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The Observer Paper 09/29/14

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Dirk Bortz ().
Dirk Bortz ().

GRESHAM – Eastern Ore-gon University senior Dirk Bortz (Bonners Ferry, Idaho) broke school records in the discus and hammer throw while qualifying for the 2005 NAIA National Outdoor Track and Field Meet May 26-28 during last weekend's Mt. Hood Community College Open to open the season.

Bortz won the discus, shattering his own EOU record with a toss of 167 feet, 6 inches (51.05 meters). That eclipsed the old record of 159-8 by nearly eight feet. Bortz's mark is an automatic qualifier to the NAIA national meet.

Junior Adam Cooper (River-bank, Calif.) was second in the discus with an effort of 141-7.

In the hammer circle, there was another assault on the EOU record book, as Bortz and Cooper finished second and fifth, respectively. Bortz had a toss of 177-5 (54.07 meters), establishing a new standard for Mountaineer hammer throwers. The two-year-old mark of 175-11 gave former All-American Jerry Morris a third-place finish at the 2003 National Championships. Cooper just missed the EOU record with a mark of 174-2 (53.08 meters), but he also qualified for the national meet.

EOU head coach Ben Welch said the Mountaineers opened the season "in fine style."

On the track, seniors Ian Schroeder (Milwaukie) and Eric Griffiths (Hubbard) each set NAIA national meet provisional marks in the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter runs, respectively.

Schroeder eclipsed the four-minute mark with a run of 3:57.5 in the 3-3/4 lap race, despite a "pedestrian" pace the first lap, according to Welch. Griffiths came across the tape in 14:58.17 in his 5-kilometer race, coming on strong the second half of the race.

Sophomore Josh Ego (Hermis-ton) posted a lifetime best by 27 seconds with a 9:57.31 in the steeplechase.

On the women's side, four EOU runners set personal records in the 5,000-meter run. Sophomore Stephanie Colkitt (Union) ran four seconds off the NAIA provisional mark of 18:27.50 with a third-place finish in 18:31.47. Junior Rian Finney (Milwaukie), senior Shawna Muchow (Union) and sophomore Jessica Johnston (Oregon City) each ran an outstanding race, according to Welch.

Welch said 11 other EOU athletes had lifetime bests at the Mt. Hood meet.

The Mountaineer track & field teams will now prepare for the Dusty Lane Invitational hosted by the Community College of Spokane on Saturday. Prior to that, a few multi-event (decathlon/heptathlon) athletes will compete Thursday and Friday in Cheney at the Eastern Washington University Multi-Events Meet.

– Joe Sova


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