Busy West Coast Weekend for Bison Track

The long weekend for the North Dakota State track & field teams was spent under the sun in the Los Angeles area. The Bison sent competitors to four different meets in one of the busiest weekends of the year.

The marquee event for the Bison on the weekend was the Beach Invitational hosted by Long Beach State.

The javelin went as expected for the Bison. Matti Mortimore took his fourth win in four events with a throw of 252-0, beating the runner-up by over 25 feet. Mortimore slipped to No. 2 in the nation this week to Ioannis Kyriazis of Texas A&M.

It was a good weekend for junior Landon Jochim. Jochim took a second-place finish in the 400m with a quick sprint of 47.84. He was then back on the track anchoring the 4×400 relay. His unofficial split of 46.6 closed out the victory for the Bison.

Alex Renner was just as productive. The senior thrower won the shot put at Long Beach with a toss of 62-05.00 on Saturday. He then took the 30-minute drive to the Mt. SAC Relays to throw the same distance. The second toss was good enough for second place, behind only national No. 1 Mostafa Hassan from Colorado State.

That came two days after taking second in the hammer throw at the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate. The throw of 201-0 was beaten by teammate Steffan Stroh. The junior won the event with a throw of 203-2.

Meanwhile, Brant Gilbertson may have put himself in a position for the NCAA Regional Preliminary Rounds. The junior clocked a time of 8:58.16 in the 3000m steeplechase. The time put him fourth all-time for NDSU and two seconds inside the nine-minute mark that has been the cutoff in prior years.

For the women, the weekend saw a pair of records broken.

Thursday’s Pacific Coast Intercollegiate was the location of the first record.

Katelyn Weimerskirch extended her own hammer throw record. Her toss of 203-10 took home first place in the event. The senior added another title in the discus with a 171-3 mark.

Meanwhile, at the same event, Lauren Gietzen put herself in a position to qualify for the NCAA Regional Prelims. The junior pole-vaulter cleared 13-03.75, putting her in a tie for second place in Bison history.

Fast forward to Friday at the Beach Invitational, and the mark was pushed further again. Weimerskirch added another 10 inches to the record, winning the event and moving to No. 17 in the nation.

Alyssa Olin joined Weimerskirch in pushing records out. The junior threw five feet further than her earlier mark and set the school record with a 174-5 mark. The sophomore finished second, nine feet behind winner and national No. 1 Rebekah Wales of LSU.

At the Mt. SAC Relays, Taylor Janssen moved into the national top-10 in the steeplechase. The senior won her section with a time of 10:10.14 to move to No. 9 in the nation and No. 3 in NDSU history.

Janssen was named Summit League Women’s Track and Field Athlete of the Week for the performance.

Morgan Milbrath was the top collegiate finisher in the 400m at the Beach Invitational. Her time of 53.22 moves the senior into the top-25 in the nation.

Fellow Bison Alexis Woods set her own personal best in the event, moving to No. 7 in NDSU history with a time of 54.29.

The duo then paired up with Amy Andrushko and Rose Jackson to win the 4x400m relay. The winning time of 3:36.35 pushed the group to No. 6 all-time for NDSU.

The Bison will return to Fargo this weekend for the Lyle Hokanson Classic. The meet will take place Friday and Saturday at the Schlanser Track Complex.

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