FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – It was a big night for personal bests at Northern Arizona University's NAU Tune-Up, the fourth and final indoor home meet of the season, with sophomore jumper Kaitlyn Wayne leading the way and piecing together the best performance of her career.
The native of Kayenta, Ariz., secured the second-place finish overall with a 19-1.25 (5.82m) mark on her last attempt of the day in the women's long jump event. Ranked 18th in the conference coming into action Friday, she appears to be moving up into a top-10—and potentially a top-5—spot after today.
"I was extremely proud of our team tonight and how they executed in their specific events," said head coach Mike Smith. "Our athletes came out here tonight and really showed just how deep and strong our team is. I feel as though we are well prepared heading into Big Sky's next weekend."
Another stellar performance for redshirt-junior thrower Brooke Andersen, who continues to out-do herself each and every week. Late tonight at the Walkup Skydome, the Vista, Calif., native slung a 71-0.75 (21.66m) throw on her second attempt, good enough for the first place finish. In fact, on five of her six throws she surpassed the 20m mark. Already the Big Sky Conference record holder in the weight throw, Andersen only improved that title while also sliding up to No. 9 in the NCAA.
On the men's side, Isaiah Kennedy was the only Lumberjack of six to advance to the men's 60-meter dash finals, where he ran a personal best 6.75 time—moving up into a tie for second all-time in NAU history after conversion (6.79@). In the prelims, Kossi Tchenawou sprinted his way to a PR at 6.83 but missed the cut by a couple thousandths of a second.
For the second-consecutive week, NAU's Ashley Taylor set a new career-best in the women's 800m run, coasting in for the first-place finish with a 2:10.33@ time. Taylor, who came into Friday ranked fourth in the Big Sky in the 800m, would slide up to No. 2 if all things stayed the same.
Not to be outdone, though, was sophomore Jasmine Malone who brought some fireworks of her own tonight to the women's 200m dash. Already No. 4 on the conference's performance list this season, Malone crushed a new PR (24.44@) en route to wining the entire event among 21 other athletes.
Malone also started things on the track in the women's 60m dash preliminaries, where she and teammate Clarissa Maxey both improved their career-bests. Malone, ranked seventh in the conference in this event, raced in the first heat and notched a 7.63 mark before Maxey logged a 7.83 in the fourth heat. Both, however, did not qualify for finals.
For distance, freshman Cade Burks snuck in for the first place finish in the men's mile event with a 4:31.87 mark, beating second-place by 0.16 of a second.
Lumberjack freshman Cameron Rayford also registered a PR, with his coming in the men's long jump on his first attempt (22-5.75, 6.85m) … Sara Murray qualified for the 60m hurdle finals with a new PR of 8.95 in the prelims, but did not participate in the finals … Fellow freshman Destiny Williams leapt her way to a new PR in the women's high jump with a 5-3.00 (1.60m) mark Friday afternoon … Freshman Tyren Wolfe joined the PR party today, notching a 22.01 time of his own in the men's 200m
Athletes and teams from other universities that competed tonight at the Skydome included (but were not limited to) Arizona State, Arizona, Southern Utah and Stanford. Additionally, a multitude of area track and field clubs participated in Friday's action.
The Lumberjack track and field squad will travel to Pocatello, Idaho, next week for the 2017 Big Sky Indoor Conference Championships. With the men gunning for their sixth-straight indoor title and 11th-straight Big Sky Championship overall, the stakes are high and the action should be great. Coincidentally, the last time the women won an indoor title was in Pocatello during the 2014 season.
*All times listed are before altitude conversion, unless otherwise noted with a "@" symbol*