FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Day one of Northern Arizona University's Mountain T's began Friday afternoon in the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome, with long jumper Shanice McPherson moving into a tie for second place on the Lumberjack all-time indoor list.
McPherson, a two-time DII long jump champion, surpassed her season-best mark with a 20-1.50 (6.13m) leap on her fourth attempt of the day. The graduate transfer from New Mexico Highlands also moved into seventh place on the Big Sky's all-time indoor list for the long jump. McPherson went onto win the event Friday afternoon, marking her second long jump event victory of the season in three tries. Already first in the Big Sky this season, McPherson appears to be holding onto the top spot for at least another week.
Newcomer Khalil Dorsey also looked impressive Friday in the men's version of the long jump. Dorsey logged a 23-2.75 (7.08m) mark, which set a new PR and was good enough for his third-career overall event victory in three attempts.
"I was really excited to see our entire group fired up today," said jumps coach Roderick Townsend. "It's looking as though we're gearing up to have a good performance at conference, but we're still taking it day-by-day and making sure we're progressing."
The women's mile marked the beginning of the track events on Friday night, and NAU's Paige Gilchrist led them off with a bang. The native of Missoula, Mont., crushed a three-year-old PR with a 4:50.95 (4:40.38@) time before conversion—besting her old career-best by over 20 seconds. Gilchrist, who already ranks third in the conference in the 3000m event this season, looks as though she will slide into the No. 1 spot in the women's mile when the latest Big Sky performance rankings are released next week. Currently, the conference-leading time is 4:53.58.
Andy Trouard, a 2016 NCAA All-American on the NAU Cross Country National Championship team, led the way in the men's mile event which was stacked with Lumberjacks. Trouard finished first overall with a 4:10.20 time before altitude conversion. All-American teammates Tyler Day (4:12.05) and Matt Baxter (4:13.40) followed Trouard in and placed second and third, respectively. As of today, Trouard's mile time after conversion would rank first in the conference this season, Day's would be second and Baxter's fourth.
Freshman Parker Joens was the first Lumberjack to compete for the blue and gold on Friday, setting another personal-best in the men's shot with a 52-8.25 (16.06m) toss. Joens has now logged marks at all three indoor events NAU has hosted this season, and at each one has successively recorded new collegiate PR's. When emphasizing progress and getting better each week, Joens has been the epitome of that notion in 2017.
Lumberjack Rachel Pott also had a successful afternoon inside the throws circle, registering a new personal-best in the women's shot put (46-10.75, 14.29m). That measurement was good enough for a first-place victory—the first win of Pott's career in any event.
For the sprints unit, sophomore Jasmine Malone registered a season-best in the women's 200-meter dash, running for a 24.47 time before conversion. Even after conversion (24.61@), that mark would rank No. 1 on the conference's indoor performance list as of today.
Mountain T's action continues tomorrow morning with the men's weight throw starting at 10 a.m. MT, while track events will begin at 10:30 a.m. MT with the women's 60-meter dash preliminaries.
To follow along with live stats from tomorrow's events, click here.