FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Northern Arizona's Brooke Andersen continues to show why she is must-see action in the weight throw event, shattering the Big Sky record Saturday morning with an official mark of 68-5.75 (20.87m) at the 2017 Mountain T's.
"This was a huge step forward for our team, across the board," said head coach Mike Smith. "[Andersen] is over here making holes in the back of the Skydome with her throws, the sprints unit is setting the tone with their enthusiasm, and our jumps and distance groups are coming along nicely. It was another great day for NAU track and field."
Andersen, who has already been named the conference's "Women's Field Athlete of the Week" twice this season, logged her third victory of the year and the sixth of her career in the weight throw event. As of today, Andersen's mark would slide into 11th-place nationally.
"The best-ever throw in the Big Sky…that's still hard to wrap my head around," said throws coach Nathan Ott. "The crazy thing is, she still has more in the tank and we're going to see that sometime this season. Overall, though, I think the cool thing is that everyone below her is stepping up and following her lead."
Her teammates in that event, Tiana Hatler-Stefick and Rachel Pott, also set new personal-bests today. Hatler-Stefick, already fifth on the conference's indoor performance list this season, threw a 59-2.00 (18.03m) Saturday, while Pott slung a 55-5.75 (16.91m) throw.
Isaiah Kennedy appears to be on the brink of breaking NAU's all-time 60-meter dash record. While that did not happen today, Kennedy won the event among DI athletes with a 6.88@ mark. Just as impressive, however, was his teammate Tyren Wolfe. The Lumberjack freshman bested his previous PR by 0.17 of a second with a 6.96@ time Saturday. He placed second behind Kennedy.
"Kennedy is getting there and that school record is in sight for him," said sprints coach Kenny McDaniel. "[Wolfe] has really impressed me lately and he is doing all the right things to be successful. The rest of our team, though, just needs to continue to take it a step at a time and carry that confidence with them. They need to walk tall."
For the women's sprints crew, it was Jasmine Malone stealing the show. First in the 60m dash, Malone qualified with a preliminary time of 7.86@ and won the event among DI athletes with a finals time of 7.77@. Shortly after, the native of Chandler, Ariz., out-ran unattached teammate Nicole Fotinos to the 400-meter finish line and recorded a 55.53@ mark—a new season-best for the sophomore who already ranks No. 1 on the Big Sky's indoor performance list in the 400m.
"Fantastic day," said McDaniel. "We ran exceptionally. I cannot say enough about [Malone]. She's a hard worker that brings a great amount of intensity to everything she does."
The men's weight throw started things Saturday morning on the field, with three Lumberjacks notching or tying new season-bests. For Adam Keenan, already leading the Big Sky indoor performance list in the weight throw in 2017, mustered a 64-0.50 (19.52m) throw on his fourth attempt of the day. Among DI athletes. it was another first-place finish for Keenan in the weight event—the fourth of his career.
Parker Joens, who logged a PR in the shot put yesterday, turned a similar trick today in the weight. Joens came in fourth place with a 48-2.00 (14.68m) throw, tying with teammate Justin Saxe who tied his career-best with the same measurement.
"I think [Keenan] is finally hitting a rhythm here in the weight," said Ott. "He's starting to feel more of what he needs to do. For [Joens], going back to yesterday's shot put event, he's three-for-three in setting PR's this season. To see that consistency and progression from a true freshman is awesome."
Freshman Cade Burks registered a new PR in the 800-meter, securing the first-place victory with a 1:54.78@ time … Another PR came from Ashley Taylor in the women's 800m, where she crossed the finish line with a time of 2:13.59@ a—second to only teammate Kylie Goo … Both the women's (3:49.20) and men's (3:18.86) 4x400m relay teams crushed the competition and coasted to season-bests
Athletes from other competing universities included Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Dominguez Hills, La Vern, Redlands and UC Riverside. Additionally, track and field clubs such as Altis, NIKE and G.R.I.T. also had athletes compete at the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome this weekend.