Northern Arizona's track & field program closed out its last home meet of the 2019 indoor season at the NAU Tune Up meet on Friday night at the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome.
The Jacks may have only had a handful of athletes compete, but they were able to perform and put up some impressive marks including a few PR's. NAU student-athletes took the gold in five events throughout the day.
"Tonight showed that our momentum continues to move forward at conference next week," said director of cross country and track & field Michael Smith. "We are fired up to defend our men's and women's Big Sky Conference championships. This group is ready."
The men's throws team set a few PR's in the weight throw competition. The Lumberjacks secured spots two through six, led by the performance of Brady Williams. Williams broke his previous personal best of 18.49 with a mark of 19.80m for a second-place finish. Kevin Cooney followed his teammate with a mark of 18.90m to take third place. Cooney's previous best was a 17.95m throw set at Friday Night Duals. J
acob Kaufman also set a new PR with his 17.40m throw. At last year's NAU Tune Up John Murphy competed unattached and set a PR of 16.87m; Friday, he beat that PR with a throw of 16.94m.
The men's shot put saw Parker Joens take the top spot with a throw of 17.09m. Jake Arnold placed second with a mark of 16.07m.
Sykora Walker had an incredibly successful evening in the women's weight throw. Her new PR of 17.20m was earned on her last throw of the evening. Walker placed first with Alexa Dragone taking third but also setting a new PR in the weight throw with a mark of 16.06m. Dragone's previous best was a 14.86m throw set at the Mountain T's Invite earlier this season.
In the women's shot put competition both Dragone and Matilde Roe set new PR's with throws of 14.20m and 13.78m, respectively.
"Our women's team had a great day," said head throws coach Jason Schutz. "With Matilde and Alexa setting PR's in the shot put it was clear that we are moving forward and making progress. It was good to see a few of the men get PR's in the weight throw competition too."
The only Lumberjack to compete for the men's sprints and hurdles squad on Friday night was Michael Marchica. Marchica placed first in the 600m run with a time of 1:23.37; that time beat his old PR of 1:25.34.
Women's sprints saw some action in the 200m dash and 600m run. Alexis Caston earned a seventh-place finish in 26.45. Dana Padget and Rita Sakharov placed first and second in the 600m run and Padget set a new PR. Padget's time of 1:42.37 beat her previous best of 1:42.51; Sakharov's time of 1:46.31 was about five seconds short of her current PR of 1:41.31.
Men's distance only raced in two events during the NAU Tune Up. However, both races resulted in a Lumberjack taking the top spot in their respective event. Although he ran unattached, freshman NAU runner Theo Quax created some momentum for himself heading into the 2019 outdoor season with his first-place time of 4:14.50. Blaise Ferro placed second (4:15.35) and Peter Lomong took fourth (4:22.52).
The 3000m run had Ferro taking the top spot at 8:39.38; Lomong was right behind Ferro again in second with his time of 8:41.02.
Women's distance saw Zoe Wall take third in the mile with a time of 5:23.62. Miranda Myers was the top collegiate finisher in the 3000m Run posting a time of 10:18.92. Wall joined Myers in the top-five finishers in the 3000m as she end the race in fifth place (11:03.19).
Obang Odol was the only Lumberjack to compete in the jumps events for NAU, clearing 2.00m to take seventh place. Odol attempted 2.05m, which would have tied his best mark of the 2019 indoor season.
Sophomore Lauren Orndoff will miss the remainder of the season due to a medical condition regarding a collapsed lung. Orndoff is expected to make a full recovery with the intention of rejoining the team for the 2019-20 season.
Orndoff, a second-year Lumberjack, has missed the last nine games and last appeared in NAU's home contest against Southern Utah on Jan. 12, playing 22 minutes against the Thunderbirds.
Orndoff made significant strides in her sophomore campaign, finishing the season with 10.1 points per game, placing her third on the team. She started all 14 games she appeared in and was shooting 45.5 percent overall and 42.5 percent from 3-point range.
Her 12.8 points per game through the first five league games still leads NAU in conference play. At the time of her last game, Orndoff was one of two players to rank in the top 10 of the Big Sky in both field goal percentage and 3-point percentage.