HERMISTON, Ore. – A total of 18 men and 13 women qualified and will represent Oregon Tech at the 2018 Cascade Conference Track & Field Championships, presented by U.S. Bank, at Kennison Field in Hermiston, Ore. – co-hosted by Eastern Oregon and C of I. The two-day meet will begin on Friday with field events at 2 p.m. (Pacific) and track events at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific); while Saturday, field events begin at 11 a.m. (Pacific) and track events starting at 2 p.m. (Pacific) Athletes will compete in 20 events per gender with the Top-8 finishers in each event earning team points (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1) and the Top-3 in each event earning All-CCC honors.

Oregon Tech Athletes to Watch – Women

Tech Junior Amber Von Essen will be competing in five events for the Owls. She is the #1 seed in the 100, the #2 seed in the 400 and the #4 seed in the 200.

Susie Garza is the #1 seed in the 800 with a time of 2:13:52, the #2 seed in the 1500 and is also the #8 seed in the 400.

The Owls are looking for good things this year out of the Pole Vaulters with Nishi Chaseentering as the #1 seed, Danielle Michael as the #3 seed and Abigail Shaw as the 7 seed. Chase is also the 4 seed in the high jump with Tech’s Jasmine James holding the #2 seed and Veronica Norris as the #8 seed.

James is also the #1 seed in the Triple Jump with a mark of 11.13m

The Owls are looking for Finausulieti Tuifua to improve in all her throwing events that include the Shot Put, Discus, and the Hammer.

Oregon Tech Athletes to Watch – Men

The Owl sprinters look to make their mark in the OIT and CCC record books as both the 4×100 (Josiah StroupDonnie PateAngel Valdez, and Travis Thomas) and 4×400 (Valdez, Paul Wyatt, Stroup, Thomas) teams are ranked #3 and #1 respectively heading into the Championships.

Thomas, who is the #1 seed in both the 200 (21.48) and the 400 (48.56) and is #5 in the 100, looks to finish his senior year on a high note.

Donnie Pate looks to stay in step with Thomas as Pate enters as the #3 seed in the 100, and is the #2 seed in the 200.

OIT’s Seth Gretz, now a three-time CCC decathlon champion, will attempt to score more points as the top seed in High Jump. Gretz is also the #4 seed in the 110-Meter Hurdles, an event he won three years ago.

Tech’s Zuhuri Manley is the #1 seed in the Triple Jump and the #2 seed in the Long Jump.

Dillon Claybaugh looks to push Gretz in the High Jump and will also compete in the Triple Jump.

Hunter Drops enters the championship as the #1 seed in both the Pole Vault and the Javelin with Gretz a very close 2nd in the Pole Vault.

Mark French is the #1 seed in the 10K and the #4 seed in 5K with Tech’s Jack Robertsthe #8 seed in the 5K and #6 seed in the 1,500, while Paul Wyatt looks to score in the 800 as the #4 seed.

OIT throwers will be led by Duke York and Montgomery Payne. York is the #2 seed in the Hammer, #4 seed in the Shot Put and #8 seed in the Discus while Payne is the #6 seed in the Discus, #7 seed in the Shot and #12 in the Hammer. Other throwers looking to improve for the Owls are Alexander Turkins and Coburn York.

Oregon Tech will next head to Gulf Shores, Ala., for the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships May 24-26 with the student athletes that qualify for the event.


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