WWU Men 2nd, Women 5th at GNAC Championships

May 13, 2017

MONMOUTH, Ore. – The Western Washington University men’s track & field team placed 2nd while the WWU women finished 5th at the 2017 GNAC Outdoor Championships, hosted at McArthur Field on the campus of Western Oregon University, as five Vikings claimed individual event titles during a full day of Saturday competition that featured a battle for the men’s team title through the final event of the meet.

In 3rd place after Friday’s competition, the WWU men moved up to 2nd on Saturday and were narrowly edged by Alaska Anchorage, 134-132, atop the men’s team score standings. Alaska Anchorage defended its title from 2016, winning the 4x400m to surge ahead after the Vikings had grabbed a 5-point lead in the scoring with the 4x400m as the last remaining men’s event of the meet.

The team championship for the UAA men marked the second time in the last three seasons that a margin of 2 points separated UAA and WWU at the GNAC Outdoor Championships as the Vikings had edged the Seawolves two years ago, 176-174, in claiming the 2015 team title. 

The Viking women finished 5th with 90 points. Alaska Anchorage took home the women’s team title with 158 points ahead of 2nd-place Simon Fraser with 131.5 points.

WWU concluded the GNAC Outdoor Championships with six individual titles, including five won on Saturday, after senior Brittany Grant (Port Townsend, WA) had won the 3,0000m steeplechase on Friday during the meet’s first of two competition days.

“It was a phenomenal performance by the Vikings and I am really proud of the team,” 30th-year head coach Pee Wee Halsell said. “It was great competition on both sides and we performed like champions.”

Senior Bethany Drake (Sandy, OR) earned the GNAC javelin title with a throw of 52.40m/171-11.25. A two-time All-American and the 2014 national champion, Drake won her first conference javelin title after placing 4th in the event during 2014 and finishing as the runner-up in 2016. Her performance on Saturday was a season-best distance to improve upon her NCAA Division II automatic-qualifying mark and set a meet record, surpassing former teammate Katie Reichert (held previous record of 50.19m/164-8.25 set in 2016).

Senior Jasmine McMullin (Sequim, WA) repeated as the GNAC outdoor triple jump champion with a winning leap of 12.05m/39-6.50 to edge Ella Brown of Simon Fraser with a mark of 12.04m/39-6 in 2nd place. McMullin’s performance on Saturday followed a 3rd-place performance in the long jump on Friday.

Sophomore Alex Barry (Sequim, WA) became a GNAC champion in the javelin with a toss of 60.64m/198-11.75. He led a 1-2 finish for WWU as sophomore Costel David (Vancouver, WA/Evergreen) was 2nd with a personal-best mark of 59.72m/195-11.50, outdistancing his previous top mark by more than 20 feet, to help WWU pick up 18 team points in the event. Both marks were NCAA Division II provisional-qualifying efforts, although Barry did not better his season-best distance of 62.30m/204-5.

The WWU men also received individual titles from junior Isaac Derline (Kent, WA/Kentridge) in the 5,000m and freshman Cordell Cummings (Arlington, WA) in the 400m hurdles.

Derline, who entered the GNAC Championships with the 5th-best 5,000m time in the GNAC during the season, crossed the line in 15:19.49 to just edge out Alaska Anchorage’s Dominik Notz in 15:19.75 and Edwin Kangogo in 15.20.23. Two other Vikings added points in the race as well, with senior Sean Eustis (Washougal, WA) crossing the line 7th (15:36.32) and senior Andrew Wise (Denver, CO/East) placing 8th (15:37.14). 

Cummings entered the weekend with the 3rd-best 400m hurdles time in the GNAC during the current season and won his finals race on Saturday after placing 2nd in the prelims on Friday. He crossed the line in a winning time of 53.97 for a personal-best time ranking 7th in WWU top 10 history. Sophomore Reid Lovercamp (Wenatchee, WA) also scored points for WWU in the event, placing 7th in a time 56.88.

“Some huge wins by Isaac Derline and Cordell Cummings to pull us really close to Anchorage,” Halsell said. “The men’s competition went right down to the wire and it was a great battle. The women just kept battling and didn’t give up. Really proud of the whole team, the Vikings battled hard all day.”

Among other top-3 performances for WWU, senior Miranda Osadchey (DuPont, WA/Steilacoom) finished 2nd in the high jump with a season-best and NCAA Division II provisional-qualifying height of 1.69m/5-6.50, falling just short of 1st due to a fewer misses tiebreaker at the previous height with Tori Johnson of Concordia, who won the event after also clearing 1.69m/5-6.50. Sophomore Bridget Henry (Bellingham, WA/Sehome) placed 12th at a height of 1.54m/5-0.5.

Senior Cody McCranie (Auburn, WA) placed 3rd in the final of the 800m (1:54.79) after qualifying on Friday with a 5th-place finish (1:55.40) in the prelims.

Senior Mark Seely (Spokane, WA/Central Valley) took 3rd in the triple jump with a season-best leap of 14.29m/46-10.75 to lead four Vikings among the scoring placers. He was followed by junior Somit Chhim (Kelso, WA) in 5th (14.07m/46-2), sophomore Jacob Ringold (Vancouver, WA/Columbia River) in 7th (13.62m/44-8.25) and freshman Nick Makrakis (Concord, CA/Northgate) in 8th (13.58m/44-6.75). 

The field for the NCAA II Outdoor Track & Field Championships will be announced on Tuesday, May 16. The national championships will be held May 25-27 in Bradenton, Fla. 

The following are final team scores as well as additional highlights from Saturday for WWU. Click here to view Friday results and recap

Men’s Team Scores:

  1. Alaska Anchorage (134)
  2. Western Washington (132)
  3. Concordia (109)
  4. Western Oregon (107)
  5. Northwest Nazarene (104)
  6. Central Washington (85)
  7. MSU Billings (58)
  8. Simon Fraser (51)
  9. Saint Martin’s (22)
  10. Seattle Pacific (16)

Women’s Team Scores:

  1. Alaska Anchorage (158)
  2. Simon Fraser (131.5)
  3. Central Washington (116)
  4. Seattle Pacific (109.5)
  5. Western Washington (90)
  6. Concordia (85)
  7. Saint Martin’s (46)
  8. Northwest Nazarene (38)
  9. Western Oregon (36)
  10. MSU Billings (7)

100m (Women)

Freshman Kelsey McLean (Kirkland, WA/Juanita), who advanced to Saturday’s final with a time of 12.61 (8th) in the prelims, placed 7th in the final on Saturday with a time 12.75.

400m (Women)

Sophomores Savannah Smith (Renton, WA) and Emily Sytsma (Lynden, WA/Lynden Christian) placed 7th and 8th, respectively, in the 400m final on Saturday. Smith crossed the line in 58.13 while Sytsma clocked a time of 59.07.

1,500m (Women)

Following her 1st-place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase on Friday, Grant added a 4th-place finish in the 1,500m on Saturday with a time of 4:37.95 to add 5 points to the WWU team score. Senior Shawna Troupe (Kelso, WA) placed 9th (4:46.97) and freshman Aundrea Koger (Osage City, KS) was 12th (4:50.81).

5,000m (Women)

Senior Lillianna Stelling (Langley, WA/South Whidbey) was a scoring finisher for the Vikings in the 5,000m, leading seven WWU racers in the event with a time of 17:36.21 to finish 6th. Freshman Peyton Shinnick (Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma) and junior Maddy Hutchison (Snoqualmie, WA/Mount Si) were also among the top 10 in the race, with Shinnick finishing in 17:55.52 and Hutchison in 18:02.37. 

100m and 200m (Men)

Sophomore Daniel Jones (Ferndale, WA) was 8th in the 100m prelims with a time of 11.32 on Friday and ran a time of 11.30 on Saturday to finish 7th. He also placed 7th in the 200m final on Saturday, crossing the line despite being hampered by an injury in the race with a time of 39.58.

1,500m (Men)

McCranie led a trio of scoring finishers for the Vikings in the 1,500m with a time of 3:55.08 to place 4th. He was followed in 5th by junior Logan Giese (Spokane, WA/Central Valley) in a time 3:55.18 and in 6th by freshman Liam Cossette (Spokane, WA/Ferris) in a time of 3:57.38.

400m (Men)

After advancing to the final with a 5th-place finish (48.74) on Friday in the prelims, senior Ryan McArthur (Lynwood, WA) ran a time of 48.28 to place 4th in the final on Saturday. His time, a personal-best effort, ranks No. 4 in WWU history.

Hammer (Men)

Junior Brandon Pless (Sedro-Woolley, WA), who was 2nd in the shot put and 3rd in the discus on Friday, added a 6th-place finish in the hammer on Saturday with a toss of 52.79m/173-2.50. Sophomore Bryan Lee (Sammamish, WA/Skyline) was 10th with a distance of 48.63m/159-6.75.    

Pole Vault (Men)

Senior Gordie Kordas (Blaine, WA) led the WWU pole vaulters with height of 4.51m/14-9.50 to place 5th. Junior Adam Thomas (Washougal, WA) placed in a tie for 9th at a height of 4.21m/13-9.75.

2017 GNAC Track & Field Championships
May 12-13, 2017
Monmouth, Ore. // McArthur Field (host: Western Oregon University)
#GNACTF // @GNACSports // @WWUTFXC