Records are made to be broken. On day two of the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field, the Lane womens 4×400 meter relay team shattered the school record, which had stood for 17 years.
The relay team consisting of freshman Kristen Dunn and sophomores Jahzelle Ambus, Jalen Timms and Macaulay Wilson, broke the former school record of 3:52.5, with a time of 3:49.9. This secured the Titans second-place, with first going to Wichita State University. Timms started the Titans off by running a 56.9-second first leg to help her team break the record, which has stood since the 1997 season. Lane head coach Grady O’Connor is glad his relay team could break the record they’ve had their eyes on all season.
“It’s a special group,” O’Connor said. “We’ve had that record as a goal all season. We came close last week at Chico Calif. We knew we had the footspeed. We just had to eliminate our mistakes. It was an awesome feeling for our team to achieve that goal.”
Not to be outdone, the men’s 4×100 relay team was looking to enter the winner’s circle. A strong team effort from freshman Colton Thurman, Rohan Cain, Jesse Goodier and sophomore Dylan Hamming, and clinched victory for the Titans in a time of 42.6 seconds. The time is the third-fastest run by an NWAACC team this season.
The men’s 4×400 relay team also saw success at Hayward Field. Cain gave the Titans a strong second leg, putting the Titans slightly ahead of Clackamas Community College heading into the anchor leg, which sophomore Diego Gonzales ran. Gonzales was caught by Clackamas’ star anchor, sophomore Zach Rial. Gonzales still delivered a strong finish in the Bowerman curve to give the Titans fourth-place, with a time of 3:20.98.
“We’re getting better,” O’Connor said. “We have a young group this season who are still unproven, but we took four seconds off our time from Chico and I’m very happy with our weekly improvement.”
The women’s 4×100 relay team also had a strong performance on day two. This event took place before the record-breaking 4×400 meter performance. This time it was Ambus who ran the strong anchor leg, leading her team to a second place finish in 48.48 seconds.
On the first day of the relays history was made as well. The meet began with the high jump, which meant another chance for Titan freshman Dakari Hightower to break his personal record of 7’1″, which he set at at the Lane preview on March 14 while competing unattached.
Hightower claimed third place at the relays with a leap of 7’0.25″. Although it was short of his season best, it was good enough for Hightower to break the school record of 7′, in just his second meet in a Titan’s uniform. The old record, held by Kelly Graham has stood since 1976.
After a personal best time of 25.63 seconds April 12 in the women’s 200-meter run at the Chico Twilight Invitational, Ambus exploded out of the blocks to blow her personal best out of the water. Ambus finished in a time of 25.17 seconds, earning ninth-place in a highly competitive field that saw Oregon freshman Ashante Horsley take first with a time of 24.28 seconds.
Freshman David Cornish was also looking to improve his personal best in the men’s 1,500 meter. At the Chico Invitational, Cornish set a new personal record of 4:09.74. At Hayward field, Cornish broke his personal record with 4:09.23, giving him ninth-place overall.
Titans’ sophomore Luke McKay set another personal record, this one in the pole vault. McKay vaulted 15’7″, clearing his season best by more than a foot. McKay tied with fellow Titans’ sophomore Zach Olivera for ninth place.
In the long jump on day one, the Titans were given a strong performance from sophomore Kara Hallock. Hallock jumped a total distance of 18’01.5″, which saw her take fourth-place honors. Hallock’s mark could’ve been improved, but she passed on her final jump of the day. Hallock, the Titans’ top heptathlete, also competed in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing fourth with a time of 14.75 seconds, missing her personal best by milliseconds.
After breaking so many records this past week, the Titans look ahead to the Titan Twilight on April 24.
“At the Titan Twilight, since it’s a home meet, we’ll have the opportunity to manage some of our athletes better. It’ll be good for our athletes to take a deep breath and get sharpened up for the NWAACC championships,” O’Connor said.