Written by Student Assistant Garrett Hittner
TACOMA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University women's track & field team sent a partial squad across town to the University of Puget Sound on Saturday and turned in a few strong performances at the Shotwell Invitational to close out spring break.
"While most of the team was off this weekend, we had a small group take advantage of the opportunity to compete across town at UPS again on Saturday," said Head Coach Adam Frye. "We continued to show improvement and came away with some PRs and conference qualifying marks."
Avalyne Peters led the way for the Lutes, making her debut and winning the high jump with a clearance of five feet, 0 1/2 inch with Paige Runco finishing seventh (4' 10 1/2"). Olivia Raymond placed fourth in the pole vault after clearing 10' 2" while in the long jump, Emily Burk landed in seventh place after jumping 15' 10 1/4".
In the throws, Charene Stovall finished second place in the discus (118' 6") and fourth in the shot put (38' 11 1/2") and was the only Lute to place in the top eight in two events. Placing sixth in the discus, Neely Harding had a throw of 105' 10" while Machaela Graddy tied for fourth in the javelin with a throw of 132'.
On the track, Mekenzie Voellger placed fifth in the 800-meter run, clocking a time of two minutes, 23.26 seconds.
Despite sending only a partial squad, the Lutes finished eighth overall in the team standings at the 13-team event, scoring 43.5 points. Division II Central Washington University secured the team title, scoring 127 points at the meet.
"The high jump was a highlight on the women's side. Avalyne Peters got the W in her first meet as a Lute and Paige Runco also got a NWC qualifying mark. Machaela Graddy topped the 40m mark in the jav for the first time and she leads the NWC. Charene Stovall continued to throw consistently well in her events."
PLU returns to action next Saturday, heading to Newberg, Oregon for the Rich Allen Classic.