Vikings Travel to Saint Martin's for Jay Hammer Meet

April 11, 2018

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Following a pair of team titles at the first home meet of the season last Friday, the Western Washington University track & field program travels south to the Saint Martin’s University Jay Hammer Meet on Saturday at the SMU Track & Field Complex.

Field events begin at 10 am with track events starting at 10:30 am in Lacey, Washington. The last scheduled events of the day are the 4x400m relays at 4:55 pm and 5:10 pm. In addition to host Saint Martin’s, the Vikings will be joined by Seattle Pacific, Central Washington and Concordia as Great Northwest Athletic Conference schools at the meet.

Saturday’s meet is the second of the month for WWU during a busy April that features a pair of home meets at Civic Stadium. Following the trip to Saint Martin’s, the Vikings will travel to California next week for three meets from April 19 to April 21 before hosting the 37th Annual Ralph Vernacchia Track & Field Meet on April 28.

Recapping Last Week

The WWU women took the team title at the WWU Team Invitational last Friday with 180 points, ahead of British Columbia (173 points), Seattle Pacific (152 points) and Saint Martin’s (61 points). The WWU men finished with 223 points, well ahead of British Columbia (160 points), Saint Martin’s (111 points) and Seattle Pacific (81 points). In all, the Vikings claimed 13 events titles with three WWU competitors improving upon NCAA Division II provisional-qualifying marks among the many strong performances.

Junior Alex Barry (Sequim, WA) won the javelin with a throw of 64.77m (212-6), more than 8 feet beyond his previous personal-best mark. The throw ranks No. 3 in WWU outdoor top-10 history, No. 9 in GNAC outdoor top-10 history and No. 8 nationally this season (No. 2 in the GNAC). It improved upon his previous top provisional-qualifying throw this season of 61.90m (203-1) recorded at the Stanford Invitational.

Senior Anna Paradee (Tacoma, WA/Decatur) cleared a season-best height of 3.97m (13-0 ¼) to win the pole vault at the WWU Team Invitational as the No. 4 mark nationally this season and the top GNAC performance. The GNAC and school record holder with a clearance of 4.01m (13-1 ¾) during the outdoor season last year, Paradee came close to her record mark and attempted at 4.04m last Friday. Her previous top mark during 2018 was 3.95m (12-11 ½) at the Stanford Invitational.

Freshman Natalie Vetto (Kirkland, WA/Lake Washington) also improved upon a previous provisional-qualifying mark, placing 2nd in the javelin with a mark of 44.61m (146-4) last Friday, bettering her previous top mark of 43.97m (144-3) recorded at the Stanford Invitational. Sophomore Raquel Pellecer (Sandy, OR/Portland State) took top honors in the javelin with a throw of 47.13m (154-7), her 2nd-best mark of the season behind her throw of 47.91m (157-2) at Stanford. Pellecer and Vetto own the top two javelin marks in the conference with Pellecer’s top mark ranking No. 4 nationally and Vetto’s top mark ranking No. 7.

As a whole the Vikings posted 69 marks setting new season-best performances with three marks tying season-best performances at the WWU Team Invitational, and among the efforts were marks ranking on the program top-10 lists.

In addition to Barry, freshman Bryce Bryant-Leat (Spokane, WA/Lewis and Clark) recorded the No. 7 shot put mark on the WWU top-10 list with a mark of 15.78m (51-9 ¼), the No. 3 mark in the GNAC this year.

Sophomore Chanelle Eddy (Bellingham, WA/Sehome/Whitworth), a two event winner at the meet in the shot put and discus, recorded a discus throw of 43.87m (143-11) as the No. 5 mark on the WWU top-10 list and No. 3 mark in the GNAC during the season.

Junior Maddie Taylor (Seattle, WA/Auburn Mountainview/Montana) posted a GNAC-leading high jump mark of 1.66m (5-5 ¼) to place 2nd with the No. 9 mark on the WWU top-10 list.

On the track, sophomore Peyton Shinnick (Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma) added a program top-10 time in the 3,000m steeplechase during her first-ever race in the event, finishing in 11:26.83 to place 2nd as the No. 7 time on the WWU top-10 list. Junior Savannah Smith (Renton, WA) tied her personal-best in the 200m with a 2nd-place finish in a time of 25.39, a time ranking No. 5 on the WWU top-10 list.

The 4x100m relay team of sophomore Kelsey McLean (Kirkland, WA/Juanita), sophomore Hannah Bradley (Bellingham, WA), freshman Emily Greene (Spokane, WA/Lewis and Clark) and junior Emily Sytsma (Lynden, WA/Lynden Christian/Concordia) also posted a program top-10 time, placing 3rd with a time of 48.08 as the No. 9 time on the WWU top-10 list.

Click to view a recap and full results from the WWU Team Invitational.

Among the Ranked

The WWU women returned to the top 25 in the most recent U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national rankings at No. 23, three spots up from No. 26 last week. The WWU men are No. 65 nationally, up from No. 71 last week. In the West Region rankings, the WWU men remain at No. 6 while the WWU women are No. 9 after ranking No. 11 last week.

By the Numbers

Among WWU outdoor top-10 lists, the Vikings have added 17 marks to the outdoor WWU top-10 lists (11 for the women, six for the men) during the season.

The Vikings also have 65 marks ranking among the top 10 in the GNAC (40 for the men, 25 for the women and), including 28 among the top five (18 for the men, 10 for the women), with five GNAC-leading performances. Click to view the GNAC performance lists.

Last Friday’s WWU Team Invitational featured 69 season-best marks as well as an additional three marks tying season-best efforts for the Vikings.

Through six weeks and eight meets during the outdoor season, six Vikings have recorded provisional-qualifying marks – four for the women and two for the men. Five of the six provisional-qualifying marks are in the javelin (three on the women’s side, two on the men’s side) as well as one mark in the pole vault from 2017 All-American Anna Paradee.





NCAA II Ranking

2018 GNAC Rank


Anna Paradee

Pole Vault

3.97m (13-0 ¼)



PR (4.01m, 13-1 ¾) is GNAC/school record

Raquel Pellecer


47.91m (157-2)



No. 7 WWU history/No. 10 GNAC history

Natalie Vetto


44.61m (146-4)




Hannah Nienaber


42.31m (138-10)




Spencer Claeys


63.05m (206-10)



No. 6 WWU history/No. 16 GNAC history

Alex Barry


64.77m (212-6) 



No. 3 WWU history/No. 9 GNAC history

GNAC Honors

WWU has been honored with five GNAC weekly awards during the outdoor season, including three honors for Pellecer.

  • GNAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week (March 5): Raquel Pellecer (So., Sandy, OR/Portland State)
  • GNAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week (March 12): Raquel Pellecer (So., Sandy, OR/Portland State)
  • GNAC Women’s Field Athlete of the Week (April 2): Raquel Pellecer (So., Sandy, OR/Portland State)
  • GNAC Men’s Field Athlete of the Week (March 12): Alex Barry (Jr., Sequim, WA)
  • GNAC Men’s Track Athlete of the Week (March 12): Bryant Welch (Fr., Burien, WA/Mount Rainier)

Coming Up: Next week features a trip to California for the Azusa Pacific Brian Clay Invitational (April 19-20), Mt. Sac Relays/California Invitational Combined Events (April 19-20) and the Long Beach State Beach Invitational (April 20-21). WWU is back home at the end of the month to host the 37th Annual Ralph Vernacchia Track & Field Meet on April 28.

Meet Details:
Event: SMU Jay Hammer Meet
Site: Lacey, WA (SMU Track & Field Complex)
Date: Saturday, April 14, 2018

2018 Outdoor Schedule:




Ed Boitano Invitational

March 3

Baker Stadium (Tacoma, WA)

PLU Open

March 10

PLU Track & Field Facility (Parkland, WA)

SPU Doris Heritage Track Festival

March 24

West Seattle Stadium (Seattle, WA)

San Francisco State Distance Carnival

March 30-31

Chabot College (Hayward, CA)

Stanford Invitational

March 30-31

Cobb Track and Angell Field (Stanford, CA)

UBC Open

March 30-31

Rashpal Dhillon Oval (Vancouver, BC)

UPS Shotwell Invitational

March 31

Baker Stadium (Tacoma, WA)

WWU Team Invitational

April 6

Civic Stadium (Bellingham, WA)

SMU Jay Hammer Meet

April 14

SMU Track & Field Complex (Lacey, WA)

Brian Clay Invitational

April 19-20

Cougar Athletic Stadium (Azusa, CA)

Mt. Sac Relays/California Invitational Combined Events

April 19-20

Murdock Stadium at El Camino College (Torrance, CA)

Beach Invitational

April 20-21

Jack Rose Track (Long Beach, CA)

WWU Ralph Vernacchia Track & Field Meet

April 28

Civic Stadium (Bellingham, WA)

GNAC Multi Championships

April 30-May 1

Brian and Nichole Bohner Track (Nampa, ID)

Ken Shannon Invitational

May 4-5

Husky Stadium (Seattle, WA)

GNAC Championships

May 11-12

McArthur Field (Monmouth, OR)

NCAA Championships

May 24-26

Irwin Belk Complex (Charlotte, NC)


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