Lutes Send Quartet To Ken Shannon Invitational
THIS WEEK: The Pacific Lutheran University track team's season is winding down, and only a handful of athletes have provisional qualifying marks for the NCAA Division III meet. This week's Ken Shannon Invitational will give them an opportunity to improve on their top marks. Hammer throwers Conor McNeill and Ryan Ransavage, and javelin throwers Stephanie McFarland and Ayla Mull, have all earned these provisional marks in their respective events, yet need to improve on them in order to be assured that they can make the trip to Delaware, Ohio, for the national meet, which is scheduled for May 26-28.
HAMMER HOPEFULS: Of the four athletes heading to the meet hosted by the University of Washington this weekend, Conor McNeill has the best chance of receiving a berth in the national meet. His top throw of 55.17 meters (181-0 feet) in the hammer throw places him 19th in the nation in the event, with approximately 15-18 athletes being invited to compete each year. Conor, a senior out of Elma, Wash., will likely need to gain three to four feet on this mark to firmly secure a spot at nationals. In this past weekend's Saint Martin's Invitational, McNeill was unable to add length to his top mark, fouling on his attempt and not making the final leaderboard at the event. McNeill's fellow hammer thrower, Ryan Ransavage, placed second at the Saint Martin's meet, yet did not improve enough on his top throw to secure a place at nationals. Entering the meet, Ransavage ranked 33rd nationally with a mark of 176-0 feet. Ransavage, a sophomore from North Bend, will need to add approximately eight feet to this personal record of 176-0, which he set two weeks ago at the Northwest Conference Championships. Both McNeill and Ransavage will give get another opportunity at the Ken Shannon Invitational, hosted by University of Washington. McNeill and Ransavage will throw at 1:30 p.m. Friday at West Seattle Stadium.
JAVELIN HOPEFULS: Stephanie McFarland and Ayla Mull will compete in the women's javelin throw at the Ken Shannon, looking to improve on their top tosses. McFarland, a 5-7 frosh from Fife, Wash., is ranked 30th nationally in the javelin with her mark of 131-0. Mull, a junior from Olympia, sits 34th nationally with her top throw of 130-2. Both athletes would need to add somewhere in the neighborhood of seven to eight feet to break into the top 16 to receive a bid to the national meet. Neither athlete improved on their season best at last Saturday's Saint Martin's Invitational. The javelin throw at the Ken Shannon will start at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.
SAINT MARTIN'S SUMMARY: Barrett Bollen won the 400-meter hurdles and ran a leg on the winning 1600-meter relay team Saturday to highlight Pacific Lutheran's efforts at the Saint Martin's Invitational track meet. Bollen won the hurdles race in a time of 54.69, a personal best by nearly two-tenths of a second. He teamed with Isaac Moog, David Fisher and Orion Bras to win the 1600 relay in a time of 3:19.26, one-tenth of a second faster than the squad's previous best. In both instances, the Lutes did not achieve the goal of Division III national meet provisional qualifying times. I.V. Reeves won the 100-meter dash in a time of 11.10 and also placed second in the 200 meters with a time of 22.40. Moog placed third in the 400 meters in a time of 49.92. The PLU men placed fourth in the meet despite having a limited squad size. Central Washington scored 225 points, followed by Western Washington with 153, Seattle Pacific 68.5 and Pacific Lutheran 67. The women's results were similar, Seattle Pacific winning with 174, Central placing second with 168 and Western finishing third with 123.5. A small contingent of PLU athletes scored 21 points, good for sixth place.
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