Cardillo was 19th in the men's javelin after a throw of 31.87 meters.

With the NWC Championships just under two weeks away at Eldon Fix Track at Griswold Stadium, the Pioneers compete on Monday and Tuesday at the NWC Multi before the final team competition on Apr. 16 at the Pacific Invite.