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Track and field

The most prolific scorJeanne (Eggart) Helfer. Photo Bruce Andre
Spring 2017

How you play the game

It took a while for the guys to start passing her the ball during pickup games at the gym.

Jeanne (Eggart) Helfer ’82 stuck with it, spending much of her free time back in 1977 simply running the length of the basketball court waiting for a chance to show she knew her way around the paint. It was her first semester at Washington State, a few months before she would start setting school records, and Helfer patiently waited for the guys to discover what her older brother and his friends already had learned back in Walla Walla.

That girl can shoot. And pass. And rebound.

» More …

Olympian and WSU Hall of Famer Lee Orr
Summer 2016

Racing into history

The Olympic moment of WSU Hall of Famer Lee Orr

As rain fell in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium in 1936, Lee Orr, a Washington State College student not yet 20 years old, didn’t realize the magnitude of the events surrounding him.

“I was pretty young and didn’t know what was going on,” he said.

It had been over seven decades since Orr raced against Jesse Owens at the ’36 Olympic Games when, in 2008, the soft-spoken Orr recalled his Olympic experience in Germany.

A year after the interview, Orr passed away; however, the story he told lives in sports lore.

Owens’s four gold medals and his … » More …

Spring 2011

Run to greatness

On an overcast, frigid December afternoon, two-time NCAA 400-meter hurdles champion Jeshua Anderson is running with his track teammates in the Indoor Practice Facility.

Anderson’s training regime today includes a 300-meter sprint, then four minutes rest during which he talks with hurdles coach Mark Macdonald and head coach Rick Sloan, followed by another 300-meter run. After just a minute’s rest, Anderson runs a 200-meter sprint, rests 10 minutes while he talks with the coaches again, then wraps it up with a 300-meter run.

At the end of each run, Anderson has led the way.

“If you’re looking to get pushed in a workout session, he … » More …

Fall 2003

Richardson era ends with her best

“Someone like her only comes along once a career.” —Rick Sloan

Ellannee Richardson had just run the race of her life: a blistering 800-meter time of 2 minutes, 12.04 seconds, a personal record, in the final event of the heptathlon at June’s NCAA Track and Field Championships in Sacramento.

It should have been enough for Richardson, a redshirt senior at Washington State University, to win her first NCAA title.

But in the world of track and field, you can never fully control what anyone else does. And as Richardson caught her breath, just 13 seconds after she crossed the line, her dream ended.

Needing … » More …

Summer 2003

Whitney Evans: All-America high jumper has a head for finance

Whitney Evans leaves little to chance. Whether competing in sports or analyzing a stock portfolio for a finance class, her attention to detail pays dividends. The fifth-year scholar-athlete from Calgary is a straight-A student, a six-time track and field All-America. By the time she completes her athletic career at Washington State University in June, she will be the most decorated female athlete in the school’s history.

It’s late January now, the first track meet in WSU’s new air-supported “bubble.” Evans arrives early, stretches, and jogs easily. When her name’s called, she toes a piece of white tape 14 feet left of the high jump standard … » More …

Summer 2004

WSU Hall of Fame adds 5 who excelled

Carol Gordon

On February 21, the day of her induction into Washington State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Carol Gordon offered a silent prayer. That evening she shared her petition with 180 guests at the induction banquet in the Compton Union Building.

“Please let me speak before George [Raveling],” the longtime WSU professor, coach, and administrator said. Her comment drew a rousing ovation from the audience, including Raveling himself. The charismatic Cougar basketball coach from 1972-83 would speak later. Olympic gold medallist Julius Korir; Linda Williams Sheridan, Spokane prep coaching legend; and football All-America Mike Utley were the other honorees.

Gordon championed women’s athletics at … » More …

Summer 2009

A runner’s worlds

On a summer morning, the sun’s first rays peep through my bedroom window, warming the dry air when I hear a tentative knock on my door.

“Marisa,” my dad whispers.

It’s 5:45 a.m. at the Sandoval house in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The pink morning glow and the patter of running shoes mean only one thing: It’s time to run.

For me, every summer day begins with a family run on picturesque trails carved into the high desert canyons and mesas of northern New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains. With my dad, Anthony Sandoval, leading the way, I run with my brothers and sisters. On a good … » More …

Spring 2008

Bernard Lagat comes home

On his first morning back in Pullman, world track and field champion Bernard Lagat ’01 pulled on his running shoes and said a quick goodbye to his wife, Gladys Tom ’00, and son, Miika.

It was 8 a.m. and about 19 degrees outside. But the morning was clear, and there was plenty of Johnson Road to share with the 17-member Washington State University cross country team.

After years of training in Arizona, Kenya, and, more recently, racing in Athens and Osaka, returning to his old jogging route was like visiting an old friend, says Lagat, who came to WSU in December to be publicly honored … » More …

Summer 2008

Bunion Derby: The 1928 Footrace Across America

Charles B. Kastner ’81
University of New Mexico Press, 2007

For generations, the 1920s have provided fodder for authors. The super-hyped sensationalism of those ballyhooed years seems a bottomless pool of entertaining topics. The decade of Lindbergh, Valentino, Capone, and Ruth, of flappers, Mah Jong, crossword puzzles, and marathon dances, also produced the Bunion Derby, a marathon footrace across America. It is to his credit that Seattle author Charles Kastner (’81 M.A. History) not only … » More …

Spring 2002

Track—Women's team strong, men's team well-balanced

“We need the new people to raise that level of performance and take over leaderships roles in some areas.”—Coach Rick Sloan

Coach Rick Sloan has good reason to be optimistic. He welcomes back five All-Americans to the Washington State University women’s track and field team. Joining them will be several top returnees and a bevy of talented newcomers.

“The women’s team seems to be very strong right now,” says Sloan, entering his 29th season at WSU and eighth as head coach. “We’re real excited about what the newcomers are going to be able to accomplish.”

The fact that WSU will host the Pac-10 Championships May … » More …