Gruszecki is NCAA II automatic qualifier in women's javelin
April 2, 2011
TACOMA, Wash. - Western Washington University's Monika Gruszecki (Sr., Edmonds/Meadowdale) won the women's javelin with a NCAA Division II automatic qualifying mark of 150-6 (45.87) at the University of Puget Sound J.D. Shotwell Track and Field Invitational on Saturday at Baker Stadium.
That guarantees a third trip to nationals for Gruszecki, who was hampered by minor injuries most of last season after spending the previous year at Philipps University in Germany. A two-time All-American at Western, she won the NCAA II national title as a freshman in 2007 and placed second nationally in 2008.
The Vikings won the men's division in the 12-team field with 232 points to 130 for runner-up Central Washington. They were second in the women's division with 135-1/2 points, finishing behind first-place Seattle Pacific, which had 210-1/2.
"We saw some very good performances and had a lot of better efforts in not so great weather," said Western coach Pee Wee Halsell (24th year). "We're getting back into a groove after a long break."
The Vikings' Michael Hoffman (Jr., Bellingham/Sehome) was a provisional national qualifier in the men's hammer with a winning effort of 186-4 (56.80).
Western's Ryan Brown (Sr., Bellingham/Squalicum) had a PNQ mark of 16-3/4 (4.90), four inches lower than his season best, in taking the men's pole vault. Brown is the defending national champion. Teammate Cal Rosenberg (So., Portland, OR/Grant) was runner-up at 14-11 (4.55).
In all, the Vikings won 11 events, two of them by Ben Elder (Sr., Lake Stevens) in the men's discus (149-7, 45.60) and shot put (49-5 1/2, 15.07).
Other winning efforts for Western were Eric Brill (Sr., Kent/Kentwood) in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:50.12), Nick Abraham (Jr., Sammamish/Skyline) in the men's 1,500 (4:01.29), Cory Okazaki (Fr., Puyallup/Emerald Ridge) in the men's 110 hurdles (15.45), Alex Tilley (Jr., Edmonds/Kamiak) in the men's 100 (10.95), Rachael Johnson (Sr., Yakima/West Valley) in the women's 800 (2:17.09) and Dylan Peterson (So., Seattle/Garfield) in the men's 5,000 (15:36.72).
Placing second for the Vikings were Lindsay Wells (Fr., Seattle/Nathan Hale) in the women's hammer (149-1, 45.45), Amanda Overdick (So., Lynnwood) in the women's high jump (5-2 1/2, 1.59), Kristi Fairbanks (So., Snohomish) in the women's 1,500 (5:00.06), Dylan Hopper (Fr., Everett/Cascade) in the men's 1,500 (4:02.49), Mark Pangilinan (Fr., Marysville/Marsyville-Pilchuck) in the men's 100 (10.95), Gabe Morales (Sr., Renton/O'Dea) in the men's 400 hurdles (56.69) and Tanner Boyd (So., Camas) in the men's 5,000 (15:46.69).
Western hosts the Ralph Vernacchia Invitational on Friday (2:30 p.m.) at Bellingham's Civic Stadium.
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