by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
CHENEY, Wash. – Whitworth track and field battled the elements and still managed post qualifying marks for the Northwest Conference championships and set several new career-bests in a weather-shortened day at the 47th Annual Pelluer Invite.
Nathaniel Drotts led the Whitworth men by posting the conference's top pole vault when he cleared his previous season best by ¼-inch. The junior vaulted 14-feet 11-inches to earn the NWC's top spot.
Reed Hurst also climbed up the NWC standings with a 44-foot 11 ½-inch shot put. The toss places fourth in the conference and is a new career-best for Hurst.
Ryan Wagar set a new personal record in the triple jump for the second straight meet. The freshman's new career-best of 41-feet 8 ½-inches also qualifies him for the NWC championships.
Stephen Haugland threw a career-long 131-feet 3-inches in the discus to secure a spot at the conference championships. The sophomore also posted a personal record in the hammer throw with a 141-foot 8-inch toss.
For the Whitworth women, Olivia Lytle led the way by setting a new personal record in the triple jump with a 35-foot 6 ¾-inch leap. The mark ranks among the top-five in the Northwest Conference.
Mary Neder posted a career-best mark in the steeplechase, where she also qualified for the NWC Championships thanks to a time of 12:39.42.
Marissa Mount added another qualifying time for the Bucs with a 4:57.83 in the 1,500-meter run.
The Pirates have a busy week ahead. Whitworth's decathletes and heptathletes compete at Linfield College in the NWC Combined Events Championship on Monday and Tuesday, and the full team has its final tune-up before the NWC Championships when it hosts the Whitworth Twilight meet on Thursday, April 18.