Five WWU athletes qualify for NCAA II Championships on March 14-15

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Alex Donigian
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Alex Donigian
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

March 5, 2014

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Led by Alex Donigian (Jr., Mission Viejo, CA/Trabuco Hills), who ranks fifth nationally in the men's 60 meters, five Western Washington University athletes have qualified for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 14-15 at Winston Salem, NC.

Also competing for the Vikings will be Tanya Bjornsson (Sr., Ferndale) in the women's long jump, Frank Catelli (So., Sequim) in the men's shot put, Chip Jackson (Sr., Shoreline/Shorewood) in the men's mile and Cheyenna Pinley (Jr., Bellingham/Squalicum) in the women's pole vault.

"This is a strong contingent," said WWU coach Pee Wee Halsell (27th year). "One is predicted to score and all the others are close. They are all great competitors."

Donigian broke his own school record in the 60 this season with a time of 6.75.

It is the second straight national appearance for Pinley, who placed 13th in the pole vault last year by clearing 12-1 1/2. She ranks 17th this season with a mark of 12-6.

The only other member of that quintet with national experience is Jackson, who has gone three times in cross country. He ranks 11th in the mile with a 4:07.95 clocking.

Catelli ranks ninth in the shot put with a school-record mark of 57-5 1/2, and Bjornsson is 12th in the long jump at 19-1 1/4.

GNAC TRACK AND FIELD: 18 Athletes Head to North Carolina for NCAA Indoor Nationals

PORTLAND, Ore. - Eighteen athletes, including seven from Alaska Anchorage and five from Western Washington will compete in the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships next weekend at Winston-Salem, N.C.

Three of the UAA athletes - Micah Chelimo (men's 3,000 and 5,000), Joyce Kipchumba (women's 3,000 and 5,000) and Karolin Anders (pentathlon and high jump) are entered in two individual events.

Chelimo is the top-seed in the men's 5,000 and the seventh seed in the 3K.

Kipchumba comes into the meet with the No. 2 best time in the women 5K and the No. 3 time in the 3K and Anders has the fifth best point total in the pentathlon. Chelimo will be joined by three Western Washington athletes - Alex Donigian in the 60, Chip Jackson in the mile and Frank Catelli in the shot put - in the men's meet. Donigian is the No. 4 seed in his event.

Athletes from six GNAC schools will compete in the women's division. In addition to Kipchumba and Anders, UAA qualified its distance medley relay team of Susan Bick, Haleigh Lloyd, Jessica Pahkala and Ivy O'Guinn.

Northwest Nazarene (Natalie Evans in the 800 and Alison Silva in the pole vault) and Western Washington (Tanya Bjornsson in the long jump and Cheyanna Pinley in the pole vault) each qualified two athletes. Silva enters the meet with the fifth best mark in her event.

Completing the field from the GNAC are three 800 runners - No. 2 seed Sarah Sawatzky of Simon Fraser, fourth-seed McKayla Fricker of Seattle Pacific and the Falcons' Lynelle Decker - and high jumper Tayler Fettig of Central Washington.

Fettig is the No. 6 seed.

Fettig (5-9 ¾ in the high jump), Silva (12-10 in the pole vault), Donigian (6.75 in the 60) and Chelimo (8:10.99 in the 3K and 13:47.73 in the 5K) are the GNAC record-holders in their events.

This weekend, GNAC teams will be competing in three outdoor meets as Central Washington, Saint Martin's and Western Washington head to Tacoma for the Pacific Lutheran Invitational, Seattle Pacific and Western Oregon are in Corvallis for the Oregon State Invitational and Alaska Anchorage visits Sin City for the Las Vegas Invitational.

NCAA INDOORS (March 13-14 at Winston-Salem, N.C.)

MEN: Friday: 3 p.m. - Mile Prelim (11. Chip Jackson, WWU, 4:11.13). 4:10 p.m. - 60 Prelims (4. Alex Donigian, WWU, 6.75). 6:15 p.m. - 5000 (1. Micah Chelimo, UAA, 13:56.59). Saturday: 2:05 p.m. - Shot Put (9. Frank Catelli, WWU, 17.51 - 57-5 ½. 4 p.m. - Mile (Jackson). 4:45 p.m. - 60 (Donigian). 6:05 p.m. - 3000 (7. Micah Chelimo, UAA, 8:16.69).

WOMEN: Friday: 2 p.m. - Long Jump (12. Tanya Bjornsson, WWU, 5.82). 4:50 p.m. - 800 Prelim (2. Sarah Sawatzky, SFU, 2:10.05; 4. McKayla Fricker, SPU, 2:10.53; 9. Natalie Evans, NNU, 2:12.95; 12. Lynelle Decker, SPU, 2:13.49). 6:35 p.m. - 5000 (2. Joyce Kipchumba, UAA, 16:57.37). 7:30 p.m. - Distance Medley Relay (9. Alaska Anchorage 11:52.63 - Susan Bick, Haleigh Lloyd, Jessica Pahkala, Ivy O'Guinn) Saturday: 9 a.m. - Pentathlon (5. Karolin Anders, UAA, 3752). 2:15 p.m. - High Jump (6. Tayler Fettig, CWU, 1.77 - 5-9 ¾; 15. Karolin Anders, UAA, 1.72 - 5-7 ¾). 4:25 p.m. - Pole Vault - 5. Alison Silva, NNU, 3.91 - 12-10; 14. Cheyanna Pinley, WWU, 3.81 - 12-6. 5:10 p.m. - 800 (Sawatzky, Fricker, Evans, Decker). 6:25 p.m. - 3000 (3. Joyce Kipchumba, UAA, 9:38.54). Note: Times listed are Eastern Daylight time.

GNAC ATHLETES POST 11 NCAA QUALIFYING MARKS: GNAC athletes posted seven indoor qualifying marks and four outdoor in last week's action. Posting new or improved indoor PNQs were Robert Peterson of Montana State Billings (mile) and Seattle Pacific's Seth Pierson (men's mile) and Lynelle Decker (800). Four relay teams also had PNQs - Alaska Anchorage and Western Oregon in the men's distance medley, Seattle Pacific in the women's 4x400 and Central Washington in the women's DMR. Only Decker's time (2:11.97) was good enough to gain a spot in next weekend's national meet ... Four javelin athletes earned outdoor qualifying throws - Shane Brooks and Seabre Church of Western Oregon and Slater Hirst and Bethany Drake of Western Washington - in meets at Puget Sound and Willamette. Drake's was an automatic mark.

MARKS ADDED TO GNAC TOP 10s: Four of last week's indoor marks earned spots in the GNAC Indoor All-Time Top 10. Peterson moved up to ninth in the mile (4:10.76). Alaska Anchorage and Western Oregon's men's DMR teams ran the fourth (9:56.55) and fifth (9:57.96) fastest times in GNAC history and Seattle Pacific's 4x400 women's team posted the third best time (3:48.40). All those marks came at the SPU Last-Chance Indoor. No marks from last week's outdoor meets cracked the Top 10. BY THE NUMBERS

GNAC ALL-TIME TOP 10 INDOOR PERFORMANCES (for Feb. 24-March 2): Men: Mile - 9. Robert Peterson, MSUB, 4:10.76. Distance Medley Relay - 4. Alaska Anchorage 9:56.55; 5. Western Oregon 9:57.96. Women: 4x400 - 3. Seattle Pacific 3:48.40. LAST WEEK'S NCAA INDOOR QUALIFIERS (for Feb. 24-March 2): Men: Mile - Robert Peterson, MSUB, 4:10.76; Seth Pierson, SPU, 4:12.78. Distance Medley Relay - Alaska Anchorage 9:56.55; Western Oregon 9:57.96. Women: 800 - Lynelle Decker, SPU, 2:11.97. 4x400 - Seattle Pacific 3:48.40. Distance Medley Relay - Central Washington, 12:09.31.

LAST WEEK'S NCAA OUTDOOR QUALIFIERS (for Feb. 24-March 2): Men: Javelin - Shane Brooks, WOU, 59.31 - 194-7; Slater Hirst, WWU, 59.31 - 194-7. Women: Bethany Drake, WWU, 47.84 - 156-11; Seabre Church, WOU, 42.91 - 140-9.

LAST WEEK:

UPS Quadrangular (March 1 at Tacoma): Men - Puget Sound 75 2/3. Lewis & Clark 42 1/3. Western Washington 41, Seattle Pacific 31. GNAC winners: 400 - David Ferguson, SPU, 51.71. 800 - Adam Avischious, SPU, 2:00.01. 1500 - Logan Giese, WWU, 4:01.09. 10,000 - Cory Johnson, WWU, 32:00.60. 4x400 Relay - Seattle Pacific 3:28.16. Triple Jump - Ben Smith, SPU, 12.47 - 40-11. Shot Put - Brandon Pless, WWU, 14.52 - 47-7 ¾. Discus - Jacob Gilbert, WWU, 41.78 - 137-1, Javelin - Slater Hirst, WWU, 59.31 - 194-7. Women - Western Washington 63, Puget Sound 38, Lewis & Clark 34, Seattle Pacific 14. GNAC winners: 100 - Veronica Ivancic, WWU, 12.90. 200 - Veronica Ivancic, WWU, 26.28. 800 - Shawna Troupe, WWU, 2:22.05. 400 Hurdles - Amber Dodd, WWU, 1:05.22. Pole Vault - Elizabeth Knope, WWU, 3.10 - 10-2. Long Jump - Shandel Yanney, WWU, 4.72 - 15-6. Discus - Maggie Roe, WWU, 36.47 - 119-8. Javelin - Bethany Drake, WWU, 47.84 - 156-11. Willamette Opener (Mar. 1 at Salem): Men (GNAC winners): 800 - Chris Stash, WOU, 1:56.81. Shot - Carraig Colahan, WOU, 13.86 - 45-5 ¾. 100 Hurdles - Dustin Camarillo, WOU, 16.21. High Jump - Garrett Hardie, WOU, 1.80 - 5-10 ¾. Javelin - Shane Brooks, WOU, 59.31 - 194-7. Women (GNAC winners): 100 Hurdles - Rochelle Pappel, WOU, 14.99. Shot Put - Emmi Collier, WOU, 12.78 - 41-11 ¼. Hammer - Emmi Collier, WOU, 41.71 - 136-10. Javelin - Seabre Church, WOU, 42.91 - 140-9. Linfield Icebreaker (March 1 at McMinnville): Men: 10,000 - 22. Javier Cortes, WOU, 34:19.33; 26. Brian Cortes, WOU, 34:41.30. Women: 10,000 - 10. Lara Lucero, WOU, 45:29.81.

SPU Last-Chance Indoor (March 1 at Seattle): Men - Western Oregon 50, Central Washington 44, Portland 23, Simon Fraser 22, Western Washington 18, Saint Martin's 13, Washington 11, Alaska Anchorage 10, Stanford 10, Academy of Art 8, MSU Billings 6, Seattle Pacific 4, George Fox 2. GNAC Winners: 800 - Frank Krause, SMU, 1:52.50. Distance Medley - Alaska Anchorage (Isaac Kangogo, Adam Commandeur, Ethan Hewitt, Micah Chelimo) 9:56.55. High Jump - Brett Watson, WWU, 2.06 - 6-9. Long Jump - Matson Hardie, WOU, 6.39 - 20-11 ½. Shot Put - Troy Martin, CWU, 15.46 - 50-8 ½. Weight Throw - Kevin Stanley, CWU, 17.66 - 57-11 ¼. Women - Washington 111, Simon Fraser 37, Seattle Pacific 36, Western Oregon 23, Academy of Art 13, George Fox 10, Central Washington 6, Stanford 5 ½, CSU Stanislaus 3 1.2, Western Washington 2. GNAC Winners: 800 - Lynelle Decker, SPU, 2:11.97. Mile - Emma Chadsey, SFU, 5:07.04. 4x400 Relay - Seattle Pacific (Kishia Mitchell, Tasia Baldwin Jasmine Johnson, McKayla Fricker) 3:48.40. Long Jump - Kyra Brannan, SPU, 5.48 - 17-11 ¾.

USTFCCCA NATIONAL COMPUTER RANKINGS (as of March 3): Men - 22. Alaska Anchorage. Women - 10. Alaska Anchorage.

USTFCCCA REGIONAL COMPUTER RANKINGS (as of March 3): Men - 1. Western Washington, 2. Alaska Anchorage, 3. Northwest Nazarene; 5. Central Washington; 6. Simon Fraser; 7. Montana State Billings; 8. Seattle Pacific; 9. Western Oregon; 10. Saint Martin's. Women - 1. Alaska Anchorage, 2. Northwest Nazarene; 3. Seattle Pacific, 4. Western Washington; 6. Central Washington; 9. Simon Fraser.

GNAC RED LION ATHLETES OF THE WEEK

MEN: Track - Robert Peterson, Montana State Billings (So., Billings, MT - Skyview) finished third in the mile in a time 4:10.76, improving his previous indoor national qualifying time at the SPU Last-Chance. Peterson's time ranks second in the GNAC this winter and ninth in GNAC history. Field - Slater Hirst, Western Washington (Jr., Shoreline, WA - King's) and Shane Brooks, Western Oregon (So., Pleasant Hill, OR) both had provisional national qualifying throws of 194-7 in the javelin at the Puget Sound Quadrangular and the Willamette Opener, respectively, as the outdoor season got underway. Both athletes finished first.

QUOTABLE: "Robert (Peterson) put together several good mile races over the past (two) weeks," MSUB coach Dave Coppock said. "He ran a 4:13 leg on the GNAC DMR, a 4:11 in the GNAC mile and a 4:10 at the (SPU) Last-Chance. I'm really proud of how he progressed this season despite the poor weather conditions (in Billings). We didn't do much other than long distance training. We were able to get on a track only four times, so I think he has a lot of upside potential in the 1500 coming up this spring."

WOMEN: Track - The Seattle Pacific quartet of Kishia Mitchell (Sr., Puyallup, WA - Rogers), Tasia Baldwin (Jr., Tacoma, WA - Foss), Jasmine Johnson (Jr., Federal Way, WA) and McKayla Fricker (Sr., Canby, OR) ran the third fastest indoor 4x400 relay in GNAC history at the SPU Last-Chance. They were clocked in a winning time of 3:48.40, a mark only bettered last year by Seattle Pacific and Simon Fraser. Field - Bethany Drake, Western Washington (So., Sandy, OR) had an outdoor automatic qualifying throw of 156-11 in the javelin at UPS. Drake has a career-best of 157-4, which ranks sixth in GNAC history. She won the event at UPS by almost 40 feet.

HONORABLE MENTION - Seabre Church, Western Oregon (Sr., Florence, OR) had a provisional national qualifying mark of 140-9 in the javelin at the Willamette Opener.