by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
TACOMA, Wash. – Whitworth track and field opened the outdoor season by earning a pair of second place team finishes at the Ed Boitano Invite, which was hosted by Puget Sound.
Both the Pirate men and women finished behind NCAA Division II Western Washington and ahead of NWC foes Puget Sound and Lewis & Clark.
The Whitworth women were keyed by five individual victories, three by Izzy Clark. The senior set a new career-high in the shot put with a 39' 9" toss, winning the event by more than 8 inches. She also picked victories in the 100 and 400-meter hurdles.
Ellie Shoop added another win for the Pirate women, placing first in the steeplechase with a 12:02.82 time. The win was the first of the year for Shoop, who was the 2018 NWC Freshman of the Year during the cross country season.
Amy Blyckert added Whitworth's final win of the day with a victory in the 400-meter dash.
A trio of freshmen keyed the Pirate men at the Boitano Invite, picking up three individual wins in their first outdoor meet.
Xavier Betancourt earned the first victory of his collegiate career in the 400-meter hurdles, timing in at 58.32. The freshman finished more than three seconds ahead of his closest competition, Benji Bromberg of Lewis & Clark.
Reed Hurst picked up another victory for the Pirate men in the discus with a 142' 3" toss. The freshman also placed second with a career-best 42' 7" throw in the shot put.
Rhett Streeter was the final freshman Buc to pick up a victory, emerging with an 11.13 mark in the 100-meter dash. Streeter also placed in the top-five in the 200-meter dash where he edged teammate Jalen Robinson-McClure by .08 seconds to finish fourth.
McClure-Robinson and Betancourt also combined with Jesus Gonzalez and Travis Herrera to pick up a fourth men's victory in the 4x400-meter relay. The Pirates outpaced Lewis & Clark by three seconds to earn the win.
Looking Ahead: The Pirates will wait to see if Nick McGill remains in qualifying position for the Division III Indoor National Championships, which will be on March 8-9. Whitworth's next outdoor meet will come when they host the Buc Scoring Invite on Saturday, March 16 in the Pine Bowl.