By David Veenstra
EUGENE, Oregon – Despite her success, two individual titles weren’t satisfying for Arizona State’s Jorinde van Klinken at the Pac-12 Track and Field Championships.
“Actually I was hoping for a lot more,” she said after she captured the discus and shot put titles at Hayward Field over the weekend. “I didn’t feel like I got any good throws in so that was kind of disappointing, but obviously I’m very happy I could bring some points to our (women’s) team.”
Arizona also came away with two individual titles after junior Talie Bonds won the women’s high jump and senior Shannon Meisberger was victorious in the 400-meter hurdles.
The ASU men’s team, which saw Jamar Marshall Jr. win an individual in the 110-meter hurdles, finished fifth with 88 points, while the women placed eighth after scoring 57. The Arizona women came in seventh with 60 points, and the men took 10th overall after finishing with 27.
Oregon ran away with both the men’s and women’s team titles for the Ducks’ 10th sweep in program history. It was their 15th straight team title and their 22nd overall. The Oregon women captured their first team title since 2017.
Van Klinken’s winning shot put performance on Saturday came after the Dutch graduate student finished second last year in the conference championships behind Arizona’s Samantha Noennig. Van Klinken took the lead after her second throw, and her winning hurl of 18.31 meters (60 feet, 1 inch) came on her fourth attempt. Noennig placed third this year by throwing 17.51 meters (57-5 ½ ), finishing behind van Klinken and Oregon sophomore Jaida Ross.
“Not what she wanted, not what she’s capable of doing, but we’re still working for the end here for nationals and obviously you’ll take being the Pac-12 champ any day of the week, so we’re excited about that and definitely looking forward to next month for her to continue her development,” ASU throws coach Brian Blutreich said.
Van Klinken also walked away a winner in the discus Sunday. The defending Pac-12 and NCAA champion moved into first after her opening throw and took the title with a winning heave of 60.87 meters (199-8) on her sixth throw. Van Klinken, whose personal best in the discus is 70.22 meters (230-4), left the championships disappointed despite her success.
“Well even worse than (Saturday), so worst meet of the season,” van Klinken said Sunday. “I’m very disappointed.”
Van Klinken, went to the shot put area after her second discus attempt and pretended to throw her shoe as a discus after receiving instruction from Blutreich.
“We’re working a lot on technique right now, so my rhythm is just so far off that I basically look like a snail throwing super slow, so he just told me to do some drills to get the speed going a little bit,” van Klinken said. “It’s just kind of frustrating that it’s been going a lot better over the weeks and in practice and today it was just not there at all.”
ASU redshirt senior Turner Washington was the favorite heading into the weekend in the men’s shot put and discus, but the defending NCAA champion in both events suffered a right knee injury after slipping and falling in the shot put circle during rainy conditions in training earlier in the week. Washington finished fourth in the shot put after producing foul-throws on four of his six attempts.
“(Washington’s) hurting pretty bad right now so that was obviously not what we were hoping for but that’s part of sport,” Blutreich said.
Washington’s best mark of the day came on his third attempt, when he threw 18.43 meters (60-5¾).
“Thursday’s practice, just not used to being in a wet circle, went to push on the ball and slipped and fell and hit my knee on the toe board,” Washington said. “It’s frustrating but that’s the name of the game. That’s the sport. It happens. It was a problem. I couldn’t really do anything that I wanted and I didn’t have any timing, but it happens, people get hurt.”
Washington’s right patella tendon is “flamed up” but he confirmed nothing is torn.
During the discus final Sunday, Washington was still affected by the injury. The redshirt senior, who is also on The Bowerman Watch List, pulled out of the competition after his second attempt. Washington tossed 53.73 meters (176-3) on his first attempt before producing a foul-throw on his second try. Washington, who was far off his personal best of 66.26 meters (217-4), was pulled by Blutreich as a result.
“With (Washington) being hurt he did what he could for the team,” Blutreich said. “At least he tried to take a couple throws, but his knee didn’t want to do it so I made him pass and not hurt himself further. We tried to give it a go and see what he could do, but I also don’t want him hurting his knee any further, so he gave it his best and that’s all we can ask.”
Freshman Ralford Mullings stepped up for Arizona State in Sunday’s discus final after Washington’s absence. The Kington, Jamaican-native secured second with his 63.47-meter (208-3) hurl.
“I feel pretty proud of myself,” Mullings said. “I just came to compete and do my best and that’s what I did. I came out with second place and put points on the board for the team. I’m just happy to contribute to the team standings.”
Mullings added that Washington’s injury is part of being an athlete. It’s just inevitable to get injuries. It’s just unfortunate that it happened in the warm-up the day before the competition.”
Bonds began her successful Sunday for the Wildcats by placing third and running a personal best of 13.17 seconds in the women’s 100-meter hurdles final. The junior later won the women’s high jump after clearing 1.76 meters (5-9.25).
Arizona produced four Top 10 finishes in the women’s high jump with junior Diana Ramos finishing fourth, junior Alexa Porpaczy taking ninth and junior Lillian Lowe tying for 10th. Bonds and Lowe both share the West Region’s best high jump mark at 1.83 meters (6-0) heading into the NCAA West Region prelims.
“University of Arizona has had a great high jump program for as long as I can remember,” Bonds said. “It’s so cool to be a part of it with all these elite jumpers next to me at practice. It just pushes me to be a better athlete myself and I don’t take it for granted at all.
“I felt really good once I cleared 1.76 on the first attempt. I kind of felt pretty confident, but the end result wasn’t what I wanted. Wasn’t close to what I wanted, but at the end you just have to win.”
In the women’s 400-meter hurdles final, Arizona’s Meisberger won the event by clocking 56.43 seconds, a season’s-best for the Massachusetts native. Meisberger won in a photo finish and was pushed to the end by Oregon redshirt freshman Alexandra Webster, who finished second in 56.47 seconds.
“I was just like I’m not gonna lose,” Meisberger said. “Talie was like, ‘You looked like you were gonna fall there.’ I was like, ‘My face will meet pavement before I get second place.’ I felt the competition there and knew I had to push a little bit at the end.”
Meisberger has the second best 400-meter hurdles time in the West Region.
In the men’s 400-meter hurdles, Marshall Jr. ran the third fastest-time in the prelims (51.79 seconds), however, the Sun Devils sophomore was disqualified after hooking a hurdle.
On Saturday, Marshall Jr. was able to overcome Friday’s disqualification by qualifying for the 110-meter hurdles final after clocking his then-season’s best time and the fastest time in the prelims (13.52 seconds).
On Sunday in the final, Marshall Jr. ran a new personal best (13.39 seconds) and claimed victory, setting a new school record in the process.
“I felt good just this whole week just how training’s been,” Marshall Jr. said. “It finally clicked, I ran a 13.3 and it’s just Pac-12s. I’ve got a whole month left to run. I’ve got regionals and then nationals and I feel like I can keep dropping (my time) and I’ve got more left.”
The defending Pac-12 110-meter hurdle champion set the previous school record last year at the same meet after clocking 13.49 seconds. Marshall Jr. suffered a concussion after the sophomore tripped on a hurdle and subsequently fell and hit his head at the Mt. SAC Relays last month.
Marshall Jr. was then forced to miss the next meet, the ASU Twilight Invite, due to his head injury.
“I had one of the fastest bounce backs anyone ever could do,” Marshall Jr. said. “That was probably one of the lowest (points) I’d ever been at during my hurdles career. 13.3 out of a concussion, I feel like that’s the best comeback ever.”
And he remains committed to the sport.
Hurdles is like my wife,” he said. “Forget the life, hurdles is like my wife. We go through our ups and downs. We got in an argument at Mt. SAC, so she kicked me out the crib and now I’m back in there and we on good terms, so you know I love the hurdles. That’s something that’s really touching to me. That’s my girlfriend.”
The Sun Devils return to action during the NCAA West Prelims in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where 47 Sun Devils will compete from May 26-28.
Next up for Arizona is the Tucson Elite Classic. The two-day meet featuring just the throwers begins on Thursday and continues Saturday at Roy P. Drachman Stadium.