Sophomore places sixth in two-day, seven-event competition with personal bests in four events
Jozie Kimes got the momentum going early for the Eastern Washington University track and field teams at the Big Sky Outdoor Championships in Flagstaff, Ariz., as the sophomore recorded a new personal-best score to place sixth in the heptathlon Wednesday and Thursday (May 13-14), scoring three points to put the Eagle women on the board in team-scoring and nearly breaking a school record in the process.
“It was phenomenal, Jozie came in with the mindset that she was going to PR in almost every event,” said jumps/multi-events coach Erik Rasmussen. “She’s just a testament that if you put in the work then there’s no limit to what you can achieve.”
Coming into the meet with a then-personal best of 4,429, Kimes put together two seasonal bests to open the competition Wednesday. She clocked a time of 15.22 in the 100 hurdles, good for 813 points. Kimes then cleared the bar at 5-3 in the high jump, earning 736 points. The sophomore capped the first day with two personal bests, getting off a toss of 31-8 in the shot put (507) and running 26.41 in the 200 (762). She ranked ninth amongst the field with a score of 2,818 in the first four events.
Thursday Kimes continued to have that edge, starting day two with a personal-best leap of 17-10 1/4 in the long jump, giving her 683 points. The Cashmere, Wash., native followed with a throw of 110-4 (546) in the javelin, making up ground on most of the field with the fourth-best mark to move into scoring position. She capped the competition with her fourth personal-best performance, finishing third in the 800 with a time of 2:23.41 for 778 points.
“It was very easy from a coaching perspective,” said Rasmussen. “I gave her a few tips technically, but she just has such a strong determination and grit to get things done.”
That gave Kimes a total score of 4.825 in the heptathlon, a new best by 396 points that ranks second in school history. She now only trails school-record holder Christie Kight, who had a score of 4,850 in 2003.
“Just missing that school record is a big milestone,” said Rasmussen, “She put together a strong string of performances and all the credit goes to her.”
Kimes was sixth in the event, finishing just 39 points off of fifth place and 149 points from a top-three All-Big Sky performance. Montana’s Lindsey Hall won the heptathlon with a score of 5,401, just holding off Montana State’s Carley McCutchen (5,391).
“I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Rasmussen, “A lot of people were surprised, but I could have told you that she is going to score no matter what. That’s just who Jozie is."
For Kimes, this isn’t her only event of the weekend, as she will be competing in the 400-meter hurdle prelims tomorrow. She has run a personal best of 1:03.38 this season, which ranks ninth all-time at Eastern.
With the multi-events wrapping up Thursday, the regular portion of the Big Sky meet will begin Friday. The field events will start at 10 a.m., and the running events will go at 3 p.m. (PST).