OLYMPIA, Wash. – For the first time in recorded history an Evergreen Track athlete has been given the honor of being recognized by the Cascade Collegiate Conference as Track Athlete of the Week. A direct result of his stellar performance at last weeks Spring Break Open in Shoreline, the conference recognized Darren Woods for his outstanding athletic prowess. Woods still leads the conference in both the 400m and the 200m sprints, both by huge margins. His dedicated training and development over these past several months has put him far ahead of his competition.
The Evergreen Track teams went their separate ways this weekend, sending the distance running squads to Willamette University in Salem, OR on Firady, and the Sprint/Field squads to the University of Puget Sound J.D. Shotwell Invitational in Tacoma, WA on Saturday.
Brian Rakestraw earned his second Nationals Championships qualifying mark of the season on Friday night at the Willamette Invitational in Salem, OR. Rakestraw shattered the A standard and broke his own school record in the 10,000m. His time of 31:38.12 put him a full 12 seconds ahead of the qualifying standard. The field of 35 runners experienced some of the most bizarre weather changes throughout the half-hour duration of the race. Mother Nature threw everything from sunshine and rainbows to driving wind, rain, and hail at the runners, but to no avail. The race ended with six athletes from Evergreen, Southern Oregon University, Concordia University – Oregon, and Warner Pacific College, all Cascade Conference schools, earning automatic and provisional qualifying marks for the National Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Marion, Indiana on May 27-29.
Karissa Carlson returned to the team officially this weekend, running her first official race for Evergreen. She ran slightly off her season’s best mark in the 1500m, running 5:04.9 and qualifying for the Cascade Conference Championships in May. Carlson returns to competition for the Geoducks after nearly a full year, and is looking sharper as every day goes by.
Darren Woods continued his reign in the rain this last Saturday at the UPS Shotwell Invitational, where he won his third 400m race of the year. Poor racing conditions lowered the times across all events at the meet, as what was dubbed the “worst spring storm in a decade” hit the entire Pacific Northwest, sparing no athlete. Woods seemed unaffected however, and proceeded to run an exceptional race, beating competitors who just weeks before had been an equal match. Woods earned a full 10 points for the Evergreen Men’s team, putting the team on the scoreboard for the first time this season. Woods singlehandedly put Evergreen ahead of both Skagit Valley College and Everett Community College, an impressive achievement for one man.
Freshman Jordan Turner broke his own school record in the Triple Jump on Saturday at UPS, bounding his way to a 12.12m (39′ 9.25″) jump. His mark surpassed his previous season’s best by a full .23m (9″). Turner placed third in the finals and earned 6 points for the Evergreen men’s team. Turner also jumped in the Long Jump, marking a 5.08m (16′ 8″) jump.
Emma Loftis matched her all time best mark in the 800m, holding onto a third place finish in her heat. Her overall time was 2:32.99. Loftis is a dual-sport athlete who also competes and trains with the Evergreen Women’s Soccer team.
Hurdler Connor Abdelnoor broke his own school record in the 110m High Hurdles with a 16.71, earning an eighth overall finish and snaring a point for the men’s team, rounding of the team total for the day to 17 points. Connor has lowered the school record for the 110m progressively over the last 5 weeks by more than one whole second, also an exceptional achievement for one person. Connor also ran the 200m on Saturday, running a 24.83. Abdelnoor, as a freshman with years of development as a college athlete to look forward to, has a bright future ahead of him in collegiate track and field.
Alex Combs-Bachmann doubled up again, running the 400m and the 200m, running 57.36 and 24.76 respectively.
Sebastian Lasbo took it out strong in the 800m, holding onto a 2:07.90 finish. His time was just a tick off his season’s best.
Tyler Luce, standing 6’7″, was by far the tallest guy in his 5000m race. He paid the price for it as well, taking the full force of the wind and rain, slowing him down to a 17:08.43.
Look for the Geoducks to compete next at the Pacific Northwest Relays in Oregon City, OR, hosted by Warner Pacific College.
Willamette Full Results
UPS Full Results