The Oregon St. men's track and field team from the football team as well as a couple members of the women's team attempted to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships at the University of Washington Last Chance meet in Seattle Saturday.
None of the Beaver footballers were able to qualify, but Laura Carlyle did in the mile, bettering her school record for the third time this season with a time of 4:37.57. She had to be under 4:38 to qualify.
Chloe Steinbeck didn't qualify for nationals, but she did run a 4:56.26, making her the third fastest person at the distance indoors by any Oregon St. student.
Obum Gwacham placed 3rd in a field of 9 in the high jump, clearing 6'11". Gwachum passed at 7' 3/8", and then missed all 3 attempts at 7' 1 3/4".
"We had the bar moved up all the way to 7-1.75," Oregon St. track and field coach Kelly Sullivan said, "and his first two jumps were not good. But on his third attempt, he was way over the bar, and just barely tapped it with his heal and knocked it off. He was disappointed because he was jumping really well today, but overall it was still a great trip."
Gwacham would have needed to clear 7'4 3/16" to reach nationals.
Oregon St. sent 4 sprinters in the 60 meter dash, and 3 reached the finals.
Keynan Parker won the first of 4 heats with a time of 6.97. Marcus Wheaton topped that, winning the second heat in 6.93 seconds. Brandin Cooks went even faster, claiming the third heat with a time of 6.87.
Malcolm Marable, the fourth member of the team, placed third in the second heat, with a time of 7.18, which did not qualify for the finals.
Taylor Tatum won the 60 meter finals, in a time of 6.79. Cooks and Wheaton both finished with a time of 6.85, and Parker was fourth, with a 6.92.
It would have taken a blistering 6.60 to earn an automatic qualification to nationals, which seems extremely difficult to accomplish on the Dempsey indoor track. The all-time record for the building is a 6.58, set last year, and the meet record for the Last Chance event is 6.66, which has stood since Oregon's Sammie Parker (another football player of some note who also excelled at track) posted it back in 2002.
The men will return to the track in the outdoor season after the completion of spring practice.
The fact that Marable participated under the OSU colors while suspended from the football team for a driving infraction would seem to indicate that he does have a path back from the suspension to the football team.