[SPOKANE, WA] – Indoor track and field season is officially underway after the Sasquatch kicked off the 2022-23 season at the Spokane Invitational hosted at The Podium in Spokane on Saturday December 10th. Despite the heavy snow and freezing temperatures outside, track and field action inside the Podium was red hot.
One of the largest recruiting classes in recent years seems to be a good omen for the Sasquatch trackster’s leading into the 2023 NWAC season. The addition of twenty-one freshmen women and twenty-six freshmen men has everyone’s hopes high again this year after a successful campaign in 2022 where the men’s team claimed second place at the NWAC outdoor championships, and the women’s team placed sixth.
Leading the way for the men was red-shirt super sophomore Jaxson Nichols. The Kamiakin HS grad is the defending NWAC conference high jump champion winning his first title last spring. Nichols opened the year with a lifetime best in a leap of 6’ 6.75”, good for fourth place overall against mostly NCAA Div I competition.
Rajay Britton like many had a hard time getting through the snow on the streets of Spokane. Yet despite these difficulties and even jumping off the opposite foot in the long jump he still had a quality jump going 22’3” good for 6th place overall. Close behind was Jaxson Nichols with his best jump in two years going 21’ 3”. The Sasquatch jumps crew showed up in force with five jumpers over the 20’ mark.
In the men’s pole vault the top five Sasquatch vaulters all cleared 13’ 1” to get the season started. This group includes Gavin Hoskinson, Jacob Erlandsen, Lakotah Henderson, Pilot Weishaar and Rome Deakins. While each had hoped to clear some higher bars, the season looks bright for this hard-working group.
In the men’s sprints top times in the 60m were turned in by Dalton Wild, Rajay Britton running 7.26 and 7.27. In the 200m Christian Hansen, Dalton Wild, Preston Dyess, Craig Runge, Zach Merrifield, and Cameron Gilbert all had successful runs around the banked oval at the Podium. In the 400m Michael Byers, Shaun Salverson and Max Richmond ran good early season times running 51.90, 52.30 and 53.46 respectively.
In the men’s throwing events Dan Close recorded the top mark in the 35-pound weigh throw hitting 44’ 11”. Jaxson Orr was close behind throwing 43’ 5”. In the shot put these two switched places with Orr hitting 41’ 4” and Close right behind at 40’. Also competing were Jacob Action and Ryan Dewey.
On the women’s side Madison Douglas, a freshman from Othello HS opened the season with two personal bests running the 400m in 1:04.80 and then completing the 200m in 28.62.
The Sasquatch long jumpers also got the season started landing in the sand for the first time this year after jumping indoor into the high jump pit most of November and December. Calli Short had the top mark for the ladies reaching out to 14’6”. Close behind her were Emma Bryson at 13’ 8” and Miranda Irwin at 13’ 7”. Bryson and Irwin will lead the charge this year competing in the pentathlon and heptathlon.
The 20-pound weight throw saw five Sasquatch throwers make their mark throwing the indoor version of the hammer for the first time. Isabella Carpenter, a freshman from Central Valley HS lead the way for this group with a throw of 37’5”. Sam Emigh was next at 36’ 5”, followed by Saira Schoener at 34’6”, Faith Wersland at 32’10” and Madison Fager next at 32’2”.
In the shot-put competition Sam Emigh was the leader at 31’ 6”, Isabella Carpenter next at 31’ 2” and Faith Wersland next at 30’. This group, along with several other student athletes coming in from fall sports will make for a talented and potentially deep group come NWAC championship time in May.
On the women’s Vault side Morgan Burt finished in the top eight overall with a jump of 9’. Emma Bryson and Sierra Harden also competed in this event.
The outlook is bright for both squads that will rest up and get ready for the next meet at the Podium that is scheduled for January 13-14 at the Podium with the Spokane Challenge/WSU Invite.
#Men's Track and Field
#Women's Track and Field