WWU Vikings

Steen and Milbrandt set meet records in 34th Annual WWU Vernacchia Open

Katelyn Steen and Travis Milbrandt each won events in meet-record times, highlighting Western Washington University performances at the 34th Annual Ralph Vernacchia Track and Field Open meet held Saturday, Apr. 25, at Civic Stadium.

Steen won the women’s 5,000 meters in a time of 16:35.53, knocking about 25 seconds off the record set by Sarah Porter in 2010, and clipping more than eight seconds off a season-best time that was already a NCAA Division II provisional qualifier.

Milbrandt captured the men’s 110 hurdles in 14:41, with teammate Logan Myers second in 15.00.

The Vikings had just one multiple-event winner as Brett Watson won the long jump with a leap of 22-11 3/4 and also ran a leg of the victorious 4x100 relay (41.52) along with Alex Binkerd, Alex Donigian and Nate Schmidt.

The only athlete to win two individual events was Michelle Howe, a WWU graduate competing unattached. Howe won the women’s 100 in 12:26 and the 100 hurdles in 14:48.

In total, the Vikings won 14 events, eight for the men and six for the women.

Among the most impressive victories was a 1-2 performance in the men’s javelin, where Slater Hirst improved his national provisional mark by nine inches with a winning toss of 211-0. Teammate John Haskin, finished second, but achieved national provisional status with a mark of 205-11.

“It was a solid day for us,” said WWU head coach PeeWee Halsell. “We had a lot of good performances and put a number of people into the conference meet. Haskin’s mark is about what got him to nationals last year, and Hirst improved his qualifying mark, so the javelin was one of the many highlights for us.”

Other victories on the men’s side came from Tabor Reedy in the 5,000 (14:50.71) and Juan Castillo in the 10,000 (32:30.65), both pacing 1-2-3 WWU finishes, Ryan MacDonald in the discus (168-4) and Isaac Griffith in the 3,000 (8:40).

For the WWU women, other winners were Katie Reichert in the javelin (157-4), Miranda Osadchey in the high jump with a season-best 5-5, Maddie Jalbert in the 10,000 (39:19.83), and the 4x400 relay (4:00.29), which consisted of Gracia Reynolds, Haley O’Connor, Veronica Ivancic and Rachel Ivancic.

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