Oenning to make history at Pacific Twilight Invitational
April 30, 2010
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Freshman Kristin Oenning will be attempting something this weekend that no female student-athlete at Oregon State done in over two decades, compete in a field event. Oenning is slated to compete in the high jump at the Pacific Twilight Invitational Saturday, May 1.
'Well she was a high jumper in high school,' Oregon State women's track head coach Kelly Sullivan said. 'She was third in the 5A state meet last year for Sherwood High School and she has cleared 5'5. About two or three weeks ago I started thinking about how she's done everything I've asked and she's attempting to do something that is very challenging having never really trained for middle distance running. I asked her last week when she was in high school and went to track practice where did you go and she said she went straight to the high jump pit and now she's going out on hour long runs. I wanted to reward her for just being as loyal and receptive as she's been and she's worked really hard at this.'
When Oenning competes in the high jump Saturday, it will be the first time since 1988 that has competed in a field event. The track and field program was discontinued following that season but was resurrected in the 2005 season when Sullivan was hired. Since 2005 it has been all running for the Oregon State track team.
It is the first time since Sullivan brought the program back in 2005 that there has been a student-athlete on the team that has had experience in field events so it was the right person at the right time in Oenning.
'It's fitting, it's high jump,' Sullivan said. 'It seems like everything new we're doing in the field is high jump, which kind of goes with the tradition at OSU anywise.'
At the beginning of the track season, Oregon State saw the first male student-athletes compete in track events since that 1988 season when seven football student athletes competed at two indoor track events. Five tried their luck in the 60 meters dash while two, wide receivers Jordan Bishop and Obum Gwacham, joined a short list of student-athletes to clear seven feet in the high jump.
Gwacham competed in the outdoor track and field event the Oregon Preview and cleared 7'1.75' which ranks him 15th overall in the nation.
Saturday will be an historic day for the Oregon State track program. Along with the high jump, Oenning is scheduled to compete in the 800 meters.
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