They all were endurance events Friday evening.
High winds, biting cold and the occasional hail shower caused athletes to re-evaluate individual success in the Pelluer Invitational track meet at Woodward Stadium in Cheney.
Anybody brave enough to peel off the sweats showed the courage of a champion - regardless of their times and marks.
Despite the weather, four meet and six stadium records fell - one from perhaps an unexpected source.
Kim Jones, 37, long among the nation’s top female marathoners, battled the head winds on the home-stretch to win the 3,000- and the 1,500-meter runs - smashing the 3,000 record with a clocking of 9 minutes, 44.4 seconds.
Although it was about 38,000 meters short of her specialty, and only weeks after abdominal cramping forced her out of the Boston Marathon, Jones easily dispatched large fields of collegiate challengers.
“I think I’m just real strong from the marathon training,” Jones said of her ability to fight the persistent gales. “I’m probably going to do some more track racing so I’m trying to get the feel of it. I’m going to focus on running shorter, faster races.”
Jones spent a cold and windy Thursday afternoon watching her daughter Jamie, a freshman at Lewis and Clark, win the 800 in a prep meet.
Jamie returned the favor Friday night, congratulating her victorious mother while putting a major dent in a sloppy order of nachos.
Jones said she has pinpointed the cause of the stomach cramps that also caused her to pull out of the Olympic Marathon Trials in February. A different kind of fluid she was drinking during the races was the culprit.
“I felt just wonderful (at Boston); it was one of those days runners dream about,” Jones said. “I led at 9 miles and felt like I could run forever.”
But the stomach cramps that attacked her persisted for a week after the race.
Another unattached runner, Robin Korving of Holland, set a record in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, powering to a 14.11 time into the wind.
“I just open the big turbo and run,” Korving said of his wind-cheating technique.
Korving had been signed to run at Idaho for coach Mike Keller, but the NCAA and the UI registrar can’t reach an agreement on how classes he had in Holland will transfer.
While they haggle over his transcript, the former European junior hurdles champ competes unattached.
Idaho’s hot 400 relay team continued to roll, setting a meet mark of 40.76, while former Ferris High and Idaho runner Shelly Zickler, running unattached, cracked the 800 record with a 2:13.35 effort.
As for versatility, the title went to Gea Johnson, competing for Moscow USA. Johnson, a national-class heptathlete waging a court battle over a disputed drug test, won the long jump, 200 and 100 hurdles, and took second in the shot put and third in the high jump.
Stadium records that did not set meet marks included the 39-foot, 3-3/4-inch triple jump by Washington State’s Kirsten Koch and the 47.50 men’s 400 by UI’s Tawanda Chiwira.
WSU’s Ian Waltz, a freshman from Post Falls, threw a career-best 189-7 to take third place in the collegiate men’s discus in Philadelphia. Waltz bettered his discus mark by nearly 3 feet and is 4 feet from reaching an NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 193-7. A few hours later, Waltz placed fourth in the shot put with a heave of 55-0-1/4 (his lifetime best in the shot is 56-8-1/2).
WSU senior Dominique Arnold ran a 13.85 in the men’s 110 hurdles to advance to today’s finals.
In Des Moines, Iowa, Kansas State’s Wanita Dykstra beat two-time defending champion Corissa Yasen of Purdue in the high jump. Dykstra cleared 6-1/2 and Yasen, a Coeur d’Alene High graduate, 5-10-1/2.
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