Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
NEWBERG, Ore. - Vakeaemanu Hunkin won two events guiding the Pacific Lutheran University women's track & field team to a third place finish on Saturday at George Fox University's Rich Allen Classic.
Hunkin won the shot put with a heave of 41 feet, one inch, with teammate Annie Waldrop finishing seventh with a throw of 36' 1 1/2". The first-year's second event win came in the discus, uncorking a throw of 125' 5 1/2" with Neely Harding and Waldrop also finishing amongst the top five. Harding placed third with a throw of 115' 10" while Waldrop was fifth (109' 8 3/4"). Hunkin additionally placed runner-up in the hammer throw, collecting a mark of 145' 4 1/4".
Avalyne Peters won the high jump for the second consecutive week, clearing 5' 2 1/2" while Paige Runco and Kayla Bach tied for fifth with a clearance of 4' 8 3/4". Machaela Graddy secured the Lutes' fourth event win in the field events, claiming the top position in the javelin with a throw of 124' 0".
Sammy Sponenburg won the 5,000-meter run, circling the track in 19 minutes, 4.59 seconds, owning a nearly 41-second gap on the next closest competitor while Sararose Gallo logged a third place finish (20:04.36).
Leah Johnson, Kalen Keim, Graddy, and Andraya Conger collaborated to win the 4x100-meter relay, clocking a 50.25 while Graddy, Keim, Runco, and Johnson finished second in the 4x400-meter relay in 4:16.48.
Maddie Smith was runner-up in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, stopping the watch in 12:18.14 while placing sixth in the 400-meter hurdles (1:15.17), filling in behind teammates Runco (fourth in 1:13.67) and Miranda Berg (fifth in 1:14.68). Conger finished third in the 200-meter dash in 27.67 and sixth in the 100-meter dash (12.97) with Keim placing one spot back in seventh (13.01).
"The team has been working through some challenges with injuries but everyone who competed today stepped up and competed well against the competition," said Head Coach Adam Frye. "There were quite a few personal records and NWC qualifying marks today."
PLU finished third overall after amassing 146 points in the team standings. George Fox won its own event, logging 221.5 points while Linfield College was second with 195.5 points.
PLU competes at the NWC Multi-Events on Monday and Tuesday while the rest of the team returns to competition next Saturday at the Lewis & Clark Invitational.